Crazy Premier League stat Arsenal fans should focus on (long read)

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Sorry, I missed a post yesterday because I’ve been sucked into the International Break Boretex.

Let’s start with Auba. Toni faaacking Kroos having a pop about his celebration masks? How dare he. What a joyless curmudgeon. I hope he apologises. Bagging on a fellow pro like that isn’t cool, especially as the celebration is for his kids.

Onto more pressing matters…

It’s been an absolute pleasure reading through all the comments telling me I’m a double melt on toast because of Arteta. I find the noise quite incredible if I’m honest. We’ve had rough start to the season… but, I have a stat for you… we are 6 points off first in November. You would think the season is over judging by some of the hit pieces out.

I’ve seen ‘ARTETA LOST THE PLOT ON X DATE’, I’ve seen people listing out new managers they like, and I’ve seen the reemergence of the Emeryrista crying about how badly he was treated.

People, form is temporary. Just because we’ve had a rough run of games, it doesn’t mean that is our season forever. Just because we’re not creating now, it doesn’t mean that is our lot this year. This is football my friends and everything can be fixed if you have good energy, elite thinking, and a bit of patience.

Who remembers 1997-98? We lost 4 games in 6 in November/December. We were out of the title race. Then the team had a legendary meeting where the senior players laid down the law. Then we went on a magical run and won the league. However, it wasn’t easy, we were 12 points off United in FEBRUARY. Can you imagine the bet-wetters on Twitter back then?

‘Arsene WHO? Should go back in for Bobby Robson’




‘Can you beleive we sold John Hartson? Anelka is a wasteman’

Arteta has big problems, no doubt, but he’s had them all year. The crux of his issues for me centre on one fatal flaw of his early tenure: too much trust in senior players.

Willian looks like a bad investment. Arteta thought he was signing a 32-year-old who’d give him 3 years at the top. So far, it looks like we’ve made another fatal error and brought in someone on a Kia retirement deal. That can change though and I hope it will.

Lacazette was kept at Arsenal despite a sizeable offer from Roma in the summer. That, without doubt, has been the biggest mistake of Arteta’s Arsenal career so far. Someone was actually willing to pick up his huge salary and pay a fee, and we passed, presumably because we didn’t think reinvesting that in someone like Daka or Edouard was smart. BIG error. Even bigger that we put him through the middle. If you have Auba picking up his chances, we’re not 6 points from top, we’re maybe 3. That mistake needs to be rectified.

Also, Granit Xhaka. He was the go-to, but now, it seems like that error has probably been sorted long term.

Mikel needs to move things forward. He needs to position Auba where he’ll land chances. He needs to make sure his wide players are picking up the ball quickly and in areas where they can run at teams. He needs to explore what it is the play through the middle.

We need to be a provocative team. That requires confidence, the right players, and a new attitude going into the next three games.

Beat Wolves, Leeds and Spurs and we’re popping out the Birra Morretti’s and Paprika Pringles.

Arseblog nailed it yesterday in his piece about the moment and how fans deal with not knowing everything. I am game to speculate, always, but doubling down on every decision with things like NONSENSICAL or BAFFLING when you have most of the information is a bit dramatic and weird. Even if you don’t have all the information, trust that the decision was made in good faith, especially if there’s no evidence to suggest there’s something nefarious going on.

Mesut Ozil was his teammate, if he’s out the squad, it’s for the best. You don’t pick players based on Youtube videos. If we sold Emi, it was based on evidence in training and a small sample size. I didn’t like it, but the decision was made for the right reasons. If Pepe isn’t getting a run, there’s a thought behind it, have we learned nothing after we bullied Emery into showing us why managers should make decisions, not fans (that is me taking the blame here)?

Take Saliba as an example. Arsenal fans are spitting feathers that a 19-year-old isn’t in the squad. The manager in so many words has said his body isn’t ready, he’s not mentally available after the death of his mother (Kike Marin says he has now lost both parents), and he doesn’t speak English.

Arsenal fans won’t have it. @GiantGooner on Twitter laid out the reality with teenage centre backs. Before Fofana, only one teenage centre back had managed more than 300 minutes of Premier League football in 4 seasons. In Ligue One, 9 U20 centre backs managed over 600 minutes. Why? Because the league is less competitive. That’s why they grow more players, because it’s easier to land minutes younger. Is it fair to criticise that we didn’t find him a club? Yes. That seems like a pretty bad miss. Saliba started preseason early. It’s very odd that we didn’t do a deal and a bit sloppy.

Back to the player.

Arteta is protecting Saliba, not punishing him. Arsenal think there’s a future, which is why we didn’t sell him to Milan (another slow league). He’ll play in our first team. But butchering him during his formative years isn’t what he needs right now. A totally sensible decision flayed in the Twitter Townsquare.

Most decisions Arteta makes have a logical thought behind them. This isn’t Emery playing Torreira at #10 here. He plays his more experienced players because he assumes that experience equates to ‘better’ in decisive moments in a fine margins setup. Guess what, Jose does EXACTLY the same things and he’s won a lot of trophies doing it that way. Arteta plays Auba out wide because he isn’t great holding the ball up. He picks Rob Holding over Saliba because one is 24 and has won 2 FA Cups, the other has barely 17 appearances in a slow league. He doesn’t play Pepe because he’s been shite.

