by .


A sorry mess of a week. I was peeling a potato and a peeled one of my best typing fingers. Not a good look. Though I did realise through the process that the peeler works down the potato… and back up. Did you know that? I did not.

Less about my injured finger, more about Arsenal, I hear you, I hear you.

Thomas Partey is out again. The Ghanaian superstar is struggling once again with injury. I don’t think he’s managed 3 games in a row for us this season, which is pretty devastating considering he barely missed a game during his entire term at Atleti.

A lot of people are asking questions of our medical team. I think that’s a huge miss. The player, for me, is struggling to adapt to a new league, I think there’s some bad luck in there, and you also have to consider what a horrible year it’s been to be in the Premier League. Too many games, too little training, total abuse of the talent that entertains us by the governing bodies.

Most teams are struggling with injury problems this season. We tend to minimise our own issues as impactful on the overall football, but sympathise with others. Our injuries this season have been detrimental to our form and position in the league.

Look at Liverpool. They’ve fallen off a cliff. They’ve lost 6 in 10. That’s terrible for a team that looked invincible last season. Lose a few key players, drop a couple of big points, lose one of the best keepers in the world to Karius form and it all falls apart.

Arsenal hasn’t had their best midfielder all season, and arguably, we’ve not had our best striker in the right frame of mind since August. You have to search for reasons why those problems are occurring, but the problems certainly give you some mitigating circumstances that are hard to avoid.

If we beat Leeds tomorrow, we’ll be 6 point off Liverpool. I know we’re not making a go at the Premier League table, but that’s kind of nuts at this stage of the season considering they’re 4th.

Beating Leeds is going to be tough now. Very tough. Thomas Partey is THE RESISTANCE when it comes to pressing. Granit Xhaka is… well, let’s be kind here… really not very good against high octane sides that’ll apply pressure to his every move and see his weaknesses as an opportunity.

The manager can either risk it and hope our midfield works under the stress or he’s going to look at other options.

There was an early picture of Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos sitting on balls talking to Arteta. Dani Ceballos doesn’t have buckets of pace, but he can certainly move with the ball. Martin Odegaard is more than capable of playing in a double pivot. He’s press resistant and he has sexy abilities when it comes to fastballs zipped in behind pace. We saw that with one of his passes to Nicolas Pepe last week that the Ivorian should have done better with.

We saw every available combo last time Partey was out and it was very, very miserable for a long time. I think we need to play against Leeds United, I don’t think we can afford the risk of having a midfield that doesn’t have any legs or energy to deal with their attack.

I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do in attack. Leeds can be got at if you can beat the press. Their centre backs are susceptible to being stretched on the break and they aren’t very good at defending setpieces. Auba looked really poor when he came on against Villa, but he’s our talisman. Willian shouldn’t be in the squad. We really need energy in our front three and we need to give Leeds something to worry about tomorrow.

Arteta has to show up with a solution. The three points here are the difference between a decent run in the next few games and an absolute disaster of an order of magnitude I don’t want to contemplate. I don’t have the sympathy to give for another bad run. Let’s work with what we have, take strategic risks, and try something interesting… because we really, really need to move on from the last two games and take advantage of other teams dropping points. I know it’s an ambitious thought, but wouldn’t it be nice to see a full 90 of good football after a week on the training ground?

A little bit of contract talk. Arteta is confident Arsenal are going to keep Flo Balogun.

“I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,”

“As far as I know from last week again, the player wants to be here. So, so far I’m positive.”

I don’t know how the sell is going down, but it’s clear there is a path for him at Arsenal. He’s a teenager. Lacazette will be gone this summer. Flo will be 22 when Auba’s contract ends. I’m not sure Eddie is going to be here much past the summer. He will land chances, I’m just not sure holding the club to ransom for minutes is the right way to go about it.

Going to Germany would probably work out for him as well, but really, does he want to go to another league and watch his mates he grew up with smashing it in a superior league? I have no idea tbh, but it would be a smart decision to stay with a club in transition. If he was an established 9 at 22 years old, that’d be kind of spectacular. Doing it in Germany? Not so much. Impressive, but the path to glory is here.

There’s also some talk that we’re chasing down Sporting forward Tiago Tomas. I take any rumour out of Portugal with a huge grain of PR, but he looks decent and I’d be game for Arsenal signing any young talent that looks like they could blow up into a future mega sale. The striker moves a little like a cross between Lewandowski and Auba. I wonder if we’re going to be in the market for £20m 18 years olds this summer considering the climate, if we are, then it’s a good time to find them with the football world reeling financially.

