by .

I think I maybe took the misery a little bit too far on the post yesterday. We beat Leeds, a game most of us didn’t fancy, and I dominated the post with my concern over David Luiz and Willian.

It’s time to pick up the mood.

When things go well, you might as well enjoy them, because massive games like Manchester City are usually only a week or so away.

We’re playing in Rome on Thursday in a huge night out against… Benfica. Usually, we land a slightly easier tie in the last 32 of this competition, but to be honest, a night out in a nice stadium against a team with a name of prestige is good for the moment.

I genuinely think one of the first European games I ever remember Arsenal playing in was Benfica.

It felt sexy then and that sheen with Benfica has never worn off for me… even though they’re not the force they once were. The Portuguese side finished 2nd in their group to Rangers. They won 3 games and drew 3. Not exactly impressive when Poznan and Liege made up the other seats. They’re a long way off their best, sitting 4th in their league 13 points off the top of the table… which is pretty bad by their usually high standards.

The hope we all have going into the game is that some of the decisions made in the week will be remedied with the correct selections for that starting 11. This isn’t a small game. It’s a chance to win a place in the next season’s Champions League. I would like to see a good side rolled out.

That will hopefully mean minutes for Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe.

Where he makes up the starters elsewhere will have a slightly different spin on things. We shed a lot of players in January, at the same time, it’s also pretty clear that we’re trying to shove a few other names out this summer. Does he continue to give minutes to players he doesn’t want? Or does he opt for something new? Is there any point in Reiss starting?

Whatever he does, it’s important that we use Thursday nights to maintain momentum. A win doesn’t usually matter, but I do think a loss can sometimes rattle the vibes around a club.

I would quite like to see Odegaard continue to build his fitness. Pablo Mari and Cal Chambers should be finding some minutes. It might also be interesting to see Flo Balogun in the side. At the minute, it seems like Arteta is unwilling to invest minutes in someone that might leave, if he’s so confident he’ll sign, is it time to let him shine again?

I certainly don’t want to see Tierney and Saka starting…

Our two Premier League games that are wedged between these Europa games are quite mega.

Manchester City is this Sunday. They are back to peak Pep-ball and they’re the only truly scary team in the league.

Then we have Leicester the Sunday after. They could be in the title race. I’m not sure they are, but they’ve certainly been excellent this season and for me, it’s a real winnable day out if we turn up.

Going away to Italy and then following that up with Greece is really, really rough… but we’ll have to deal with it. All four of those games are important. Arteta and his staff are going to have to be very, very cute with how they organise squad rotation.

You’d ideally like to take that first half against Leeds into the 90 and come away with a big lead… but to achieve that level, you need to play too many senior players to give yourself a chance on Sunday against a City side that has a day more to prepare and a short bus ride to contend with.

Overall though, we have to head into this next batch of matches feeling pretty positive. That Leeds game wasn’t a fluke, it had been brewing, as I had written in the weeks preceding.

We’re starting to look like a clever side with exciting attacking instincts. There’s still lots to do, obviously, but the coaching is starting to kick in, and it’s hard to ignore that it’s quite innovative. Even when our xG was low against Villa, you could see that the passing patterns and positions were finding weren’t far off where we needed to be.

This squad is young. ESR, Saka and Odegaard are very, very junior. They will work out a rhythm over the next few weeks and the attacking football on show will speed up and the finishing will start to happen.

Of key importance to all of that is ensuring that we still defend well. Tony Adams advertised once again why he doesn’t have a big job in the game with this comment.

‘We saw how fragile they are defensively. The defence has always been the weak link. As the sporting director of Arsenal, you wouldn’t be getting Ødegaard in, you’d be getting good, strong defenders into the team instead.’

There are only three teams in the league that have conceded less than us this season. I think in all comps we’re joint tied with Chelsea for the best defence in the league. Conceding hasn’t been a problem, size of defender isn’t an issue, nor is ability. Tony Adams is falling back on 2018 complaints.

The big question is whether we can defend well when we’re opening up teams. The first half against Leeds seems to be how they want to go about it. Just nullify the opposition so they can’t attack in the first place. Manchester City has been doing that all season, I’d imagine that’s the path we’re going to take but on the cheap.

The Arsenal project is on the right path, what Arteta needs to do is navigate the next 6 weeks really well to stop the bi-weekly crisis sessions a particular section of the fanbase seems to revel in.

To keep the noise to a minimum, generally, you need to see good football, young players starting, combined with high energy output.

Let’s see what this week holds, could be exciting.

