by .

Mikel Arteta was reminded of the lessons he learned in December in the comfort of a safety blanket FA Cup 3rd round against a team that’s really not that good.

The team he rolled out had a few of the problem players we thought might be useful this season. The two most notable were Willian and Pepe. We also saw Reiss Nelson given a crack, along with Joe Willock, who many had high hopes for this season.

Well, if you thought the emergence of the kids was going to spark something, you’d have been very wrong. Pepe and Willian were quite simply not at the level expected of £100k p/w+ talents. Whatever the Arteta system is, you cannot argue those two are built for it. The Ivorian looks so out of his depth, you struggle to see how he’d land minutes at Brentford. Willian doesn’t have pace, he doesn’t have a purpose, and he lacks the drive to show he can change.

Joe Willock and Big Mo just didn’t work at the base of midfield. Joe was particularly anonymous. There’s something there, he shows flashes of ingenuity with some of his passing and he has a stride, but too often it’s the lack of concentration you remember. I really, really struggle to understand what AMN has to do to land game time. The guy who marked City out of a semi and pocketed Traore can’t land time ahead of two players that have lower ceilings. It’s really odd.

The big lesson of the Newcastle game is that we’re a couple of injuries away from utter mediocrity. It was incredibly worrying to see Gabi go off in the warm-up crying. The hope is that he’s a drama queen like David Ospina, I fear that’s not the case though, based mostly on the luck Arsenal has had this season.

Saka and ESR are now the go-to players that rescue games. They have energy, they take chances, and for two young players… they are really efficient. Smith Rowe is now up to 4 assists and 2 goals this season. His finish today was fucking outrageous. It was seasoned. Confident. Decisive.

Saka landed the assist for the assist twice. His first was a looped ball that Lacazette nodded into the path of ESR. The second was finding Auba at the back post. Brilliant stuff. The second half of the season, in a position he likes, is opening up his game and he’s thriving. What a talent.

We also can’t ignore two senior players that have stepped up to the plate. Granit Xhaka changed the game when he came on. Alex Lacazette found another assist. Those two are earning their keep.

Same with Kieran Tierney. He’s been an immense signing and he popped up with another beastly performance and capped it with an assist for Auba. Talking of our captain, it’s great to see him on the score sheet. He might be out of sorts, but you can see the green shoots in his game that tell you he wants to be the main man. He’s not mentally retiring any time soon. That’s great news.

I think we can also stop talking about Emi Martinez now. Bernd Leno is just a really good goalkeeper. His triple save in the second half was decisive. He’s passing is improving, he’s punching less, and he makes decisive contributions in games when he’s not busy.

Also worth noting that Pablo Mari doesn’t look like a bum. Edu has pulled one out of the bag there. He’s calm on the ball, his passing is good and he uses his frame well. Someone compared him to Per Mertesacker the other day and I thought that was apt.

So, we’re through to the next round of the FA Cup. The biggest news we can get is that Gabriel has a minor injury. The hope is that we see Thomas Partey very soon to address the midfield drabness. A huge week ahead as we build towards Top 4 deciders at the end of the month.

Listen to my on the whistle podcast I just made with Matt. HAVE A NICE DAY.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Aaron


    “This is Based on the notion that left-footed players are less likely to have the same ability w their weak foot as right-footed players do on their weak side.”

    Where is this does this magical notion come from?
    Look been playing, following and coaching futbol for a very long time, and from my experience what you say is simply not true.

    To give you an example as a person who is also left handed, we were made to work with tools, instruments and other things because it is or was a right handed, footed person’s world. Examples can be found in scissors, guitars, and other items in the world that came from a right hander’s mindset.

    I eat, drink, throw, and write lefthanded, but cut, play guitar, jump, and surf right handed or footed. There is much more choice today, but back in the day not much.

    Will say that handedness or footedness probably matches the 90% right handed footed percentages in ability to work with the other hand or foot, not that right hander’s or footer’s are better able to work with the opposite better.

  2. Bojangles

    Somebody said the hammers had sold Haller for a decent price. They sold him for 25 mil but he cost them 45 mil.

    We need to do the same with Pepe. Just accept the loss.

  3. Tom

    It wasn’t so much RM as a club but rather the newly arrived Ancelotti who made the decision, and it was between Ozil and Di Maria and Carlo wanted to keep Di Maria.

