Santi Cazorla on the bench?

by & filed under News Review.

So it would seem that the fight for top 7 in the Premier League has been made a little bit tougher with Wolves easily beating Palace at their place yesterday. Sheffield United were taken down by Everton, so at least 8th place is open, but overall, we’re going to have to pray that Chelsea shows up after a grueller against Liverpool, or Spurs take a beating from a very limp Palace side that is well and truly on their holidays.

I mean, that’s assuming we can see off a Villa that is fighting for their lives, and a Watford, that is in a slightly better but still precarious position.

Arteta gave the press 18 minutes of press conference before the game. The topics were mainly focused on the good vibes at the club between the players and the process he’s undertaking to get the club back to the top.

“Sometimes as a manager we look at ‘Oh no, if they do that, we’re not going to be able to control that’. That worry, that uncertainty, I think it’s always there. That’s why for me it’s so important that at least if you know that the people around you are going to be doing and you have zero doubts about how they can do that together, that gives you a lot of security going into the game.”

I can’t find the specific quote, but he alludes to it above, where he’s talking about knowing what the people around you are going to do. He’s trying to move the team towards a more cognitive approach to the game. Players are trained to understand triggers and patterns in play the signal a certain behaviour on the pitch. This is the sort of shit we’ve needed at Arsenal for years. It’s exciting.

He was also asked the same old questions on Ozil and Matteo, he gave a little more to the subject this time.

“That applies for any player, any member of staff that works under the organisation. If you show that your desire to do the best – not for yourself – but for the team and for the club, I think everybody will welcome you. It’s not just me that has to give the green light, everyone has to be supportive. You need to feel that support from everybody because if not it’s a very uncomfortable situation.”

I don’t know how many times he can rehash the same thing, but it’s clear, he has standards, they need to be met, if they are not, you don’t play. I don’t think we’re missing either of the players at the moment. Dropping Matteo because he wants to win so damn hard is a dead argument. Needing Mesut’s creativity would only be a relevant conversation if this were 2016. A novice coach has made a bold decision on personnel and he’s sticking with it. That is good leadership. Consistency, fairness, and forgiveness if the standards are met again.

Check out this podcast from a The Beautiful Game Podcast. These guys have pulled off a coup landing Joe Willock, so take a listen.

Arsenal fans are all desperate for Santi to return to Arsenal. The little Spaniard escaped Villareal before Emery landed, and gifted them 15 goals and 8 assists in his final season. Quite the contribution for a man Arsenal thought wouldn’t walk again. Also, quite the contribution when you compare how little Aaron Ramsey has done at Juventus this season. Anyway, the coach was asked about him.

“My opinion of Santi cannot be any higher. Personally, first, with the type of person he is and what he brings to that dressing room, but then also as a player for what he did throughout his career.”

He was then asked if he’d speak to him about coaching, he said he hadn’t spoken to him ‘yet.’ Tantalising. Do I have the inside scoop on how smart he is? No. Do I want to desperately believe that a player that intelligent on the pitch can offer something to our attacking players? Absolutely. I suspect there will be a shake-up of the backroom team this summer to go with the squad. 6 months is plenty of time to assess who is good, where we are weak, and tap people up about moving to the club.

Interesting that The Telegraph say Arteta and Edu have submitted their plan for the future. Let’s hope it’s a good one and that it was formed only by the influence of internal reccos and data.

Villa have quite a few talented players we’re all talking about in the comments. Douglas Luiz, Jack Grealish, John McGinn, and Tyrone Mings to name a few. Dean Smith is a good coach, but he’s had a rough season. It hasn’t been pretty, they’re probably going down, but they are a team backed into a corner and we’re a team that can lose to Brighton. So who knows what is going to happen.

For the good of our season, we need to keep the momentum going. We need to keep turning heads, keep fighting, keep racking up points in case there’s a choke on the final game of the season. I suspect there will be a number of changes for the game, Saka will likely get a nod, we will probably see Eddie or Reiss get a game, and we’ll see a shakeup at the back with Mustafi suffering a bit of an injury.

Let’s hope we don’t undo the good of the last two games with a switch off. Every team can be deadly in this league, we need to be at the races today. COME ON ARSENAL.


So @Danno1407 over at the excellent Villa site Heart Of The Holte has very kindly answered some questions for before the game. Feast your eyes!

Villa spent a lot of money this summer and backed the manager, what do you think has gone wrong this season?

We did spend a lot of money in the summer but more out of necessity than choice. We had an ageing squad, supplemented with good quality loans, so when they all departed we had to replace them. So it has taken quite a while for some to adapt to the Premier League, which has been a big problem. However, quality has also been a big issue. We signed a lot of players for around £10 million or under, where we could have signed a few less but higher quality players. For example, Said Benrahma was a player we could have potentially signed but instead we got Trezeguet and El Ghazi. I think little things like that have cost us. The biggest two issues we have faced though is our lack of pace and the lack of a goal-scoring striker. Because of this, we regularly don’t have the resources to trouble teams and that has been a major issue.

John Terry is a huge Tyrone Mings fan, how do you rate his ability and his performances this season?

I really like Tyrone Mings. He is quick, strong, good in the tackle and good in the air. He likes to get stuck in, enjoys a battle and plays with a smile on his face. He’s also a good leader and a clever man. However, his biggest issue is his concentration. Too many times this season he has had a lapse in concentration which has led to an opposition chance or goal. He also is too often lackadaisical on the ball, being a bit too careless and giving the ball away in dangerous areas. I really like Mings and he was colossal for us last season and at the start of this season but I think its these mistakes which would stop him playing for a top, top club.

McGinn has been linked with Arsenal this summer, tell us what makes his such a special player special?

McGinn is a real fan favourite at Villa and I imagine he would be a fan favourite at whichever club he played for. He just puts absolutely everything into every game, so even when he is not having his best game you can never accuse him of not trying. He has an immense left foot, which he has showcased on a number of occasions whilst at Villa, with some excellent long range efforts. He is also strong, with a low centre of gravity, which allows him to hold off and then turn players. I think McGinn’s biggest improvement needs to be with his final ball, as at times this could be of a higher quality. Hopefully though, he stays with us. However, if/when we go down, I don’t see this happening.

Douglas Luiz has looked very good since the restart. Do you think he has a future in the Premier League?

