Can we stop signing expensive players with rival heritage?

by .

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?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Marc

    Dani

    The simple facts are 1) the pandemic is affecting everyone so we’re all in the same position 2) if there has been an effect it’s been on better away results – something we haven’t achieved in the league.

  2. Dissenter

    Dani
    “I think when we judge the footie this season we need to be a little bit more flexible.”

    You do know that three clubs are going to be relegated this season and a champion will emerge as well, covid or no covid.

    The manager will be judged by the same yardstick Emery was assessed with; results.
    No ifs, ands or buts.
    Arteta has had more control on the transfer policy and squad matters than Emery could have every imagined.
    He owns it now. When he gets it right he gets praised and should be lambasted if he gets it wrong.
    Every team is exposed to the same covid-19 conditions so that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to be “flexible” in assessing our progress.

  3. Dissenter

    Nice to see the cult of Arteta emerging
    Pedro was all about the manager being a “protagonist” before Arteta came on board
    Now, he’s changed tunes and settled for a cold dinner; he’s happy to have us park the bus at Elland Road on Sunday.
    Can you imagine the Arsenal parking the bus, waiting playing for fast breaks against a newly promoted club?

  4. Venga, Dani

    I get where youre coming from but I think people are too quick to get all doom and gloom on here about Arteta. He hasnt had a preseason ffs. I dont mean to use the pandemic to excuse arteta at all – I agree with a lot of people on here the football hasnt been good enough this season and he has to change the rigidity of his system. Alls I am saying is give the guy a chance to do so! We are in strange times and I think patience is required.

    I think Arteta has earned more goodwill than he gets on here to. He came in and won a trophy in our worst season in recent history. I’m not saying to give him a pass – especially if we keep having 3-5 shots a game.

  5. Marc

    Dissenter

    There’s a small group of us who need to find a back up place to chat.

    Pedro’s going to ban us all soon – Kim Dumb Pedro will not tolerate any dissent towards the holy Arteta.

  6. Champagne charlie

    Marc

    No it’s not about that, you’re making it about that because that’s your M.O. at present.

    We’d have seen frustration and booing, obvious to anyone. What isn’t obvious is that it would’ve been worse than the spectacular failure to Emery’s full season at the club, the one we went from 3rd to 5th in over our final 6 games – with heavy defeats to Wolves, Leicester, Palace – 9 goals conceded in those 3 games, and a pathetic draw vs 17th place Brighton at home.

    That was peak, then we had to cherry on top it with one of the worst final performances in the clubs history getting thumped 4-1….against a London rival no less.

    So spare me this double standard/excuse bollocks because that would imply what we’re seeing/doing right now is comparable to the chaos under Emery. It isn’t, I can’t stress how dim anyone is who eats up that narrative.

    There’s no excuses for right now, we’re seeing an issue and we’re awaiting to see the response to it. That’s the nuts and bolts but you’re on here constantly spinning it as gloomy as possible. Not only that, but you’re actively selecting and omitting pieces of info to distort the argument that way.

    Crack on, I’ve said little in response to some of the comments but I’m not going to listen to a guy like Receding make casual claims that what we’re seeing now is WORSE and more toxic than fucking Emery. That’s a joke comment, deserves the dismissive response.

  7. Marc

    Cc

    No you see that’s the issue – I was in the “give Emery a chance camp” he fucked up and was rightly sacked but now every measure Emery was subject to is now irrelevant, any stat that wasn’t good enough is now ignored. Anything Emery was criticised for is no longer on the table because “it’s different now”.

    I want Arteta to be successful because I want Arsenal to be successful what I can’t stand is the hypocrisy on here.

  8. Venga, Dani

    DissenterNovember 19, 2020 23:07:40
    Dani
    “I think when we judge the footie this season we need to be a little bit more flexible.”You do know that three clubs are going to be relegated this season and a champion will emerge as well, covid or no covid.
    ——————-

    Wait, what’s relegation?? Seriously piss off with this bad faith nonsense.

    “Arteta has had more control on the transfer policy and squad matters than Emery could have every imagined.”

