by .

Welcome to Monday. I’m back at work. So are you. Life is shit and miserable.

Still, at least we can bask in the mini-glow of a decent run of three wins.

Chelsea fans? They are probably not feeling so good right now. Frank Lampard started the season badly and was called a fraud, then he had his team firing and he was lauded as the real deal, now he’s back on fraud watch because Chelsea lost again.

The hammer normally drops at Chelsea. Their owner has no time for sympathy or feelings of nostalgia. Though I will say, nearly every manager has had fans calling for their head this season. Ole G had United sniffing around Poch, now they’re apparently going to win the league. Jose was the king for a bit, then he dipped and Spurs fans were crying about their savagely bad football, now he’s somewhere in the middle. Carlo has had it. Nuno is getting it. It’s hard to make rash decisions when there are 10 points between 1st and 12th.

Arsenal has a very important three games coming up. We play Newcastle in the FA Cup, which is a back door to Europe, so we need to take it seriously again. Then we have two 6 pointers against Newcastle and Crystal Palace in the league. All three games are at home. Really, it’s essential we win all three.

In the league, Wolves and Everton are playing + Spurs and Villa. Adding three points moves us closer or further past a rival in the first weekend.

The weekend after Villa and Everton play. United and Everton. Leicester and Southampton.

Our Premier League games are on the easier side. We simply have to make them count. Palace have been all over the place this season, we know they can damage us, but if we’re on form, we should have enough. Newcastle are a really bland team, but they are capable of parking the bus and nicking draws. The shit teams are more often than not the problem. We need to find a way.

The two key games that’ll shape our season big-time are at the end of the month. If we can head into the Southampton and United games on wave of confidence, and deliver, then we’ll be in the running for top 4 this season. If we sputter into those games, and our top 4 hopes rest on them, I’m not sure we’ll have enough.

Southampton has a ghastly run of fixtures heading into our game facing Liverpool, Leicester, and Leeds. United has an extra game squeezed in and one less day of rest before we play.

People have been comparing Arteta’s December escape from hell to the sort of thing Wenger used to do. Say what you will, but Emery didn’t stop the rot from Jan 2019 until he was sacked.

The true Wenger signature move wasn’t escaping bad runs, it was looking well and truly out of the #Top4Trophy race, then delivering it against the odds.

I don’t want to start hyping people about the idea, because it feels a bit lost in this terrible season, but we do have some things Wenger had going for him.


An absolute Wenger classic. After he’d crushed his players before December by overplaying his faves, our best players would come back to fitness around the end of January. Those players had a forced break, they were fresh, and they could drive us when others in the race were leggy.

Arteta has his marquee signing from the summer coming back into the side. We’ve had him for 2.5 games. If he comes back ready, he’ll be immense for a side that needs his qualities. Gabriel Martinelli might not be scoring goals yet, but his impact on the backend of this season could be very much like the one Anelka had but on a less grandiose level. We’ve also discovered a young talent in Smith Rowe. He’s fit, he’s hungry and he doesn’t have the weight of half a season in his legs.


Can we really look past Andrey Arshavin as the ultimate #Top4Saviour? The little Russian landed in the Premier League and set it alight until he discovered North London takeaways. He arrived saying ‘I AM GOONER’, we all fell in love with him, and he helped us smash top 4 with 9 assists and 6 goals in 15 or so games.

Arsenal needs to make a smart January signing. We are desperate for a creative solution that fits the profile of what Arteta needs. The signing cannot be a glamour name for the sake of it. It needs to be someone that knows the league, can run, that is looking to shop window themselves. KSE shouldn’t be wasting the little money we have on perm signings that’ll come at a premium and stink of panic.


Wenger always found a way in the end. It might not have been pretty, but he always found a formula that let him scrape by. Whether it was that legendary back 5 that took us to the Champions League final, the discovery that Coquelin and Santi were quite good, or Mikel and Aaron… there was always a way.

Arteta has been mainlining Old Players, the street equivalent of cooking up dishwasher cubes. He’s been slipped something new though, that’s HUNGRY TALENT, the high is hopefully addicting, and maybe he’ll keep doing it now he understands the error of his ways.

The system he has now works. Hunger, energy, with technicians built for the vision. We need to remember how we fell up the stairs and stick with it, even if there are inevitable bumps in the road.


Final one, generally, Wenger would have his nightmare in November, or February. That’d be it then for the season. We had ours through October, November, and December. There’s a chance we might have knocked it out of the system. Sure, we’ll lose games, but the hope is the worst of our bad runs might be over.

All of the above is a big fantasy. We could get done by an Andy Carroll 93rd minute header, followed by Zaha reminding us why he’s the boss in the Ivorian national team. Us Arsenal fans NEVER learn not to touch the extremely painful HOPE button, but fuck it… it’s the first Monday of the year, no one wants to be reading warnings, so have a great day, listen to my podcast RIGHT NOW, then I’ll see you in the comments.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. RockyRoe

    Light at the end of the tunnel? We’ll see, for now, play a settled team over the next 3 games and find a way to get Auba scoring. He has been pedestrian this season.

  2. Useroz

    This is bs. Media saying Saliba going on loan to Nice…

    Saliba was already a top CB in Ligue 1 when we signed him. If Arteta reckons Saliba isn’t up to Arsenal standard and his expectation (that’s another bs) how is playing in the ‘sub standard’ Ligue 1 again would help?? Or is Saliba needing to see shrinks in France to address his so called personal trauma??

    First new year sick joke and another poor judgment and decison. Arteta just needs to go asap. 3 lor 4 wins aren’t going to offset his issues.

    Are we too proud to approach PL rivals to seek a loan deal? No takers from top Championship sides?

    Serious mismanagement our more precious assets especially when you see who warms the bench…

    Btw media citing Aptera would change his approach to getting creative MFs because of ESR! You just can’t make it up. We cannot shove Esr to the deep end in this manner, nor would he be able to cover the rest of the season alone. His fitness is still to improve let alone consistency at the high level. What sort of generational coach is this?

    Arteta no doubt not an early version Wenger. But he certainly picks up quick on internal solutions. But then if you were KSE would you trust Arteta and Edu with the transfer money however much there is?