    Wenger was a fan of both players so my guess is he would taken either one.

    Also, it wasn’t exactly like no one wanted Ozil at the time either. Mourinho’s on the record saying had he known Ozil was available he would’ve come for him and brought him to Chelsea, probably to spite Wenger amongst other reasons.

  4. Tom

    Neither one of Hammers’ two biggest transfers have panned out thus far.
    Anderson cost them $42m and Moyes wasn’t exactly thrilled with his application, he’s out on loan with Porto now.

    Maybe that’s the tickle with Pepe.

  5. Nelson

    Judging from yesterday’s performance, I really think that both Reiss Nelson and Willock need to be loaned out to get some regular football. Right now, they are asked to play just some cup football. Both looked worse than before. It seems that they have lost the confidence.

  6. Goobergooner

    We have taken a loss on most of our outgoings. We either dwindle contracts down and let them go for nothing or under sell.

    Iwobi and ox the outliers.

    Sanchez situation is up there with the absolute worst bit of business I can think of.

    Imagine the proper player we could have got with 60 fat ones.
    Instead we let him bitch all season and then swapped him for a player who couldn’t hack it in the league.

    Shocking is an understatement.

    Though in saying that, the donuts in charge would have still fucked up with 60 mil.

  7. HerbsArmy

    Napoli allegedly sniffing round Tierney.
    We are going to have to raise our game several levels to keep this boy.
    How Arsenal handle the situation will determine who and what we are as a club, lose Tierney without a fight and my time with the club is done.

  8. China1

    I’m sorry but it’s a complete myth that most left footed CBs will be incapable of tackling on their inside. It’s literally nonsense

    Whatever do you think left footed CBs do when someone cuts inside them? You think it’s so easy to take on a good left footed CB that all you have to do is cut inside and they become hopeless? Absolute nonsense. For their entire footballing lives people have been coming at them from the inside and out and if you can’t handle the inside it means you are just a bad CB. Nothing more or less.

    As for them being extra one footed and thus hindered in their passing –

    1) there’s no evidence that left footers are extra one footed. You are just thinking of the extreme examples like Pepe and applying it to most lefties

    2) 80+% of all passes played by a CB are simple passes on the ground to whoever is RCB, LB or DM. If they can’t occasionally play a 5m pass with their right, again they must be an awful player

    3) CBs have more time on the ball to play on their favorites foot than anyone else on the pitch bar the keeper. 80% of the time when they receive a pass they have enough time to look up, take a couple of touches, turn and decide what to do. This isn’t CF where you are getting crowded out by 2 defenders within seconds and you play mostly with your back to goal and it’s not n10 where if you’re any good you might get double marked.

    Really this left footed being an issue thing is absolutely nonsense. If Mari or Gabriel can’t play RCB then they must have a completely unnecessary and glaring set of issues with their game. There will be no excuse for that. It’s not a big ask whatsoever

  9. HerbsArmy


    It will come down to whether or not the club can match his ambition.
    The captains armband isn’t a special reward at Arsenal, and he will only want to commit long-term if Arsenal are challenging for the title and playing regular CL football again.
    Arteta only has a short window of opportunity, otherwise Kieran Tierney will see us as a stepping stone and want more.
    He’s won titles and domestic honours with Celtic, and he certainly wouldn’t have joined Arsenal to lower his personal expectations.
    If I was Tierney, looking at the state of Arsenal, I’d be considering my options too.

  10. China1

    lest we forget you can often play a pass with the outside of your left foot as well if you have a phobia of using your right…

    It’s not that hard

  11. China1

    Herbs army

    That might be something to do with Silvestre being awful and Messi being the best player of all time…

    Or maybe it’s just because they were left footed…

  12. Dissenter

    DM: “Matteo Guendouzi’s Hertha Berlin loan spell ‘could be cut short with Bundesliga side unable to afford £29m asking price’,”

    I hope it’s just the regular anti-arsenal tripe but we won’t get anyone to pay £29 million for Guendouzi.
    The squad is large enough, if the manager doesn’t want him then don’t botch another potential sale by asking for too much.

  13. Nelson

    Yesterday’s game has shown that Willian is not capable to backup ESR. He doesn’t have sufficient energy to move around. Also he got this Ozil_like attitude. We have to sign someone who is young and hungry to do this job.

