by .

Arsenal finally matched a good performance with a full 3 points. Mikel Arteta put on a well-choreographed win against a Leeds team that comfortably beat Leicester 3-1 a few weeks ago.

We pressed better than Leeds, boxing them in, forcing mistakes.

We controlled their attacking game with excellent off the ball work, closing down passing lanes and making it generally difficult for them to break against us.

We also took our chances, something we’ve been terrible with over the past month.

The game was mostly about the return of Auba. We’ve been waiting for a game like that from him for a while. He’s been off from a confidence level all season. He was then rocked by issues with his mother’s health. Yesterday, he seemed to shake all of that off with a really, really good game of football.

Arteta seemed to find a formula that works for his star striker. He built pace and creativity around him. Saka, ESR and Odegaard buzzed around him all game and gave him the freedom to do what he does best… score goals.

His first one was all him. He was found by Xhaka on the left, he dropped some Cristiano stepovers and dropped his shot into the bottom corner. His second was a penalty after Saka was fouled by the Leeds keeper. His third came from excellent ESR box work with a 6-yard cross he found. He also hit the bar with a first time shot.

There was also a fourth goal from Hector Bellerin. Dani Ceballos threaded a pass into him in a crowded box, Hector finished with a smashed low shot.

The first half was inch-perfect. We controlled the pace of the game, limited Leeds strengths, and played to ours.

The second half was always going to be tougher. Leeds didn’t ever stop. They came at us, they scored 2 within 11 minutes. We didn’t control the game in the way you’d have liked. Let’s be hoenst, most of us were watching that game through the lens of ‘TIOTE SCOOOOOOORES.’ It was unpleasant to say the least.

What also didn’t help the optics was seeing Mikel Arteta roll-on Willian as his ‘let’s control the game’ sub. The narrative of the game wasn’t on the Brazilian’s shoulders, but the sub just stuck in the throat for a number of reasons.

  1. You don’t control a relentless team of attacking kamikaze pilots with a player that doesn’t have legs, energy, or desire.
  2. Nicolas Pepe could have done with the confidence boost after putting on a show in his last few games.
  3. Martinelli could have done with the minutes after being dropped post-Villa after a drab performance

Willian didn’t ruin the game, I think we were on the way to that anyway… but he didn’t do anything to improve it. I read a stat that he lost the ball 5 times from 10 touches. If he was brought on for control, it didn’t arrive. Where was the value? Why does Arteta keep doing it?

The value should be in giving Martinelli and Pepe chances, not Willian, who is so obviously not part of the ‘non-negotiable’ set of principles everyone else has to abide by. Young players have to have perfect 10s every game to keep landing minutes. Willian? He can drop 6 after 6 after 6 and it just doesn’t change Arteta’s opinion of him. He didn’t even get dropped for going to Dubai unauthorised.

The story shouldn’t be about him. We just beat Leeds with Xhaka and Ceballos in our midfield. No Partey or Tierney. That SHOULD be the story… but we’re still talking about weird in-game management. We’re wondering if Arteta has it in for Martinelli? We’re wondering why the manager wants to die on the Willian hill?

We’re also wondering if the stories about Arsenal giving David Luiz a new deal are real? What could possibly justify that? His experience has us in 10th position in the league. Whatever he’s bringing to the table, it hasn’t worked, so why don’t we just cut our losses and give his place to a young player?

Dishing out deals to £160k a week Luiz as you cull jobs behind the scenes is why they fans get annoyed. Time to move on. It hasn’t worked for 2 years, this shouldn’t even be an agenda item. It might not be. It might be Kia PR trying to force a question in his next presser… the point is, it’s believable which shows there’s work to do.

Anyway. I hate that we have to talk about this.

Saka. What a fucking star. Once again, he was a difference-maker. His decision making was superb again, he was hard to mark, he won two penalties. We are a different beast with him in the side. He looks like he’s really enjoying his game.

Smith Rowe added another assist to his name with a world-class cross to Auba at the back post. I love how he passes around corners. He’s highly efficient, he puts numbers on the board, and he’s going to be a vital part of keeping Auba in the goals this season.

Martin Odegaard looks top-class. He was fairly quiet today, but I love the way he probes and searches the game out. He moves really well, his passing is fast and sharp, and I think he’ll be decisive when he finds his role in the league.

Big shout out to Granit and Ceballos as well. I thought they’d be in big trouble today. They weren’t. They were smart in possession, both had an assist, they were ZERO drama which is what we wanted.

Arteta still has a lot of work to do. We didn’t manage the second half as well as we could have. But overall, let’s look at the positives. The football was really good at times, our front 4 looks exciting, we kept the most productive team in the league to under 10 shots, and we continued our good form with chance creation clocking 13 shots.

We have a rough month of games coming, but we’re more than capable of delivering some good results. City is a write-off, but Leicester, Spurs, West Ham, and Liverpool are gettable.

It is ridiculous, but we’re 6 points off top 4. Liverpool lost. Everton lost. Spurs lost. Villa drew. I don’t think we have much of a chance, but a good run out of this batch of games, who knows. At least we’re in the mixer.

Listen to the on-the-whistle podcast with Demian and Matt.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. AFC Forever


    Yes, Saka is a great player. He won that penalty by sheer desire, running forty-odd yards to put the ‘keeper under pressure. If he keeps progressing as he is, Saka is going to become world-class. He has his feet on the ground too, humble lad, who admits he is still learning from Arteta and the experienced players around him. His link-up play with ESR is on another level at times.

  2. AFC Forever


    Chambers is not a CB, he is really a right-back, although he has played centre back. He is versatile, when he was on loan at Fulham he played regularly as a Defensive Midfielder and actually stormed the fans Player of the Season award with nearly 50 per cent of the votes—over three times any other player nominated. Unfortunately, he ruptured his ACL against Chelsea which he’s not been that long back from.

  3. Emiratesstroller

    AFC Forever

    The absence of both Partey and Tierney was in my view possibly the two most critical for
    Arsenal in recent games.

    Let’s be perfectly honest both are irreplaceable. Our midfield options don’t control a game like Partey and we have no genuine left back option to replace Tierney as has been demonstrated clearly in last three games.

  4. Nelson

    “It took 24 league games to find a formular that works for Aubameyang by Arteta”

    I agree with RH on this observation. Slowly but surely, Arteta is finding the way. I have high hope for next season.

  5. Emiratesstroller

    AFC Forever/China 1

    All our EPL games including against Man C, Leicester and Spurs are/should be the priority,
    because our performance level in EPL is our bread and butter.

    Winning the Europa Cup is a 1 in 32 chance at the moment with no guarantees. There are
    plenty of good teams left in the competition including Man Utd, Leicester and Spurs.

  6. Nelson

    “The absence of both Partey and Tierney was in my view possibly the two most critical for
    Arsenal in recent games”

    Allow me to remind you that both Partey and Tierney are not goal scorer. We may look good but we may still firing blank. For me, getting Auba firing again is most critical.

