Diego Maradona: ‘nearly signed him’ of the century?

by .

Well happy Thanksgiving to all my American brethren.

What do we Arsenal fans have to be thankful of? Absolutely nothing.

I hate life right now.

… but, we do have a tasty away clash against Molde tonight. The Europa League is my escape. It’s where my dreams of progressive one-touch football go to play out at level 11.

The coach did a pretty extensive press interview, clocking in 18 minutes of chit chat. He looks pretty relaxed, which is nice to see, BECAUSE I AM NOT RELAXED.

Most of the press questions were around Nicolas Pepe. I love how critical journalists can be about football, preparation, subs, tone, jacket choice… but they are all totally fucked if someone else asks the one question they had prepared for the interview.

Anyway, it was interesting how adamant the coach was about Pepe’s inclusions (all four times he was asked about it). He aggressively shot down the idea that his career was over with the sort of face a Spaniard gives you when you reach for the ketchup during a fine dining experience.

“Absolutely not, it’s not about that and I don’t like that type of statement,”

“I will give Nico my full support all the time. He knows the things he has to improve but again we all know his qualities.

“He has some responsibility, and I have a lot of responsibility, to get the best out of him. I cannot fault his effort at all. There are certain aspects he can do better because he has the ability … but to say there is a threat to finish his career here, it’s not at all like that.”

The player made a mistake, showed remorse, and he’ll be going right back into the starting 11 to prove himself.

That’s good news. Arteta went to great lengths to say that the responsibility of his career is on his shoulders. I’m very unsure where we’ll land with the player. He cost £72m but he plays like he’s come out of the U18s. He offers no cover on the right, his touch is often fat and heavy, his decision making is slow, he runs with the ball too much. Everything in his game needs to speed up and he needs to find intensity for the full 90. He’s been so awful, you almost have to wonder whether AMN should be put in the side to cover for the lack of help Hector receives.

Back to Nico. What better place to show the world what you can do than the greatest of the European competitions?

There was also a bit of a rewind on Folarin Balogun. The manager admitted the club has reopened contract talks because the player is showing something he wasn’t before. I have no idea what that means specifically, but I’m assuming the attitude slipped last summer when there was a lot of back and forth over whether he should have gone to Sheffield United.

Tonight would be a great moment to see whether he can translate U23 performances into a big boys competition. He certainly looks the business. He’s more of an all-action striker than Eddie. He can run with the ball a pace, he’s strong, he loves a low shot like Nik Anelka. The question is, as ever, can it translate? He ‘looks’ like he could be the Aguero Mikel doesn’t have. COULD. I said COULD.

I suspect tonight was originally going to be full-on kids, but I wonder if we’ll see more senior players on account of some of the dismal football. The club is going through a weird transition midseason as we hopefully begin to move away from 3 at the back. We don’t exactly have an easy set of Premier League fixtures to test and learn, so tonight might be a good place to start.

There’s talk that William Saliba will leave in January. I really hate the idea that he’s going back to St Etienne. Why would you go back to a subpar league that’s comfortable? Go to a club in the Premier League. Leeds, West Brom, Brighton, and Burnley could all do with reinforcements. Why head back to an oven that only half baked you last time?

Some additional unwanted news, it appears our most creative player, Bukayo Saka, is out of contention for this Sunday. I have no idea about Thomas Partey, but you’d imagine Mo Elneny is also out. It’s not looking good.

Finally, Diego Maradona. One of the most joyous footballers ever to grace the game passed yesterday, probably because he just enjoyed the good times a little too hard.

He told the Gallaghers that if they left his party with any of his women, he’d have them both shot.

60 years of living life like Diego, or like you, sitting there, reading a blog with your avocado on whole-grain toast. You big joke.

It’s quite incredible that Arsenal went all in on him. Probably the greatest ‘nearly signed him’ of the last century. Imagine Diego ripping it up in North London in the 80s? It would have been spectacular. I think we also tried for Platini? We’d have lifted the European Cup with those two in the side. Maradona tearing it up at The Wag Club with Spandau Ballet, Martin Kemp reworking the lyrics of GOLD to celebrate a league title win, I would LOVED to have seen it (Kev K emphasis).

