Can we stop signing expensive players with rival heritage?

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Arsenal dropped their squad picture for the season. Bit weird that Mesut is in it, but hey ho, what are you gonna do?

BIG trouble for Willian. He’s been busted taking a hot trip to Dubai to meet with Salt Bae. He was caught by… a photo. Which suggests the trip was probably permitted. The story seems to say that he’ll have to take a covid test before he returns to play with the lads… not sure that’s any different to how the rest of the players will have to behave. Kind of feels like this story is a bit of a nonsense. Hardly a Sneeze Rave in Brockley Park, is it? Also, notable that the Brazilian is all over the .com. I suspect the club will welcome a bit of alone time for him, needs to get his nut on the game this weekend.

Our big hope after this lockdown is that Arteta has had some time to think through the abomination before the international break and work on some solutions. He’ll have had plenty of players to work with, so hopefully there’s some new thinking heading into another outrageous run of Premier League games.

I’m hearing mutterings that he very much likes the Swedish kid…

Our first game back is Leeds away. Far from ideal. They play like a pack of hyenas, hunting you down, harassing you… scoring goals for fun. There’s quite a chunk of the fanbase that thinks the best way for Arteta to get over the loss last week is to throw all caution to the wind and try to savage them back. That my friends, is what dim people suggest. We don’t have the players, nor the muscle memory to drops something like that. I suspect the system will stay in place, but the chess pieces will move around.

There are some forced moves that we’ll have to deal with. Mo Elneny is out with Covid. That likely opens to the door for Dani boy next to Thomas Partey. The question is who fills in for the more advanced role? Will Arteta dare put Granit Xhaka in against a side that will see him as a tactical weakness? Is it time for Joe Willock to get a runout? His positional sense and movement could be problematic for Leeds, especially on the break.

What is apparent is the options in midfield aren’t exactly oozing sex appeal. However, it appears the rumblings have started up for January.

The most alarming of them is that Christian Eriksen has been linked with a swap deal for Granit Xhaka. Now, on paper, I quite like the idea of moving on the Swiss for someone creative. However, the deal would put us back on course to repeat the mistakes of signing greats of the past. The Dane has been a machine during his career for assists and vital setpieces. However, at 28, on £250k a week, it’s hard to look at signing him as anything outside Mesut MKII. After watching that Spurs doco, it’s apparent he’s a bit of a beta male. Not sure I like that.

Now, I could tolerate the move if it were a loan for 5 months. I would also want to see movement on Aouar or Sobolazai. My preference would be the Hungarian. He has a low price point and a very high ceiling. You also don’t have the annoyance of an entourage that’ll be pushing for Madrid after 3 assists. Though the Austrian League is less competitive than Ligue 1, I do like that Dominik is and out and out goals and assists machine. The ceiling there is very high.

Any of those players improve us, but two of them are the profile of player we SHOULD be signing. The other is just giving oxygen to a transfer strategy that has not helped us at all.

I’d normally suggest that Arsenal moving for anyone is January unlikely… but, we know there’s probably budget available from the signings we didn’t make in the summer. Well, that’s the hope anyway.

There’s also a higher probability that we clear a few players off the wage bill that have 5 months to go on their deals… though I won’t hold my breath.

Ok, do you feel textually satiated? Good. Now listen to a podcast I did with an Arsenal and a Spurs fan, it’s called United Mates Podcast. They had a quiz at the start they had to scrap because I was so bad at it. I talked some good football though, enjoy.

563 Responses to “Can we stop signing expensive players with rival heritage?”

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  1. Receding Hairline

    “He is in Europe ”

    So is every other team that started the season playing European football, no team has been eliminated yet, we were actually in Europe when the sauce took over last season, who crashed us out?

    “Six points off top”

    We are 11th on the standings, they are 9 other teams separating us from this top you keep going on about

    “He has all to play for”

    So does every other coach in a major European league, you make it sound like a unique achievement

  2. Pedro

    RH, I know it’s a mad concept here… but points to the top is what is important, that’s what the real distance is, places between the top is only relevant to doom-mongers like you.

    Also, pretty sure that Brendan Rodgers doesn’t have it all to play for, because they are out the league cup.

  3. Nelson

    During last Summer, PapaSok was begging the club to let him go free because there were teams in Italy showing interest. The club rejected his wish. Now he is not in the squad and we keep paying his salary. If I were KSE, I would ask the board to explain to me why they made such a decision.

  4. Pedro

    Marc, you are scared of the worst possibilities. You are a half-empty guy. A debbie downer. Eyoh in Whinnie the Pooh.

    You see the worst possible outcomes.

  5. Marc


    “WE, I would put Willian, Partey and Gabriel on Arteta.January would be a Raul thing imo.”

    Not sure you can play it that way so easily. Soares was a loan in Jan which was whatever – not sure why we made him permanent but that was done in June. Mari on the other hand – had been on City’s books and was playing in Brazil. If only we had a Manager and a Tech Dir who had connections to either?

    You’re turning into Valentin where any good signing is / was a Mislintat signing, a bad one is a Sanllehi signing. You haven’t started swapping them back and forth yet so there might still be hope for you (obviously not much though).