Luiz has without doubt been our best player since the restart. He has been great and has showed why Pep had such a high opinion of him. He has taken a while to adapt to the league and there was also a language barrier at the start of the season, with an inability for him to understand the strong Scottish and Irish accents of McGinn and Hourihane respectively. He is such a talent though and he will become a brilliant player for a top side. He definitely has a future in the Premier League and I wouldn’t be surprised if Pep doesn’t bring him back to Man City, utilising the buy-back clause in his contract and has shown why Pep had such a high opinion of him.

Is the Jack Grealish hype justified?

Without question – yes! Grealish is a special, special player and will go to the very top. He has single-handedly carried us at times this season and has some very good goal contribution stats this season. He hasn’t been amazing since the restart but he has been on a par with the rest of the team. He probably would have been hoping for more from himself though, since the restart, based on his previous standards. I imagine it’s quite frustrating for him too, playing with players who are nowhere near his level. Grealish will leave at the end of the season and I hope he goes to a top club because he deserves that chance. And good luck to him too.

What would you have done differently this season?

As I mentioned earlier, I would have signed less players and targeted a few higher quality acquisitions. I definitely would have gone for players with more pace and a goal-scorer. I think if we had a player who could score and at least one player with serious pace, then this whole season would have been different. I know we couldn’t have done anything differently with it but the injury to Tom Heaton against Burnley has massively affected us and I think with him available for the full season, things may also have been different

What have you enjoyed most about this season?

I have enjoyed being back in the Premier League and seeing Grealish flourish in a league in which he belongs. There have also been SOME good results and a good effort from the players. The thing which I have enjoyed most though has been the night games, under the lights, at a packed and vociferous Villa Park, particularly at the start of the season. The 2-0 win against Everton, back in August, was a particular highlight.

Which players are a bit special that Arsenal fans might not know about?

In all honesty, you have mentioned most of our dangerous or special players, such is the lack of quality within the squad. If Keinan Davis plays, he may cause the Arsenal defence some problems but he won’t be a goal-threat for you to worry about. The only player you might need to be wary of is Conor Hourihane. He won’t trouble your midfield in open play but don’t give Villa a free-kick anywhere around your 18-yard box, as his excellent set-piece skills may give you something to think about

How are you expecting Dean Smith to set Villa up against Arsenal, and what has to go right for you to get a win?

I’m expecting a pretty similar team to the last outing. My team would be: Reina; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn, Hourihane; El Ghazi, Davis, Grealish. For us to get a win there has to be a lapse of concentration in the Arsenal defence, which I know is a possibility. I also think we will need to use our set-pieces wisely and try to convert a chance before half-time, making sure we score first. At the other end, in all honesty, we will need a lot of luck and we will need to be switched on at all times. We have to find a way to nullify the threat of Aubameyang and hope that the Arsenal side have the FA Cup final in the back of their minds. We are desperate for the points, so hopefully that shows with some fight and determination, rather than in us being rash and desperate. Fingers crossed it happens for us



873 Responses to “Santi Cazorla on the bench?”

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  1. Dissenter

    “Charles as soon as you tell me what those standards are.”

    Add to this my request pending a reply” Charley tell me what those guidelines are”

  2. Champagne Charlie

    “Charles as soon as you tell me what those standards are.“

    I don’t need to explicitly know the standards each player is being held to. I only know as a fan that TWO players are failing to adhere to them.

    Am I upset about that? No, the rest can manage so I ask why those two can’t.

    What’s your hot take on why neither player can meet them? Forever waiting for that one because you know the leap you have to take to qualify your embarrassing speculation.

    Floor is yours.

  3. Dissenter

    To those of us not drink on the Arteta hype
    We know he’s a young manager who’s still making mistakes typical of a rookie learning on the job.
    He tinkered too much today and created a big vast space between attack and defense. We can only hope he’s a quick learner, only hope.

    He needs to stop trying to keep every player that has a good selling potential like AMN. We have to sell players this summer to have a transfer purse.

  4. Dissenter

    What do you think of the rumors that Brighton are offering 20 million for AMN and Arteta does not want him to leave?

    This is the wingback/full back back-up that we didn’t want so badly that we were will willing to pay a 6 month 2.5 million loan fee for Soares, before eventually signing him on a FOUR year contact.

  5. Thorough

    What Arteta did tonight was the equivalent of Chelsea playing with a front 3 of Giroud, Tammy Abraham and Mitchy Batshuayi. That’s fucking mental. At least Wenger had some good years before he started getting delusional. This guy is starting out with a full regalia of madness.

  6. Paulinho

    “He tinkered too much today and created a big vast space between attack and defense”

    There’s been a vast space there all season against low blocks.

  7. Kay

    Nketiah and Willock aren’t Arsenal level. That’s for sure. Sooner Arteta realises the better..

    I am actually disappointed that Pepe is under utilized.

  8. Luteo Guenreira

    The amount of mental gymnastics that goes into convincing yourself that Guendouzi is benched simply because he won’t apologize for an incident is immense, no other way to paint it.

    Anyone encouraging or siding with the player in this entire fiasco has never played a team sport before, there’s no other explanation. If a player’s stupid sense of pride is more powerful than his desire to humble himself for the greater good of the team, that player is useless to the team, unless you’re a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Matteo certainly isn’t that. And any potential he has to come close is being eroded by his approach to these kinds of incidents.

  9. Dissenter

    What had the player perception is different . He may find us unjust and think he’s been singled out for standing up for his injured team .
    In any case, he will be sold like he wanted, a lot bette than the Ozils who are too happy to leech the club till their contracts run out.

  10. The Backpass

    “Anyone encouraging or siding with the player in this entire fiasco has never played a team sport before, ”

    And what is this fiasco all about Mr team player? You should know, you said it isn’t because he hasn’t apologized. Again, what is this “entire fiasco”.

  11. Luteo Guenreira

    I can only imagine it’s something like this: Matteo acts poorly during a match with Brighton, being a professional athlete he is asked to accept some modicum of responsibility for his brash behaviour which takes form in the request for an “apology”, Matty decides that that is an offense to his passionate response and lets it affect his attitude toward the staff and toward his own training.