Everyone seems to have the answers. Even for replacement managers. Allegri is my absolute fave. Some Arsenal fans think a defensive-minded manager is going to come to this club and unlock elite attacking football with these same players. A coach that has been at Milan and Juve. Someone that would cost £15m a year . A manager deemed too arrogant. A guy who would want £150m to spend. A manager NO club has been near.

We do not have the money for any of those agenda items. We cannot afford Poch, we cannot afford Nagelsmann, and we don’t have the players for any of them.

A few weeks ago everyone was calling Frank Lampard a fraud because he has struggled to organise a defence, now he’s kept 5 clean sheets in 6 with 5 victories in a row and no one is calling him a wide boy amateur. Where has his £250m landed him in the league? 2 points ahead of Arsenal.

Keeping the faith is all we have.

Arteta is here for the longterm. He won an FA Cup in his first season. He has gone a long way to fixing our defence. He’s made some pretty decent signings. He broke our 6 year away record against top 6 sides. He has made us competitive against ALL top sides. He won the Community Shield. He is SIX points off top in November.

The season is long my friends. We’ll have moments that aren’t ideal. There will be bumps in the road, but we’ll make it back to the top.

David Ornstein says the summer planning process is underway. The dross we have accrued over the last 10 years will finally exit the club and we should have a BIG fucking party when it happens. We’ll sell players that have let us down because Arteta will learn his lesson this season. The market will also open up because fans will be back next season. Aouar. Dom Szoboszlai. Our young players will get better and better, we might even meet some new one’s (Möller, please be good). Gabriel will come back and give us a new flavour. Players out of form will find it. The process will power to the next phase: balance.

Form is temporary my friends, so now let’s see if we can find that Arsenal class we know is permanent.

534 Responses to “Crazy Premier League stat Arsenal fans should focus on (long read)”

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  1. Jamie

    Good piece today. Lot’s of hysterics on the yesterday’s about Saliba and demanding explanations for Arteta “bullshitting” the supporters.

    p.s. DM’s record is in the 60s, no?

  2. Up 4 grabs now

    Good post pedro,
    But its tinged with a lot of hope. Yes were six points from top in November.
    You remember November, every year when we die on our arse and have a nightmare.
    Every year is almost the same. I’m betting we wont be six points off the top by the time we’ve played the spuddies. We certainly wont be closer.

    The next three games will go along way to see if arteta can keep the fans on side.
    He’s lost some already and plenty more are on the brink of thinking its false dawn time again.
    Leeds wont be a push over, neither will wolves, and that’s before we go to the spuds.

    97-98 was twenty plus years ago.
    It’s a different age a completely different era, there was us and man United only, we arent in a two horse race now.
    Hell we aren’t even competing at the moment.

    We also had wenger in the glory years, we had a team of players who were top quality, we had paddy Vieira, ian wright Dennis freaking bergkamp, Tony Adam’s, the back four, one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

    We are so far away from all that.
    Arteta needs time and money, something we dont have.

    We arent going for a title anymore were struggling to clamber back into the top four.

    Some of his decisions are outlandish, he might be protecting saliba, but he should have been good enough to be in the Europa squad even if it was to sit on the bench and get 10 minutes here and there against the dregs of europe.

    We all think we could be managers, but when you see some of the decisions being made at our club you have to wonder if he is the best person for the job?
    I still back him but dont be surprised if he is moved on if were sat in eigth again at the end of the season.

    Also one last point, Emery wasnt perfect, and wasnt the right man for the job, and once he lost the players he had to go.
    but compare the records between him and arteta and dont forget arteta has a lot more power and say in transfers.
    Emery was no mug, I backed him till it was obvious it was time to move him on, and I’ll do the same with arteta, and the next person after him.

    The club is bigger than any one player or manager, the club is the fans.

  3. Up 4 grabs now


    My apologies, 71 that must have been a slow news day!
    I bet bankz wasnt happy.

    Where is your partner in crime by the way?
    Haven’t seen him on here in ages.

  4. Graham62

    Lovely post Pedro.

    It exudes positivity.

    One thing. Lampard knew that Kepa was not the answer. Since Mendy took over, Bobs your uncle, it’s all looking good.

    We did the opposite. Actually, let me rephrase that, Arteta did the opposite. By doing what he did, he promoted to all and sundry that he doesn’t respect loyalty. On top of that it shows he lacks judgement. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise.

    Ever since this ludicrous decision, we’ve gone backwards.

    You can polish things up as much as you like but when you see something like this happening, you can only imagine what affect it had on the players.

  5. Up 4 grabs now

    Dm, you have a few new pretenders to the crown now for 4th place.
    Always made me laugh you two going at it hammer and tongs!
    Yeah hope he’s ok?

  6. China1

    Pedro I’m by no means arteta out, however I recall you going in two footed on emery even during his winning phase because ‘xG is going to kill us down the line’. If Xg was always going to kill emery then it will always kill Arteta unless he makes some *significant* changes.

    You were not talking up emery’s early arsenal as a great fine margins team you were finding fault with everything that wasn’t perfect.

  7. Up 4 grabs now

    Haven’t seen N5 for a long time,
    Gambon made a guest appearance the other week.
    Nice to see radio raheem back and a few other old timers.
    Just need kwik back now with some pictures of lovely ladies and it be like old times.

    Wanting the manager out, complaining about stan, ozil being a lazy bugger and the fact we need to move on the dead wood.

