What’s the plan, Edu/Raul?

by .

If you came here this morning expecting a pat on the head for sitting on your arse for three months, here it is.

Well done you.

Now let’s crash into the MONSTROSITY that is Arsenal FC.

Firstly, the FA released the agent fee data and certain sections of the fanbase seem to be very pleased the number is only £13m. This comment from Terraloon might help you work through your joy and temper it with a little bit of caution.

You can not determine from the list of payments made in that period how much the club have agreed to pay out in respect of transfers in.The schedule only records the money paid out directly to the club by intermediaries over a set period. It doesn’t tell us what those payments were in respect of or indeed when those transactions actually happened.

The second attachment does tell us what transactions happened but again we don’t know over what time period the agents will receive their fees

Agents get paid for all sorts of things such as arranging contract extensions , facilitating loans out , transfers out and yes transfers in.

Often clubs agree to bear the costs of an agent acting on behalf of a player but when they do those sums don’t appear on the list they are paid in effect via payroll and treated as a benefit in kind.

To prove the point look at two clubs. Liverpool and Chelsea . These two clubs in the period 1/2/19-31/1/20 . These two clubs paid out £30.38 million and £26.183 million respectively.

In effect two transfer windows. Liverpool paid out just £8.5 million in respect of a couple of minor transfers in and Chelsea who were unable to sign anyone In the summer 2019 window bar Kovacic whose loan they made permanent and in the January 20 window they didn’t sign anyone.

I think we can move on from that and leave the magical thinkers to their own conclusions.

What I do want to talk about is the bigger picture with Arsenal, because we’re missing it when we’re debating whether Soares has a nice attitude or David Luiz is an agent of death.

Arsenal don’t have a plan.

You can hunt for it, you can retrofit excuses, but the simple fact is there is no coherence in what we’re doing.

Why? Because we’re not honest about our standing in football at the moment.

David Luiz, Cedric Soares and maybe Pablo Mari offer no real long term value to Arsenal. It’s money down the drain unless they drive us to the Champions League. Even then, what was the point? They have no resale value, they are not helping us to win the thing, they have limited ceilings.

We are pissing money up the wall with no credible plan to move the club forward.

Ivan Gazidis threw a lot of money at making the Champions League by bringing in senior players just before Wenger left. It didn’t work. Raul threw massive money at senior players when Emery arrived and it didn’t work. Now we’re 12th in the league and we’re doing the same again. Even if it succeeds, we’re still throwing money down the drain. At best, we’re thinking a year in advance.

‘Maybe Willian can help us’ isn’t a strategy, it’s naive.

Why is this happening? Because we don’t know who we are and there’s no real strategy.

We shouldn’t be debating drossy that had their best years 5 years ago. Arsenal should be honest about their position in the world football and rip the plaster this summer. Move on the senior players that are letting us down. A clean sweep. That’s Auba, Lacazette, Mustafi, Kola, Luiz and the loan players.

If Torreira doesn’t like England, sell him. If Matteo is a head case with a grim attitude and Barcelona have £60m, sell him on.

Then decide on the plan. If it’s Borussia Dortmund 2.0, go for it. There is absolutely no reason, outside a coherent plan, that we can’t replicate what they do.

Build a player profile. 20-24 years old. Fit. Mobile. Fast. A good level of emotional intelligence.

Know where to pick them up from. Look at the Eastern European leagues. Fish from the same ponds where the elite youth end up going, like RB Salzburg. Act quick.

Return to the future. Contacts football is shit and it rarely delivers. Ban Kia from the training ground. Never let Canales in a brainstorm again. Set a process for how you get to the right list of players. Leave no one in any doubt as to why you signed a name.

Stop trying to do things the easy way. ‘Call Kia’ is how great clubs die. Relying on people with a conflict of interest to give you good advice on players is quite frankly, fucking embarrassing.

Our current strategy is shit. Load up with bums, and pray to the footballing gods that one season, it might work out. That is not a winning formula. It hasn’t worked for Manchester United with a real budget, and it won’t work for Arsenal who have spent all their cash and borrowed from future pots.

