Fulham Preview: Can Arteta solve for a deep-block?

by .

Well, here we are, the first game of the season. It’s pounced on us. I’ve barely had the time to miss football, yet here she is, back with a 3 game a week schedule for the next 3 months. I am VERY excited.

Fulham is a tricky game simply because we’re not really sure who is going to show up. Both teams could spring a surprise. Arsenal could turn up like they did against Villa. Fulham could roll over like they did that time we thought we had our Arsenal back.

We need a win. There’s no glory in a draw. Arsenal needs to start the season the same way they played the FA Cup final. Everyone needs to show up focused. This season we’re gunning for top 4. Arsenal can’t have another transition year. We have the talent to do it. Arteta picked up a bag of shite in December, he took us from 8th to 8th, but the half-season table showed that we finished 4 points off 3rd (in 5th). If we’re that close to 3rd in March, we have every chance of taking a Champions League spot.

There are 4 very important games coming up before the international break. Anything above 9 points will be classified as very good. Most would say the big game is the Liverpool one, but for me, it’s actually the Fulham, West Ham, and Sheff U games that pose the threat.

Arsenal’s challenge this season will be dealing with deep blocks. We lack creativity through the middle and we haven’t really addressed that this summer so far. There has to be a solution. Arteta needs to evolve how we play this season. It’s no good becoming the London version of Wolves. We need to rack up points against the little teams this season.

There are some potential solutions. The biggest bet we’ve made is that Willian will carry over his elite form from last season. He had a great record for balls into the box last season. We’ll need some of that trickery tomorrow. The big question is whether Arteta opts to play him out on the left, or whether he moves him into a modern #10 role.

We could also see Mesut Ozil back in contention. The German international is out of the cold and he’s making a fuss online that he wants to play. Say what you like about him, he’s a deep-block specialist and if willing, he’s more than capable of being a solve for us there. Question, as always, is how much does he care?

There are also some other potential solves that are little more far fetched. Saka ‘might’ get a shout as a #10 at some point this season. Could be a little early for that. Especially as he’s been so good from wide positions. We also have ESR who can play in those pockets. He had a great time at Huddersfield. Would Arteta take the chance? I’m not sure (not tomorrow as he’s injured). Especially not for the first game.

What we do know is this: Fulham under Scotty Parker are pragmatists.

They will set up with a sturdy team tomorrow and they’ll look to nick a goal on the counter. They clearly aren’t elite pragmatists (they finished 4th in the Championship and there’s been a serious debate about #ParkerOut among entertainment starved fans), but they’ll be an early test for us. They have some decent ball-playing defenders and they have a bully of a target man in Mitrovic. Those two factors combining have been the death of us over the years. Hopefully, there’s a strategy tomorrow to work around the obvious plan that’ll be rolled out.

So here we are, heading into our 13th year together (feeling so emosh). This should be fun. We have a solid setup. We have a brilliant young manager. We have a vibrant squad of young players eager to make it happen. We have a chance to make the top 4 if things fall for us. Let’s enjoy it, it’ll be a fun ride. Lots of ups and downs. But we’re heading in the right direction regardless. I’ve not been able to honestly say that in a very long time.

Enjoy the game and listen to the podcast. Whoever gave me a 1* review, I hope you have some mild internet disruption today. Yeah, I’m that serious about the slander.

Also, I fixed the link issue on the newsletter. It should not be working perfectly!


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1,072 Responses to “Fulham Preview: Can Arteta solve for a deep-block?”

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  1. Dissenter

    Emery deserved his sack, should have happened after we collapsed at Watford.
    Pedro wont let us move on 😁😁😁. He needs the boogeyman of Emery to boost web traffic


  2. Danny+S


    This site has suckled on the teat of Wenger for over a decade, it’s not a bad thing that we move on to someone new for a while.

  3. Marc


    No – and at the risk of releasing Kim Dumb Pedro reign of evil – I think American politics is bonkers out of over 300 million the best 2 people they can come up with is Trump and Biden.

    No more politics unless you want to talk about how wonderful Maggie was.

  4. Tom

    “Even Emery made it to the final” was Pedro’s dig at OGS after United lost to Sevilla.
    Internet never forgets……Arteta better go all the way or Pedro will need some “saucy” come backs.

  5. Marc

    There is a serious argument that Emery or another body was a good thing to put some space between Wenger and moving on.

    ManU definitely needed it shame there on their fourth version of it!

  6. Champagne charlie


    Spare me, you’re continually repositioning yourself re: Emery/Arteta until you finally land on something that can be used as a ‘gotcha’ moment.