  7. AFC Forever

    Emirates, yes I agree. Some players you can’t replace because they offer something others can’t. Tierney has been a big loss for us, a bigger miss than Partey imo. Cedric has filled in well but he doesn’t offer those driving runs and the accurate crossing of Tierney. He takes defenders into places they don’t want to go.

  8. Jamie

    AFC –

    I remember when we signed him Wenger had him at RB. That was ages ago, though.

    Yeah, he’s versatile, but at 26 he isn’t great in any position. He isn’t fast enough to play as an attacking fullback (which is how ours are deployed), his movement and passing aren’t good enough to play in central mid (it might be for a relegated Fulham, but not for a club with big plans), and imo he doesn’t read the game well enough to be a top CB.

    I’d take 15-20 million for him all day long and reinvest in a proper fullback (left to deputize for Tierney and move Cedric back to the right).

    I have nothing against him, I just don’t think he’s a great player. Seems like a nice lad. We probably need better than what he offers if we want to challenge for top trophies any time soon.

  9. AFC Forever


    Yes, very good point. We have been carrying Aubamayang for large parts of this season. Losing his goals caused us a lot of problems but hopefully, yesterday will have helped him. The first goal was what we have been missing, cutting in from the left and smashing them in like he used to. Any time struggles he they miss their best goalscorer. Let’s hope he kicks on now.

  10. Graham62

    The Willian saga is beyond a joke.

    Why jeopardise the progress of the team by playing someone that shouldn’t be playing.

    He is unable to play himself into form and should be told to go away and train with the youngsters to regenerate himself, if he can.

    Pepe and even Nelson should be above him in the pecking order.

  11. Matt

    Blackstock, as someone said previously, ‘6th place off of 4th place’ is the new ‘4th place is a trophy’

    Very slippery slope, but one that many people on here seem to be happy to slide down!!

  12. Leftside

    Nothing is brewing, we are at about our ceiling with Arteta.

    This side has far more quality to be languishing around in 10th place with as much wins as losses in a season. There are a whole load of managers who could do a better job. Managers with good game management, good tactics and a manager that is willing to admit a wrong in order for the team to progress.

    Arteta is putting his ego and himself first by playing Willian in the hope that he will come good, when he has been absolutely woeful.

  13. underrated Coq

    Man City(H)
    West Ham(A)

    My oh my
    The Sauce will be going off boil for a while
    When do you reckon it will start to brew next?

  14. Leftside

    And if your a young player watching the likes of Pepe, Martinelli and co on the bench, Balogun not in squads at all and watching Willian with his ridiculous hair stink the place out regularly, why would you come to this club? In addition to the likes of Guendouzi, Torreira etc being farmed out on loan. Arteta is not progressive, he’s a cowardly manager with a penchant for elder players.

  15. Thank you and goodnight

    I agree on Rangnick. The guy has stated his desire to manage in the premier league and his love of the English game. He’d take this same squad Arteta has and in less than half a season you’d see a far greater improvement than any we’ve seen in the 14 month under Arteta .

  16. StormieTee

    I see that as of the time Arteta brought William on, the game was as good as won, unfortunately William isn’t working at the moment but persistence in playing him might work eventually to the advantage of the team. Also we should get Odagaard on a permanent deal, add midfielder that can play along Partey or a cover for him and we can compete for top 4 next season

  17. FACupofTea

    You just get the feeling that under a proper Manager like Pep or Flick, Gabi will be tearing the defences apart for fun. He’s needs confidence to flourish and that comes with consistent gametime.

  18. Graham62


    I’m in agreement with what you say.

    Willian playing is just not right.

    Does slimeball Kia Joorabchian have a say in all of this?

    There’s no other logical explanation.

  19. East Upper

    It amazes me whenever I read the posts on this site. If most of the people were listened to every team in the world would be changing managers every two months after a couple of losses or bad form. Football is ebb and flow l by season and over the years. I’ve been watching Arsenal for 40 years and the recent performances have been the best I’ve seen for a good five years or so, I’m genuinely excited by some of the football. We have the nucleus of a good team and have good quality talent in most positions and undoubtedly we are making progress and all a lot of people do is slag off what’s going on. It’s mind boggling. It’s classic internetdom, most people want to be negative online not positive. If you can’t see the progress we are making you must be blind or not understand football or maybe both from some of the posts. Undoubtedly lots of people would be calling for Klopps head if it’s was a Liverpool site. Context is everything, the premier league has brought many millions into the English clubs which has enabled an equalisation effect amongst most teams ( bar the big benefactor clubs). The problem with arsenal over the last few years is in general they have spent poorly. The last few signings have changed this; tierney, gabriel, partway all could be world class talents. It’s rare we’ve had that in the last few years – and couple this with Saka, ESR and to a lesser degree Holding I think we are on the right path.

  20. HerbsArmy

    It’s always nice to win, and as others have said, the football in the first half was sublime, but we don’t see it enough. If we reproduce our first half performance against City, then we can say we’re going somewhere, and I might even start believing Pedro about Arteta!
    Anyone remember Martin Keown’s comments on David Luis when he was co-commentator at the 7-1 Germany – Brazil WC semifinal, 2014?
    It was along the lines that Chelsea had decided to let him go that summer, which Keown concluded was ‘probably the right decision’.
    The idea that seven years later we’re retaining his services smacks of desperation on Arteta’s part, and shows a worrying level of naivety.
    After Wenger’s recent revelations, you’d think Arsenal would look to use their funds more intelligently, but Willian throws that theory right out of the window.
    On the subject of under- performing highly paid footballers at Arsenal, it was good to see Auba playing with a smile and enjoying himself, as well as grabbing the match ball.

  21. Graham62


    I’m also in agreement with you on this.

    The other week against MU when Arteta brought on Willian at HT for Martinelli, I thought “what the fcuk“.

    It was 0-0 at the time and finished 0-0. Tactically Willian did what exactly? Bring experience and know how to the game?

    If Martinelli has stayed on maybe, just maybe, he’d have got that crucial goal. On top of that, what had he done wrong to justify being taken off. Lost his man once if I recollect but still managed to get back and clear.

    Once again, rank poor man-management.

  22. Graham62

    Arteta must get Martinelli playing again or I foresee problems ahead.

    Other top teams will be sniffing around soon if this continues.