    I dont think Arteta should have more control over transfers. I dont want the club to be run by the manager a la Wenger and I think we need a stronger technical director than Edu is at the moment. But maybe there’s a reason the people in charge gave Arteta more input, no? Maybe because he’s not a total bellend who had his players mocking him behind the scenes when he wasnt too busy managing the continuous car crash of results we saw on the pitch.

  9. Ishola70

    Marc
    “The simple facts are 1) the pandemic is affecting everyone so we’re all in the same position 2) if there has been an effect it’s been on better away results – something we haven’t achieved in the league.”

    Said on a previous blog if the shit really did hit the fan this season there will be more than enough that will put out the Covid safety net for Arteta.

  10. Venga, Dani

    Also – if Arteta had a hand in signing Gabriel and Partey, credit to him. As has been mentioned the willian signing was basically done before covid. If you want to argue for not viewing this season in the perspective of a worldwide pandemic, go for it. I for one enjoy having a manager who has the faith of his squad and seems to be going places. I do not miss shipping 30+ shots to relegation fodder on the regular to be met with good ebening at the full time presser

  11. Champagne charlie

    Marc

    But in what metric or measurement are you right to compare a manager with an illustrious CV to one starting out?

    Are you not being incredibly dim to ignore the likelihood for teething issues, mistakes, development? The remit (CL football) might be the same (it is), but to sit and argue there should be a rigid like for like analysis to compare both is entirely flawed.

    The squad itself is different in those two years, the managers are different, the unique circumstances of Covid are different. The only constant is Arsenal FC wanting to earn CL football.

  12. Words on a Blog

    Honestly, people losing their shit coz we lost to Leicester and Villa.

    Leicester and Villa have Top 4 Squads, full of exquisitely talented players, and oodles of cash.

    We have at best a Top 8 squad, possibly Top 6 if we manage to land that Hungarian fella.

  13. Ishola70

    Dani Venga

    Arsenal are on the back of getting destroyed by Aston Villa at home and 6-0 scoreline to Villa would not have been flattering to them.

    You seem far too content at this point.

    Arteta has a lot to prove going forward.

  14. Dissenter

    WOAB
    “We have at best a Top 8 squad, possibly Top 6 if we manage to land that Hungarian fella.”

    If you believe that a managers job is just to sum up the parts like 1 + 1 = 2, then you’re right.

    However, a good manager’s brief is to make the team MORE than the sum of it’s parts.

    We all want Arteta to do well but we shouldn’t re-invent the grade book just to make him pass.

  15. Ishola70

    It’s crazy isn’t it how some view the squad from just two seasons ago to now.

    Two seasons ago it was a demand for top four.

    Now it’s we are just about a top eight squad.

    In just two seasons.

  16. Venga, Dani

    I am not content I am just not ready to get doom and gloom about Arteta.

    I am really worried about our lack of creativity, about Auba being stuck out wide on the left, about the rigidity of our system, about not moving Laca on in the summer, but Arteta has shown enough for me to at least give him a chance to turn things around before slogging him off like the reactionary, irrational, and overly emotional tendency of sport fans to do.

  17. Marc

    “We all want Arteta to do well but we shouldn’t re-invent the grade book just to make him pass.”

    Pedro won’t like that – because it’s so so true.

  18. Ishola70

    Dani Venga

    It’s not really all doom and gloom.

    It’s understandable questioning of him because that very bad Villa performance topped off other performances that were not convincing.

    So there is natural questioning going on.

    Only to be expected tbh.

  19. Marc

    “But in what metric or measurement are you right to compare a manager with an illustrious CV to one starting out?”

    Quite simply the job title – Arsenal Manager which he was promoted to in the summer.

    Sorry I’ve got standards – I forgot I was supposed to ditch them with Emery.

  20. Words on a Blog

    Dani,

    It’s not doom and gloom, it’s criticism.

    All that’s being said is that Arteta needs to rethink his tactics, and his u ultraconservative (aka “pragmatic”) style of play.

