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

    Dan T

    “PIERRE – Arguing that Xhaka is good in the air? I haven’t seen that. Ever. .”

    Well i have seen it and , unlike you i tend to believe what i see with my own eyes when it comes to making a point about a player instead of the usual ” Xhaka is shit” line..

    Of course , the point I was making was that a possible reason why Xhaka starts is due to him being better in the air defensively than 80% or more than the rest of the team ,and I quote

    “Where Xhaka is useful is that he is decent ( not great) in the air, and due to Arsenal’s lack of height throughout the team he will often get the nod.
    If you look over the past couple of seasons, our central midfield consists of Elneny Ceballos; Torreira, Guendouzi and Willock.
    None of these are dominant in the air, in fact i would say they were weak…xhaka will at least defend the box well.
    Taking into account our strikers and full backs are neither tall nor strong in the air is another reason for playing Xhaka ”

    Will the stats prove me right, they invariably do.

    as I said, I trust my own eyes.

  2. Habesha Gooner

    I couldn’t believe the Martinelli news. It was great. Holding also deserved his new contract. He has been good the past few weeks. But I think he will go back to the bench if Saliba really performs on loan and arteta isn’t picking favourites. Still holding is showing some of the form he showed before his ACL injury. That can only be great for us. After the end of the season we will have 4 CBs that won’t be weaklinks.

    I hope we get these players fast too. I think it is a done deal that Ozil and Sokratis will move. What is funny to me is the fact that Mustafi is picking destinations. I bet he won’t sign for anyone above midtable in the summer.

  3. Valentin

    I don’t get why people are surprised that the Mari deal has incentive based on appearances. That used to be Huss Fahmy modus operandi for contract, which make sense if you want to avoid being saddled with an expensive flop. Lots of club do higher appearance fees in exchange for a lower upfront fee.

    Southampton inserted a clause where Arsenal had to pay them for every game where the Ox was playing more than 20 minutes. They spotted that Arsène was introducing him systematically on the 70th minute. In their opinion, it was done deliberately to save cash, they sent a note to indicate that taking into account the extra times, Arsenal owed them more money.

  4. AFC Forever

    Good news about Gabriel and Holding. As Pedro says, Mari has stepped up to the plate and fitted in seamlessly with Holding and that’s exactly what you want, competition. We now have ball-playing Centre Backs who have the composure that Mustafi could only dream of, plus they stay on their feet when they defend. So I’m not worried about which of them plays.

    There will be plenty of rotation needed and with the decent cover now we don’t risk injuries through lack of recovery or overplaying. Essential to be able to do that. Next month we play Benfica away on a Thursday evening and then have to play Man City around 43 hours later – why the PL do this is beyond me, so likely we’ll have to play almost 2 teams.

    Talking about Abu Dhabi, I mean Man City, they’ve been caught cheating again I see. That’s the problem when a club is owned by a foreign state with unlimited funds they just don’t care. Wonder if they’ll get away with this lightly again?

  5. AFC Forever

    Habesha.

    Good point. Next season we will have Holding, Gabriel, Mari and Saliba. That is a serious upgrade compared to the past few years. I suspect David Luiz will be gone.

  6. BigCharles

    I think the holding deal is great! There is the option for the club to trigger another year. I feel we have never gave deals with the option of another year!

  7. Valentin

    Wilko,

    The only reason, I can see is that they did not notice the fact that we signed him with £10millions add-on or spotted it but assumed that we would never have to pay that.

    It works both way. Arsenal made lots of money from former academy players sold with such incentive or percentage of resale price.

    Maybe Arsenal could have been more upfront with the add-ons fee. Instead of announcing them in a vague statement , it should separate the unlikely, the likely and the sure. Some add-ons are unlikely to occurs (Despite Arteta belief Arsenal is unlikely to win the Champion’s League any time soon), while some WILL be paid the only unknown being when.

  8. JAMES WOOD

    Much talk of Bissouma a player i really like
    but is he just not a mirror copy ability wise
    of Partey a very very similar style of playing
    would they both work in the same side.
    Would be nice to have them both seeing Partey
    MIGHT be another Diaby LET’S HOPE NOT.