    The more things change the more they stay the same!

  8. Batistuta

    Don’t think anyone’s worried about points or anything like that. What is alarming people is the fact that we’ve not looked convincing at all asides one game

  9. Batistuta

    We were bombarded with xg and all sorts when we started well a season or two so don’t really think it’s an over exaggeration when people are worried about how badly we’re playing

  10. China1

    Also Pedro I know you’re trying to be positive which is nice and fair enough, but you can’t expect everyone to just ‘have faith’ in every decision the club makes now being based on sound reasoning as if we have proven this to be a well run club at all. History of the last 10 years has demonstrated time and time again that we are a very poorly run team on and off the pitch. Things keep changing but the above has always remained true. We all want arteta to be a success and people do need to give him more time, but having faith that all our odd decisions must be for the right reason is a mugs game with arsenal because most of the time we just make mistake after mistake.

  11. Up 4 grabs now

    If we are playing well but losing you can kinda live with it for awhile.
    Luck’s against you and all that.

    But when the performances are bad, no creativity, no goals not even pretty football, you question everything. And apart from the fulham game it’s been pretty rancid.

    We beat a shite United side with a penalty, yes great to beat the away day hoodoo. But put it into perspective.

    We should have lost to west ham, we should have dropped points against Sheffield united. We had huge luck in those games.
    Leicester and villa beat us, if we were 5 points worse off which is the west ham and Sheffield games we would be in 15th
    4 points off relegation.

    That’s why fans arent happy. Change needs to happen now from arteta before we slow walk our way to another dead season.

  12. China1

    -We turned down over 20m for xhaka
    -We supposedly offered mustafi a new contract
    -We turned down money for Laca
    -We turned down solid money for AMN but refused to actually play him
    -we bought Mari and Soares despite neither appearing to be needed
    -we screwed up loaning out Saliba
    – we fucked up adding him to the EL squad
    -we persist with playing an out of form CF at CF
    – we play our best CF on the wing to accommodate said CF
    -we don’t create any chances or take any shots
    -our recent points tally isn’t brilliant
    -we just got smashed by villa at home
    -we failed to get deals over the line for players Sokratis and we now pay his salary for nothing
    – Pepe gets dropped after every good performance and is now unhappy
    -Willian is beginning to look like a very big waste of money

    I really could go on.

    It’s not all doom and gloom and I am on here defending arteta as much as most this season because in spite of the above there are some obvious positives and I still back him.

    But I do totally understand how in light of all the above a lot of fans are starting to ask questions. ‘Having faith’ that decisions are all being made for the right reasons is not easy when you look at the list above. I expect mistakes to be made by any manager, especially a rookie – but arteta is honestly making quite a lot

  13. Gavqatar

    Oh Pedro, you have outdone yourself here, how true, you sum it up beautifully! The useless wankers that comment on things are out of their league and it is hilarious. I remember the press going after Arsene one season (not that I am an AKB, far from it) then he went unbeaten. Shame all the Twitter pillocks have airspace nowadays‘

    Arsene WHO? Should go back in for Bobby Robson’




    Fucking hilarious that knobs would be crying for Rioch had the internshmett been a thing back then!!

  14. China1

    Forgot to include Martinez tho there’s a case to be made that his transfer fee was key for us getting partey so I’m going to give it a pass

  15. Floom

    Arteta is a racist w*nker that should fuck off back to City. Totally disagree this is just a bad run. Arteta is a defensive tosser and continues with Willian zero Martinelli Pepé gets a cameo, Saliba should be in the squad. His tactics, team selection, lack of tactical tweaks and lack of change via substitutions is comical

    You got this one wrong bruvva. Emery finished 5th AND got to a Europa league final. Where’s clown Arteta gonna finish? 12th?


  16. China1

    My really point is just that we’re not talking about one or two mistakes. We’re talking about loads, frequently showing up and costing us in various different ways

    Take Willian as a case in point. I’m sorry but as a seasoned veteran at the top level who has won it all and just had a great season, he should be coming here and putting Pepe to shame. Ray Parlour was less gifted than willian but if you put a 32 year old Parlour in this team he would be putting in 7 or 8/10 performances every game. What’s willian’s excuse?

    Pepe has been poorly managed so it’s always hard to reach a conclusion about him – maybe it’s because he’s poorly managed he struggles or maybe it’s because he’s not that great. But if it’s the latter why is Willian struggling to do any better? Willian has done it for the last 10 years, again what’s his excuse?

  17. Ronald

    Hi Guys,

    “The crux of his issues for me centre on one fatal flaw of his early tenure: too much trust in senior players”

    This is what he will have to learn the hard way and I totally agree with this. He is putting faith in players that all Arsenal fans know will not give him anything to be honest. I bet that by Feb/March he will have been burned by these players time and time again that he will finally stop this sentimental nonsense. Was it just me who saw Rob Holding backing off Grealish in the first minute until he got into the box and wasn’t surprised when he did that again 2/3 times until he eventually punished us. Some of the players we have are so inconsistent that it’s quite amazing.

    Our hope as fans is that he puts his trust in some of these players to bed because it will not change our fortunes on any way. I do believe that he will get fed up and slowly start integrating some of the younger players. Onwards and upwards right?