Arsenal has a great coach. There’s a reason all the leaks to the media have cited everyone bar him for the mess. He’s in a tough spot. He’s probably worried about his future right now, he’s likely struggling with the dynamics of having two bosses with very bad taste, and he’s probably wondering how he’s going to get a turn out of these players.

But so would any coach. Carlo and Jose are hardly flying. OGS didn’t exactly cover himself in glory last season. A select few of the Chelsea fanbase have been calling Frank a fraud all season. Implementing change after picking up a midseason fire is difficult.

Our senior players have been problematic. The contract issues have spilt out into the training ground. The pay cut wasn’t great. He’s had a red card. A bunch of injuries. His season has been derailed by a club that was hoping to deal with these issues this summer, rather than during the season.

But don’t think that has the coach down and out. He has all the ingredients to attain greatness and I am sure given time, a good summer, and the culling of the dross, he’ll find a way to make it work. People giving up after such a short period of time will realise in time that the only magic bullet now is the reshaping of the squad in the vision of the coach.

There will be more bumps. We will lose again. This season isn’t ending in glory.

However, keep the faith. The coach will prove the doubters wrong is Raul and Edu can pull it together this summer. If that doesn’t happen, we’re fucked whoever sits in the hot seat.

Tonight, we play Southampton in a bid to escape 11th position. What a moment. It’s time for a reaction from the squad. A moment for the manager to show that he can rally a nightmare situation and make some magic happen. Maybe… we’ll see a performance.

Also, Sheffield United and Palace are opening up a some space for us to chase… maybe. Sad times that I’m excited by that.

Let’s see what happens!

See you in the comments x

692 Responses to “What’s the plan, Edu/Raul?”

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  1. Overmars

    Scrappy win that, but that’s understandable considering the last 2 games.

    What a difference Xhaka makes. I’ve criticized him at times but it’s clear as day to see that he is our best midfielder. His presence, leadership, passing… he makes the midfield tick.

    Mustafi and Holding were solid. I thought they played well against Brighton too and none of the goals were their fault. Martinez as well showed again why he’s a dependable number 2.

    Eddie as well showed good energy and has a knack of taking the ball of the oppositions defenders at the right time. Saka as well was his usual class self. He could have assisted a couple of goals today.

    I was disappointed to see Pepe go off so early but I suppose it paid off with Willock scoring the second. Ceballos I though as well went missing at time, he doesn’t look up to the pace at the moment. I also worry about Tierney, it’s understandable that he may not have the confidence to drive forward and play the forward pass, as he’s never been able to play a run of games. His body doesn’t seem up to the pace of the Premier League at the moment, as he seems to pick up a lot of small injuries, similar to Kolasinac. If either of our left backs can get a run of 8 + games, then they’re more than capable of getting to a good level as they both have the ability.

  2. englandsbest

    To add a couple of points (because everything Pedro has said is true), the priority must be to reduce costs if Arsenal is to become viable. Right now (and for a long time) that means cutting the players wage bill. How Ozil is still around is beyond belief.

    Alternatives – like increasing the revenue – is a pipe pipe. We are not going to win a major championship or even make the CL. Nor will major enterprises spend big money to get their logo on an Arsenal shirt. Realistically revenue will drop like a stone with no gate money.

    Of course viability is not just about money (and here, again, Pedro is spot on.) The club lacks a sense of direction, a detailed plan. Until we have an end in view, we ain’t goin’ nowhere.

  3. Overmars

    “Ozil is like a bad smell at the club, he really is. He is a nightmare for Arteta. A guy who is eating up massive, massive wages at the club who isn’t committed.

    “Ozil owes Arsenal far more than he has actually given.”

    The words of BT Sports pundit Chris Sutton. How does he know Ozil isn’t committed? How would he know that he is a nightmare for Arteta?

    Again, another idiot pundit who publicly slams Ozil with no real inside knowledge of what is going on. I’d put him in the same bracket as Jermaine Jenas, Steve McManaman, Owen Hargreaves and Joe Cole as completely useless pundits.

  4. UTarse


    You still up or gone to bed with your bottle ?