  9. Danny+S

    Pierre

    Xhaka has won 48% of his areal battles in the prem, and made 134 headed clearances in his 143 appearances.

    So he does attempt a lot of headers it seems.

    As for 80% of the team, all the CB’s more or less beat him of course. And for perspective Bellerin has almost equal stats % wise.

  10. Danny+S

    So as usual you release a broad statement and are kind both right and wrong, however we all know you will see it as being 100% spot on and claim it as yet another victory over the uneducated.

  11. Leedsgunner

    Xhaka’s aerial ability is average. When his confidence is up he attacks the ball but when our back is against the wall, I’ve also seen him duck out of the way rather than put his body (or more specifically his head) on the line.

    He likes to tell everyone he’s a leader but his lack of consistency betrays him… and doesn’t take responsibility for his mistakes but looks to blame others and other factors.

    Real leaders don’t do that, in any walk of life.

  12. AFC Forever

    “and arteta isn’t picking favourites.”

    What does this mean?

    Of course a Manager has favourites – he picks who he trusts and what he believes is his best players. I prefer to call them his ‘preferred’ players, every Manager has them. We might disagree with his selection, which is fine, but he’s picking them regularly because he believes they are his best players or best ones for a result.

    So selecting ‘preferred’ players is absolutely normal; just because fans think he is wrong doesn’t make it so. However, selecting a player because he is his mate, related to him or goes drinking with him is favouritism (and would be bad judgement) – but not sure any Manager deliberately picks a player on that basis if they want to win games and avoid the sack.

  13. Leedsgunner

    As for Willian, if we must play him, I say bring him in on to close down games. These days he seems to slow down games and pass sideways and backwards.

    Perfect for when you want to run the clock down if you’re trying to protect a lead.

    I rather not see him in an Arsenal shirt again.

  14. AFC Forever

    Leeds

    Can’t disagree, Willian’s form has been very poor. He’s not the same player he was at Chelsea. Could be a confidence issue because he has (had) ability. Very odd how poor he has been.

  15. Bojangles

    From previous blog.

    You guys just look for things to complain about. If Mari plays 80 games for us his total cost will be around £16 mil + £85 thou per week. Pretty good value for money really.ijYou guys just look for things to complain about. If Mari plays 80 games for us his total cost will be around £16 mil + £85 thou per week. Pretty good value for money really.

  16. Pierre

    Dan T and Danny s
    “Xhaka has won 48% of his areal battles in the prem, and made 134 headed clearances in his 143 appearances.So he does attempt a lot of headers it seems.As for 80% of the team, all the CB’s more or less beat him of course. And for perspective Bellerin has almost equal stats % wise.
    So as usual you release a broad statement and are kind both right and wrong, however we all know you will see it as being 100% spot on and claim it as yet another victory over the uneducated.”

    Danny , you’ve done it again , have a look at these stats and you will see EXACTLY the point i was making.

    As per prem league website.

    Premier league
    Xhaka
    Played 143
    Headed clearances 134
    Heading battles won 196
    H B lost 187

    Elneny
    Played 56
    Headed clearances 21
    Heading battles won 20
    Heading battles lost 47

    Ceballos
    Played 39
    Headed clearances 13
    H battles won 15
    H battles lost 33

    Bellerin
    Played 173
    H clearances 158
    H battles won 177
    H battles lost 234

    Tierney
    Played 31
    H clearances 30
    H battles won 22
    H battles lost 42

    Do i need to go on ..Torreira,Guendouzi, Saka, Willock, Aubameyang, Willian and Lacazette’s defensive heading stats are all far worst than Xhaka’s, in fact Xhaka is the only player who has won more heading battles than he has lost and his headed clearances are close to one per game.

    I rest my case.

  17. Leedsgunner

    Comparing about paying out £8m to a player’s former club when he plays 80 plus games for us is strange…

    It’s nothing when we’ve paid more than than to Özil alone for sitting at home this year. Or to Wilshere and Diaby to keep the physios company for all those years.

  18. Danny+S

    Fuck me pierre you did it again! Haha

    You just did EXACTLY what I said you would.

    Hardly 80% of the team is it? Do you want to post ALL of our CB stats in there?

  19. Pierre

    The centre backs will always have more headed clearances because that is their job .

