Insightful Thank You Tour + What’s up with Saliba?

by .

A lot has happened over the past 24 hours. The PR machine is whirring into action and it is super clear that the club wants you to know that:

  • KSE spend money
  • Edu is a man with a plan
  • Arteta is highly rated and his performance unlocked budget we didn’t have

We still don’t know the exact details of the cash injection/accounting trick, but it seems clear from the media that we had some help from our owners. KSE seem much keener to be seen as important to the process these days, a far cry from the years when Wenger was running the show. This is a good thing. KSE clubs are doing better these days. Well, the Nuggets are at least. Something must have clicked for them, because it now it looks like they realise investing in their teams can reap huge dividends.

The second reason I like the investment is that it seems to be tied to the impression the new staff has made. Mikel Arteta is a young manager, many thought that he was hired so the club could go cheap, but that FA Cup win and back door entry to the Europa League clearly gave him some cred points with the Kroenke family. The messaging has been clear, the Partey signing was a thumbs up to the progress. I really like that, it’s premature, but it seems the club already has an eye on City and Barca coming for their star at some point. If he has another good year, expect a renewed deal, and hopefully all the money from our CERTAIN TOP 4 FINISH, RIGHT?

It’s also worth noting that, although fans savage the Kroenke’s for not spending money, it doesn’t correlate with reality.

We’re the 10th highest net spenders in Europe 2010-19. Staggering, right? The money hasn’t been the problem, it’s who we’ve let spend it (a well-trodden narrative if you’ve been reading this site).

That shifts me onto phase two of the thank-you tour. Arsenal PR has been VERY keen to make sure people know Edu actually does things outside solitaire in the canteen. He has been front and centre over the last few weeks. He’s talking about his plan, he’s telling everyone he got the club excited about it, he’s very proud he delivered on it.

I am pleased with the way we worked because we are facing a very difficult situation with Covid and in the market, everyone is quite worried about the future, the planning, whether they have the money or not, the revenue, so it is quite challenging but the way we did it was amazing.

Edu and Arteta have hired players with more than just legs (As Edu actioned), they think they’ve hired winners. They wanted players to reshape the culture of the club. Willian will always look like a weird deal to me, but when you look at it through the lens of ‘winner’, you can’t argue. Partey, winner. Luiz, winner.

If you see Willian, he brings us experience and a very special physicality in terms of speed. If you see Gabriel, he gives us a lot of physicality and presence. Dani, quality. Thomas, physicality, quality and mentally he is very strong. But in the end if you see all these players we brought to the club, they are very good here (points to legs), but they are better here (points to head) which for me is very important because when you talk to the players, they have a lot of ambition, they are excited and they are hungry to win a title again. This, for me, is important to have in the players to not only be good here (points to legs), but good here (points to head). And they are.

What I do like about this Edu PR tour is that he could easily claim the glory, but he doesn’t.

It is not only Edu, it is not only Mikel Arteta, we have a lot of people around us in the club that it is important to mention as well, financial, legal, medical, recruitment, our loan manager, but we cannot forget of course the support, of which I received a lot of, from the board and the owners. Without them, we cannot do much and I feel really comfortable with the way we are working and communicating together, we are talking almost every day right now so that is brilliant. I tell them with that possibility to have that type of relationship, I feel much stronger. That is the way they give to me and to Mikel as well, so that is the way we are working right now.

Bar talking about himself in the third person, I do like leaders that pump their team. There’s a lovely pic of him celebrating them on Insta Stories. We’ve lacked that at Arsenal over the years. Empowering talent to make moves. I like that. It’s basic, but smart.

I also assume Edu wants to get ahead of me telling everyone there are questions marks over how good he is. He seems very, very happy with how things are going… I couldn’t be more pleased for him. He passed the first test this summer, i.e., no one is crying over Raul. We don’t need him and we’ve just proved that under the toughest footballing circumstances in our history.

This was a good window. The club made purposeful moves that can all be justified. We’ll have to forget about January. Focus on what we’ve seen in the last two months and it all makes sense. We’ve signed experienced winners, elite young talent, and we’ve taken a chance on 5-6 under 23s that might make it.

I am finding it VERY tough to be a blogger that has nothing to moan about.

Though I do find it interesting that there are so many spreadsheet merchants upset about Partey. I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy, but honestly, if we’ve been tracking Partey since his Almeria days, and our new recruitment team thinks he’s good enough to put their reps on the line with their paymasters, you’d have to imagine they might be looking at better data than the folk on the internet.

He’s a class signing. I am STILL in shock we did it. Partey is going to be fucking immense for us.

The club omitted Ozil from the Europa League squad along with Sokratis and Saliba.

He is finished. There are stories doing the rounds that we’re trying to buy him out of his deal. The club is trying to get a deal, he’s not budging. What a humiliating way to exit the building, being a petulant child. So ungraceful. He’ll soon realise that his power is linked to his age, then I suspect he’ll regret his last 3 years.

There’s also a lot of consternation about William Saliba. I don’t have an in on this at all. However, I do know two things. 1) If he were ready, he’d be playing. 2) Arteta doesn’t have a vendetta against Raul signings.

I have some thoughts on this. Firstly, Ligue 1 has a lot of great players, but it lacks the same power and pace we have in the Premier League. That’s not a debate, I really don’t care how much Ligue 1 you watch. Young players flourish there because there’s a lower level of competition.

I think it’s clear that he’s not physically up to the standard. He’s literally a teenager. There are very few teenage centre backs playing regularly anywhere in the world. Factor in that he was injured a lot last year, which might be linked to his body not adapting well to his huge frame. Jack was overplayed in his teenage years and now he’s being let go from West Ham in his twenties. Being overplayed at a young age isn’t great for you.

People seem to have taken offence to him being loaned to the Championship (if it happens). Now, there are two reasons this might be the case. We could have messed up the registration back to France. Or, Per Mertesacker, Ben Knapper, and Edu might reckon the things he’s lacking as a player right now are better serviced in the league below the Premiership. The Championship is incredibly fast, it’s beastly from an aggression perspective, and… it’s in England. What better place to toughen up and learn the lingo?

It’s a bit of uneducated opinion to say Championship football is a shit standard. Eze, Watkins, and Leeds are looking pretty damn ok so far this season. Maddison, Joe Gomez, and Andy Robertson all started there. I don’t think Arsenal fans would sniff at Buendia or Benrahma if they joined. William Saliba could do a lot worse than Brentford this season.