    I detect a style of commentary reminiscent of an irksome little cunt called northern goon…

    I’ve played the game when that tackle would have been judged fair cos the defender got a touch on the ball…. not like today’s game where it’s full of snowflakes like you.

  5. Dissenter

    Some of these pundits cross the line. That type of commentary against Ozil amounts to an adhominen attack.
    Why can’t they offer punditry in a professional manner.

  6. Nelson

    Who would have thought that Arteta has finally discovered Saka who can replace Ozil’s link up play and more. All we need now is a strong and fast CM to supplement Xhaka. Our team will be competitive again.

  7. Valentin

    Pundits make themselves known by being controversial and sometime contrarian. Also most of them are not the brightest or the most eloquent bunch of people.
    The worst are the one who think that they are still relevant when they were not relevant even during their playing days.
    So any criticism of a player become a personal attack on a player who most of them don’t know.
    Chris Sutton is the usual rent a gob who will spew bullshit and controversial statement for whoever is willing to pay him.

  8. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Shocking when arteta is looking to keep xhara.

    If partley comes here… and if this Hungarian player come here does that mean
    Xhara an torreia are out…

  9. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    What do people see in xhara,..

    Again he lost the ball and made countless miss passes today…
    But people laud him,

  10. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Me too
    Guns sf..

    Not in like a Weinstein hashtag me too..

    Or maybe …

    A wenger stein me too, players he inappropriately bought for the club….

    Wenger molested me with his French patter and suave words to joking 5he club….
    I was going to Everton until he intervened…
    Anoymous 23.

  11. azed

    Xhaka is going no where. Arteta would rather get rid of Torriera and Guendozi before Xhaka.

    Ozil has a decision to make this summer. Emery, Freddie and now Arteta all decided he wasn’t worth it.

  12. Gentlebris

    Pedro is transforming himself into a football Mugabe on here.

    We see a nothing coach who is always as clueless as a ball boy on the sidelines every game, but Pedro sticks to his ‘word class’ story and actually wants us to believe it.

    By all means keep kidding yourself, man.

  13. Pedro

    Bris, it’s painful for a lot of people when I’m right, so make it easier on yourself, hand over your Emery badges and join the Mikel hype train.

  14. China1

    Couldn’t get the game but very glad to see 3 points, a clean sheet and holding supposedly doing well.
    Willock has 8 goals this season. I don’t know if he can be a first team player and how best to utilize him but he’s a really useful asset and we really need to try and help him make that jump one way or another

    Saka getting rave reviews as standard

    Eddie scoring again which is nice

    And martinelli cant buy a minute which is standard 😀

  15. MidwestGun

    And martinelli cant buy a minute which is standard 😀
    China, Martinelli is injured. He got injured in practice last Monday in a collision with another olayer.. Torn knee ligament.. .. if I remember right. He won’t be back this season,

  16. Nelson

    I heard that FFP has been relaxed for this year. We have to push Stan to put up some money this Summer.

  17. Danny M.O

    We were piss poor today, saved by a press.

    We are so far behind in terms of qualidee at ze club:


    You know you have pissed money away when Xhaka is your best midfielder. Bellerin was a mess, Ceballos flamenco dancing in midfield losing the ball. Eddie couldnt hold the ball up for shiz.

    I love Arsenal however we have/will become Liverpool pre klopp. Banter defence, banter midfielder ok attack!

  18. Moray

    Thank God I’m not in the UK now that Liverpool have finally won the league.

    It’s going to be non stop and completely out of proportion boasting and maudlin dedications to dead people from all of their media cheerers.

    They won’t care that this season has been undermined by the pause or that it is unlikely it will finish.

    Awful. I hate them.

  19. peanuts&monkeys

    If leGrovers can’t see the talent Ceballos brings in the MF, then ALL of them might have been in coma in the ManC 1st half.

    Ceballos can have an odd outing but he is certainly in the top 5 of all current Arsenal players.

  20. TheBayingMob

    Awful. I hate them.

    Moray! Man I’m with you. Couldn’t agree more. A terrible day for British football.

  21. peanuts&monkeys

    As long as Xhaka stays and plays, this Arsenal team can never get back to winning ways ( 5 wins in a row or more).

