New kids added to Europa mixer!

by .

Today is KILLING me. It’s like a last 16 game in the Europa League, you’ve been 2-0 down all game, you pulled the game back with an own goal and a deflected shot… now you’re praying extra time will see the win over the line.

This is painful.

Let’s dive into some escapism with FOOTBALL.

Mikel Arteta said he was ‘fed up’ with the situation of William Saliba. I suspect he’s quite miffed there’s so much attention focused on someone who isn’t playing, again. When it’s Mesut Ozil, I can understand the fascination, when it’s a 19-year-old centre back the press are wondering about, it starts to get a bit boring.

Firstly, we’re pretty good at defending. There’s no need to wonder if we should be taking a risk on a player the coaching staff has deemed not ready. Secondly, he’s 19 years old, he is just a kid, there’s a long career ahead of him, he’ll be just fine.

If I’m reading between the lines, the problem actually sounds like they couldn’t find a club for him that matched where he is in his career. Going back to St Etienne for another season seems regressive, he probably doesn’t fancy Championship football, and I would say with certainty that most Premier League coaches would have the same worries about having him with them.

Arsenal has added Zane Monlouis and midfielders Omari Giraud-Hutchinson and Charlie Patino to their Europa squad. Not sure they’ll start, but it’s great to have some new names in contention.

My hope for tomorrow is that we see Joe Willock put in another good shift. Arteta said what we all think, namely that he has some special qualities we lack. The problem for Joe is that it is very rare that we see him do it in the games that matter. Still, another run-out, another shift, and maybe he’ll earn a chance in a Premier League game.

I’m also keeping them crossed that we see Smith-Rowe play some minutes. There’s a lot of hope riding on his abilities. We know he has a lot of energy, his passing is fast, and he can be a bit of an all-action hero. The question, as always, is can he do it on a rainy night in the Europa?

David Luiz might have to. He’s back in contention. Arteta clearly loves the Brazilian, but I am hoping that we’re going to see the slow phasing out of him as we move through the season. Aash made the point on the podcast… there’s a difference in confidence when you go into a game without the players that make big errors on the regular. Luiz is a beast of a player, but he is a box of chocolates player.

Two other Brazilians we won’t be seeing for a bit. Gabriel Martinelli won’t be back until next year. We just have to deal with that and imagine how exciting our frontline will be if he comes back strong. Pablo Mari (not Brazilian, but played there, so maybe?) is also out again. He suffered another setback on his return to the starting 11. I’m interested to know whether he’s a good player, or another of Raul’s special, special deals.

Right, short post today, I’m brutally hungover. See you in the comments. x

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159 Responses to “New kids added to Europa mixer!”

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  1. Aussie+Gooner

    I know that many Americans are obsessed with ‘commies’ but in truth there has never been a Communist state or Country on our planet to date. If you don’t believe me read – The Communist Manaifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

  2. Aussie+Gooner

    Can someone please tell us the truth about Saliba? This is just a saga now!!!!!!

    “Mikel Arteta has admitted that William Saliba could leave Arsenal on loan in the January transfer window after making a poor start to his Gunners career. A loan spell with boyhood club Saint-Etienne fell through late in the summer transfer window and Arteta, who is “fed up” with the situation, admits a spell away could be on the cards.

    “I am fed up with the situation because as you could see we tried to find a way in the last few days [of the transfer window] to give him some football.

    The French teenager was signed last summer and was expected to be a regular starter in defence this term but is yet to play a single minute and was even left out of the club’s Europa League squad. Saliba’s struggles are provided an extra layer of context by the excellence of another former St Etienne defender, Wesley Fofana, who has excelled at Leicester City. However, Eurosport France’s Vincent Bregevin insists both are top prospects.

    “Saliba proved himself as a great defender in Ligue 1, so his lack of playing time is a surprise,” begins Eurosport France’s Bregevin. “It is not surprising that Wesley Fofana is performing so well at Leicester, but, of the two, Saliba had the more hype. Both are great prospects, with Saliba just shading it.”

  3. DivineSherlock


    Your analysis of India would’ve been right if it was made before 2012-14 . Right now the country’s a mess , populated by RW . whats worse is RW prime minister is on his second term and might probably win third term in 2024.

  4. Habesha Gooner

    So glad that Biden is close to winning. The mail in ballots really made a difference. If he edges ahead in Pennsylvania, Its over. Same with if he gets both Arizona and Nevada.

    Anyway back to football. I understand his need to fix from the back. It is actually reasonable. But we have enough quality to take more risks against lower opposition. We need one of our midfielders to break lines and move forward. They need to pass vertically too. That doesnt mean we stop being efficient defensively. It means we create more against weak opposition.

  5. Pierre

    “What I do know is that he is currently not good enough to play for the first team. If he was
    the Manager would have selected him to at least sit on the bench.”

    You sound like an Arteta disciple , there are a few on here like pedro, charlie , Jamie, rich , who believe he can do no wrong and every decision he makes must be right, just becaise it’s Arteta.

    You say you know Saliba isn’t good enough because the manager hasn’t selected him…

    His former team mate in France, Fofana now at Leicester is playing superb and he was regarded as inferior to Saliba, yet he is obviously good enough.

    There are many instances of poor decision making by Arteta and the list is growing.
    If you or Arteta do not think that Saliba is not good enough for the Europa league then we have either bought a dud or Arteta’s ( and your) judgement should be called into question.

    I prefer my stance , compliment him on his successes, and there have been many since he arrived , and question his poor decisions.

    In that way you can give a balanced view instead of leaning too far one way or the other.
    Sometimes it’s just better to admit that he cocked it up instead of defending the indefensible, which Arteta’s disciples are inclined to do.

  6. DivineSherlock


    It would make sense the reasons that Arteta gave . He has not yet lied to us , he has been honest about everything . Your feelings have been hurt since he has binned your fav player . You fail to view objectively his decisions , blinded by hatred.