  3. Leftside

    Looks like there will just be outgoings this month, which as touched on before isn’t great. We never seem to learn, and as well as the youngsters have done recently they shouldn’t solely be relied on in the longer term. We need quality for the inevitable dips in form or injuries.

  4. Useroz

    It seems Saliba has gone for the medical already So a done deal of sort. Disappointing. Arteta never learns.

    Well the only positive about the loan is Saliba will become a Nice [nice] CB, if not a good one! Joke Monday.

    If Arsenal would blood some kids while climbing the PL ladder, we need to keep Balogun. There’s no two ways about it. Arteta must start integrating him quickly and for rest of the season.

    A youth playing at similar level in other European leagues even B level / teams would easily fetch £10 to 15m, or more if the agent spins it up….

    Why is Arteta putting eggs in Eddie’ basket? Eddie has had ample opportunities relatively but not many are wow’d [yeah he got some goals…]

    Why would the club let an obvious, and credible £15m asset walk free? Bad example.

    May be Edu is working hoodoo after midnight but let’s hear some rumours of contract talks with Balogun asap.

  5. Sid

    Supreme leaders/diet Pep fanboys EPL TABLE

    1. Liverpool, man u 33pts
    2. Tots, leicester, Everton 29pts
    3. Chelsea, Villa, man c, Soton 26 pts

    Joint TR4PHY
    Arsenal, Leeds 23pts

    Qulified for CL

  6. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal have been playing in last 3 games with a 4-3-3 formation.

    We are employing 3 conventional midfielders in the team.

    The current formation is providing far better balance than what was on offer when we were
    playing with 3 centre backs and just 2 central midfielders.

  7. Tee

    “If Arsenal would blood some kids while climbing the PL ladder, we need to keep Balogun. There’s no two ways about it. Arteta must start integrating him quickly and for rest of the season”

    I can only blame those who allowed him to run down his contract. No amount of playtime can change his mind because his agent sees this as an opportunity and he is ready to use.

    He is still young which is why I find it funny that he is complaining of first team involvement. I can’t remember him going.on loan like other kids in the block.

    If he stays then I’m happy otherwise, so be it

  8. London gunner

    looking at guendouzi stats apparently he is Bertha Berlin 3rd best player with a whisper separating him from best player.

    We really should have kept him the squad would be quality along side partey. Think we’d really see him shine.

    As for ESR replacement type signing we have ozil we should play him as back up to esr until we are rid of him in the summer…. it makes perfect sense ozil gets to show he still has it and we look like a pragmatic team making the best out of its resources to hand.

  9. Valentin


    You are the only one who think that we have been playing in a 4-3-3 formation for the last couple of games.
    Everybody can see that it is a 4-2-3-1. We defend in a 4-5-1. With the trio either pressing higher up or dropping deeper.

    Every commentators, pundits, journalists, fans talk about our 4-2-3-1 formation. Even Lacazette mentioned that now nominatively there is only 6 defensive player instead of 7 and that means that they can play higher up the pitch. Our 3-4-3 was in reality a 5-2-3, which meant that Arsenal had 7 players who were defensive players.

    Xhaka-Elneny are the duo who protect the back 4. Basically the 2 in 4-2-3-1.

    The trio Martinelli (Aubameyang against WestBrom) – ESR – Saka interchange and use Lacazette as a pivot anchor. Case in point for our second goal against WestBrom.

    Who would be the player on the same line than Xhaka and Elneny in your 4-3-3?
    ESR played No10.
    Against Chelsea, ESR was tasked to man mark Kante. That stops Kante to be able to quickly restart game from deep to the midfield. So clearly ESR was higher up the pitch than the duo.
    Saka and Martinelli were both wingers/attackers.

  10. The Godfather

    Is the relationship with St. Etienne that broken that we
    gave them the finger when they wanted Saliba back on loan?
    This is not the way to do business. Same way we waited till
    the end to screw Athleti.

    We could have still done the business and gotten what we wanted without alienating future business partners.
    Just amateurish and pathetic business by Arsenal.
    Why send him to Nice and make no loan money back?
    If he was going back to France why not send him back
    to St. Etienne where he will be happy and settled.
    It will also heal wounds and set us up for future business
    with a team producing good young players.
    Ughh what a club smh

  11. Spudnik

    Strange days eh Pedro. Here we are, with so much wrong at AFC, talking about possible top 4. But hey, why not? Why get bogged down with talk of KSE’s delinquent approach to structural organisation when it’s been discussed on here ad nauseam?
    A top 4 tilt? I don’t know if I should get my hopes up. It’s only going to end in tears init? But, isn’t that the point?

  12. Valentin

    Nice deal does make sense in that Nice have lost Dante their lynchpin CB for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury. Saliba is going to have game time, and he may be able to show leadership in that defense.

    That may help getting a higher price for him next summer,
    However that won’t help him acclimate to the England style of play. So unless Arteta has a sudden change of heart or Arteta is gone, Arsenal will face the same dilemma. What to do with him?

    We can’t loan him again. We will have to sell him at a loss and then see him rise somewhere else. Because of COVID, the financial situation of clubs in France (the Ligue 1 domestic broadcast deal collapsed due to the broadcaster financial difficulty) and the knowledge that we want to get rid of him, there is no way a club will pay more than what we paid for him.

  13. Emiratesstroller


    You can call it whatever formation you choose, but the fact is we are playing with 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards.

    On Saturday we played both Lacazette and Aubameyang in same team. Both are forwards!!!
    Martinelli, Nketiah ,Saka and Pepe are also forwards when they play in their correct position.

    Arsenal’s weakness this season has been that we have played in far too many games with
    just two central midfielders and we have been too overloaded in that department.

    Smith-Rowe is of course a different type of midfielder to most of the others on our books,
    because he is more attack minded and capable of delivering assists and scoring goals.

    I have always maintained before emergence of Saka that he was the most gifted player in
    the academy and most likely to progress into first team, but his progress has been hampered
    by muscle injuries.

    As I pointed out we can play in a season up to 60 games and relying on just one player of this
    type is too great a risk. I don’t think that Smith-Rowe is ready to play in more than 30 games
    a season at this point in his career.