    When we got knocked out the EL last season you were announcing it to the world as a low Emery never achieved, when we won the FA cup you were Mia, when we beat Fulham opening day it’s ‘nothing Emery didn’t achieve’, when Villarreal do well you’ll be front and centre bellowing.

    The guy with a pinned tweet to this very day reading the following:

    “I love that there are Arsenal fans who still bad-mouth Emery on account of the 4-1 loss in the EL final. Arteta got knocked out of the EL in the round of 32 (!) by Olympiacos (!) at home (!). This is a shit squad & Emery over-achieved in getting them to an EL final. #afc @legrove”

    You’re fooling nobody, I can finally laugh on the topic because we’ve cured that disease and went the way we should’ve done all along. Now it’s just humorous to watch ardent followers like yourself compete for gold in the ‘Emery was top shelf’ floor event.

  7. Tom

    Marc , best people don’t win presidential elections anymore because the electorate is too stupid to tell the difference, and the system is archaic and rigged…..although not the way Trump says it is.

  8. Dissenter

    Pedro lost perspective with this Emery dislike, in the end Emery just collapsed like a pack of cheap cards
    I read that it was so bad that he was being openly mocked by younger members of the squad.

    The club didn’t back him properly and he didn’t have any idea how to leverage his position within the club. That’s where I think his language issues hurt him.
    Arteta has been guilty of going beyond his purview even before they changes his title. He’ immersed himself into wage cut negotiations and called out the board for non-investment. He’s gotten away with it because he knows the culture of the club…and of course won a trophy too.

  9. Luteo Guenreira

    The red-cheeked Hamford is officially back, I see. Doesn’t surprise me a bit he’s trying to bring down the mood off a great opening day win by reminding everyone how shit he thinks Arsenal actually is and how great Emery was in spite of that shittiness.

  10. Marc


    At the risk of Pedro banning / deleting comments – LBJ did amazing things for the civil rights movement and doesn’t seem to get the credit he deserves, JFK will always carry something even Nixon is heads and shoulders above what we’ve seen in US politics for 30 odd years.

    It’s all very depressing -it’d help if there was someone under 65 in the mix!

  11. Pedro

    CC, he also went hard a pushing those Sun articles that showed ARTETA DOING A WORSE JOB THAN EMERY BY THE NUMBERS.

    Very amusing.

  12. Marc

    “Why didn’t United play today?”

    Teams who had late finishes because of European commitments ManU, Chelsea, City and Wolves (I think) have all been given extra time off.

  13. Bamford10


    Yeah, you continue to misrepresent my POV. I have never said Emery is or was “top shelf” or any such thing. The most I have ever said is that he is a competent, honest, hard-working, modern manager who actually managed to over-achieve with a very poor Arsenal squad. This has never been about Emery for me, and no, I will not be following his exploits at Villareal this season. I couldn’t care less. For me, the point has always been about the truth. And in my opinion, the truth is that we struggled under Emery because of the poverty of the squad, not because of Emery.

    Thanks for reading my Twitter feed, though.

  14. Habesha Gooner

    The turning point for ms regarding Emery was last season at Watford. I have never seen an Arsenal side that had no structure and conceded shots as an under 18’s side. I was willing to give him time but after that I joined the Emery out campaign.

  15. Dissenter

    Does the 190 million spend include the defender that was bought sand loaned back or the near cripple we got from Juventus?
    Iwobi was our most creative player in the first season of Emery.

    I know what you’re doing though, you’re trying to nudge me to go all Emery-Guerilla fighting so you can whip out those well rehearsed quips.
    Emery his sack and we beg of you to let him go in peace..

  16. Pedro

    Bamford, the only thing for you for about a year has been Emery.

    Modern coach? Thiago’s reps don’t’ agree with your take on the modern coaching skills.

    “PSG lost two years the day they appointed him,”

    “His problem is that he has trouble managing the stars.

    “In Paris, it was the players who solved the situation after Neymar and (Edinson) Cavani clashed on-field over a penalty.

    “When he went to Arsenal, the first player he got angry with was Mesut Ozil.

    “He’s a good coach to play in the Europa League, not the Champions League. The suit was too big for him. He was a terrible coach for PSG.

    “If there had been a coach of another calibre during these two years, PSG would have already won the Champions League.”

  17. MidwestGun

    If Emery had stayed with the Club we would most likely be talking about relegation and certainly not an FA Cup win. The players had completely quit on him and we were playing God awful football.. Every single Club we played lining up and shooting on our goal like a shooting gallery at the end. It’s the managers job to make sure the players don’t quit and stay engaged. So yes it was the manager.