Ok, I am now off. Have a great day. Big love x

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407 Responses to “Insightful Thank You Tour + What’s up with Saliba?”

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  1. Goobergooner

    I’m not a xhaka fan but will give it the benefit of the doubt if played alongside Partey. Will see how that goes. I Wana see Partey and Ceballos together.


    I understand and actually appreciate your analysis on those 2 players.

    But I’d say that while Partey does not control in a more ‘attacking’ sense as you say, it’s more the fact of how much more rounded a player he is.

    The positioning being able to play higher than xhaka (in this league) and not have to sit so deep.
    He will intercept and tackle more than xhaka as he can cover more ground.
    He will less likely be bypassed by a quick change of pace.

    And along with the above, the main part of what people talk about when mentioning ‘control’ (well at least me) is that he can take the ball in tighter spaces in defensive areas and come away with the ball positively. Proper breaking of the lines from midfield has been lacking for so long.

    We are playing a back 3 because 1, our midfield is so weak and porous; and 2, our CBS are error prone and a little shite.

    If we can see a difference with a solid midfield partnership (or trio if we get to it), we will be taking the right steps forwards. Getting back to a back 4 (and playing well) will be a great metric for how we are progressing.

    Gabi Maga and Partey are 2 of the best signings (in terms of what we genuinely needed and also their attributes on paper) that we have made in a long long time. Apart from Auba haha. If we’d have bought a Partey instead of Ozil we wouldn’t be where we are now. And if we’d bought a Gabi instead of mustafi shiiiiit we’d have won the league 😂😂😂😂. Ok yes I’m over exaggerating but I am really really stoked about these two signings.

  2. raptora

    This comment doesn’t fit with the image I had of you. I thought you are more measured and this opinion is a provocative, drastic, strong opinion.

    I agree with you.
    Arteta has a bunch of favorites. Then there is a bunch of people/players he doesn’t like. He will not make compromises with the people he doesn’t like. But will do with the ones that he does.

    It’s a really bad way of treating people in a collective. It will be a huge problem for him in his career if he doesn’t change this bad trait. And he’s going to cost the club a truck of money because he somehow didn’t like someone.

    Guendouzi and Torreira were around a good 60+m combined value 10 months ago. He’s rendered their careers to a halt and to a point nobody wanted them. One of our most convertible players by far.

    I suspect it’s going to happen to a bunch of other players. He has a problem with some players I dunno what. Torreira and Guendouzi had a place in our midfield ahead of Elneny, Willock.

    Playing Saliba in the EL and cups, the random cameo in the EPL would have been a decent thing to do. As things stand he is probably seen as behind average players like Holding, Mustafi, Chambers and Sokratis.

  3. grooveydaddy

    I think it’s just a matter of the lad being rusty. He looked the part whenever he played in France, but their season got called off in March.

    He looked out of sorts by all accounts in his U23 appearances so far. This is probably down to a lack of sharpness/match fitness rather than ability.

    The kid needs a run of games. We can’t afford to give him that in the prem at this point.

    30-40 games in championship rather than sporadic cup games is a no brainer.

  4. raptora

    It’s weird when a coach/manager tells interviewers what he doesn’t like about a player and then decides to loan him. Why? You are the coach? Is it not your job to improve the players in your every day training sessions? Tell them and show them what to do so they become better? Showcase your training methods and your 1v1 talks with players that need guidance?

    He refuses to take the responsibility of working with a highly rated young CB and would rather move the pressure to a Championship club. “Oh, hopefully he gets to learn all the things I don’t like about him there. If he doesn’t oh well, we just gonna loan him again”. It’s such a bs I must say. Instead of being a dream come true to have such a talented player at your disposal, and making sure he progresses under your guidance and you get to shape the player you want to play for your team in the next 10 years, you just move him out of your sight and that’s the solution.

    We could’ve had a Guendouzi in our team too. Saliba. Let’s see who’s next.

  5. TR7


    ‘He refuses to take the responsibility of working with a highly rated young CB and would rather move the pressure to a Championship club. “Oh, hopefully he gets to learn all the things I don’t like about him there. If he doesn’t oh well, we just gonna loan him again”. It’s such a bs I must say. Instead of being a dream come true to have such a talented player at your disposal, and making sure he progresses under your guidance and you get to shape the player you want to play for your team in the next 10 years, you just move him out of your sight and that’s the solution.’

    Have you seen Saliba play and if yes, how many games ? What makes you think he can be a very good player for us for 10 years ?

  6. raptora

    Guendouzi showed in many games his leadership qualities, he lead the team and earned us points when the other players were hiding.
    Is this not the winner’s mentality Arteta and Edu want to form? Teenager coming abroad and being a shining light in us barely missing UCL football?
    He played in 48 games for us at age of 19. Integral part of our team. Our most exciting CM since Wilshere. But gets exiled.

    Arteta played some boring ass football always picking the safe pass in his career. I hope he shows at least a bit of love towards attacking football. Cause what we’ve seen so far has lacked any spice or sauce.

  7. Karsa

    Guendouzi showed in many games his leadership qualities, he lead the team and earned us points when the other players were hiding.
    Is this not the winner’s mentality Arteta and Edu want to form? Teenager coming abroad and being a shining light in us barely missing UCL football?
    He played in 48 games for us at age of 19. Integral part of our team. Our most exciting CM since Wilshere. But gets exiled.

    I don’t remember it quite like that.

    A young, admittedly energetic, young player who ran around a lot with little positional sense, who lost the ball regularly, and spent a fair bit of time on the ground appealing to refs after being out-muscled off the ball by opponents who could stroll up on his blindside unobserved.

    A player, in fact, who would benefit from a years loan to gain experience, before being ready to join the first team ranks at Arsenal, a team with Champions League aspirations.

  8. Emiratesstroller


    What are you talking about?

    Guendouzi showed no leadership qualities whatsoever when he played for us.

    He ran around the pitch like a headless chicken expending a lot of energy, but as games progressed he ran out of puff and seldom lasted a game.

    Also he was far too easily dispossessed and more often than not landed up on the ground.

  9. Aussie+Gooner

    You can rattle off all the stats on Xhaka you like but I for one can not erase from my memory his constant turning his back on shots resulting in goals.

    The Saliba affair has been mismanaged from the start. The lad’s confidence must be shot through by now, going from the French top flight to a Championship club. One could be forgiven for thinking he was not wanted by the current regime if he is behind the likes of Holding, Mustafi, Chambers and Sokratis! For those saying that it is no big deal being loaned out again, can I remind you that he cost 27m not 2m. This will surely end in tears.

