by .

The day after the game, I’m still seething.

Mostly, because it’s disappointing to watch Mikel Arteta shooting himself in the foot with his decisions.

Yesterday, was another prime example.

The narrative of the loss would have been ‘unfair result, bad reffing (again), unforced errors we can rectify, and a final pass away from being something really interesting.’

Instead, everyone is once again talking about how bad the decisions were this summer, and how much worse it is that Arteta can’t shake the truth about Willian >> he’s awful and should be annexed like Ozil unless his form picks up drastically.

He called it correctly after the game, top teams don’t make the mistakes Arsenal do. Teams at the top don’t breeze past 5 red cards. They don’t give away goals in the first minute as often as we do. I can take that little insight… what I think we all struggle with is a manager that has such clarity of vision for what’s not there, yet has had such an incredible blind spot for the things that are causing those problems.

David Luiz is a good defender, but he always has those mistakes in his locker, that’s why he’s not with Chelsea. We gave him a new deal and we give him lots of minutes despite his history with us being very, very, spotty.

Willian has contributed absolutely nothing to Arsenal this season. When you are chasing a game like yesterday, with the wind fully in your sales, against a team of athletes, what is the logic behind bringing on a player that has no pace, little ability to move around players, with the body language of someone that’s been asked to join a pub team as a ringer when they’re walking the dog over Hackney Marshes.

Why didn’t we bring Martinelli on? What top manager in world football would look at that bench yesterday and think the cherry on the comeback cake was Willian?

We’ve lost more games than we’ve won this season. No doubt it’s a weird season. Many problems have been had. But these self-inflicted should have been left as 2020 problems we solved. They are ego-driven decisions. He is absolutely desperate for Willian to come on and score a screamer so the move can be justified… I get it… managers don’t want to look like they have bad taste. But Jose Mourinho, in the state he’s in with Spurs, isn’t still trying to flog Gareth Bale. He’s accepted he’s not at the level and that’s that.

Politically, his instinct is always to give Willian minutes because he fought so hard to bring him to the club on a disgusting contract from a disgusting super agent that had been advising us badly since he was let back in.

Politically, he has to use Auba, a player the fans love, but one that seems less and less suited to the project the further we go on.

It’s time to stop thinking about the politics of being a manager. He needs to pick the best players for the project, because if he keeps going for his 30+ favourites, he won’t have a job past December next season.

Nicolas Pepe still has a lot of flaws in his game. His control is sloppy, his decisions are still very messy, but he’s been very good over the batch of games. He wants to be there, and at a base level, he has the athletic profile to be in the squad.

Granit Xhaka has many flaws, but next to Thomas Partey, he’s generally been good for the squad.

Our attack is electric when you have the young players out in force, melded together by the excellent Lacazette.

The season finished yesterday, now we need to go full force at what our options look like next season. Who else is waiting in the U23s that we can give a go in the squad? How can we make sure Martinelli is trustworthy in all the games over the next 3 months? How can we ensure Odegaard feels sexy about the plan going forward so he’ll join for the whole of next season? Is Flo Balogun better than Eddie and can he viable as a powerful #9 we lack? Azeez? Patino? Cottrell? Moller? Our season is in the gutter, but the project  isn’t.

There’s something exciting brewing in this squad. We’re a final pass away from decimating a team. A bit more confidence and a bit more force, we’ll be very problematic for anyone we face. It’s fragile though… if you take out key players and replace them with people in their thirties that don’t have what it takes, it’ll all collapse. Yesterday, the introduction of Willian, combined with the nothingness of Auba, completely killed any hope of saving a game we were more than in.

If Arteta refuses to see that, he’s going to run into these same problems next year.

This week has been rough. Win those two games, as we should have, we’d be sitting in 6th place. The opportunity has been taken by the officiating gods, unforced errors, and some pre-December managerial decisions that shouldn’t have been.

Arteta’s coaching staff needs to gather their thoughts and go again, this is the last long pre-season they’ll get, because if we’re this badly out of the mixer February 2022, it’ll be team #Nagelsmann or #MarcoRose on this blog, because the club will have moved on Mikel.

There are standards at Arsenal. They have dropped for an experiment with a young coach with a high ceiling. He has to start showing high ceiling decision making based on merit, not politics.

I’ll be back later with a podcast.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Tony

    If you’re happy with the way the club is run with Arteta and Edu then don’t bother with my posts.

    I’m generally agenda less here as all I want is for us to be challenging for top honours again playing decent attacking football and winning the occasional title, CL cup and other cups.

    This is not going to happen with Arteta & Edu. Arteta already demoted the FA cup and got dumped out.

    Others will feel differently, which is their prerogatives.

    In the same way as I wanted Wenger gone since 2008, I wanted Emery gone after the EL final loss and now it’s time for Arteta to pack his bags too find a lower league club to really learn his trade.

    I believe Arteta will be the same level manager/coach as he was a player: very average who couldn’t get a place in the Spain team or England when he offers his services.

    The man is rank average. Period!

  2. HerbsArmy


    I genuinely believe the last time Arsenal had owner’s with any semblance of ambition was prior to WWII.
    You only have to look at the list of managers postwar to see how cheap and penny-pinching the Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s were throughout their whole time at Arsenal.

  3. Emiratesstroller


    I don’t get your point that Arteta is responsible for “loss of player value”. It is complete nonsense.

    Arteta was appointed head coach at end of December 2019 and the covid pandemic started in March 2020. Most players in football were devalued as a consequence of that development.

    Last season Arsenal won the FA Cup and qualified for Europa Cup something no-one who
    supports Arsenal and for that matter posts on Le Grove anticipated. So you can hardly blame
    Arteta for loss of value last season.