    That’s the part the Emery Impartial Justice Warriors seem to forget about.. He was sacked for a reason.. midseason.. When was the last time an Arsenal manager was sacked midseason? So when Pedro says it was a horror show and he was garbage… he was, because you can’t discount what would have happened the rest of the season under Mr. Good Ebening and his motivational, communication skills and lack of a coherent plan to stop the bleeding.

  18. Champagne charlie

    Meanwhile Inter Milan play Tuesday and they actually reached the final 5 days after United.

    Soft touch as per for the Manc twats.

  19. Luteo Guenreira

    “honest, hard-working, modern manager who actually managed to over-achieve with a very poor Arsenal”

    The arousal is so palpable.

  20. Marc

    Pedro you can try to hide it all you want but the truth is you have a man crush on Emery.

    Not sure how a threesome with you, Arteta and Emery would work out and thankfully I’ll never know the details after all an Englishman who wouldn’t use the word soccer would never kiss and tell.

  21. Marc

    “Imagine pitching ‘over achieve’ for someone that gave us the worst start in 38 years and got sacked in November.”

    Sound’s like someone working in marketing to be honest.

  22. MidwestGun

    Did anyone else expect Willian to hand, Auba a pen from his sock after his assist to him with a rolled up contract in his other sock?. Just me? ok then. It was an early match.. might have been half awake.

  23. Champagne charlie


    Thought he was solid/competent. I don’t rate him at all beyond that but largely because he’s been a bit of an obstacle to us drafting in midfielders with better characteristics – all these loans and no input to the first team fold is a big ‘what’s the point?’ to me.

    He’s a 6/10 at everything imo, but with a 10/10 attitude and humility for top level sport that I think has married perfectly under Arteta. Not all players need to be shiny to be useful, I’ve said this numerous times.

    To me he’s pulled the rug from Willock and I’ll be very interested to see what happens with him now. Elneny is basic, but he’s diligent and safe which can work in this system which streamlines a players influence. On his involvement so far he’s ahead of Torreira, Willock, and Guendouzi.

  24. Tom

    There was a great Guardian article by Jonathan Liew on this whole manager/ communicator thing , where he basically says it’s not just the language barrier but also lack of charisma that holds some managers back .And he gives an anecdotal evidence for when David Moyes became the United’s manager the club’s media people ,to help him with his pressers, gave him a sheet with questions reporters might ask him, and after reading through the questions he turned the page over and said ‘where are the answers?’

  25. Marc

    “and after reading through the questions he turned the page over and said ‘where are the answers?’”

    Can’t make my mind up if that’s the answer of a genius or a complete moron. I could easily sell both sides of the argument.

  26. Pedro

    Tom, I’ve spent 3 years getting ripped for ‘sauce’… but it’s real. Jonathan Liew is correct. You don’t go to war for bland people. Especially in sport.

  27. Champagne charlie


    I’m not keen on waltzing down recent-memory lane, but let’s read the room (Arsenal currently) and just drop the romance regarding Emery finally. He never overachieved for shit, big Arsene the demon missed out on the EL final the season before on AWAY goals to Atletico Madrid, with NO Auba to call upon either.

    Going the extra ball hair the next season with Auba now eligible to play, and a further 70 mil net spent on boosting the squad is not grounds for a squad poverty sash to be printed. That’s the truth you’re mentioning without acknowledging.

    Emery got worse month after month, it was grim, it was really grim, then it was over. Arteta came in bareback on a Brazilian stallion and here we are, thoroughly excited to be reliving history of Emery beating Fulham early in a season lol.

    “Thanks for reading my Twitter feed, though.“

    You’re welcome, had to check in on your mental health as Arteta was painting the town with his sauce, FA cup on his perfect head of hair.

  28. WengerEagle

    Away win, clean sheet, scored three goals, new signing debut goal and both strikers on the scoresheet.

    Literally hard to get better than that for your first outing of the season.

    Was impressed by Willian in particular, said that he’ll add creativity, running power and set piece delivery to the side and we saw all three on display today.

  29. Champagne charlie


    Absolute banter that he’s compared to Martinelli, the mentality difference is measurable in Grand Canyons.

    Martinelli out here studying Ronaldo for tips to improve his career potential and Greenwood trying to sling one up a sixth former after training.

  30. Pedro

    I liked Bamford’s obsessive squad poverty takes.

    3 summers to fix this!
    8-12th place squad!

    30 games in with the same squad as Emery, we have the same win record as Chelsea, we’re one win shy of United… and most people on this site are now in firm agreement that two more midfield signings and we’re top 4.