  10. Aussie+Gooner


    Guendouzi was allowed to run around like a headless chicken for over 70 games! Yet Saliba does not even get off the starting blocks!

  11. G8

    Agree there, Arteta obviously has his favourites, he plays them no matter what!
    Unfortunately that comes at the expense of other players playing time.
    Something he picked from AW I guess

    mismanagement of our young assets, would plummet their market value, that’s for sure !

  12. raptora

    I’ve seen him play in around 5 games. He is a ridiculously tall, 193 cm. At the same time last year he was valued at £23m in transfermarkt aged 18. He’s always made French national teams for higher ages than his. He started 12 games for a St Etienne club that finished 4th in the League. He was wanted by spuds who were ready to match a really steep price tag for a teenager CB.

    Claude Puel (Saint-Etienne manager)

    “He is ready (for Arsenal),” Puel told The Athletic. “He is a fantastic player. He is young but with a lot of maturity in his play. Also, in his life. He is a player with a good feeling and spirit. It will be hard for us without him, but I think it is a fantastic opportunity for Arsenal. They need a good centre-back and have done for some time, and I think William is the right player. I think he can play all the time in the first team at Arsenal.”

    Jose Mourinho (Tottenham manager)

    “He’s got all the assets to become a top player, just like Kurt Zouma, who I had with me at Chelsea,” the Portuguese coach told RMC in May 2019.

    Jean-Louis Gasset (former Saint-Etienne manager)

    “For me, the little one has an extraordinary future,” Gasset said during the 2018/19 season.
    At his age, he possesses maturity, intelligence in his game, technique, size and, above all, he knows where he wants to go. If everything’s gone quickly for him, he’s met it by progressing every day.”

    Fabio Frasconi (former AS Bondy and Montfermeil coach)

    “William will go far, very far,” he told the Saint-Etienne website in March. “He reminds me of Raphael Varane. As a kid, he was already above the lot, technically clean, comfortable with the ball.

    “I had positioned him at the centre-forward position. Evolving then in central defence would not have allowed him, in my opinion, to progress.

    “I feel enormous pride when I see him playing at this level, with this composure, this maturity, this accuracy, this sense of anticipation and this application.

    “I have never seen a kid have such a desire to succeed. He wanted, from an early age, to be a professional footballer, and already hated defeat.”

    Tonio Riccardi (former AS Bondy coach)

    “When he was only 12, he was moved up to the under-15s,” he told France Football prior to the defender’s transfer to Arsenal. “Because of his size, he was a bit clumsy, but it was offset by his power. He gave off an impression of strength.

  13. raptora


    Among all the players in Europe’s top five leagues to have played at least 900 minutes this term, only two have a better ‘pure tackle success rate’ than Saliba.
    ‘Pure tackle success rate’ measures how effective a player is by dividing total tackles by a sum of total tackles + challenges lost + fouls conceded when attempting a tackle. Putting this all together, Saliba’s pure tackle success comes in at 79.17%, bettered only by Federico Fazio (80%) and Yerry Mina (82.22%). But perhaps more impressively, Saliba is the only outfield player to have played at least 900 minutes in Europe’s top five leagues without committing a foul from an attempted tackle.

    Top 5 is
    Mina, Fazio, Saliba, Zagadou, Wan-Bissaka.

    He didn’t commit a single foul from a tackle.

    Of Arsenal defenders to have actually played in the Premier League for the club this term, Calum Chambers leads the way with 66.67%, Sokratis has 58.14% while Luiz is as low as 57.14% with 11 fouls from tackles.

  14. raptora

    TR7: “What makes you think he can be a very good player for us for 10 years ?”

    27 million pounds. Obviously when we bought him we thought we’re buying someone that we’re going to loan for a 2nd year running.

  15. Emiratesstroller


    No-one suggests that Saliba will not become a top player, but Arteta assesses that he is not
    ready yet to play in our first team.

    We have at moment a lot of Centre Backs on the books and clearly Arsenal’s priority this season is to create a stable and solid defence with not too much experimentation.

    He has made a judgment that Gabriel aged 22 is more progressed in his readiness to play in
    first team.

    Saliba at 19 has plenty of time to progress.The player should learn from his mistakes at another club. We can afford that luxury.

  16. Pierre

    “For me, this is Arteta being a cynical bastard”

    I wonder if he treats his wife and kids the same.

    He probably has a non negotiable list.on the kitchen wall that they have to adhere to.

    1) never question me if i reduce your pocket money or housekeeping allowance.
    2) fighting in the school playground and taunting other pupils about their poor upbringing and you will be loaned out to a lower income family. .
    3) if I say run …you run..
    4) never , ever question my decisions..I am the boss and I know what is best for you .
    5) always better to be dishonest, lie to your teacher at school, if the sports teacher asks you why you can’t play, make up a pile of bullshit and tell him you’ll be available for selection at all times , even though you know it isn’t true.
    6) never question the non negotiables even though I will relax the non negotiables when I see fit …inhaling hippy crack balloons do not breach the non negotiables. ..

  17. Pierre

    “, Saliba’s pure tackle success comes in at 79.17%, bettered only by Federico Fazio (80%) and Yerry Mina (82.22%). But perhaps more impressively, Saliba is the only outfield player to have played at least 900 minutes in Europe’s top five leagues without committing a foul from an attempted tackle.”

    This is very impressive, Rio Ferdinand was a defender who rarely made a tackle and I think holds the record for fewest fouls in a season …something like that anyway.

  18. Pierre

    “2. Disciplined
    Rio’s Premier League disciplinary record is second to none. In 312 League appearances for the club Rio only received one red card and 20 bookings, committing just 68 fouls in the process.”

  19. raptora

    ES: “What are you talking about? Guendouzi showed no leadership qualities whatsoever when he played for us.” vs Villa we are losing by 0-1 and later 1-2 vs spuds we are losing by 1-2

    Versus Villa – intercepts a pass, goes through 3 players and gets a penalty for our first goal.
    Then hits the bar from long range.
    Receives the ball, progresses upfield with it, dummies a player and whips in a cross for Chambers who scores for 2-2.

    Versus spuds receives the ball, takes on 2 players, whips in a cross that Auba taps in.

    Both games in crucial times, losing positions, second half displays, he was with the ball, progressive, when none of our players were showing any desire to be dangerous with the ball but were passing sideways, he drove the team forward.

    He is not a complete player but aged 21 we’ve lost a huge talent. People just make the choice to close their eyes because Arteta kicked the player out of the team.