Big summer ahead. Matteo G is going to fetch decent money, Dino Mavrapanos continues to impress, some of our loan signings will find homes and we have a few Hale-Enders that’ll fetch a pretty penny.

FINALLY. Arteta and his family recieving death threats? It’s grim. If you put a video on Twitter that has a copyright infringement, you are suspended fast, if you do it twice, you lose your account. Call me optimistic, but there must be an algorithm that can detect ‘I WANT TO KILL YOUR FAMILY.’

There has to be some accountability at these platforms at some point. Football Twitter is disgusting at times. The public comments on Instagram are beyond disgraceful as a standard. Racism, homophobia, and violence just seem to be part of the discourse if you have more than a 1000 followers on these places.

Sad thing about all of this, the people that do it really want the moment of attention that comes with being called out. These people are cowards. They have no power in their real lives. The internet is an opportunity to feel important for a moment. What a pathetic way to live, but, that is 2021 for you.

Right, BIG game tomorrow, let’s see a big result!

See you in the comments. x

1,246 Responses to “PARTEY OUT, WHO REPLACES HIM?”

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  1. NJ Gooner


    I was as nervous as anyone when Willian came on. And my first thought after we conceded the first goal was that we’d need to go another 10 minutes without conceding a second (we didn’t, and I got nervous).

    That said, I don’t think that the critics should complain about the choice of subs until we see who Arteta picks for the Benfica game. My sense is that he was saving an injury stricken Gabi in case he needs him then, and took Rowe-Smith off for the same reason. Willian, in this context, was more dispensable, given orders to close down the Leeds left. My only surprise was that Auba stayed on instead of bringing Auba on.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised to see significant rotation with Holding and Tierney at the back and some variant of a Pepe, Laca and Gabi combination starting on Thursday with the aim of keeping it close for the second leg.

  2. Ben D

    Those of you counting games in hand as points, Fulham is leading Everton by 2 gaols to nil away from home!!! They are not points until you play and won the points. We are 6 points off 4th. Games in hand are not points

  3. Anonymous Commentator

    Dude, games in hand is more opportunity to get points in the future.
    It matters that we are behind teams who have played less than us.

  4. JayJay


    Yes maybe I am but I don’t like people making comments based on some agenda driven opinions, and btw kroenkephobe I think that polish government is fucked just like in any other country, no matter if they’re right or left, conservative or liberal, democratic or liberal, all politicians are one big mafia

  5. Graham62

    Good result.
    Good game.
    Kudos to Leeds for sticking to their principles, as they always do.
    At 4-2, got a little nervous.
    Saka is so so good, without him we would have struggled.
    Great that Auba got his hat trick. Could/should have scored more.
    ESR was excellent again.
    Odegaard looks good.
    Three points, so happy.

  6. Thank you and goodnight

    Sorry but Willian has no right being anywhere near the first team squad. God awful player. What makes me laugh any player he doesn’t like he’s always using the excuse theirs areas they need to improve on, yet he’s constantly giving Willian game time. Earlier in the week he suggested Martinelli is struggling to find he’s rhythm since coming back, but how’s he going to get rhythm back when he never plays him. His in game management and man management leaves a lot to be desired so people have a right to be negative about him.
    We were brilliant for 55 min today, then after Leeds scored he done his best to help Leeds even more with his substitutions. That’s why people moan. Leeds should of had a penalty ( yes I know we should of had one more penalty as well), that would of meant we’d have conceded 3 goals at home to a newly promoted side.

  7. Guns of SF

    The real test will be a red hot Man City
    I wonder what Mike will do, they are capable of demolishing anyone ATM
    We are going to see what tactics and line up he brings.
    Would make a lot of sense to keep a close eye and sit on Gundogan, Foden

  8. AFC Forever


    The issue is the hypocrisy. The regular moaners criticise the substitution but don’t praise the starting 11 which actually won us the game. It’s very odd behaviour

  9. Thank you and goodnight

    Just heard a rumour that Liverpool are putting a statement out tomorrow explaining that klopp will take a break from the first team for a while, as his heads all over the place with the death of his mum. But theirs a feeling from some of the Liverpool board, that his departure will be permanent. Also, again ‘apparently’ , Robertson and Alisson had a massive punch up in the dressing room and klopp and Henderson had to break it up, but Robertson left with split lip.