    Some poverty.

    The miracle of good coaching eh?

  31. MidwestGun

    The mind is always willing… it’s the body that lets me down. Nap mode kicks in too early these days. I’m getting Ozil soft, I’m afraid. 🙁

  32. WengerEagle

    Our CM is still glaringly weak. Elneny and Xhaka just won’t cut it against any kind of serious opposition.

    I have my doubts that we will see two CM signings as Arteta seems to fancy Xhaka as a starter, same with Ceballos.

    Think it will just be Aouar if we”re lucky.

  33. Marko

    Some poverty.

    I mean we’ve spent over 200 million in recent summers and have added Cedric, Mari, Willian and Gabriel this summer and are currently working on trying to bring in two midfielders who are worth circa 100 million. That suggests some poverty prior.

  34. Champagne charlie


    You just said you liked Scott Parker as a player and you’re giving Xhaka stick, behave yourself this very moment. Xhaka is the glue, absolute team player that sits marshalling the side left and right, unbelievable key skills too.

    Be saucetastic to see him guiding old-timer Partey next to him if we bag that. Aouar ahead twerking with Laca brings a tear to the eye, you know the one.

  35. Zacharse

    Shame about Emi… 20m +31m is getting closer to the aouar fee tho. Crazy to think we might land 2 top mids! Ill take one. Fuckin figure out the laca partey swap! If laca scores a few more maybe it happens

  36. salparadisenyc

    My take is we bring in a midfielder and potentially another CF if Laca is used to fund.
    Priority has to be creative, could get symphonic with right mix.

    No idea what plan is for Elneny, pretty mental the way he’s filled in getting start in last two.
    Guendouzi surely speaking to agent right now.

  37. Marko

    Listen I’m going to be a hungry bastard here and say I still want Coutinho on loan. Probably impossible given that the sponge just will not fuck off but Coutinho and Pepe/Willian either side of Auba will be something

  38. Marko

    it suggests that football clubs constantly spend money on their squads.

    Not necessarily on good ones no. Incredible that squad poverty still gets argued on here considering the amount of players that we’re willing to get rid of and the amount of players we’re trying to get in. Finishing 8th will do that

  39. MidwestGun

    I thought the way Laca played today.. he definitely upped his transfer value.. or at least justified it. Although it seems like he is another that doesn’t want to leave. He is featured in just about every one of our promo ads too.. So not sure what to think on the possibility of him leaving.. He is potentially our most valuable tradeable asset.

  40. Champagne charlie

    Pepe has a big season ahead of him.

    Two paths this next 12 months for me, he either finds some consistency and greatly develops his team play, or he’s getting sold next summer for 45 mil.

    I simply don’t think Arteta has designs on giving the sort of patience you would to a 20 year old like Nelson, to a 25 year old player that cost the club 70 mil. Arteta doesn’t buy him if he’s in charge that summer, that’s my view.

  41. Valentin


    Lyon have a business plan that dictates they raise about €50 millions each year. Usually it’s done by selling two players for that amount or more. That plan has a built-in assumption that they achieve qualification for European competition. As they missed on Europe, they have to sell more players than usual.

    However because of COVID-19, they have not been able to raise funds as much and as quickly as they were expecting to So a lot more turn-over than usual. Clubs in France tries to plan one year in advance who is going to leave at the end of the season. So players tend to be motivated as their performance will influence which clubs are interested in them. For example Lyon had a gentleman agreement that Aouar was going to leave this summer. So he carefully selected which game to apply himself. Lyon’s plan was always to use Adelaide as his readymade replacement.

    The extra problem that is disrupting their continuity plan is the fact they changed coach and backroom staff midway through last season. Because of the change in the backroom staff, a certain number of players who were earmarked as understudy are not to the liking of Rudi Garcia the coach they had to pick as emergency after they got rid of Sylvinho last autumn.

    On top of those problems, some of their players intend to leave because their successful European campaign have raised their profile. If the plan was for those players to leave at the end of the coming season, they know that without Europe next their profile will not be as hot as this summer. The caliber of teams interested in them will therefore be lower so some of those players are angling for a move this summer.

  42. Radio Raheem

    I’m not sure how we afford these 2 midfielders with Arteta wanting to keep everyone.

    I’m happy with Elneny in the system we played today. But it’ll be useful to have a plan b with a different profile of midfielder to boot.

  43. Marc


    Laca had a poor season last time round – the rumour doing the rounds was he got caught with his flies undone by his long term partner. He seemed to be getting his head straight late last season hopefully that’s enough for him to bag a load of goals or a big fee this season.