  20. TR7


    Sounds like your appraisal of Saliba is based more on the judgement of some of the footballing people who have worked with him or watched him from close quarters. I am curious to know what is the first hand impression of the posters who seem to rate him very highly. I watched him for the first time when he played for Arsenal U-21 and I thought he did not look fit or sharp. He was beaten by pace on a couple occassions and had to put in sliding tackles from behind. While heading the ball, he did not seem to move his hands up to gather momentum as a result of which there was not much power behind his headers. Was caught in possession a few times too. Of course I am not going to pass any verdict on his qualities bases on 1 game and who knows he can very well turn out to be a very good player but as far as I am concerned he did not look ready to play for us if that U-21 game is anything to go by. .

  21. englandsbest

    EVERY top-class manager plays his favourites. They are his favourites because he believe they are best suited to do the job. If he chooses them for any other reason, then he is NOT a top-class manager.

    The player may not be our favourite, and we may not like the job he does – but for sure Arteta is a top-class manager.

  22. raptora

    Pedro sept 10 2020: “My overarching concern here is that we’ve spent years trying to move away from a superstar manager structure, and we’ve just walked right back into one. If things go well, then the concern is moot… the problems come when things go badly, or, the superstar manager leaves. What are you left with?”

    We are a manager centric club again. We changed Wenger with Arteta. I hope he deserves what the club is doing for him, cause as it stands he is absolutely the main figure by far. He has the power and every decision of him is a rule. For good or bad, remains to be seen.

  23. Tee

    A certain poster will turn Saliba discussion to Ozil’s before you know it.

    Arteta is the manager who trains with them on daily basis and for this, I trust his judgement on Saliba. If you think you know better then go manage a team.

  24. AFC Forever

    England’s best
    “EVERY top-class manager plays his favourites. They are his favourites because he believe they are best suited to do the job”


    As soon as someone goes on about someone being the Managers favourite makes me smile. It’s such an ignorant comment. The reason they say it is because their own ‘favourite’ isn’t being picked. As I have said many occasions, it’s not about picking the perceived 11 best players. It’s about picking the best 11 for the system being employed. It’s also about the best combos. I would recommend to any armchair fan to go and manage an amateur team, Sunday League etc. It would help.

  25. AFC Forever


    “Arteta is the manager who trains with them on daily basis and for this, I trust his judgement on Saliba.”


  26. raptora

    Matteo Guendouzi continued his excellent start to the season with an all-action display against Manchester United. The Arsenal midfielder has already established himself as a key player for Unai Emery, starting every single game in the Premier League this campaign.

    And the Frenchman played a key role in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, with a tireless performance.

    Towards the end of the game, Gary Neville heaped further praise on the French midfielder, claiming: “Guendouzi & McTominay, if I was picking a man of the match, it would be between them two.”

    But it was early in the second half when Guendouzi showed maturity beyond his years and the sort of responsibility which has impressed fans.

    With only 10 minutes played after half-time, Arsenal were caught on a counter attack with the Gunners’ high backline caught out with a ball behind.

    Eventually, Guendouzi managed to get back to put the ball out for a corner, but the 20-year-old was quick to let his teammates know about their poor positioning – or according to Gary Neville, specifically Sead Kolasinac, who was out of position.

    Speaking on co-commentary to Martin Tyler, Neville said: “Yeah, it was Sead Kolasinac.”

    Matteo Guendouzi: Too often the youngster’s first thought in possession was to look backwards but when he carried the ball he did so with a purpose and energy that eluded many of his team-mates. That attitude was evident throughout, it’s the sort of leadership that many of the quintet of captains rarely display.

  27. AFC Forever


    Spot on.

    The amount of fans who just use LeGrove to moan about anything they can has been expired by the Partey & Saliba signings

    Lots of top coaches, managers etc have raved on Saliba. The fact Arsenal & Spurs met the asking price despite him only playing less than 18 top level matches says something.

    He was pushed back for a season but that didn’t work out as planned. He ruptured an abductor and also broke his foot. Instead of having a full season he played only 12 games.

    It staggers me the way some so called fans behave. Why would any fan go out of their way to constantly chat negative shit?

  28. raptora

    Guendouzi, Pepe, Saliba.

    Nelson was starting ahead of Pepe for months before Arteta decided to give Pepe a chance. Now 2nd choice behind Willian.

    Ceballos was benched for months by Xhaka, Willock.

    Guendouzi transferred out so Elneny and Willock can play.

    Saliba not even given a chance. From a starter in a top 4 French team aged 17 and 18, to a straight up 2nd rate football.

    He certainly likes to work and improve young players doesn’t he.

  29. Raulishuss

    What a stupid accusation to make of our coach dream10. You have had it in for arteta since day 1, your hatred towards his coaching and method is clear with that comment. Ridiculous that you’ll accuse him of such with zero proof. Shame on you. You’re on here everyday championing average players like eze, Hudson odoi etc but downplay our club and players. Gtfoh you’re a troll

  30. Emiratesstroller


    I am willing to bet that I have watched Guendouzi in the flesh on a more regular basis than you.

    In my opinion he was grossly overrated.

    He expends a lot of energy running around the pitch but physically he was weak and easily
    taken off the ball.

    When you watch him play his contribution to the game is very average. Defensively he was
    weak and offensively more or less non existent.

    Please do not judge players on their National U23 performance, because it is never the same
    as playing in EPL.

  31. Goobergooner

    Maybe because we have sooo many CBs on the books we don’t want, let alone any other club wanting to pay a fee plus exorbitant wages; that Saliba is the only player that was properly targeted by other clubs. The fact he has minimal game time means he is down the list compared to our ‘established’ players ATM

    I don’t see much wrong with loaning him out. Even if we bring him back after a half season of he’s playing well

  32. Guns of Hackney


    Arsenal’s Saliba found curled into a ball crying in a corner. When asked what’s wrong, the Arsenal man had this to say “it’s raining outside and I’ve just done my hair”.

    Arsenal officially refused to comment on the incident but an insider said “he’s a cunt so this doesn’t surprise me”.


  33. Kris

    It’s clear that being humans even managers are sometimes influenced by personal likes. It happens in any business even if in theory it doesn’t make sense. For example Xhaka is reportedly likeable, which clearly helps him get in the team. For those who disagree – what is his future after Arsenal? Will he go to Atletico, Dortmund, Napoli? Or will he go to a midtable team somewhere?

    Playing Reiss Nelson ahead of Pepe is criminal. As is preferring Willock to Guendouzi or Torreira, no two ways about it.