    In the summer Arsenal attempted to offload several players, but we were unsuccessful primarily because most of the players on our books were on inflated wages. That was not
    down to Arteta.

    This January we have offloaded several players on our books including Ozil. None of those
    departures lost us money. They were for all intents and purposes “write offs”, because the
    players were unsaleable.

    We have sent out in the summer two players on loan namely Guendouzi and Torreira and in
    January Saliba, Maitland-Niles and Willock. These players will either return with enhanced
    reputation or be sold this summer. Personally I doubt that we will lose money on them if they leave.

    If you want to blame Arteta for recruitment the only two which might be rated mistakes were Willian and Runarsson. One suspects that both decisions were made by others at club
    and not by the Manager.

    You can blame Arteta if you want for our poor form this season but the idea that he is responsible for the club’s loss of player value is ridiculous.

  4. Tony

    I’m 65 so before my time but originally I grew up in London’s East End and I supported Arsenal and not West Ham or Millwall. The unpleasant banter back then was that Arsenal was a Jewish run club with all the euphemisms that went with that.

    Loved the team but hated the owners you mentioned and can add Chips and other to the list.

    Arsenal always was Gentry directors looking down on the working class supporters regardless if they were the cloth cap type or the more successful supporters who through hard work and brought themselves into the middle classes.

    The annual meetings generally showed Chips and the others silver spoon brigade for what they were: Arseholes!

  5. Captain Tierney

    Yesterday Dias bought down Salah in an identical fashion to how Luiz bought down Sterling in our first game post lockdown.

    One was a red, one was a yellow.

    Where is the consistency?

  6. HerbsArmy

    I’m younger than you Tony, but Billy Wright (who brought nine of the ’70-71 ‘Double-winning team to the club), Bertie Mee who profited from those players had been the clubs Physio, so was promoted from within (as well as being Old Etonian), and Terry Neill, who in his first two years in management, almost took Spurs down (never one to betray his Arsenal loyalty), before replacing Bertie Mee. When managers like Bobby Robson and Cloughie were available. Although Cloughie was dyed-in-the-wool working-class Labour, so he’d have had no chance.
    The idea that Neill was going to challenge Liverpool was laughable.
    Even when they sacked him in ’84 they promoted the outdated Don Howe for two years, before agreeing terms with Fergie in the summer of ’86, and then appointing Millwall manager George Graham.
    Arsenal are one of the strangest football clubs ever to have existed, and their behaviour after WWII has been extremely odd, to put it mildly.

  7. Northbanker

    I suspect we will persevere with Arteta until the end of the season but I hope the Board show some balls and deal with this massive problem emerging. Edu and Arteta still look rank average at best – the decision to sign Willian was terrible, as was offering a new contract to Auba.

    We need a policy of signing older players – anyone over 30 is offered a maximum of 1 year only. We sign players no older than 24 (yes that would exclude Partey but if we rigidly stuck to that we would be improving constantly

    Appoint Marc Overmars as director of football and introduce some Ajax thinking into AFC. Bring in Rodgers as manager.

  8. Sid

    Guns of SFFebruary 8, 2021 05:18:07
    Sid,Diaby? really….

    Was talking in terms of skill though if Parteys keeps the trend he might come close to Diaby in terms of injuries

  9. HerbsArmy

    *Sorry, meant to say, Billy Wright, Bertie Mee, Terry Neill and Don Howe were all cheap, very unambitious uninspiring appointments, and mirrors how out of touch Arsenal’s hierarchy have always been in running a successful football club.
    This malaise has been years in the making.

  10. Tony

    Thanks for the memory jog that was fun to retrace.

    Agree with you about the unambiguous wasted years but the board was more like the old school tie club .

    The boys club has been dispersed with the American dream team family sport’s moguls now running the show with keeping their asset in the black being their priority above winning trophies.

  11. HerbsArmy

    If Arsenal were a cartoon character, they’d either be Chief Wiggum (Simpsons), or Peter Griffin (Family Guy).
    That’s how we must appear to other top clubs.

  12. Pierre

    I always find it better to look beyond results as knee jerk reactions to defeats are never reliable..

    It’s performances that matter atm and one also has to take into any events that have conspired to go against us..

    The wolves and villa defeats were more a result of bad individual decision making by the players and officials than bad team performance

    Luiz made a poor decision a few seconds before half time in leaving a gap in the back 4 which led to the subsequent penalty and sending off.

    Leno hand ball..say no more .

    Cedric , a loose pass in the 2nd minute leading to what was a soft deflected goal..

    Add that on to a few refereeing decisions that could easily have gone the other way and things may have been different and all the doom and gloom merchants would have stayed in their box. .

    The way i see it is , partey , Mari, Martinelli and Tierney picking up injuries have upset the balance of the team, Tierney in particular.

    The central defence with Holding and Mari looked solid, Tierney had hit peak form and Partey really needs to remain fit as he is a vital cog for the team to function well.

    Martinelli played well against Chelsea but has fallen out of favour with Arteta as defensively he switches off.

    The injury to Tierney has also meant that Cedric has to fill in at left back, wheras i believe he was ready to replace Bellerin at right back

    Many have been fooled by Lacazette’s goals recently ….. not me .
    For me , his movement in and around the box is very poor and it is holding us back offensively.

    If Artera has a problem with Martinelli defensively then play him up top and let him be the first line of defence…

    If I’m being honest , Martinelli has been very average playing out wide in his last 4 or 5 games, so giving him a few games up top could be the answer .

    Nketiah and Balogun need to be given game time until the end of the season and give Nelson a few run outs.