    We are down in terms of points, performances, and Expected Points, and we are toothless in attack.

    If Pedro’s unwavering confidence in Arteta proves right, then great.

    But it ain’t gonna happen without some fundamental rethinking in how Arteta gets the team to play.

  21. Marc

    “Are you not being incredibly dim to ignore the likelihood for teething issues, ”

    No the only people who are dim are those who called for a rookie coach to be appointed – tell us they were all this and all that, were a generational coach and then reset the required standards.

    If Pedro had pushed Arteta with the line of “we’ll be shit for a few years” who would’ve back him?

  22. Champagne charlie

    Marc

    So you think a young manager is like for like in terms of output as an established manager?

    You’re actually blindsided by there needing to be some learning on the job from a young manager? Seriously?

    Do you expect Saka to perform to the level of a Sterling too in spite of him being 19 and Sterling 25?

  23. Venga, Dani

    I mean to be fair Pedro wasn’t saying all that based on nothing. Pep, Steve Bould, Wenger, a lot of people have said similar things about Arteta. Did Pedro overhype the guy? Yeah probably. So what? It’s not like Pedro got him hired.

  24. Tom

    “I mean to be fair Pedro wasn’t saying all that based on nothing. Pep, Steve Bould, Wenger, a lot of people have said similar things about Arteta. Did Pedro overhype the guy? Yeah probably. So what? It’s not like Pedro got him hired.“

    Pep, Bould, Wenger said great things about Arteta because that’s what you do when someone sticks a mike in your face and asks whether you think your assistant or former player can be successful at management/coaching.

    Pedro was pushing Arteta for Arsenal coaching job earlier than anyone so if it works out he will be forever entitled to the bragging rights.
    But if Arteta fails, it’ll make his Gazidis predictions pale in comparison and he’ll be handcuffed to Arteta’s managerial corpses for life.

  25. Tom

    “Wow!!! He’ll have been wrong about one thing!!!! God forbid!“

    Ha ha, you must be new around here, this place has a memory of 14000 lb African bull elephant and just about as much sensitivity.

  26. China1

    This is really random lol but I accidentally stumbled on an old post and saw in the comments Aussie Gooner saying there has never been a real communist country and that people need to read the Communist Manifesto

    Didn’t expect to see that on Le Grove but absolutely right. Or read the German Idealogy by Marx and Engels. Communism and even socialism as defined by their creators and the countries throughout history which have adopted these tags are barely even similar

    It’s the equivalent of people vigorously criticizing American football without even realizing the sport they were watching was rugby and they’ve in fact never seen American football played before and couldn’t tell you the rules. But it involves holding a ball in your hands and getting points over the line on a pitch, so it’s all the same

  27. Pierre

    Venga,Dani
    “to be met with good ebening at the full time presser”

    At this present time the only difference i can see between Emery and Arteta is one spouted bullshit that we couldn’t understand and one spouts bullshit that we can understand…. ,

  28. China1

    One of the most beautiful ironies is that you can be a Marxist capitalist, since he openly argued in the German ideology that there is an ideal order of governance that should be moved through one by one. Capitalism comes before socialism which comes before communism in his order. He proposed capitalism allows countries to generate and explore incredible wealth and opportunities for innovation and if a country skips from feudalism straight to socialism without first going through capitalism up until the point where capitalism fails, it will likely struggle enormously to make it work

    The German Ideology is a very interesting read

  29. Venga, Dani

    Thats bleak Pierre. Arteta won a trophy at least and the squad believes in him as opposed to mocking him openly at the training ground.

  30. Venga, Dani

    @China – I mean it would be nice if my county (USA) didnt go around couping every socialist or near-socialist country for the past half century too. I always struggled reading theory but I do own Kapital and have been meaning to start for eons.

  31. Pierre

    China
    “, so it’s all the same”

    It is the same but for the helmets and the shoulder pads.

    Just as baseball is the same as rounders that we played at school….