  6. Pedro

    RH, you can’t flat earth how close we are to top and you can’t flat earth the League Cup being a trophy that we are in and some clubs are not.

    The very fact you will try because you are wedded to misery does not surprise me.

  7. Pedro


    Not really. Willian was a shite signing.

    The superagent that recommended Emery pitched Mari. The super-agent that pitched Soares on a 4 year deal pitched Edu.

    Then Raul was fired.

    Not a difficult equation.

    …but again, anything to dump on Arteta.

  8. Marc


    “RH, you can’t flat earth how close we are to top ”

    So what happens if we lose this weekend and the bottom clubs pick up points so we are 9 points off top and 6 off 18th?

  9. Pedro

    RH, but again, all that matters is how close we are to the top. The rest is noise. There is no crisis until we’re 15 points from 4th.

  10. Pedro

    Oh wow Marc, another ‘what if the worst thing happens’ question.

    Top 4 is the objective.

    As long as we are within 6 points of that position by Feb, we’ll be on track.

  11. Marc


    Not at all – The Soares loan made some sort of sense signing him permanently not so much when Arteta likes (liked?) AMN. Mari has too many connections to Edu and Arteta o dismiss them because it’s convenient for you – I would point out as he’s hardly played it’ll be interesting to see if Arteta uses him much – I’d say any judgement on him should be on hold at the moment.

    Willian I’ll agree on – made sense on paper but really isn’t looking good at the moment. Gabriel looks like the bets signing of the summer and Partey is the CM we’ve been crying out for for longer than I can almost remember.

  12. Marc


    “As long as we are within 6 points of that position by Feb, we’ll be on track.”

    Just checking – that is 1st and not 18th right?

  13. Nelson

    I think there is one more criteria. The fans have to understand what is Arteta’s “process” and the team is progressing on the right track. Klopp also needs a few years to finish his process.

  14. Pedro

    RH, you gotta get over the Emery thing.

    He was a bum manager that couldn’t speak English, command the respect of his superiors, or his players.

    He was bombed out because it was going nowhere.

    Arteta is fixing his mess as we speak. He’s already won a trophy. He’s just six points from top.

  15. Receding Hairline

    I’m just pointing out that 15 points off fourth place at any point in the season shouldn’t be seen as a crisis, mentioned Emery because he was sacked when we were in a crisis, We were 8 points off fourth then.

    As for the rest of your post can’t see the relevance, fixing what mess? 2 points off third and an EL final? We outscored both Chelsea and Spurs that season. Can you see that happening this season with a much improved squad?

    Don’t know when the fact Wigan won the FA cup the season they were relegated will dawn on you,it is really not that hard a trophy to win. Arteta will be defined by what happens in the premier league and the EL.

  16. Receding Hairline

    It was just in your world Pedro. For the rest of us it’s about performance then results, We are struggling on both points as we speak.

    You can’t claim defensive solidity when you have conceded more than you scored after 8 matches.

    You can’t clam attacking prowess when you struggle for shots on target let alone goals

    By what metric are we really that much better off this season?

  17. Pedro


    We have beaten a top 6 side away from home
    We now compete in big games
    We have addressed our defensive issues. The best defences in the league have conceded 9, we have conceded 10 after player 4 teams in teh top 6
    We have one of the best young centre backs in the league
    We have one of the best young defensive midfielders in the league
    Our biggest problems has been top players out of form, chances are, that won’t last
    We are top of our group in Europa
    We are 6 points off first, very much in the mix
    The culture at the club has changed dramatically

    We are barely a year into a longterm project.

    … bar all that, not much has changed really.

  18. Pedro

    … and please, stop with the ‘it’s all about performance’ nonsense.

    You couldn’t see a problem with Emery for 18 months, now you claim to have standards? Embarrassing stuff.

  19. Marc


    “… and please, stop with the ‘it’s all about performance’ nonsense.You couldn’t see a problem with Emery for 18 months, now you claim to have standards? Embarrassing stuff.”

    That door goes both ways – you had impossible standards for Emery that have now disappeared for Arteta.

    You’re just on the end of a bit of karma – and it’s more than a little deserved.

  20. Danny+S

    First season I was all for Emery. I was really disappointed that he couldnt step it up second season, and we looked an absolute disorganised mess. I didn’t feel safe going into any game at all.

    Arteta is a totally different situation, where there is a clear plan and clear idea, but I do worry about him a bit and his ability to adapt and innovate beyond his blueprint.

    How he lines up against Leeds this weekend will tell us a lot. I’m looking forward to it.

  21. Receding Hairline

    What culture has changed and what are you basing this change on?

    We lost 3-1 to Liverpool at anfield last season, Same this Season.

    Lost to Leicester and Villa at home.

    Man united is the only game one would say we were expected to lose but didn’t.

    We have conceded 10 goals in 8 games, they are no best defence trophies after 8 games.

    Did you expect that 8 games into the league season we would have lost four? Was that an expected part of the process?

    We had one of the best young midfielders in Europe last season, one you Wanted his salary doubled and believed was worth 70m, guess his departure is what you are basing the “culture change” on cos I don’t see any difference from Arsenal now and the Arsenal that has been failing for years now.