    Of course Arteta is not blameless,, he has fallen back into the trap of relying on experience and that will only put us back to where we was before christmas

    Willian , Luiz, Lacazette and xhaka should be phased out as we build for next season..
    Play the young guns and blood a few more.

    We need energy , intensity , hunger and desire and Arteta needs to start trusting players like Eddie, Martinelli and balogun …at least Willock can now prove to the doubters how good he can be( or not).

    The recent defeats I’m hoping will be a blessing in disguise .

  13. Graham62

    It’s no coincidence that since Tierney has been out we’ve struggled.

    He is a colossus, in more ways than one.

    Imo, he is our most important player.

  14. Batistuta

    We’ve been poor all season and the league table doesn’t lie one bit.

    You can site individual mistakes and poor ref decisions all day but there’s absolutely no reason why we should have lost more league games than we’ve won and there’s still a healthy enough chunk of the season for us to lose even more.

    Think a lot of folks got carried away with wins against quite poor opposition and it’s been shown that the 7game streak was an outlier and not our normal level.

    Any other manager and half the fan base would been calling for his head but somehow Arteta has the cult growing that doesn’t dare question him and anyone who does is seen as a negative.

    You can look at all the behind the scene errors all you want but on the pitch where it matters we’ve lost 10 out of 23, at any other serious football club, the manager would have been gone long ago.

    We had standards set for Late Wenger and Emery got rightly derided for some very poor football and ultimately results but Arteta seems to get so much leeeway from fans due to some very weird reason

  15. Batistuta

    Can anyone seriously look at our next couple of games and be confident going into anyone of them?


    Those are our next opponents and barring Burnley, I don’t expect us to pick anything from those and those are the serious teams in the league.

    all well and good to look good against Newcastle and West Brom but against any half decent team, we implode and look quite ordinary

  16. Leftside


    Burnley are not looking too bad nowadays either, there is a chance we go on another bad run. Arteta just cant help himself with the poor decisions he makes and needs to be shown the door.

  17. Olis

    Guns of SF what the fuck is this?

    ‘ I hate tom brady that cheating cunt.
    Even though he is from around San mateo,. Rich white privileged cunt.
    Cant stand Gronkowski too. A brain dead dumbo’

    I don’t even follow American football but what sort of commentary is this? If someone mentioned black c@#t on any context you’d have something to say and would be crying your eyes out.
    It’s disgraceful you bring colour into it. Why would you post something so unnecessary?

    Speaks volumes about the person you are.

  18. Terraloon

    Capt T

    The Salah incident was different for one reason and one reason only . Stones was clearly judged to have been in a position to have affected play

    Again here’s the things that have to be considered when sending a player off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity

    The distance between the offence and the goal
    The general direction of the play
    The likelihood of keeping or gaining control
    The location and number of defenders

  19. Winthorpe

    The way i see it is , partey , Mari, Martinelli and Tierney picking up injuries have upset the balance of the team, Tierney in particular.

    Fir me Pablo Mari is an influential and calming figure at the back and almost as crucial as Tierney for me

    I really like him. Luiz is Luiz and I’m not convinced that Gabriel has the footballing brain or level of communication and calm that Mari brings.

  20. Olis

    Can’t believe the over the top reaction to the 2 defeats either. Played some really good football in both games and the improvement in which we move the ball up the pitch has been really impressive. Some nice sharp quick passed on midfield between xhaka and Partey enabled us to break 3 on 3 and 4 on 4 numerous times.

    The performances have massively improved. Think we’ll win most of these games other than city

    Leeds W
    City L
    Leicester W
    Benefica W
    Spurs W
    Burnley W

    Why not?

  21. Olis

    Winthorpe agreed really like Mari and prefer him to Gabriel (who’ll get better over time but is still too rash and not composed enough yet) but if we’re playing a higher line I can understand why he’s not playing at the minute.

  22. azed

    I really like him. Luiz is Luiz and I’m not convinced that Gabriel has the footballing brain or level of communication and calm that Mari brings.

    Gabriel was player of the month for the first two months of the season. He’s pretty fast and good in 1 vs 1 situations.

    Mari played in our purple patch against lowly opposition. Even Sylvestre would have looked good in that period.

  23. Pierre

    “Again here’s the things that have to be considered when sending a player off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunityThe distance between the offence and the goal
    The general direction of the play
    The likelihood of keeping or gaining control
    The location and number of defenders”

    Terraloon doing his best Peter Walton impression .

    In your considered opinion , why did David Luiz get a red card away to Chelsea when he challenged for the ball and gave away a penalty.

    The argument why Luiz was given a red against Wolves is that he never made a challenge for the ball and if he had made the challenge it would not have been a red..

    Against Chelsea he made a challenge for the ball and yet was given a red ..

    How about not issuing fernandes a red( or yellow) for a deliberate raking his studs down Xhaka’s Achilles.

    Martinez shirt tug on Lacazette that started as the corner was taken and continued for 5 seconds denying a clear goalscoring opportunity …of that there is no doubt ( clear and obvious)

  24. SpanishDave

    Whose going to sack Edu and Arteta?
    Josh won’t.
    Daddy won’t.
    So we will just amble along drifting mid table wining the odd game.
    It shows how the club is set up, not to win the Premiership just to take part, that’s how the owners like it.
    More than half the teams now are playing possession football and pressing and they are getting better at it.
    So to win we need a manager who can train players to break down teams and have quick counters.
    We hav’nt got it

  25. Pierre

    “Mari played in our purple patch against lowly opposition.”

    Maybe one of the reasons it was a “purple patch” was due to the fact that Mari was playing.

    I wouldn’t call Wolves or Villa exactly top class opposition and yet we lost both games without Mari in the side…

    Gabriel being suspended did Arteta a favour as he was becoming a liability..