    Arsenal need more and better specialist midfielders than we have got at moment and that
    is the point I have been making whatever the formation you wish to choose.

  14. Samir

    Should really have loaned Saliba to a PL team. Newcastle would have bitten our hands off to have him for 6 months.

    Stupid decision once again from Edu/Arteta.

  15. shad

    @James Wood,

    Who in their right mind is going to buy Runarsson? He is hopelessly atrocious, I doubt even a Ligue 2 will bid for him. We just need to cut our losses and give him away.

  16. andy1886

    Val’s correct, it’s 100% a 4-2-3-1 formation and it’s been key to improving our attacking threat in addition to the change in personnel. What is does, as opposed to a 4-3-3, is make us a bit more narrow and less open in the middle which is where we were especially weak before. Now we are less predictable than when we spent 90 minutes playing everything down the wings (and in particular down the left).

  17. Emiratesstroller

    Frankly I am puzzled by recruitment of Runarsson.

    Okay you could argue that Martinez had become over qualified to continue sitting on the bench
    but the club still needs a goalkeeper who is good enough to start in first team as and when required.

    Runarsson on evidence of what I have seen to date is not remotely at that level. If Leno gets injured we have a major problem.

  18. Valentin


    As usual you pontificate a lot, but you did not answer the simple question.
    How did you line up in a 4-3-3 the last 3 composition?
    Who plays in midfield with Xhaka and Elneny?

    4-3-3 does not have a No10, it has 3 midfielders operating on the same line. They tend to be more functional than creative.
    ESR clearly played as No10 and as fluidifier of out attack, so where do you put him in a 4-3-3?

  19. shad

    @London Gunner,

    Guendouzi has performed well however I’ve not seen enough to see him being an upgrade on Ceballos in that area – at best they are at par technically. They both are heavily right footed and a bit lightweight to sit at the base of the midfield, nor do they have the requisite turn of pace to play further ahead.

    Partey needs a solid partner to dovetail with and none of the options so far are anything good in the #8 position – maybe AMN can be given a run there?

  20. englandsbest

    Great stuff, Pedro

    ‘The system he has now works’.

    Whether Arteta stumbled upon it accidentally (as some would have) or whether it’s a couple of steps along his planned process (as I believe) hardly matters, does it?

    At any rate, hasty judgement is commonplace, not just here, but amongst fans of Clubs everywhere. The optimists become over-hopeful, the pessimists, more downbeat. Well, i’m an optimist and I believe the Club will carry on climbing (missing a step here and there) and very likely reach a cup final.

    If Arteta manages to sell (say bellerin), then he’ll buy. Otherwise, no

  21. Valentin

    Runarsson recruitment is easy to explain it is either corruption or cronyism.
    This is exactly what happen when you do not have a DoF or somebody with authority to check the credential of potential incoming players.
    Now the issue is how to mitigate that mistake.
    The club has a choice to either get an upgrade on Leno or get a proper No2 this winter.
    However funds are limited and it is now clear that if we get a new No2 we will still need an upgrade on Leno this summer.
    So the club should explore the possibility to promote Hein or Okonkwo as No2 until the end of the season.

  22. Emiratesstroller


    I am not pontificating.

    I am pointing out to you that we are playing 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards.

    You can decide to choose on whatever formation you want to play.

    One lesson to be learned is that young players however versatile they may be need to play
    on a regular basis in a set position and not play every five minutes in a different role.

    Saka looks completely comfortable in right wing position. Do we need to keep on changing
    his position on pitch?

    Similarly I do not understand why we played Tierney in centre back role. Okay you can do
    so in an emergency, but it is blindingly obvious that he is a left wing back.

  23. Rich

    I think there’s definitely a player in Ceballos, he’s 24, the issue is he needs to start finding consistency, he blows hot and cold

    Ndidi was over here 18 months before things started clicking for him.

    Bissouma was here 2 years, before starting to look the part this season.

    United massively overpaid for Fred, but he took 18 months before beginning to find his feet, he looked completely lost in the beginning

    Guendouzi is 21, he’s still a pup, what he was doing at 19/20 was really good

    Players in central defence + midfield + goalkeeper, generally mature a bit later

    It’s just whether you invest that time, and that investment pays off, and they do eventually take a big step forward

    We should be looking at players from the internal transfer market

    We should be all over players like Bissouma + Soyuncu

    Zinchenko only started his first PL game of the season yesterday, he’s another we should be looking at.

    You pay a bit more internally, but at least you’re getting players who’ve done their apprenticeships already

  24. Pierre

    London Gunner
    “As for ESR replacement type signing we have ozil we should play him as back up to esr until we are rid of him in the summer…. it makes perfect sense ozil gets to show he still has it and we look like a pragmatic team making the best out of its resources to hand.”

    I made exactly the same point yesterday and was of course criticised by a number of posters for talking sense.

  25. Captain Tierney


    I also held ESR in very high regards and thought he was the best hale-end graduate since Wilshere until Saka burst onto the scene.
    And if not for the injuries he might have already become a first teamer just like Saka.

    Hope he stays fit from now on.

    Still we should be looking to add at least one more creative midfielder into the first for the remainder of the season. If we cant find a good loan option, we should reinstate Ozil to rotate with ESR when required. No way we should be relying on ESR to play all the remaining games of the season. His body might not be ready for that.

  26. Emiratesstroller


    Oh please the Runarsson transfer is not corruption.

    You can argue that it was poor judgment on the part of goalkeeping coach who recommended him and the club should have investigated better his performance level.

    I pretty sure that Edu and Arteta had never heard about this player before he was recruited.

    Hein and Okonkwo may be very good “prospects” but at 19 they are neither experienced nor
    ready to take the second string role at club. They may be fine to be appointed as third string
    as replacement for Macey who is in final year of contract.

    A second string goalkeeper needs to have the experience and competence to play in first
    team when Leno is injured or ill.

  27. Captain Tierney


    3 midfielders dont play in the same line in a 4-3-3

    Its a No.6 (defensive midfielder) anchoring two No.8s who may play in a same line depending on the system.