  44. Bamford10


    It’s funny: for someone who pretends to think so little of my POV, you sure do spend a lot of time on my arguments. What’s funnier is the more time you spend on the difference between our POVs, the better mine looks and the weaker yours does. You claimed we had a top four squad *last season*. You’re now saying: “pretty much everyone here agrees that if we add two first-XI midfielders to the current squad” — a squad that is already two first-XI players (Willian & Gabriel) better than last season’s squad — “we’ll be a top four squad”. OK, but that would pretty much *prove* that we were *not* a top four squad last season, given that we’ve needed to add *four* first-XI players to it in order to be a top four team.

    As for what I’ve said about how long it would take for us to build a top four quality squad, I said (i) we needed something like five new first-XI players and that (ii) this would take us at least two summer windows. I said two summer windows because I did not believe we would be able to bring in that many first-XI players in one window. If Edu manages to do so, kudos to him. However, that wouldn’t prove me wrong about what was needed, and it most certainly wouldn’t prove you right. According to you, we *already were* a top four quality squad. According to you, we shouldn’t have needed to add much, much less 4-5 first-XI players.

    And by the way, I never pushed those Sun articles you mention above. You’re getting your facts wrong again. Do better.

  45. WengerEagle


    I liked Parker as a player but I wouldn’t have had him anywhere near a competitive Arsenal XI in saying that. Liked his attitude and leadership intangibles, he wasn’t exactly a bad player but a pretty ordinary one.

    Xhaka ultimately handicaps us and forces us to play a certain way due to his physical shortcomings. He’s also very error-prone as we’ve seen in his time here and has plenty of brain-lapses.

    We desperately need to upgrade on him if we’re to really go toe to toe with Chelsea and United for CL spots.

  46. Valentin

    The British media are doing their usual schtick of building them up to better bring them down. If it helps sell more newspaper or click without creating a rift with a particular community or city (the sun has learned about the Liverpool drama), those vulture known as British tabloids would do it.

    I like both Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho, but in my view neither is a world class player. I know that I am in the minority, but I think that they are as good they will ever be. A little bit like Rooney. People thought that he was going to be better than Ronaldo and in fact he never moved beyond the precocious fantastic player he was at Everton. Same with Michael Owen. Great for a 17 years old player. Good at 25 but disappointing in view of what people he was going to be when younger.

  47. WengerEagle

    Agreed that it’s a big season for Pepe.

    We really need him coming up with 10-15 PL goals minimum, he’s had a full year now to bed in and get the lay of the land and acclimatise to the PL.

    Auba is good for 20-25 PL goals but after that we only have Lacazette as a reliable enough goalscorer and he’s never scored more than 14 PL goals.

    If we’re pushing for CL we realistically are going to have to put up 70ish PL goals.

  48. Champagne charlie


    Big whiff there, Xhaka was “error prone” largely because a ridiculous percentage of our play funnelled through him alone and he was tasked with making the risky line-breaking pass time and again – routinely finished seasons 1000 passes ahead of the next player.

    He’s matured as a player (idk why others have that readily accepted but unfavoured players somehow never improve), and now has a manager that structures the team with strengths and weaknesses in mind.

    He never made an error leading to a goal last season, and was dispossessed 12 times. The idea we desperately need an upgrade on him to make top 4 is ‘Emery overachieved’ levels of out there, he’ll be an important figure for us again this season. His influence when considering all aspects of a player at a club is right up there. Arteta leaning on Luiz, Xhaka, Auba hard for success.

  49. WengerEagle

    That’s just wrong Valentin.

    Rooney at his peak was putting up 35 goal seasons as a CF in his mid 20s. Sure he wasn’t as physically explosive but he was a much better all round player from 2008-12 than he was in his teens.

    And Jadon Sancho is performing at a world class level. He has done for two seasons now which is a sustained period of time.

  50. Tom

    Jesus someone tell me the odd’s of Bamford making tomorrow lunchtime before he’s banned again?

    Marc, when you have Dariano waiting in the wings you can push Pedro all the way.
    Do you have a Dariano ?
    Un doesn’t have one for sure.

  51. Pedro

    Bamford, Arteta’s 30 game win record is the same as Chelsea, we’re beating elite teams, and we have two trophies. Your squad poverty argument has been buried deeper than your ‘Emery is a modern coach’ take.

  52. WengerEagle


    He’s still too rash and clumsy and will cost us points this season, mark my words. We can protect him all we like but ultimately it only takes one of the better sides running us ragged for Xhaka to show his true colours once again playing a stupid hospital pass or giving away a penalty/FK in a dangerous situation that we get punished for etc.