    Can you imagine Xhaka playing for even current Chelsea / ManU teams? If Xhaka is tolerable then Bruno F must be God, right guys?

    Have you ever heard any team in entire Europe wanting to sign Xhaka?

  22. China1

    Since Liverpool have made it official it’s safe to say the streets of Liverpool are going to be cleaner than ever after half the city goes to town bin dipping in the excitement of it all

    Do lockdown lifting rules allow for more than 3 scousers dipping in a single bin?

  23. China1

    What position was willock playing when he came on?

    I really think he’s one of the most interesting players to watch at the club because he often looks far from the finished product and is very inconsistent but on a good day he’s a beast and his goal scoring record this season is fabulous for a young CM

    We can say with relative confidence that saka, tierney, martinelli are going to be really good players with regular game time but willock (and I think Eddie) are the ones I want to see Arteta really focus on.

    They both have great goal scoring records for their ages.

    How do we get willock to play his best on the regular in the PL? Does he just need regular game time? The problem is when he doesn’t play well he’s a bit of a passenger and our midfield is so bad it’s very hard to accommodate that at this time. Also what position do we work with him? Do we have him so much responsibility to play deep/b2b or focus on his awesome scoring and push him to n10 where I dunno if he has the smarts or through ball technique for that?

    It’s an interesting one, but you can’t have a young CM getting 8 goals as a bit part player and not be seriously thinking about how we get him to take the next step

  24. Tony

    “Bris, it’s painful for a lot of people when I’m right, so make it easier on yourself, hand over your Emery badges and join the Mikel hype train”

    See Pedro is starting joke Friday early because lately being right isn’t something I’d associate with Pedro.

    Broken clocks have a far better track record.

    Southampton gifted both goals to us although it would be fair to point out our pressing added to our luck.

    A rare away win and clean sheet, so I’ll happily take it.

    The highlight has to be our new Wally with the Brolly: Ozil who looked wholly disinterested and just plain bored, which no doubt Ozil is in training and why he’s been sidelined by Arteta.

    Southampton really didn’t offer much, so it mades us look better than we were and was a the right kind of game for Holding to get game time.

  25. China1

    I hope Arteta can work some coaching magic on willock and Eddie because he will save us a lot of money in the transfer market if he can make two serious players out of them.

    But there’s work to do, no doubt

  26. China1

    Saka’s rating on sky sports was 8/10. Fair rating? He beating again? I really hope this contract gets sorted out ASAP as it’s really, really nice (and unusual) for us to have a player who you just throw straight onto the team sheet and expect quality every single game. We have so few of those players and that’s been the case for a long time. The last player we’ve had who you’d expect a good performance from every match was monreal, tho obviously his role was less stand out and explosive than saka’s contributions

    Auba scores most games but whether he will put in a good overall performance is never known. The midfield rarely plays well. Pepe is explosive but inconsistent, laca inconsistent, the defense error prone and Leno normally plays very well tbf but has occasional guilty moments

  27. Guns of SF

    My boss is bin dipper

    Bin dipper means trash dumpster diving eating garbage?

    It’s fitting if that is the definition of bin dipper

  28. jwl

    Joke Friday –

    A boy says to a girl, “So, sex at my place?”


    “Okay, but I sleep in a bunk bed with my younger brother, and he thinks we’re making sandwiches, so we have to have a code. Cheese means faster and tomato means harder, okay?”

    Later on the girl is yelling, “Cheese cheese, tomato tomato!”

    The younger brother says, “Stop making sandwiches! You’re getting mayo all over my bed!”

  29. Ishola70


    “Bin dipper means trash dumpster diving eating garbage?”

    Because of poverty and high unemployment in Liverpool back in the day.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with the UK song that was made for aid to Ethiopia in the 1980s called “Feed The World”. Lyrics went “Feed The World, Let them know it’s Christmas time again” Well opposing fans playing Liverpool would sing “Feed the Scousers, Let them know it’s Christmas time again”

    Also on record that a western european team playing away at Liverpool in the European Cup in the early 1980s were shocked when they rolled into Anfield through the surrounding residential areas seeing the poverty on show. They described it as driving through a third world country.