    Xhaka is a midfielder and outperforms ALL the other outfield players including our full backs and the rest of our midfielders..

    Hence my point that his selection could be due to his DECENT heading ability in that he wins his heading battles in midfield , unlike the rest of the midfielders and full backs , and his headed clearances are only matched by Tierney, other than the centre backs.

  20. Captain Tierney

    Pierre

    That is a very valid point re:Xhaka. He seems to be one of our best headers. Some people just want to find scapegoats and hate them to no end.
    Against teams like Newcastle, Burnley etc. Id much rather play Xhaka as midfield partner for Partey over Ceballos, Elneny and Willock. Because Xhaka is an elite passer of the ball when he isn’t pressed and the likes of Newcastle just sit back to attack on the counter and set-pieces. He is also one of our best headers of the ball which helps the team a lot when defending against the likes of Andy Carrol and Chris Wood.

  21. Foxy

    Perhaps the problem with Willian is that at Chelsea he was playing more as a link man keeping the ball moving in strong line up, whilst we have been expecting him to be an initiator of attacks/scorer in a seriously malfunctioning team. I would expect him to improve with the latest line ups especially when Partey is back especially as mentioned in helping control a game later on. However his evident poor shooting for whatever reason is a concern as I recall him knocking them in from range for Chelsea.

  22. Captain Tierney

    Leeds

    Its 4 mil for 40 appearances. We’ve already paid 4 and the rest 4 is dependent on appearances if the reports are to be believed.
    Anyways 8 mil is still a bargain if Mari keeps performing like he has.

  23. Captain Tierney

    Rob Holding: “Pablo [Mari] is the most positive person on the planet. You see him and he will just make you happy.”

  24. Pierre

    CT
    I agree , Mari does bring a calmness to the defence..

    Arteta has a little conundrum regarding Gabriel and Mari.
    What Arteta has to weigh up is the strength of the opposition in the games that mari has played in and does it give a false impression of how good he’s playing..

    Gabriel is a very good centre back but he became a little impetuous in his tackles and his decision making started to suffer.

    So for me , Mari would get the nod for the foreseeable future alongside Holding as they are rarely drawn out of position..

  25. DivineSherlock

    Mari has the added advantage of being more experienced than Gabriel as well. I like them both its a good thing we have two left foot CBs that are starting quality. I would prefer Mari at the moment , thankfully all the reports that he was a slow dud were wrong.

  26. Tee

    “But I think he will go back to the bench if Saliba really performs on loan and arteta isn’t picking favourites”

    Lol, why would holding go back to the bench?

    I don’t see saliba benching holding if holding keeps improving. If you think saliba will just come next season and be introduced immediately, then you are on a long thing.

    Just saying this because the bed to moan is quietly being laid here. If saliba performs and holding keeps improving then I don’t see how saliba will topple him. One will have to underperform for the other to claim the spot.

    It’s actually a good thing to have two good RBs. It bolds well for healthy competition.

  27. S Asoa

    Somebody having a wank thinking how Edu has been bent over. The euphoria should be if Edu gets replaced with a proper DoF overseeing the petty macho minion. His Don Quixote posturing and bullying has cost us a 4th place, or a 6 at a trot.
    Hope sense comes with the calmness after the ejaculation

  28. Captain Tierney

    Bojangles

    That was what the tabloids reported at first.

    After a few weeks/months someone from the club ( vice President iirc) told the media something along the lines that Mari earned them a total of 4 million

    Recent reports suggest we’ll pay 1 mil for 10 games Mari plays until the total transfer value reaches 8 mil.
    Which means we will eventually pay them 4 more million or 8 mil total.

  29. Mark

    Wilko,
    Asoa said Pedro’s getting excited cos Edu is supposed to report in to Mikel. However getting a proper TD such as Rangnick in to oversee what Mikel is doing would be something to get excited about.
    Cos Mikel has cost us places in the Prem with his stubborn and mystifying treatment of players and persistence in playing Willian.

    Surely someone as clued up as you can comprehend that.

  30. Valentin

    Wilko,

    I still think that by splitting the never going to happen fees from the very likely to happen fees, fans would have a better indication of the financial obligations of the club.
    People see that Mari cost £4 millions and jump at his cheapness, then they realised that because of the extra add-ons, he is likely to cost £12 millions and they are up in arms. When the reality is that if he is a success an extra £8 millions is peanuts.