    What I want from a young player is a desire to train, play, and help his team in that regard. Not to be obstinate about an incident that is generally viewed as an outburst regardless of where his heart lay.

    The final point is this: he’s not good enough to be acting like this, nor to be foregoing valuable training opportunities or potential time on the pitch in actual matches.

  12. Champagne Charlie

    I can’t fathom how this situation even generates a lick of controversy, it really does make me wonder about some people.

    I don’t care if the manager is asking all the players to do star jumps in their underpants each morning before a ball is kicked. The fact that everyone except a couple of players are diligently getting on with things singles out those that aren’t willing and if you aren’t you don’t play.

    That simple.

    – You have to do X to be an Arsenal player.
    – Guendouzi isn’t doing X.

    Like how basic does it need to be? What X is bares no significance.

  13. The Backpass

    “I can only imagine it’s something like this:”

    You can only imagine…so you dont know what really went down? Gotcha.

  14. Luteo Guenreira

    What the fuck is there to know besides Guendouzi acted a certain way, shit happened, and he’s not training/playing?

    This notion as if common sense can only exist when 100% of the an incident is recorded and proved to be fact is about as stupid as your feigned indignity. Contribute to an adult conversation for a change.

  15. The Backpass


    Are you forgetting you said this.

    “The amount of mental gymnastics that goes into convincing yourself that Guendouzi is benched simply because he won’t apologize for an incident is immense, no other way to paint it.”

    And you later said this

    “Matteo acts poorly during a match with Brighton, being a professional athlete he is asked to accept some modicum of responsibility for his brash behaviour which takes form in the request for an “apology”, Matty decides that that is an offense to his passionate response and lets it affect his attitude toward the staff and toward his own training.”

    Others: Guendouzi refused to apologize

    Luteo: he is not benched because he refused to apologize.

    Others : why was he benched Luteo?

    Luteo: he was benched because he did not apologize.

    So, what

  16. The Backpass

    So what i gathered is that you don’t have a clue as to what is going on like everyone else, we are all just speculat

  17. G8

    Guendouzi couldn’t be harming team spirit more than what kola has been doing lately
    Just saying!

    Arteta should have dealt with him at season end, we are short of midfield options and he has done alot better than Toreira, Willock and Ozil ..
    The team missed his energy and enthusiasm, could have made a difference to our final push

    Anywho, it feels like a dejavu missing Europe through the league again and hoping to get to it by winning a cup against the chavs
    Except this time it’s Europe loosers cup we’re after!

  18. The Backpass

    “Guendouzi couldn’t be harming team spirit more than what kola has been doing lately
    Just saying!”


    I actually dont see anything special in Guendouzi, maybe away from arsenal he would improve but not here.

  19. Luteo Geunreira

    You know you’re past it when you’re forced to argue semantics instead of the actual point at hand. Boring.

  20. Danny M.O

    Playing a back 5 was a joke. We should have played on Villas nerves and attacked them from the get go.

    If Luiz cnt play in a back 4 then he has no business in the team when facing lower oppos. Playing auba laca and nketiah was nonsense. All are poachers and require service. Joke of a club!

  21. jwl

    Orbinho tweet – 46% of the goals Arsenal have conceded this season have come from set pieces – the highest proportion in the Premier League.

  22. Batistuta

    We knew it was all about the FA cup the minute that final whistle went on Saturday but goodness gracious that was a poor performance by everyone except maybe Ceballos who wasn’t even his usual self.

    I get experimenting and all but surely at this point anyone with an eye can see that Eddie Nketiah won’t make it here, he’s just not the standard we should be chopping and changing formations for, Pepe with the momentum of Saturday should have started that game.

    Again, AMN had a blast of a game on Saturday and he’s immediately relegated to the bench today, momentum should dictate he started again.

    I really hope we see the back of Kolasinac this summer, such a waste of space .

    Said at the time the Cedric deal was pure stupid and stand by it, same with the Mari lad. Watched Cedric a lot at Inter and little at Southampton and there was no point handing him a good 4 yr deal when we had AMN who could deputize at RB or Osei Tutu who we could recall who’s just been brilliant on loan, we already had so many average players in the squad and we went and added a further 2 in January, sad really how poor out transfer business continues to be.

    The game was a good time to see what it looked like we being the protagonists and having more of the ball unlike our last two games and have to say, doesn’t look good at all because again, you’re hoping a manager who’s not a magician turn water into wine with half this squad really.

  23. The Backpass

    “You know you’re past it when you’re forced to argue semantics instead of the actual point at hand. Boring.”

    Lmao Mr team sport.

  24. Luteo Geunreira

    🤣 That bit about team sports really got to you didn’t it? Could you be any more transparent about the fact that you’re traumatized from never getting picked for five a sides during primary?

    Instead you decided at some point in your life that you’d flex in the internet instead 💪. Upon seeing some semantic error or someone using an adjective that’s a little too comprehensive for your taste, fuck their actual point, attack that error, be right and win. I can tell you’ve honed your methods with repeated laps at your desk. Go take a a jog.

  25. Freddie Ljungberg


    “there was no point handing him a good 4 yr deal when we had AMN who could deputize at RB or Osei Tutu who we could recall who’s just been brilliant on loan,”

    Depends on what we do in the summer really, if we cash in on AMN to Brighton for the reported 20m it’s good business. If we sell Bellerin for 25m+ it’s good business. Ideally we sell both and get a new starting RB and invest the rest in midfield or get a new CB. Either way Cedric is just a cheap backup, we need those too.

    Osei Tutu has been playing as a winger on loan btw, in bundesliga 2, because they thought he was too weak defensively so not sure he’s the solution we’re looking for.

  26. The Backpass

    “That bit about team sports really got to you didn’t it? Could you be any more transparent about the fact that you’re traumatized from never getting picked for five a sides during primary?”

    O Jo e gan ooo.

    “This notion as if common sense can only exist when 100% of the an incident is recorded and proved to be fact is about as stupid as your feigned indignity.”

    Imagine after saying this, and claim later that your “error” was attacked. You are such a bullshitter mr team sport.

  27. Guns of SF

    The issue I am having is that we have AMN, who is arguably better than both Bell and Soares.

    We cannot have 3. Someone is going to get sold…. I am afraid its AMN actually.