  23. AFC Forever

    I used to be a big Willian fan, I thought signing him on a free was a great piece of business, a proven Premier League player with a pocket full of medals for the youngsters to learn from. It’s not worked out for some reason on the pitch, he’s been a shadow of the player he was. The problem is what do you do with a player with his talent but out of form? Do you bin him or give him games in the hope he will play himself into form? It is a conundrum because he is a very good player. We had this with Pepe, now all of a sudden the same people who wanted him ditched are moaning that he didn’t play yesterday. A few weeks ago the knives were out for Aubamayang, he should be benched or even sold many of you were saying. He proved those people wrong. Confidence is so important. This knee jerk reactionary stuff isn’t reality or the sensible way to manage players. I have no idea what is going on with Willlian because his talent is there but he looks completely shot of confidence and form. Do you give up on him and leave him out of the squad or try to play him into form, whenever the opportunity arises?

  24. Nelson

    “If we reproduce our first half performance against City”

    I like your dream. Unfortunately, no other EPL team has a defense like Leeds. They also lost their captain. I would rather play Mohamed Elneny replacing Martin Ødegaard in our midfield three {since Partey is not available}. Xhaka and Ceballos alone will get run over by MC.

  25. Crabregas


    Not that I disagree with you about us and David Luiz, we certainly shouldn’t be keeping him beyond this summer.

    However Chelsea re-signed him 2 years later for over 30 million. I am sure that was desperate and naive at the time as well.

    Plus, quoting Martin Keown alone doesn’t add value.m to anything.

  26. Matt

    AFC forever

    I think you are over stating the talent that Willian has, or indeed ever had. He had his moments for Chelsea sure, but they saw him day in day out and saw what he could do (or not do) in games as well as training. On that judgement they decided to offer him one year contract, probably because any talent that he did have was clearly on the wane.

    Then we come along and decide that actually we know much better than the club he has been at for a number of years and chuck a three year contract at him.

  27. Crabregas


    Chelsea offered him a 2 year deal and he wanted a 3 year deal, which we offered him.

    Plus, last season was his best season for goals since joining Chelsea so having a PL ready player who can score and assist, for free, was kind of a no brainier (wages aside).

    He has ability without doubt but has been awful in pretty much everything he has done. At present he cannot even pass it properly, never mind score and assist.

    Whether he will get back to what he was, or carry on with his awful form I don’t know. He hasn’t started in 13 games (bar FA Cup) and it’s debatable whether he should be in the match day squad

  28. HerbsArmy


    Chelsea signed him under a different manager, when they went to three centre-halves, making Luiz less error prone. I’ve always wondered why he hasn’t been used more as a DM.
    You may not rate Keown as a pundit, but he knows how to construct a solid defensive unit as proven with Arsenal 2005-06.

  29. AFC Forever

    Maybe Matt but the fact remains he is a very good proven Premier League player. There is no guarantee when you sign anyone, some just don’t work out for whatever reason. It is easy to be a fan or media pundit and dish out expert knowledge based on hindsight, which we all do. He has been disappointing, apart from Fulham he really has struggled.

  30. Crabregas


    We know that the manager doesn’t sign the player, the hierarchy does and as a club they still felt that he was worth spending a lot of money on him at the time.

    I think he has talent for DM, a few years ago he would probably have offered more in there than say what Elneny does for us today. However now we just need to say thank you and good luck and let him move on.

    Holding, Gabriel, Mari and two others is needed with one of them being a young defender like Ballard or something

  31. Crabregas

    Luiz to Willian

    “Come over to north London mate, it’s lovely here. The demands are less, you’ll get a load of money and even if you play bad you’ll get into the squad. Don’t put too much effort in otherwise you’ll show me up.”

  32. Rich

    Men have the hunters gene

    It’s why we chase a football around a field, and we watch other men chase a ball around the field

    It’s why we can’t resist a woman who knows how to make us chase them

    Giving a 32yr old a 3 year contract, was really stupid

    A guy who’s got a stomach full of steak + chips, and a fridge full of food, doesn’t feel like picking up a rifle, and going out hunting for more food

    It’s why players perform better, and increase their output, at contract renewal time, they’re chasing the next contract

    Young players are generally hungrier, unless they get distracted from football

    Once you give an older player security, who’s achieved everything they want already, they generally switch off

    Willian has 2.5 years of security in front of him, he’s switched off, it’s his last big deal, he’s getting his passport, he’s got what he wanted

    He’s got a full stomach, and a full fridge, so he’s stopped hunting, and stopped chasing

    Men need to chase things, it’s the way we’re hardwired through evolution

    Gareth Bale looks like he’d rather stroll around a golf course, than hunt a football around a football pitch

    Same thing happened to Ozil, he lost the hunger + desire to chase + hunt

    Once a man loses that, he’s completely done as a professional athlete, who’s job is to basically chase, hunt and compete

    Wenger’s policy of 1yr extensions to over 30s was right, there’s very little time to switch off, make the players chase their next extension, if you give them security, mentally they switch off

  33. alexanderhenry

    AFC Forever

    One of the reasons we were successful in the early Wenger era is because we scored plenty of goals from midfield or at least had a consistent threat from midfield- Pires, Lungberg, Parlour etc.
    Even later on with Hleb, Cesc, Nasri, Cazorla etc. this tradition continued.

    If I was Arteta I’d be encouraging players like Saka and ESM to seize the initiative and take on chances in front of goal.
    Whether arsenal score or not should not be entirely dependent on whether Auba is on form or not.

  34. Jamie

    Willian’s issue is that his work rate isn’t making up for his declining abilities. He’s always jogging while the play moves around him.

    It’s abundantly clear at this point he’s mentally checked out. 33 this summer and we’re stuck with him for another 2 years after that.

    Outrageous he’s taking Marti’s minutes.

  35. HerbsArmy

    Exactly that, Crabregas.
    Petr Cech commented on the difference in cultures between Chelsea and Arsenal, how Chelsea were driven by the need to succeed whereas at Arsenal there was a much more laid-back attitude.
    In other words, no hunger or desire for success at Arsenal.

  36. andy1886

    Trying to think of a player that we’ve signed from Chelsea that has actually been any good. Recently none come to mind (Cech was ‘meh’ but possibly the closest). Prior to that Gallas was a tw@t. Pre-premier league I could only recall John Hollins but he came via QPR and was past his best.

  37. Matt


    We are a team who signed Mikel Silvestre remember. I think we have been as unsuccessful as any club in signing players from what were considered to be at the time, rival teams!

  38. Emiratesstroller

    alexander henry

    Agreed. Arsenal’s weakness in past 2 years has been lack of creativity, assists and goalscoring in midfield.

    I highlighted this on several occasions during that period. Players like Xhaka, Torreira, Ceballos and Guendouzi offered very little to the team and Ozil was in serial decline in his performance level.

    We know that Saka’s repertoire offers these attributes and I suspect that Smith-Rowe will
    also add considerably once he is fully integrated in team.

    I believe still that Arsenal needs to recruit one additional “quality” central midfielder to
    rotate with Partey and Xhaka. Someone like Aouar would be the obvious choice as I have
    suggested on many occasions.

  39. andy1886

    Good spot there Herb, I’d forgotten that George initially played for them (and Villa). I think that it’s fair to say that anyone suggesting dipping into the Chelsea reject bin from now on should be handed their P45.