  14. Aaron


    I hear you:-)

    But, yes surfing is left or right footed with regards to your stance as you mentioned. Rear foot determines ones stance and even though I am left foot dominant, I surf with my right foot in the rear which makes me a regular foot, but since I am left foot dominant I am really a left footed goofy foot.

  15. HerbsArmy


    Who knows, but I don’t recall Wenger trying it again.
    Messi was the best, but Liverpool and Chelsea seemed to nullify him well enough whenever they played. The only English sides he caused problems for were us and United.
    It must be the only time in Ferguson’s career that someone beat his side so comprehensively and he had no answer, especially on the second occasion at Wembley.

  16. Nelson

    Just thought about one thing. Kia is Edu’s agent. Wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest? He is the DOF. Kia will influence him to sign his shits.

  17. China1

    Herbs it doesn’t mean anything to be left or right footed if you’re a really poor player

    Silvestre was notoriously below par. That day we also had Denilson at DM and Almunia in goal. Cesc didn’t even play.

    How on earth can you conclude that the Xavi and Messi show running us ragged is all because of the CBs being left footed? That’s such an odd conclusion

    We lost 15-3 over 3 legs to Bayern without two lefties….

    Correlation does not equal causation. Again, if you’re a sub standard player as Silvestre was in his arsenal years, which foot you prefer is entirely secondary to the fact you’re not very good. A right footed Silvestre is not going to magically save the day, is he? Be serious

  18. Time Up

    I started this left footed defenders and China1 just won’t stop. Arteta was not happy when he arrived that all our CBs are right footed and went all the way to Brazil to bring Mari and play Tierney as 3rd lift sided CB. He’ll, he even played Kola there against the Spud.

    Let me put it to you this way. It never happened before and I can assure you Arteta won’t start it two left footed CB partnership even if you type another 5000 words.

  19. HerbsArmy

    You’re jumping the gun China, by suggesting I made some sort of tactical conclusion.
    I didn’t.
    I merely recalled a time that we played a left-footed CB pairing and that it didn’t work.
    It wasn’t the catalyst for the heavy defeat, there were a myriad of reasons, that was just one among hundreds.

  20. Time Up


    In that game, after Barca were 3/1 up, Wenger decided on the second half to move Sagna right sided CB and Eboue right back (which he should’ve started with), it was too little to late.

    Also, I agree Silvestre was shit was the main reason not because they were both left footed.

  21. China1

    Time up none of our comments on here have any impact on artetas decisions. That’s beyond obvious lol

    I’ve been giving my opinion for why it’s an unnecessary case of ‘overthinking’ to stress about which foot either or both of your CBs prefer and will continue to discuss that with people who debate it. But as with many cases of arteta over thinking issues which are not really that complicated, if injuries, suspensions, illness, form and player sales head in a particular way, it’s actually entirely possible that at some point this season mari and Gabriel will play together.

    And if that happens, either they will play well – as they should, or the RCB will not in which case they can be fairly criticized for that because there’s no particular excuse for it

  22. HerbsArmy

    Time Up

    Yeah, disastrous game.
    I think Kolo Toure was the last decent Centre-back Wenger bought to Arsenal.
    We have to measure the quality of our Centre-backs against Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Sol Campbell, and Wenger never bought anyone of that quality after Toure..
    I bet Senderos is still haunted by nightmares of Drogba destroying his career.

  23. Time Up


    I’ve said in my first post, it’s a mystery to me, I don’t know why no one ever done it after checking my facts. I did my check and found it strange never been a known partnership of two left footed CB. Where’s right footed you’ve listed 10 of them.

    China1, let’s hope our generational Coach be the first lol.

  24. Time Up


    We’d Kos was decent for couple of seasons. Even though, he costed us a league cup and Europe league final with his mistakes.

  25. The Godfather

    @ Herbsarmy:

    Tell me which club regularly brings in top level Central defenders that are comparable to the legends of the club.
    You’re all over the place … go to bed.

  26. Gonsterous

    Nobody at arsenal has the man management skills of Wenger.
    Kos came to us as a green CB fresh from ligue 2. And Had a horrible spell and start. Wenger put his arm around him and restored his confidence. He backed his players, he talked to them personally, helping them improve their weaknesses, and on many occasions sold them for profit.