P.S. Le Grove fave Marco Rose landed a job at Dortmund next year. You see that? I’m getting better at this manager scouting malarkey.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Graham62


    I watched the second half,……….did you?

    I thought Liverpool looked sharp and hungry.

    Not many teams could do what Liverpool did tonight.

    Despite recent poor form, still a formidable side.

  2. Nelson


    I find Pools played better in the game against Leicester City. before they gave up those 3 goals. Today, I find both Firmino and Thiago Alcântara are quite slow. The team has more energy after they sub in Oxlade-Chamberlain and Shaqiri.

  3. Leedsgunner

    If it was up to me in the summer I would sell in the first tranche Elneny (£7m) Torreira (£20m) and Guendouzi (£25m+)

    I believe my valuations are realistic. If we did achieve it what one player would you buy and why?

  4. Dissenter

    Add Lacazette to that list
    We got him for some 46 million odd million, then proceeded to buy a more expensive striker 6 months later because he just isn’t that good.
    To think we pay 180k weekly wages for such a limited striker. Laca’s premier league stats for the past 3 season are in the same class as Chris Wood playing for a limited Burnley. Problem is Chris Wood coast Burley only 15 million and he takes home about 50k weekly.

    There’s talk of Odsonne Edouard could be bought for as little at 15 million this summer because he has one year left on his contract. I expect Arsenal; will dilly dally about keeping Lacazette and allow the likes of West ham to get a free run at Eduard.

  5. Leedsgunner


    In my second tranche I would sell Strikers.

    Lacazette for £20m (At. Madrid tempted?)
    Nketiah for £20m (West Ham?)(Newcastle?)

    I like Eduard at Celtic too. Good age and attitude… although I’m sure there are other good candidates out there.

  6. Emiratesstroller


    Are you seriously basing Saliba’s performance level on a 5 second clip, which does not show
    his defensive qualities under “pressure”?

    I have watched 2 games in which he played and whilst he has potential I am yet to be convinced that he is defensively strong enough to play in EPL.

    Arsenal do need a “top quality right centre back”. It remains to be seen whether he is a
    genuine upgrade to Holding in that position.

  7. Anonymous Commentator

    Word on the street is that we’ll be offering lacazette a new contract.
    Not really sure what signings we’ll be looking to make if that’s the case.
    How many vacant squad places will there be if these alleged contract renewals go through?
    We weren’t even able to register everyone this season.

  8. China1

    ET so two games is enough to judge someone definitively? If you’re going to criticize someone for basing their opinion off very little I wouldn’t be so quick to mention you’ve only watched him twice…

  9. China1

    Offering laca a new contract is pointless. He’s been on good form recently but he’s not the answer to any of our long term questions and he’s a depreciating asset. Apart from because Mikel likes to hoard, it’s hard to see why we need to keep him next season.

    Auba, martinelli + whoever as third choice (nketiah, balogun etc) will be fine. If we could get 20m for laca that would be put to much better use towards a partner for partey or towards buying a playing which far more upside like odegaard

  10. China1

    If we have auba and laca still in the team next year then it’s time for Mikel to admit he has no interest in developing martinelli

  11. Tony

    A brief look at the papers online this morning has offered little news of substance.

    Wenger offering Klopp advice is hilarious.

    Simple question from Klopp will put Wenger firmly in his place: “Arsene how many CL/EL cups have you won?

    ES was correct Mbappe was never going to come to Arsenal no matter what we offered his family. I felt is was just a glorified PR stunt at a time the fans were becoming angry at the club’s and Wenger’s poor dealings in the TWs (last minute trolly dashes) and a nice jolie in the South of France for Wenger and his side kick puppy dog: Gazidis.

    Pundits are raving over Ozil’s high work rate in his first match. Well in CC’s immortal words; colour me shocked that Ozil would work hard in a league more like MLS or lower level. Also, not hard to remember when Ozil player for his crippling financial contract only to revert to his lazy type once the contract was signed.

    Only difference now is that Ozil won’t want to upset his BFF Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or the Fenerbahçe fans. I worked in Greece for an ex Greek government minister in the 80s for a year in Athens. Greek (I witnessed first hand) or Turkish fans are as crazy as South American fans, if not crazier and more violent when they feel they’ve been let down. It will depend on Ozil’s mindset when other teams start aggressively pressing Ozil.

    Can’t see the Turkish fans being happy with Ozil hugging the touchlines to avoid the press and tackles in the near future.

    I’m sure Pierre will be happy with the news and be here later with his trolling and his , “I told you so” Ozil super fan swings that always missed before.

    Martin Ødegaard news says he’s told RM he wants to stay longer and possibly make the move permanent.