    On the other hand Pablo Mari looked good, because he has not been faced with teams that attack us relentlessly. Chelsea is The only team who did a little bit of attack. In that game he got a yellow card early on and conceded a penalty which could have resulted in another red card.

    Also the 3-4-3 meant that we were very weak in midfield and so our CBs were told to be more aggressive. A lot of the goals conceded under that system were due to a CBs being out of position pursuing somebody in midfield leaving gap behind. In a 4-2-3-1, CBs have less reason to go and follow opponents into the midfield. So Gabriel may rediscover his initial brilliant form.

  31. DivineSherlock

    Captain Tierney

    I know he is slower than most but I meant slow dud as in someone who is slow to react , not his pace. He hasnt played against more high paced wingers like Sterling or Salah so I’d still reserve my judgement but he does looks ideal for a PL side.

  32. azed

    Danny

    You are missing Pierre’s point.

    Pierre said one the reasons why Xhaka played is because he’s one of the better headers of the ball among our midfielders and looking at our midfield, that is true.

    He did not say Xhaka is one of the best at the club, just among our midfielders so if you are going to compare percentages, it should be between Xhaka, Willock, Elneny, Ceballos and Partey.

  33. Northbanker

    Mari faced Man City when he picked up that injury end of last season. Up to that point we were defending well and he was playing well. It all went to shit after he got injured.

    So I’m confident he can hold his own against a mobile attack (he played in Brazil so there must have been a few decent strikers there). In fact that is where great positioning sense can come into its own as all CBs can be exposed where a Liverpool like strike force is operating.

  34. I hate Green Bay

    Martinelli being fit proves there is a God after all, that’s such a relief. When he does return, what do people think should be our starting front three? Ideally though, we should take the opportunity to rest Saka who is in danger of being overplayed, as is Tierney.

    Remember back in Wenger days, our injury record was shocking, it was hardly manageable. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, I wonder what is being done differently?

    Rob Holdings new contract makes good business sense (for a change), and in two years time, he will be 27 and at maximum market value should we wish to sell.

    What does it matter if Mari cost £8m or £12m? We are paying Ozil £18m per year to sit at home.

  35. Raulishuss

    Val spot on. But I’d just say imo Mari is more calm and composed, Gabriel enjoys the physical battle and he’s quick to go pressure attacker, Mari almost waits for you to run out time to think. With someone like holding, it’s dangerous leaving him exposed Mari makes the defensive duo compact

  36. Goldinho

    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
    Pedro
    I think you give the Krankies far too much credit,how long past his sell by date did they keep wenger. And let’s not forget that useless prick vinai is still on the firm.
    They have shown very little interest in the daily goings on of the club.
    We have been in this spiral of decline since that posh git Hill-wood got them involved

  37. Dan T

    PIERRE

    Thanks for the stats. They are surprising.and much better than I thought they would be. I assumed that his heading stats would be similar to our other midfielders (ie really shite).

    Having said that, his stats are still very average and I don’t think they could be used to justify his place in the team.

  38. raptora

    I want Arsenal to win and be successful.

    Holding and Mari is as good as Tarkowski and Mee. Bang average.

    It will be obvious in time. Some fans are a bit quick to jump to a conclusion.

    Now suddenly Gabriel was making rash challenges. The fucker managed 3 player of the month awards in 3 months since he joined the club. Instant impact, managed us to keep us above water in defence, scored 2 goals, there isn’t anything he could have done more.

    It’s obvious that Arteta rates Mari. He ditched a healthy Saliba so an injured Mari can take his place in Europa. He wanted to keep him in the Summer after his loan was about to end. He rates him.

    It’s another pretty boy type of dude like Holding and Xhaka, slow as a turtle, minimal risk kind of player. Reminds you of someone during their football years?

    Slow defenders have no place in top clubs. We will not play in the UCL again if we have turtles in defence for a full season.

    Is Mari (and Holding) good enough to be a squad player – yes.
    Is Mari (and Holding) good enough to be a starting player at a top club – no.