    Fast forward to 2020 and we have a manager who has problems with youngsters, and wants £50m players so he can get top 6, who, if it wasn’t for luck, would have been out of the club a couple weeks back.

  27. HerbsArmy

    I always thought Koscielny was one of Wenger’s vanity French signings (like Giroud), and if Wenger hadn’t signed him (or Giroud), we would probably never have heard of either.
    I believe they only made the French national side because of Wenger’s high regard in France, and Arsenal’s global prestige, neither are particularly good footballers.

  28. China1

    Time up yeah at the end of the day we know arteta doesn’t like the arrangement but half of his best changes have come from having his hands tied by circumstances so maybe he’ll fall up the stairs onto a good combo with them when eventually circumstances force his hand

    But there is always the possibility that
    1) whoever plays RCB fails for any reason and never gets another chance
    2) whoever plays there does well but is dropped as soon as a right footer is available anyway as per mikels preference
    3) circumstances never put arteta in this position (I doubt it tho. I think it’s inevitable they will be on the pitch together at some point in the next year)
    4) they might play together but not compliment each other well for other footballing reasons

    Lastly I think holding and Mari are both playing well and confidence and results are good so arteta doesn’t need to rush Gabriel back ahead of either of them even tho he is our best CB imo

  29. HerbsArmy


    Over a period of fifteen years, you should expect your club to get it right once or twice, not keep constantly churning out different levels of incompetence with each new signing.

  30. China1

    Kos was a good player but the issue was he should’ve been a second CB to partner a beast like Sol, Adams, Keown etc. Whilst his play style is different he could’ve been our next toure as someone who was quality in defense but needed that experienced partner to hold his hand

    Instead he seemed to permanently be partnered with other less than dominant players who shared his quiet nature and softness. That was a big mistake imo

    Put Kos alongside peak Campbell and he’d have looked a million dollars as per Toure. And you see as well Toures decline started immediately after Campbell left. He too needed that elite partner to get the best out of him

    I think some players are just not meant to be the ‘main man’ but can be amazing with the right team mates

  31. China1

    Kos was that kind of player who needed his partner bellowing in his ear and making sure he stayed focused and kept his chin up when the going got tough

    Instead our CBs were all looking at each other for leadership and no one would be the dominant personality

  32. Tony

    ‘Nobody at arsenal has the man management skills of Wenger’



    We had enough players being ‘Wengerised’ in his last 10+ years and now ‘Artetarised’ is the new norm where Arteta only wants to play his favorites often in their wrong positions and no-one is allowed to question anything Arteta says; Arteta’s biggest non negotiable.

    Wenger wanted cult like obedience and paid players to be loyal to a fault, that’s not management skills that’s Wenger self preservation.

    Where players are hoarded (Arteta) with paper thin promises to play, but rarely getting the chance.

    Wenger’s man management was a myth perpetuated by the press and AFC (Wenger) PR spin.

    Why else did our best players want to leave?

    Because they wanted to win major trophies: CL & PL titles not top 4 being a trophy or play for a manager that would have been happy to be 2nd every year.

  33. HerbsArmy

    And yet they both wore the captain’s armband at different times.
    A vacuum of leadership that is still a major issue today.
    We are light years away from the top table and getting further away.

  34. Dark Hei

    I would rate Kos and Per above Kolo Toure.

    Toure tanked after Sol Campbell left while Per won the FA Cup with a young Rob Holding.

    Kos was a warrior who really came to his own in his later years.

  35. Time Up

    Some facts in football are strange, like the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic played for 6 champions league winners but actually never won’t.

    Our Wenger managed for 30 years and made 50000 substitution but never won any european cup.

  36. China1

    Per read the game better than Kolo but Kolo was a fabulous player alongside Sol and brought so much energy to the team. He’d batter strikers and drive forwards before releasing the midfield

    I used to love that so much

    There’s also a great story confirmed recently by wenger about his trial. Within 5 mins of starting his trial he two footed DB10 LOL. Bergkamp is rolling on the floor holding his ankle and the players are shouting to wenger like dude look what the trial isn’t just did!!! Make him calm down!

    Wenger shouts at kolo to calm down

    5 mins later he two foots Henry and the team are all losing their minds saying what is the guy doing???