    Soares is not a good back up, so if Bellerin cannot stay fit, I am afraid we are stuck with Soares.

    a 4 year back up, that is a lot of $$ to spend.

  28. The Backpass

    “Soares is not a good back up”

    Soares is not a good footballer.. Simple really.

    We are the 16th in chance creation in the league this season, 16th!!!!!

  29. The Backpass

    Soares attempted 11 cross and didn’t find a single Arsenal player.. Shades of Sagna with his crosses.

    Arteta claims he is the most technical among our FB’s, Ridiculous.

  30. China1

    I don’t believe AMN is a top level player but he can do a job as a cheap utility backup. If we’re signing RBs it should be that they are first team quality. Cedric needs to do better than that

    And yeah sagna (and Lauren) was a very poor crossed of the ball, but he was one of the most defensively reliable RBs in Europe during his prime. Nailed on 8/10 performance every day of the week, and had a great engine to get forward and support the midfield as well.

    If we have a RB half as good as Sagna was I will be extremely happy. Not yet seen one since he left tho…

  31. Luteo Geunreira

    No I just meant you’ve said nothing about Guendouzi or any incident and have only decided to try to use what I said against me somehow. You’ve no interest in any real topic, you just want to spout your argumentative bullshit, pat yourself on the back for being oh so clever and get your little rush of endorphins. Like I said, go take a jog instead it might help.

    If you can get past your toxic incel attitude for a second you could easily see that I simply meant there must be more to the picture than one apology. I don’t think people let alone the managers of big clubs make large decisions based on one thing. Do you? Then I offered my opinion (as I stated) as to what may have occurred. I never said I knew what happened. You assigned that opinion to me.

    And yet you sit there surmising to know anything about me based on nothing….while your entire point against me is that I am surmising what the incident was like based on nothing.

    This is why I said you’re boring. Opinions are not fact but opinions drive narrative, conversation, whatever. I don’t know why it upsets you so much when someone offers one. Now fuck off, you must be what Bamford was like as a teenager.

  32. Luteo Geunreira

    You don’t even have had to play sport. Have you been in a band? An acting troupe? Do you have friends and family? All it means is recognizing the importance of putting the team/band/friends before yourself in order to achieve something collectively greater. Your immaturity is obvious here if you don’t understand what I’m referring to. The reference to that kind of camaraderie would only upset the loneliest of people. In my opinion of course.

  33. Freddie Ljungberg

    Cedric was free, has PL experience,is on relatively low wages and is of a decent quality. Think you guys are expecting too much from a back up RB, we have way bigger things to worry about.

    If he was signed as a starter I would be worried but it’s obvious he isn’t. If it also allows us to free up money elsewhere by selling one or 2 players it’s a massive bonus.

    We could get 45-50m for AMN and Bellerin, invest that in a top RB and someone like Gabriel from Lille that we’ve been linked to for 25m and our backline is set for years. We’ll see what happens

  34. Sid

    We have perfected the anti football tactics so well that playing football has been forgotten.
    One step forward, one step back.

    Im telling you for free!

  35. CaliGooner

    Emery was bashed quite a lot for doing cut backs with wingbacks
    Just saying ….

    Emery was bashed for this because it was literally the only way we created chances under emery. Not for doing it but only doing it.

  36. China1

    Freddie well if we sold AMN and Bellerin and used that money for a genuinely classy RB I’d be pretty happy with it

    I actually don’t think we’re buying a RB tho. I think Bellerin is a bit of a spare key warrior and always finds his way back into the team sooner or later even when his form/level doesn’t warrant it. Tbh tho, I actually think chambers was doing a very reasonable job as utility RB before his injury. If we sold Bellerin and AMN for 50m combined and rolled into next season with chambers and Soares, it would be less than ideal, but maybe tolerable if that money was thrown at a major midfield player instead.

    The problem is we need two new first 11 quality midfielders and whilst I’m happy enough if we get some excellent unknown player on the cheap, spending bigger on known quality is certainly the easier choice.

    The midfield is really in a terrible state tho. Ceballos going back to Madrid unless we burn half our cash on buying him or they let us do another loan. We desperately need a serious quality AM, we also need another b2b or DM. Meanwhile Arteta appears not to rate Torreira, guen is surely going and the kids are very much a work in progress, none are there yet. That basically leaves xhaka is our only established midfielder you can be sure is here in or around the first team next season. Regardless of the fact I don’t rate him at all, at least his form is better recently. But more worrying is from a numbers perspective because there’s going to be nothing left of the midfield this summer if circumstances don’t go our way or we aren’t willing to go hard for a few players.

    This summer is going to be a real test for the club. If we come out next season with a strong midfield and some depth on the bench without any major backwards steps elsewhere in the squad it will be a job very well done. All eyes on the midfield this summer…

  37. China1

    That’s why I’m disappointed we’ve missed out on santi

    Not because he would’ve been a first 11 player but with our entire midfield looking either unrated, set to be sold, not really ready yet, out of favour or going back to the parent club, having an additional player of quality and experience with a professional and positive attitude would’ve been a huge deal imo. With the midfield needing so much work, santi on a free would’ve just taken a little bit of a sting out of the issue at hand. We need these kinds of smart signings to free us up to focus on the more significant signings imo

    I fear hitting the midfield this summer will be a huge challenge to complete and do it properly.

  38. Guns of SF

    Dont be surprised if coutinho makes his way here.

    I know some dont care for him. I think he can do a job for us, and has the experience and ability.

    If not him, then it needs to be someone who will blow up the football world … question is, who is that person, and how many others have their eyes on him.

    I would look at RB as well.

    I am sorry to say it, but most players who blow a knee out, never go back to their heights or potential in most cases.

    That means Holding ,Bell and Chambers, and I pray Gabby is not too impacted as speed is a main weapon of his as well.

    still unclear on what actually happened to his knee.

    RB, CAM, and DM are critical…. CAM more so. In fact, I think we need 2 CAM’s

    Ozil is not even a back up at this point.

    If ESR comes back, he could spell Coutinho or whomever we get

  39. Guns of SF

    I don’t care for Grealish that much, but that type of player is needed.
    Powerful runner, quick, great engine, tough ( gets fouled a lot) , and of course can create.

    Imagine a Hazard in the middle for us. SMH!!!

    No more reliance on wingers and wing backs to create something.