  18. Kesses+gunner

    Pedro however much you put it it was silly for arteta not to include saliva in the Europa league squad if he can’t mix it in the farmers league can he do it in epl where he doesn’t appear in matchday squad,to rub it in he put Mari in Europa while being injured

  19. PieAFC

    I find the people on Twitter calling for Arteta are the same ones peddling Ozil propaganda at every given opportunity.

    Are we cautious and a little too pragmatic than I’d like – yes. Would I like to see us revert to how we started when Arteta came in like against United and Chelsea at home (albeit, we lost the latter)

    He will sort it. We was and have been shit at the back for years. Villa the other night were very good.

    I do think Auba will go centrally sooner than later. Imo, Martinelli would be near the first team on the left had it not been for his injury.

    It’s going to a up and down season all year, some.great results some awful ones I imagine. We bought into a project fans need to back it.

  20. Thorough

    The one that irkes me most is Saka being played in defence. He’s one of our most creative players ffs. And we have Niles, Cedric and Tierney for the same position. Someone should tell Arteta that Auba flanked by Saka and Prpe/Williams obviously have more chances nay goals written all over it

  21. Emiratesstroller


    I have posted very little since our defeat against AV, because in contrast to most “fair weather supporters” I recognise that Arsenal are in transition and we are going to see an up and down season.

    Let’s consider the contract and transfer business conducted by Arsenal since Arteta arrived at the club.


    We renewed contract of Aubameyang. Most fans will agree that this was the most important
    business of the summer. Okay his performance level has dipped recently but I am sure that
    sooner or later it will return.


    We recruited Gabriel, Partey, Willian, Soares, Mari and Runarsson. The last three are squad
    fillers costing little money. Gabriel and Partey were fantastic and good value acquisitions.

    Willian at 32 was a questionable acquisition considering the terms of his contract. Based on
    last season’s form with Chelsea he was considered a good addition. However, his current
    form suggests that it was perhaps a poor decision particularly offering him a 3 year contract.

    Ceballos came back on loan and is a low risk acquisition in the current economic situation.


    I believe that Arsenal received only two concrete offers to BUY players in the last transfer
    window. These were Martinez who we sold and Maitland-Niles whom Arteta decided to

    We agreed a free transfer for Mkhitaryan who at 31 proved unsaleable considering his huge
    wage bill.

    Torreira and Guendouzi were loaned out despite efforts to sell or swap them. No-one was
    willing to spend money on either of these players.

    Other players whom the club wanted to dispose of also proved difficult to shift. These included Holding, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Elneny, Ozil and Lacazette.

    You can hardly fault Edu or Arteta for this outcome. They inherited a problem that all these
    players apart from perhaps Holding were SITTING on grossly inflated contracts.

    So Arsenal’s situation is only likely to be resolved once these players are offloaded.

    My view is and has been since the start of the season that Arsenal need still to recruit 3 more starting X1 players in a RCB [unless Saliba makes the grade], AMF and CF plus a
    replacement GK for Martinez.

    That is going to cost us £100 million +, which the club does not have at the moment. Until
    we resolve those gaps Arsenal are not going to build a “reliable and consistent” Team.

    When you discuss tactics there needs to be a plan B and not just reliance on a 3-4-3 football
    which is a fairly negative formation if your forwards are misfiring and there is lack of creativity in midfield.

  22. raptora

    Pedro mentions 1997/98 but after round 8 we had 18 pts with 5 wins, 3 draws, 0 losses with goal difference of 20/8 so +12.

    Now we are with 4 wins, 4 losses and goal diff of -1.

    I will mention season 1994/95, when we scored 8 goals in 8 games – the only time in the Premier League’s history we’ve scored less than our current 9 goals in 8 games.

    It’s the 3rd worst start of our attack in 37 years.
    5 goals in 8 games in 1986/87
    8 goals in 8 games 1994/95
    9 goals in 8 games 2020/21

    Can we lot just openly realize for a moment exactly how shit our attack has been so far.

    To put it in perspective, we’ve scored 20 goals or more, at this stage of the season, 4 times in the EPL. Compared to the 3 times we’ve scored less than 10 goals.

    Emery managed 19 and 13 in his two seasons here. We also had more points than we have now – 18 in 2018/19 and 15 in 2019/20.

    Another stat. The last time we were in the bottom half of the table at round 8, was in 1994/95.

    We’re talking grim stuff. But Pedro thinks we’re overreacting. Just imagine if this was not pretty boy Arteta but Emery. Oh lawd the panic posts. He’d be one foot out the door already.

    The moment you start being compared to a supposed dud and the dud’s stats are better than the so-called generational manager it’s bad news.
    Arteta needs to change something and quickly. Whatever he’s been doing has not been working as he has hoped for.

  23. azed

    Most decisions Arteta makes have a logical thought behind them. This isn’t Emery playing Torreira at #10 here.

    Arteta played Williams as the striker. There’s nothing logical about that.

  24. Graham62


    Ozil propaganda?

    I think even the most level headed Arsenal fans, who have a basic knowledge of the game( and life) don’t need to say too much in respect to Ozil.

    Perceptions can go two ways, for or against. Of course, there’s a middle ground where fans can sit on the fence and not have an opinion(what I like to call comfort zone fans) which was the case under AW.

    China1 gave an intelligent itemised listing earlier on in the post highlighting all the things that should be seriously questioned. You add them all together and it suddenly becomes pretty obvious that too many things don’t add up.

    Is it “reactionary” pointing out that Arteta is creating problems?
    Is it “reactionary” seeing things for what they are?