    Holding and Mari looked a very good partnership, Luiz and Gabriel are too impetuous for central defenders , though i have no doubt that Gabriel will learn from his mistakes .

  26. The Bard

    As we’re not in contention for anything why not give Martinelli and Balogun 10 or so games to see what they can do. ESM broke through more by luck than planning. If they flunk it nothing has been lost. They are potentially our future. Auba, Willian and Luiz are the past.

  27. Graham62

    We can analyse all the various incidents over the season(s) but the bottom line is that there is no consistency in the decision making. There are a number of reasons for this but for me it all boils down to one thing……….Mike Riley.

    When you have someone like him overseeing the set up, you’re going to have problems. With him it’s all theory based. Just like when he referred. Zero common sense and little or no feeling for the game.

    I cannot stress highly enough that the only way officialdom can improve is if you get football people running the show. We also need to get a new breed of referees trained to deal with the modern game and give them a far simpler and effective structure to work by.

    We have cloned Mike Riley’s popping up all over the place because he doesn’t see things logically. Maybe we should hire Pierluigi Collina to oversee things. Give him a lucrative three year contract.

    Let’s rid ourselves of these incompetent fools who pretend to know the game inside out.

    I, for one, am fed up of it all.

  28. Emiratesstroller

    It is no point crying over spilt milk. Arsenal will struggle to qualify for Europe next season.
    So the priority now is to prepare for the domestic season.

    We need to offload the dross which still exists at the club. The players who need to be offloaded are Luiz [end of contract], Ceballos [End of Loan], Chambers, Torreira, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles,Runarsson, Willian and Lacazette.

    The club needs to recruit a Central Midfielder [First String], Striker [First String], Left Back
    [Second String]. Ryan and Odegaard need to be assessed and retained if up to scratch.Saliba
    should be brought back and given second chance to prove his worth.

    Remaining squad positions available should be offered to members of U23s. Players from 21-25 in squad are unlikely to play in EPL.

  29. azed

    I wouldn’t call Wolves or Villa exactly top class opposition and yet we lost both games without Mari in the side…

    Neither would we have won with him in the side….

  30. Pierre

    But we may have lost / conceded without Mari during our ” purple patch” , which would mean our “purple patch” would not have been a ” purple patch”.

  31. Gbat

    When Rob Holding is starting every game it shows the lack of quality at the back. Wins only 50% of his aerial duels. Slow across the ground and below average in the tackle. Passing not great and positioning is suspect.

  32. Pierre

    “Neither would we have won with him in the side….”

    I beg to differ actually..

    Wolves first goal
    Mari would not have been caught out of position on the stroke of half time , meaning no penalty , no red card and we were winning the game at a stroll…

    Villa goal
    Bad communication between cedric and gabriel ….Mari is a very good communicator, consequently it is very doubtful that there would be confusion resulting in a goal..
    The whole complex of the game would have been different.

    So when you say ” neither would we have won with him in the side”….there is a good chance that statement is wrong.

  33. Pierre

    The Bard
    “As we’re not in contention for anything why not give Martinelli and Balogun 10 or so games to see what they can do. ”


    Would be a wasted opportunity , that’s why i think the 2 defeats could be a blessing in disguise…

  34. Valentin


    The villa goal has nothing to do with bad communications, but has everything to do with Cedric under-hitting his pass.

    The Wolves goal, maybe Mari would not have been caught so high up, but I seem to remember that in the Chelsea game he got caught high up as well and got a yellow card after scything a player to avoid losing a foot race. So again no certitude on that one either.

    I don’t think that the issue is the defense per se, but the midfield. Partey has been off colour and we know that Xhaka is not a presser. So opposition attackers know that if they receive the ball with Holding and his partner on their back, drop in midfield and turn, they have a free run at the defense.

    To avoid that scenario, both our CBs follows attackers who receive the ball and attempt to drop in midfield to turn. The problem is that they can be too aggressive but if they are not enough that leaves time for the attacker to slide a passe to an on rushing midfield into the space just vacated.

    Against team such as Wolves, Aston Villa playing with only two central midfielders is conceding control of that area to players who know how to use it.

  35. Pierre


    Cedric and gabriel was all about bad communication..

    Gabriel wasn’t expecting the pass and was on his back foot..

    As for mari , being caught out of position once in a game is not the same as being out of position with 5 seconds of the half left…

    Anyone would know that who understands the game.

  36. shaun

    Olis love your optimism but if you watch the villa defence they were well drilled and Dean smith had his team sorted to nullify the arsenal attack most can see this and it worked very well for them as we looked completely toothless and we will definitely see more of the same and better I am afraid Arteta is a complete novice and that’s not a bad thing and if Arsenal can wait another three years he may be able to challenge once he has learnt how to manage properly but at the moment he is a below average manager and top clubs don’t suffer that kind of mismanagement except Arsenal that’s why he is in position you seriously think we will beat the foxes at there place I don’t see it and from that list I think we only beat Burnly ,Leeds and maybe Benfica. Brendan Rodgers will win at Leicester as he will have a few different game plans for us +Vardy is back and he will sore against us that is certain , Mourihno the same probably with a few sly digs about how we caused him some problems +KANE is back and he will sore against us that is certain LETS JUST SAY WE LOOSE ANOTHER TWELVE POINTS TO LEICESTER AND SPURS then we are definitely not improving then there is the payer situation Saliba is looking very decent all of a sudden and are you telling me we couldn’t use guen’s energy at the moment and lastly we hear our manager saying we controlled the game when it was exactly the opposite as we were the team being controlled .I think it comes down to can we wait another three years for Arteta to learn his trade or are we really an ambitious club who want the success our resources justify .Arsenal should be five places higher in the league and at least challenging for a top four spot

  37. The BFB

    Who needs wind turbines? Imagine if the government were able to harness the power of collective groans from the Arsenal faithful whenever Willian comes on in a vain effort to save a game.