    But Saliba may genuinely be rusty after the long injury so I’m not critical about his potential loan to the Championship.

    I just wish we had also loaned Nketiah — to the Bundesliga. Would score at least 20 goals in one season there, and his value would go above 30.000.000, possibly much higher. His confidence would not take a hit either.

  34. raptora

    Agree with a lot of what you’ve said.

    Why would he loan Nketiah? He was and is starting a bunch of games. Benched Lacazette many, many times. Something I don’t agree with. But Arteta knows best.

    We are currently witnessing the birth of Wenger 2.0.

    Nothing can be said against him.

    Nothing can be questioned.

    He knows best.

  35. Ishola70

    Guendouzi showed promise for a young player mixed in with erratic play.

    All this matters not if he was going around the club abusing every other person and thinking he had made it.

    There were reports about his “hot headnesses” even before he signed for Arsenal so the club can’t say they weren’t warned about him.

  36. Guns of Hackney

    Guedenzi shouting randomly is not, and I repeat, not leadership.

    We’ve all had clowns like this in the office. The billy big balls who loves giving it the business only to be first on the redundant list.

    Leaders are not the ones who shout the loudest.

  37. Nelson

    In a year or two, Arteta will have finally replaced all the players not suitable for his system. Then we don’t have to talk about whether he has preference to play certain player. Since he is our manager/coach now, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Arteta has inherited a mess from the previous boards who has signed average players with high wages. It is all the fault of the board. Hopefully, the current execs wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes.

  38. Marc

    As with all things if Guendozi is so good then why was there no interest in him during the window?

    If he’s so good he’ll be a star in Germany and we’ll have Madrid, Barca, PSG. City, Chelsea, ManU and Bayern in a bidding war for him next summer.

  39. Guns of Hackney


    Arteta has signed Saliba, Soares, Mari, Willian, Gabriel, Partey and resigned Luiz and Auba.

    One can’t play because he’s sad. Ones been dropped already for the other lad who’s is utter shit, two are 32 and on £100m contracts and the other two plums haven’t actually kicked a ball but have take a few million already. Partey is unknown in the league.

    Arteta has not covered himself in glory at the moment.

    If Arsene had done this, we would have lost our penises.

  40. Ishola70

    It’s not about shouting.

    He clearly in certain matches drove the team forward.

    For a young player that is showing leadership on the pitch.

    I always thought he got far too much criticism and I think this was because people were forgetting how young he was due to the number of matches he was playing which for a youngster with no previous experience at the top level was a hell of a lot.

    If he can sort his head out and his attitude some club will have a good player on their books.

  41. Ishola70

    “As with all things if Guendozi is so good then why was there no interest in him during the window?”

    Would you be interested in him as a top club if you heard he was verbally abusive around the club to all and sundry?

    Guendouzi has to start over again and at a lower level than the top established clubs.

  42. Guns of Hackney

    For fuck sake

    “He’s young” wah wah wah.

    He’s a cunt. A spoilt little angry whatsit.

    He’s a pro. Period. He should act like one.

    He’s got a bit of Balotelli about him apart from the talent.

  43. Guns of Hackney


    I’ve been a manger in the real world. Not in football.

    No one wants 25 super stars but I think we all thought we would sign hungry young bucks who have a high ceiling as opposed to a few old duffers and lads that can’t get into the Southampton first team.

    Should we also forget the terrible Pepe signing?


  44. Valentin

    Last season, ASSE considered Saliba ready to play in the French FA Cup final against PSG, Neymar, Di Maria and MBappe, but now Arteta think that he is not ready to face Mitrovic, Watkins, Neil Maupay.

    Personally I smell BS. Arteta just does not fancy him.
    ‘If you want to kill your dog, accuse him of having rabies.’ (French proverb)

    Does anybody believe that Leicester will loan out Wesley Fofana or will they integrate him during the season?
    Yet Saliba who many in France considered as more advanced in his development than Fofana is deemed surplus and will be sent to Championship club.

  45. Marc


    I asked a question I think we all know the answer. Why some feel that there shouldn’t be disciplinary standards around the club is beyond me – in normal jobs you have that and it includes certain behavior outside of work.

  46. Ishola70


    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be certain standards and if he was acting up as reported then he is shown the door which is quite correct.

    But at the same time I can also say if he can sort his attitude and head out then he will be a good player and there is a chance he can get back to playing for one of the better clubs again. We don’t know if he can. He has time on his side for sure.

  47. Nelson


    There is a balance between short term and long term objective. I like your suggestion. But Arteta may lose his job if he couldn’t have immediate success.

  48. WengerEagle

    Fuck all going on in international week, absolute torture for football fans.

    Djokovic chance to cement himself as the GOAT tomorrow by beating Nadal on clay in a RG Final. Never been done before, also would be his second career slam [winning all 4 GS tourneys] which also has never been done in the modern era.

    If he does, don’t see what else Federer and Nadal fans can hold onto other than total GS titles, which he’ll pass probably within the next year.

  49. Northbanker


    Arteta didn’t sign Saliba – he was signed the previous summer 2019 about 6 months before MA arrived

    This was done by Raul

  50. TR7

    Need Rafa to win the final tomorrow, a golden opportunity to equal RF and to possibly be in the race to win the max GS otherwise Djoker will definitely surge ahead.

  51. Northbanker

    Good to see that Partey put in zero effort for Ghana last night. Saving himself for the City game – good lad

  52. Emiratesstroller

    Let me quantify my concern about Guendouzi which is not about his behaviour.

    I watched him play on a regular basis over last 2 seasons.

    1. He runs energetically around pitch for about 45 minutes and then his performance declines visibly in almost every game he plays if you allow him to stay on pitch.

    2. Physically despite his size he is not strong and is easily dispossessed. His recovery in that
    situation is extremely poor. I have watched many games where he falls to floor and then he either feigns injury or takes an age to get up and recover.

    3. There were at least two games last season where he cost us a goal or result because of 2
    above where he let the opponent take ball off him and failed to track back. I am not saying
    that he is unique in that respect, but in the position he plays that is a critical weakness.

    4. His stats do not demonstrate much creativity, assists or goal scoring potential. I am not
    suggesting that other central midfielders at club are better, but it applies to him.

    5. I am not clear what are exactly his so-called leadership qualities unless you consider that
    being fractious on the pitch is such an attribute?

  53. WengerEagle


    Yeah think that Djokovic still has 5 more Slam wins in him before he’s spent [relatively] compared to the new gen.