    Life is not all about sitting on the fence and letting things pan out. Sometimes you’ve got to act( react)in order to get things done.

    This has been Arsenals main failing over the past 12 years. Sitting on the fence as the rest of the footballing world passes us by.

    As a club and identity, we remain an embarrassment.

  25. englandsbest

    Absolutely spot on, Pedro. The contagion of the past, one might say., with Ozil the epi-centre. You will be having a rough ride, though, the default position on here is: blame the manager for EVERYTHING.

    Agree Arteta has made mistakes, he’s new on the job. I’d say his worst was to be be side-tracked by loyalty to certain long-term players. It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks

    Time for him to move on. Out with the old, on with the new.

  26. Gbat

    The tactics are holding back the attacking players. Willian is a quality player that has come off a very good season at Chelsea. He’s not all of a sudden a bad player. Willian said in a recent interview that the positional game is frustrating. And you can see it with all the attacking players. They aren’t given the freedom and they look low on confidence.

    Arsenal used to take around 15 shots per game. That dropped with Emery and has dropped even further with Arteta to around 9.

  27. Le Sauce

    Nice post Pedro. I believe the mood is going to change to a positive one provided Arteta can fix things after the international break. Like Receding said earlier, it is time for Arteta to show us the stuff he is made of as everyone is tired of the smooth talk. The road to redemption or a possible collapse starts when we play Leeds….

  28. Le Sauce

    I believe Arteta really needs to reflect on the past few weeks and one of the major problem I feel he has is there is no “special sauce” in his coaching team.. They all seem to lack ideas and most of em, experience. That is why we don’t see noticable changes when things are going bad during games. No plan B and there seems to be a serious inability to read games and come up with ideas to turn the tide in our favor.
    From the first half we all knew villa would hand us a spanking if care isn’t taken and the coaching staff did nothing.. That isn’t Elite in any sense

  29. Calypso

    I was actually probably the only one at the time who believed we could still win the league being 12 points behind to Man Utd at Christmas. The reason being we had 4 games in hand and my hatred for Man Utd.

    So I won’t be taking lectures from someone who was barely out of kindergarten at the time.

    Emery had inherited a much worser squad than Arteta and managed a top 5 finish and a Europa league Final.

  30. Left testicle

    Appreciate you taking the time to write but I would say that was more of a short to medium read. ‘War and Peace’ or the ‘Bible’ are long reads.

  31. Left testicle

    I suggest we have a word count system.

    ? to ? words = short read
    ? to ? words = medium read
    ? to ? words = long read


  32. Aasim

    Good post and good points about needing to be objective.

    But, like you said Arteta hasn’t been perfect. Hasn’t even been close to it.
    Not selling Xhaka, AMN and Laca
    Reliance on Xhaka, Laca and Kola
    Not integrating Guen
    Isolating Ozil which has a domino effect on the squad. This was proven when done by Emery, and it’s showing again.
    Not playing players in their best and in their preferable position, ie Auba, Tierney, Pepe.

    Some of the above, are entirely his call and may turn out to be ultimately good decisions with time. But some of the above have been fundamentally wrong leaving the club with a lasting impact. And at the top level, premier league top 4 level, you cannot afford so many mistakes. That has made Arteta lose buy-in with a lot of supporters and I feel to a certain level with the team. Honestly, I feel it will be extremely hard to turn the performance around because this will require Arteta to come in and say “hey my plan was shit, sorry, from today this is the new plan, and this plan is the best in the world and will make you into world beaters”. That will be a hard sell !!!!

  33. Left testicle

    Appreciate you taking the time to write but I would say that was more of a short to medium read. ‘War and Peace’ or the ‘Bible’ are long reads.
    *War and Peace, The Bible and any post by Emiratesstroller. 🙂

  34. Nelson

    I watched yesterday’s England NT game. They played a 3 4 3 system. But the attack was totally different from us. They have Grealish and Mount flying in the middle. DCL stayed always up top. Saka played a very good game as LWB. He was faulted in the box resulting in a penalty.

    Looking back at our offense. We attacked 99% through the wing. We have even positioned Auba on the wing. Our CF, Laca spent half of the time as a midfielder. Willian is a system player. But our 3 attackers are far apart. He can only worked with Bellerin on the wing. If you want to attack through the wing, you need someone who can head the ball in the box. This offense needs to be changed completely.

  35. Marc


    Sorry but we are neither good enough or financially well off enough to keep making mistakes most fans would get right 99% of the time.

    No one serious is suggesting Saliba is thrown into the league with no support – the criticism is why wasn’t he included in the EL squad where he could play against poorer quality teams? If he’s that far off being ready for us he’s not good enough for the EL why wasn’t he sent on loan?

    It’s looking like we’re now accepting the Laca stories as fact – what the fuck? Two years left on his contract, hasn’t performed for a while now, on big wages and to top it all is clearly not the type of striker Arteta wants through the middle.

    If Sanllehi had done that you’d have gone fucking mental.

    Refuses a bid for AMN because he’s a crucial part of the squad (squad not team) can’t get near the team now.

    Stopped Xhaka leaving and has suddenly realised he’s not good enough? I’m staggered every opposition manager in the PL knew Xhaka was the weakest link in the team – and that’s a team that had Mustafi and Kolas in it as well.