  38. Hitman49

    Well the good thing now is…

    We can watch the next 4/5 games knowing we will lose and hope and pray to the football gods that they either sack him ASAP or decide to sack him as soon as season is over..?

  39. Terraloon


    You really need to take those Arsenal tinted glasses off

    The Luiz sending off v Chelsea was the one where Mustaffi played a terrible back pass . Abraham rounded the keeper and was advanced of Leno once that happened Abraham was in on goal.
    The first contact Luiz had with Abraham was from behind when he was not in a position to play the ball. Once he had made the instal contact he then made an attempt to play the ball.
    It was a sending off all day.
    Have you not noticed it always seems to be Luiz that creates these situations. He is reckless and when he becomes desperate he is a walking cluster ..Indded remember when he was sent off for Chelsea against Arsenal ?
    Yesterday you were advocating that the Lacazeete foul happened before the corner was taken. I pointed out to you the problem with that comment.
    Try reading the current laws because you clearly have no idea what they say.

  40. Samesong

    Wolves first goal
    Mari would not have been caught out of position on the stroke of half time , meaning no penalty , no red card and we were winning the game at a stroll…

    I still think that Arteta told the defence to push up before halftime.

  41. Gbat


    I like what I’ve seen of Mari but we haven’t seen enough. Looks a good backup. Gabriel has the tools but is still a bit rough around the edges. His passing definitely has to improve. Holding, Luiz, Chambers aren’t it. Hopefully Saliba will come back and hit the ground running. I’d still like another CB though.


    Willian is a complete waste of space in the squad and sadly, Auba doesn’t seem to fit into the side anymore, and he knows it, which reflects in his performances. These two are the probably the highest paid members of the squad now and both need to be moved on in the summer, even if that comes at more cost to the Club.

  43. Crabregas

    Does anyone think Martinelli isn’t getting the minutes because he has just come back from a massive injury, played and then done his ankle so we are slowly bringing him back as he is not an integral part of the first eleven ?

    Basically trying to not have him get reoccurring injuries like Partey? (Who is integral so is back in at the earliest possibility)

    Most people were harassing Arteta when he played Martinelli, now getting similar abuse when he isn’t. Kind of comical…kind of arsenal

  44. Terraloon

    Pierre /CT

    Have you just watched Sky’s Ref review?

    Dermot Gallagher, Sue Smith and Stephen Warnock.

    The Saka incident all of them say no sending off. All say too far from goal. Add to that they all question as to water it was actually a foul in the first place.Irrespective they felt Cash would have been on the cover.

    The Lacazette incident . All feel the keeper gets too much protection but thems the laws. The panel, not just Gallagher felt it was six of one and half a dozen indeed the view was that Martinez only pulled at Lacazette because he had first been pushed.

    The Sala penalty was not a red they said because Stones was covering which the meant it was a possible goal scoring opportunity which is not the same as clear goal scoring opportunity

  45. Crabregas

    Soucek red card overturned, add the one Mike Dean gave Bednarek that is shocking that probably the highest rated ref in England has 2 reds overturned in 4 days after going to the monitor for each decision. That is shocking.

    Apparently he has asked not to ref this coming weekend due to receiving death threats (which is not on and shows what humanity is like). I think he should not ref this weekend due to poor performance and incompetence

  46. SpanishDave

    Our refs are poor but we have to live with it, nothing changes.
    Our manager should be lecturing the players and working out how to better deal with it.
    He’s a poor coach, clueless, just using us to learn his trade.
    He hasn’t learnt how to develop youth as at Man City its cheque book management.
    That’s why he gets old players because he thinks their knowledge will help him learn.
    We are stupid even to go along with this project as it’s clearly going nowhere.
    We need experience and not rookie managers and directors using us

  47. Leedsgunner

    What excuses are the Arteta apologists offering today?

    Pedro, I just listened to your podcast you recorded after the Villa match and even by your own admission you state that Arteta isn’t learning from his mistakes. Therefore, because he refuses to learn “Arsenal is fully punished for its mistakes…” according to Arseblog.

    I don’t mind a manager who makes mistakes. What I DO MIND is a manager who makes the same mistakes over and over again just because he is stubborn.

    He was willing to SHUT OUT ÖZIL because he wasn’t deemed to be good enough.

    Why is he willing to persist with Willian to the point of ludicrousness?

    It’s more about him being right rather than him DOING what is RIGHT. for the Arsenal.

    We’ve seen this before.

    Wenger did the same in the very last days of his reign. Except here is the big difference. He had years of experience and trophies to be granted a measure of goodwill.

    Arteta is being stubborn to save face. However, what has he done to be given any patience at all? The sad thing is, it’s our club that suffers not him. If he is fired, he’ll still receive his payoff and still leave Arsenal a millionaire many times over. He will mostly likely benefit from having ARSENAL FC on his CV and roll into another job… despite I’m afraid, he’s about to leave us in a worse shape than his predecessor.

    If we don’t achieve Europe this year, it’s going to take us years and years to recover.

  48. Leedsgunner

    Arteta apologists are easy to to spot… they are the ones that make excuses after excuses all the while waving their MAKE ARTETA GREAT AGAIN baseball caps with wild abandon.

    I don’t care about Arteta.

    I care about the Arsenal!