    China you want to bring Santi back! yes, I say we also bring Cesc back! he is 33. Santi is 35…. LOL

  40. Gonsterous

    That result was not shocking at all.
    If we can take any positive from this is, Watford is in the relegation zone and we can relegate them if we win them in 4 days.

    Aston villa does not deserve to go down.

  41. Bojangles

    Among the in game comments I came across this little gem

    “This is why knee jerkism is nonsense.”

    The guy’s irony Meter was obviously out of order. Making it my nomination for quote of the month.

    Gotta say last night’s game was pretty dire from an Arsenal point of view. Villa fans probably feeling the way we were after the semi final. There are always two teams in any match and like most fans we only consider what our own team does. Villa had more to play for. They snatched a lucky goal (lucky because Trezeguet could have that shot 100 times and miss 99 of them) then parked the bus and we couldn’t break them down.

    It’s predictable that some here are questioning the absence of Özil. Same thing happened during Emery’s reign. Emery showed his weakness and brought Özil back into the fold, hope Arteta has more strength of character and keeps him away from the first team.

  42. Guns of SF

    If Ozil does not play V watford then its curtains

    Arteta did not say much in post conference when asked about Ozil. Deflected etc…
    Its clear there is more going on behind the scenes

    Some click bait saying Ozil even turned down a move to Fenerbache and wants to fight for his place in the team.


    This guy isnt even a footballer anymore. If the club have the balls to get rid of him, one way or another, then they need to do it, Just to keep our integrity in tact.

  43. The Backpass

    “This is why I said you’re boring. Opinions are not fact but opinions drive narrative, conversation, whatever. I don’t know why it upsets you so much when someone offers one. Now fuck off, you must be what Bamford was like as a teenager.”

    You’ve called me all sort of names and you think I am the teenager? Name dropping Bamford doesn’t make you feel smart. Well, if that would make you sleep well, go for it.

    Am sorry for calling you out on your “error”, I never knew you would be pained and upset.

  44. China1

    Haha as much as it pains me to say, santi at 70 is probably a better player than cesc at 33…

    Cesc was one of those players who was probably over used in his early years. Even as awesome as he was by the time he came to Chelsea, he already looked a slightly less dynamic player than before he went to Barca and became more dependent on his immense passing as opposed to dropping a shoulder and beating his man from deep before starting attacks. By the time he left Chelsea he looked like he’d lost 50% of his game and I think he himself recently discussed that feeling like his legs were not really there anymore

  45. Sid

    Its now official, we are a midtable team, spring suprises over attacking top four teams, toil when face with other mid table teams and strugglers

    Im telling you for free!

  46. China1

    Danilo of Porto quite openly saying he’d like to play under Arteta

    As a cheaper alternative to Partey I wonder if anything will come of it

  47. Dark Hei

    At the moment, we are playing a bit of Emery-ball.

    Adjusting our playing style so that we can beat certain teams but doing so much of that we don’t have an identify of our own to beat the smaller teams. Yet.

    I think Arteta ball takes a lot out of the players physically. Will see how things shape up in the upcoming months.

  48. Ishola70

    This isn’t just about missing a certain player in midfield.

    People keep talking about the gap that exists in front of the opposition penalty area where an Arsenal midfielder should be.

    The gap exists because Arsenal play so deep.

    If the team played higher up this gap would be filled.

    But Arteta has this team playing deep. And we know why he has them playing deep. It helps players like David Luiz and Xhaka.

  49. Moray

    Santi’s not lasting in the Prem. At his age and recent injury history. It’s different to the days of Wark and Molby.

    Haven’t seen the Villa game yet but we shouldn’t forget that we’ve had to play more games than most since the restart and have also been on the road a lot. It’s a really odd period where I think there is more than the usual element of chance to games. Villa is a big club playing for their lives. If they stay up it’s going to cost Man Utd more to steal Grealish so that’s a plus for everyone else. Mid table then and everything on the FA Cup. Another season defining finale against Chelski. I hope this time our players turn up.

  50. Un na naai

    Champagne CharlieJuly 21, 2020 23:27:04
    DissenterCan you answer why only two players in the whole squad are unable to abide?

    What’s the common denominator?

  51. Guns of SF

    Seeing the uk gunners waking up and getting online…

    Still Tuesday here
    Gonna sleep soon and forget this shit show game

  52. Luteo Guenreira

    🤣 Now you’ve resorted to the old “oh you’re so hurt derp derp” routine huh? Just shut the fuck up Bam Jr. It’s obvious you’ve got nothing meaningful to offer. It’s pathetic at this point, you even capped it with that sarcastic apology. It’s like you followed the “lonely incel internet dweller” script to a T. Way to save your dignity kid 😂

    Honest word of advice: try to have a wider perspective when reading what other people write. You obviously approach things with the attitude that you’re gonna find what’s wrong and fixate on that. That’s not ever a fruitful conversation, you’ll miss a lot more than you catch that way.

    That kind of attitude is pussy repellent. I’m sure you already know that from experience though.

  53. Receding Hairline

    Unable to abide to what? What are they abiding to? You don’t know what these non negotiable are but believe every player should abide to them to play.

    Ozil I don’t really care so much because the club has been trying to get rid of him and while on the pitch his effort levels aren’t what they should be.

    I’m just surprised a kid who has been hailed for his effort and desire from the first day he got here needs to massage the coaches ego to get a game or as it stands train with his team mate. Well he too has a sense of pride and character and has come to the conclusion he is being picked on. Calling a three man meeting to get a 20 year old to say sorry is over kill.

    That’s my opinion and I don’t care if you agree with it or not.

    Telling me everyone has met the “standards” why can’t he is rubbish. You don’t know what’s going on neither do I. For all we know the kid is being bullied or he is an ass hole, you seem convinced its the latter. I am not.

  54. Pierre

    Domestically, this year before lockdown we played 11 , won 7, drew 4 and lost Zero and were the only unbeaten side in Europe during this period.

    Let’s move forward to after lockdown and we will see that in the 11 game played , we have won 6, drew 1 and lost 4..

    Pre lockdown our goal difference is 19 to 7.
    Post lockdown our goal difference is 17-11.

    So in the same number of games post lockdown , we have won less , lost more, scored fewer goal and conceded more goals than pre lockdown.

