… and we’re back

by .

Here we are, back together, ready to indulge in some peak-Barclays viewing today.

So what can we expect away at Manchester City?

A tough game. Sorry to be very obvious here, but Manchester City are hurting at the moment and they really need to impose themselves back on the league.

First game back can go either way. It’s an advantage in one sense, because teams have only had a couple of training sessions to crack the code. The fact that they don’t have KDB and a striker of note is also a big win for us.

Arteta has his side on better paper form, but really, we haven’t blown a game out the park so far this season. This would be a nice one to execute a sound plan really well.

Again, I wouldn’t be expecting us to express ourselves. We’re going to take our chances on the break, we’ll test their centre backs, and we’ll try and play very patiently.

The key is always defence. If David Luiz starts, you’ll know within 6 minutes which one showed up. We can’t have it be the Luiz who came on last time and had one of the worst performances of the season. We need the towering leader of a defender that took us to an FA Cup final win.

It’ll also be interesting to see how tempted the manager is to use Thomas Partey. Suspicion says it’s too early and he’ll go with Xhaka and Ceballos. Hopefully, he’ll see some minutes off the bench.

Nicolas Pepe, on form, could be interesting today. He lit up the last game with his energy and quick passing. Question is, does the manager really trust him? If we’re to have any sort of free-flowing football this year, it’ll likely have to include him. We know he has it in him to be world-class, we just don’t see it often enough.

I don’t have lot to offer today, but we’ll be back with a podcast and a match report tomorrow.


1,210 Responses to “… and we’re back”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Upstate Gooner

    Nothing about Everton/Pool game, Pedro? Still think we made a smart choice passing on Ancelotti and rolling with your golden boy Arteta?

  2. Leftfootcurler

    Personally I would put Partey in directly.
    Yes he hasn’t had much training with this squad but unless there are fitness issues he should play.
    His quality will have a bigger impact on the game than other options despite not yet learning about Arteta’s patterns of play and his team mates’s attributes yet.

    Would go with Elneny-Partey myself.

  3. Upstate Gooner

    Xhaka/Elneny – LOL. We could’ve had Allan/Doucoure instead. And a proper manager. Everton are a decent keeper away from actually challenging for the title, IMHO. Arsenal? We still need three more players. And a clear identity.

  4. Luteo Guenreira

    If Torreira who was never getting game time with us is fit enough to start for Atleti…..granted we’re in the big bad Prem but Partey should be starting right away.

  5. Upstate Gooner

    LOL. Indeed, Sid, indeed. Thing is, I don’t mind parking the bus against proper attacking/pressing sides. But if we play like we did against Sheffield United, especially in the first half, it’s gonna be a long season.

  6. China1

    I don’t normally follow the women’s PL but let’s take a moment to admire this stat

    Arsenal ladies this season

    Played 4
    Points 12
    GD 20 <—-SAVAGE LOL

  7. Pedro

    Upstate, showering praise on that Everton performance that saw them ship 22 attempts at their goal and get extremely lucky with the offside and the Pickford horror challenge is very on brand for you.

    If that were Arsenal (who have beaten Liverpool 3 out of the last 4 times), you’d be on here crying that Villa put 7 past them and we should sack Arteta.

    Having average views on football is your illness.

  8. China1

    The best part is they either got 4 clean sheets and scored 20 goals which is frankly nuts – or they conceded in which case scored even more LOL

    Arsenal ladies are savage. Gotta be rolling with the old ‘everyone has asthma and needs an inhaler’ or all of them were midgets but on a constant supply of growth steroids trick

  9. Bamford10


    “hipster park the bus”

    That’s actually pretty funny.


    Wow, here I thought you were just a blinkered Ozil fan-boy. Turns out you intend to be an Arteta-is-not-a-real-manager antagonist of Pete’s here. Interesting direction to take.

  10. Receding Hairline

    Pedro we didn’t “beat” Liverpool 3 out of 4 times. 2 of those games ended in regulation time draws and went straight to penalties. One was in the charity shield, the other in a cup many don’t mind seeing scrapped.

    I am all for bigging up the work Arteta is doing but this beat Liverpool 3 out of 4 times thing doesn’t exactly tell the whole story.

  11. Marc

    “If that were Arsenal (who have beaten Liverpool 3 out of the last 4 times)”

    League Cup couple of weeks ago and at home in the PL late last season – what was the other one?

