by .

Wooooaaaahhhh… did I wake up FRESH from the news. I could run a marathon. I could climb a mountain. My head is so clear now Mustafi is gone I think I’m going to apply for a job at SpaceX on the rocket science team.

The German World Cup winner held us back in life, now he’s gone. Good riddance. No sentimentality here. He was a terrible, terrible signing and I am here, with you, thanking the footballing gods for lifting him from the club.

I always thought he was just a nightmare center-back, but when the rumblings came my way that he was difficult behind the scenes, it was time to exit.

Thoughts and prayers for Schalke… Christian Gross as their new manager, Kolasinac as their captain, Mustafi as their defensive rock… could you imagine a worse film poster?

So, how did we finish the window? About £600k a week better off. That’s how you do ruthless business in a pandemic.

The absolute key is to NOT put that money into a bunch of bums Kia knows this summer.

This is a semi-fresh start, obviously slightly tainted by the fact we forked out a lot of money on certain players this summer that will not provide long-term value. Those decisions were made, we now have to lie with them on a bed of nails.

We’ve cleared out underperformers on the pitch, we rid the dressing room of players that were less than helpful, and we’ve freed up cash flow so we can move for the players we want this summer.

We also did a pretty decent job of looking after the future.

Joe Willock has gone to Newcastle to help Steve Bruce out with his team’s appalling final ball. I think he’s had a bit of an identity crisis, everyone knows there’s a player there, no one knows what that player is. He couldn’t be going to a club more desperate for a spark, so let’s see what he has.

AMN, as I suspected, took a loan move to West Brom. He had 5 offers apparently. What is pointed is the fact he binned off bigger clubs. His loan move isn’t about his lack of talent, it’s about scratching a very specific itch… he wants to show Edu and Arteta he can be a midfielder at the highest level. The player is coming back to us next season, if he wasn’t, I suspect he might have tried to impress at Southampton or Leicester. What better way to show you are top tier than keeping West Brom in the Premier League? Last player to go to West Brom from Arsenal was Serge G… let’s feed AMN the same water and keep em’ crossed.

We’ve gone over the William Saliba stuff. He’s in the right place. @GrimandiTweetss, a guy who actually watches him, had this to say on where he’s at development wise (referencing his error this weekend that cost Nice the game).

As I’ve been watching him at Nice, it’s apparent his one glaring deficiency is his lack of ability to defend the high cross

His shape is often wrong, that’s why it skimmed off his head and they score

It’s not just a matter of getting games, it’s a matter of releasing the skill of defending crosses. For such a big chap, he doesn’t impose himself defending crosses in open play or at set-pieces

Half a season in France isn’t as ideal as half a season in Championship would have been, but you know what, it’s a helluva lot better than sitting on the bench.

There were some other moves. Matt Smith moved to Charlton for the remainder of the season, Swindon fans were absolutely feeeewming over this, which is great news.

I was a bit disappointed that Reiss Nelson managed to avoid a loan move again, a move to Valencia collapsed. It kind of looks like he’s blown a year on his own terms. He should have taken a loan in the Premier League. Now he’s cratered his value and no one really knows what he’s capable of. Not the sharpest advice he’s taking.

This summer is going to very interesting. Arsenal are going to be making big plans again. They’ll likely be looking to add another creative player, but the most important position they’ll address is central midfield. I think everyone is very aware of the limitations we have in midfield right now and they’ll be looking at top class options to play next to Thomas Partey. It’ll all depend on what we can do in terms of sales. Lucas Torreira and Matteo G will be high on the exit list. I suspect we’ll also be looking to whip up interest in players coming to the end of their deals, or, players that just need to find new clubs because they aren’t quite right for the future.

If we can bring in £80m, expect us to drop another Thomas Partey like move on the market and plug some gaps that are clear. Could be interesting. I just hope Edu isn’t ready with his mega contracts for older players… he needs to move on names that aren’t part of the 5-year plan and continue to trim that wage bill.

The Swiss Ramble ran the numbers that basically showed we’ve dropped £236m of wastage on talent over the last 10 years.