    Wenger shouts at kolo to calm down

    Two mins later the ball deflects high up in the air over the center circle…. where wenger usually stood…

    Kolo has his eye on the ball, didn’t see wenger and smashes him!

    Wenger said he gave him a contract even after injuring all 3 of them because he had an unbelievable energy and desire to win

  37. HerbsArmy

    Having signed Kolo, he should have asked him to bring his brother Yaya along.
    Yaya Toure alongside Fabregas would have been immense both in the PL and CL.
    He’d have been the perfect replacement for Vieira.

  38. Time Up


    No, I’m not CG who ever he is lol.

    I hope he is/was sane and never bothered anyone, or I would be taken on all his enemies here lol.

    After 20 something years he’s OURS lol.

  39. China1

    Herbs didn’t we trial Yaya and choose not to take him?

    I think wenger was concerned about having two brothers in the same team as politically it can be problematic if Yaya doesn’t settle for any reason

    In retrospect that was a monumental miss. And he cost Barca only 10m or something silly

    Cesc with Yaya as you say would’ve been a 10/10 pairing. League winning 1000000%

  40. Aaron


    You don’t want to know, but since your asking Santa Cruz, and it is going off right now!.
    Lifetime shortboarder, but ride everything.


  41. The Godfather


    Again you don’t get it.
    How many clubs in world football over the same time period have found a defensive pairing equal to their all time legends?
    This is real life and not fantasy football.
    You don’t cast spells like Harry Potter and a Sol Campbell and Tony Adams appears.

    Ask City who have spent millions trying to find a replacement for Vincent Kompany. Or United trying to replace Vidic and Rio. It doesn’t work that way if not everyone would do it.

    Has Barca replaced Puyol?
    Chelsea replaced Terry and Carvalho?

  42. Goobergooner

    Hahaha damn! Hope you’ve been enjoying it.

    I actually haven’t surfed in a few years. Moved to Melbourne from the gold coast in Aus. Surfers Paradise is a lie to the people haha worst surf on the coast there.
    But go to South Stradbroke island (just north, and a sketchy paddle across a shark infested river mouth 😂 or you can catch a ferry if you’re patient enough) or anywhere along the coast of NSW and you can always find something good. I need to get out at bells beach while I’m in the far south though.

    I’d say the same, had the old body board out as a kid but as soon as I stood up on a short board that was me sold. Don’t mind watching the pros of either going at it though. There are some absolutely ballsy big wave riders out there that just blow the mind (as they are spat out a massive blow out).

    Cannot think of anything worse than coming off and being sucked up even a 10 foot barrel, let alone any bigger monsters out there.

  43. Aussie+Gooner

    Ozil was signed to placate the fan base. A big name, lots of shirt sale internationally and hopefully some epic performances. He was not really required for the style the team played but was considered a cheapish marquee player to enhance the stature of the club. The final nail in the coffin was the new contract. This was an act of desperation on behalf of the club. They knew his contribution would not be at the epic level and that changes would have to be made to accommodate him in a more on trend style of play.

    History will show that it backfired for the club and contributed to the decline of the club in the eyes of the footballing world and, of course, financially. Please don’t cry over Ozil, he has done alright out of it, putting in little effort, throwing a sicky when he felt like it, taking home obscene amounts of money to set himself up for life and causing disharmony in the ranks.

  44. Emiratesstroller

    I find it amusing that every time a so-called media expert or press publish a story about a
    transfer there is someone who posts on here who takes it seriously.

    Does anyone believe that “Napoli” are serious contenders to buy Tierney from us? Napoli are
    a minor provincial club in Italy. I might have taken the story more seriously if we were talking about Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

  45. Emiratesstroller


    I was not aiming this story at anyone in particular.

    Arsenal supporters have a habit of underselling our club.

    If there is one lesson to be learned it is that there are plenty of other players on our books we need to shift most of whom are unsaleable without having to shift out of club one of our best

  46. Northbanker

    I gather the move for Buendia has ceased now that we have found out Norwich actually want money for him!

    Personally I think the best addition we could make would be an all powerful DM like Bissouma. That would allow Partey to play in a more advanced role and let ESR develop his own game time at CAM. Bissouma/Partey / ESR would be a cracking midfield.