  12. Pedro

    RH, I am pretty sure the records will show that we won.

    You are absolutely not all for bigging up the work of Arteta.

  13. China1

    Receding we did beat Liverpool in those games lol

    Since when do penalties not count????

    Liverpool couldn’t beat us over regular time in those games and were inferior in penalties.

    If losing at penalty shootouts doesn’t count does that mean England haven’t yet been knocked out of most international competitions??? Lol

  14. Luteo Guenreira

    Ugh people from upstate New York are the worst though. Basically Kentuckians masquerading as New Yorkers.

  15. Receding Hairline

    As for Everton getting out shot against Liverpool well that is expected when u don’t camp in your own half. They both created 3 big chances and the shots that count, the ones on target was 5-8. Not exactly shocking against a team many call “the best in Europe” when we play them.

  16. Pedro

    RH, Liverpool had 58% of the ball and had 22 attempts at Everton’s goal. They got away with a late disallowed goal, and should have had their keeper sent off.

    ‘Sticking it to the big boys’ is not really that accurate. Liverpool are literally at their lowest ebb in 3 years after that Villa result.

  17. Receding Hairline

    China yes same way Liverpool couldn’t beat Everton over 90, difference is it didn’t go straight to penalties and we were out shot in all four games.

    So mocking Everton for getting out shot is kind of weird.

  18. China1

    I’d love to know if we asked the Germans after they beat us on penalties at euro 96 if they felt the win didn’t really count because it wasn’t won in normal time

    Also watch the long interview Klopp have after the league cup defeat and tell me he didn’t care. He was incredibly disappointed and openly so.

    There’s plenty of room for arteta to improve us, but his record against Liverpool is brilliant.

  19. China1

    Receding being out shot alone isn’t a serious measure of a match.

    As well, that’s a league game, ofc there were no penalties. What’s not to get?

  20. Upstate Gooner

    All I know is that we got our arses handed to us in the only game this season when we came against a decent side. If Villa and Everton can get a result, why can’t we? I guess let’s wait and see how we fair today. Can we do a Leicester and score 5? Surely we can with such stellar squad and manager.

  21. China1

    Receding the rules of knockout competitions and there to be seen and fair for both teams. If you can’t beat a team over 90 minutes and lose in penalties, you need to take the L because it’s completely legitimate. It’s really that simple

  22. China1

    Yes receding and Wengers arsenal circa 10 years ago would frequently have similar or better stats and come away with draws and defeats from games because we didn’t actually score enough goals to win – which is how you win games.

    There are no trophies for number of shots.

  23. Receding Hairline

    China I should be asking you that question. Anyways if being out shot isn’t a true measure of the game why is it being presented as evidence Everton were lucky.

    Which team do you think performed better against Liverpool? Arsenal or Everton? Let’s not mention Villa who actually beat them in the 90.

  24. raptora

    Truth be told Arsenal we were one good strike from Lacazette to grabbing a point at Anfield with their best 11 squad with Alisson and VvD in the team. Alisson and VvD injury is basically what was the difference maker for Liverpool between a 4th place and an EPL winners.

  25. Pedro

    RH, arguing the merits of whether you can count a win as a win is why you irritate people.

    Upstate, I think most people will be quite happy if we can take a point or nick the game 1-0.

    Analysing football through the lens of freak results, and complaining we’re not getting the exact same freak results isn’t the sharpest way to assess football.

  26. China1

    I didn’t watch the game so I don’t know who outplayed who. But simply taking shots is just a stat it doesn’t tell you if you played well.

  27. GunnerDNA

    Pepe needs to be in the starting lineup today, there should be no excuse for another terrible Arsenal performance.

  28. Pedro

    ‘Truth be told Arsenal we were one good strike from Lacazette to grabbing a point at Anfield with their best 11 squad with Alisson and VvD in the team. ‘

    Yeah, not sure anyone paying attention to the Liverpool game would have said we had our arses handed to us. We played to our strengths and sharper finishing would have seen a much tighter game.

    Same gameplan today, no doubt.

  29. Receding Hairline

    Lampard is responsible for all Kepa’s blunders going forward. He must not play him, he now has an option.

    Just like I will be pissed off of Tierney isn’t available and Kolasinac is allowed on the team bus.