    So why has there been this deterioration in all areas of our play.
    Other than Mesut Ozil ( who played every league game under Arteta prior to lockdown ), the personnel is no different and obviously Ozil not being in the side would have no consequence as we are constantly reminded on here, he is a complete waste of space , is lazy, and is a liability to the team.

    So , trying to find a logical explanation for our poor results since lockdown, maybe the fixtures have possibly been a little harder although losing to relegation threatened Brighton and Villa are games that we wouldn’t be expecting to lose

    Lack of crowd support..?
    Changing systems ?
    Bad luck?

    I’m struggling to find a logical explanation for our recent poor form in comparison to our impressive form pre lockdown in which we won more games, lost fewer games, scored more goals and conceded fewer goals and I think it’s fair tonsayn, were playing better football.

    It’s also fair to say the post lockdown we have had 2 very good backs to the wall victories v liverpool and City and good performances v wolves and Sheffield ..United.

    I read on le Grove that many are bemoaning our lack of creativity in the side and yet those same fans insult Ozil on a daily basis despite the fact that pre lockdown with Ozil in the side, we were the only unbeaten team domestically in Europe this year.

    Maybe I’m missing something and there is a logical explanation for our poor form and lack of creativity since returning from lockdown…

  55. Luteo Guenreira


    It’s a given that we’re all operating without the full set of facts. If that’s what your point is then don’t bother, there’s no one here saying otherwise.

    But you genuinely believe that Guendouzi is being kept out of the squad because of Arteta’s personal agenda, more so than the likelihood that a barely past his teens millionaire footballer who has shown a penchant to be emotional might be acting a bit bratty?

    At the end of it this discussion doesn’t come down to anything other than: do you trust the Arsenal manager’s judgment in how he is handling this situation with the player?

    I say yes, because so far he’s shown he has the ability to get the players to play hard for him. Players he’s been critical of previously and weren’t given game time like Ceballos have been playing well and with great effort, he’s shown an ability to reconcile with players in the regard too. He’s been nothing but honest and open in every interview since he was hired. I trust his judgment regarding the player.

    I’m not sure why you don’t. What’s the reasoning?

  56. Un na naai


    So what has ozil done? Something has changed and it’s clearly pissed Arteta off

    Arteta can’t back down now. Ozil should never have been our only credible option to create chances

  57. Un na naai

    We have the players to creat chances. I think we are just too cautious in our approach for games like this
    The tippy tally at the back is no good if the opposition refuse to be drawn out
    Villa were more than happy to let us have the ball at the back and when we fucked yo on the middle to hit us on the counter
    Having 3 strikers on the pitch was the wrong move.
    Playing a back 3 was the wrong move
    Playing Torreira in a game like this was the wrong move
    Playing Torreira behind 3 strikers with no creativity was the wrong move
    AMN would have been better on the right with Pepe in front of him
    That ups the creativity levels
    Xakha should have started
    Willock is better when the game is stretched so not the game for him unless we went a goal or two up

    Don’t tell me these players can beat Liverpool and united and Man City and Wolves and Sheffield United but they can’t beat Aston Villa.

  58. Sid

    It will be disastrous when this team finds itself in 3 competitions, EPL, FA cup, Europa
    We will be exposed as Kim Kards ass in a g string

  59. andy1886

    Pierre, to repeat, I suspect that Arteta knows more about Ozil’s capabilities and attitude at this time than you do. It can’t be a coincidence that he didn’t play so much late in AW’s tenure, that Emery binned him, that Freddie rejected him and now MA doesn’t think he’s even worth a squad place.

    Maybe he isn’t actually interested in playing football?

  60. Wasi

    ‘We could get 45-50m for AMN and Bellerin, invest that in a top RB and someone like Gabriel from Lille that we’ve been linked to for 25m and our backline is set for years. We’ll see what happens’

    I could get behind this but apparently according to Ornstein , Arsenal (probably Arteta) doesn’t want to sell Bellerin. Wrong move if we could upgrade to a better RB imo.


    Ozil has been shunted out by Emery , Freddie and Arteta this season. There’s no other reason for the lack of creativity. Ozil shouldn’t start games against Pool and City unless he is ready to work his arse off but against low blocks , Ozil is more like a necessity due to the lack of creativity in the squad.
    The games pre-lockdown are a clear proof. 0 losses , more games won , more goals scored. Common factor – Ozil started all of them.
    Post lockdown we have won against Southampton , Pool , City , Norwich , Wolves , Sheffield.
    Of these 6 teams only Sheffield and Wolves play with slightly low blocks. The other 4 press high and we were able to utilise the pace in the squad to get to them + our high press got us some goals too.
    Contrast that to low blocks and we have really suffered to create chances. Eg. Villa , Spuds , Sheffield in the cup tie.


    We don’t have many players who create chances on a consistent basis. Ozil is probably the only consistent chance creator in the squad. Tierney creates when he is allowed to bomb forward. Pepe does too when he is having a good game. Also Lacazette sometimes when he us fired up against big teams.
    Ceballos and Xhaka are ball progressors and dont create much chances. Also both have to drop deep to be effective in their craft. What they both do well is take the ball in our defensive third and progress it to the middle third , or from middle third to the final third but both of them dont offer much in the final 3rd. Xhaka has very slow feet and Ceballos very inconsistent in the final 3rd.
    Ozil is the only player who operates well in tight spaces and that is a quality you NEED when breaking down low blocks.
    Dont know how Arteta thought Saka and Soares pumping in crosses for Lacazette against the monster Mings would create a chance for us.
    Or starting with a back 5 and specialist defensive midfielder against one of the worst attacks in the division.

  61. Valentin

    A Free but shit player is not a great deal, because he actually cost you points or undeserved wage.
    Kolasinac was a free Bosman, but right now with the wage he is on we could not give him away for free.
    Cedric was not on a free, but stated as a great cheap deal. The reality is that his performances so far show that he is a waste of resource. His 4 years deals means that we are saddled with him for 4 years. Terrible crosser, worse defender. Southampton and his agent must be laughing all the way to the bank, because his level is Championship. His cheap deal is going to be expensive in the long run.

  62. Pierre

    “Maybe he isn’t actually interested in playing football?”

    You could be right , though I doubt it.