Our new strategy needs to start refocusing on how we have a consistent flow of transfer cash coming through the door. 26 should be the max-out age of players we sign. Really, 22-23 is the sweet spot. You can mold the players in your vision, you know they’ll only be thinking about football, and they’ll be at wage pricepoint that means you can easily sell them.

The hope is Edu and Arteta have learned the harshest of lessons this season. This window indicates that maybe that’s the truth. Youth is the way forward, there are no shortcuts to the top, if we start acknowledging that now, we’ll move forward as a club… if we don’t, we’re just burning more cash on an idea that has failed for 5 years.

Edu has done a very good job this window, but we do need to be careful that we don’t celebrate table stakes like we’re rocking the world of football innovation. De-bloating the squad, signing young talent on loan, and moving out young players to gain more experience is sharp… but we can’t forget what went before. The truth will arrive in the summer. Contracts, new signings, how we sell… BUT… this is a great start to the first non-Raul window. So praise and credit are due.

Right, Wolves tonight. We need 3 points. Auba, Saka, Mari, and Ceballos are all in contention. We might see Odegaard as well. It’s a huge game, Nuno really hasn’t managed to get his side into gear this season, but… we are always a gift to struggling managers, so who knows what will happen.

Play like we did against United and we’ll be in with a good chance of coming away with the points.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Nelson

    No only Luiz has brain fart, he is also slow and can’t keep up with fast striker. Today, the striker ran past him easily. He should just let him shoot or stayed on his right side. Instead, he ran over to his left side and ended up crossing path with the opponent.

  2. Tony

    I didn’t watch the game until this morning; however, when I saw Luiz and Arteta in the line up I was concerned.

    First, why play Luiz when you had Gabs available and I believe also Mari. Luiz had a tough game against United and needed rotating.

    Secondly, why play Arteta when Wolves have speed merchants in the midfield and attack?

    Both decision are what cost us the points as far as I’m concerned.

    Martinelli needed to start instead of Laca centrally with Pepe right and Saka left.

    So Arteta being the generational coach Pedro blindly raves/trolls – more the latter? Still yet to see evidence of this.

    This isn’t hindsight on my behalf as I wanted the above selections before the game began; Gabs & Martinelli instead of Luiz and Laca.

    Bringing Auba on in such as game with 10 men was just poor, but Arteta hasn’t learnt anything about in-game management in the last 12 months; just keeps exercising poor judgement and with His subs’ usage.

    Now onto Arteta’s exceptional player vision/acquisition in buying Runarsson as our back up keeper to replace Emi who as ES says will be between the sticks for our next 3 games, which was my first thought when Leno had his brain fart.

    Just another bump eh Pedro? To go with the countless other Arteta bumps instead of the odd mishap.

    As we were with latter years (10+) of Wenger we are stuck with Arteta.. This much is proven because Arteta hasn’t been and won’t be judged by the same metric as Emery.

    As for pedro? Around 8 weeks ago He wanted Edu burnt on a cross at worst or shipped out at best and now Edu is the best thing since sliced bread.

    Arteta will be here until the summer and chances are He’ll be here for next season with many Ground Hog days yet still to come and a mid table finish with no EL football next season.

    Benfica if we get to play them will offer a much tougher challenge than the mighty Wolves.

    Villa will be looking to pepper Runnarsson with crosses and shots at the weekend; perhaps we should play a youth keeper.

  3. Tony

    “Is it just me or does he look much more dangerous on the left side?”

    When Pepe arrived a few of us said his best position was on the left or old defunct inside left position as he did well in France from the left.

    Arteta’s playing style just doesn’t suit Pepe being isolated on the right wing.

    What made the Invincibles so hard to play against was the interchanging movement up front where I remember a PL defender talking about how impossible it was to know who to mark when we attacked because of the late runners into the box and players switching attacking positions/directions all the time.

    Pepe, Saka and ESR have the ability to do similar as we’ve seen glimpses recently.

  4. Mysticleaves

    Oh, my statistics were off yesterday. It’s 3 red cards and 6 penalties conceded by luiz since he signed for Arsenal. #impeccable.