  30. China1

    And receding it doesn’t address my point – we ‘outplayed my teams in every stat (apart from goals) relentlessly for most of a decade after the invincibles and half the time it meant fuck all because we didn’t win enough games.

    Unless you would say all those games we dominated but didn’t win (literally 80% of all games we dropped points in back in the day) also didn’t count?

  31. Pierre

    James i like , he has excellent technique , is intelligent, a great weight of pass , can make himself half a yard of space with a drop of the shoulder, a cultured left foot , never looks rushed , a nice deception in his passing, 9 times out of ten will make the correct choice and he has a manager that trusts him….

    A quality footballer.

  32. Receding Hairline

    Speak for yourself Pedro, I don’t irritate people unless you count as more than one person.

    You jumped in with shots faced as way to devalue Everton’s performance without checking to see how we fared in that department when we played them. If the realization we didn’t fare better irritates you that’s on you not me.

  33. Upstate Gooner

    Nick a result? No KdB. No Jesus and probably no Aguero. One of the worst defenses in the league. We should be beating this City side at least by 3-1. And serious questions should be asked of Arteta if we get nothing from this game, and especially if the performance will be as bland as it was against Sheffield United.

  34. Calypso

    “Has forgotten about the Charity Shield.It’s not a real Trophy.”

    Do you think the League Cup and FA Cup are real trophies with so many teams making changes

  35. Pedro

    Upstate, I don’t think serious questions will be asked of Arteta if we don’t beat City 3-1 away from home.

    Arsenal not doing exactly as you want isn’t going to be a call to arms against a manager everyone likes and rates.

  36. Pedro

    Weird, that we’re sitting here before a game with people who are excitedly gearing up for what happens if we lose.

    What the fuck is wrong with some fans?

  37. Upstate Gooner

    Ugh people from upstate New York are the worst though. Basically Kentuckians masquerading as New Yorkers.

    Thanks, Luteo, I had a chuckle.

  38. Marc

    I said last season that the teams we were competing with all had issues. This season it seems even more the case.

    Have a feeling it’s going to be a really strange season with a lot of surprises thrown up.

  39. GunnerDNA


    “GunnerDNA, no excuse for a bad performance against one of the best teams in the world away from home?”

    You seems to know everything so why did you miss the reports on the City players who aren’t available? Is Liecester and Leeds better team than City? Every comment you think will question MA actions you take offence to it, what’s your problem?

  40. Bamford10


    So you know, you don’t irritate me at all. The opposite. You are one of the more reasonable, fair-minded, civil and grounded posters here. Keep doing your thing.

  41. Nelson

    Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Saka, Xhaka, Ceballos, Willian, Aubameyang, Pepe.

    Subs: Runarsson, Luiz, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Partey, Nketiah, Lacazette

  42. Pedro

    Upstate, playing against better players tends to.

    Be a supporter and stop whining.

    Some big moves in that setup… Auba in the middle.

  43. Frost

    Xhaka aside. Love that formation. Arteta is learning.

    Willian Auba Pepe front 3.

    With young Saka in to do what young Saka does. Let’s hit em!

  44. Marc

    Interesting line up – would have loved to see Partey start but didn’t expect it.

    I do need to ask thought Pedro – if AMN isn’t used for matches like this why did we turn down 20 odd million for him earlier in the season?

  45. Pedro

    Raptora, not sure Arteta is has Auba through the middle as a strategy to prove Twitter wrong.

    Upstate, you are bringing the tone of the day down. Sort yourself out or go and blog on reddit.

  46. Leftfootcurler

    Arteta playing Willian-auba-pepe is interesting.

    Both Arteta and Emery avoided playing “functional” front 3s because in this squad such a front 3 lacks goals.

    How improved Pepe is, would be interesting to see.
    He clearly needs to bulk up more but his positioning and his runs would be interesting to see

  47. Pedro

    Marc, I’d be inclined to keep a player that can pocket Mahrez and Traore. Also, you’d flog someone with that much sauce with penalties?

  48. raptora

    Wolves had a 15m offer turned down. It was obvious the deal was going to close at 20m, you always lowball your first offer. Arteta straight away cancelled their approach, told them AMN is not for sale and they bought another guy. If we wanted to, we’d have 20m in the bank. It’s clear as day.

  49. grooveydaddy

    Our last 3 league games at home video Liverpool –

    Wenger 3-3
    Emery 1-1
    Arteta 2-1

    Why should Ancelloti be getting any sort of praise for a fortunate draw when our last 3 managers have equalled or bettered that?