    Probably click, bait, but in hoping there’s no smoke without fire, I would love this story continues to have legs. Martin played at about 70% of his ability through lack of match fitness and still learning to adapt to the PL and Arteta’s team needs.

    When he’s back up to 100% fitness and starts really clicking with Saka/ESR/ Martinelli/ Auba/Laca/Balogun/Pepe , I feel he’s going to be a huge star for us and has, in my humble opinion, the skills and ability to be our new DB10.

    Whether Martin can hit those dizzy heights remains to be seen; however, in the right team with the right manager Martin Ødegaard is going to hit elite status in the next 2 years.

    We’re slowly building the right team, just have to see if Arteta is the right manager?

    Personally, I’d rather the manager were Rangnick and was happy to see the Spuds are looking to 2 managers’ to replace Jose where happily Rangnick wasn’t one. Just Julian Nagelsmann and Brendan Rogers names were reported to be in the frame.

    I’d rather Spuds stick with roller coaster Jose.

    Save and develop our youth by hiring Rangnick. Give Arteta the chance to be head coach under Rangnick to see if Rangnick can see the generational talents Pedro sees in Him.

    If Arteta fails to be of the potential, elite manager level, then Rangnick can step seamless;y into the head coach role while looking for a new generational coach Rangnick can bring out the best in as he has done before.

    Obviously, Edu will have to go and that will also push Arteta to be willing to learn from a guy with huge experience, which has always been our biggest Arteta complaint; lack of managerial experience.

    Rangnick will solve that problem and He has reportedly stated that he wants to come the the Premier League.

  12. China1

    Arteta is very proactive at cockblocking players who for whatever reason he has an issue with

    Last season fans were gaining over martinelli. 5 mins later he was made a squaddie until he had his long term injury for reasons unknown to anyone apart from Mikel

    Meanwhile at CF we have martinelli and ball fun both as high potential options who have played how many minutes there combined this season?

    On the wing, Saka, Auba, Pepe, Willian are all ahead of martinelli in the pecking order. If that bunch only Saka can dependably offer more off the wing. It’s unclear if ESR or Odegaard will also be preferred but very possible

    Up front either auba or laca play every match and those they don’t have Eddie. If we do sign laca on a new deal it means he is at best 3rd choice CF sitting behind two players whose combined salaries are half a million pounds per week. Mikel will not be giving laca a new contract to have him be low in the pecking order

    Do the math Pedro!

  13. China1

    Pedro because he’s changed his mind or doesn’t consider him a priority. It’s not that complicated. Look at what has been happening in front of us and ask yourself if laca gets a new deal then where does martinelli get his minutes on the regular which he will need to kick on

  14. China1

    Pedro you’re the one writing blog posts dedicated to how arteta insists on overlooking playing him in exchange for always falling back on Willian. Ask yourself how high a priority martinelli is to arteta when he has a full strength squad

  15. Nelson

    All I know is that there are different reasons to sign a player. Since Martinelli is still so young, sign him for 5 years will protect his value. Arteta could easily sell him after a year or two.

  16. Dissenter

    “I have watched 2 games in which he played and whilst he has potential I am yet to be convinced that he is defensively strong enough to play in EPL.

    I’m sure you would have said the same of Fofana
    What does that even mean?…”defensively strong enough”
    It’s not like we are anywhere near competing for a title.

  17. Dissenter

    If only Arteta gave Nelson or Gabi a fraction of the chances he keeps giving Willian.
    If Gabi has a poor game, he gets dropped for three games, that’s the same treatment Arteta gave Pepe at the start if the season. It’s hard to build a rhythmn.

    We need to start letting young players go out on loan more often. No one has going to get better sitting out on the bench.

  18. Nelson

    As for Saliba, he has been making all those noises. I think he wouldn’t like to play for us. I would sell him to one of the club in France. I prefer to have a peaceful dressing room where every player dedicates to the cause.The club should not wait time to deal with an unhappy player.

  19. Leedsgunner

    It’s very very early days yet but if he continues to do well I would like us to try to land Odegaard either on another loan or permanently. Possible if Zidane leaves…

    There’s another Norwegian we should try to sign… what about Sander Berge over at Sheffield United? They’ll be willing to do deals on their big earners… and they are expecting him to leave.

    We should be right on this.

  20. Tony

    I’d prefer to have a manager who can deal with and get the best out of our young, precocious talent.

    Right now Arteta isn’t proving to be that type of manager as in the case of Saliba, Martinelli, Balogun, Guen, Reis and the players waiting to show what they can do, such as Azeez.