    Matt, we’ve signed some real stinkers down the years but that one has got to be in the top ten worst signings certainly of the PL era.

  40. salparadisenyc

    The best know when they’ve bottled it and move on regardless of consequence, Arteta struggling with the Willian move on. He clearly thinks he can pick the lock and tap into some unseen quality, it’s bizarre as he’s literally shown so little since the opening game. The league has upped its gears and Willian has gone backwards.

    Terrible signing at this stage, but the bigger crime is not acknowledging that continually attempting to polish at expense of others.

  41. TheBayingMob

    “The absence of both Partey and Tierney was in my view possibly the two most critical for
    Arsenal in recent games. Let’s be perfectly honest both are irreplaceable. ”

    No one is irreplaceable, but even if this were true we best start thinking hard on Tierney as he will never be a long term viable option due to his fitness. I doubt he will play a full season.

  42. andy1886

    Yes, we haven’t done well (George apart) with former Chelsea players. They on the other hand have done considerably better out of us. Ashley Cole, Cesc, Giroud, Anelka for starters (Petit didn’t do much and Rocky was sadly at the end of his career – the less said about Graham Rix the better!).

  43. TheBayingMob

    “Terrible signing at this stage, but the bigger crime is not acknowledging that continually attempting to polish at expense of others.”

    It can only mean MA, at some stage in some way, put his seal of approval on this signing. Why else would he keep flogging the horse otherwise? There’s a professional embarrassment and political nature to this continued use of the worse signing since Silvestre and Santos, what other argument is there? It’s going to look pretty dire to your bosses that after a quick power grab, you then have to go back and admit your $13m a year asset is not fit for purpose; it will be interesting to see how it ends for Arsenal and Willian; at this point the only thing he is good for is gardening leave until his contract expires, he’s so bad I think there’s little chance we could move him on elsewhere, even the MLS would turn their nose up and rightly so …

  44. Crabregas


    Just listened to that link you sent through and I would recommend others give it a listen.

    A really interesting and insightful piece, really highlighting both the good and bad from the game. Even though Willian came on in his normal position on the wing, he still is a square peg in a round hole regarding what the role requires.

  45. Jonathan Rosin

    Arteta fanatical about the game. A dedicated and obsessive footballing brain. Strong leadership-balanced, insightful, principled. Continuing to play Willian a fatal leadership flaw. Inexcusable and just impossible to understand.

  46. Rich

    Our problem has been poor squad planning

    We gave an elite goal scorer a new 3yr mega deal

    But then went into the season with no fit or registered attacking midfielder

    We signed Willian, when we already had Aubameyang, Martinelli, Pepe, Saka, Nelson, in the wide areas

    Going into the season with Runarsson as our only alternative to Leno, was beyond negligent

    We loaned out Niles + Kolasinac, and now our only alternative to Tierney, is also our only back up to Bellerin

    We had 8 senior centre half’s, and another out on loan

    And yet Arsenal fans are unanimous in the view that we still need an upgrade at centre half

    We had a first team squad of 31, 2 senior players earning a combined £400,000 p/w, not even registered

    We had a €30 million centre half not registered in the Europa league

    Soares yesterday got into some good positions, but a right footed player on the left meant in key moments our attack broke down

    This mess has been years in construction

    Our main issues aren’t necessarily coaching or tactics, they’ve been assembling a balanced squad of the needed quality

    This summer we’ll have a first team squad of 28, 29 if we renew Luiz….

    It’s still far too big even with European football, without European football, we’d need to purge 10 players, before we could bring in just a couple more

    We need someone competent to help assemble our squad, and with a track record in identifying talent

    It won’t matter who our coaches are, if we set them up to fail

    People can talk about tactics + coaching, but ultimately it’s the talent on the pitch, who win + lose us football games

    Rodgers would be having nowhere near the success he’s having, if it wasn’t for Leicester’s competent bureaucrats behind the scenes

    He wouldn’t have come close to a title with Liverpool, if it wasn’t for having Luiz Suarez in his team, who was by far the leagues best player at the time

    Until we get the scouting, recruitment and bureaucracy right, we’ll struggle to get back on top

    We kept powder dry at the bottom of the market, and invested really badly at the top of the market

    Nobody at the club recognises market trends

    And even if they did, I certainly wouldn’t trust them to invest any of our money, because they’ve proven themselves to be utterly clueless

    We offered Willian a 3yr deal during a pandemic, when he only wanted to stay in London

    We offered Aubameyang a 3yr mega deal, when we already had a 12 month option

    Atletico are skint, paying up fir Partey was understandable, but did we really need to offer him a reported 5 x his salary?

    Atletico weren’t in a position to offer him anywhere near that

  47. G

    Xhaka i think has been very very god recently, he has provided the odd good performance but for a couple of months now has been really good and if continued then as a squad player would want him to stay

  48. The Bard

    Leftside who are all these managers who could do a better job ? I’m not a massive Arteta fan, I’m more in the ‘lets see’ camp. One of the other posters mentioned a dozen other managers who could do better. Who are they ? Where are they ? What’s their track record ?

  49. Billp79

    I see Sabila replacing Luiz next year…with Mari as backup.
    That puts us in with Holding, Sabila, Gabriel Mari Bellerin Cedric Teirney and xxxx
    It would be golden if we could take both Cebalos and Odegaard on permanent from Real
    Partey Xackha Chambers
    Aubu Martinelii Saka Pepe
    offload the rest of the ….bring up some fresh blood from our youth ranks

    nobody should be on more than $200-250k….and all should have their salaries renegotiated before 28 yo and less than 2 year left on the contract…
    this would allow for bonuses for performance…and to extend their contracts for more favorable team balance (salary wise)

  50. Billp79

    the two losses we had out of the last 8 were down to outliers
    down to 9/10 men’ and one stupid pass from our fullback…
    we were in those two games otherwise

  51. salparadisenyc

    I wasn’t big on Edu coming in and taking those reigns but if his standard is Ødegaard elite in that age bracket mixing in the seasoned pro where needed like Partey i’m all for him sticking on and building this side.

    Arsenal clearly on the right path at moment with developing youth,, Mertesacker taking over from great work Freddy did.

    Flip side is upgrade when you can in ruthless manner and we’ve got Rangnick, Overmars and Campos all looking for next club apparently.

  52. Anonymous Commentator

    Arteta wants to extend David luiz’ contract.
    If that rumor turns out to be true then I’m honestly done with this club tool arteta gets sacked.
    There’s no time for these pathetic managerial moves.