    He’s fine for a squad player but to play through the better sides we need better than him and Elneny. He’s pretty much a quarterback type CM that if left with time and space has a great range of passing and can find team mates but when he’s pressed hard he’s not nimble enough or clever enough to zip through the press and advance the ball, you’re limiting yourself with a player that has to play right in front of your backline in order to not be exposed.

  53. GK

    On AMN by Rio Ferdinand and I quote

    “Maitland-Niles is a wing-back and when you speak about wing-backs you’d expect him to be in the wide areas, coming out consistently throughout the game.

    “He’s done anything but that, he comes in, passes the ball and his first run after that is to run inside and create an overload in midfield.

    “He comes straight into the midfield area and what that does is it causes confusion and causes them to have more numbers in there than they’d usually have.

    “After that, you’ve got the width being created by Aubameyang, your main goalscoring threat, and the left-sided centre-half, Tierney, he’s the man who creates the width.

    “It’s so different to what you expect from a three at the back. You normally see it being quite rigid and you know where people are.

    “When you’re a player out there and you don’t see players in the positions you expect to see them in, that is a confusing element.

    “That’s what Arteta seems to be doing and we see are they a well-drilled team? Yes, they are.”

  54. Marc


    ” and we have two trophies.”

    You do realise that Tim Sherwood was taking the piss out of you earlier about calling the Charity Shield a trophy?

    I mean that’s just embarrassing to have Tim Sherwood to take the piss out of you.

  55. Champagne charlie


    We literally just negotiated a stretch against the top teams in England beating every one of them with Xhaka at the heart of matters – more than once orchestrating great team goals from his own penalty area under a high press. You can sit and claim any player a time bomb and eventually be proven right with a gaffe or rash moment, but this perpetual ‘wait and see’ with Xhaka is tedious.

    Literally not an error that lead to a goal last season but you’re telling me when the next instance occurs that costs us something that’ll be evidence of his true colours, nvm the obvious improvement and maturity in his game all the while since. Do you hear yourself?

    CM needs work, I’ve long supported that idea, but to skip giving credit where it’s due is poor form for me. Granit Xhaka has served a ton of crow the past 6 months, he’s a key figure for Arteta this coming season and deserves some backing finally. Even if that’s a stay of execution from the constant foretelling of his next moment of despair.

  56. Bojangles

    Agree with Valentin (a first for me,) Sancho is an overated player atm. Not saying he won’t improve, just not to the level of expectation of some here.

  57. China1

    Charlie I kept my word and respect you more for going in with the unsheathed xhaka stiffy

    It’s so much easier on the eye than the old days

    Btw this emery debate really needs to die. Emery was sacked because after a genuinely promising first half of his first season, he failed in the second half then made last season an absolute car crash

    This isn’t a guy who deserved longer or whatever. He made us sit through months of us facing 20000 shots per game, dropping points left right and Centre whilst he sat on the sidelines pulling his neck skin obsessively. It was the definition of banter. Dear god I’m so tired of banter FC, let’s not reminisce about those times any more than we need to

  58. DaveB666

    “You do realise that Tim Sherwood was taking the piss out of you earlier about calling the Charity Shield a trophy?”

    That’s the Tim Sherwood who played for Spurs right? You think the Spuds fans wouldn’t call winning the Charity Shield a trophy? – after all it’s been a while……

  59. China1

    tbf Bellerin has a good game yesterday

    Willian and Gabriel were quality. Willian looked to make things happen every time he touched the ball and the quality was consistently there. Really dynamic and valuable contribution.

    One thing arsenal need to pay attention to with Gabriel is because he’s dominant in 1v1 he seems to like stepping out of his position to follow his man and win it back. I don’t think it’s a bad thing as he’s clearly really good at it, but tactically the player around him may need to expect this and be ready to drop into the pockets he vacates. I saw holding do this a few times when Gabriel stepped quite far out of his own zone. They better drill this imo

  60. Marc


    “Marc, I’ve hung out with Tim Sherwood before. We’re basically best mates. He’d never take the piss out of me.”

    Oh dear – you’re either really desperate for mates or really desperate for approval.

  61. China1

    As for el neny, I said after the charity shield game I think he can do a job. He’s not exciting or amazing but he’s extremely tidy, disciplined and a good passer.

    The formation we saw yesterday isn’t going to concede a lot of goals because off the ball it’s very solid and well organized. People may think it can’t do enough offensively without a 10 and with two defensive players like xhaka and el neny at CM, but the shape of the team changes a lot when we have the ball and the wing back support for the front means we don’t lack offensive numbers.