  22. Champagne charlie

    How typical to reference Van Gaal as some quip against FA cup wins. Only possible when you’re dishonest enough to remove literally all other context – which continues to be the case whenever dissecting Arteta.

    – Arteta won the FA cup 6 months into his career as manager, with a squad of players that in no way can be classed as his own, who were in the gutter mid season. That’s an achievement.

    – Van Gaal won the FA cup, but was sacked because he’d been at a United two years, overseen 13 high-profile signings, and spent nearly 300 million

    ‘He won the FA cup and was sacked so it’s not an achievement for Arteta’. What logic.

  23. Ishola70

    As things stand it could go either way for Arteta at this stage.

    He could galvanise and push on or he could disappoint.

    And people will question at this time just for the fact of seeing so many unconvincing all round displays this season.

    And only those that have tied their colours to the mast in proclaiming Arteta a generational coach will get irritated at the questioning. Plenty of others are not sure he is this sure thing at this point.

    As is the case in many matters it’s a question of waiting and seeing.

    He could win at Leeds playing the same way and with the same tactics but then disappoint at home to Wolves by contiuing these tactics.

    I still think the Wolves home match is going to be more indicative of how the season may progress rather than the Leeds away match. Fans are getting impatient to see a really convincing attacking overall home performance.

  24. Danny+S


    Emery had totally lost the dressing room by the time he was sacked. There was no retribution for him and he was a mess.

    Arteta has put some structure to the team, just way too much structure. Jardin in the season before he won the league with Monaco had a lot of draws and 1-0’s as he built from the back. Second season he had the right players to open the play up and won the league but it was built on the defensive foundation.

    I’m hoping, this is what Arteta is aiming at and I’m hopi g he does have the ability to pull it off.

  25. Receding Hairline

    An FA cup win is an achievement for any coach let alone a young coach but should never be the basis on which a coaches tenure at a major English club is judged.

    We are a team still paying champions league wages and Arteta’s league results and performance since he joined the club has been lacking. You can deny this all you want

  26. Pedro

    RH, I didn’t expect to be within 6 points of top of the league after 8 games. You though Emery a top coach, not sure your inability to spot the changes at Arsenal is on anyone else but yourself.

    Danny, that’s a fair comment. Can he innovate his way to a more free-flowing attacking brand of football without the players to do it. What is the cost of Willock in the starting 11? Can ESR make a difference?

    The simplest move would be Auba through the middle, Saka left, and playing Willian into form.

    Still not sure where the creativity comes from in midfield. Might need the Hungarian kid to move forward in that regard.

  27. Receding Hairline

    We practically collapsed when trying to hold on to a lead at United, West Ham opened us up again and again, Leicester scored from a simple ball over the top and could have scored another but for a Leno save with Vardy through again, Villa could have scored six!!!

    We have no defensive foundation, quit telling yourselves lies

  28. Marc


    Agree – I haven’t seen anyone serious call for Arteta’s head (yet) but he’s got a decent squad and performances have been going backwards – it doesn’t make you a bad fan to question when something isn’t right.

  29. Receding Hairline

    Aston Villa, Everton, Wolves and Palace are some of the names ahead of us in the standings, this top of the table you keep referencing is occupied by an injury hit Leicester city. We are not creating anything worthwhile and the only solution for it apparently is a new signing.

    At this point we aren’t really having a serious conversation Pedro, have a nice night

  30. Champagne charlie


    Is anyone saying Di Matteo winning that CL at Chelsea isn’t an achievement?

    No, so keep up with what’s actually being said instead of deferring to your contrarian POV at all times. Artet winning the FA cup is being diminished as an achievement, again, read.

  31. Danny+S


    I’d say give Pepe a free role. Didn’t he create 37 chances or something last season?
    At some point, we were playing better football with pretty much the players we have here now.

    I’d say either played a 4-2-3-1 with Pepe behind Auba or player the 3 at the back, tuck the front three a bit more central and let them drift out rather than wide drifting it, and allow the fullbacks more freedom to bomb forward. Tierney has a fantastic cross on him.

  32. Pedro

    There is no serious conversation to be had with someone that spent 18 months excusing a bum, but now can’t get behind a young coach that has won a trophy.

    Emery FC. What a cuck position to take.

  33. Ishola70

    I can’t go with this he hasn’t got the players to play a more expansive game though.

    We have seen managers that are not rated the highest in charge of unfashionable teams playing far more expansive football than what we have seen from Arteta.

    This is a choice from Arteta so far to be more consevative in his tactics and overall play.

  34. Pedro

    Danny, it’s a weird one with Pepe, he’s had lots of chances and he seems like a poor player.

    Statman Dave said that bringing him more inside would help his game. He’s not really a hug the touchline winger. I think our best chance of getting where we need to go is to get Willian, Auba and Saka on the ball faster and higher up the pitch.

    … could that mean… Xhaka?

  35. Ishola70


    The play overall has been ultra cautious.

    We want to see a little more expression and more expansive play going forward attacking wise.