  32. Pierre

    Dani
    I was referring to his press conferences…though i am getting slightly worried at the football on offer,

    3-0 victory at the weekend …Arteta is a manager who knows how to win when he has to…and this weekend is a must win.

  33. China1

    Venga yeah it’s very interesting stuff. In part because of the theories and in part because you can look at the world today and compare

    The end game under communism for Marx was a society which was remarkably free. Freer than any country capitalist or otherwise today in many ways. Socialism and communism should not be dirty words, people need to understand then first. If they understand and still disapprove then fair enough, but it would be a proper eye opener for a lot of people to read those original books and theories

  34. Venga, Dani

    @CHina I dont think they should be dirty words but at least in the USA they are. I wish our progressives would focus less on branding and labels and more on trying to reconnect with working class people of all creeds. The USA is incredibly de-politicized in the sense that there is almost zero connection between our political parties/their policies and material living conditions. That for me is the problem – at least here.

  35. China1

    Yeah agreed it’s pretty nuts. Most Europeans find it honestly quite remarkable how America holds so much resistance towards things like nationalized healthcare etc

    Ask any Brit and they might have a long line of complaints about the NHS but would they accept the American system where you can be charged hundreds of dollars for an Ambulance, medication fees can bankrupt an entire family and people can be turned away from insurance plans based on pre existing conditions? The answer would be a NO CHANCE

    My mate had a brain tumor and ended up being in and out of the hospital for 2 years for treatment and operations etc. totally free

    Meanwhile it took America something like 17 years to finally commit to comprehensive lifetime health coverage for 9/11 first responders, the firefighters and police etc who were dropping like flies with cancers and respiratory issues from inhaling building debris after the twin towers collapsed

    To a European it’s honestly shocking

  36. Nelson

    No one talks about the instant happened between Ceballos and Luiz. Looks like Ceballos is treating training very seriously. First with Eddie and now with Luiz.

  37. Guns of SF

    China

    Meanwhile it took America something like 17 years to finally commit to comprehensive lifetime health coverage for 9/11 first responders, the firefighters and police etc who were dropping like flies with cancers and respiratory issues from inhaling building debris after the twin towers collapsed

    Spot on, what a travesty. The US is so ass backwards compared to other countries.
    Good health care is a human right. not a choice….

  38. Guns of SF

    Giluiani is a joke, Utter shit show. Like a cartoon character. These republicans are showing the world their true colors. These dirty rats are coming out of the woodwork, will stop and nothing to try and “win” the election.

    I sure hope that Georgia gains the 2 senate seats for the dems. Show these repub dirt bags that the world is changing, and they will soon be political dinosaurs …..

  39. Guns of SF

    Luiz punching Dani in the face. LOL

    What the hell is going on at the emirates. I know Dani can be a straight nasty fucker but he must have done a lot to get Luiz to react that way…..

    Just need to see that attitude on the pitch…

  40. China1

    Guns how ironic that the republicans spend the most time talking about the constitution and American values yet the silence when trump plays his hand at a being a dictator and stealing an election is striking.

    Literally imagine what would’ve been said by the same republicans if Obama had done the same thing in 2012. The outcry would’ve been unreal. But when the wannabe dictator is white and in the Republican Party it’s actually fine

  41. Nelson

    We are signing another 18 year old CB, Omar Rekik, from Hertha Berlin . He was picked up by Per Mertesacker. He will be sent back to the Bundesliga outfit for the remainder of the season. Sounds familiar.

  42. China1

    What exactly happened with Ceballos and Luiz?

    I won’t pass judgment without knowing more details but this is the second time for Dani and rightly or wrongly my impression is Luiz is a pretty chill guy so makes you wonder

  43. China1

    Nelson I actually think our academy and youth recruitments generally look quality these days

    The question for me is can/will arsenal give the best players a serious platform to make the grade or should we expect more of the same cockblocking with senior squad players as we’ve seen so far apart from for saka

    Some of our kids right now are quality but without either getting loans or minutes in the first team they’re irrelevant. Smith Rowe, Nelson, AMN and Saliba are now our poster boys for irrelevance (regardless of their individual circumstances)

    Let’s hope arsenal seriously sort it out for these players one way or the other and fast. Glad that new kid is going back out on loan

  44. Guns of SF

    We just need Dominik S ….. and Aouar

    I miss the days of our mids being like a symphony of destruction to opposition.

