DOUBLE GABRIEL FITNESS BOOST

by .

WELL HELLO.

Let’s rattle through the good news.

MARTINELLI IS BACK FOR NEXT MONDAY.

Finally, the bad luck momentum is turning. I really, really couldn’t have handled the young Brazilian being out long-term. Great news that he has a little bit of recovery time before he explodes over the next 5 games. Explodes in a good way, not like, you know, an exploding muscle or something.

We also landed good news on Gabriel 2. The suspended then covid infected centre back will finally make his return to the action. I’m unsure whether he takes his place straight back, he was a touch out of sorts before the break. Holdinho and Mari have been pretty decent together. A winning combo if you will.

Talking of Holdinho, our 25-year-old centre back of BRITISH background has signed a new long-term deal with the club. Fantastic news. We’ve finally broken the duck of letting players run down their deals. A few people scoffed at this move. I don’t really understand it. The player is growing every week, he rarely puts a foot wrong, and he can play music. What more do you want?

There are rumours doing the rounds that Edu reports into Arteta… and that Arteta has felt like a victim of Raul getting binned because all of the extra work fell on his shoulders.

Now, I’d love this rumour if it were true because it’d totally crystallize the utter mess that Arsenal is from a leadership perspective… but this one feels too far for me. Edu might be the submissive one in the relationship, but I doubt the Kroenke’s would keep Edu around if he was so bad at his job they needed to put him UNDER a rookie manager.

Also, you have to understand this about Arteta. He is fucking ruthless. There is no situation in the world where 1) he didn’t ask for the promotion 2) doesn’t absolutely love the powers and responsibility that came with it. It is almost unimaginable that he would leak in a way that made him seem like a beta male.

Hard to really see who this story serves best? Which is why I suspect it’s just bollocks… but I will tell you this now, I would LOVE it if it was true. I have a 3000 essay on operational structure and cuck leadership in my drafts if that little beauty is confirmed. It would be SO salacious. Imagine getting a double demotion and having to negotiate with Vinai that you’d only sit on the Arsenal.com deck chair of shame if you could say it was a single level demotion. OH MY WORD would that be a good story.

… alas, I think it’s bollocks (Arsenal insiders, hit me up on the bat phone if it’s true).

Finally, an agent in and around the Mesut Ozil deal leaked this to the press.

“If he comes to Turkey then he will play for Fenerbahce, god willing. Let me tell you he has told me, ‘in my football career I am going to play for Fenerbahce’. Until the contract has been signed we can’t say anything is finished”

“It is a case where Mesut would come not just as a footballer but as a lover. The process is underway though I can’t give a percentage. Even if we agreed verbally, it is not over without signing the contract. Let’s wait a bit.”

A LOVER! For fucks sake. Let’s do the deal then boys. The reports state that the deal hasn’t been done with Arsenal. We’ll likely be negotiating how much of his final salary we pay him… it’ll be a lot, I suspect. But… who cares, get him out of Arsenal so we can move on.

Ok my lovers, let’s call this a day, and I’ll be back tomorrow. x

 

971 Responses to “DOUBLE GABRIEL FITNESS BOOST”

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  1. Pierre

    Jay
    “The hype around Smith Rowe needs to relax, arsenal need a proper attacking play maker, not a youth project.”

    Smith rowe is still learning but we didn’t play to his strengths today..

    We reverted back to recycling the ball out wide instead of threading the ball between the lines.
    The fact that Lacazette only touched the ball 8 times in the first half is confimation to me of how little we played through the middle.

    I put that down to fear , fear of losing the ball in the centre of the pitch and getting caught on the counter.

    This made the performance very negative and i would say that the fear in our play probably came from Arteta’s tactics.

  2. Pierre

    Henry (ruth)
    “Smith Rowe is a poor man’s David Price and David Price was shit.”

    Well, you got half of it right …David Price was shit.

  3. AFC Forever

    Midwest, you nailed it. The balance goes without Tierney in the team. We lack quality creatively but it’s never easy breaking down a well disciplined block, you need something special. We lack a plan B without someone like a Giroud type.

  4. SAGG

    Tierney is injured, and wont be back for a month. So now we need a CAM and a Left Back ASAP but we arent going to get anything good in the market.