    I was always hopeful ESR would be a great player for us and didnt completely understand why we weren’t seeing more of him. Maybe the injuries took more out of him. But the last 4 games have demonstrated he has the talent to be the very best and we should encourage that and not buy a marquee player who would limit his game time.

    Realistically I think we have to look for cover in our own ranks. Matt Smit is on loan and maybe if he’s good enough we should recall him. Let’s also give Azeez some game time and see how he responds (I think he’s more of a mainstream CM / no 8 but ? whether he can play a more advanced role). Catalin Cirjan is a fast emerging but very young option and he is a CAM.

  47. Northbanker

    This TW is very much about shifting the crud. That will also be the case in the Summer but maybe after we’ve done that the Kroenkes will show some interest and back the club to move to the next level.

    All we need to do is show some Chelsea videos of 2019/20 to a buyer so they can see how good Willian should be and offer him for £10m bargain.

  48. Graham62

    The Godfather

    Football has changed dramatically.

    All those legends would be asked to do different things these days, apart from defend.

    Can you imagine Adams and Campbell being asked to pass around at the back.

  49. Goobergooner


    Last window, and actually a lot of windows previously were time to move the crud (😂 great word haven’t seen/heard since I was a kid).

    If only Emery made it to the Jan window, we would have offloaded xhaka and Emery or the new team would have been forced to buy in central midfield.

    Ozil has made it hard, as his ability is undeniable, but he really has fucked the balance of the squad by not turning up and not giving 100% like the rest of the players over the years.
    Made all the managers he has played under for us not want to play him.

    This coming summer is going to be a forced refresh, even if we can manage to shift off some players now. There are lots of deadwood with expiring contracts and hopefully, we can get the wage bill back under control, and have players playing for a mega contract (to our limits this time) rather than overpaid and under performing old kents.

    We all knew this season would be a write off, but we should have given that goodwill to a proper manager after Wenger. Emery wasn’t the charismatic, respect demanding winner we needed. Neither is Arteta.

    But it is what it is. Keep up this run and keep giving the kids a shot. We have nothing to lose.

  50. Graham62

    There is a fear these days of putting the youngsters in too soon.

    The days of 16 and 17 year olds coming in and ripping it up are long gone.

    We’re calling 20-22 year olds kids.

    Times have changed.

  51. Northbanker

    Goober – not disagreeing with any of that but financially we’re fucked and Covid is the final straw in all of that. Moving the crud is absolutely vital now to give some breathing space and rebuild financially (which cant really happen until we have full crowds again).

    So we have to now start blooding our academy much more than previous. We’re not likely to have any marquee signings and I think we should plan for that. Actually looking at our track record that is probably just as well. There will however be plenty of 10-15m signings out there which is where we have been very successful.

    Our strategy now is finding those players and blooding youngsters at a faster rate. Forget anyone who has already reached a 30- 40m valuation.

  52. Northbanker

    Also we need to reintroduce a Wenger policy of not giving anyone over 30 more than one year renewal. That will crucially help us from making disastrous mistakes like Willian. Even Luiz seems to have had that built in – God knows why we gave him an extra year but we could have cut short last year.

  53. Tee

    “The days of 16 and 17 year olds coming in and ripping it up are long gone.”

    Who were these 16 and 17 years old ripping it up long ago?

    The only one I know is Fabregas. The rest are just hyped up average youngsters who end up failing to live up to the expectations.

  54. Goobergooner

    Yep Northbanker,

    Totally agree, my first comment was more reiterating your point.

    We have not done well in the TW or extending the right contracts for too long.

    At least we are somewhat forced to have a shed load of wages off the books 😂

  55. Goobergooner

    Tee I’ve gotta give it to you, you’re consistent.

    May have been an over exaggeration saying 16/17 year olds, but all the top clubs have been promoting their youngsters to positive effect.

    I’ll be told that Chelsea and man U haven’t been so successful with that strategy, but considering Chelsea’s transfer ban, and man U having ole as manager, they are still kicking on with a few youth players coming through the ranks.

    Liverpool have done so well with their young fullbacks and man City such a good squad it’s great for their own academy that Foden has come through their ranks.

    Now is our time to shine! We have some great youth players coming through, let’s hope they can fulfil their potential and kick on for the Arsenal!