    Speaking of the devil we offered Mustafi a new contract – are you fucking serious? To make it even worse we don’t know if someone overruled Arteta and pulled it or if Mustafi turned it down?

    For every decision we get right we’re getting 3 massive ones wrong. Talking about being 6 points off the top of the table? Emery wasn’t good enough but after 8 matches last season had almost double the points.

    Being positive is all well and good if you’re pointing out changes that have been made that you believe will fix the problems – you’re sweeping the cock ups under the carpet and saying “Ooh look Sauce”.

    Right now none of us have any idea how Arteta’s going to react to 4 losses in our last 6 PL matches when the 2 wins were against a Sheffield Utd team who are bottom of the league and have only managed 1 point all season and a ManU team who haven’t won at home going 2 matches into last season.

    I hope he pulls a rabbit out of the hat but would it surprise anyone to see Xhaka back in the team for Wolves?

  36. raptora

    becareful there buddy. You’re going to get flamed by Charlie for having a mental breakdown.

    Obviously you are right about everything you’ve said.

  37. China1

    Arteta names a MF two of Partey and el Neny against Leeds. 2 mins before the match starts, xhaka takes off his jumper and quietly joins the players queueing in the tunnel. Finds el Neny halfway down and punches his ass and gives him a wink and a cheeky grin

    Mohammed knows he’s been done and duly proceeds to go back to the dressing room and puts his jumper back on, head in hands with a single tear 😢

  38. Marc


    It’s not a breakdown – it’s far too late for one of those.

    I’m looking at what I’m seeing and it’s fucking amateur hour. Pedro saying if we win our next 3 matches we’ll all be happy – of course we will. If we win our next 30 PL matches we’ll win the league. Right now I don’t see us picking up 9 points in our next 3 matches and every time we see a chink of light it’s followed by a calamitous result or performance.

  39. MAXCAT

    Keep the powder dry until Jan 1. Should have a better, more informed idea by then. However if we are embarrassed by Leeds…just cover your eyes.
    As far as Saliba goes, just sheer incompetence and not necessarily Arteta’s fault. Never expected him to be starting despite all of the crazy hype…BUT…Did not allow him to play a cup final, Did not send him on loan and claim that time ran out …just a stupid excuse and now not on the Europa list…is this just a result of the homegrown/non homegrown numbers?..Not sure myself but if it is just down to a team decision, it would be very poor decision making….

  40. Tom

    “Appreciate you taking the time to write but I would say that was more of a short to medium read. ‘War and Peace’ or the ‘Bible’ are long reads.“

    The Bible was probably more fact based though.

  41. Nelson

    On the other hand, I have some doubt with Raul’s ability to evaluate talent. He paid 72 m for Pepe. What do we get? Maybe Saliba doesn’t worth 27 m at all.

  42. Graham62


    Being objective FC!

    That should have been our clubs name ever since we left Highbury.



    Agree 100%.

    Some on here are living in cloud cuckoo land.

  43. Pierre

    “Can we lot just openly realize for a moment exactly how shit our attack has been so far.”

    For an attack to function they need service…the first thing you need is is creative players.

    Our 3 most creative players in the squad are Pepe, Saka and Ozil .

    Pepe rarely starts in the league, Saka plays as a wing back, meaning he spends a large proportion of the game defending and Ozil has been left out for “footballing reasons” .

    It doesnt take a lot to work out why our attack has been so poor in the league.
    There is no link between midfield and attack, one player could change the whole dynamic of our attack..

    A player who can play between the lines, a player who can bring his team mates into the game and a player who understands the role that’s needed . …

  44. Marc


    I’m not going to get sucked into an argument on Sanllehi but he wasn’t there to identify the players he was there to close the deal. If he was over riding the scouting department then that’s a problem, if Pepe was identified as a credible target then the argument is by how much did we over pay.

    People do need to remember that all transfers carry a degree of risk all you can do is to try and minimise the amount but no one gets them right 100% of the time.

  45. Ishola70

    If Leeds score early or in the first half then things could get ugly.

    But if Arsenal don’t concede in the first half then they have a chance of getting a positive result.

    I still think the Wolves home game is more of the test for Arteta. It’s more of a test because fans are now demanding a convincing attacking display with no back three in a home match.

    Arteta can still get away with playing a back three against Leeds and winning 1-0.

    Gets spanked at Leeds playing a back three then the pressure to play more expansive football at home in the next home match against Wolves becomes even more of a demand.

  46. China1

    Oh I see where you’re going with that Pierre

    A player who can create. A player who plays between the lines. A player with that bit of special sauce….

    Saka 😀

  47. Tom

    Jesus himself couldn’t turn some of our players into the PL wine, although Mustafi is ready made as an extra for any new Jesus flick.
    How about “ the life of Brian 2”

  48. Marc


    If we looked to control midfield with Partey and Ceballos and or Elneny we’d do better. Against Leicester both Xhaka and Ceballos were moving into wide positions leaving a huge hole for Partey to cover.

    The scary thing is it was easy to predict Arteta was going to do it. After the previous EL match Arteta said something along the lines of “Partey can control the midfield all by himself”.

    We’d never have expected Vieira to be able to do that in fact in the 97 / 98 team Parlour would often tuck into midfield to make a 3 with Petit and Vieira.