    So Rafa has to win tomorrow to stand a chance at finishing with the most, I’d like to see Nadal win a couple more off of Clay since it’s hard to argue GOAT status when 13 of his slams out of 20 have come at one tournament on one surface. 1-2 more US/Aussie/Wimbledon and imo he’d have a very strong GOAT claim.

    The new gen are getting a little better but tbh they still pale in comparison to Djoker and Nadal, even Fed too at 39 I’d be willing to bet beats any of them. Tsitsipas managed to steal a couple of sets yesterday off of Nole only to get absolutely walloped 6-1 in the 5th set.

    Thiem, Zverev, Medvedev, Tsitsipas might steal a couple of slams off of the big 3 before the pack it in but they still only as of now have 1 slam between the 4 of them [Thiem who is 27] and let’s be real, Djokovic would have beaten him were he not disqualified.

  54. Ishola70


    That you have already said that you have never seen Guendouzi show leadership on the pitch may point to some your complete bias in this matter.

    Where were you when Guendouzi almost single handedly drove Arsenal back into the match against Spurs at home a few seasons ago? Out of the country?

  55. Marc


    I think the issue with Guendozi is in his first season he showed some raw potential but just failed to push on and improve in his second season, the fact that he’s reported to be acting like he’s made it and giving it the big I am when he couldn’t displace the worst senior CM I can remember at the club shows a massive lack of self awareness and immaturity.

  56. TR7


    Thiem is not an elite talent, he wouldn’t have won his maiden GS if Djoker weren’t disqualified (As a Rafa fan I was happy to see him disqualified ). Zverev again not a champion material, will probably play a lot of SFs and finals, might even win a few once Rafa, Djoker and Fed all retire simply because of poor competition but yeah he is not quite up there.

    I have high hopes from Tsitsipas and Medevdev. These two are in my book the best players on the circuit outside of the big 3 and Stan Wawrinka. Can see them win numerous grand slams between them.

    Yeah. Nadal needs to win 1 more Aus Open and 1 Wimbledon so that he has at least 3 each of the other grand slams outside French Open. Currently too lopsided his overall number towards French Open.

  57. Marko

    Still on the Saliba stuff? Look it’s a question of preference and favoritism and right now Mikel favours the safe in Holding, Luiz and Mustafi as RCB’s I personally don’t agree with it because I think it’s extremely short sighted and I think that the players who are being preferred aren’t good enough and I we don’t fuck up on another potential great young player. Again next summer Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi are gone that’s a fact unless he’s stupid enough to offer new deals and potentially Holding and Chambers too because you know eventually someone at the club will realize that they’re not good enough right? Right??? So literally the long term future for us at CB is Gabriel and Saliba and for me it makes no sense to loan him out again given that this season should be his “transition” season and not next season. But it’s all irrelevant anyway it looks like Arteta trusts others instead. Like don’t get me wrong with Mikel there’s more positives than negatives and we’re on a good path I feel but some of the things he does gives me slight Wenger vibes if I’m honest and that’s a worry.

  58. Graham62

    GOAT is Federer. 100%.


    Because he plays within the rules, unlike Novak and Rafa.

    If rules were applied fairly he’d have won at least 3/4 more GS.

    No doubt about it.

  59. Raulishuss

    Everybody remember last season when Valentin kept telling us Emery was wrong in playing guen and he wasn’t good enough blah blah? Now he’s back defending guen because it suits his agenda to bash Mikel. Same Guy’s telling us now how playing in a cup final against ney etc with a club he is already well accustomed to is comparable to playing in the EPL week in week out. Seriously you guys just hate this club. I have never ever read anything positive from this val guy. Just constant complaints and shenanigans.

  60. englandsbest

    I doubt that Arteta really wants to send Saliba out on loan, but it’s the best he can do for the lad under the circumstances. He is obliged to reduce the size of his squad. Plus the other factors he mentioned, like injuries and – most of all – lack of playing time. Saliba is likely to get that at a lower division club.

  61. TR7


    I am a Rafa fan but have no qualms in admitting Fed will always be the GOAT even if Djoker and Rafa get past his tally of 20 GS.

  62. Marko

    Also before someone takes what I said about Mikel and comes at me with gnashing teeth like a rabid dog notice that I said positive things about Mikel and try to understand that it’s okay to be critical of him as well.

    Also fyi the Wenger vibes I get from him consist of playing people out of position, favouritism of certain types and it looks like he’s a bit of a hoarder of players that we should be selling as well as some in game decisions i.e late subs not reactive subs.

  63. S Asoa

    Raptors is right and wrong.
    Reg Guendouzi ,the guy expends a lot of energy going around. Very poor defensively and easily dispossessed. His redeming feature is a forward through ball. But tariea with the ball slowing down play
    Reg Saliba, Raptora has put up glowing assessments ,quite a few of when Saliba was much younger and might not indicate his current status . He has made only a single cameo appearance , not impressive, but understandable since new to team and how team mates respond on the ground.
    But then Arteta has often displayed poor man management and managerial maturity. He has been a Sancho Panza in that respect only. Should not have publicly informed Saliba perceived drawbacks. He undermines the player and devalues him.. One reason we been finding it difficult to sell players since Arteta been broadcasting views like an arsehole. Has to be diplomatic.. Maybe a bit of complex being a rookie manager

  64. raptora


    But many people are obviously unsure and concerned of Saliba’s future at Arsenal. And for a reason. Arteta has kicked out Guen, Torreira, benched Pepe and Lacazette, for the sake of Xhaka, Elneny, Nelson, Nketiah. Now he’s willing to play Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding and Chambers ahead of a 27m pound hugely talented CB, cause he “goes to ground too much” and is bad at set-pieces. Surely coachable aspects, no?

  65. Valentin


    Sorry that I did not drink to the fountain of Arteta’s cult. We cannot all dancing the Kumbaya and blindly accept every decisions by an Arsenal manager.

    Point where in my recent comments I praised Guendouzi?
    I write that he may be an arrogant prick off the pitch, but that confronting a petulant kid was not the way to do it. That’s hardly a compliment for Guendouzi. I have also not advocated of playing him, just not exiling him.

    I also stated that Guendouzi was poor under pressure and that he needed to adapt his game. I never doubted his leadership quality when properly channeled. There were games under Emery where he dragged us out of certain defeat. Guendouzi was named captain of the France U21 team because of his positive influence on the squad. Sylvain Ripoll, the France U21 manager is no mug and if he is able to put Guendouzi toward the right path, Arteta should be able to do.