  49. S Asoa

    GlobalgunnerFebruary 7, 2021 16:18:04
    So does Arteta have the sauce or no Pedro?
    Pedro argued that Arteta does not have sauce.
    But concluded inferring Arteta would be there next season and could be sacked next December.
    Confusing ?
    Happens when in love with an abusado partner , one loses balance
    Tch tch

  50. Uwot?

    The amazing statistic with Mike Dean is he’s managed to get this far in his career without receiving same said threats from the Arsenal fan base who really,really,really dislike him🤔The PGMOL cartels main assassin.Astonishing really.

  51. Aussie+Gooner


    If Martinelli is on the bench then one would assume that he is fit enough to get something of a run out. If not then why is he on the bench? Arteta has shown that he is way below standard as far as his man management is concerned. Picking your favourites week in week out is something reserved for the Sunday pub team not an EPL team!!!!!

  52. Winthorpe

    With Mari and Tierney in the side we beat untied and we beat villa
    The wolves game was an aberration so who the hell knows but I’d say Pierre has once again hit the nail bang on the head with his assessment of how Mari would have altered proceedings.

    You have to have the cultured eye. Many of you seem to only notice physical attributes but fail miserably to spot those with the ability to read the game. The sort of players who let the ball do the work. Few and far between these days. But I guess it’s not what the modern fan wants. The likes of bergkamp and Kanu and Pires wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s footballing “culture”

    All you want is big brutes who run a lot

  53. SpanishDave

    We will only win a handful of games between now and the end of the season so Europe is not going to happen. We used to moan about 4th and now it’s a dream.
    Not getting Wenger out sooner and hiring two duds in a row points to one thing only.
    Our owner who hasn’t a clue about running a football club and using us as an asset.
    The clubs directors , the board, the coaches just love the easy going life they have.
    We have no expectations to win the league in the foreseeable future.
    Leicester have moved into our space .

  54. The Bard

    This get rid of Arteta stuff is odd. I totally agree with those that have reservations but he is learning on the job. The issue is who else would we get ? I’ve posted before we are a midtable side. Even Brendan Rogers turned us down at one time. Maybe we could get Tony Pullis or Ian Holloway ?? Some on here need to get real.

  55. Crabregas

    Aussie Gunner

    Managers have favourites, both from Sunday league all the way up to the top of professional sport. We are humans and not robots so how much you like a person and how good he is with other people does make a difference.

    I’m not disputing Martinelli being on the bench against villa, I just think Arteta is being a bit more cautious with him and rightly so, especially with his much people rate him and do not want him breaking down again.

    With Villa having 10 men’s behind the ball in the last 20minutes, Martinelli probably would have been the wrong person to bring on anyway, he is not cute enough to unlock a tight defence from out wide and would have likely been eaten up by Konsa and Mings as we were just limping a few balls into the box.
    That said, I am not saying Willian was the answer either.

  56. Nelson

    I think the major weakness of our team is a combination of lack of depth and Arteta’s experience in rotating players. I believe that if our starting 11, with fully fit and rested Tierney, Partey, Saka, ESR, Laca, Pepe, we can open up most of the defense in the EPL. The problem is that we can’t keep playing them for every game. Tierney played a lot of games before his injury. Saka was injured and rested for one game. He came back and was recharged. ESR and Laca looked tired for the last two games. Holding also needs a rest. Arteta couldn’t maintain the standard of the team when they are replaced.

    People praise Xhaka/Partey combination. I believe that Atlético de Madrid plays a 4 3 3 formation. The demand for Partey is much less than in Arteta’s 4 2 3 1 where partey has to cover for Xhaka in the defense duty. The trade off is that Xhaka looks better in the support of the attack. Without Partey, the old Xhaka will return.

  57. Crabregas

    Whether people like it or not, Arteta got a stay of execution with those wins around the turn of the year and that is why he is still manager.

    I agree he should have got sacked before but that doesn’t mean he should be now after 2 unfortunate defeats.

    The next 6 games should decide if he stays or goes

  58. Terraloon


    Dean is 52 years old. He is too old to be a ref and no where else would he be allowed to carry on.

    Unfortunately in 2010 PGMOL lost a case at employment tribunal because prior to that they had a policy of compulsory retirement at age

  59. Crabregas


    Yeah I know mate. This is why it is important for them to be judged on performance. I am sure they are to some degree but there doesn’t appear to be any repercussions or actions for poor performance. A bit like Willian.

    Maybe the quality of younger refs is even worse

  60. Olis

    ‘Does anyone think Martinelli isn’t getting the minutes because he has just come back from a massive injury, played and then done his ankle so we are slowly bringing him back as he is not an integral part of the first eleven ?‘

    Agreed 100%. Or you could subscribe to the ridiculous idea that Arteta hates the player and doesn’t ever want to play him.

    Remember 1st game back and he had to go off people lost their shit saying why is Arteta using martinelli? Dammed if you do damned if don’t.

  61. Crabregas


    That is exactly my angle. I love Martinelli as a player and personality, however since coming back from injury he has had a couple of bright moments but hasn’t been at the level at present which is understandable.

    You’re right, people were frothing at the mouth saying Arteta is going to break him.

    Arteta has made some mistakes, more than he should have but I think how he has handled Martinelli has been correct

  62. Crabregas

    David Ornstein – Arsenal hope Kieran Tierney won’t be out for too much longer, with scans on his recent injury not showing any serious issues.

    When he is fit he starts. Cedric to RB or back to the bench?

  63. Dissenter

    ‘ That is exactly my angle. I love Martinelli as a player and personality, however since coming back from injury he has had a couple of bright moments but hasn’t been at the level at present which is understandable.’

    …and Willian has been just fantastic?
    How’s he [Gabrielli] going to get back to the level without playing games?

    Arteta army, can’t miss them.