    Gabriel is a superior player and he is 4 years younger.
    Interesting to see how many years will Mari need to get the 3 PotM awards Gabriel got in his first 3 months at Arsenal. My guess is he will never win even 1.

    And don’t bring the argument how CB is a position where it’s a great quality to keep it low profile, not get your named mentioned much, and just be a player who doesn’t shine but is stable.

    Gabriel is a pragmatic, no nonsense type of defender. He can do all the dirty work. His pace and power is unmatched in our CB choices. His 1v1 defensive capability is the best in our team. He is dynamic, he can drive the team forward, he is a leader. He is a future superstar.

    I don’t think Mari should play ahead of Magalhães even one EPL game if both are healthy.

    Gabriel is the type of bargain top class players we should be aiming for.
    Mari is the type of squad player we should be aiming for.
    Job well done on both transfers.

    But please don’t start hyping up a squad player ahead of a top class talent. It’s silly.

  39. Uwot?

    There were the usual jokers on here quick to stick the knife into Mari after a handful of games allowing for no adjustment to a different pace league.Was being slaughtered as too slow,can’t pass,can’t tackle,blah blah blah all the usual no nothing knee jerk reaction( you know who you are)not surised at all.The same ones willing to stick the knife in Artetas back at every opportunity.Such is your typical poster these days.

  40. Chris

    OTD 1995 : We signed John Hartson, the most expensive teenager in British football at the time. Think we signed Kiwomya not long after or before. Hartson stood out to me as a player as it was around this time I started to go to Highbury regularly as a kid.

    And also OTD 2006: we signed Abou Diaby. Big regrets about this guy, could have been a monster of a player for us were it not for that reckless challenge from that Sunderland player. It was after that though where I remember a stand out performance, against Chelsea in the league cup final 2007, before we fell away he was absolutely dominating that midfield. Such a shame how it all turned out for him.

  41. Karsa

    Mari is coming back after a long injury and still looks better than those who have proceeded him in recent times.

    Let him get a few more games under his belt.

  42. Uwot?

    Two players over the wenger years have the biggest regret of their misfortune with injuries.Both would have been world stars.no question.That’s “ little Mozart” Rosicky & Abou Diaby.

  43. Chris

    Rosicky was among those players in the early Emirates era that were just a joy to watch in full flow, Fabregas, Hleb, van Persie, Diaby when he was fit.

    I still wonder just how good Eduardo could have been were it not for serious injury.

  44. Goldinho

    Loved Rosicky from when he scored a wicked goal against us for Sparta Prague at highbury
    Fucking quality player,real joy to watch

  45. I hate Green Bay

    Arsenal have won all 8 matches Mari has started, conceding 4 goals. That is pretty good, lets not rush ito condemnation based on perception,

  46. MLC

    I watched Mari when he played for flamengo almost every week, and i can assure Gabriel Magalhaes is the better player, Mari is a good CB but Magalhaes a class above in my opinion

  47. Northbanker

    goldinho – your recall of history is incorrect. Hill-Wood did not introduce SK – David Dean did as he tried desperately to flog his shares to all and sundry. PHW in fact said at first that “we didnt want his kind” (how right he was)

    He had to change tactics once Dein had found an even worse buyer in Usmanov and Danny Fiszman died round about he same time. Rock and a hard place stuff.

    So dont blame PHW. If hs father Denis had kept his shares rather than cashing in maybe we’d be in a better place with owners who still give a fuck and say football rather than soccer.

  48. China1

    If mark stays fit and keeps this level he will have been a good buy. Whether he can become great remains to be scene but he at least looks like another holding – a player who can play at this level when called upon and hold is own (if you’ll excuse the pun) even if he’s not a proper elite level

    The problem with Mari was just we signed him, then he didn’t play and many of us (I’ll hold my hand up) thought this looked like a PEAK arsenal signing. If he turned out to be horribly injury prone and trash this would’ve been so fucking typical lol

    Sadly arsenal have such a bad track record many headlines can be written with your eyes closed before we’ve seen much and many will turn out true. Thankfully Mari is *currently* looking like an absolutely adequate player for our squad. No complaints from me anymore

  49. Northbanker

    Not sure why Raptora is having a downer on Mari. he has rarely ut a foot wrong in his admittedly short playing career for AFC. I for one am not saying he should be picked instead of Gabriel and agree Gabriel is a great find.