  28. Mr Serge

    Leno does not need replacing he is good enough the midfield needs an overhaul and a decent n 2 keeper i would prefer we got rid of the dross and loaned a couple of players, also Partey is on his way back, keep a good transfer kitty for the summer and then go for it

  29. Dissenter

    It took Pedro only three wins to go back to his Emery bashing ways.

    ‘ Say what you will, but Emery didn’t stop the rot from Jan 2019 until he was sacked.’

    This is either cheap trolling or just another evidence that Pedro just doesn’t get it.

  30. Moray

    We have a perfect opportunity for Saliba to get half a season to acclimatise to UK football and we send him back to France. Our management team are a complete joke. It’s like the keystone cops of football.

  31. shad

    “Oh please the Runarsson transfer is not corruption.
    You can argue that it was poor judgment on the part of goalkeeping coach who recommended him and the club should have investigated better his performance level.”

    The definition of an oxymoronic statement.

  32. Valentin

    Captain Tierney,

    What you are describing is not a 4-3-3, it is a 4-1-2-3 or reverse Christmas tree.
    A Christmas tree formation is 4-3-2-1.
    A 4-3-3 implies that the 3 midfielders play on the same line to cover the full width of the pitch.

  33. Matt


    When the season is over, the issues as to why Saliba is not in the team next year will be that he has no premier league experience. Another shocking decision in a list of shocking decisions.

  34. Pierre

    “Still we should be looking to add at least one more creative midfielder into the first for the remainder of the season. If we cant find a good loan option, we should reinstate Ozil to rotate with ESR when required.”

    Of course , this suggestion doesn’t normally go down very well on Le Grove.

    Many prefer the option of spending anothe 20/30+ million ( not including wages) on a creative midfielder to be back up to ESR..

    Taking into account that 20/30 million will not get you top quality and that we already have proven premier league players at the club who can play the role(willian, Ozil and possiblyPepe) ,, it is rather surprising that some posters want to waste another possibly 50 million, taking into account that all they do is complain about the money being wasted at the club.

  35. Dissenter

    The club announced the Runnarson signing by releasing a photograph of him signing with Arteta and Edu on both sides of him. That photograph should be labeled the “three jokers”.

    That photograph just depicted how badly managed we are as a club.
    A goal keeper that isn’t better that the academy goalies is signed against all evidence that he’s mediocre because a goal keeping coach who’s been at the club for 8 months recommended him.

  36. Valentin


    Do you know the definition of cronyism?

    Let me paste it from the Oxford dictionary:

    the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.

    So like I said, the hiring of Runarsson is either cronyism or corruption. Of course it could be simple incompetence, but I do not believe that a goalkeeper coach could be so incompetent that they would deliberately recommend the 17th goalkeeper in Ligue 1 and remotely think that he would be ready to be No2 at Arsenal.

  37. Matt

    Why is The goal keeper coach who recommended runnersson still at the club? As someone who is supposed to specialise in the area, suggesting that he was good enough even as a back up tells me that he is not fit for purpose.

  38. Emiratesstroller


    Please stop playing the intellectual heavyweight and belittling me. I am fairly sure that my
    education and professional background is at least on par with yours.

    I have a fairly good grasp of the English Language.

  39. JP

    Saliba to Nice looks a good deal IMO. No point him going back to the comfort zone of St Etienne. Going to Nice will be the challenge of a new dressing room, different style of play etc…..

    Also don’t see an issue with him going back to Ligue 1 either. Whats important most is that he gets minutes in a competitive environment. He’s only ever played 36 top level games. Thats nowhere near enough.

  40. Dissenter

    Cronyism is a form of corruption, surely you have to know that.

    They didn’t do due diligence and suspended their crucial faculties because one of the inner circle was bringing him in.

  41. Dissenter

    Said has had exposure to the English game already, trained with the squad and played with the U-23s.
    He needs to go to,a system where he will play lots of games so the Nice move was appropriate.

  42. Raulishuss

    Emirates you’d be best just leaving Val, he thinks he knows about anything band everything. This is someone that pretends to know more about the working of arsenal from the comfort of his house in France

  43. Valentin


    Calling a spade a spade is not belittling you.

    So please enlighten me with how hiring clearly not qualified to do the job Runarsson on the recommendation of a goalkeeper coach friend is neither cronyism nor corruption.

    To me, It is at a minimum textbook cronyism.
    BTW did you know that Arsenal as many companies have a scheme where people who recommend players who are then signed get a bonus?
    So goalkeeper coach is either
    a) incompetent
    b) just helping a friend and therefore guilty of cronyism
    c) helping himself with a small bonus and therefore corrupt

    I believe that he is at least a) and b).

  44. Valentin


    Clearly again you got me confused with somebody else, because I live in London…
    Like I said, you seem easily confused…

  45. Rich


    You need to let it go, Ozil is poison

    He’s been on the slide since the second half of the 2015/16 season

    His form completely nosedived as soon as the ink dried on his new deal, he’s finished

    Smith-Rowe brings energy, drive, and movement

    Emery bringing Ozil back, is what got him sacked.

    If Arteta bring back Ozil?

    He’s finished

    Ozil’s glove throwing, social media activity, and his agent openly briefing against Arteta and the club

    Is enough to ensure he never wears our shirt again.

    Ozil is the guy who’s been dumped, his ex has moved in with her new partner, and in spite of the police restraining order, and his ex partner changing her phone number….

    Ozil simple refuses to believe it’s over, the divorce lawyers are saying 6 months, but he’s still hanging onto the bank card from the joint account

    He doesn’t need the money, a few other girls are interested, but he’s just not ready to let go….

    It’s really pathetic, his best mate (agent), needs to put his arm around him, and tell him some home truths,,,


  46. Valentin


    If most of your salary was based on appearance and loyalty bonus, would you let it go or would you stay till the bitter end?
    Most people will stick around for a £10 million bonus, especially if they enjoy London.

    People need to accept that Özil is not leaving until his contract expires. In the meantime, Arsenal has a choice to continue ostracizing him and pay for it or do the smart thing and use him for their own benefit.