    Hopefully Matt Ryan is recovered for weekend. Runnarson kept out some shots and with time he could be good. But I’d rather it was in another club and not mine.

    Honestly the first half was so good yesterday. That’s what makes Luiz’s stupidity so annoying to me. He never learns. And he’s 34. I wonder what he teaches 22 year old Gabriel. Who should be ahead of him by the way.

  5. vegas gooner

    hate to say this fellow supporters, but I consider Giroud a better centre forward than lacazette.

    just think, if we had never hired the master of anti–football, emery, we might still have Ramsey and Wilshere, two proven and very talented midfielders who wore the jersey with pride.

  6. Zacharse

    Had to turn the game off after 25 min for work, check the score hours later and fuuuuuuuck. Cannot believe this shit. Honestly dont think VAR is actually real, picturing the mitchell and webb sketch w the snooker commentators

  7. Guns of SF

    Same, its hard PST time zone with a 10am game. I wanted to watch but works just slammed me I could not… but alas, it was ok… Im glad I didnt see the shit show, I would have been in more a foul mood

  8. Dark Hei


    Sometimes I do wonder why Arsenal even bought Pepe.

    Aubameyang was already on the left when they brought Pepe in for big $$. So Emery played him on the right.

    Arteta did so as well.

    Once Aubameyang returns to the squad, do we jettison Pepe from the starting 11?

    You can see why Raul need sacking. Edu is fortunate he didn’t follow suit.

  9. Tony

    For UK people home and abroad.

    R.I.P Captain Sir Tom Moore a hero to many during Covid and one of a generation without whom and many like him kept our freedom safe that has given us the lives we have today.

    A hero and very likable character.

  10. Mysticleaves

    Emery is in 5th position with modest Villarreal, losing only 2 matches this season. One against Barca. Chances are he will qualify for Europe again this season. Arteta on the other hand…

  11. Dark Hei

    All talk of Wilshire, Ramsey and Giroud is just regressive.

    Peak Wilshire and Ramsey are great. The 2021 versions aren’t going to dig us out of trouble.

    I agree that Giroud is better option than Lacazette. But that is only hindsight speaking. He is very much a clutch player. The team can become very reliant on him such that they can forget to play with pacier forwards.

    It is kind of weird to see the same thing at Arsenal happening to Chelsea.

  12. Mysticleaves

    Dark Hei, Tony

    Pepe was supposed to lock in the RW position. In the seasons he’s played and shined in France it was from the RW. Didn’t even know he could play from the left

  13. Emiratesstroller


    I agree that Gabriel should have played yesterday.

    Arteta was not playing. Do you mean Xhaka? If so I must point out that he has been playing very well in recent games alongside Partey.

    Arsenal were in total control of the game until that last minute red card and penalty. We
    should have been three goals up.

    If there is any criticism to be made then it is that we should have recruited a specialist left
    full back to understudy Tierney. Soares is not a left back.

  14. Guns of SF

    With our attacking players, we do have the ability to interchange wings throughout the game. Think…
    Willian, Pepe Martin Saka, Auba, all can move across the field for the most part
    Talk about confusing the defenses.
    Mike was wedded to Pepe on the right… to a point where he was going to really damage Pepe and his confidence.
    A few smart tweaks ( i know for a rigid type like Mike, must have been hard) was all it took to change the results.

  15. Tony

    Morning ES

    Don’t disagree that Xhaka has improved recently with Partey who give Xhaka more time on the ball but only against slower MFs and attackers.

    I would have preferred Elneny with Party for yesterday’s game or given Azeez a start. We needed mobility in the MF.

    Xhaka is not a mobile player and wasn’t fresh legged after the United game.

    Once again Arteta got his selection and in-game management wrong and we lost points as a consequence.

    Unfortunately we could lose more points in the coming games because of Arteta’s poor team selection with the loss of Leno, but luckily we are covered adequately for the LCB position.