    We need 2 creative mids… not one… genuine scoring and assist dribbling machines.

    Look at the mold of Cesc, Hleb TR7

  45. Guns of SF

    TR7 never saw a shot he did not like.
    Long distance bombs…

    Cesc always shot right at the goalie, but went to Barca and did much better.

    Our team could unpick any low block back then, with TH, RVP as well.

    Say what you want, but Wenger did have some utter gems of players and did play with the handbrake off…

    His other problems are another story

    I do hope we get some attacking mids in Jan!

  46. Guns of SF

    Luiz is a mild mannered happy fella. Something much have really irked him.

    Dani the loanee is fighting first team players…. !?

    What the F

  47. Sid

    In Germany, money does not wash. You have to be a philosopher and statesman.

    La, la, la, la (hey!)
    Wait till I get my money right
    La, la, la, la (yeah!)
    Then you can’t tell me nothing, right?
    Excuse me, is you saying something?
    Uh, uh, you can’t tell me nothing (ha, ha!)
    You can’t tell me nothing
    Uh, uh, you can’t tell me nothing

  48. Receding Hairline

    Pierre we might sneak a victory against Leeds but not with that scoreline. How many of the Leeds starting eleven went away for meaningless internationals?

    Leeds are just two points behind us and have scored more than us in the league this season. I don’t see us walloping them 3-0.

  49. Sid

    The problem with pack the bus tactics is lack of options, attacking football is dynamic,
    the opposition will be caught offguard because there are many options of doing it
    Everyone now knows what to expect from Arsenal while we dont know what to expect from teams that play positive football.

  50. Emiratesstroller

    If you are going to criticise Arteta then at least do it constructively.

    We have lost sofar 4 games this season. Two were away against Liverpool and Man City and
    to be frank those results were to be expected.They are better teams.

    The other two defeats were against Leicester and Aston Villa at home and were not expected. There is a strong case for criticising both manager and players for the performance there. Arteta has acknowledged in both games his personal responsibility.

    It is always difficult to identify precisely the reasons for Arsenal’s failures, because they are
    often different in particular games.

    We were not outplayed in the game against Leicester where we lost because Vardy finished
    clinically and our strikers did not. Also you need to factor in that we scored a goal early which was disallowed.

    The defeat against Aston Villa was a different matter, because we were completely outplayed as everyone acknowledges.

    My personal diagnosis is that Arsenal are currently an “inconsistent” team and we have a
    major problem in finishing clinically. We are not scoring enough goals or for that matter
    putting opposing teams under sufficient pressure in games.

    Aubameyang has scored just two goals in EPL including a penalty and both Lacazette and
    Nketiah have also been poor this season. If you have three misfiring strikers that is a problem.

    Arteta has inherited the bulk of our current squad. Only THREE new recruits can be considered regular starters in EPL. Those are Willian, Gabriel and Partey who only arrived
    in October.

    I don’t think that there is any debate about the quality of both Gabriel and Partey who look
    like first class acquisitions.

    The recruitment of Willian is perhaps a different matter. Based on his performance last season you might argue that he was a good acquisition. On the other hand should Arsenal
    be recruiting players aged 32 and offering them longterm contracts?

    There is also going to be a serious debate about the decision to sell Martinez. Some of us
    believe that he is a far more solid and reliable goalkeeper than Leno who is far more prone
    to mistakes.

    The other points of discussion are Arteta’s handling of Ozil and Saliba. Frankly the decision
    to exclude Ozil from squad is the right one, because he has not been performing for a very
    long time. The situation with Saliba is of concern, because he cost a lot of money, but if the
    manager does not believe that he is ready or perhaps more importantly not good enough to
    play in first team then you can hardly criticise him for that decision.