    Özil is clearly not the future of this club and in six months he will be gone. We are paying him for the next six months, so we might as well put him for good use. Make him train with ESR, use him as deputy to him, so we don’t overuse ESR.

  47. Nelson

    Now that people saw what Runarsson is all about, no one would pay £40k weekly wages for him. He’ll sit on his fat contract until Jun 30 2024. Why is Arsenal so generous with player’s salary?

  48. DivineSherlock

    For the second keeper I would say we should go in for Sergio Romero at Utd . Poor guy has been frozen out for no fault of his , He is Argentine International . Maybe wont be as good cos he has not played much but certainly better than Runarsson.

  49. Rich


    Under no circumstances, should Ozil be brought back into the fold.

    If he wants to hang around?

    That’s up to him, but it also shows us where his priorities lie

    And that’s not playing football

    His football career is winding down, I’m sure the club would happily give him a loan, and subsidise his wages, rather than have him hanging around

    But if he’s not interested?

    What should that tell us……

    He’s poison.

    His agent briefing against Arteta, Ozil’s social media activity

    Particularly going back to Rennes away in the Europa, but has continued since.

    You don’t reward bad behaviour in any organisation, or in society in general

    Ozil has essentially declared war on the club, fallen out with our last 3 managers, had some suspicious illnesses

    Bringing him back would set such a bad precedent

    He wasn’t been dropped because of his lack of talent, he’s been dropped because of his attitude

  50. Aussie+Gooner

    Madness to send Saliba back to France. How is that going to help him adapt to the EPL or English football in general? How will that help with his language? It is obvious that he services are not required by Arteta – another monumental mistake as reports from LC say that he is very fit and just needs game time.

  51. Valentin

    Divine Sherlock,

    Potentially good call!
    ManUtd should let him go on the cheap after he has only 6 months left on his contract.

    However Will he pass the GBE new player registration now that we are past Brexit?
    Who is the current Argentina goalkeeper?

  52. Aussie+Gooner


    My cat would be better in goal than Runarsson. He was obviously brought in as a joke by someone leaving the goal keeping staff. As I have said before we have more than adequate cover in Hein and Okonkwo from the U23’s. We do not need any more of the aged on huge wages.

    Unless we are planing to upgrade Leno (I wonder how much it will cost to buy back Martinez in 2 years time???) then we should leave well alone in that department. All the academy goalkeepers are better than Runarsson including Hillson, Macey and Grazcyck. Runarsson is not a goalkeeper – in fact I don’t even think he is a footballer of any sort!

  53. DivineSherlock


    I think its Emi Martinez , current Argentina GK . Also I dont know about the post Brexit rules but it must be ok cos he is still a Utd player isnt he . 2014 runnerup , Two time runner up in Copa . I think he was first choice when they won Europa too. Plenty of experience

  54. Tony 2

    Afternoon guys speerz just announced they are realeasing their no 2 goalie cazza or whatever. PL experience, CHEAP, Just saying

  55. Aussie+Gooner

    Ozil is no where near match fit. He is lazy and selfish and shows no desire to play or train hard. Leave him be and count down the days. He has no intention of leaving before his contract expires and then will look for a cushy number in the USA and sell lots of shirts. He won’t want to go to his beloved China as it does not suit his ‘life style’ and they are not paying too well now.

  56. raptora

    Guendouzi was rated €50m by transfermarkt when Arteta arrived. By the Summer he was down to €32m.

    Aged 21, has played 720 out of 720 mins for his team with no initial time needed to hit the ground running and perform. 2 goals, 1 assist, and undisputed starting place for a middle of the pack team in Germany is no joke.

    We saw how our golden boys in Reiss, Eddie, Smith Rowe have suffered when they were loaned out and were in and out of their teams.

    Guendouzi, not even 22 yo, has 100 appearances for a top flight team.

    They love the boy there, Emery absolutely loved him and played him every game even at the age of 18. Arteta comes and Matteo is out the door swiftly.

    Granit is here though.

  57. DivineSherlock


    I would say that he is very very young and has time to improve. Every keeper will have a bad game , I remember Sczesny had those days for us. Look where he is now. Having said that , Arsenal currently require a better calibre of player. Somehow I think this was Arteta’s Sanogo moment.

  58. JP

    Matt Ryan from Brighton has been told he could leave. Not sure he would want to be a number 2, same issue maybe for Romero, but would be good back up.

    Runarsson does not look good enough but if the Academy keepers were good enough then they would have been promoted. Don’t think there is any great conspiracy there.

  59. S Asoa

    Commiserate with you for falling into arguments where the goal posts keep on shifting. Also consistent pro – establishment irrespective of the narrative.
    But do keep on posting . It is so nice to have intelligent perspectives telling things as they are. Let us leave the hallucinations to the potty on pot. They need a good time too like the rest of us

  60. Aussie+Gooner


    Agreed, young players need time to develop, make mistakes and learn. Unfortunately with a goalkeeper your mistakes are multiplied 10 x because they usually result in a goal for the opposition. Consequently the mentality of a goalkeeper is paramount. Sczesny had no problems in the confidence department and shrugged off his mistakes. I am afraid that Runarsson is a different bird and will collapse in a heap if he experiences any further humiliation.

  61. TR7

    Martinez will soon become Argentina’s no 1 now that he plays regular first team football. Undoubtedly the best GK option Argentina have.

  62. Aussie+Gooner

    Martinez is the ‘most valuable’ goalkeeper on the Argentine roster but both Armani and Marchesin are ahead of him in the pecking order and so probably is Andrada but I have a feeling that this will soon change!

  63. Emiratesstroller

    Divine Sherlock

    There are a lot of well qualified goalkeepers who can fulfil the second string position. It should not be forgotten that Emi Martinez was not so long ago our third string option.

    The difficulty with the goalkeeping position is that young “hungry” goalkeepers and I include
    Martinez at 27 in that category who need to play on a regular basis.

    Personally I would opt for a goalkeeper aged 30+ because they are more likely to accept second string position sitting on bench and playing periodically in lesser competitions.

    Man Utd are frankly in similar situation to what we were last year with Martinez. Henderson is their second string and they could well be faced very soon with prospect of
    holding onto him and offloading De Gea.