    It is not about Guendouzi, it is about Arteta treatment of a player that he does not fancy.

    Same thing about Saliba. We are not talking about a player learning the game. This is about not playing the way Arteta wants him to play.. I am sorry but playing for a Championship club would not change that either. However playing in the lesser premiership games or the easy Cup competition games would be a lot more benedicial.

  66. Graham62


    Diversity has been great for the game but the onset of attritional -specifically double handed- tennis, has led to an uneven playing field in respect to rules.

    Think about it.

    Time between points, unnatural noise levels, questionable injury time outs etc.

  67. G8

    When your favourite is shit as kola or average as Nketiah and willock you have the right to question the manager even if he was Johan Cruyff!
    Doesn’t mean you don’t believe in the manager’s overall ability .
    Every rose has its thorn and all that

  68. Karsa

    Should not have publicly informed Saliba perceived drawbacks. He undermines the player and devalues him..

    S Asoa

    Have you got these quotes?

    I’ve only seen Arteta say that Saliba needs to make up for the time lost last season to injury and the French League being curtailed. I haven’y seen any drawbacks in his game attributed directly to Arteta.

  69. Paulinho

    Lots of similarites between Guendouzi and Iwobi. Both have a certain amount of base level talent that enables them to tread water at a high level, but the flipside is that their ceiling is incredibly low.

    Guendouzi’s whole schtick is ball-carry into that left-inside channel area thirty yards from goal, open up his body, and do the same ball into the box over and over again or play it square. The only time it worked as an assist was Aubameyang against Spurs. Against Villa, if that idiot defender didn’t touch him he was falling anyway. When did he he ever do that type of dribble when it was 0-0 and we actually needed some ‘leadership’ to maybe take the lead or something?
    It’s only a legitimate trait or attribute if you do it with some sort of consistency in all scenarios.

  70. Raulishuss

    Valentin guendouzi isn’t half as talented as he thinks. We can’t just engage him when others are towing the line of the manager how does that encourage the rest of the group. He isn’t even a guaranteed starter for us and he wants to throw tantrums? I say bin him until he matures. He won’t do that at Madrid or any top club

  71. TR7


    Although I agree with your point on double handed tennis but it’s still within rules of the game. But yes taking unfair advantage of time outs and bouncing the ball 40 odd times before serving are definitely not spostsmanship.

  72. Raulishuss

    Exactly paulinho. People act like guendouzi is this super talented kid that we must keep at all cost. Iwobi was a much much better player than this guy an we binned him ffs

  73. raptora

    It’s absurd to see problems in a player and instead of working with him closely for a full year with him, see if he improves under your tutelage and go from there, he so comfortably sends away, where he might or might not even watch him play. Is this the correct thing to do when 27m of our clubs money have been invested in the said player? Or how he halved the value of Guen and Torreira.

    But it’s fine. At least he has AMN, 2nd choice LB, 3rd choice RB and 20m down the drain.
    It’s fine. If we need more money we just gonna ring the owners for money.

    Pepe is the next one on the list. We would do well to receive a 30m offer if we wanted to sell him. Courtesy of Arteta playing Nelson and now Willian ahead of him.

    It’s all good if he was benching/ousting them for better players. But are the said players actually worse than Elneny, Willock, Nelson, Sokratis, Holding, Mustafi?

    Nketiah ahead of Lacazette is also a good one. Let’s see when he’ll finally pluck up courage to play Auba through the middle with Willian and Pepe on both sides.

  74. Paulinho

    What’s wrong with double-handed tennis? I agree it leads dull attritional tennis if everyone adopts it, but don’t see how it’s an unfair advantage.

  75. raptora

    It’s a ESPN piece.

    It’s as follows:
    Arteta’s growing stature at Arsenal
    Further signs that Mikel Arteta’s job title change from head coach to first-team manager was much more than mere symbolism can be found in William Saliba’s imminent departure on loan.

    The prospect of Arsenal shipping out a £27m defender 12 months after signing him and just a couple months into his assimilation into the first-team would have been unheard of at a club where every penny counts. Yet Saliba is set to join a Championship club before the Oct. 16 deadline — Watford and Brentford are among the possible destinations — as a result of Arteta’s assertion the centre-back is not ready for regular Premier League football.

    The deal to sign Saliba was struck during Unai Emery’s tenure but Arteta and his backroom staff believe the 19-year-old needs more time to develop despite impressing in Ligue 1. Sources told ESPN that they would like to see the Frenchman improve in defending set-pieces and mature in style, notably avoiding diving into tackles.

    He is still rated as a bright prospect, but Saliba is expected to be continue his development at another club as Arteta focuses on delivering immediate improvement. Arteta played an influential role in convincing owner Stan Kroenke to stump up the £45m to sign Thomas Partey on deadline day to aid him in that mission.

    Arteta may only be embarking on his first full season as a manager, but his importance to Arsenal cannot be underestimated. — James Olley

  76. raptora

    “The prospect of Arsenal shipping out a £27m defender 12 months after signing him and just a couple months into his assimilation into the first-team would have been unheard of at a club where every penny counts.”

    Right on the money. What if he devalues another talent’s price tag. He’s done it with Guen, Torreira, Pepe, Lacazette. He’s acting like we are Man City. He’s just gonna call Kroenke and ask for more money.

  77. WengerEagle

    How is double-handed backhand outside of the rules or an unfair advantage in Tennis?

    Like saying that the 3 point shot is an unfair advantage in Basketball and that Steph Curry has bent the rules to get to the elite level of the sport.


  78. Luteo Guenreira

    Yesterday Saliba may have foot issues even with no real evidence of it still being a problem. Today Guendouzi was a leader even though all reports and signs show him to be temperamental prat. And Pierre again with stellar reasoning as to why modern fans suck and why we should talk about players based only on what his eyes have decided.

    Gotta love the LeGrove faithful. A bunch of nuts. But you guys are my nuts. Stay warm and close ❤️

  79. Alex James

    Saliba joins the list of strange goings on at the club, since it moved to the Emirates. Beginning to believe the rumours about Spurs paying for a gypsy curse to be placed on the new stadium.

  80. Thorough

    Add Martinelli to the players Arteta doesn’t like. Before he got injured at a stage he didn’t even make the match day team.

    Chelsea vs Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, he was about to pull him out before Xhaka told him not to.

    I wonder if he’ll dump Partey if he has a rush of blood to the head.

    This is a manager whom nobody dared give a chance apart from us. He shouldn’t be rendering our assets redundant.