  56. Goobergooner

    How is everyone going with their own covid lockdowns and restrictions ATM?

    Hope you’re all keeping safe.

    And for fucks sake, please no one come on here saying that covid isn’t real/the earth is flat 😂😂😂😂

  57. The Bard

    I’m not sure the belief in the youngsters is planned, its more expediency. We are in such a state Arteta doesn’t have much option and he doesn’t have anything to lose.
    As others have noted if Saka or ESR get injured we are screwed. If we manage to make midtable at the end of season we will have done well. The club are in a poor financial state that will take a couple of seasons to sort out.

  58. Habesha Gooner

    The athletic running a story that we are loaning out runnarsson. Rob holding has also signed a new deal. We need to sell Calum chambers now. It was one or the other and Rob holding has proved himself.

  59. Goobergooner

    Wenger definitely deserved to have a splurge when he did at the end of his reign, and he believed that the players he bought would have progressed and kept him his job, 100%.

    But since that massive waste of moolah on the likes of xhaka and mustafi, who have been mainstays in our worst squads for the last 20 odd years, it speaks volumes.

    Imagine if we got 60 mil for Sanchez.
    Imagine if we had sold Ozil instead of freaking the fuck out and giving him an absurd wage.
    Imagine if Wenger bought in a DM when needed.
    Or a striker to partner Giroud or a world class winger.

    Arsene knew attacking players (until the end, Gervinho instead of hazard, Podolski, Perez, even Giroud himself was not a Wenger style player).
    And he also knew a midfield.

    The fact he considered xhaka a box to box speaks volumes of his own decline in regards to the modern game. Just fell out of touch.

    We have been on the slowest decline, but we are seeing years of mismanagement at the very worst (I hope) right now.

    Hopefully now we are rid of Gazidis and Raul, the new team can push on!

  60. Northbanker


    precisely why we need to blood more talent – it is our only viable and short term (long term also imo) way of having more options

  61. Goobergooner

    Bard / North.

    Get back some of the loaned players, plus who are in the under 23s now, sell who isn’t up to scratch and replace with an actual quality player, not just a quantity player which Wenger always lied to us about, and then play youth version 3.0 which is the 3rd time lucky! !! We can’t lose

  62. Northbanker

    Goober – I think we have it all solved. For me buy Bissouma, bring back Smith Osei Tutu and maybe even Guen (not sure how that one will work) and give game time wherever possible to Balogun, Azeez, Smith, OT, and Cirjan.

    We build a team / squad for the future. tell Willian to leave and do an Ozil on him of he doesn’t find a new club or agree a shorter deal. Given his disgraceful performances frankly players like this should be compelled to agree a dissolution of the contract.

  63. Graham62


    Why did Wenger deserve to have a splurge towards the end of his reign.

    The club had been regressing since 2008 and Wenger was to blame for so many financial irregularities.

  64. Northbanker

    Graham – is it really past tense? you could argue that Saka has more recently demonstrated this. He must have started making first team appearances at what – 17?

  65. Raulishuss

    I know it’s early days but Mari really looks like a calm influence in defence and I’m happy he’s back and leading our considerable young defence. To think people really allowed CG negative takes lose patience with him even before he got a chance to prove himself same with Tierney

  66. Goobergooner

    Graham, I think it should have come earlier! That’s the real kicker. Just sooner after the stadium move, and when the squad only needed one or 2 players to kick on to the title.

  67. Emiratesstroller

    I think that there is some evidence that Arsenal are starting to change their recruitment strategy in last two years.

    Per Mertesacker has made material changes to staffing in club including scouting and we
    appear to have been proactive in recruitment of young players at U23 and Youth levels.

    Similarly there have been market changes when recruiting players in Senior Team. We seem to be more focussed at looking at South American market with arrival of Martinelli,
    Gabriel and Mari.

    Whilst I have been critical of some of the recruitment of older Brazillian players like Luiz and
    Willian it may not be an accident that these players have come in to provide support to this

    South America has always been a valuable recruiting market for countries like Portugal, Spain and Italy and South American players are a lot cheaper than their European counterparts and in particular those in UK which attract a premium.

    The three players I have referred to have offered very good value for money.

  68. Goobergooner

    And Graham, I agree with pretty well most things you have said about our decline. We are I’d say on the same page there.