    That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

  36. Marc


    “RH, I didn’t expect to be within 6 points of top of the league after 8 games. ”

    You’re playing games now (probably have for a while). If you want to seriously tell me you didn’t expect us to average 1.5 points per match – 57 point total over the course of the season – then you’re just fooling yourself. Truth is we should with the current squad be doing better than that – is it a surprise that the top of the PL is represented by teams who have dropped more points than we’d expect but that means we should be closer not thinking how clever we because our piss poor performances haven’t hurt us more.

  37. gunnerram

    @Pedro — We lost our identity under Arteta. He is playing pretty boring and dire football. Our plan is – nick a goal and pray to god. Its a similar feeling to that of Emery – you go into a match with lower level oppn where you are shiting in the pants knowing that we cannot buy a Goal.

    At least under Wenger we would know we will go into the match knowing we can win apart from silly errors at the back. The teams were pretty good value for money Entertainment wise. With Emery and more with Arteta – we are dull as f**k and we need to admit this glaring error.

    Can someone tell me where the goals are going to come from against Leeds?

  38. Pedro

    Ish, yep, it has, but there’s a reason for that.

    I agree that we need to see a better brand of football. It’ll come, but he’s not going to bin it all in one go to appease the masses. I think he’ll be looking to get to Jan in good shape, then make moves with a decisive signing.

  39. Receding Hairline

    Emery seems to be your only line of defense against what you are seeing.

    Emery and the this players cannot play better football line, this was the excitement you promised? The sauce? Defensive football and signings? What part of our current setup needs this exciting attacking player to come to life?

    You supported Emery isn’t an answer, it sounds as ridiculous as six points off top.

  40. Pedro

    Marc, no, I’m not playing games. You want to rile everyone on the doom train, but you can’t shake reality… we’ve had a rough run of games, we’re not in great form… but we’re only 6 points off the top.

    That’s a positive.

    gunnerram, incorrect. We have an identity for the first time in a while. We are a compact well-coached team that plays a fine margins game of football. Defence first. It’s not attractive, but it’s not built that way because we don’t have the players.

  41. Marc

    “Emery seems to be your only line of defense against what you are seeing.”

    Arteta may be shit but Emery was worse.

    Exactly how I want my club to set it’s ambition!

  42. Marc


    I don’t want to rile everybody else – just you.

    You’re applying massive double standards and that pisses me off. I’m not wed to Emery I want any (there would be 1 or 2 exceptions ie Tony Pulis) Arsenal manager to do well.

    If Arteta goes on to do the 2 things that are seriously missing from Arsenal’s CV – back to back titles and winning the CL I’ll be thrilled. That doesn’t mean a) I can’t look at what’s going on and now feel happy or confident about it and b) wind you up on every occasion I get.

  43. Marc

    Before Pierre or similar jumps on me I am aware Arsenal won the title 3 times on the trot in the 1930’s but I believe it was under 3 different managers.

  44. Venga, Dani

    It is mind boggling that we’re still talking about Emery on here. The guy was a joke behind the scenes with players openly mocking him, he had no long term plan, he had no short term plan, he utterly destroyed Xhaka (whatever you think about him, that was 100% on Emery), and he brought the Emirates to an all time high of toxicity – which considering the latter Wenger years, really speaks volumes.

    Then Arteta comes in, steadies the ship, wins a must-win FA Cup final to get us into Europe (compare that to Emery’s must win cup final) and gets exactly zero goodwill from fans. It’s moronic honestly.

  45. Receding Hairline

    One of them was taking teams to first time promotion after taking over as coach from player, the other spent 3 years at a cash rich club and needs a 21 year old Hungarian from the Austrian league to produce a semblance of attacking football.

  46. Marc


    The only person who brings up Emery is Pedro.

    As for goodwill to the manager – when the stadium is re opened I’ll be there supporting the team – will you?

  47. Venga, Dani

    Arteta came in at the worst point in this club’s recent history, got the uncoachables to look decent, got us in europe and won a trophy. Yes we’ve looked shite for the past month but we have a new manager learning on the job in a pandemic. PERSPECTIVE PEOPLE!

  48. Receding Hairline

    Venga good thing the Emirates was empty as Villa when Villa threatened to score with every attack, you would have known what toxic is.

    Emery in his first season had the third best home record in the league behind City and pool, we beat United, Spurs and Chelsea at home.

    The 18 months of toxicity exists only in your imagination

  49. Venga, Dani

    @Marc -I just went to page 1 of the comments on here and you are the first to mention Emery….care to make your case a bit more that Pedro is the one obsessed with Emery cuz I can’t find evidence…

  50. Ishola70


    “It’ll come, but he’s not going to bin it all in one go to appease the masses.”

    Just strike more of a balance rather than binning anything.

    And it’s not just a case of appealing to the masses. If he doesn’t get more expansive the team and results will suffer because his overall tactics if not tailored will be too limited over a 38 EPL league campaign.

  51. Marc


    To me Emery has as much long term relevance to Arsenal as Bruce Rioch does. It didn’t work out he was sacked and we move on.

    That doesn’t mean we can’t look at what’s going on and want and expect better.