  30. Sid

    Arteta is making his mark on this team Willock was imperious, Nketiahs goal swashbuckling, Xhakalson pinged the ball forward with pinpoint accuracy
    Bellerin and Mustafinovs provided an invisible impenetrable wall infront of Martinez while Auba kept askingg questions in attack.
    This is the football arsenal have been starved, they will now overfeed on sauce.

    Im telling you for free!

  31. andy1886

    Ishola, Guns:

    We also had a little ditty back in the eighties called ‘in your Liverpool slums’ (it was commonly sung across all the London clubs at the time).

    There were different versions and several verses which you can look up, but the relevant first verse sung at Arsenal was as follows:

    In your Liverpool slums
    In your Liverpool slums
    You search in the dustbin for something to eat
    You find a dead cat and you think it’s a treat
    In your Liverpool slums

    Hence bin dippers.

  32. China1

    I went to Liverpool once on a uni field trip. Our hotel window looked out onto a smashed up dilapidated pile of rubble. I asked what that is supposed to be and was told that building was bombed during the war


  33. Danny S

    Reports in the current bun (so take with a pinch) that arsenal were going to give willian 250k per week before corona struck.

    What the actual fuck.

  34. James wood

    Congratulations to Liverpool and thanks for some of the most
    exciting football you have played this season truly justified.

    Perhaps in the distant future our time will come again but not
    with the squad we presently have.?
    Desperate times on the field and at management level.

  35. China1

    Danny let’s pray it’s fake news

    We have 4 wingers not including auba and adding more at any price let alone wages that high would be madness

  36. Danny S

    Not only that, he’s 31.

    This Kia fella has really got his toes under at arsenal.

    We really are fucked

  37. Pierre

    With Arsenal, I think it’s a confidence issue.
    Wenger used to use the line ” playing with the handbrake on ” and that’s where we are with this present Arsenal side.

    It was very noticeable that as soon as our 2nd goal went In, for that short period towards the end we looked a completely different team.

    The negativity went out of our game, players were looking to pass the ball forward instead of sideways and back and players were making better runs off the ball.
    We were playing on the front foot offensively and defensively.

    Tierney is a worry fitness wise.
    For him to to down with cramp after an hour or so is not right.
    He wasn’t exactly marauding up and down the left flank was he.

    I felt Tierney was quite negative in his play yesterday.
    There were a number of times he could have surged into the space in front of him to commit the opposition, but he always took the safe option …..confidence?.

    Our 2 centre backs mustafi and holding play well together , I’m sure ( though not positive ) that those 2 were prominent during our 23 game unbeaten run last season .

    Both are very good in the air and importantly read the flight of the ball well and are brave.

    Bellerin is struggling, again that maybe a confidence issue .

    Great to see the academy players on the score sheet.
    Willock is a midfielder who will always score goals as he has natural ability to find space in the box and the timing of his runs are very good.

  38. Ishola70


    “I felt Tierney was quite negative in his play yesterday.
    There were a number of times he could have surged into the space in front of him to commit the opposition, but he always took the safe option …..confidence?.”

    No not lack of confidence.

    He was instructed by Arteta to sit back and play in an unconventional back three. Inverted fullback/third defender.

    I thought it didn’t work out too badly that instruction.

    Agreed about Bellerin. He’s not really impressing at all and he was the one that was told to get forward yesterday.

  39. Danny S

    Holding/Must were indeed ever present in the unbeaten run. All went to shot when holding broke down.

    Makes you wonder what the future holds for any of our defence with Mari and Luiz being signed up. I’d take chambers and holding over them any day.

    Papa obv is done at arsenal.

    Throw in mustafi and saliba that’s 6 CB to

  40. Valentin


    Tierney was not restricted in his play, he was playing as a third CB in a back 3. Arsenal formation was a lopsided 3-4-3.
    The worrying thing with Tierney is that clearly physically he was struggling. Maybe the heat was affecting him more than other.

    The worst players on the pitch for Arsenal were Ceballos, Pepe and then Bellerin.

    Ceballos was performing his usual dancing act and losing the ball. He tried but he is not suited for deep position as part of a central midfield 2.