  5. AFC Forever

    Pierre is right. ESR isn’t a peak Ozil, he’s a kid learning the game. Games like that where a team defends deep and are well disciplined you need an Ozil (10) or a plan B (Giroud).. I would like a big target man to pin the CB’s so we can fight fur knock-downs against teams like that.

  6. Words+on+a+Blog

    Middy

    We rarely out in shambolic performances under Mogadon Man aka Arteta.

    It’s neat and uninspired- accountants’ football.

    It’s just that the thrilling performances are few and far between.

  7. Mark

    Poor game tonight. AMN to loose on possession, someone needs to tell him stop trying to look cool and make sure when he passes. I think he tries to hard to disguise a pass and misplaces it instead.
    Never really troubled Palace. Not enough quality in the final third with our shots/passing and decisions. Another opportunity we have not capitalised on.

    This is why people said don’t get carried away with our 4 wins on the trot.

    Felt that Partey should have started, then sub him. 20 mins wasn’t long enough for him to settle or really impact the game. We tested him against Newcastle , so. It seemed a bit too safe not starting him. IMO.

  8. Sid

    ‘Smith rowe is still learning but we didn’t play to his strengths today..We reverted back to recycling the ball out wide instead of threading the ball between the lines.’

    When the going gets tough diet Pep resorts to Moyesball. You can take this to the bank, ESR was following instructions.

  9. Pierre

    AFC
    I defended Wenger to the bitter end, just like I’ll defend Ozil,.
    The game was crying out for Ozil tonight, instead we would rather pay him to play somewhere else..

    The quality of our football has sunk since wenger left and the team are missing Ozil despite Smith Rowe lifting the side in the past few weeks.

  10. The Godfather

    Pierre,
    Was Wenger not crying out for Ozil over two legs vs Athletico Madrid? Or in the Europa cup final vs Chelsea?

    Mate come off it. There’s a reason why only Fernertrashy is in for him.

  11. Valentin

    I don’t want to pour cold water on the hope of so many, but when Partey came for Ceballos, the team lost impetus. Not only Partey does not have Ceballos long switch of play, but his willingness to run with the ball created gap in which CP counter-attacked. He does not look yet ready for the full thunder of the EPL.

    Against low block, playing Aubameyang on the left is handicapping us to the point of looking like we are playing only with 10 men.

    AMN can do a job defensively, but not having a left foot means that he can’t cross in first instance from the left fullback position. So against a well drilled defensive CP, Arsenal made it difficult by abandoning any pretense to be a threat on the left. CP were able to concentrate most of their effort on the right of our attack.

    I have said before, instead of Partey, we should have bought cheaper players and not a box to box like Partey:
    * 1 pure DM
    * 1 hybrid left footed dribbler
    * 1 backup left fullback: what’s the point of Cedric if he never act as a backup.

    Hopefully Arteta and Edu will use that winter TW to correct the squad unbalance.

  12. Nelson

    I see a big deficiency in Arteta system. There is no fast counter. Every time we intercept a ball, it will always go back to the CB. The defenders then passes the ball around until there is a safe forward pass. The Palace team has already set up a double bus waiting for us.

    Palace has analysed our offense. They have crowded out both Saka and ESR. Tierney’s attack run could have opened up their defense. Both Pepe and Bellerin couldn’t run pass a single defender.

  13. AFC Forever

    Pierre.

    The problem withj too many fans is they become entrenched into one mindset which become obsessive and cult like. They lise the ability to reason and then only see what they want to see,blturning a blind eye to anything that does not fix a narrow & obsessive view.

    I used to lovee watching Ozil play. That’s not to say there werent times he infuriated me, there was. Games like today Ozil could make a difference. Even from the bench. Ability wise he was head and shoulders above what we have now; a World Cup winning number 10.. Has he still got it? Meanwhile we have Willian & the young ESR. It’s not funny. I have no idea but to not even have him in the squad has left a creative void. Every fan knows we lack creativity, especially against a team who defend deep. Palace came to defend & pick us off on the break. They did it well. We didn’t do enough to hurt them,.

    Ozil is history now but we need a replacement. Not a decent AM anywhere, we even let another of the bullies targets, Ramsey, go after agreeing a contract. Madness. So no creative playmaker and no AM,, great.. But it’s all Artetas fault? If we can’t get one in then at least if we had a big target man we could do something different. This team needs Viagra – something big & hard up top as an option.