    In short term the only major change that I would make to starting lineup is to play Pepe rather than Willian. I think that Pepe offers more fire power, but needs more playing time
    than he is being offered.

  51. Pierre

    Stroller
    “and we have a major problem in finishing clinically.”

    The major problem is not the finishing, it’s the creating of chances , aubameyang 8 games , 8 shots at goal in the league says it all.
    Nketiah has started one league game ( 1 goal) and you think he has been poor.
    Lacazette 9 shots in 6 games( 3 goals)

    And yet you are in agreement that the player who has created the most chances per 90 minutes under Arteta is not in the squad..

    The strikers are not blameless but they are feeding on scraps and nothing will change until we bring in a player who can link the play…

    For me , the choices are , swap xhaka for Eriksen to replace our moist crestive player or change the way we play and bring in the kids to play a high intensity game.

    Eddie, Martinelli, willock, Balogun, saka and nelson surely can’t do any worse creatively and in front of goal than Willian, Lacazette and Aubameyang.

    Though i have no doubt that Aubameyang will come good.

  52. Graham62

    ES

    Good morning.

    The criticism of Arteta is, I feel, totally justified.

    At the end of last season, there were clear signs that we were on an upward curve. Yes, we still had frailties but it was evident that we were looking more like a team and believed in what we were doing.

    This season however, things have gone pear shape. Arteta, imo, has tinkered too much and his stubborn refusal to adapt to given situations has cost us big time. Tactically, we are inept with the ball and going forward we have little variety in our play.

    Decisions off the pitch have cost us and again, as I have stressed numerous times on here before, selling Martinez was a big downer for everyone. The structure and confidence of the team was affected and it also sent out the wrong message.

    Loyalty means nothing. Who cares if Martinez wanted to be the #1. He had earned it. Arteta’s handling of this was wrong in so many respects, but the most significant part in all of this is that it showed he was prepared to disrupt the team’s progression just for the sake of keeping the better keeper at the club. Naive to say the least.

    Since Martinez left the building we have lost our mojo.

  53. andy1886

    @GD, yes unfortunately Saka needs a rest, so AMN would be the obvious replacement. Not sure if we’ll still be using a 343 though, I’d like to see Tierney as a LB rather than a LCB, AMN or Saka on the left of a midfield three or further forward if we switch Auba centrally.

    In reality though it’s likely to be more of the same with direct replacements for those unavailable (although how you could call Xhaka a direct replacement for Partey is a mystery).

  54. andy1886

    @NORG – Possibly, I guess we will see on Sunday.

    On a completely different subject what is all this ‘Protagonist’ BS about? Emery liked the word, Pedro seems to be a fan, and Arteta used it in his press conference today. Nothing more annoying than a buzz-word bandwagon that’s utterly meaningless.

  55. Kris

    You’re right Andy.
    Also, Emery using the word protagonists when we were the exact opposite under him was like countries like North Korea or East Germany having ‘Democratic’ in their official name to deflect from the truth.
    If Arteta has begun using the same, it’s not a good sign considering we’re becoming more and more reactive instead of proactive in our approach to even middling opponents.

  56. Aussie+Gooner

    “Luiz “took exception” to a challenge by the Span international at the end of a training ground match last week which prompted him to lash out. Luiz is reported to have struck Ceballos on the nose, drawing blood through a scratch, before the pair were separated by members of the Gunners’ coaching staff.”

    Wasn’t it Luiz who crocked Martinelli in training????

    China

    Thanks for reading my post on Marx/Engels!

  57. Batistuta

    A healthy dose of player poverty earlier on by certain posters on the last post andnsome rubbish about Villa having a better squad than ours from someone else too.

    So much excuses, let’s hope we see something different on Sunday and for the love of all that’s good ditch the current system that hasn’t seemed to work so far

  58. englandsbest

    Graham62

    Sorry, loyalty means everything, – otherwise why do you support Arsenal?

    I’ll grant you, loyalty is a two-way street, and we’ve had little from Stan. But Arteta is a different matter.

    I guess you got out of bed in a bad mood.