  49. China1

    Wenger was a dope in his last 10 years but at least he’d have just Saka in the wing and been done with it


    He’d have also let Martinelli stay first choice forever


  50. Marc


    Right now Arteta is insulated from the fans even at home so whilst I agree with parts of your comment I don’t think Arteta is aware of how frustrated a lot of fans are.

  51. Graham62

    Leeds will be swarming all over us next week.

    They saw what Villa did and after stumbling over the past couple of weeks, they’ll be up for it.

    Guaranteed they would have been drilled mercilessly during the international break. Bielsa will be salivating.

    Arteta has to show something different.

    Maybe the faster tempo will help bring us out of our shell.

  52. Pierre

    Villa, Leeds and Wolves, under wenger would have been considered as 9 points in the bag …not anymore.

    3 points and a negative goal difference is about the best we could hope for…..villa , leeds and wolves are not exactly teams in form are they. .

    Flat track bullies the know nothings would call it….

  53. Ishola70


    “I don’t think Arteta is aware of how frustrated a lot of fans are.”

    Of course it would be more pronounced if fans were in the ground but we all know how powerful online media is now.

    He’ll know alright.

  54. Marc

    Pedro put up a well written (not necessarily factually correct) piece looking to rally the troops.

    Instead by the looks of it they’re looking to lynch Dear Leader.

  55. SuperRob


    ‘Sorry but we are neither good enough or financially well off enough to keep making mistakes most fans would get right 99% of the time.’


    Apparently Marc and most fans would get things right 99% of the time.

    Your constant negativity really points to the fact you should speak to someone and with that comment above you might be in danger of been sectioned you deluded cunt.

  56. Marc

    Anyone who names themselves “Super” is in no position to provide mental health advice.

    As for being deluded please tell me exactly what parts of that comment are factually incorrect.

    Because right now only one of us is looking a cunt.

  57. Pierre

    “….a player that no one, except you, wants anywhere near the team.”

    All i ever want is what’s best for the team , all i hear on le grove is people bemoaning our lack of creativity…strangely enough , that wasn’t an issue before lockdown…

  58. GunnerDNA

    “Even if you don’t have all the information, trust that the decision was made in good faith, especially if there’s no evidence to suggest there’s something nefarious going on.”

    We have to remember we are not discussing the sport golf here, its football. Can’t suddenly censor fans to suit ones agenda. Without the fans there’s no Club.

  59. Graham62

    We have Ceballos.
    We have Willock.
    We have Saka.(why not?)
    We have AMN.
    We have ESR

    We have players capable of doing things but for some reason, Arteta doesn’t want to experiment.

  60. Pierre

    Arteta is more than capable of getting a result against Leeds.
    He is very like wenger in that when the chips are down he will fet a result.

    It may not be pretty but I think we will gwt a result v leeds and i would expect willock and Pepe to start with either Aubameyang or Eddie up top .

    Ideally, it should be pepe, saka and Aubameyang with willock supporting to utilise the spaces that leeds leave behind..
    Willock and Lacazette should get a run in europa to regain their form.

  61. Receding Hairline

    I can see the Torriera at 10 outrage is still ongoing

    The player scored against Spurs ,Wolves and Liverpool, is very good on the ball and can pick a pass. Don’t think it was so illogical to try him further forward as a pressing option who can recover the ball further up the pitch and initiate attacks.

    Have always found the outrage on that funny.

  62. Tom

    No manager is immune to player revolt and Arteta losing the dressing room is more likely than many realize.
    When Pep experimented with the City squad against Lyon you could see in the players’ body language that they didn’t believe in the set up or the tactics even before it all went tits up.
    Get it wrong two seasons running like he did, and City players might’ve have been scarred permanently for this competition.

    Arteta has been getting more wrong than right at the moment, and it’s not the points total that’s the real problem.
    9 points from the next three? I’d settle for 4, but with a tangible improvements in chances created.

  63. raptora

    In the EPL the maximum non home grown players you can register is 17. You can also register infinite number of U21 players regardless of their home grown or non home grown status.

    Saliba is registered in the EPL but he hasn’t make the bench not once while Holding and Mustafi have registered multiple appearances.

    In the Europa League Saliba didn’t make the cut in the 17 non home grown players. He couldn’t make it in a list of 6 CBs – Luiz, Gabriel, Mari, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding.

    Excuse me but if Saliba is considered behind Chambers, Holding, Mustafi and Mari why didn’t we sell him then? There was an offer from Milan.

    He has already played Europa League games last season for St. Etienne. It’s a monsterous fuck up.

  64. Nelson


    You mean Willian and Laca should get a run in europa to regain their form..

    I like to see how Willock plays in the lead. He has improved this year.

  65. Tom

    I see the Leeds game as more of a repeat of our last meeting.
    They’ll play us off the park but won’t score. As well as Bamford has done this season I don’t think they are clinical enough in a long run.

  66. Nelson

    I have learnt to be more careful with Bamford. There was a game where Bamford missed a few chances in the 1st half. I made a comment that Eddie would have taken those chances. Bamford then scored a hat trick in the 2nd half.

  67. SuperRob

    Marc you embarrass yourself on here daily you don’t need me for that. Ever heard of this fella called Robert Pires? Super Rob as the song went….ah there you go got it yet?

    ‘Sorry but we are neither good enough or financially well off enough to keep making mistakes most fans would get right 99% of the time.’

    This whole statement is factually incorrect you deluded mug.

    Pills and/or a razor would help more than your daily Arsenal struggle.