I do find the football cultural police a sight to behold on the internet. The people that brought you ‘defensive midfielders are for thugs’ and ‘touchline passion from managers is bad etiquette from a bygone era’ are now trying to push the idea that it’s uniquely English to have a shared hatred for a player in the tribal game of football. I especially love the idea that these total bores, particularly the English variety, think it’s uniquely sophisticated to be able to brush off the Hand of God as a positive.

The same folk will enthusiastically share articles from painfully hip Square Space websites that trace the origins of violence from fans at the Argentinian Superclásico to early years consumption of folk music from the Andean hills.

‘Their violence is just, you know, better’


It’s ok to be bitter about football.

If you’re not still seething about Stephan Henchoz in that 2000-01 cup final, who are you?

Right, short one today. See you savages in the comments section.

381 Responses to “Diego Maradona: ‘nearly signed him’ of the century?”

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  1. Rich

    Freddie Ljungberg

    I agree Lacazette isn’t good enough, he works hard, technically he’s decent, and will bag us a few goals, but lacks dynamism, stamina and presence in the box, we spent £50 million on a downgrade to the underrated Giroud,

    He’s 29, and clearly on the slide as a player, the PL is all about physicality.

    I’m not convinced of Aubameyang through the middle, he can do a job there, but he’s an impact player, he needs chances, he doesn’t really do much else but score goals, he’s averaged 19 touches a game over 420 appearances

  2. Freddie Ljungberg


    Yeah, but Auba is world class at scoring goals, that’s the difference between him and someone like Eddie who also doesn’t offer much outside scoring occasionally, and he can score more than poacher goals. Unless we buy a player that can do what Arteta apparently wants his CF to do, or if Martinelli can be that player, we need to play the player most likely to put the ball in the net where our few chances we create falls. It’s not rocket science.

  3. Venga, Dani

    Freddie LjungbergNovember 26, 2020 21:16:51
    VengaLike I said, I’m happy if he proves me wrong, but no way should we allow him to develop in the first team when we can’t buy a goal at the minute. He needs a loan to a championship club that plays him week in week out.


  4. Rich

    No that analogy was made based on:

    I don’t think Lacazette is good enough.

    I think Aubameyang is better on the left, unless we find some more creativity behind him, which unless Willock or Smith-Rowe kick on? Then we don’t have that type of player

    That leaves Nketiah 21, Balogun 19, Martinelli 19, who’s injured.

    Arteta then has to work with the tools at his disposal,he doesn’t have a world class option as a 9

    I’m certainly not against us buying a more experienced and established No9, I look forward to Martinelli coming back, I’d love Richarlison

    It just pisses me off when tw*ts on comment sections, write off young players, and make stupid predictions about a young players projection,

    Rather than just supporting our young lads, and letting time take its course.

    I’d certainly trust Arsene, Freddie and Arteta’s judgment, over people on this comments section.

    Eddie has just broken Shearers long-standing under 21 record, that suggests he might just have something about him.

    We’re at least 3 seasons away from a title push, it’s unlikely we’ll get top 4 this season, that’ll be 5 years outside the CL

    We need to build a new team, that takes time, and whilst I think KSE will invest, we’re also going to need to develop young players, we can’t do what City do.

    So that means stop being so knee jerk, and getting behind younger players

  5. Pierre

    The problem with Eddie and Aubameyang is they need the ball to ne played fast and early across the face of the goal , similar to willock’s ball for the Nelson’s goal tonight.

    Playing pepe right and Nelson left meant that ball never arrived..
    for the future , if Aubameyang or Eddie are up top, saka/pepe should play left and nelson/ Willian should play right

    As much as many compare balogun with Eddie, they are actually different in the way they like to receive the ball in the box.

    Balogun is not dissimilar to Lacazette in that he is comfortable receiving the ball with his back to go and can swivel and get his shot away, although he is also pretty good in other areas.

    Aubameyang nor Eddie like to receive the ball with their back to goal , they like moving on to the ball for the one touch finosh .

  6. Emiratesstroller

    A solid performance produced tonight on a difficult pitch.

    Pepe had for a change a decent game and we saw flashes of world class in the performance.
    Let us hope that he can maintain that level in EPL.

    The main concern for me is the performances of Lacazette and Nketiah. Neither has shown
    the level required of a top class centre forward or finisher.

    Lacazette is too often out of position although he did produce one shot which needed a first
    class save from goalkeeper.