  52. Venga, Dani

    @RH, wow okay so we won the 3rd place home record trophy under emery! Woo hoo! How was his away record shipping 30+ shots to relegation fodder on the regular? Seriously what is your point here? That we had a shite game against Villa? Agreed…

  53. gunnerram

    Looks like the majority is not willing to acknowledge that we are really in dire status. I would like to know this — What happens if we only take 1 point from our next 3 games but are still within 7 points of Top-4? Is this considered progress?? Like 13 points from 11 Games and less Goals combined than Sean Hueng Min?

  54. Danny+S

    Hopefully the 3-0 drubbing by Villa was a real wake up call for Arteta and the squad.
    Could very well prove to be a turning point in our season.

    At this point I’m trying to remain optimistic still.

  55. Receding Hairline

    My point here Sir is nothing has happened at the Emirates this season to get fans off their seats if indeed fans were in the stadium.

    Tell me what league home game you watched this season and felt “too bad fans aren’t in the stands to cheer on this performance”.

  56. NORG

    Clearly Emery is a good manager as his record shows however he was not suited for the position at Arsenal. He had the complete mess left from the previous manager and reported to a Spiv.

    Arteta has openly stated the shambles of a performance against Villa was down to him and he will work on new options. The clock starts ticking on Sunday – the next three Premier league games will show if he has the skill set and intuition to succeed.

  57. Marc


    That was over 24 hours ago and a direct retort to Pedro applying double standards – I didn’t bring up Emery today until Pedro started throwing accusations about.

    It’s his fall back position when anyone questions what we’re seeing at the moment – You love Emery, you love Sanllehi yada yada yada.

    Arteta has had 28 PL games in charge (no idea the total number in all competitions) and right now performances are going backwards. If he’s taken the last couple of weeks to take a hard look at what he’s doing and starts putting things right starting with Leeds I’ll be very happy.

    But I’m allowed to call out piss poor for what it it.

  58. Danny+S


    Dire straights?

    We are 6 points from first place. A few points off CL places, we lost to a team that smashed Liverpool 7-2!

    There will be a lot more highs and lows and surprises this season I bet.

  59. Marc

    “Tell me what league home game you watched this season”

    Someone please tell me the last PL match where we had a good performance?

    I’d say ManU at home New Years day.

  60. Venga, Dani

    Receding HairlineNovember 19, 2020 20:28:29
    My point here Sir is nothing has happened at the Emirates this season to get fans off their seats if indeed fans were in the stadium.

    where did I say otherwise?

  61. Venga, Dani

    @Marc re: good PL performance. I thought the Man united away performance was great. Was it filled to the brim with dominance and attacking flair? Hell no. But we hadn’t won there in how long and we got the professional performance we needed IMO.

    If you’re talking about a PL game where we dominated and blew a team out of the water…yeah it’s been a while. Wolves away last season maybe?

  62. Marc


    I assume you were referring to the last good performance comment?

    That was just shy of a year ago – during that time Arteta’s had a lock down preseason and then what passed for one during the summer and performances are getting worse.

    For me he’s too rigid and over complicates things.

  63. Marc


    Good result and good performance are 2 completely different things. Good results are great (and we needed that one) but good performances will lead to good results as well.

  64. Receding Hairline

    Venga you said otherwise when you alluded to Emery bringing Emirates to an all time high of toxicity. That was simply a lie.

    The Emirates would have been something else if we had fans on the ground witnessing the debacle against Villa.

    As for Emery ruining Xhaka, lol. If anything Xhaka ruined Emery by escorting a Brighton player into the box just to pull him down for a penalty in the penultimate game of the season, two points dropped and guess how many points we missed third by that season?

    Ruined Xhaka indeed

  65. Venga, Dani

    @Marc re: “For me he’s too rigid and over complicates things.” I agree. I think the rigid system worked great last year because we were in shambles. This year it looks like it’s hindering our creative players and its hurting more than helping.

    I hope this is part of the learning curve and I have faith that Arteta will change things. I cannot see how he doesn’t change things after recent performances. Seems like we’re all afraid of him being as stubborn as Wenger

  66. Danny+S


    I’m going to be positive, I’m going to give benefit of the doubt to Arteta and go with him having a trick up his sleeve to get us out this attacking slump.

    We will get 7 points from the next 3 games.

    To quote good old sid,

    You heard it here 1st!

  67. Marc


    That’s the scary thing – if his response is to double down on the problem.

    We’ll see and I’d love to pick up 9 points out of our next 3.

  68. HerbsArmy

    Emery arrived at Arsenal with a good pedigree, most notably at Sevilla, but the big difference between him and Wenger was that Wenger was given complete freedom to waste £millions on his own personal dross, whereas Emery (who wanted Wilfred Zaha) was like AVB at Spuds, forced to accept other peoples choices, so he got quite a raw deal from Arsenal.

  69. Venga, Dani

    Receding HairlineNovember 19, 2020 20:42:21
    Venga you said otherwise when you alluded to Emery bringing Emirates to an all time high of toxicity. That was simply a lie.