  64. Tom

    Pierre, two reasonable people can look at one situation and come to two different explanations as to what happened, but ask yourself why would Cedric with his back to the entire Villa side play a soft lead out pass to his CB when a simple ball to feet would’ve been a no risk option.
    What communication issues are you talking about there exactly ?
    Bad option and a bad pass no matter how you slice it.

  65. Dissenter

    Mike Dean should just retire
    He gave two dodgy decisions, even after a lengthy review on the video monitor. Two revie3s that have since been reversed.
    Shouldn’t there be a consequence for such incompetence?

  66. Dissenter

    Cedric is a good defender, he just made a mistake in the opening minute of a game played at midday
    He’s was being played at the wrong side of the field so Arteta’s favorite (Bellerin) could play

    He put too little weight on the pass or misjudged the crappy turf at Villa park.
    It’s got nothing to do with ‘miscommunication’.

  67. Tom

    Willian has been extraordinarily poor but Arteta is on the hook for 34m with him so he’ll keep on playing him.
    It is really that simple.

  68. Henry19

    Arsenal Truth

    In previous blogs I mentioned Cedric’s poor passing statistics. Against Southampton and Wolves his pass completion stats were the worst of any Arsenal outfield player; against Utd and Villa he was in the bottom three. In other words, he’s been an accident waiting to happen and when his poor ball was intercepted by Bertrand Traore, Ollie Watkins converted the cross and Arsenal were a goal down after 75 seconds.

    It’s also fairly obvious that he’s tactically naïve. Cedric and Bellerin offer zero attacking width, and if Partey is not fit enough to make lung-busting runs from midfield, Xhaka offers nothing offensively

  69. Graham62

    Terrible that Mike Dean has received online abuse. An unfortunate sign of the times. Some sick people out there.

    On the flip side there is no way a 52 year old should be officiating any professional sporting event.

    That includes Darts!!

  70. Graham62

    Bellerin is the weak link.

    He offers nothing.

    Cedric has to play that side and Tierney, when he’s fit, back on the left.

    Bellerin can’t run, has poor control and is unable to deliver crosses to the expected standards.

  71. Tom

    Mike Dean and Jonathan Moss should both get themselves larger size shirts to hide those spare tires around their waist. Not a good look for the most watched league in the world.
    Or better yet, they should be cast in another lord of the rings sequel with minimal make up required, just throw some fake hair on their feet if needed, but probably not.

  72. Crabregas


    Good one only reading part of what I have been saying.

    When talking about refs I stated there are no repercussions or actions for poor performance. A bit like like Willian

    Also when I said that Arteta should have been sacked prior to the Chelsea game.

    Martinelli started games against Man City, Chelsea, Brighton, Southampton and Man Utd.

    Arteta army??!! You only see what you want to see, which is less than Arsene at his best

  73. Tom

    With Arsenal’s history of awarding players generous contracts probably all three.
    £34 million in salary over three years
    34 meters distance covered in each game required
    34 obligatory minutes regardless of form to satisfy the add on bonuses

  74. Crabregas

    Willian has only started once in the last 12 games which was away to Southampton in the cup so is clearly not first choice. Hopefully that remains the same going forward despite a couple of defeats.

    I do wonder if his contract has anything about minimum appearances or something

  75. Pierre

    ” why would Cedric with his back to the entire Villa side play a soft lead out pass to his CB when a simple ball to feet would’ve been a no risk option.
    What communication issues are you talking about there exactly ?
    Bad option and a bad pass no matter how you slice it.”

    Not denying that the pass was a bad option and that’s where the communication should have come from Gabriel as Cedric had his back to the play..

    Cedric couldn’t see the villa player and Gabriel was Cedric’s eyes and should have shouted “away”

    What happened instead was , Gabriel played the ball to Cedric and went for the return knowing that a villa player was arriving at pace….good communication would have avoided the goal ..

    Again, if you inderstand the game you know that if you play the ball to a team mate with his back to goal, you must give him the information he needs like ” time ” , “man on” or “away”….obviously gabriel gave him no information or cedric wouldn’t have attempted the pass to gabriel.
    even if the pass had gone directly to Gabriel’s feet , he would have been under immediate pressure from the villa player as he was arriving at pace

    The only communication should have been “away”..

  76. Dream10

    I don’t think Arteta is Martinelli biggest fan. Despite his energy and aggression, he doesn’t fit the template of what he wants in a wide player. He isn’t a great dribbler or carrier. Arteta doesn’t do open football. Players like Martinelli need more space in wide areas. Lacazette seems to be the #9 of choice right now. Aubameyang and Nketiah are ahead in the pecking order too.

  77. Tom

    The only communication should have been “away”..

    What does that even mean?
    Kick it into the stands since his back was to the entire Villa side?
    Why do I have the feeling your entire analysis of this play stems out of your claim Mari is a superior communicator and you just went on from there to finish the narrative that suits your position.

    If you skip your biases you can actually apportion the blame to all three Arsenal defenders:
    Cedric for choosing a bad option/ under hitting the pass, Gabriel getting too tight on the speedy, in full flight Traore, and Holding for ball watching and leaving Watkins in too much space.

    And you can add a bit of bad luck on deflection to boot to complete the whole sequence of events that resulted in Villas goal.

  78. Graham62

    I can see Martinelli and his agent thinking ahead already.

    If Arteta ##### this one up, I’ll drive the taxi for him myself.

  79. Nelson


    Is it you?

    Mike Dean: Referee asks not to officiate weekend Premier League fixtures after receiving death threats

  80. Sid

    Soares is a midtable team career player, so is Ryan, those are the types we sign nowadays, the ones with playing careers like Diet Pep

    Let that sink in

  81. Tom

    Don’t be ridiculous, the only person I would consider killing is myself when I watch Arsenal table position.
    Besides, people sending death threats to other people are dickless cowards.