    But to survive a season we need 4 top CBs and i think both Holding and Mari fit the mould. Ultimately the first choice will be Gabriel and AN Other. Fingers crossed that other will be Saliba or otherwise that is another shed load of money down the drain.

  50. China1

    Also glad to see holding is finally getting a bit of credit from the fans

    He’s not world class. Will he ever be? I don’t expect so. But he’s always been a player good enough to get frequent game time at this level. On the few occasions when he has had extended runs in the team, he’s consistently been a very solid player. Under emery he was our stand out defender until he got injured.

    I’m not really a prominent of building a team around him because he’s no sol Campbell or tony Adams. But if he is our third best CB (maybe Mari is better, it’s unclear) then it’s fair to say he would be easily one of the league’s best ‘third choice’ CBs. It’s very important to have this kind of player who will do a job for you when called upon. He’s earned that deal through hard work and nothing else

    Fair play to Rob

  51. Habesha Gooner

    People always go over the top when they criticize or praise a player most of the time. I remember people slating him because pedro run a story that he was signed for us because of Arturo Canales. Fans were on his back before he even played enough games for us. Mari is good. But there is a reason he spent most of his career being a journey man. He has found form since he joined flamengo. And he is a good Centerback. Holding is also a good centerback. But both aren’t great centerbacks. They don’t need to be to play for us. But Gabriel is a great Centerback already at 22. He has every inch of his game covered. I also think Saliba has the potential to be a great CB. There is a difference between being top class and being good. But Centerback is a position where partnerships are more important than individual quality. Sometimes you can get a Ramos and Varane Combo where both are high quality and the partnership is also great. That is what I am hoping will happen with Gabriel and Saliba.

  52. shaun

    yep makes sense to me Raptora and agree with what you say can’t see either defender(holding or Mari) at a top club .It is simple both defenders be it CB’S or wing backs now require super recovery pace .If you don’t have the now basic attribute “speed “your going to be average or good if you are super quick you can be average , good or potentially the best . Gabriel has the potential to be one of the best and Mari does not Mari can and has been good but will never be the best and playing with holding the Arsenal back line will be exposed against pace Arteta would be a fool to play Mari and Holding against united for example but don’t put that past him …..where as he should be thinking I am gonna need physicality and pace for that game….Gabriel but that said I would not be surprised to see Willian against Palace as I really don’t have much belief in lego head as he does tend to make some pretty dumb decisions and frequently as well

  53. Goldinho

    Northbanker
    I remember him saying he didn’t want his kind at the club
    I will bow to your knowledge on the rest of it

  54. Left Testicle

    So much about freedom of speech, the woke brigade don’t like it.
    ……………
    This is so true. Getting binned for having a different opinion shows where this blog is heading.

  55. Upstate Gooner

    Pedro doesn’t ban someone for just disagreeing with him. I can’t stand Arteta and have been pretty vocal about it… still here. So there must have been something else with Marc (and a few others).

  56. Upstate Gooner

    Agree with raptora on his view about our CB’s. None of them would make it at a top club, IMHO, with the exception of possibly Gabriel. Our last decent CB partnership was Mert/Kosc, and Mert was slower than molasses. His positioning was normally good though, and he obviously benefited from having Koscielny as a partner. But he’d still get exposed for speed every now and then against fast and counterattacking sides. Hence, having Mari and Holding as our main CB combo doesn’t instill a lot of confidence since both of them are pretty slow.

  57. La croqueta

    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.
    //

    See this right here is the issue with the ozil situation. Some are, but most are not ‘fanboys’ running to defend ozil the person. It’s the fact that some fans see him as “holding us back”. That narrative has been pushed so hard by shills to drive away attention from the fact that. It makes no difference if ozil is here or not. He hasn’t been in the team all season and WE WERE 15th. We are now 11th. What the f#&k has that got to do with an Ozil.