    10.27.19 Ars 2 Cystal Palace 2 (Xhaka incident)
    11.2.19 Ars 1 Wolves 1
    11.23.19 Ars 2 Southampton 2 (lacazette saving a point at 90+6 minutes)
    11.28.19 Ars 1 Frankfurt 2 (5 people in attendance)

  70. Venga, Dani

    Receding HairlineNovember 19, 2020 20:42:21
    Villa.As for Emery ruining Xhaka, lol. If anything Xhaka ruined Emery by escorting a Brighton player into the box just to pull him down for a penalty in the penultimate game of the season, two points dropped and guess how many points we missed third by that season?Ruined Xhaka indeed
    And yet Emery kept picking Xhaka, no? Xhaka was having shocker after shocker and yet Emery kept picking him. The system we were playing augmented Xhaka’s weaknesses – as opposed to what Arteta did with him last season – and it didnt take a psychic to see what was coming.

  71. Ishola70

    Dani Vega

    Emery exposed Xhaka.

    By the time Emery’s tenure had ended Xhaka was on his way to Hertha Berlin.

    That is a good thing.

    Very nearly got Xhaka out of this club. Nearly.

  72. Danny+S


    I agree there re Xhaka.

    Imagine, 23m from Xhaka, 20m for AMN, 25-30m for Laca (I assume) and 40m for Leno had we sold the right keeper.

    Not a bad kitty.

  73. Venga, Dani

    @ Ishola. Let’s be real – Wenger exposed Xhaka. He’s not suited to the EPL and he’s not good enough for arsenal.

    Xhaka was on his way to Berlin to be sold at a major loss in a winter transfer window where good players are notoriously difficult to come by. Hindsight is 20/20 obviously. Had Covid not hit, we could have gotten more $ for Xhaka in the summer window than the $20 million he was rumored to be leaving for.

  74. Venga, Dani

    Receding HairlineNovember 19, 2020 20:55:29
    The only thing of note Arteta did with Xhaka was refusing to sell him when we had the chance. Hiding him away from opponents behind a low block isn’t really worth advertising

    Dont shift the goalposts mate. We’re talking about how Emery caused epic levels of toxicity including the Xhaka incident vs palace.

  75. Marc


    Well that’s the Hungarian guy, £25 million on a replacement striker plus about half what we paid for Partey.

    Right now 2 of them don’t seem to be anywhere near first choice and the other is clearly not the type of striker Arteta wants.

    This on top of the performances is what worries fans.

  76. Champagne charlie

    Receding actually trying to establish that losing to Villa recently would’ve provided the most toxic atmosphere at Emirates to date….

    What a comment.

    Some memory on him, that was commonplace in Emery’s first season come the last half dozen games. Remember? The one where we ‘scored loads and were super attacking’ en route to getting battered by Palace, Wolves; Leicester, and then being unable to muster an open play goal versus 17th place Brighton to earn a measly two more poor points?

    Of course not, the toxicity apparently peaks with losing to Villa.

    Not a peep heard from his sort for a good while, and then here we are seeing him vocal as can be when things are poor. Call me shocked, been gagging to avenge Emery…..selectively of course.

  77. Marc


    “We’re talking about how Emery caused epic levels of toxicity including the Xhaka incident vs palace.”

    Were you there for that because that isn’t close to what happened?

  78. Olumide

    You can deceive yourself all you want.

    Arteta hasn’t done better than Emery in the Premier league. And we sacked Emery because of his Premier league performance.

    Now, people are talking about top 6 this season. Beginning of last season, Pedro said Emery had a squad capable of getting 3rd.

    Where has the standard gone?

    I haven’t enjoyed watching Arsenal in the Premier league this season bar Fulham and 20 minutes against Sheffield.

    We are 6 points from the top but which team is at the top? Leicester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Southampton.

    Only one team I can see there that we shouldn’t be competing with. Considering we lost to Leicester & Villa at home, we should be 6 points better and in the top 4 right now.

  79. Venga, Dani

    @Marc I think it is unfair to compare the pre-covid market to a covid market re: hungarian lad.

    I absolutely think Emery is to blame for the palace incident and I dont think its controversial in the slightest to suggest it. Xhaka was having shocker after shocker and Emery kept picking him in a system that augmented his weaknesses.

    Im not arguing Xhaka is a world beater or even a good player. I’m arguing that it wasnt difficult to foresee what was coming.

  80. Receding Hairline

    Venga what caused the Xhaka incident versus palace?

    Player walks off leisurely when subbed while his team are behind, gets booed by fans and asks them to fuck off.

    I wonder what that has to do with the coach and why you keep bringing it up like it’s relevant to the clubs history. A nothing player gets booed, stop the press!

  81. Ishola70

    Dani Vega

    “Wenger exposed Xhaka”

    Any manager can expose Xhaka.

    And Wenger was in charge when Xhaka was first brought to the club so any good will to Wenger for exposing him becomes null and void.

    By the time Emery came to the club Xhaka was very much established in the side so Wenger obviously didn’t expose him enough did he to where it becomes boiling point and there is talk of him leaving or being sat out.

  82. Marc


    You are talking out of your arse – the Xhaka / Palace incident had nothing to do with Emery.

    It was all down to Xhaka’s complete lack of awareness.

    You don’t actually know what happened – at least admit it.