    Really don’t know if this is true, as I said it could be bollocks, but if it is true, WOW!

  10. Guns of SF


    no offense but you seem to have an issue with anyone who does not fully agree with supporting the team in the manner you do. You can be fan, and enjoy the win, and also feel that there were areas of the game which were really questionable, and a weakness of Mike.

    What was the big deal about the starting lineup? We have Ode so he played him,
    He played ode and ESR together, is that it? Anyone with a brain could see that we add more creativity with a line up like this. Yes, he should get some praise for it? Seems kind reactive your thoughts when we win

    I am happy we won, and like many others, concerned at the subs, the constant playing of Willian, etc.

  11. Anonymous Commentator

    I would be a lot more comfortable about the state of things if those who still back arteta were honest about what their eyes are seeing.
    When he gets it wrong actually say he got it wrong rather than blame some players, and when he gets it right that doesn’t erase all that came before.
    Let’s not try to sugar coat our league position cause that won’t change it either.
    Let’s not sweep his mismanagement under the rug either cause his mistakes won’t only cost us now but also in the future.

    We got the 3 points today, well done us, now how do we go about continuing to get 3 points on as many matchdays as possible?

  12. AFC Forever


    Yes the Man City game will be a real test. Abu Dhabi have invested many millions in getting that team to where they are, they have elite players. The movement, pace & interchanging of positions is hard to live with & they are great form. Who do you pick up; Foden, Mahrez, Gundo, Sterling etc, danger everywhere.

    Doesn’t help that we will have returned from Rome early hours Friday for the Sunday game, ridiculous. That’s why rotation is so important.

  13. Mark


    “misplaced arrogance & self entitlement. Moaning after a good win is pathetic & demonstrates that it’s all about ‘me, me, me’ and not Arsenal FC.”

    LOL, with all respects the above is total Bollocks. If I was the only person asking why Willian is played regardless of the fact he’s not in form and brings nothing to the table. (We’re actually worse when he comes on.) then your statements might have more weight.

    This blindly trust the process and don’t question the obvious is fine for you, not me and the other Arsenal fans who are Sick of seeing players shat on cos They’re not one of Mikel’s favourites.

    A good win is not going from a strong winning position, to conceding twice & squeaky bum time praying for the final whistle. Cos you’ve let your opponent back into the game. SMH.

  14. AFC Forever

    “One can simultaneously acknowledge that Arteta got his selection right and that he got one or more of his substitutions wrong. Those who are criticizing Arteta have no problem doing this”

    I agree with the first part, but not the second.

    Those who criticise Arteta do not praise him. The proof is today, as you won’t want to admit.

  15. Kroenkephobe


    So we agree then about the Polish State’s hr record. Much ado about nothing it seems.

    Not reading stuff thoroughly can get you into all sorts of pickle. I was genuiely worried that I wasn’t going to sleep tonight. 😉

  16. AFC Forever

    This blog has so many trolls it is embarrassing.

    Match days just shows what a big club Arsenal is, the obsession is high. What makes it worse is the fact that we get the odd genuine Gooner siding with trolls. That is a sad indictment of where we are.

  17. Guns of SF

    AFC if anyone is a troll its you. Or a professional gas lighter. Folks like you claiming fans are trolls, have agendas is just pathetic. Or if they dont actually praise Arteta when he wins… what the fuck is that ?
    I expect us to win. I dont expect to praise the manager when we win.
    Its expected for me.
    Just weird man.

    Your comment about getting a room falls under that troll category. Check yourself mate.

  18. AFC Forever

    Guns, I never get hurt except when we Lose

    I actually have a lot of pity for the genuine fan who feels it necessary to refuse to praise but only criticise when we win because hating on Arteta or a player is more important. Not ymaimed at you, don’t act all hurt because fair criticism is fine. But it’s not fair to winge or cry & act all hurt because the nasty Manager picked a team that won 4-2 against a good team. That’s pathetic or classic trolling.

  19. AFC Forever


    Not saying they should be full of praise, wind your neck in. Saying they shouldn’t be e full of criticism. It’s hypocritical.