  53. The BFB

    Overall this was a good performance but, bearing in mind Leeds failed to turn up in the first half and their young keeper had a very poor game, I can’t help feeling less than enthusiastic. On the plus side, Saka continues to improve and offers so much to the team. I believe he is as important to us as Kane is to Tottenham. The trouble is I can see him moving to a bigger, more ambitious club in the summer along with Balogun,Saliba and Martinelli because Arsenal will remain an average mid-table team under TeflonTeta and his treatment of the club’s youngsters beggars belief. Continually playing a Chelsea pensioner when we have a number of young players straining at the leash to get a game is a sackable offence in itself. Why is he still here?

  54. Graham62


    Rather than beat around the bush with many of your posts and constantly give Arteta the benefit of the doubt on so many questionable issues, why don’t you say it as it is. Positivity is all well and good but come on, be honest with yourself, there are too many things going on that just don’t add up.

    How about these posts for future comment.

    1. New contract for Luiz – What the fcuk!
    2. The Willian saga – who’s bene£iting from this?
    3. Martinelli is being mismanaged. Arteta is culpable.
    4. Arteta is not the sauce.
    5. Mismanagement explained.

    Just a suggestion.

  55. DUIFG

    Any idy watched clips of saliba v psg, looks composed calm on the ball, no worries.

    We should be fucking hyped about this guy but I’m not, if he eve. Stays he might be behind holding and Luiz, there isnt a world where uou can convince me arteta has fuckes this royally, we should have the begging of a really good team, but there are still question marks over some man management. We won’t have a lot to spend this summer, use what we have not pumping old Chelsea men, learn please arteta

  56. Bertie Mee

    I invariably like your insights and the understanding you have of the bigger picture at Arsenal. It is generally unrivalled . However, I think you’ve been slightly corralled by the negativity which emanates from this site. That has to be a positive day in the history of Arsenal Football Club. We can see a way forward and we now have the sort of forward movement, tempo and invention which will release Auba much more effectively. The reason tgat he didn’t score at the start of the season was not as so many on here wished to believe that with his new contract he didn’t give a toss anymore . It was because our build-up and approach work was slow and sterile and he wasn’t getting opportunities to score or space t9 run into. Yesterday we freed him up and the three young tyros upfront provided a creative network of high-energy pressers that Leeds couldn’t cope with . If we’d had this framework in place we would have beaten Wolves 6-0, Southampton by a similar score and really put Burnley to the sword but a few weeks ago we lost to two of them and scraped a draw with the other team . That was the big story and the sub-story was Bielsa the shrewd tactician saying with no sense of irony that Leeds couldn’t cope with Ceballos and Xhaka. I’m one of the arch critics of Xhaka but since ESR arrived he is playing vertically, about fifty per cent quicker and anchoring the side. Ceballos played like he did last summer in big games against Leicester , City and Chelsea . I’m thinking the issue for him, like Partey is that La Liga is nowhere near as intense as our league and he can’t maintain his level week after week. Partey’s body can’t stand up to it and neither can Ceballos .I also thought Gabriel was getting back to his best .
    Now I agree Willian is a disaster but the big story was the emergence of Arteta Ball in some definable form

  57. DUIFG

    Edu nlhas built some. Credit of late with some people, I want to see him pull arteta aside and say cut your cloth.

    Take the safety blanket of Luiz a d William away from hi m, it will make him a better manger in the long run

    If you don’t get William out this summer you are looking at another ozil saga which beggers belief that we have learnt nothing

  58. DUIFG

    V happy to auba do auba things, strikers for me need to create for themselves to be elite, that first goal isn’t on, he is one on one ye but a fuck load to do, laca can’t do that and that’s why lean Into the guy that can.

    Auaba with ballers is how we progress a s a side, buy. Aan b guy in the summer with laca and Eddie money

  59. Pedro

    Bertie, yeah, think you are right. This post was maybe a little bit too negative, especially as I read around other sites.

    This piece was great from Mike over at Gunnerstown.

    Lots to be pleased about, you are correct.

    Really looking forward to seeing how Martin O evolves with the team, he was quiet by efficient yesterday, but he looks the real deal… Arsenal very hopeful of having him all of next season. That’ll save us some cash to spend elswhere

  60. DUIFG

    Difference between arsenal and Liverpool is being ruthless

    Liverpool lost their cbs, bought 2, kaban had a stinker sat but they see him as a long term guy.

    If the shoe was on the other foot we would have bought sokratis and put him on a 2 Yr deal.

    That’s why I’m happy leaving alone LB for now rather loading some more quick fix trash in for another 3 years, stick to your plan not circumstance

  61. Pedro

    Zach, those two had a really good game. Tempting to get carried away with Xhaka, there’s always the bad player waiting in the wings, but he has been good for a while.

  62. salparadisenyc

    Xhaka has answered his critics if big way since his Chelsea resurgence, I being one who was pretty core with binning him. I’m sure he’ll frustrate the shit out of us in the not so distant future but he’s been very solid in 2021, essential to the balance.

    For me exactly what you want to see that kind of progression.

    Ceballos is a hard one to figure out, runs very hot and VERY cold.

  63. Pedro

    Sal, agree… not sure I’d be signing him up this summer. We need legs and technical ability. Dani and Xhaka both lack mobility, though it’s great to see they can still function at a high level

  64. I hate Green Bay

    I really cant read a game very well so I maybe completely wrong, but I thought that the interchangability between ESR, Saka, Ø and Ceballos totally confused Leeds. And I have felt for some time that Ceballos might be better employed slightly further forward, and yesterday proved to be the case. Of course, it only worked because Xhaka was a rock.

  65. zacharse

    agree. it should be acknowledged that the analysis of a legend goes against everything know nothing LG posters butter their bread with. I’m loving it and i expect more to come. Ø is looking like the missing creative piece. That that was the 1st game he ESR and saka lined up together is promising to say the least. Hoping Balogun gets a chance playing in front of them before the season’s over, but obviously Teta has more on his mind than catering to a youth team player’s outsized demands at the moment

  66. zacharse

    green bay
    we broke their press into little tiny pieces, Bielsa acknowledges in the article i posted the fulcrum of this smashing was the interchange between our centre backs and our DM’s (dani, xhaka).

  67. zacharse

    i agree with whatb the guys says in the article you posted that there is most likely some playing time detail written into willians contract. We should sell him back to his boyhood club or some saudi arabian or chinese club in the summer. that is the one thing all LG’s can agree on.
    Chelski’s still got way too big a squad of attackers and every one of them is better than willian if Edu prefers to keep poaching from central london

  68. AFC Forever

    Bertie Mee

    Great comments. Couldn’t agree more.

    Pedro reflects the general mood amongst fans, most of the contributors to this blog do not.

  69. AFC Forever


    Great comments.