    It should be possible to find an experienced and competent goalkeeper without spending mega bucks on him.

    However, there are far too many people who post on here willing to believe that everyone who works at Arsenal is corrupt or part of crony clique. Making poor decisions does not mean that you fall into that category.

  64. Tony 2

    On the Ozil theme as a side issue did you know he has funded the feeding of 1400 school kids in his part of north London for the past 3 months? Sadly good news about what the chap does doesn’t meet the current narrative.

  65. raptora

    One would wonder that if Arteta needed 12 months to figure out that 4-2-1-3 fits our squad the best – something half the blog has been shouting for 1/3 of a year, that he shouldn’t waste Tierney as a CB, that he needs to find his AM in either Saka, Willian or ESR, that the Martinelli he benched before is a phenomenal talent and a real asset to this team, that we need more people in the box to start scoring goals as demonstrated vs WBA when we had 3-4 people taking good positions in the opponent’s box.

    Maybe, just maybe all of these decisions were extremely obvious. And Arteta is a fool for not seeing what was ahead of him this whole time. Maybe, just maybe we would have been better with Ljungberg whos parting gift and testament was to play the youngsters cause some of them deserve to start for us and are better than the expensive “stars” we’ve accumulated during the last years including under Arteta.

    Maybe they would have went to war for Ljungberg – a real inspiring figure and a legend of the club.

    Case in point is, what Arteta has finally stumbled upon, thanks to fortuitous events, has been obvious for a very long time. How much time it took for him to see it, and on top of that, to say how much he had to adapt:

    “I have adapted much more than probably what I thought I would when I took the team, because there are certain things that I think are much better for the qualities of the players that we have, and other things that probably we are not prepared to do yet.

    “Obviously we have to adapt because at the end of the day we have to make life as simple, as clear and as efficient as possible for our players when they go on to that pitch.”

    For real. His idea was to show us this garbage football scrapping for 1 goal, parking the bus and hoping for the best, attacking 2 players at best and 10 players behind the ball, passing sideways so we don’t make a bad pass and get hit on the counter? Reactionary football, full of fear, robotics, lack of soul, inspiration and joy?

    Whole fucking team hated him for asking them to play like that.

    Now that he’s done the obvious results have started to come. Who would have guessed?!

  66. DivineSherlock


    I just described a goalkeeper you needed . He is at the same club as DeGea and Henderson. All we need is make a bid. His name is Sergio Romero , he is fit , experienced , cheap and an Argentine international not so long ago.

  67. Sid

    .’I am fairly sure that my
    education and professional background is at least on par with yours.I have a fairly good grasp of the English Language’

    Only on le grove, I have to use the above statement on someone soon, im practising it with a piers Morgan voice.

  68. S Asoa

    Just a thought.
    Ozil appears to like mentoring youngsters. Also Ozil is out there training . The youngsters see his play. In fact , from the grapevine , the reason why ANM , Balogun and even Saliba have openly looked up to Ozil , which is an absolute Red Flag Non-negotiable to our El Toro Manager who has virtually banished all three. ESR too gets tips, but when the El Toro bacon was in the fire ESR play saved him, so for survival ESR is in.
    Would have been smart to persuade Ozil to move to the Academy and help out Per. Might also decrease his offensive tweets too. Win – Win

  69. Useroz

    The way Martinez and Villa perform, he’d become the Argentina keeper soon enough, on merits.

    Villa has couple of games in hand and Top 4 if they win then! A first choice goalie for a top 4 PL club will indeed get Martinez what he wanted.

  70. Emiratesstroller

    Divine Sherlock

    You may be right although we have been debating all last week about not recruiting cast off
    players from the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd.

    The one plus with Romero is that he has not played in Europa Cup or sofar in FA Cup and therefore not barred from playing in those competitions.

  71. Graham62


    Agreed but you’ve got to admit that the Martinez -Leno- Runarsson scenario was farcical.

    Could get a group of U-10’s together and they would have done a far better job.

    The fact that we lost our best GK for £20m and then forked out £1.5m on a complete novice, whilst giving him an estimated £40k a week, just beggars belief.

    Some on here are happy we have a substandard keeper between the sticks.

    I’m not.

  72. Aussie+Gooner

    “Arsenal have reportedly made contact with Norwich over a player-plus-cash deal for highly-rated midfielder Emiliano Buendia”. They are trawling the bins to find a player that Norwich will accept in the deal! Not going to happen then!

  73. andy1886

    Tony2 – Worth pointing out that while everyone should be glad to hear of Mesut’s charitable work many other footballers and wealthy individuals carry out works of charity without employing a team of PR people to ensure that their works are well advertised and their profile advanced. In addition Mesut as with many other Muslims has a duty to make charitable donations (Zakat) of around 2.5% of income and savings per annum. I expect that Mustafi for example makes similar payments but doesn’t highlight it for the sake of political or personal benefit.

  74. Useroz

    So it is a no to Isco because of the form of ESR but a yes to Jordan as Arsenal have agreed to meet the 32m asking price.


    Bizarre decision again.

    Jordan? Rather they go for Szobo’s ex 26yo eam mate!

    Rumors however also say we are trying a swap plus cash deal to land Buendia vs the £40m price Norwich puts on

    Guess who the media says would move across yo pkay Championship football? Willock or Nelson.

  75. Nelson

    I do believe that Arteta’s target system is 4 3 3 / 4 2 3 1. Initially, he didn’t trust youngsters (Martinelli and ESR). He signed Willian and stayed with Auba and Laca. He tried Willian as ACM, then Willock and then Laca. They all failed. He ran out of options when he rolled the dice and started ESR. Luckily, Martinelli was ready to go and he moved Saka to the RW. The rest is history.

  76. Northbanker

    Most of us aren’t Graham – I have been banging on about this till I’m blue in the face. It was the first major doubt I had about Arteta when i saw how badly his judgement was flawed. I gave him the benefit of the doubt at the time as it seemed the only way he could get some of the funds for Partey but then I hear he turned down an offer for Laca.

  77. Rich

    Tony 2

    Ozil feeding kids isn’t why we gave him a new contract.