    Fans sometimes get what we deserve – and I think we are witnessing that now.

  14. Dan T

    Not sure why a couple of people are having a go at ESR? He is a kid. He is going to have ineffective games. He is most likely going to have a largely ineffective season with a few special games thrown in. Was anybody really expecting him to carry this poor quality team after a couple of games?

    Besides, even though his overall play wasn’t fantastic today, he was still making more intelligent forward runs than any other player on the pitch. It’s a shame we don’t have any midfielders intelligent enough to spot the runs or forward players that will try and take advantage of the space his runs create.

  15. AFC Forever

    Dan
    “He’s a kid”

    Exactly. It’s not fair to expect him to be some wonderkuid to save us. Too much weight on his shoulders. He’s a novice still learning the game. Huge potential though.

  16. AFC Forever

    Dan, again I agree. Opening up a team that defends deep is not easy. It’s impossible without good movement, which we used to excel at. Now we are very static & predictable. It’s not easy breaking down a defence like that especially as we don’t have a plan B. Not that our plan A is that good at the moment.

  17. Bojangles

    It’s a wonder we have won any games if you accept LG posters (collectively) assessment of our players. Nobody is fit for purpose. Yet nobody is claiming squad poverty.

  18. China1

    AFC wengerball died around 2014 or so. For the last few years, wengers arsenal were exceptionally bland to watch and lost all of the gorgeous dynamism that had defined his prime years

    But I miss the early years wenger (and wengerball) sure

  19. Henry19

    Just on team selection alone i knew we wouldn’t win today.
    The next game will follow the same pattern as the,Palace game if i deem player selections to be wrong.

  20. China1

    People just learning that zaha is a diver? Nothing changed from his side in yonks, how did you guys not know this!!!?

  21. China1

    I agree with whoever said it was a dumb mistake to play Tierney in the cup. He needs to be fit for the priority games. FA cup third round va a very poor Newcastle side ain’t that

  22. Ernest Reed

    “I would take Ramsey back in a heartbeat. Selling him was a mistake imho.”

    Maybe I’m mistaken AFC Forever, but Ramsey was not sold, his contract ran out?

    Perhaps if you and your pet monkey Pierre weren’t so busy waxing each others bikini lines you’d get over yourselves and your love affair with shit remembrances of useless tools, primarily Wenger and Ozil.

  23. Dark Hei

    China1

    I thought Wengerball died in 2015. There was still a pretty good version when we had Sanchez, Cazorla while Ozil was still at little bit interested in football.

    Wengerball well and truly died when we bought Xhaka in 2016. It was like buying the Dodo bird.

  24. Ernest Reed

    So it is being reported now that Arteta is very much interested in re-signing both Mustafi and Luiz to extensions.

    That’s pretty much all anyone needs to know regarding Arsenal’s future under Arteta. Not much of one.

  25. Dark Hei

    “I would take Ramsey back in a heartbeat. Selling him was a mistake imho.”

    I doubt so.

    Juventus actually played Ramsey on the left flank.

    We don’t have the structure to make that work.

    Ramsey is not the player you need when you are still building up a team. He is more like a finishing touch, that touch of unpredictability. He is not useful for us at this stage.

  26. Ernest Reed

    As disappointing a performance as one would not like to see. A disjointed effort but credit to Palace who pretty much parked the bus and nullified the Arteta built Juggernaut Offence.

    Hope Tierney’s injury status is not long term, but the kid seems to always pick up injuries at at inopportune times.

  27. Ernest Reed

    Anyone else catch the song playing just before the start of the second half – Kurt Angle’s “You Suck” theme song?

    Check it out, you couldn’t possibly make it up. Rather fitting and a real shame it wasn’t to a full house – imagine 60k yelling “You Suck”.

  28. S Asoa

    Last 4 games we played “ without a hand break” as per Arteta admission. The kids played their natural game.
    Wonder if dietpep acted smart and tried to drill in his back pass philosophy and a final admonition to play exactly like that “ or else”. That would terrorise the players .
    More than new players we need to eject Arteta since we are not getting anyone to control the Control Freak

  29. Tony

    Ernest Reed
    ‘Perhaps if you and your pet monkey Pierre weren’t so busy waxing each others bikini lines you’d get over yourselves and your love affair with shit remembrances of useless tools, primarily Wenger and Ozil.’