    I saw a fantastic breakdown of the positional interchanging Arteta employed yesterday, which was pretty much as disguised. It was well-rehearsed and a clever game plan to avoid the press Leeds are renowned for. Odegaard played a part of that because to play that way you need people comfortable with receiving the ball under pressure and being able to play ball quickly around the corner. The improvement in Xhakas play is no coincidence, the movement in the system suits him. Arteta has him playing to his strengths, unlike Emery who often left him isolated in one on one’s exposing his lack of pace. You only need pace if you’re going to run the 100 meters, not if you run a marathon. That was exciting yesterday because playing like that against Leeds isn’t easy – but we made it look so.

  70. Pierre

    I have no qualms with Arteta easing Martinelli into the side in the next few months .
    If his performances had been exceptional since coming back from injury then i could understand the le grove furore of why he isn’t starting or getting more game time.
    However , the reality is Martinelli has been average since his return, which is understandable due to the severity of the injury…

    I’m not sure Arteta has such a high opinion of Martinelli as the Le Grove experts.

    Years ago in the 1986/87 season , Arsenal had a player who scored 24 in that season…his name was Martin Hayes, he was 20 at the time.
    He never came close to repeating those numbers in front of goal and moved from Arsenal to Celtic to coventry to wimbledon to swansea city to non league football in his late 20’s.

    Hayes even fooled the England manager at the time to play him for England under 21 three times.

    Personally, I was bewildered at the time at how he was managing to score so many goals in that one season as i never rated him at all ….

    Now I’m not saying that Martinelli will go the same way as Hayes but i do think Le Grove needs to temper their expectations of him being this world class player..

    I wasn’t fooled by his incredible srart to his Arsenal career , 7 goals in 7 games .
    4 were in the league cup and 3 were in the Europa group stages .
    Now we all know that Le Grove( not me) do not normally recognise goals scored in cup competitions, as proven with Willock’s 3 goals and 3 assists in 4 europa groups games this season.

    The fact that Martinelli has scored 3 goals in his previous 26 appearances ( including subs) shows that the start to his Arsenal career was an anomaly , just like Hayes first season was an anomaly.

    A part of the problem was klopp calling Martinelli ” the talent of the century” .
    As far as Le grove are concerned , if Klopp said it, then he must be right ……i have news for you , he may be wrong.

    Le Grove should be just as worried that players like Willock , Eddie , Balogun and Nelson are being ignored by Arteta instead of just focusing on Hayes , sorry i mean Martinelli.

    Personally, I think Arteta is slowly getting it together and it is a bit of a jugglng act trying to keep everyone happy whilst trying to get results.

    There are younger players ( including Martinelli) who i would like to see given more game time but i would say, let’s see where we are when next season starts.

    Things may look completely different .

  71. underrated Coq

    Judging by these comments you’d think Arsenal beat peak Barcelona.

    This is what Arteta has reduced the club to

  72. AFC Forever


    “Personally, I think Arteta is slowly getting it together and it is a bit of a jugglng act trying to keep everyone happy whilst trying to get results. There are younger players ( including Martinelli) who i would like to see given more game time but i would say, let’s see where we are when next season starts”


    People need to remember that football management is so much more than sitting at home picking your so-called best eleven. There are so many elements involved like confidence, psychology, team dynamics etc. Everyone wants to play every minute, just the way it is. Also, Martinelli has just come back from a pretty nasty injury and then was injured again in a warm-up, which is hardly testing. Arteta gave an interview in which he repeated the fact that he will not overplay young players, he was passionate about that. This period now is when it starts getting more demanding, Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday and good rotation is crucial. In the past, we never had the squad for that but I think we are better in that respect now with the sensible additions that have come in.

  73. underrated Coq

    Dafuq has happened to this place?

    People were unhappy being Top 4 for 17 years.

    Now its run by rejects from Untold who write poetry after a home win against Leeds

  74. underrated Coq

    If Arteta is to be given credit for Saka and ESR, he should be held accountable for the mistakes with Saliba, Guendouzi etc

    Its pretty clear he can’t stand any youngster that’s a bit outspoken.

  75. salparadisenyc


    Baby steps for me, if you can’t see the incremental gains being made with bigger picture being next season thats a drag. Pretty clear the 17 years of top four is precisely the price we’re paying having to reboot club in new direction.

    It ain’t perfect, Arteta has flaws but it certainly isn’t the apocalyptic landscape you brushing out on that canvas named dafuq.

    Will be interesting to see who is played for Benfica and saved for City, what you thinking?

  76. Time Up

    What have Arsenal done to hire this Generational Farmer to have all the ex AKB “support the team and shut up”, come here every 3 weeks preaching to us how many points we’re from fourth, after beating WBA, Newcastle and newly promoted Leeds and telling us there’s something cooking we can’t see while we’re 10th.

    Embarrassing when Villa newly promoted above us with couple of games in hand and not as happy as us.

  77. underrated Coq


    Ease into the team? Like Saliba? Don’t really care much for Saliba but Martinelli loss would be huge.

    Early signs were he looked like he had the best pieces of RvP and Sanchez.


    First of all, I like to look at numbers and quantifiable measures to judge progress.

    > 10th place thrown in with all the losses and poor goals scored don’t paint a good picture.

    At the pace we are going with these incremental gains, one step forward and one step back, we look set to hit Top 4 in 2030.

  78. Winthorpe

    underrated CoqFebruary 15, 2021 17:55:11
    If Arteta is to be given credit for Saka and ESR, he should be held accountable for the mistakes with Saliba, Guendouzi etcIts pretty clear he can’t stand any youngster that’s a bit outspoken.


    Who cares is we perform like we did yesterday? Let Guendouzi and Saliba go back to France man.

  79. Winthorpe

    underrated CoqFebruary 15, 2021 18:08:45
    Pierre,Ease into the team? Like Saliba? Don’t really care much for Saliba but Martinelli loss would be huge. Early signs were he looked like he had the best pieces of RvP and Sanchez.


    He’s nothing like RvP at all. RvP was silk. Subtle. I get the Sanchez comparison but he looks more like latter career Ronaldo to me
    All energy work rate and goals

  80. Winthorpe

    Andrey VysotinFebruary 15, 2021 17:55:01
    I get that certain types want to be positive after a 4-2 win over Leeds, but Arsenal are still in 10th place, and unless you think Arsenal have the 10th best group of players in the PL, we are in 10th place because we hired a novice manager and he is learning on the job.

    Heaven forbid arsenal fans celebrate a decisive arsenal victory with the sumptuous football we sorely missed under the boredom years of emery

  81. AFC Forever

    “But there is nothing wrong with seeing the negatives among some of the positives. To ignore the negatives is to be willfully blind, and to be willfully blind helps no one at all”

    Now you have to be taking the piss…….!!!!

    Jesus, to think you actually had the cheek to type that after all the negative shit you came out with after that great 4-2 win?

    Heads gone.

  82. Winthorpe


    Arteta won his first trophies within 6 months in his first job
    Already etched his name as a winner in arsenal history. Emery bless him was thumped by chelsea. Different levels

  83. AFC Forever

    Bamford, you really can’t help yourself. Bad result the Weekend, WBA aren’t particularly strong, so pretty obvious why you are back pissing on Arsenal again? After the way you created that alter-ego of yours, you have got more front than Blackpool Pier. Embarrassing.