    Nketiah looks decided average at best and I don’t believe is anything better than Championship level. Frankly Balogun showed better instinct in first 10 seconds on the pitch
    than both players collectively.

  7. Receding Hairline

    Rangers throwing away a two goal lead second time in a row against benfica….good think you cashed something out Bati.

    Had them on a double chance in mine and over 1.5 in another. Ones in, the other ends with Leicester on Monday.

  8. Pierre

    First goal tonight ..first time cross from the left , willock with his left foot .

    2nd goal tonigh, willock cross from the right , using his right foot.

    3rd goal tonight , smith rowe, ball from the left , using his left foot.

    Go back to the first half and literally every time we were out wide , Nelson or Pepe checked back onto their better foot and nothing was created.

    A lesson learnt hopefully…get the ball in early if the opportunity is there before the defeñce has time to get organised.

  9. MD-Gunner

    Just fuck the Europa League playing teams that wouldn’t it make into the Championship or League 1 in the UK. Than follow that up with a fucking Sunday game. Not worth it, so I don’t mind it if we don’t play European football next season, less to get aggravated about, enough pain already in the EPL.

  10. China1

    Lol ST I’m as happy for Balogun as anyone but his shot for the goal was pretty crap lol. It was scuffed and right down the middle, hitting the keeper on the way in. Hardly an elite strike

    If Laca or Eddie has hit that we’d be saying ‘see, more poor finishing’.

    Not that I’m judging balogun, just saying it wasn’t a ‘good’ goal by any stretch of the imagination

  11. China1

    MD Gunner if you go far in the EL it’s worth over £30 without even winning it. + backdoor route to the CL

    It’s not that complicated, just rotate hard for the pub teams to stay fresh

  12. Dissenter

    “Lol ST I’m as happy for Balogun as anyone but his shot for the goal was pretty crap lol. It was scuffed and right down the middle, hitting the keeper on the way in. Hardly an elite strike”

    Sorry but you’re over-intellectualizing a simple process.

    Balogun had to control the ball with his back against at the goal, turn around in a crowded box and shoot at the same time.
    It was instinctive because he couldn’t have seen where the goalie was before shooting.
    There are intangibles that cannot be taught, Balogun has some of them.

  13. Nelson


    I agree. You need skill to shoot that ball. It is an useful skill. It is more difficult for the defender to stop that shot.

  14. Zimmie2652

    Just watched the replay and the one thing that really stuck with me is how much I have underrated AMN’s pace. Gosh he is rapid, saw him close down guys from 10-15yds in just the first couple minutes and made it look like a joke. Didn’t mind the lineup tonight although had some concerns upon initial review. It was nice to see a more attacking lineup finally. Give or take 2-3 players, I wouldn’t hate seeing more of this in the league. Let the young bucks get blooded and prove they have what it takes or not. Can’t really get a solid feel against a team the level of Molde.

  15. Tony

    Let’s hope we see more of Balogun in the coming weeks to see what he can do.

    I agree with ES that Balogun offers more than Eddie where Eddie’s temperament looks questionable through his body language when someone else scores from inside the box. I believe Eddie will gop the way of Franny Jeffers: nowhere with a big club.

    My conclusion is we should try to do all we can to sell Eddie, Lacazette, Xhaka and AMN in the Jan window and add a ball retaining CF and 2 AMs of Aouar’s and Szo’s ability/potential, such as Weagle’s choices yesterday if the initial 2 aforementioned are snapped up.

    Add to the outgoings of Kola & Mustafi.

    Over to Edu to see what’s she’s really work in shipping players out and in.

    Not going to hold my breathe, though.

  16. Captain Tierney

    Agree with the suggestion that Nketiah is not ready to start for Arsenal. But dont think we should write him off this early in his career.
    Yes he is average in many attributes like pace, physique, dribbling, passing, shooting, heading. Fortunately one thing he is good at is sniffing chances, a trait that cant be taught. All or most of the attributes he is average at like dribbling, passing, shooting, heading, physique can be improved through training and will power. Sniffing chances and being in the right place at the right time is innate. You either have it or you dont. Eddie is only second to Auba and Martinelli in that regard.

    We shouldn’t write him off this early in his career, at the same time he shouldn’t be starting for us either. A Championship/ Bundesliga/ Serie A/ Ligue A/ La liga loan where he will be a guaranteed starter is the best next step imo.