    Don’t even get me started with Torreira.

  81. Graham62


    I didn’t say hitting a DHB per se is outside the rules or an unfair advantage, what I was highlighting though was that since the onset of the DHB the dynamics and application of the rules of the game changed, for the most part, to the advantage.of those hitting a DHB.
    Those applying the rules have been far too lax or, should I say, too scared, to rock the boat.

    There’s playing within the rules Wenger but there’s also playing knowing you can bend the rules.

    Federer, as already highlighted, lost out on numerous occasions because rules were not applied.

  82. Thorough

    And whoever said Iwobi is more talented than Guendozi probably knows nothing about football. I’m Nigerian, watched Iwobi for club and country, idolized Jayjay his uncle, but even I am not deluded to think he has anything on Guen. Let’s stop justifying everything to plead Arteta’s case. He’s getting too many things wrong in a very short spate of time.

  83. Bamford10


    “Surely coachable aspects, no?”


    Arteta is clearly more focused at the moment on team organization and competing for 4th with the players he feels are already ready than on developing individual players.

    It is one thing to have the time and wherewithal to focus on an individual player’s development when you’re an assistant coach; it’s quite another thing to have the time and wherewithal for this when you’re the manager.

    That’s where we are, I think.

  84. Luteo Guenreira

    Iwobi’s production in an Arsenal shirt outpaces anything Guendouzi did with us. Also was sold for a good fee while Guen could barely be loaned out. Not saying he has more talent but end product is end product.

    Guendouzi hails from the French town of Poissy. It’s too easy of a joke.

  85. Luteo Guenreira

    Or maybe he just thinks consistently getting real game time will be more beneficial for his development. Heresy I know.

  86. Bamford10

    I’m not saying Arteta is right to think this way or right in his decision re Saliba, btw; I’m just describing what I think his thinking is and why he’s thinking this way.

  87. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s put aside opinions about Saliba’s potential as a CB and the transfer fee.

    We have recruited into squad this summer 2 young and inexperienced CBs and we are looking to build a solid and competent defensive unit whether we play 2 or 3 CBs at back.

    Do you take a risk and play both youngsters in the same team if you are not 100% certain that
    they are ready to play? The answer is clearly no. So Arteta has opted to keep Gabriel in the team but not Saliba.

    There are far too many people who post on here who like to talk constantly in negatives about Arteta’s judgment.

    Playing Saliba in a lower league in England is not a bad idea. Plenty of successful CBs have
    gone down that route. They learn how to toughen up and cope with being roughed up.

    Saliba will learn how to handle himself and also perhaps iron out weaknesses in his game.

  88. Useroz

    Saliba. No problem if Arteta is of the view that he should further develop before becoming a starting 11 or even sit on the. bench.

    But for fuck sake why Arteta saw fit to air dirty laundry so to speak to the press? Why??

    Just make arrangements with a Championship club and surely Afc PR could take care of a loan announcement. Deal with questions diplomatically then.

    As it is :

    * Saliba feels embarrassed, deservedly or not, going from a very sought after top CB talent in Europe to playing 2nd tier English football? If it were e you, would you thank Arteta or the club for securing a fucking brilliant learning opportunity @ the famous Brentford fc?? I thought Arteta was promoted to be the Manager? Manage man. Know what not to say.

    * With the current AFC financial strengths as we know it, if the loan or whatever didn’t work out, god forbids, market value of Saliba would plummet. Without this saga, we’d be able to recoup the frees in a couple of years.

    Covid-19 or not, haven’t we just witnessed the surprised level of interests and fees for Guendouzi ? I am no agent but it is business common sense to protect your assets and products to sustain market competitiveness and values Arteta did the exact opposite in the last 6 months or so in the case of Guendouzi I am not exonerating what allegedly Guendouzi has done buy equally has Arteta got too high talking to the press?

    Either way, the situation isn’t ideal as it is. The club may not be able to afford it, at least financially. It’s £27m!!

    After all, prima facie, I still couldn’t believe,, setting aside match fitness and usual adjustment to the PL, that Saliba is tangibly worse off than Holding, Chambers and Mustafi., and a loan to a championship team would be the best option available. Dont we have much better facilities and experts @ the club than a Championship club? Or the championship club has a damn good coach who far offsets the supporting infrastructure?

    Some here says defenders ate judged by his worst 10 games and i incline to agree. It’s like how worse he’d get. By this measure, i’d propose to loan out, in this order, Luiz, Chambers, Sok, and Mustafi to Watford before mid October!

    How many mistakes Luiz made just this season? Holding?

    Lost count of times Bellerin got skinned too.

  89. Pierre

    Not wishing to stir things up but Saliba could have possibly have been given game time in the league cup ties against 2nd string premier league sides..

    Let’s not forget that we have 6 Europa league ties and at least one more league cup tie in the next few months .

    So if we are talking about game time, right there is 9 games with the possibility of more league cup ties if we beat city.

    If he joins a championship club who’s doing well , there is no guarantee that he will be a regular starter if that team is doing well .

    Plus, taking into account that very rarely are centre backs used as substitutes unless there is an injury, then there is a strong possibility that game time will be limited.

    I’m afraid that it all points to Arteta not really fancying Saliba as a player at this present time ..

  90. raptora

    How could I forget Martinelli… Benched in favor of Nketiah, Nelson, Saka? Anyone I missed?
    Biggest impact benching of Martinelli? Being a sub against Olympiacos for 105 minutes (yes, he only got a chance in the ET), when we were so shit to oblivion. His 3 changes, before Martinelli being the 4th, were Torreira, Willock and Sokratis, in a game we were bossed around by the Greek team at the Emirates losing 0-1 since the 53rd minute, with our first shot on goal coming at the 77th minute.

    Martinelli, surprisingly or not, was in the box to fight for a cross that would bounce off him into Aubameyang for this spectacular scissors kick goal. The Brazilian added intensity and energy to a sleeping Arsenal team as he has done numerous amount of times. Sadly it wasn’t enough for him to play again in the season. Unused sub for 4 games in a row including the 2-1 loss to Brighton that hurts a bit when you know Arteta played Willock, Nelson and Nketiah but not Gabi.

    Now if you think about what the hell could Martinelli have done to be on Arteta’s black list when he is infinitely more gifted and talented player than the likes of Willock, Nelson and Nketiah, I’ve no idea. He’s not a bad boy as Guendouzi or bad at challenges and set-pieces like Saliba. Must be that he’s too humble and not a winner I guess. Or I guess he doesn’t fit the team somehow.