  83. Nelson

    For me, it is a complete waste of time still talking about Emery. He is long gone. I am more interested to figure out what is Arteta’s weakness and how we could improve our team. It is obvious to all neutral fans that Arteta is still in a learning phase. Let’s not talk about his man management. The most urgent thing is how to improve the performance with the current available players.

    – He needs Luiz to organize the defense. The minute he went down in the 2nd half of the Leicester match, we lost the game. And without him in the game against Villa, the defense collapsed. Our team was much better prepared against Manure. Our midfield dominated their midfield. Our defense was not really tested in that game.

    – His players in the attacking phase is way too static. They are also very far apart. It is also too slow to advance the ball. I am not an expect to improve these deficiencies. As a minimum, he should have free Pepe and allow him to drift inside. Saka is a very good passer. Maybe try to improve combination play between Saka and Auba.

    Let’s see what Arteta can come up with.

  84. Pierre

    “Someone please tell me the last PL match where we had a good performance?
    I’d say ManU at home New Years day.”

    The starting line up v villa only consisted of 2 starters from that united game ..
    Aubameyang and Lacazette.

  85. Ishola70

    If Emery valued Xhaka one little bit he would have put his arm around him and brought him back into the fold quickly ater the Crystal Palace incident.

    But he didn’t. He did the complete opposite and left him out to dry.

  86. Marc


    Anyone with half a brain know’s Xhaka behaviour on that day was disgusting, the funny thing is the media and a lot of fans who weren’t there go for the “swearing at the fans”. That wasn’t even close to the problem.

  87. HerbsArmy

    After his success at Sevilla , which includes beating Klopp’s Liverpool in one of their three successive Europa League titles, the idea that he couldn’t have successfully used the same blueprint for Arsenal is preposterous.
    He inherited a complete mess of a squad that were going backwards, and he wasn’t backed to bring in his own players.
    I find it strange that he took the Arsenal job with so many shackles, because our structure has been broken for years, and it doomed him to failure.

  88. Pierre

    Watching that game, I honestly believed that Arteta was the man to take the club forward.

    The team was balanced , the football was exciting and there was an energy and intensity in our football that gave the Arsenal fans hope …

    My theory is the FA cup victory was the worst thing that could have happened to Arteta. .

    It fooled him into believing that the wing back system and negative football was the way to get results amd unless he changes this way of thinking, it could lose him his job.

  89. Champagne charlie


    Everyone is critical of our lack of goals. But don’t use that as an opportunity to rebrand the last 18 months you boring twat.

    3-0 to Villa isn’t the peak of anything. Your mate Emery delivered a good dozen similar performances, and several much, much worse.

    Find your box again, been in it a while and only re-emerged lately to rehash your bullshit.

  90. Venga, Dani

    Re; Xhaka – of course his behavior in the palace game was totally in the wrong but these incidents dont happen in a vacuum!

    Who made him captain (by having the players vote!)? Who kept picking him even though he was being jeered off regularly by fans since September!? Was Xhaka’s behavior wrong? 100% absolutely! Could that situation have been avoided? 100% absolutely.

  91. Marc


    “3-0 to Villa isn’t the peak of anything. Your mate Emery delivered a good dozen similar performances, and several much, much worse.”

    Could you name a few for me please?

  92. Venga, Dani

    Amy Lawrence in September 2019 2 months before palace

    “Fast forward to the Emirates, and the week earmarked to finally bring clarity to Unai Emery’s decisions on leadership for this season.

    The dissonant noise that accompanied Xhaka’s substitution against Aston Villa on Sunday, a mash-up of ironic cheers and disappointed jeers, sharpened the focus on the player’s suitability to be Arsenal captain.

    Is it a sensible choice to pick a skipper the supporters don’t believe in? Is it logical to hand the armband to a player whose role in the team is, let’s just say, easily skewed by the kind of high-profile errors even he struggles to reconcile? “

  93. Venga, Dani

    MarcNovember 19, 2020 21:31:19
    DaniYou still don’t know that happened.

    What are you on about? He was subbed, he took his time, and then swore at the fans. If that’s the level you want to keep analysis at, fine. I dont think its a stretch to analyze the situation in the greater context of the season. Leave it at that if you disagree.

  94. Marc


    OK so you do have a rough idea of what happened. Why is it Emery’s fault that when subbed whilst drawing 2 all with Palace Xhaka didn’t take the quickest route off the pitch? Why is it Emery’s fault that Xhaka sauntered off the pitch like he had all day without a care in the world?

    He wasn’t booed until he was walking very slowly off the pitch. What was Emery supposed to do? Run on and drag him off?

  95. Ishola70

    Dani Venga must be implying that Emery set up Xhaka for a big fall.

    Maybe that’s all you can do set traps for a player that looks to be very popular amongst his team mates as voting for him to be captain testifies.

    But once the prey steps into the trap the team mates who like this player can bite back themselves. Bite the person that laid the trap.

  96. Pierre

    Herbs army
    “I find it strange that he took the Arsenal job with so many shackles, because our structure has been broken for years, and it doomed him to failure.”

    Doomed to fail was my comment when Emery took over and sadly Arteta hasn’t learnt from Emery’s mistakes.