  17. Sid

    2 games of Balogun taking instructions from diet Pep in the EPL will turn him into crap.
    Playing in Europa when the game is as good as over is totally different.

    Im telling you for free!

  18. Receding Hairline

    Nketiah couldn’t start for Leeds in the championship, there was a reason for that.

    Glad we have sorted qualification from the group, common sense dictates the kids finish up the last two ties while we concentrate on putting up performances in the league. Our fixture list in the league is concerning, every single game looks tricky.

  19. Bojangles

    There’s a report re Szoboszlai that, if true, won’t please many here. We are looking to sign him in January but allow him to remain at Salzburg for the remainder of the season.

  20. Up 4 grabs now

    Bojangles, szobos has a buy out clause, if we meet it there’s no way he stays at Salzburg for the rest of the season.
    Unless were getting him cheaper theres no reason to make that deal.

  21. Pierre

    Sometimes you need a little luck in front of goal.

    China was right, Balogun scuffed his shot and it was going in the centre of goal and it could well have been Bruce Grobelaar in goal as he dived out of the way of the ball.

    Eddie scored yesterday and also in the home game v molde last week …both perfectly good goals , both onside , both disallowed for offside…

    If VAR had been in operation he would be sitting on 5 games for the season and his missed header would have not been mentioned…….luck can make all the difference for a striker when chances are at a premium.

    Strikers miss goals, the previous night i saw werner miss a sitter from 2 yards out, the difference is , he knew he would get another 5 chances in the game , score a goal , and the miss would be forgotten.

    I have been calling for Balogun to start for the past few months, he has power and pace to burn and a hunger for goals..he should have come on earlier , hopefully he will get a start next week in ireland and Eddie and Balogun can push eaçhother on to great things for the club.

    I hope they both have a great future at Arsenal ,i said at the start of the season that for me it’s all about the youth this season and seeing how they progress.

    I am really looking forward to seeing Martinelli, Smith Rowe and Saliba play, we have the makings of a very good young side coming through.

    I enjoy reading the negativity that posters on Le Grove show towards certain players , to me it shows their ignorance of the game .

    Last night , willock was superb on the ball, but not one mention of him on here as they all wrote him off after last weekend…
    He is beginning to show what a complete player he is and how he can adapt to different positions.

    Yesterday was a performance of maturity and his composure on the ball throughout made it look like a stroll for him….he is destined for greater things in the next few years as his confidence grows..

  22. Bojangles


    Just the messenger here. Apparently Arsenal are attempting to structure a deal with Salzburg similar to the Chelsea deal that saw Pulisic tranfer from Borussia Dortmund.

  23. gunnerram

    This 4-3-3 really works for us isnt it?

    Like good old Wenger days – creating chances for fun. If only Arteta has the DOJO to play the same way in the League we will be fun to watch. ,

  24. Jamie

    Solid 2nd half performance yesterday.

    What is becoming clearer with every appearance he makes is that Eddie needs a loan move in Jan. He is miles off the pace of the PL.

  25. bacaryisgod

    Just looking at Balogun’s highlights, his ability to finish on either side immediately sets him apart from Eddie and Laca. It allows him to cut inside or go out wide depending on the best option and he has no fear on either foot.

  26. Pierre

    What Balogun has in his favour is he is explosive, he very much reminds me of when Kevin Campbell exploded onto the scene to help fire us to the title in 1991.

    Balogun is fitter , leaner and faster than Campbell but has the strength and power of Campbell..

    I would really like to see Arteta take a few more risks in his selections in the premier league.

    The way we are playing , we definitely are not winning the league and are highly unlikely to qualify for champions league so it would be the perfect time to see what the kids can do.

    George Graham did it in the late 80’s with Rocastle, Thomas and Merson to go with a young Tony Adams and he was rewarded for his bravery…

    Can a forward line consisting of Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, Balogun and Eddie do any worse than the present lot ..

    Can Willock, Azeez and Smith rowe be more creative than the present lot …they can’t do much worse can they.

    In a way it could have been better and braver to stick with freddie as boss for a year or 2 as he would have fast tracked the kids into the first team..

    He wouldn’t have perservered with under performing senior players that’s for sure..