    Pet monkey Pierre — Made me smile Ernest.

  30. Aussie+Gooner

    I watched the game in disbelief. It is as if a collection of clones replaced our team from the last few games and were programed to play by Arteta. It was dreadful to watch, more sideways/backward and few atempts to vary the play to get over the top of Palace, who with all due respect, are not setting the EPL on fire anytime soon. The inability to adapt to changing circumstances is our Achilies Heal. Honestly Arteta appears clueless when things don’t go to his plans and he has no answers only than to carry on regarless and hope for the best. Once again I am left shaking my head..

  31. Habesha Gooner

    I wouldn’t mind having a player like Sabitzer after last night’s shitty performance. We need someone to break the lines from deep midfield. Xhaka can’t play like that. And he isn’t good enough to stay back and hold the midfield in case of counterattacks either. Partey looked like a player who hasn’t played football in months. He was off the pace a bit. It’s understandable though. The problem is we have so many deficiencies in midfield. The two players that are invaluable to us there are Partey and ESR. We have no alternatives for them and We have no good CMs to play either. We will have to gamble on which position to spend. That is how bad the midfield is. Credit to ESR last night. He actually took decent positions. He was also trying one touch football in thight spaces. We need a lot of one touch football to break down teams like this. Not an over hit Xhaka pass between the lines. Remember when wilshere, rosicky, cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil tried things to breakdown teams, that is the plays we need. Not slow, passing.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    Last night’s game was turgid.

    It started off with the announcement that the left side of our defence was out “injured”. How did that happen?

    What followed was the return to snails pace build up with both Holding and Luiz spending an inordinate time passing to each other rather moving the ball quickly out of defence.

    AMN also confirmed that he is a bang average footballer with poor concentration level and
    decision making.

    Both Smith-Rowe and Saka are young players and last night’s game confirmed what we have known that there are limitations on the amount of game time they should be playing.

    Finally we have to be concerned about the declining performance level of Aubameyang this
    season.

  33. Goobergooner

    I still think Ceballos is our best cm apart from Partey (who has yet to properly prove himself).

    It’s a shit position to be in though, considering he isn’t our player long term and we should be trying to get a good partnership going with our full time players. We just don’t have the quality there.

    Ceballos gets around the pitch and can press properly, makes tackles and has the ability to drive forward and build momentum through the middle.

    I don’t think he is good enough still, but him and Partey, in my opinion, would be the best cm pairing we have given a proper run.

    Xhaka is just too slow on the ball, and fouls way too often. He does make some good passes, but it’s just not enough in my opinion, and on top of that plays too many shit passes with no pressure on him. He is too slow and is a big factor of why we are so poor in controlling the midfield and not being able to play any decent football in there.

    Credit due though, he made a solid tackle inside the box to save a good cp opportunity.

    Amn just isn’t a lb.

  34. Foxy

    Luiz was frustrating, Mari seems to progress the play much better.

    Not sure why Arteta took off Danni who was having his best game for a while, would have been better to take Xhaka off who was tiring.

  35. Kaz

    My thoughts on the game.
    We didn’t lose.

    Palace neutralised our youngsters and no one else stepped up.

    Slow plodders were slowwwww but that’s the usual when Ceb and Xhaka play together.

    Need upgrades for CM desperately, need another CAM style player and Auba proving exactly why he isn’t a wing player.

  36. Terraloon

    Both Smith-Rowe and Saka are young players and last night’s game confirmed what we have known that there are limitations on the amount of game time they should be playing.

    Very much agree with this also the surprise element particularly in the case of Smith Rowe has now been played. By that I mean opposition coaches will now have looked at his style and have worked out his style and identified any weakness in their game.

    What shone through last night was the experience in the Palace they neither panicked nor looked that much under threat.Indeed they were very close to taking all three points.

    Arteata talks about fatigue the irony is that it’s only going to get tougher and will be faced with the dilemma of both injuries created by overplaying players ( Tierney ? ) and the fact that other clubs have far deeper quality in their squads

  37. Foxy

    Partey and Xhaka does not seem to be a workable combination, it would have been better last night for Partey to slot in behind Danni to allow him to press forward more.