    If we were making team selections based on philanthropy?

    We’d have Mother Theresa playing up front, instead of Lacazette.

    Ozil feeding kids, is just him trying to spin some good PR

    Virtue rarely goes far without vanity close behind it.

  78. DivineSherlock


    If Donnaruma is out of contract then he is free to negotiate with interested parties , not sure he would come to Arsenal to warm the bench though .

    Agreed no to castoffs but noot saying we should make him permanent but Romero for 6months is not a bad shout at all .

  79. Northbanker

    Tony2 – Ozil doesn’t do anything without a PR reason – he fed kids because it made him look good, not a genuine altruistic motive.

    And as Rich says, what’s that got to do with AFC (who are funding it anyway). His attitude stinks and no callous ‘good deed’ alters that

  80. Northbanker

    I’m relieved Saliba is being loaned out and not sold, even if to a French club. Let the lad mature a bit and play his way back to match fitness. He really hasn’t had much game time at all over the last 18 months.

    I’m still hopeful he will play a big role for us but a spell getting fitter, stronger and older and getting his head together won’t be a bad thing. There is plenty of time to learn English – not unusual for us to have a few who don’t speak it well.It’s not as if he is a coach.

  81. Sid

    It will soon be very easy to nullify the 4231 as long as Xhakalson is one of the holding midfielders press him and ESR has to move deep to get the ball.
    When we play a pressing team we will be exposed.

    You heard it here 1st.

  82. Habesha Gooner

    Well Fabrizio just confirmed our interest in Buendia. Also mentioning we want to resolve the Ozil and Sokratis situations before that. He is definitely the guy for us. If we sign him I predict we can finish as high on the table as fifth.

  83. Tony 2

    Alright guys fair replies. Rich apparently Raul did try to sign mthr Terasa but she wanted to play in Calcutta. Btw Andy1886 are you the chap that I used to engage with on Teamtalk all those years ago when i was formally known as Prof’Red..are u from Bath? Ah Beppe where are you now?

  84. Nelson

    I don’t understand why Arteta even answers the question on Kieran Tierney can be Arsenal captain. I would just say that Auba is our captain. Next question please.

  85. Useroz

    Support 1,400 kids for 3 months (or say 90 days).
    …3 meals a day
    …£10 a meal (on high side)

    Ozil would have donated £1400x10x3x90, or £3.78m, That’s 11 weeks of Ozil’s reported 350k pw wages.

    Would you donate to charity nearly 3 month, or over 20%, of your gross annual earnings? That is, over one third after tax!

    This is generous however should be considered separately from his footballing endeavors.

  86. englandsbest

    The loan of Saliba to NIce until summer makes sense. Saliba is very much a part of Arteta”s future plans. But the way things are at the Emirates with umpteen defenders, he won’t get any first-team playiny time. At Nice, he will.

  87. JP


    What’s wrong with him praising a player? He answered that he could be a future captain and then went on to describe what he’s like, the impact he’s had and how he’s respected by all the squad.

    Thought it was a good answer for a player who deserves praise for how he has been playing.

  88. Rich

    Habesha Gooner

    I’ve wanted us to use the internal transfer market.

    The little I’ve seen of Buendia, he looks tenacious, is at a good age, and is proven in this country.

    My concern is he plays from the right.

    Saka moving to the right has been central to our recent upturn in results + performance

    There’s nothing to say Buendia couldn’t adjust to a more central role, but there’s always a risk he might not.

    We’re well stacked on the left with Martinelli + Aubameyang who both like to cut in on their right foot.

    We need competition for Smith-Rowe in that central area, with someone with the exact same skill set and characteristics

  89. Chris

    Our interest in Buendia is apparently firming up.

    Whilst I fully understand the pros and cons of utilising Ozil for the remainder of his time here, there is also something to be said about building for next season, if we can get the future rolling early and bedded in before the summer it is one less thing to gel for next season.

    For a certain price it would be a great move.

  90. Foxy

    Using Ozil for 6 months as mentor/coach to ESR and other young players sounds great in theory but unfortunately I cannot see Arteta allowing it.

  91. Chris


    From what I have read, Buendia is also comfortable in the middle. As he also plays right side, he could fill in or rotate for both ESR and Saka.

    Saka is only getting better and better but we don’t want to break him a la Wilshere. It’s good for overall health of the squad to have healthy and competent rotation.

  92. Habesha Gooner

    Have you seen him play? He is an attacking midfielder who is shunted out wide. He has been a CAM all his career. He is a number 10. Norwich are playing him wide because they want to fit in cantwell. All his best work has come centrally. This is like when Wenger played Cazorla on the left before sanchez came in to fit in Ozil. Buendia is good in tight spaces. He always moves to the middle to play. He is a good dribbler and He is very good at passing with both feet. He will fit us like a glove. Just watch him play and decide if he can’t play in the middle. He was playing CAM for norwich before their promotion a couple of seasons ago too.

  93. Pierre

    You have really done your research on Ozil. Why are you so interested in his private life?”

    That’s what obsessives do , he needs to take a step back and realise that what he is saying makes no sense.

    The sensible option is to USE Ozil for the BENEFIT of the team to enable Smith Rowe to have the rest that so many think he should have after playing a grand total of 3 games…

    Of course, if Smith Rowe remains fit and healthy then Ozil would not be needed and ultimately the club would have saved fortunes in bringing in a back up CAM .

  94. Rich

    Habesha Gooner

    The little I’ve seen of Buendia, he looks a good player.

    But according to transfermarkt, he’s only played twice centrally for Norwich, his other 33 appearances there were in Spain, mainly in the lower divisions,

    Saka should nail down that right sided spot now, and until we get shot of Willian + Pepe, and we’ve also got Nelson + Willock who can play there, numerically we’re finely both the right and left,

    We need a specialist n the central area.

    If we go for Buendia?

    Hopefully he hits the ground running, and provides good competition fir Smith-Rowe

  95. Pierre

    “Using Ozil for 6 months as mentor/coach to ESR and other young players sounds great in theory but unfortunately I cannot see Arteta allowing it.”

    And there lies the problem ..