  59. Nelson

    Arteta is learning fast. When he was asked by a reporter about the Ceballos and Luiz incident, his reply was that he didn’t see it. The matter has been resolved. This is the Wenger’s way of sweeping it under the carpet.

  60. Graham62

    englandsbest

    Sorry, I meant to say.-

    “Loyalty means nothing” in this case.

    Actually I’m in a good mood even though I’m stuck on a train half way between Worthing and Portsmouth.

  61. Marc

    It just keeps getting better and better – Partey and Elneny both out for Leeds.

    Maybe Xhaka can put in one of the odd good performances he manages a season..

  62. Up 4 grabs now

    Afternoon,

    Willian took a trip to Dubai without permission. breaking covid protocol
    Luis and Dani fighting allegedly.
    Nothing like a quiet interlull for us.

    So no Elneny, no Partey for this weekend.
    xhaka and dani in midfield thats not got car crash written all over it, much.

    lets hope Arteta has spent the last two weeks showing the squad the Invincibles dvd!

  63. Up 4 grabs now

    Arteta, however, would not confirm whether Willian would be a part of Sunday’s matchday squad after the Brazilian reportedly made an unauthorised trip to Dubai, which would force him to miss the game due to Covid-19 protocols.

    The Arsenal boss maintained the issue would be dealt with by the club internally: “We had a conversation and I explained what I was expecting. I don’t confirm anything, that only it is an issue that has been resolved, explained and let’s move on.”

    if thats true it didnt take willian long to start playing up to Arteta.

  64. Marc

    U4GN

    It shouldn’t be – it’s a real pain in the arse that Partey’s missing but we have the players on paper to get a performance out of them.

    The problem and the reason Pedro’s so defensive is we’ve been poor this season and it hasn’t looked like we’re pulling out of it.

    Hopefully a couple of weeks has given Arteta time to come up with some fresh ideas.

  65. Marc

    U4GN

    “Arteta, however, would not confirm whether Willian would be a part of Sunday’s matchday squad after the Brazilian reportedly made an unauthorised trip to Dubai, which would force him to miss the game due to Covid-19 protocols.”

    Where did you get that from? Not a criticism of you but that comment demonstrates why all journalists should be neutered and not allowed to breed.

    Trying to shit stir but being a moron, unfortunately a good chunk of the population will buy it.

  66. Up 4 grabs now

    Highbury,

    our next 7 leagues games are games that could go either way.
    Leeds A
    wolves H
    spuds A
    Burnley H
    Southampton H
    Everton A
    Chelsea H

    other than Burnley who are shocking you wouldnt be surprised if we managed only 8 points from that lot.
    win at leeds? home against Burnley, draw at wolves and home against southampton lose the rest?

    on current form especially with our shot shy attack, we could be miles off 4th by boxing day night after playing chelsea.

    i hope im wrong but can see Arteta losing the dressing room as quick as Emery did.

  67. Sid

    Xhakalson vs a high tempo team, you can be sure diet Pep will give instructions that the ball should not be passed to midfield.
    Its Leno to CB, CB to Leno, back to CB then to wingbacks, back to CB then a long pass to Auba. Rinse repeat.

    You can take this to the bank!

  68. Nelson

    After watching how England NT applied the 3 4 3 system, I would be really disappointed if Arteta couldn’t see what’s wrong with his offense. With this system, he has a solid defense. The attack is heavily through the wing. You can’t have your striker spending so much time and energy in the midfield. On top of that, the striker has a bad header. That’s a fatal combination.

    For the 3 4 3 system to function properly, Arteta needs a more balanced attack. The two inside forwards should be the one to come back and help out to advance the ball forward. The striker should stay up top. He should be the link up man for the two inside forwards or the target man for the two wing backs.

    I am interested to see what is Arteta’s solution. Changes got to come.

  69. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre & Graham 62

    Greetings

    We can continue to blame ad infinitum the manager for his decision making. Yes from time to time he makes mistakes as indeed do most other managers.

    However, Arsenal’s current erratic form is mainly down to the performance of players on the
    pitch.