    I believe had a better MF partner been selected with Partey and Gabriel played instead of Luiz with Martinelli instead of Laca, not only would we have won the game but we wouldn’t have got the red cards especially Leno’s.

    Sorry ES nothing you can say can change my thinking on this, so don’t waste your time.

    Arteta is nothing like Generational. Not as a player or manager/coach.

  16. Mysticleaves

    Partey has been a breath of fresh air to our midfield. He looks like he’s going to cry when he has to pass backwards or even sideways. Guy is always looking forward, starting attacks and throwing long passes forward. Xhaka has been very good beside him.

    On another note, I just caught the Man utd highlight..9-0. The second Res card for saints was the same as what Luiz did. Accidental clip of the leg and he was sent off for it.

    Bruno on the other hand got like 5 assists or what? Heard he’s on 16 now. 4 less than Henry’s and 5 for a record high. Would hate if he just broke the assists record just like that. KDB would have been better

  17. Guns of SF

    Not having Jimenez has really hurt em. Not that this season he was pulling up trees but the target man that he is, they are sorely lacking.
    Jimenez is a good striker, great in the air too. Until Luiz came along apparently SMH

  18. Emiratesstroller

    Xhaka was not the problem yesterday and frankly the idea that Elneny is a better option to
    play alongside Partey is ridiculous.

    Replacing Xhaka is not a priority at the moment, although there is always room in our squad
    to recruit a top class central midfielder to play alongside Partey who is upgrade on the players we have got in that department.

    That applies also to other positions on the pitch as well. At the moment our recruitment is a
    case of prioritisation.

  19. DivineSherlock

    Honestly that first half alone bar the stupid red card was perfect , We shouldve been 3-0 up . Arteta has to realize that Luiz will always be a liability . Ian Wright pointed out correctly that he went for the challenge at halfway line , then never recovered from it. His reputation made the job easier for the ref and VAR quite frankly with the refs operating it sucks.

  20. Sid

    Diet Pep has been caught on camera encouraging fouling, this will influence decisions by officials.
    I keep giving Diet Peps fanboys free nuggets they dont let it sink in

  21. Zacharse

    I’m not saying arteta is a generational coach but… what a load of horseshit to blame that game on him. Just horseshit. There is no excuse for pawson absolutely none. If it was mike dean…

  22. Sid

    Since Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal on Boxing Day 2019, the Gunners have been shown nine Premier League red cards, six more than any other side

    This is a problem which needs to be solved. Sweeping it under the rag wont help

  23. Mysticleaves

    Zacherse, did you listen to Xhaka before the game? They analysed the wolves team well. Infact down to a tee. Compact, fast attackers, plays on the counter attack and will look to get in behind. Yet we play a high line and started David Luiz. All his red cards and penalties since he signed was because we played a high line or he left his position and then struggled to get back so had to foul. I could see this, Arteta can’t. Apparently. I am not even saying this cos we lost.

    Even when we have won, we still point out that David Luiz had a shit game. Guess who doesn’t see it? Arteta. It’s on him Zacherse. No red for Luiz means no penalty and no red for Leno. That’s why we lost.

  24. zacharse

    you’ve all missed the fucking point that apparently even direct rivals and their managers can all see without any hesitation.
    its not a fucking red card. nope nope nope.
    you can hammer away all you want with your bullshit out of context stats. as usual missing the basic point
    its not a red card. its a penalty, maybe not even a yellow.
    its on no one but pawson, and is certain to be rescinded

  25. Sid

    Offcourse its not a red card, the question is what in the mind of the official would influence his decision?
    Not only in this incidence but other incidences with different officials involved.

  26. Mysticleaves

    The Southampton red against man utd yesterday also not a red? Similar situations, similar actions, similar outcomes. I have seen them give red cards for last man tackles (whether mistake or deliberate) all my life and suddenly Arsenal gets one and it shouldn’t be? Y’all pipe down

  27. Mysticleaves

    I could post similar video clip upon clip from the net that were all penalised with a red card. Arsenal fans know how to moan. Granted everybody is talking about it and saying it shouldn’t stand but the reason they are talking about it is because it’s Arsenal and our fans love a good moan. Any other team gets same punishment you won’t even hear about it on the net

  28. Mysticleaves

    If that was against us and a yellow was given, you lot will be baying for blood. Talking about how it’s a last man challenge and he stopped a goal scoring opportunity.