  20. Dissenter

    I have no problems with you so called ‘positivity’. The divergence of opinions makes the conversations livelier.
    What I find annoying however is your penchant for questioning the motives behind people criticizing Arteta.
    They aren’t trolling because they think Arteta is a subpar manager who;s incapable of learning from his mistakes. Some don’t equate supporting Arsenal to kowtowing to any manager in charge.
    You are a hunky dory – pie in the sky type of dude, some of us aren’t as lucky as you. We know what we are seeing.

  21. AFC Forever


    Calm down with the abuse. It’s not a good look mate If you don’t think there are trolls on here, you need to see someone.

  22. AFC Forever


    Some don’t equate supporting Arsenal to kowtowing to any manager in charge. You are a hunky dory – pie in the sky type of dude, some of us aren’t as lucky as you. We know what we are seeing.

    What a childish comment. Insulting too.

    Waste of time when you lot are just trying to drive narrative one way. Enjoy the rest of the evening bitching.

  23. Dissenter

    What’s your test of genuineness of any gooner here?

    I’m asking for a friend who thinks you play this super fan role on a continuous loop.

    Pedro went after another Spanish manager even when he was in a 22-match unbeaten run, now it’s nasty for us to note that Arteta can’t stop picking his pets.

  24. Samesong


    The internet is full of trolls where have you been all this time.

    Just for the record. All you ever do is talk about Arteta FC not Arsenal.

    People are entitled to have their own opinions whether you or I like it.

    Is Arteta a relation to you?

  25. Anonymous Commentator

    He also left saka on for the whole game when we surely need to wrap him in cotton wool and get him to benfica.
    We have talented young players not getting the minutes that most feel they should, we can omit Balogun from the list and arteta still has to answer for Martinelli, Nelson, the lads on loan, azeez, Eddie.
    We had a chance to play Pepe today and let him get rolling seeing as he’s seemingly arrived now but instead we were treated to Willian.

    There are elephants in the room that arteta has to deal with if the aim is for no critiques to be given come the full time whistle.
    It’s frankly criminal that Willian still gets picked and the only answer left now is that he’s secured his playing time via the contract, which then makes me wonder why arteta let himself get bullied at the contract talks by a footballing geriatric.

    If auba wasn’t able to score today then the Balogun shouts would be much louder.
    Arteta needs to rectify these situations already cause he’s had all season to plan for this stuff and he hasn’t, like he’s out of operational capacity now that he’s been given the manager role.

    Let’s see what type of form we can put together from here considering our fixtures.

  26. Mark

    AFC 4 Eva is the King of Trolls. Then when it’s pointed out tells they’re ju bitchin…

    The truth hurts. All people were saying was that your opinion isn’t the only or correct one.
    Telling people to get a room and then calling others childish and insulting is irony to the Max.

  27. Sly

    Criticizing dumb shit from the manager doesn’t make one a lesser fan or troll
    Arsenal played well in the first half
    Arteta deserves credit for that
    His inexperience showed with poor decision making in the second half
    This is the reason Arsenal will remain a mid table club until he ‘grows up’
    Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t equate to being a ‘good fan’
    Seems pretty simple IMO

  28. Time Up

    We’re 6 points from safety not 6 points from fourth. Our next 6 games with this generational manger are…..
    City lose
    Leicester lose
    Burnley win
    Spud draw
    Westham lose
    Pool. Lose

    We would be lucky to collect 5 points. After that we’ll need 1 point to stay up..

  29. Thorough

    Definition of Trolls: Fans who do not agree with AFC Forever and his band of subservient Arteta choir boys.

    IF Liverpool somehow gets rid of Klopp it’ll be a slap on our faces. He’s still around top 4 and has been immense for years. Won UCL, League, World Club cup and dominated the best teams there are. But at the first signs of him loosing touch with reality they’re thinking aright. See, nobody should be welded to any coach, especially one like Arteta that has achieved zilch. If Leicester can rid themselves of Ranieri after performing the miracle of the millennium, if Liverpool are thinking of casting aside Klopp who’s been extraordinary, then we have no business hailing a coach that’s on the rad to getting us out of Europe and has destroyed the future of the club by devaluing and demoralizing most of its youths

  30. Jeanette+Kliger

    Why can’t we all agree that the first 55 minutes yesterday were great, the team played as a cohesive unit and we all enjoyed watching.
    Arteta ruined everything by bringing on the rubbish player aka Willian.
    I don’t know what it is, but something is going on. I really hope that Arteta isn’t freezing Martinelli out, but it wouldn’t surprise me. He is a vindictive “little” man and he is NOT an Arsenal legend!