    Xhaka el neny is the least exciting combination ever but when they play I think we will continue to look pretty comfortable and capable.

  62. Marc

    “That’s the Tim Sherwood who played for Spurs right? You think the Spuds fans wouldn’t call winning the Charity Shield a trophy?”

    Which is precisely why we shouldn’t.

    Is it really that difficult?

  63. China1

    If spurs won the charity shield they’d release a dvd

    You know it, I know it and they know it.

    The fans would buy it too. Fucking spuds

  64. Pedro

    Marc, the whole Arsenal fanbase has given approval on Arteta.

    … Spuds called the Audi Cup a trophy. The Community Shield would be huge for them

  65. China1

    Tbf taking money from spuds as they writhe in uncontrollable ecstasy about a preseason friendly cup is kinda a legit thing to do.

  66. salparadisenyc


    Im struggling today man, clearly at the ‘in – between’ phase.
    I’ll do better, been a serious week.

    Had a thought that if Arteta somehow (very slim) landed Partey and Aouar our MF would look like this:

    ____ Xhaka__Partey____

  67. China1

    Also I like to think Pedro would be mean enough to abuse the position. He’d design a beautiful DVD cover full of great artwork and superlatives but laced with extremely hard to find pro arsenal propaganda… a small sign held up by a fan in the crowd says ‘Tiny Totts’. One of the fans in the background picture of the celebration is DB10 smirking etc

  68. China1

    How many games do you have to play in the Audi cup? 2?

    I’d have a sign in the background on the DVD saying P2 W2 L0

    Fucking bants

  69. salparadisenyc


    Elite indeed.

    Then suddenly outed. as lyp-syncrs over entirety of career. Total frauds across all platforms, die hard supports publicly shame you. Then administration follows, 15 points docked to open new season.

    But the hardware it stays with you collecting dust, a dusty Audi Cup.

  70. Goobergooner

    Great win for the boys!

    Willian doing exactly what he does! Great to see.
    Gabi at the back was solid. So keen to see him as our rock in defence.

    A lot of people saying that our squad is great because we have Pepe on the bench.
    Yes it is great having subs that can make a proper impact. But the frontline is the only part of our team that has ‘proper’ depth.

    We want half our CBS out. RB position is still questionable, as bellerin can be upgraded on.

    Our midfield is woeful.

    I don’t call that a squad with great strength in depth.

    Nonetheless, Arteta and his sauce is just looking better and better. I have a good feeling we will at least try to rectify the midfield by end of TW.

    So keen for this season!

  71. Tony

    What a fun way to announce we’re back with a purpose yesterday from Bellerin’s solid hit that any Samoan forward from their rugby union team or a typical ‘Mickey the Munch’ (England rugby union) taking a player out of the game tackle (Kola and Papa Sok style) to Holding playing keeping uppy driving into Fulham’s penalty area.

    Then, of course, there was Auba’s technical brilliant strike plus 2 more goals.

    Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes was worthy of his MOM in his fist game fitting effortlessly into his CB position, scoring on his debut and emulating El Rock at the back.

    Granted Fulham were seriously lacking, but both my son and I said that we made Fulham play poorly with our intensity to press together as units all over the field when we lost the ball.

    Shades of Barca in their prime under Pep? Possibly the beginning of under Pep’s star pupil.

    Willian shut the naysayers up with a display that will keep Ozil out of the team/squad for the season with a performance that Pepe can learn from where hopefully Willian can help Pepe unlock the player many of us say is in there, which could spell the end of Nelson’s Arsenal career if any suitors make offers this transfer window.

    Arteta has put the steel and vigour back into The Arsenal where if this opener is anything to go by, the rest of the season will offer games for us fans to finally look forward to and be more excited about since the days of the Invincibles and Cesc and Van Persia teams.

    That said we have a tough set of away fixtures coming up; however, to win so comfortably away to Fulham gives us all hope smattered with belief in Arteta’s vision and the players’ response to such a vision where players finally are fighting for a place in the starting 11.

    Except Ozil who didn’t even make the squad and who would have watched the game (maybe) realising that this season could be lonely at the club with being utilised unless Arteta has no other option through injuries and suspensions. Arteta has options with ESR and other youth players for rotations.

    If we add Partey and or Aouar to the midfield and they quickly adjust to the PL as Gabriel did yesterday, our distant dreams of CL football could well become a reality.

    Great start to our campaign yesterday with plenty to be positive about where Arteta had the team playing to win collectively, without fear and with a smile on their faces, such as Holding’s after his sublime aforementioned sambaesque ball control.