  38. Foxy

    Have to admit that Roy has done a brill job at Palace on meagre resources. Team had balance and pace. i.e opposite of us.

  39. Graham62

    Luiz is a detriment to Arsenal progressing.

    His posing way of playing drives me up the frigging wall. He holds onto the ball for far too long and prefers to run his fingers through his hair, rather than look at distributing the ball quickly. Sometimes it takes over a minute to get the ball over the half way line and although Holding can’t be exonerated from blame, it is clear that playing with Luiz sucks him into this negative and slow way of playing.

    Saka and ESR were off last night, mainly because of this cumbersome style of play but I still love the way they kept trying to find spaces to push the team forward. Of course, we missed Tierney massively. AMN was as flat as a pancake once again, although when you’ve been discarded for so long by the manager it’s not easy to get up to pace.

    Good to see Partey having a run out.

  40. Pierre

    I would say that last night Arteta was shit scared that Palace would hit us on the break and he installed fear into the Arsenal players..

    Pointless playing a centre forward or a CAM if the play is going out wide all the time…

    A central attacking midfielder and a centre forward play predominantly centrally, the clue is in their named position.

    Lacazette touched the ball 8 times in the first half, that tells you everything you need to know about how we were set up to play.

    If Arteta doesn’t trust our midfield(xhaka/Ceballos) to protect the defence then he needs to put someone else in that position who he can trust, and then we can pass between the lines and take a few risks , without the fear of getting caught on the break.

    Too much energy was expended in midfield in the first 25 mins and we then became sloppy in midfield in our passing , our positional play and our decision making and we lost control of the midfield.

    2nd half was an improvement though we still never really commited enough players forward to put pressure on the palace defence.

  41. S Asoa

    Foxy
    Regarding ” Partey and Xhaka does not seem to be a workable combination, it would have been better last night for Partey to slot in behind Danni to allow him to press forward more. ”
    Arteta tried the same shit in game against Spuds. So much so Partey hobbled to Arteta to complain at the sidelines. Arteta , apparently is in love and will have none of it, and pushed Partey back .
    Arteta is too slow on the uptake or has his prejuy set in concrete

  42. Leedsgunner

    We came away with a point, a clean sheet and no injuries.

    Yes, had Bellerin been a bit more aware, and not snatched the chance falling to Lacazette, most likely three points but small steps, ladies and gentlemen, small steps.

    Glad we were able to give Tierney a break. We’re going to need him!

  43. Davey

    We struggle every home game against an athletic/powerful side that breaks well, the massive pitch seems to highlight our lack of physicality. Will be great to see gabrielle and Partey fully fit and in our line up.

  44. raptora

    Graham,

    I usually agree with you quite a lot.

    But not regarding Luiz. The few times we were dangerous in the game was almost always with him starting something, being proactive. His long balls were spot on on couple of occasions, his runs with the ball were also good. He did far more in attack than Holding and was equal to him in defence.

    It was Arteta that wanted us to play this slow, full of fear of making a mistake, garbage football in 80% of our attacks.
    Imagine blaming our CB when the game has ended 0-0. Yesterday’s result is on anyone but Luiz, Holding and Leno.

  45. raptora

    I have couple of stats for you guys.

    – Arsenal have failed to score in seven Premier League matches this season, as many as in the entirety of last season, last failing to score in more games in a season in 2015/16 (8).
    (18th round is not even half the season gone)

    – Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke had more shots than any other player tonight (6) – the last five players to have 6+ shots in a Premier League game at the Emirates have all been visiting players: John McGinn (Sept 2019), Raúl Jiménez (Nov 2019), Sadio Mané (July 2020), Danny Welbeck (July 2020) and Benteke tonight.
    (No words… How fkin sad is this…)

    – Arsenal have kept their first home clean sheet in the Premier League since July 2020 (12 games), whilst Crystal Palace have recorded their first clean sheet on the road since June (13 games).

    #artetastyle

  46. The BFB

    Breaking news from the SS Arsenal, currently negotiating the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic. Newly promoted Petty Officer Garlick has staked his claim to be in charge of the lifeboats, should the situation arise. Meanwhile, a cabin boy answering to the name of Balogun, having incurred the displeasure of Captain “Blackbeard” Arteta, is currently languishing in the hold surviving on meagre rations.