    We can debate the goalkeeper decision, because Arteta was responsible for that decision.

    You can argue about the formation. When Arsenal win as we did against Man Utd most
    people agreed with the decision. On the other hand when we lose as we did against Leicester and AV it is considered by some the wrong decision.

    Decisions made to leave both Ozil and Saliba out of the squad have been taken by the manager backed I am fairly sure by Eduardo and the other coaches. No-one leaves out such players unless there is a good reason to do so.

    The criticism of Xhaka is ongoing despite the fact that he has played competently since
    resumption in June. He has made few mistakes since then. You can argue that Elneny has
    played well as he did in Man Utd match.

    Let’s be honest all our central midfield players apart from Partey are average. Personally I
    don’t rate Xhaka worse or better than Elneny or Ceballos.

    Arsenal’s current goalscoring outcomes in EPL is however the main problem at moment.
    Finishing has been very poor.

  70. gunnerram

    In the next 8 games – we will max take 10 points. I think Arteta’s number will be up before December.

    Starting at Leeds – where Xakha and Dani need to start we will be overrun by the mindless runners Leeds have and it will be nothing short of a miracle if we came back with a mauling…

    Currently – its very difficult to see any positives. Our mid field is overrun by AV – they just bypassed our midfield as if it never existed.

  71. Nelson

    Leeds is getting two of their best players, Rodrigo and Kalvin Phillips back. That was the team that defeated Villa, Wolves and tied MC. Sunday’s game won’t be easy.

  72. Marc

    Emirates

    “You can argue about the formation. When Arsenal win as we did against Man Utd most
    people agreed with the decision. On the other hand when we lose as we did against Leicester and AV it is considered by some the wrong decision.”

    Surprised by that coming from you – you usually have a more balanced insight than most on here. The reason “most people” agreed with the defensive setup against ManU was because it was an away match when we haven’t won away against a top 6 team for 300 years.

    The matches against Leicester and Villa were at home – maybe I’m just being unreasonable again in expecting us to try and win home matches and certainly not get spanked by a team that only narrowly escaped relegation last season.

  73. Pierre

    Arteta said: “I mentioned with Joe that I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s handled the situation of not having much game time in the Premier League.”

    I know this may seem a novel idea ,but how about starting him and give him and Nketiah a run in the side the way he has given Willian and Lacazette a run when they are struggling for form.

    Up to date, willock and Nketiah have started one league game between them…….

    We have kids like Balogun, Eddie, Willock, Martinelli, Nelson, Saka, ESR that are ready to make an impact and give the manager energy , pace and intensity up front..

  74. Marc

    U4GN

    It’s an utterly moronic point and typical of SSN – if Willian went to Dubai then the COVID procedures say he can’t play on Sunday, if he didn’t go why didn’t the club put put a statement refuting the claim as false and move on?

    A bigger question is what is a player doing taking an action that would mean he isn’t available for an important match?

    Personally I’d have the Club’s lawyers looking at whether this constitutes breach of contract – it’d be a useful way of getting £10 million a year off the wages bill for the next 2 and a half years.

  75. Marc

    Pierre

    Balogun has refused to sign a new contract and will leave for a nominal fee in the summer. Unless he’s had a change of heart and is now talking to the club about a new deal playing him is just obstructing the path to the first team for another player.

  76. China1

    Freddie is like to see us be aggressive and get a ore transfer window deal signed and sealed that just doesn’t become active until the transfer window opens

    Bayern we’re talking him up the other day. Now Real Madrid links. I’m a bit worried by the time the window opens we’ll end up being the ugly step sister in the bidding process and his head will get turned by a bigger and better team

    Tho tbf he himself has said being in the starting 11 is his priority and he doesn’t need to be in a CL team yet. I don’t think real and Bayern etc can realistically promise that

  77. China1

    Man the process of applying for a green card here is such a pain in the ass

    Will be worth it if jt works tho. A 10 year visa, no more fuss each year. No more companies having me by the balls due to it being awkward to change jobs whilst on a work visa…