    Of course, if Arteta was actually telling the truth and it is for footballing reasons that he has been ostracised , then using Ozil as a mentor for the academy players looks a sensible move .

  96. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Support 1,400 kids for 3 months (or say 90 days).
    …3 meals a day
    …£10 a meal (on high side)Ozil would have donated £1400x10x3x90, or £3.78m, That’s 11 weeks of Ozil’s reported 350k pw wages.”

    That’s some fine dining right there, sign me up for that.

    Can probably cut those numbers by 70%. School meals are pretty cheap.

    Still generous though, doesn’t change the fact he’s a wanker and currently a shit football player.

  97. London gunner

    I like buendia also but my worry is he doesn’t work centrally

    there are plenty of playmaking wingers who in theory should work centrally but in practice it just doesn’t work out like that.

    ideally if we could find a cam/winger hybrid you then have back up for saka on the right and back up/competition for esr in the middle.

  98. Rich


    What I say makes perfect sense, to me.

    Just not to you,

    They’re called opposing opinions

    This is an Arsenal discussion forum.

    You might want to get used to people who think differently.

    I can’t stand Ozil, think he’s been on the slide for years, think his social media activity and glove throwing petulance is a disgrace, and the article his agent put out back in October, was an act of war, both against the club and manager

    You’re happy to see him given another chance?

    Fair enough….

    I think he’s had plenty, and can’t wait to see the back him

    Hopefully the club see things from my point of view, and not yours,…

  99. The Bard

    I dont understand the shifting opinions re Ozil. One week he is a lazy disruptive force next week we want him back in the team. He has had numerous chances to make a statement and he has blown everyone one of them. Wenger indulged him like the spoilt child he is. The fact that he would rather not play and pick up his wages tells you everything about his attitude, another Winston Bogarde. Get rid.

  100. Valentin

    I love the irony that Big Sam who was a supporter of Farage and Brexit is the first manager to complain about the new post Brexit recruitment rule. WestBrom have to revisit their entire plan, the new Brexit Rule are impeding his recruitment at WestBrom.
    Basically his former way of beating relegation by purchasing in bulk cheap decent foreign journeymen players is not going to be allowed anymore. The GBE (new Football work permit system) is geared toward protecting the young English and Welsh players and only allow really good players.

    Long term, that may be good for the England national team, but short term that could also mean the death of smaller clubs in the premiership who will not be able to easily sign those second tier types of players.

  101. Habesha Gooner

    He is not a winger. Even playing from the right I never see him move with the ball out wide. He has licences to roam in to midfield. A winger playing the right side who is right footed would always stretch play by staying wide but he comes inside. Anyway watch his highlights or a game he is playing to understand him. He is also comfortable playing with both feet like cazorla used to be. Anyway this is an article on what he thinks is his best position.

  102. Victorious


    I think you might be overrating this Buendia chap a tad bit, there’s a reason he’s not been linked ever to the boggest of clubs and went straight back down to the championship with Norwich

    I’d personally stick with ESR and totally go back for Aouar or Brandt in the summer.

  103. Doublethink

    Would you donate to charity nearly 3 month, or over 20%, of your gross annual earnings? That is, over one third after tax!
    If my annual earnings were around 20m then it would certainly increase the likelihood that I would, and probably even more so if I knew I didn’t earn the money which he clearly hasn’t.

  104. Sid

    The GBE will not help the England national team, the problem with Brits is a lack of ze mental strength, and it getting worse with each generation. Playstation, fish and chips, instagram model

  105. Emiratesstroller

    Frankly I will be very surprised if Ozil’s status is changed and he is registered to play for Arsenal this month.

    The original decision not to register this player was clear in its messaging both to player and
    other members of squad.

    It is crystal clear that he is not wanted at the club although as Arteta has suggested he is under contract and that will be honoured.

    The major focus at Arsenal is shifting unwanted or not needed players out of club including
    one suspects Ozil. The club has already offloaded Kolasinac and most probably Saliba. I am
    sure at least two or three more will be shifted this month.

    Personally I don’t want to see Ozil play for the club again even though he will cost us 5 months wages. The club is better off without him.

  106. Nelson

    “Using Ozil for 6 months as mentor/coach to ESR and other young players sounds great in theory but unfortunately I cannot see Arteta allowing it.”

    Isn’t Arteta allowing Ozil to train with the first team? Ozil is effectively doing it now.

  107. Pierre

    “Still generous though, doesn’t change the fact he’s a wanker and currently a shit football player.”

    I never realised there are so many gormless Arsenal supporters until i came on Le Grove.

    Out of all the many hundreds of Arsenal supporters I know, there was only one that i would call gormless, not surprisingly he was a WOB (a wenger and Ozil obsessive) .

    Le Grove is like a breeding ground for the gormless, it’s like the mere mention of Wenger or Ozil turns them into fools.

    Funny though .

  108. Pierre

    “I can’t stand Ozil, ”

    And there lies the problem with the obsessives, as they lose all sense of perspective.

    Anyone with an ounce of sense would think it is wiser to Use Ozil for the benefit of the team instead of spending another 30/40 mil on a CAM who would effectively be a back up .

  109. Freddie Ljungberg


    Sorry if I hurt your little feelings, you’ll still have your socks though.

    ESR has contributed more in 3 games than Ozil does in 1 season nowadays. So yes, shut footballer. Look at his refusal to move to play football and his social media war with the club = wanker. Case closed.

  110. Northbanker

    Freddie – cut it even further probably. Not only is £10 a head way over the top but also it isn’t 3 meals a day but almost certainly lunch and possibly a breakfast snack (which will be nearer £1 mark

  111. Freddie Ljungberg

    Obsessives says the poster that mentions him every day, often out of nowhere, when he’s irrelevant to the club apart from the massive burden his wages are and how much of a dick he is on instagram.

  112. Northbanker

    Buendia is targeted as a CAM not a RW. We’ve got 4 players already in that position – not even Arteta is that stupid

  113. Pierre

    “Personally I don’t want to see Ozil play for the club again even though he will cost us 5 months wages. The club is better off without him.”

    In 5 months he will be gone , so using him as a back up makes sense or do you think we should buy a replacement.