    Doesn’t it appear strange that prior to lockdown Ozil started every league game under Arteta, and the only league game we lost was against Chelsea when Ozil was substituted when we were one nil up and we conceded 2 late goals without Ozil on the pitch.

    So basically what you are saying is that during lockdown Ozil lost interest in football…does that make sense …no .

    The more likely scenario is that Ozil upset Arteta during lockdown for not making himself available for the Zoom meetings and Ozil is paying the price for that…does that make sense …possibly.

    For me , it’s nothing to do with Ozil , it’s more to do with team and are we better with Ozil in the side or not.

    For the Liverpool and City games we needed workers, without possession of the ball Ozil is a liability so leaving Ozil out is understandable.

    For the games where we have high/higher possession then Ozil should start as he brings the best out of his team mates as results have shown.

    I have no doubt that if we look at the possession stats for the 11 games pre lockdown compared to post lockdown possession stats , we will find that our possession percentage is higher with Ozil in the team.

    The reason is obvious, he finds space to receive the ball and then he passes to a team mate.

    What we have without Ozil is a team that are scared to make a forward pass , there is very little link up play and our football lacks any sort of creativity when the opposition defend deep.

    So to say that Ozil ” has lost interest in football ” is not a sensible comment, the facts tell a different story.

    Ozil is out of the side due to something that has happened off the pitch ot on the pitch..that is obvious.

  63. The Backpass

    “Now you’ve resorted to the old “oh you’re so hurt derp derp” routine huh? Just shut the fuck up Bam Jr. It’s obvious you’ve got nothing meaningful to offer. It’s pathetic at this point, you even capped it with that sarcastic apology. It’s like you followed the “lonely incel internet dweller” script to a T. Way to save your dignity kid”

    Lol Bamford jnr. You really are one sad mofo 😂 😂

  64. Ishola70

    Good latest podcast by Pedders.

    Very honest about the players and very honest about what is needed.

    Suffice to say lots of work to be done.

  65. Nelson

    We have to turn the page quickly. The recent schedule was way too heavy. At least there is no new injury. Now we have close to two weeks resting and Chelsea still has two difficult games. They have to fight for their CL place.

    I would rest Auba, Laca, Ceballos and Luiz. They have played way too many games recently.

    Yesterday, I was disappointed to see that Arteta hasn’t improve Saka, Torr and Holding. All three were well rested. They were so timid and were afraid to make mistake. Kola is such a bad footballer. There is nothing new there.

    Arteta knew that the team needs investment. Yesterday’s loss is a reminder to KSE where we stand.

  66. andy1886

    Pierre, your ‘facts’ don’t tell us anything about MO’s interest in playing football. Do you really think that successive managers have refused to select a player that they believe would help us win games?

    Clearly the coaching staff, with far more knowledge of the situation than you or I, think that the side would be worse with Ozil in it. Sounds like he’s a bad egg with a bad attitude.

  67. Words on a Blog


    You asked:

    ”what’s the opposite of flat track bullies?”


    Flat track pussies.
    Flat track dullards.
    Flat track donkeys.

    Feel free to contribute better suggestions.

    We desperately need a term for this as, recently, our heroic endeavours against the big teams have been negated by insipid performances against the mediocre teams.

    Flat track pussies?

  68. Ishola70

    We saw the not so good side of Auba last night.

    Trying to hold the ball up in build up play. He is no good at it.

    Let him run onto the ball on a counter and we see the better side.

  69. Samesong

    Pierre you raise good points but it’s the manager that picks the team not the fans.

    That game was made for Ozil yesterday.


    That should be Torriera’s last game.
    One of the poorest halves i have seen since
    Ebou’s cameo when he was subbed as the sub.{wigan}?

  71. Samesong

    Wasn’t it not too long ago people were harping on about Holding not playing? and now he’s not all that.

  72. Samesong

    Trying to hold the ball up in build up play. He is no good at it.

    Auba greatest attribute is scoring goals. All this build up play and holding we don’t need him doing that.

  73. Ishola70


    “Auba greatest attribute is scoring goals. All this build up play and holding we don’t need him doing that.”

    That’s the problem though when teams don’t over-commit and sit deeper.

    Auba has nothing to run onto and starts coming deep to join in the build up play. It’s not him at all.

  74. Ishola70

    Soares looks decidely average.

    And defensively due to his little size he looks like he will be knocked about by the opposition.

  75. Samesong

    Auba has nothing to run onto and starts coming deep to join in the build up play. It’s not him at all.

    Yeah his passing is terrible. What do you do when he is out on the left side. Clearly he is being asked to defend that side also.

  76. Emiratesstroller


    I agree with your point that recruiting “bosman” players such as Kolasinac
    and Soares is a poor decision especially if you land up paying them wages which are unrealistic and don’t match their capabilities.

    Soares on current performance is not remotely a top class right back or indeed on same level as Bellerin and Kolasinac cannot defend so the idea that
    he can play CB is ridiculous.

  77. CG

    Other clubs must look at Arsenal and think what on earth is going on in London.

    Cedric Soares on a 1 year option would raise eyebrows.

    But 4 more years of Cedric???
    2024/25 we will wave him goodbye, probably not too fondly.

    To repeat, and despite Artetas excellence of late.

    Arsenals only chance of improving is if Tim Lewis gets his foot in the door and is allowed a free rein to do things professionally.
    Cronyism has to stop.

    Arsenals executives stink.
    And no ES – they do not Know what they are doing.

    Becuase if they did.
    Arsenal would not be 10th and nearer the bottom than the top.

  78. Nelson

    I remember reading Ozil’s reaction when he was benched after the lockdown. He only said “What so ever”. Clearly he doesn’t care about the club and his “teammates”. I don’t want to judge whether it was correct for Arteta to bench Ozil. But being the highest paid player in the team, Ozil has the responsibility to work hard and supports his “teammates”. The attitude of Xhaka and Ceballos are good examples. Clearly, Ozil doesn’t care. It was unlucky we have wasted our resources on such a character.

  79. Chris

    Bad result and performance yesterday but don’t let that distract you from the high probability we will relegate Watford and Troy Deeney this weekend.

  80. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal played poorly last night, but in defence of the team and manager this sort of result was not altogether unexpected when you look at our fixture schedule.