    Even Elneny played above his usual average games of the past giving Xhaka time to put in a decent shift and finding his passing range without being a liability.

    A lot to be positive going forward, but this was a game against a very poor, error prone Fulham, so our excitement needs to be tempered appropriately until we prove ourselves against the top six starting with Liverpool after the West Ham game, which should be a banker on yesterday’s performance to improve our general match fitness and add another 3 points on the board.

    Will be interesting to see who Arteta plays against Leicester in the first round of the EFL.

    As for the Emi leaving saga – still seems the wrong move on part of the club, but if Emi is pushing for the move, I would say it’s probably his agent filling his head with agenda nonsense to add more to his agent’s coffers.

    If this move affords us to improve our midfield, then so be it.

    I’m sure Pierre will enjoy reading this ‘Forgotten Man’ DM Ozil piece:


  72. Goobergooner

    Can’t believe I forgot to mention Gabi’s debut goal. Fan favourite already! Haha.
    He really is great in the air. We will be a different team defending set pieces this season (or very latest next season when both our new boys are starting in the backline), with two huge CBS and a new set piece specialist coach.

    Is this even our Arsenal? tactical flexibility, a proper attempt at addressing the back line, clean sheets away, positivity in the fan base.

    I am loving Arteta’s and Edu’s Arsenal

  73. Goobergooner

    Hahaha also I read that west ham is willing to pay part of wilsheres contract to get him off their books.

    Un na naii, your boy is making it big time. I really wish he was still here 😂😂😂

  74. China1

    Lol poor old wilshere. He was genuinely a generational talent until he hit the ripe old age of 20 and the wheels came off

    Injuries, attitude, zero coaching and intelligence shortcomings all saw to it that one of the most naturally gifted players of his generation has had a career worth a grand total of diddley squat.the absolute definition of a ‘what might have been’ player

  75. China1

    I have to say that Fulham game was thoroughly enjoyable. Fulham were trash but that was exactly the kind of game in recent years where we may have made it look difficult

    If that had been early last season Leno would’ve needed to make 20 saves. Instead he had practically nothing to do. All over the pitch we just did exactly what needed to be done in a calm, competent and professional way. Loved it

  76. Emiratesstroller

    Reviewing our requirements and potential departures I think that the most likely scenario is
    that Arsenal will bring in two more players in transfer window namely a goalkeeper now that Martinez is leaving and a first choice Central Midfielder.

    The facts are that Arsenal should have two players in each position good enough to play in starting X1. Based on 3-4-3 formation my selections would be:

    Leno/ ?
    ? /Ceballos

    So we have 19 players who will play regularly in first team. The remaining 6 places to be
    filled by Third String Goalkeeper, 2 Defenders, 2 Midfielders and 1 Forward to be used mainly
    for Cup games and Injury replacements. Currently Martinelli and Chambers out until Xmas
    and therefore not included in squad before January.

  77. DivineSherlock

    Bamford’s argument collapses as soon as you check PSG’s results. First with the best squad in the league he fails to win the league , Second with the epic Champions League debacle . If we failed because of the squad how did he fail there Bamford ?

  78. Goobergooner

    Anyone think we can fetch over 10m if elneny keeps it up? Or he will more likely be used as cover as we are so short of quality in the middle?

    Haha yeah China that exactly it, what might have been. Which is exactly why we still had people using sentimentality to want to keep him

  79. Useroz

    If we could sell Martinez to raise 15 to 20m, there’s absolutely no reasons for the club to get (re)acquaintance with the like of Elneny,, Holding, Bellerin, Laca, Guendouzi ,Ozil,, not to mention the wages that could be freed up.

    Ozil would tie himself to several weights in the gym and refuse to leave the building but others surely get rid.

    I hope those borderline sentimental comments are all Arteta’s media bs and he didn’t mean it. A Manager must not have such profound love. Keep it for your wife!

  80. Useroz

    Laca reportedly has 2 years left in his contract. If we not/ unable to sell in this TW, face the same situation and risk he could run down the contract and leave for nothing.

    I don’t buy this bs he loves the club and wanted to bring titles here, etc. Sure but when his agent whispers some dollars and sense in his ears, we know the outcome.

    At 180k pw, and his diminishing return on goals, we shouldn’t extend so the remaining option is to push him out to pastures new. AM sounds like a good location.

  81. Bojangles

    “Which is exactly why we still had people using sentimentality to want to keep him”

    Sentimentality, the new LG buzzword. Maybe it’s more that many here state an opinion on a player then go looking for negatives to back up their opinion. Much easier than looking for positives and admitting to being wrong (heaven forbid.)