  29. The Bard

    I get the frustration but we played well with 11 men. It’s pointless blaming the refereee, Luiz should never have put himself in that position. He has plenty of form, he is too impetuous to be top class defender.. Thankfully he will be gone in the summer.. Pepe had another good game. There might be a player in there somewhere. This is a team in the early stages of devopment, as I have said before forget top 4 and enjoy the youngsters.

  30. Winthorpe

    This is a problem which needs to be solved. Sweeping it under the rag wont help

    You’re right. We should start taking legal action against the officials

  31. andy1886

    Are you serious Winthorpe? It’s the law that’s wrong not the application of it by the officials. And not selecting Luiz (who most of us said should have never been given a second year) would help too.

  32. Winthorpe


    Some real choice views being offered this morning.


    If that first half performance was Arteta getting it wrong then I can’t wait to see the football we play when he gets it right

  33. Winthorpe


    Yes I’m serious
    The law states that the player gets a red if he doesn’t go to play the ball but he must make some attempt on the man
    The man kicked Luiz
    Var isn’t fit for purpose and even if the penalty was given the red card was worthy of legal action in my book

  34. Terraloon


    That’s the exact point and for all the talk about poor refs etc etc this situation is the outcome of tinkering of the rules to solve what so many thought was a bad rule compounded by VAR. Neither Pawson or Dean last night gave a red on their first view it was VAR that forced the decision

  35. Sid

    I think majority here were of the opinion that Saka should play on one side Pepe on the other like going by last seasons goals and assists.
    It was also obvious we needed a #10 thats why Buendias name was brought up.
    It has taken Diet Pep half a season to get it.

  36. Graham62


    It was a penalty 100%.

    The law though is in need of review.

    Personally I’d scrap VAR or get in people to run it who apply common sense.

  37. Samesong

    Why can’t people talk about the actions of the player’s instead of blaming the officials and the manager etc.

    – Laca was offside should of checked his positioning before making the pass
    – Saka should of scored his first opportunity and hit the ball with his outside of foot rather than hit it low.
    -David Luiz for all his good play switched off before the half time whistle
    – Leno mistake never really in doubt

    As much as dominated the first half we were only up 1-0 and we didn’t have it in us to punish them. Some will say oh were unlucky I would say we were indecisive.

  38. Danny+S

    It’s a definite penalty and red for luiz.

    If I were walking down the road and someone got so close behind me that my foot hit them when I took a step and I tripped because of it, whose fault is it I fell over?

    Then add to the fact it was a CLEAR goal scoring op and you have a red.

    Luiz is a dickhead and he needs to fuck off soon as.

  39. Buzzy

    Pen but not a red card!

    Simple as that. Any other opinion is plain stupid!

    It wasn’t a deliberate attempt to impede the player and moreover, it wasn’t such a clear goal-scoring opportunity as Leno was near the ball.

    Referees don’t always have to follow the exact law. We saw this all time with different types of fouls like hanbdballs.

    Common sense would have prevailed if VAR did its job and asked the referee to review it on the monitor.

    Horrible decision and an unfair result but I was happy with how the team played.

  40. Samesong

    it wasn’t such a clear goal-scoring opportunity as Leno was near the ball.