    Some of us are not defending ozil per se. It’s more of a defence of the real issues not being addressed.. again! 15 years into this new amazing Emirates project. And all of it is Being blamed on one player. Does he have so much power and influence that his name alone can cause a team to sink to 15th.. now 11th?
    Don’t let people fool you into thinking “when Ozil goes. Aahh it’ll be like a breath of fresh air, we can finally, finally move on”. Ozils wages do not restrict us from buying anyone. We’re cheap. We’ve always been cheap. We’ll by one (Partey) and leave the other (Auour) and blame ..(insert new excuse here).

  58. Pedro

    Left, you can walk yourself out the door if you don’t like the direction of the blog.

    Azed, no idea on Marc. He’s a chump for not being here when we’re doing well, but I like having him on the blog and I certainly haven’t banned him.

    Might email his account to check he’s not dead.

  59. Pierre

    Don’t worry Marc and the rest of the ” negatives” will be back when we drop a few points.

    Le Grove is always a much better place to comment on after a few victories, but you’ll always get your Danny s’s of this world to try and put a dampner on things.

  60. Upstate Gooner

    La croqueta
    Well said… Ozil has nothing to do with our recent (mostly) poor form prior to a few decent results. He has nothing to do with how we play, where we are in the table, etc… He has nothing to do with how the players are being coached/managed… nothing to do with our tactics/formation, etc… Wenger’s been gone for a while now yet he still gets blamed for some things. Ozil will be gone soon but I too have a feeling that he’ll be blamed for something that has absolutely nothing to do with him.

  61. Pedro

    James, I think Partey is seen as a more progressive midfielder. Bissouma more a traditional DM. They want Partey playing balls into the final third and opening up like he does for Ghana

  62. Captain Tierney

    James Wood

    First of all Partey is not a Diaby. This is his first major injury for a very long time.
    I do agree that Bissouma and Partey are a bit similar in their playing style. Seeing how Arteta wants our full backs to push very high up the pitch, maybe we want this pace and power duo to provide cover to the advanced full backs while also being good recyclers of the ball. A bit like Liverpool.

  63. JP

    James W

    Think Partey has more to his game than just being a destroyer. I’d imagine that (and ££££) was one of the reasons he was open to leaving Atletico.

  64. Captain Tierney

    Partey is a progressive midfielder. True. But he definitely isn’t a free 8 or #10. Dont think he would be great if asked to recieve the ball in the final 3rd with his back to goal.
    Imo he is best as a #6 in a 4-3-3 or as a #6 or #8 in a double pivot.

  65. Dissenter

    Bissouma has become popular here for obvious reasons. I just think he’s a lesser version of Partey imo.
    He just reminds of me of Coquelin when he was at his best for Arsenal. There was a breif period where Coquelin was excellent.
    Bissouma is athletic, spritely and can cover lots of ground but is not good in advanced positions. He’s also not press-resistant in any way because his passing isn’t that great. He tends to cover his flaws with his sheer athleticism.

  66. Pierre

    I cant see our line up v palace being far away from this.
    Leno
    Bellerin..holding..Mari..Tierney
    Partey xhaka
    Saka smith rowe aubamayang
    Lacazette

    If partey is not fit to start then it will be Elneny/Xhaka

  67. G

    Think Gabriel has been brilliant considering he’s still getting used to the league.. And if his recent performances have dipped then it’s probably been a good thing that he’s been out recently.. Mari may need a rest considering he was out for a long time so shouldn’t b overused

    Holding, Gabriel, Mari and hopefully Saliba next season sounds like a good quartet

  68. Northbanker

    I’m assuming Marc was banned not because he had a different point of view but that he instead insisted on being downright obnoxious about it and incredibly aggressive. It’s one thing having a different point of view, which is great, but another being a complete arrogant twat in putting down every other poster. with a different view (if he even knew what his view really was)

  69. Dissenter

    Habesha
    “How much have you seen Bissouma play?”
    As much as any non-Brighton fan could possibly see

    I like Brighton and think Bissouma is a good player and just mentioned all the positive attributes I think he has.
    Do you think he’s a good passer of the ball or is good in advanced positions?

  70. MGooner

    @Pierre

    If Arteta does not talk about Ze Process to the lads and let them play freely it should be 3 points in the bag

  71. JP

    Being press-resistant is just about passing. Its been able to wriggle out tight scenarios, having strength to hold off the opposition…..from what i’ve seen he’s quite good at that.