    The new year is the time to start trusting the kids ..The least Arteta can do is let them finish the job in the league cup, FA cup and europa as normally the experienced players are brought in during the latter stages…

    Personally, i think it’s time to see if they can sink or swim in the league, they have shown that they can dominate the europa and the domestic cup comps over the last 2 seasons ….let’s see what they can do in the league , they have a superb on field relationship and one can see that they enjoy playing together , so why not .

  27. Mb

    Arteta is in a conundrum. When he took over, we had a good attack (even till last season), so he decided to fix the defence.

    Now the attack has switched off. Partially because Auba is not performing and the Arteta’s rigid system.

    I was so in favor of keeping Auba but I feel sorry now. We could have used that 50 odd million wisely if it’s gonna be Eddie and Balogun (Martinelli later) for coming years.

    Why tf Laca is still playing?!?

  28. Graham62

    Nketiah just doesn’t have that inner hunger and drive..

    I don’t get it with him.

    Balogun comes on and within 5 seconds you can see he’s got what Nketiah lacks.

    So frustrating because the lad could do so much better.

  29. Dream10


    It’s nothing to do with hunger and drive.There is a gap in talent. Balogun simply has more in his locker than Nketiah.

  30. NORG


    Spot on – I too can remember GG introducing the players mentioned – also Keown. I did wonder at the time why Keown was let go and and inferior Adams retained but I didnt have to wait long before Adams grew into the Captains role.

  31. Marc

    “Can a forward line consisting of Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, Balogun and Eddie do any worse than the present lot ..”

    Well if the issue is the manager more than the players then yes the kids can do worse and it would have a detrimental effect on their development.

    First and foremost we need Arteta to get his head out of his arse, once he manages that then we need him to start having a plan on why and how to bring some of the young talent, and we do have some exciting prospects through.

  32. london gunner

    Hey guys,

    What do you think about playing 4132

    auba balogun
    nelson saka pepe
    tierney gabriel saliba bellerin(amn should get playing time to compete)

  33. Marc


    Well he hasn’t signed yet so let’s not start counting any chickens.

    I do hope he signs he’s looked a serious prospect and it really would be “the one that got away” if he doesn’t.

    My only issue was giving time to a player who’s leaving when you could give that to another young player – if he’s staying start giving him time in the EL, League Cup and maybe even easier FA Cup matches.

  34. Pierre

    Receding Hairline
    “Nketiah couldn’t start for Leeds in the championship, there was a reason for that.”

    So what was the reason for orient only starting Harry kane 9 times.

    Leicester starting Harry Kane only a handful of games

    Norwich starting Harry Kane only a handful of games

    Will be interested to know as there must be a pretty good reason for not starting a young English striker who is proving to be world class.

  35. SuperRob


    Some of these mugs dont have a clue. It has nothing to do with Eddie and his perceived lack of ability it’s more Bielsa’s loyalty and dependence on Bamford. He always likes to play with a tall physical front man and then when the defenders are tired bring on a more pacy option when the defenders are tired.

    Did this at Bilbao with Llorente. Doing it again now with Rodrigo. Are you telling me Spains no9 isnt better than Bamford? Bielsa rated Eddie like he rates Rodrigo but he’ll always start with the guy that fits his system best.

  36. Gonsterous

    I wouldn’t mind watching a young and talented arsenal team.

    Bellend. Gabriel. Saliba. KT
    Partey. New CM
    Pepe. EsR. Martinelli

    Just need a new cm in the mould of santi and maybe an upgrade on esr if he’s not good enough.

  37. Nelson

    I find that Arteta let Pepe, Reiss and Willock have a lot of freedom on the pitch yesterday. The offense looked much better in the 2nd half. Maybe he finally realize what’s wrong with his system. I hope he does that for EPL games.

  38. G8

    Nketiah has plenty of opportunities to prove himself
    So far he hasn’t progressed at all, time to give more chances to Balogun
    In his last two cameos he looked faster, stronger, and hungrier than Nketiah
    Nketiah is never going to be the next Kane or Vardy for that matter!

  39. SuperRob

    Bamford isn’t very good but he works well in their system. He’s just having a purple patch and plays in a team that constantly creates chances.

    Watched Leeds in the Championship a few times the last couple of years and they would have been promoted earlier if PB had taken more of his easier chances.

  40. Pierre

    “So far he hasn’t progressed at all, time to give more chances to Balogun
    Nketiah is never going to be the next Kane or Vardy for that matter!”