    Pepe was disappointing in that despite playing higher up, he did not create anything of note nor did he press the way both Nkethia and Aubameyang did.

    Bellerin was misplacing a lot of pass. Sometimes his positioning was suspect.

  41. Gonsterous


    Yet we know that we will pull down our pants and bend over backwards to sign ceballos. He’ll cost us at least 25-30m and he is definitely not worth that.

  42. Receding Hairline

    I can see Guendouzi will be the kid jerked about by the new Regime. Rumors he has asked to leave. Something tells me he is being picked on and as a kid who was always rebellious isn’t taking it lying down. The only thing that cracks me up is when I read stuff like “if someone offers 60m sell him”..lol. 60m for what exactly?

  43. Pierre

    I do know exactly where Tierney was playing and playing as the 3rd centre back should not stop him from moving into the space that was often ahead of him and most importantly, committing defenders.

    All I can say is, wait and see with Tierney, if he ever does return to peak fitness and full confidence, you will see a completely different player than the one we saw yesterday.

    He will drive into the space that he was afforded and put the opposition on the back foot.

    There were a number of times he refused the option to move forward and passed backwards which would eventually lead to our keeper booting the ball long , consequently we would lose possession.

  44. Gonsterous

    Good result, much needed win, but a little late, I think this is as high as we will finish this season. Let’s hope we have a good cup run at least ( or am I getting ahead of myself).
    Sell the dross and get in some good players. Then Let’s focus on next season.

  45. Ishola70

    Arteta likes to do his tactical stuff in that left hand side defensive area and overall it hasn’t worked out too badly for him.

    We saw how he used Tierney yesterday and previously we had Xhaka in that area picking the ball up in first phase in some other matches. He went to that area to pick the ball up a few times yesterday as well.

  46. Gonsterous


    Shame about guen. I’ve liked him from the beginning. He is valued at 40m so let’s see if we get any buyers.
    Maybe at a club who can manage his attitude, he’ll become a world beater. Maybe…

  47. Receding Hairline

    I don’t know what Arteta wants to do with the rest of the season

    He either believes we can still compete for the European players in which case style of football, player selection with a mind on the future etc becomes secondary and results primary

    Or he wants to use the rest of the season as a more competitive preseason, try out players he really wants to keep in positions and systems he hopes to use going forward, in which case style and quality of football becomes primary and results secondary.

  48. Saba

    Another year of shit incoming. Had a chance to get rid of dross but we re-sign Luiz and add some more dross.

  49. Ishola70

    I think we can be quite positive about Tierney regarding his actual play.

    He has shown us previously that he is quite handy going forward and has a decent cross on him and yesterday he showed that he can defend as well. Some of his defensive play yesterday was pretty good.

    It’s injuries that are the worry about him.

  50. Receding Hairline

    Gonsterous I don’t think anyone in their right minds is paying 40m for a kid who is still just potential and allegedly struggling with a poor attitude. Add that he is kicking to leave best you can hope for is 15m tops

  51. Pierre

    “He was instructed by Arteta to sit back and play in an unconventional back three. Inverted fullback/third defender.”

    Obviously( in yours and valentin’s world) , that means that he can’t pass the half way line does it.

  52. China1

    I think guen is an interesting prospect but I would be very surprised if someone was willing to offer 40m in this economic climate for him

    He has some qualities for sure and might have a high ceiling but he’s not ‘done or’ yet with any great consistency. Compared with youngsters like saka and martinelli he looks a less remarkable prospect and I wouldn’t expect any massive offers any time soon personally

    25m would be a more likely price range in 2020 imo, but that’s just me

  53. The Godfather

    I’m still not getting all the Guendo-Hate.

    That kid has never hidden on the field, or ever lacked commitment or drive for the cause. If he has one fault, it’s that he cares or tries too hard.

    Compared to overpaid, overrated and lazy louts like Xhaka and Ozil, who shrug and stroll around the field, curse out fans, and generally represent the perfect examples of how far Arsenal football club has fallen.

    Just because Proven Liars and Arsenal Haters in the Mail have concocted a fable with no proof or verification, everyone seems to be jumping down the kids throat.