    He’s no Frenkie de Jong but seems calmer on the ball than Elneny

  72. Captain Tierney

    Diss

    Bissouma is a far superior player to peak Coq. He is also a good passer of the ball and much calmer.

  73. Pierre

    Northbanker
    It took me all of 2 minutes..

    I want to se a settled starting 11 and to me , I see no reason to make too many changes from the team that beat WBA…i suppose Ceballos is the other option in centre mid but Partey must be very close to starting.

    In our last 4 games we are averaging 18 shots a game on goal, partly due to a more balanced attack and the improvement of our full backs going forward.

  74. Tom

    “So much about freedom of speech, the woke brigade don’t like it”

    Freedom of speech rights afford protections from government censorship and not by private entities such as blogs and other internet media who can set their own rules.

  75. Raulishuss

    Bisoumma still has a long way to go yet imo. He’s kinda like Sven bender. Not good enough on the ball for a top club but very aggressive defensively, I don’t see us moving for him just yet

  76. Habesha Gooner

    Do you think he’s a good passer of the ball or is good in advanced positions?

    Well I have seen a bit. And he is a DM. I don’t think he is refined as partey. But he is definitely press resistant because of his ability to dribble out of trouble. I have seen some highlights too and he has scored some screamers that suggest technique isn’t a major weakness. His passing is much better than Coquelin’s ever was. I think he wouldn’t get linked with liverpool if he had limitations as Coquelin. He is a good player. He is not world class. But we need dependable players in midfield. Liverpool have been winning a lot with dependable players.

  77. Samesong

    but I like having him on the blog and I certainly haven’t banned him.

    . Pedro said he hasn’t banned Marc.

    Northbanker really don’t agree with your Marc is aggressive take. He is straight to the point. Aggressive though? No way.

  78. Northbanker

    Samesong – fair enough but I’ve seen quite a few posts from him that would back up my point but unlike so many on here i have no interest in going back and finding them

  79. Northbanker

    For me a priority signing isa top level DM and not a CAM (I think we have a few trainee CAMs in the making ad until they’re ready Ceballos should also be able to play that position. I note the reservations about Bissouma although from what i’ve seen of him he would be perfect at the back of a midfield trio and would allow Partey to do what he does best – carry the ball to the opposition and scare the shit out of them. With ESR linking up in perfect harmony I find myself almost salivating.

  80. shaun

    Zaha will make mince meat out of Bellerin , I for see an early yellow for Bellerin and AMN on at half time . both full backs will have there backs to the wall in this game and this is a real test those thinking 3-0 and an easy win should think again

  81. Pedro

    Dissenter, no. Just people making stuff up I’m afraid.

    If I was going to bin him, I’d have done it while we were losing.

  82. DivineSherlock

    Anyone follows Madrid or LaLiga much , what happened to Luka Jovic ? Man is going back to Frankfurt on loan . Was he just one season wonder ? .
    .
    .
    Also Serie A viewers what about Luiz Alberto from Lazio , is he worth a shot at #10 ? I havent seen much of him

  83. Tom

    WilkoJanuary 13, 2021 17:43:32
    Marc is an wanker and isn’t missed.

    Says the guy who’s posts only started appearing after Marc’s had stopped.

    Oh, wait a minute , did Marc have some catastrophic head trauma and doctors fucked up his brain operation and now he’s back as Wilko – an equally ever present but opposite spectrum and less witty poster?

  84. Northbanker

    Usual nonsense from Sid

    “Partey isnt a great #8 and Bissouma has a higher ceiling as DM/ #6 than Partey”

    Would you like to clarify what a #8 is Sid or would that involve more than a one line give away?

    It does however put into light the absolute nonsense with trying to describe roles by using numbers. Partey is a top level central midfielder who covers a large area of the pitch.

  85. Nelson

    This is the first time I saw a fault is called. BHA defender tipped the ball back to the GK who picked the ball up with his hand.

  86. Sid

    Theres a reason Saul was given the #8 role at AM, Partey can be functional in there but will not offer what great CMs like Essien, Diaby even Carzola offer. Theres also a game vs man c that Rosiky played in that role and it was a masterclass. He is not a great technician.