    You can only play pressing , high intensity football if you have the players who have the energy and most importantly, the desire to want to play the game that way…

    Arteta managed it for a few games , as Emery did , but it would never last.

    The problem is, we bought playeŕs like willian and Pepe who along with Aubameyang and Lacazette, wiil never give you enough high intensity for any length of time as their heart is not in it.

    By giving Aubameyang and willian 3 year contracts was not the most sensible thing to do as it means we have 2 ageing players who wont provide Arteta with what he needs …energy.

    That’s why i would like to see players like Martinelli.Eddie , Balogun , willock , Nelson come in , as they will run all day long and are not short on quality.

    Pressing starts from the front , bring in the players to press from the front or find another way of playing that suits the personnel.

  97. Marc


    I can’t think of a PL result under Emery that was as bad as the Villa result. Being destroyed by a team that escaped relegation by a point last season is not something I remember Emery overseeing.

  98. Venga, Dani

    Im saying it was moronic for Emery to chose the captain based on a popularity contest. I am saying it was even more moronic to make Xhaka – the most divisive and arguably most out of form player in our squad at the time – the captain of AFC. I am saying Emery’s decision to do so raised eyebrows and contributed to a general attitude amongst fans that Emery was clueless. I am saying that this discourse made fans (rightfully) angry as we had a muppet at the helm of our club. I am saying it was moronic for Emery to keep picking Xhaka even though he was being jeered off on the regularly for playing horribly.

    Lets also keep things in perspective- the substitution was at 60 minutes, not 85. Am I excusing Xhaka? NOT AT ALL. I am saying that there were a million piss poor decisions that led to the situation at palace for which Xhaka does share the blame! I didnt think that was such a controversial viewpoint but here we are

  99. Marc


    I specially said PL results and whilst the 5 – 1 loss away to Liverpool the season you mention was awful I don’t think it was worse than being saved by a VAR call to stop it being a 4 nil loss at home to a team who escaped relegation by a point last season.

  100. Venga, Dani

    @Marc, I think not selling Xhaka in January was a mistake – WITH HINDSIGHT. I understand the logic of not selling him though as it is notoriously hard to find good players in January and Xhaka played a lot of minutes for us and helped us win an FA Cup, which shouldnt be ignored. Who could we have got that January for 20 million.

    I also think had Covid not hit we would have gotten a lot more money for Xhaka than 20 million in the summer. Covid hit, which no one could have predicted.

  101. Marc


    It was £23 – £27 million depending on the results – he’s the worst player to ever play for Arsenal and get so many matches etc.

    Every team in the country knows he’s the weak link – not selling him was a massive mistake and replacing him would’ve been easy – I’m sure there are several pub teams locally who have a midfielder they could spare.

  102. Venga, Dani

    Again I agree with you that we should have sold him. Again, there was a logic to not selling him that I understand. Obviously if we could go back again we would sell him and buy the hungarian midfielder.

    I think we’d be wise to remember just how much of a heaping pile of burning trash this club was when Arteta entered the fray. I could understand if Arteta thought it would have been better to hang on to a key player in the dressing room for morale purposes although this is speculation. I wish we sold him this summer along with all the other dross.

  103. Champagne charlie


    And again, just have a look at the run in from his first season.

    But you’re typically working an angle, because why would you need to keep it strictly PL games when judging the toxicity and embarrassment in the stadium under in modern times?

    Bit like your assessment of the fixtures so far that you offered after a nip and tuck with the Fulham game. You’re dead set to make misery of now and in this instance play dumb to the mess under Emery. It’s pathetic.

    You can keep referring to last season all you like, this season Villa have started well, put 7 past Liverpool, and have the best performing player in the league. They can give teams a game and we suffered massively to them.

  104. redbro14

    Pedro, this beta vs alpha male has to stop. Think about it. This is not you taking it’s somebody else from your distant past. Stop. It would rid your otherwise, informed, enlightened and excellent prose from hastily sawn on rhinestones…..

  105. Marc


    And with all of that you are still left with nothing other than “but it’s better than under Emery”.


    It’s a self help or management book Pedro’s read – if a new best seller became the “in” thing to follow over Christmas called “how hacking off your own genitals with a rusty chainsaw is the path to success” Pedro would be doing it and trying to convince everyone Arsenal should do it to all the players.

  106. Champagne charlie

    “And with all of that you are still left with nothing other than “but it’s better than under Emery”.”

    No, I’m left rejecting the ridiculous comment that our loss to Villa would’ve yielded the most toxic response we’ve seen to date at the club had there been fans present.

    Pathetic remark, and typically sells the shower of shit under Emery a mile short whilst doing his best to spell doom of right now.

  107. Marc


    What do you think the response from fans would have been if they were and had been in the stadium all season during and after the Villa match?

    This isn’t about Emery was good or even OK – it’s about the excuses being made now.

  108. Venga, Dani

    I dont think the pandemic gets talked about enough on here too as contributing to poor performances – not just for arsenal but league wide. We had a 4 week pre-season. Players are dropping like flies. I think when we judge the footie this season we need to be a little bit more flexible.