  84. Emiratesstroller


    There has been for a very long time too many posters on Le Grove who like to put the boot in
    whenever Arsenal play poorly.

    I suspect that both the manager and players are not immune about what is being said about them on the internet and in the case of some of our current and former players that must have had some impact on their performance level.

    No-one likes to hear a constant flow of criticism particularly when it is unjustified as is the case far too often.

    For example I think that Xhaka has been playing solidly since the beginning of January and
    yet there are always posters who will find fault with his performance level even when he
    plays well.

    If you are going to criticise the manager or our players it should be done in a constructive
    way and not just because you don’t like the individual or want to get rid of him.

  85. Freddie Ljungberg

    And Pierre continues his campaign against Martinelli that he started after his first game for us, “headsdown merchant” “lucky” downplaying his goals and overall play, comparing him with a failed player 35 years ago. All this because le grove (and the world) rated him higher than his new favourite Eddie. Pathetic.

    You’re so transparent it’s not even funny Pierre.

    Obsessives yada yada, le groaners yada yada yada

  86. AFC Forever

    Winning the FA Cup has upset a lot of people. We know why. No idea why Arteta doesn’t get the credit he deserved for that, because nobody gave us (Arsenal) a hope in hells chance of beating City and Chelsea. No-one. Up to that success, all the players had been bullied within an inch of their lives on this blog as being hopeless. Shock horror: Shit Manager and Shit players win the FA Cup – some ego’s can’t take being wrong.

    Arteta came into an awful job, the club was a mess. Poor contracts, suspect recruitment, players not interested, poisonous atmosphere, crap defensive shape, soft belly – the blokes worked miracles winning the FA Cup. Bumps along the way, he’s building a team but not sure how anyone can be abusing him like they are. That is poor behaviour and agenda-driven bollocks.

  87. Time Up

    “Le Grove should be just as worried that players like Willock , Eddie , Balogun and Nelson are being ignored by Arteta instead of just focusing on Hayes , sorry i mean Martinelli.“

    Can’t wait to show your zero knowledge of football in a couple of years when all you mentioned playing championship or bottom half PL while Martinelli hitting it at the top.

    A man obsessed about a retired footballer for 7 years, has been old manager for 10 years and headless chicken striker could not make it at championship club should tell you every thing about his football knowledge.

  88. Jamie

    Freddie –


    AFC –

    I’m not siding with that fool. All he wants is attention.

    But the irony of folk here calling him out for using another alt when they’ve/you’ve clearly posted here under a different name is not lost on me. Or Freddie.

  89. underrated Coq

    ‘Winning the FA Cup has upset a lot of people. We know why. No idea why Arteta doesn’t get the credit he deserved for that, because nobody gave us (Arsenal) a hope in hells chance of beating City and Chelsea. No-one.’

    I think its what transpired AFTER the Cup win and specifically THIS season that upsets a lot of people.

    ‘Up to that success, all the players had been bullied within an inch of their lives on this blog as being hopeless. Shock horror: Shit Manager and Shit players win the FA Cup – some ego’s can’t take being wrong.’

    You mean, largely the same group that won the Cup two years out of previous three campaigns?

    ‘That is poor behaviour and agenda-driven bollocks.’

    We are in 10th place THIS season, breaking all manner of bad records of the last few decades.

  90. Pierre

    “Winning the FA Cup has upset a lot of people. We know why. No idea why Arteta doesn’t get the credit he deserved for that, because nobody gave us (Arsenal) a hope in hells chance of beating City and Chelsea. ”

    Exactly .

    The same happened a few years prior when we bbeat city and league champions chelsea to win the cup..

    There were quite a few on here who were not happy.

  91. AFC Forever


    Thanks. What I don’t understand is this trolling people do. Surely the point of a blog like this and others is for people to sensibly discuss and debate what interests them. I guess I will never understand why you would ‘pretend’ to be something you’re not just to be unpleasant to people and goad?

  92. AFC Forever

    Underrated troll

    “Hilarious that AFC Superfan talks about the FA Cup triumph of last season but nothing about our immaculate defense of the Cup this season”.

    We are the FA Cup holders. Can’t win it every year – and nobody has won it more than us. I reckon all the sad spuds who haven’t won the FA Cup for thirty years are as jealous as hell, certainly seems like it.

  93. AFC Forever


    Look at the Leeds result. Immediately the full-time whistle went they were crying on here. You can only laugh because imagine being that sad. Salty doesn’t do it justice, it was pathetic.

  94. Freddie Ljungberg


    I’ve never posted under another name and I started posting after Wenger left, try again, maybe in your 19th incarnation after Pedro bans you yet again for being a shitcunt.

    You’re called a troll btw because after your initial 1-2 week of pretending to be a normal person you can’t help going down in flames like the retard you are.

  95. Jamie

    AFC –

    Trolling comes with the internet. Don’t get upset about it, or you’ll end up writing a thousand words a day on how beautiful Ozil is.

  96. AFC Forever


    Doesn’t upset me. I just think it’s a shame people get so much pleasure going onto a so-called fan forum to be nasty and unpleasant to people because they follow another team.

  97. Kroenkephobe

    A bit late to this one I know but what about Colin Pates?

    Started at Chelsea and came to us via the Addicks. He was in a queue of brilliant CBs that we had at the time but he never put a foot wrong when called upon. He was also a very decent CM.

  98. Freddie Ljungberg


    Think you’re a bit confused why people aren’t 100% happy with Arteta. It’s not because we have been so succesful with him. It’s because we’re in 10th at the moment, went through and awful spell just a short while ago that we only escaped because of luck. The constant playing of his undeserving favourites over better and younger players, sticking for so long to a failing formation, employing tactics that didn’t suit any of our attacking players, breaking multiple negative records, atrocious man management etc etc.

    It’s started to look much better on the pitch lately and long may it continue, but the insistence on playing Luiz at every possible opportunity and giving Willian minutes that should go to Pepe and Martinelli is worrying. His in game management and subs also needs massive improvement, not often he has changed a game for the positive this season.

    There are promising signs, and the squad is starting to take shape now, was always going to take at least 3 years to sort out after Wenger and we’re not far off now if we make the right decisions, will we though? Xhaka, Laca and probably Bellerin needs to be dealt with in the summer, and Saliba brought back instead of extending Luiz. Based on previous behaviour we’ll extend Laca and Luiz and keep the other 2 while ditching Saliba. Hope I’m wrong and they have learned their lesson.

  99. Pierre

    Despite the defeats to Wolves and Villa, I’m enjoying watching us play again .
    Thee were positives in those defeats, but events conspired to go against us.