    We have played SEVEN fixtures in the first THREE WEEKS of July including
    back to back games against Liverpool and Man City so it was inevitable that
    sooner or later we would suffer a defeat and poor performance like last night.

    Arsenal do not have a squad, which is good enough to play such a schedule and
    it showed unfortunately last night.

    From my point of view it will be a blessing if we fail to qualify for Europe. We can focus on playing in EPL.

  81. Daniel Altos

    MidwestGunJuly 21, 2020 21:05:26
    If we are going to whip in 350 crosses a game … we are going to need a bruising #9 back on the roster.

    We had one and we flogged him for the bearded midget to the joy of plenty on Legrove….we might want to mark the nearpost better on setpieces when we face him in the final.

  82. CG

    Ozil ain’t playing because he refused his wage cut.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is either deluded or naive or both.

    It’s always about the money.

  83. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    We are wasting too much energy in talking about Ozil. It is blindingly obvious
    that the club do not want to keep or play him.

    The only question now is how much will it cost Arsenal to offload him as he is
    unsaleable. The remainder of his current contract is 49 weeks at £350K pw.
    So the bottom line is £17,150,000.

    If we can reduce the cost by half I would take the deal.

  84. Wengaball

    Özil is not playing because:

    1) RaulJosh have wanted him out from day one. Probably to free his wages. Or maybe because Özil’s agent is not Raul’s buddy.

    2) Emery and Ljungberg were just following orders

    3) Arteta played him as he probably has more leverage than the previous two managers

    4) Özil questioned the player pay cuts. That amounts to questioning the junior Kroënke, who already wanted him out. Arteta has sauce to prevail over Raul, but not enough to overcome a double-miffed owner’s wishes.. He is under orders now, just like Emery was.

    Özil not playing has little to do with Özil the footballer.

  85. Freddie Ljungberg


    If you really believe that you’re deluded.

    Sure, the club wants rid because of his wages but he’s also shit when he plays and contributes nothing to the team whatsoever.

    1 goal 2 assists. 1 big chance created. For a Cam, that does nothing else. That’s just piss poor any way you look at it. It would be piss poor on 35k a week and it’s 10 times worse on 350k. He doesn’t deserve to play on merit, he doesn’t deserve to play based on application or any other metric applied.

    I swear the few remaining Ozil fanboys live in a time bubble where it’s always 2015.

  86. CG


    “””Özil not playing has little to do with Özil the footballer.””””

    Like Bale at Real Madrid

  87. Wengaball

    Freddie – with Özil, we win more, lose less, score more, concede less. The team creates more chances. Individually, he is still our highest chance creator.

    He is not what he used to be but he makes the team tick better. Too many data points now to ignore that. It cannot be a fluke when it happens repeatedly. If you are going to use stats, at least bring all of them.

  88. Wengaball

    Dissenter – Özil matters precisely because the team is utter shit. We wouldn’t need his clearly below par version if we had a better squad.

    That the management has let his wages (and probably a refusal to leave) repeatedly come in the way of objectively looking at the football and team performance, then they can’t really have the clubs best interests at heart, can they?

    They and him have made it an ego battle. The real loser is the club.

    An infinitely wiser way would have been to accept that we probably pay him more than he deserves, but what is done is done. Let us make the best use of him till his last day.

  89. Freddie Ljungberg


    It helps that he only plays in the easy games at homes, the fortnite king doesn’t do away games or top opposition, easier to look half decent then based on the teams result.
    He doesn’t create clear cut chances anymore either, 1 big chance created tells that story. Saka has provided more and I’m sure Pepe has as well. Floating in some crosses to no one or passing sideways leading to a speculative shot isn’t the creativity we need.

  90. Wengaball

    Freddie – only partly true, but even if he helps us win the ‘easier’ home games, that is valuable. Points are points.

    These days they don’t look that easy either.

  91. Valentin

    Özil may only play in the easy games, but Looks like we don’t win the easy games anymore.

    In fact we don’t win against teams that defend in low block because we can’t unlock them, so overcommit and get picked off on the counter or on a set pieces. Rope-a-dope tactic is exactly what Mourinho used against us.

    Against low block, we look impotent and quite often resort to crosses. Knowing that bar Nkethia none of our attackers are good in the air, the oppositions’ defense love that play. Tierney, Cedric, Pepe attempts at crossing were easily repelled by Spurs, Villa, Brighton. Until we find a different tactic or different personnel we will have the same issues.

    Our better results under Mikel have all been against teams that tried to win the game by overplaying us.
    Managers would have noticed that and next season Mikel Arteta may find it extremely difficult because teams will just sit down. If Lampard has any managerial nous, he will do the same in the FA Cup final and launch high ball to Giroud to unsettled our defense.

    I don’t think that Özil is the long term solution, but we are paying his wage, so if he can help us in the short term, then not using him wisely the only one hurt is us.

  92. G8

    Come on gooners
    Ozil has been semi retired for the last 2 seasons..
    This season was his worst
    whenever he played he stumg the place out apart from one or two moments ofcourse
    how many assists he had?
    How many chances he created ?
    I thought so…

    Our timid attacking play and lack of creativity is simply because Arteta is favouring defensive play over attack
    And rightly so, we have average and substandard defenders and midfielders

    Also, Auba, Lacazette score few goals ,but their link play and passing has been Sunday league level, and that dosnt help creativity at all.
    Less we talked about Arteta infatuation with Nketiah the better!

  93. Valentin

    Funny how people blame Nkethia for the loss when out of our trio of attackers he was the better player and closest to score.

    Against low block team, Aubameyang can’t run into space, and then it become evident why despite all his goals he is not rated at the same level than Aguero and others. His link-up play is appalling. Most of his flicks and knockdown never reach a teammates. That is exactly why 3 Arsenal managers who wanted to for possession football don’t trust him to play on top on his own. His retention under those circumstances is so poor that the team would always be under constant waves of attack after he immediately lose the ball.

    Lacazette is a fighter and tries very hard, but he does not have the vision or technical ability to act as No10. When he is asked to drop deep, we lose all his warrior quality and quickness of feet in the box.

  94. underrated Coq

    Looks like Arteta is more Mourinho than Guardiola. I guess any attacking flair from hours team would need purchase of exceptional attacking footballers.