    Anyway hope he moves on to a bigger and better club and showcases his talents on a bigger stage if some people just wanna hate him without cause.

    There are a lot of problems at AFC, but he is certainly not one of them!

  54. Guns of Hackney

    If anyone wants sideshow Bob for £40m. Take it. Don’t ask questions and go and get Partey or that Sidibi from Wolves. Do not fuck about. Guedenzi is not getting better and he’s a total cunt.

    Arteta needs to act fast, decisively and aggressively this summer. We absolutely need a settled club by the start of next season and have a full pre season.

    Last night was painful to watch but we got a win. Nice to see the youth playing but holy shit, the same old bullshit from the ‘big starts’. Auba is done. Laca is done. Ozil having a sunbath was another big FU. Mustafi is terrible. Xhaka non existent. Same old same old.

    Arsenal still can’t keep a fit squad.

  55. Ishola70


    “Obviously( in yours and valentin’s world) , that means that he can’t pass the half way line does it.”

    Well in this instance yes.

    As a third defender he was told to defend.

    Saka was seen as enough on the left for attacking.

    Bellerin was told to get forward on the other side.

    If he was sitting back as a conventional fullback then that would be seen as annoying and open to criticism but to criticise about yesterday seems harsh. He was only following his manager’s instruction. You stay back as the third defender.

    Rather than Tierney your ire should be directed at Arteta if you were unhappy with Tierney’s play yesterday.

  56. Emiratesstroller

    There are suggestions that Arteta will play next season a 3-4-3 formation.

    If that is the case then Arsenal will need to beef up his midfield in the transfer
    market. Recruitment in that department will require more than bringing in

    However, whilst Tierney is well short of being “match fit” I do like the idea of
    our left sided combination being Tierney, Saka and Aubameyang. I think that
    does have potential.

  57. andy1886

    Didn’t Tierney play that great ball for Auba when he should have scored early on? Given the amount of time he has been out recently a bit of cramp isn’t really anything to worry about. Look at Ozil, fit as far as I am aware yet deemed not ready to play. We have more important things to worry about than our full backs.

  58. Nelson

    I like the way Tierney was being used yesterday. He is solid defensively. He is calm with the ball. He passed repeatedly to Saka and Xhaks and sometimes long ball to Auba. That is efficient football. Saka was responsible to support the attack. There is no room for Tierney to run into.

  59. Pierre

    “Well in this instance yes.As a third defender he was told to defend.”

    Fair enough, if that’s what the consensus of opinion is on here.

    Personally, I believe that if a player has space ahead of him and Saka in space on the left, he should drive into that space , commit the opposition ( he doesn’t have to dribble past him) and then deliver the pass for Saka to move FORWARD with the ball.

    What we had was Tierney receiving the ball numerous times in bags of space, and each time he would pass to Saka who then had to pass the ball back to Tierney, who then passed the ball back a few times before the keeper booted the ball forward.

    This could have been avoided if Tierney had committed the defender.

    Will just add that none of this would have affected us defensively in the slightest and would have helped us offensively.

    In fact it would also have helped us defensively due to the fact that everytime our keeper booted the ball, which was regularly, we lost possession of the ball , hence putting our defence under pressure.

    Our football will continue to be negative unless players commit the opposition.

    Passing back to our own keeper should be the last option as it invariably results in us losing possession.

  60. The Backpass

    No club is paying €40 million for guendozi, if he were British, then maybe.. I hope Arteta knows how to manage these young ones.

  61. Pierre

    “Didn’t Tierney play that great ball for Auba when he should have scored early on”

    I suppose your point is , Tierney playing a great ball in the first ten minutes means he wasn’t negative in his play.

  62. Goonies


    Get yourself to specsavers if you don’t think that was a red card you blind cunt.

    That’s a red in the 80s, 90s and 00s. Man then skims ball muppet.

    Defending the indefensible is an uparse forte.

  63. China1

    I think tierney + saka has major potential as a long term partnership

    Arteta needs to work on that link

  64. Al

    Will hive him a shout out as usually quick to bash him but thought mustafi did pretty well yesterday alongside Rob.