    Arteta has hopefully learnt from the mistakes of last year and will continue to play more expansive, one and 2 touch football.

    The positive point for me was that despite losing the 2 games, he didn’t resort to a defensive set up against Leeds .

    In fact, with the inclusion of Odegaard he took a risk that could easily backfired.

    As far as I’m concerned , the more players we have on the pitch who are of a high technical level , with sharp brains and clever movement, the better.

    Aubameyang will score a bagful of goals now that we are getting the ball in the right areas.

    For Arteta to drop Lacazette it was the right decision .
    Lacazette is good outside the box but has poor movement in the box, and out football now needs a sharp striker to finish off the chances .

    Aubameyang is the master at finding space in the box, his drought was not of his doing as he needs supply and up until Christmas his supply was zero.

    6 goals in the new year from 4 starts is confimation for me that the 4-2-3-1 suits his game and our young guns are happy to give him the ammunition .

  100. Jamie

    Aubergine –

    You don’t have to convince anyone, but it doesn’t stop you from trying.

    “Understanding of the game” jesus christ. Peak Bumford. I’d delete this account, start again.

  101. Freddie Ljungberg


    Keep that temper of yours in check sugarplum.

    Hate our youth? I don’t especially rate Eddie, or Willock that much so far although he could still become decent. I’ve been one of the few defending Nelson on here in the past although he’s probably not going to make it with us, more to do with confidence than talent imo. Been hyping up ESR for years and loving what Saka is becoming, think Martinelli is going to become a superstar and Saliba has the talent for it as well. Try again dimwit.

    Want a new toy? That’s what the transfer market is for, improving your team, or do you think we’re complete now? Ambitious of you.

  102. underrated Coq

    AFC Superfan

    Pedro may have changed his tone now

    But 90% of the posters here are more critical than glowing, its why they started following this site.

    And these were folks that found reason to complain when Arsenal were a permanent fixture in the Top 4

    So if you come and cry about the negativity here after the kind of season we have had, clearly you are fit to wear the Dunce hat

  103. Zacharse

    Undersized coq

    Go play some fifa and football manager if you cant understand whats going on here. Wtf is an untold arsenal reject?

  104. Anonymous Commentator

    Thankfully you’re anonymous so it’s not as embarrassing but it’s still pretty embarrassing that a grown man has written this.

    you’re really ok with luiz getting a contract extension when we have saliba on loan and impressing, mavropanos on loan and impressing, and a littany of other cb’s already at the club?
    I frankly will not be ok with that, it’s regressionary from arteta and edu, and as a long time supporter of this club I won’t tolerate having good faith and time wasted by a bunch of rookies trying to manage my club.

    A new deal for luiz? Pathetic.
    Utterly pathetic if that goes through.

  105. salparadisenyc

    Changing handles is bizarre, can’t keep up unless its the obvious ones like Dial -Marble – Red Truth or of course Bamariano.

    That is unless you’r a poster like Bacary is god who took a poll of sorts asking the house if he should change to Bacary is gone, thats how a name change should occur.

    Otherwise deal.

    How we lining up vs Benfica with City in mind?

  106. I hate Green Bay

    I’ve got a real life example of how hard it is to judge young players .

    A long long time ago we had a guy in our school, we were 14, he was captain of England schoolboys and on Chelseas books. He was so good, Tommy Docherty came down to watch him play for the school. He was quite literally a man amongst boys. After he left school he went on to play for Chelsea for a couple of years, thengot transferred to Reading, then Plymouth and I believe finally Aldershot. I truly believe he physically peaked too early.

    But he was a really nice person, no arrogance, no cunt like attitude that most of the school team had before they left school and went to work in a factory pressing metal plates.

  107. Zfree

    Sal bringing the sense. And a welcome change of subject.

    I think it would be cruel and unusual not to give Pepe the start on Thursday. And with auba possibly still working up a bit of fitness, we might see Pepe, laca, ode, and saka.

  108. Dissenter

    Ignore the league table and the pig headedness of an inexperienced manager who can’t stop picking his favorites regardless of form.

    Just be happy and enjoy the ride because Arteta is cooking some jambalaya rice with fresh Willian sauce

    You have to be a troll for seeing for not marching in goose step to the Arteta train.

  109. I hate Green Bay

    I think we should play the dross. It’s the round of 32n, the odds are overwhelming that we won’t win it. To get to the final we would have to play 8 more games.

    Our run in is quite favourable, top 4 more likely than Europa

  110. Anonymous Commentator

    We are going to lose the generational battle for fans because we are not even an imitation of what we used to be upon moving into the Emirates.
    All these kids are going to be city, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester fans and we can watch our capital dry up faster than a snowball in the Sahara.

    But no doubt kroenke will milk the current fanbase dry with the monthly training kit releases which have definitely helped our league results pick up.
    This isn’t the arsenal, it’s farsenal.

    A contract extension for luiz being muted about by arteta? It’s not even a mistake anymore, he’s just sabotaging us on purpose and people will forgive it so long as we produce a good half of football once a month.

    If arteta wants to catch less heat then he best start taking the concept of a rebuild seriously because we will otherwise be set to lose all our future assets while he sticks with his geriatrics who have failed not only him, but their former clubs too.
    When are people going to start wanting actual progress for the club? Luiz new deal epitomises what arteta has been doing here, never trusting the youth unless forced to, would rather play players who have decades worth of film behind them for their weaknesses to be picked out, ostracizing our bright young talents.

    A lot of people get gassed by these wins against teams we should be beating without question and suddenly excuse the rest of the season.
    Standards are lower than the Mariana trench right now.
    We had ambitions of winning the league by getting rid of Wenger, further from that than ever before now, but it’s ok lads Saka did a worldy over the weekend so it’s all smiles and sunshine now.
    No doubt hiking his price up for the summer transfer window of 2023.

    Rescue the club by being honest about the state of things. Nothing is good right now outside of Saka and an ESR who arteta was forced to play.
    If saka picks up a knock it’s going to be a real mare. Praying that he doesn’t.

  111. Zfree

    Bellerin holding Gabriel/Luiz Soares
    Xhaka ceballos (with an early el neny sub)
    Saka ode Pepe Laca

    To me that’s a strong team for benfica.

  112. Dissenter

    I would like someone to ask Arteta to detail a clear path tones running the CL in three years.
    We need to understand the rationale behind the goals he discussed with Willian in those three phone calls he made to woo him.

  113. Dissenter

    The owners don’t stop us fro spending money but they’ve never showed any inclination to make sure that their money is well spent.
    Had they been good owners, they would never have appointed a rookie manager to a position co-equal to the technical director EIGHT MONTHS into his contract.

    That is unheard of, to promote a head coach who is still clearly learning some basic aspects of the job in the first year of his contract.
    There’s even talk that Arteta is about to be handed yet another extension this year.
    Owner apathy is what’s given Arteta too much latitude.