    As i have said before, I’m all for giving Balogun his chance , i like and rate both strikers..

    In case you didn’t realise , at the age of 23 Vardy was playing for stockbridge park steels and then moved on to halifax and then Fleetwood town , before moving to Leicester at the age of 25..

    So to compare Eddie to Vardy is pretty daft .

    Why do you think Vardy never broke the England under 21 goalscoring record or wasn’t joint top scorer for Arsenal or another top club at the age of 21…

    The simple answer is , he wasn’t good enough at that time and has he matured (ha ha) he became a better player..

    If Eddie was put up for sale tomorrow, there would be a fight for his signature as he is already a proven goalscorer.
    If Aubameyang and Lacazette are struggling at the moment at Arsenal , why would anyone think a kid coming in would score a hatful of goals feeding off scraps .

  41. Nelson

    I wonder why Mohamed Salah was allowed to play two days ago. He and Mohamed Elneny were tested COVID-19 positive in the Egyptian NT. Our Mohamed Elneny is not even allowed to train.

  42. Nelson

    I had a bad experience with Bamford. He was so wasteful in the 1st half. I made a remark saying that Eddie would have taken some of those chances. Bamford then scored a hat trick in the 2nd half.

  43. Samir

    ………..Partey–Ruben Neves……

    Draxler – Free transfer
    Depay – Free transfer
    Ruben Neves – 35M

  44. Captain Tierney


    Agree with you that its illogical to write off Nketiah so early.
    But do you really think he should be starting games for us?
    Right now he is a pretty average player. Not ready to start for a top 4 challenging team. Id say he is a Championship level striker for now. He doesn’t have one stand out quality other than his poacher instinct. His average finishing ability means he requires 4 or 5 chances to score a goal.

    I think he should be loaned to a club where he will be the first choice striker and get a whole season of top flight football under his belt.

  45. G8

    Pierre, all iam saying is that the 50vyrs old Vardy has twice the pace of 20 yrs old Nketiah
    the daft thing is to hope Nketiah to be the next Kane!

  46. G8

    Nketiah was promising , just like Akpom and co before him.he hasn’t shown anything special
    .he is not going to make it at Arsenal, I will be ecstatic if he could, I just don’t see it at all
    he is still good enough to earn millions in lower clubs/ leagues

  47. Pierre

    If vardy played for Arsenal at this present time he would struggle to score and that is why i refuse to judge any of our strikers at the moment ..

    Leicester play to Vardy’s strengths , he makes the run and the ball is delivered.

    Arsenal don’t play to Aubameyang’s or Eddie’s strength at this present time, they make the run and the ball goes backwards or side ways.

    There is only so many times a striker will make those runs before they become frustrated.

    Aubameyang is a world class striker with world class movement and he hasn’t had one chance in the box this season due to players playing in the wrong position that suit his style of play.

    Play a left footer on the left saka/pepe and play a right footer on the right Willian/ nelson and then see how many goals Aubameyang and Eddie score

  48. Pierre

    To get the best out of Aubameyang up top he does not have to be involved in the build up at all , he should be there for one reason and one reason only, THE ONE TOUCH FINISH, something he is the master at…

    Up until the last 6 months 75% of his goals were from THE ONE TOUCH FINISH, that has now disappeared from his game.

    There are 3 reasons for this .
    1) he is wasting too much energy tracking back and is not getting in the positions, probably because he is too knackered.
    2) as pointed out yesterday, our wide players check back onto their good foot which effectively renders Aubameyang useless.
    3) Saka MUST play on the left , since lockdown he has played all over the pitch , put him on the left and the chances and goals will come.

  49. Kay

    Agree with Pierre

    We are not utilising the pace offered by Auba or Pepe or Willian or Tierney or Bellerin
    At this moment Martinelli returning won’t make any difference

  50. Sid

    ‘Under Rodgers, Leicester are seeing more of the ball in dangerous areas which in turn allows them to create better opportunities on a regular basis.
    In previous years, it was a scattergun approach. They attempted to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and then hoped for the best in a certain respect. But now Leicester can sustain attacks and then control the space if there’s a turnover in possession – it explains why they’re so good defensively.