    Check the highlights again and then tell us it wasnt a goal scoring opportunity and Leno was near the ball 😂

  41. Terraloon


    Based on current rules, which I think we can all agree are crazy, if it was a penalty then unless Luiz made an attempt to play the ball, which he didn’t then it’s a red . Pawson prior to VAR almost certainly wouldn’t have been sure so no red,
    However because VAR wou,d see for clear what happened then you haven’t just got to factor in that unsure on field ref you have a qualified ref looking at replay after replay to form a decision and then you have the luxury of the ref going over to potentially see the incident again from all angles
    As I said last night this rule changed in 2016. The rule change was driven by the clamour to do away with the do away with the rule which previously saw keepers who made an attempt to make a save but made no contact with the ball and as a consequence ended up with a red, conceding a penalty and subsequently a ban

  42. Terraloon


    So it then begs the question why did Leno handle outside the box? If he hadn’t thought it was,

    The problem was had the ball got past Leno the closest player was a Wolves player with no Arsenal player getting close to the ball

  43. SpanishDave

    There was 2 mins of added time.
    Why didn’t the ref blow up ?
    The incident was 39 seconds after full 2m 39 sec
    Often refs let a corner be taken after full time and then only blow up after the corner is cleared.
    This is not right. Why do they not keep to the time?

  44. Terraloon

    Please please forget the notion that a foul was either intentional or not because that consideration is not something that is included in law

    If foul is awarded or a bad tackle happens then it’s the looked at without trying to guess what’s in the players mind

  45. Terraloon


    When the board is shown it’s the minimum extra time to be played so it could have been he intended to play2 minutes 59 seconds.

  46. andy1886

    Dave, their get out is that it’s a ‘minimum’ of 2 minutes. It’s all bollocks anyway, the additional time being shown was just another TV gimmick, as you know the ref used to decide when to blow up and none of us knew when that would happen until he lifted the whistle to his lips.

  47. Samesong


    Leno looked scared that Toure was running towards him. I don’t blame him. As any contact to Leno he’s getting clattered again, shades of Brighton game might of flashed before his eyes. He still could of controlled the ball with his body.

  48. Mysticleaves

    Buzzy it seems you are the stupid one. Saying Leno was close to the ball. It will take a miracle for Leno to even see where the ball was placed if he got his shot away.

    The ref waited to make sure it wasn’t a dive. VAR confirmed there was a contact and the result was fair. Red card and penalty. Spot on.

  49. andy1886

    Buzzy, there is no such thing as ‘common sense’ if you’re a referee. I have been a ref and I can tell you that even twenty years ago any young referee who used common sense or did not stick strictly to the guidelines would get absolutely nowhere as a referee and certainly wouldn’t make the PL list. Fans wanted ‘consistency’ which was interpreted as absolutely no deviation from the laws of the game and robotic refereeing.

  50. Steveyg87

    Really tough to digest last nights result, we has Wolves on the ropes for the whole first half. Reminds me of Wengers days TBH. Top 4 now becomes mission impossible

  51. Samesong

    Top 4 now becomes mission impossible

    Plenty of football still to be played. But yes I agree and never had that expectation anyway.
    Maybe 7-8th finish?

  52. Valentin

    The law is not wrong, the application of the law by PGMOL and English pundits that is wrong.
    It’s a red and a penalty if the player commits a foul. If there is no foul, then there is no red nor penalty.
    Not all contact are fouls.
    An accidental tangle of legs is just an accidental tangle of legs not a foul.

    Incompetence cannot be eradicated by law.
    Remember the ManCity offside goal that was not offside. PGMOL issue a clarification of the interpretation of the law that did not change the law nor its interpretation. Instead of admitting that the referees got that one wrong.

  53. Majesticgooner

    There is no smoke without fire, if you have referees like Craig pawson whom we have lost all the games he has been in charge off then questions need to be asked, who polices the PGMO, before the luiz incidents we had penalty shouts, yet none was sent to VAR, this northern cabal needs to be investigated, I sense something like what happened in Italy with Juventus and the refs. They have a hit squad of refs who they send to officiate certain matches. The press are all complicit, they know what’s going on but because most of them are from up north and support northern teams they keep quiet. I was in support of VAR at the start but I’ve come to realize it’s just given them legitimacy to make the bad decisions they choose to make. Eg they choose not to send of fernandes for his attempt to injure xhaka bit was quick to send off luiz. We at arsenal know that the refs have always had it in for us, even when we were winning trophies, we had players sent off all the time, countless games we had to win with ten men, viera was targeted, keown also,. Most games our first tackle get a card whilst the opponents get away with numerous fouls .