    For me Holding needs to play on the left side of the CB pairing. He always seems to struggle when he plays as the right sided CB.

    Ceballos – as many have mentioned he is pretty pedestrian. Think a lot of that is the lack of commitment as he knows he is out in a few months anyway.

    Sooner we get Lucas T back the better, either he can build his career with Arsenal or increase his re-sell value to move him on.

  65. andy1886

    Pierre, my point is also that you don’t have to always get past the half way line to contribute offensively.

    And there’s always the pre-assist you’ve mentioned previously (re-Ozil). Many a great move has been started from the FB position.

  66. andy1886

    China, absolutely, Tierney and Saka could be a great combination for the next decade or more.

    As I’ve said earlier, we have far bigger problems than at FB, so I’m not sure why anyone is wasting time criticising KT. It’s a bit like critiquing the wallpaper when your house is on fire.

  67. CG


    “””””CG must be in a mess tonight… Dyche, who he wrote off, beat Pearson. Nightmare””””

    I have been keeping an eye on Dyche and Pearson for some time.Huge admirer of these 2 nuggety Brits.

    Men you want in the trenches and exceptionally good managers.

    Genduzi ,Luiz and Cebollas would not be their types that’s for sure.

    But they even they fall short in their abilities in bringing Arsenal back to former glories.

    I have the solution in restoring Arsenal to former glories. I shared it exclusively yesterday.

    Kroenke sacks the whole of the exec team.

    Gets the Dein and Wenger Double Act back in the Boardroom

    And gets Vieria and Campbell back in the Dug Out.

    (Vierias inexperience as manager supplemented by Wengers in the background.)

    On no condition can the club – continue as the ways it going.

    Becuase the Luiz Extension showed that personal interests and cowardice on Artetas part rule.

    Top 4 next year is already sorted.

    Man City

    Whatever order you want.

    So This is not a time to be faffing around.

    If Arsenal keep the status quo for next season- we will never be a big club again.


  68. Pierre

    “Pierre, my point is also that you don’t have to always get past the half way line to contribute offensively.”

    Not really a relevant point to what I was saying was it .
    The only point you was trying to make was about a player who didn’t actually play(Ozil)…in other words …pointless .

  69. Emiratesstroller


    We played a relatively new formation yesterday and the players were not
    100% in tune with that modus operandi.

    However, I see longterm benefit in having those three players operating on left side of defence, midfield and attack.

    What the club needs is a similar level of strength along the spine and right
    flank as well.

    It is a work in progress.

  70. Valentin


    Southampton was playing with two strikers on top, so in this instance KT was supposed to stay. Clearly Arteta did not want him to go galloping forward, lose the ball and leave our two CBs facing 2 strikers with onrushing midfielders behind.

    When Willock was introduced, he clearly relayed the instruction that the defense was to switch to a conventional back 4.
    Then we started to see a little bit more of him, but clearly he was struggling in the heat. Initially I thought that it had done his hamstring, but it looks it was just cramp.

  71. Pierre

    “As I’ve said earlier, we have far bigger problems than at FB, so I’m not sure why anyone is wasting time criticising KT. ”

    Me making the comment “I felt Tierney was quite negative in his play yesterday.
    There were a number of times he could have surged into the space in front of him to commit the opposition, but he always took the safe option …..confidence?.”

    Is not being what I would call critical , it is asking the question of a player who has the capabilities to use the space he had for the benefit of the team.

    He played with fear of making a mistake, and that is not a good thing for a player of Tierney’s talent.

    I repeat , continually passing the ball back to our keeper after originally having the ball on the half way line will get us nowhere.

  72. Pierre

    “Southampton was playing with two strikers on top, so in this instance KT was supposed to stay. Clearly Arteta did not want him to go galloping forward, lose the ball and leave our two CBs facing 2 strikers with onrushing midfielders behind.”

    You’ve been on Le Grove too long ,
    as you know that is not what I was saying or implying in the slightest.

    Moving forward ten yards and committing the defender is not galloping forward and losing the ball is it .

  73. Graham62


    Why come on and be a vile arsehole?

    Go back in your hole and vent your anger out on the rats rustling about your home.