  82. Johnno

    Some good posts here. A great addition is a herbs army. You should all pay attention to him- especially those bemoaning decisions to fire coaches late and hire cheap and compliant replacements. This is arsenal. This is your club. Always has been. Stan might be the only foreign billionaire owner that has continued to run the club like his domestic predecessors- detached aloof and clueless.
    If what arsenal have done in these past 10 years – passing up the opportunity for dynasty with a lack of ambition and knowledge – loses you sleep- then you need another club my friend.

    This club will always do this. Always has. We will get better again. We will win a title again. But when we do – please do not think that is reversion to the mean abs to be expected. No – that is the outlier. Wenger 1997-2004 , Graham 1987 – 1991 and Mee 1968-1973 were the outliers.

    Look at that – clusters of real success – followed by nothing abs a return to average. And it starts with the previously successful manager getting fed up of the unambitious owners and dialling it in:

    It will happen again – maybe not under arteta- but it will happen. And when it does, please do not think we “are back.” It just aint true and you are punishing yourselves.

  83. Pierre

    “The only communication should have been away”……What does that even mean?
    “If you skip your biases you can actually apportion the blame to all three Arsenal defenders:”

    Ah , so you haven’t played the game , that explains it.

    What do you think it means when there is a corner and you hear a keeper shout “AWAY”

    Obviously means get the ball away from the danger area

    So the reasoning is the same when a defender says “AWAY” to his team mate if he is about to be closed down . ….meaning get the ball away as far as possible as you are under pressure …

    Also, Have no biases as i like all 3 central defenders..

    The original reason i mentioned communication is that Azed said Mari playing would make no difference.

    I had alredy said “”Cedric , a loose pass in the 2nd minute leading to what was a soft deflected goal.”

  84. Tom

    “Ah , so you haven’t played the game , that explains it.
    What do you think it means when there is a corner and you hear a keeper shout “AWAY””

    At corners, keepers shout “Away” for defenders to clear out as to prevent cheery picking forwards easy tap ins.
    Stick to golf Pierre lol.

  85. Aussie+Gooner

    I am really baffled as to why Arteta would want to sideline Martinelli and stymie his fledgling Arsenal career. His always gives 100%, has prestigious levels of skill and is willing to play any position asked without whinging or downing tools. In fact he could actually save Arteta’s arse – something Willian certainly can’t do! Again shocking miss-management of talent.

  86. Pierre

    “It will happen again – maybe not under arteta- but it will happen. And when it does, please do not think we “are back.” It just aint true and you are punishing yourselves.”

    Good point.
    In the English league , no team has completely dominated , liverpool and United had good spells of domination and then liverpool went 30 years without a title .

    United went 25 or so years without a title and are now 7 years without a league title. ..

    Chelsea and city bought the title over the last 15 years so yes , you are right , Arsenal’s time will come again .

    The problem is too many entitled fans have become attatched to the club and we are stuck with them I’m afraid.

  87. Pierre

    So what would you shout to a team mate if he had his back to goal on the edge of his own area and an opposition player was arriving on his blind side…

  88. HerbsArmy


    It is disingenuous not to acknowledge Liverpool dominated English domestic football in the ’70’s and 80’s, if we use the same logic to say Arsenal dominated the 1930’s.
    Between 1973 – 1990, there were only three years during that period Liverpool didn’t win a trophy, 1975, 1985 and 1987.
    They have been one of the main topics of football conversation since Bill Shankly took over at the club, which is more than 60 years ago.
    Are you suggesting that Arsenal fans should accept, and be satisfied with significantly less than this level of performance, given their financial advantage, and where they had come from immediately prior to the war?
    Who are the ‘entitled fans’ you refer to?
    When the perception is that the owners of your club are super wealthy and wield a lot of financial power, it isn’t unreasonable to expect to see that reflected in your clubs performance and behaviour.
    Even before the absent owners took over, Arsenal were acknowledged by Deloitte and Forbes as one of the richest clubs in the world. Always well ahead of Liverpool in that list, not just for a few years, decades.
    No club are entitled to trophies, but the very least the fans should expect is that those responsible for controlling and running the club are as passionate and committed in making the club the best they can be, and this hasn’t been the case at Arsenal since the time of the Hill-Wood’s.
    Arteta is a very ‘Arsenal’ appointment, exactly the same unambitious unimaginative cheap pattern that defined Arsenal under the Old Etonians.
    Arsenal have been doing this for 80 years, it is bleak and as boring as hell, but they get away with it because no-one calls it out or brings it up as a talking point, and if people try to rationalise or criticise, they are accused of being ‘entitled’ by others happy to facilitate and compound the misery of epic failure.

  89. Ramon

    Arsenal has scored 27 goals in 23 PL matches; newscastle led by the anti-football Steve Bruce has scored 25 goals in 23 PL matches.

    Auba -£56M
    LACA -£50M
    Pepe – £72M

    The fact that Arteta has not been able to get more than 27 from this bunch is concerning.

    we play too deep and that creates a facade that we are defensively better. We simply take risky passes around our goal but don’t do the same in the opposition’s box.

    Arsenal plays as is if we are seeking to score a goal with 100 passes. I usually admire the speed with which the so called midtable teams break to attack the opposition box.. simple and direct.

    Why does Willian play over Martinelli and Nelson?

  90. Dolomite


    Good anaylsis of the goal BUT

    The only defender not at fault was Gabriel, short of risking an early red there was absolutely nothing he could do. The pass from Cedric was criminally underhit and Holding should have been more alert to Watkins position. Had he been closer, the deflection would have been a block.