    The key point here is Vardy is getting better service on a consistent basis. Rodgers is looking to make the most of his No.9’s clinical finishing and is doing so by structuring the patterns of play to allow him to end moves with very little involvement elsewhere. ‘


    Simply put diet Pep is clueless

  51. Nelson

    I read that the ticket price to watch the NLD :
    Ticket prices will be £65 for adults and £49 for young adults, while those over 65 or under 18 can get in for £32.50.

    Does it mean that the ticket price is independent of seat location?

  52. GillespieRoadNoMore

    For proper skewering of pretentious hipsters look no further than Nathan Barley. No matter what nationality you are you cannot but smile at the memories of joyous football conjured up by Maradonna, RIP Diego.

  53. Marc


    Normally different seat areas have different prices but if it’s limited to 2000 people they’ll probably be in certain locations that have a similar view.

  54. Rich


    Arteta certainly isn’t clueless.

    He’s had a career playing at the top level, under some very good managers.

    He’s been part of a coaching team that’s had big success, produced real consistency, and has been credited for with aiding the development of plenty of players.

    He’s already won some silverware within his first 12 months.

    Managers need time to work.

    Leicester are simply a much better run club that we are, their scouting and recruitment is exemplary, they buy low, sell high, their succession planning is superb.

    They’re a club with a clear and concise way of operating.

    We’re a club who’s reactionary, I don’t buy into the idea our problems are coaching ones.

    Or that changing the manager will see an uplift in performances and results.

    Providing Arteta doesn’t lose the dressing room, we should give him time to work.

  55. Marc


    Actually just enjoying winding Pedro up whilst teaching him the valuable life lesson that what goes around comes around.

    I really think it would take a meltdown of massive proportions for Arteta to get the bullet before the end of the season.

    Might be an idea though to ask me again after the NLD!

  56. Rich


    I believe far too many people are under the false impression, that coaches are omnipotent.

    Without the talent, the right mentality within a group,, and correct squad balance.

    There’s a limit to how far even exceptional coaching can take a team.

  57. Pierre

    “Leicester are simply a much better run club that we are, their scouting and recruitment is exemplary, they buy low, sell high, their succession planning is superb.They’re a club with a clear and concise way of operating.”

    You’re missing the point.

    I think that what Sid is implying is that Arteta is not getting the best out of Aubameyang and co., whereas Rodgers has devised a way of playing to Vardy’s strengths…

    Similar to what i was saying earlier.

    Does that make Arteta clueless …what I would say is that it’s criminal to have one of the best strikers in the world and failing to set the team up to provide chances for him to score.

  58. Emiratesstroller


    As usual there are too many “fickle” fans who post on here who shoot negatives directed at
    the Manager.

    Arteta has inherited a team/squad which was built predominantly under Wenger and Emery. His budget in last transfer window was limited and spent on four players. Partey and Gabriel are first team regulars and rated as good buys.

    Runarsson and Mari were recruited aT low cost and are squad players. As you point out we have yet to see Mari play this season, because he was injured. He was rated highly in
    South America.

    Willian has been sofar a disappointment, but was rated by most posters when he arrived as
    a great acquisition. Personally I would not have recruited him because of his age and wage

    It remains to be seen whether Saliba will make the grade at the club. It could be argued that
    he should have been included in UEFA registrations, but our problem there is that we are
    overloaded in the CB department with players hard to shift.

    We have two major problems this season, which are a lack of creativity in midfield and a
    misfiring forward line. The midfield is not soluble within framework of club and requires

    Our attack is not on paper weak, but has been misfiring this season. The major problem is
    Aubameyang’s poor form. Personally I agree that Lacazette needs now to be replaced in starting lineup. The difficulty is that our current transfer budget is unlikely to cover it especially if we need to spend money also in midfield.

    The second string CF is not a problem because I think that we will find the solution within
    club. Martinelli, Nketiah and Balogun will compete for that position. Personally I don’t rate
    Nketiah, but others who post here do.

    I agree with you and other experts who follow Arsenal. We are currently not a great team and squad and it will take probably 2-3 more transfer windows before we are competing at
    the top level in EPL.

    The major plus factors under Arteta to date are that he has built a successful cup team who
    are difficult to beat. He won the FA Cup and Community Shield against better teams than us
    and is unbeaten so far in both Europa League and Carabo Cup this season.

    Also our defence looks a lot more solid since June than previously.