    He had already regressed the squad by the time he spent 100 odd mill in a summer window. And the players he bought were due to a lack of actual scouting and they weren’t the gems he used to buy when he was at the top of the game. They were players who were in a top 11 for the other leagues, who he assumed would slot right in without considering their actual attributes or how they would fit into our play style.

    Mustafi xhaka and kola are prime examples of grimantubing

  69. Gladwin

    Guys doubting Wenger man management skills. Really. He did reasonably alright with he squad at his disposal. Now we know how difficult the others are finding to get into the top 4 with better players. He wasn’t the greatest in the last decade or so but still did alright.

  70. Tee

    “Now is our time to shine! We have some great youth players coming through, let’s hope they can fulfil their potential and kick on for the Arsenal!”

    I know it’s a thing of joy to watch our own fly the color but people sometimes make seems we don’t even have some of our youngsters in the senior team.

    Those team you mentioned except chelsea (transfer ban mandated that) can’t boast of three youngsters who are main stay in their senior team.

    Man city has just foden, man u, mctommay and rashford, maybe greenwood, we have been using our youngsters(nkethia, willock, saka, nelson e.t.c.) all through the group stage of the europa.

    “Rooney, Owen, Theo (to a degree),Wilshere.”

    These were just the exemptions. If we are to list the names of hyped youngsters who failed to materialise, you will realise just few of them go ahead to become world-class.

    We have a lot of them who looked like world-class at the underage tournament but found it difficult to transit those features to their senior level engagement.

  71. Tee

    According to, martinelli was; on training ground on Monday (didn’t train) and looked more relaxed than on Saturday. He is to have a scan today while the result is expected tomorrow.

    He actually watched the second half do the match from the stand.

    Let’s hope it isn’t a lengthy lay off

  72. Tony

    Arteta has been reported as saying Eddie is not for sale this window despite West Ham’s interest.

    Funny because I thought we needed to sell to buy.

  73. DigitalBob

    Pablo Mari has played enough games for us now to make an honest assessment on his ability. The guy is a very solid centre-back and fully worth the £8-£14 million that he may eventually cost. I was a bit sceptical after last season’s City game he got injured in but against the majority of the teams we have played he’s been solid and will continue to be solid such is the nature of his game.

    A very calm and composed left footed centre-back to go with the physicality of our first choice CB on the left Gabriel.

    Holding getting a new contract is too soon in my opinion. While he is no longer a liability with the ball at his feet and is surely being helped by having Mari next to him instead of Luiz, why not wait until the summer before offering terms?

  74. Goobergooner

    Receding hairline, no shame in having an opinion.

    Arteta has had the worst start in 50 odd years, hes the one who has to prove to us he’s the man to take us up a level.

    I for one am still not convinced.

    But I for one will eat my words when he wins the league, big time 😂

  75. Northbanker

    I’m hoping Martinelli did what I did last year – played football and twisted ankle right over. Foot swelled like a balloon and couldn’t put any weight on it for c3 weeks (actually caused by my foot going down a rabbit hole can you believe – that bit is probably less likely at the Emirates !!!)

    He is (a lot) younger than me so hopefully if it is just a bad sprain then should be recovered in a couple of games.

  76. Goobergooner

    Tee there is a massive difference between Europa, especially group stages, and the epl.

    We have Saka and esr the two from our academy to match the best of any academy in England.

    I’m not suggesting we will progress higher up the table including the under 23 standout performers and our loaned out youth players.

    But considering our shit season so far, I’d be willing to give anyone a chance to have a game or two and make the seniors have a good hard look at themselves.

    But like I said. Chelsea had it forced on them like Arteta did to play more youth than anticipated.

    Both squads will be better for it in the long run.

    Man U; with Lingard also in there with your list (don’t rate though), and Chelsea have used quite a few youth players over the last few seasons.
    And if that is our way forward we will have to deal with the inconsistency like they have.

    I am up for that if they are going to get the playing time. But to see fucking Willian on the pitch every chance he gets is an absolute piss take. (And the fact xhaka still struts his shit around the pitch)

  77. Bojangles

    Seems we not only have great.insight into Arteta’s thoughts but now are gaining knowledge of what is in the minds of our players. LG is indeed well sourced.