  68. China1

    Receding the problems with torreira high up the pitch were

    1) he looked a fraction of the player he was when deeper
    2) we had a grand total of zero decent CMs protecting the defense and a player who had actually done so very successfully deployed in an advanced role. Meanwhile our CM was predictably dross and we kept dropping points

    It was just dumb

  69. Pedro

    Marc, sooooo much doom.

    You write like we are getting relegate… when we are SIX points off top. How wrong can things be going?

    Honestly, the drama on this thread

    ‘Lose the dressing room’


    Let’s win the next three games and all stop drinking in lockdown two.

  70. Ishola70


    The main point was that fans were hysterical to see Torreira playing high up.

    He pressed high up for Sampdoria quite regularly and had one midfielder back him up and the other midfielder drop back deeper.

    But as we saw at Arsenal leaving Xhaka on his own is not the brightest idea and Arsenal didn’t have the overall midfield set-up to see Torreira playing as a high presser

  71. Marc


    Please tell me what particular parts of my extended comment aren’t correct?

    The reason I’m negative is because we have a good squad who aren’t performing any where near where they should and it’s not a one off, it’s not because we’re missing a player through injury and it’s not because we’re getting fucked over by the ref’s.

    We look stale and lacking in ideas, the players are lacking confidence and to me at least it looks like Arteta is over thinking the problem.

    Sorry if you want me to be all cheerful about where we are I can’t because it’s not looking good.

  72. Marc


    “‘Sorry but we are neither good enough or financially well off enough to keep making mistakes most fans would get right 99% of the time.’2

    Are we good enough to keep fucking up – No
    Are we financially well off enough to keep making mistakes on transfers – definitely not
    Would fans have accepted the bid for Laca – Yes
    Would the fans have accepted the bid for Xhaka – Yes
    Would the fans have accepted the bid for AMN – Yes
    Would the fans have offered Mustafi a new contract – no fucking way

    You need to learn to read and comprehend – I never said the fans would get everything right 99% of the time I was referring to a number of simple decisions that Arteta, Edu or both of them have got massively wrong in under a year.

  73. Marko

    I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Initially after a really bad and obvious performance it’s knives out for Mikel but once a couple days have passed and people have calmed down it’s back to making excuses and rimming Arteta. I mean thankfully people’s memories are better than shit and no it’s not knee jerk reaction stuff. The whole well we’re still just 6 points off the top it ain’t bad pales in comparison to we’re 9 games in and only scored 8 goals while we’ve already lost twice at home. It’s not good.

    Also I disagree with the nonsense that Mikel is protecting Saliba and I absolutely disagree that he’s not physically ready when you Fofana play for Leicester. Lad has suffered some personal tragedy sometimes the best thing against that is to get back to work and get back to some normality which in his case is playing football. The idea that not giving him a single minute of senior football and having him play in under 21’s and under 23’s games is protecting or helping the player is absolutely dumb beyond words. Lad got signed for 30 million got told he wasn’t going to play for St Etienne in a cup final against PSG only to then come back to Arsenal and get zero mins…yes of course it makes sense.

    Also Mikel admitted that he made a mistake with not registering Saliba and said he did it cause he thought he had enough CB’s that Mari would be back fit so no not protecting the player just a manager who thinks Saliba is behind Holding, Mustafi and Mari amazingly.

  74. Ernest Reed

    “Our 3 most creative players in the squad are Pepe, Saka and Ozil .”

    Thats a magnificent stretch there, Pierre. One of those three used to be that, used to be. The other two have yet to show any such skillsets that would lead to such a distinction.

  75. SuperRob

    Marko also disagrees with Arsenal’s medical staff that Saliba is ready. What data have you used to come to this conclusion Dr Marko?

    Ah it’s one of those ‘cos I said so’ reasons. Makes sense.

  76. Marko

    Fact is and it’s something that Pedro is clearly struggling to understand but Mikel is failing this squad big time at the moment. He’s getting his teams wrong he’s getting his tactics wrong he’s getting his formation wrong and he’s getting his in game management wrong. This team should be scoring more alot more than it should but it doesn’t thanks to the manager and right now that is holding the team back

  77. Marc

    “Marko also disagrees with Arsenal’s medical staff that Saliba is ready.”

    All I’ve seen is Arteta say he doesn’t think Saliba is ready – I haven’t seen anything to say it’s the medical staff influencing the decision.

  78. Pedro

    Marko, not sure anyone is going to take seriously your disagreement with the coaching staff about the readiness of a 19 year old centre back.

  79. Pedro

    Marc, your outlook is subjective and wrapped in doom. You behave like we are 5 games down the line and we’ve lost all the games.

  80. Le Sauce

    I don’t think Arteta is necessarily protecting Saliba as he came out to admit Mari is ahead of him in the pecking order, maybe he just isn’t convinced by the lad YET. I am willing to give Arteta the benefit of doubt on that because Gabriel also came in newly and has been drafted straight into the starting line up…
    The only cock up is not finding him a club to get as much first team matches as possible

  81. Marko

    Pedro is this the same coaching staff (notice it’s coaching staff and not Mikel’s doing) that are continually struggling to get us firing up the pitch and deem Rob Holding good enough to be first choice CB at a club like Arsenal? You really want to trust those guys right about now

  82. Graham62


    Don’t worry, those that question your loyalties are deluded.



    Who cares what you think.

    Slide back into the gutter.