  50. China1

    Besides partey (understandable) this is pretty much our best 11 give or take.

    Interesting choice leaving Luiz out and auba as a 9… very exciting I just ducking hope it pays off

  51. Vickingz

    What has willian offered arteta? He will defo disappear again in today’s match. Dunno why we keep shooting ourselves in the leg with stupid selections

  52. Left Testicle

    The club is supposed to have this big vision but Arteta and Edu keep doing strange things and contradicting themselves.

  53. raptora

    Do you think we were going for both Thomas and Aouar or it was one of them the whole time with Thomas being 2nd choice? If we were going for both, AMN’s money would have surely helped pay the 3m fee Aouar’s camp wanted.

  54. Upstate Gooner

    Oh, I’m pumped for the game, Peds. Just hoping for a good performance from the boys and a smart game plan from Arteta. But if I see the same shit I did against Sheffield United, I’m bringing a pitchfork and screaming for blood.

  55. Radio Raheem

    Gabriel allows us to play 4 at the back so wouldn’t surprise me if we play 4-2-3-1 from the start or at some point today

  56. Pedro

    Raptora, I think Aouar was the primary choice… we’d have gone for both IF Atleti would have accepted a swap deal… which they were adamant they did not want to do.

  57. Upstate Gooner

    Groovey, because people want Arteta to fail. So boring.

    Wait, I thought he was admired and loved by Everyone.

  58. China1

    Damn I’m nervous. I think everything is in place that we can win this game but my heart tells me it’s going to be a bad day at the office and we’ll lose badly.

    But my predications are always wrong so WERE WINNING BIG TODAY LADDOS AND LADETTES

  59. Pedro

    Upstate, there’s a collection of people, on here, that would be very happy to see it go wrong.

    You’ll see after the game if it goes wrong.

  60. Left Testicle

    I didn’t want Soares but why did we buy him to just stick in the u23s?
    Why pay £27m for Saliba just to look to loan out for 2 years?
    We were supposed to after Partey for seven months- so why did we risk losing him by only getting the deal over the line with five minutes to go?

  61. Rich


    I was thinking the same, City’s back line can be got at.

    Willian on the right, Pepe down the middle.

    Dias in for a baptism of fire on his City debut

    It’s a big nod for Gabriel today, hopefully the young lad stands up to the test.

    How good is it going into an away game against a big 6 opposite with a little bit of hope?

    City away over the past decade and I’m usually resigned to accepting zero points.

  62. Buzzy

    fantastic lineup…barring Partey, this is our strongest line up..I’m glad Arteta has realized Auba has to play in the centre….No Nkiteah/Laca BS….We’re goning to win this!

  63. Pedro

    Left, he 100% wanted both…. but Aouar’s agents made it impossible in the end… and Atelti not accepting a swap also made it tough to get both.

  64. China1

    Was it city away when Walcott was sent through on goal and he jumped over the ball?

    Absolutely next level Wally bants that was. Not at the time ofc. I nearly shat my pants in anger when it happened

  65. Marko

    Good attacking line up. Holding continues to be a head scratcher but starting with Auba centrally and Willian, Pepe and Saka is the kind of ambitious line up that we want to see going forward

  66. Receding Hairline

    “You will see after the game if it goes wrong”

    Are fans not supposed to criticize a bad performance any more? I’m sure if we play well and lose no one would be that bothered all things considered. If we play badly though fans are well within their rights to have a criticism or two

    Not everything is about loving Arteta

  67. Buzzy

    3-0 to Arsenal tonight… I’m that confident after seeing the line-up..Auba playing through the centre will see us dominating this game… Haven’t felt this optimistic in a big game for quite a whole!

  68. Bamford10


    Well, if we play as we did in the last match, it’s a 343 (or 5-2-3) when we’re defending and a 433 when we have the ball. Saka was deployed as a wingback when we didn’t have the ball, but he would tuck centrally and play like a third central midfielder when we did. It’s flexible. It shifts.

  69. Radio Raheem


    We played with a back 4 last match. No formation is static so players will quite naturally or by instruction fill in into positions when required.

  70. Rich

    I love Saka, but surprised we didn’t go with the right footed Niles to try and stop Mahrez cutting in on his left.

    Niles is so good 1 v 1