    Only Sake (given start by Emery) and ESR who Arteta was forced into picking through injury and suspensions.

    Looks like we have a good selection of youth that could save us the money we need to be smart with.

    After 9 years managing musicians on the road and off I can attest it’s a steep learning curve understand and motivating creative people ad most or the best footballers are creative types where the younger ones need more specialized understand when they feel their talent/skill are being unappreciated.

    It’s difficult and often mind numbing but that’s what great managers get the big bucks for.

    As I said earlier we need Rangnick.

  21. Tony

    Really funny and promoting my happiness is seeing the Jose and Bale shenanigans.

    They truly deserve each other and the damage they do to the Spud’s squad!

    More turmoil down at the Spuds before we play them will do us nicely.

  22. Mark

    Emirates St

    “MarkAre you seriously basing Saliba’s performance level on a 5 second clip, which does not show
    his defensive qualities under “pressure”?I have watched 2 games in which he played and whilst he has potential I am yet to be convinced ”

    Are you for Real?? No, I’m not basing his performance level on that.5 second vid, I didn’t produce the article. I’m sure the guy who did added some stats or as well I’m not gonna check tho.
    That vid just adds fuel to the fire! You acting like Holding is gonna be doing that against PSG. Yeah Right. You know and I know it’s a sideways/backwards safe psss he’s playing.

    Saliba’s played 7 games for Nice, average game rating of around 7 or something like that. Voted player of the month by the Nice fans, whilst earning rave reviews from’Actual’ French football critics..

    But hey if you’ve seen him twice and he hasn’t impressed You, well I guess.that settles it. Let’s sell him.

    FFS !!!

    Here’s a guy trying to berate me for using a 5 second clip. As if this is the 1st and only good thing we’ve been hearing about Saliba!!!

    Then adds ‘ And I’ve watched him twice and I don’t rate him…..” I mean you are just a faceless punter on s football blog, your opinion isn’t worth any more than anyone elses. Tbh with statements like you made above, your opinion ain’t worth Sh#t..

    Listening to some of you guys gives me real ‘Cult of Arteta’ vibes. Where you dem to be falling over yourselves to rationalize and justify everything he does. Like you like him so much you are incapable of viewing anything he does objectively.

    It was the same kinda vibe with Wenger. Is this just an Arsenal fan thing? I just don’t get the delusion , not with Wenger not now, not ever.

    PS. Holding is overated , not confident enough at present to bring the ball out most times. He’s improved, but squad player for me. We can and should do better. Always rated Mavro, Saliba, Gabriel (Neva doubted him) Mari, Tierney .

    Not good enough:
    Bellerin , Cedric prefer him to Bellerin he can put himself about, got a bit of the Cunt in him. More versed in the dark arts. Still only a backup for me Chambers (nice boy, sell.) Luiz !

    All just my opinion of course, you may agree or disagree as you want.

  23. Winthorpe

    Wenger offering Klopp advice is hilarious.

    Why? After Ferguson he’s the most legendary manager of the premier league era. The man who transformed the English game. Why wouldn’t he give a younger counterpart some words of wisdom?

  24. Winthorpe

    Listening to some of you guys gives me real ‘Cult of Arteta’ vibes. Where you dem to be falling over yourselves to rationalize and justify everything he does. Like you like him so much you are incapable of viewing anything he does objectively. It was the same kinda vibe with Wenger. Is this just an Arsenal fan thing? I just don’t get the delusion , not with Wenger not now, not ever.PS. Holding is overated , not confident enough at present to bring the ball out most times. He’s improved, but squad player for me. We can and should do better. Always rated Mavro, Saliba, Gabriel (Neva doubted him) Mari, Tierney .

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  25. Tony

    We’ll never agree here – we just differ in opinions.

    For his first 10 years Wenger was the legend you rightly say and brought to Arsenal what Europe was already incorporating into their diet and body maintenance systems. Wenger did not invent ir, he copied the best using such modern ways.

    England were far behind the top European teams.

    After 10 years Wenger had nothing new to offer and the PL teams had caught up.

    I’d hardly call Klopp a younger counterpart who has already won more prestigious trophies, such as below from Wiki:

    “Since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015, Klopp has won the Champions League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup, as well as reaching the finals of another Champions League and the Europa League and League Cup”

    That’s not listing his other trophies from Germany etc.

    When you take that in I’d say Klopp needs no advice from a has been manager.

    If only Wenger hadn’t ruined his legacy from 2008 to 2019. I genuinely mean that.

    He and the club would be so much better off back then and now.

  26. Tony

    Although Wenger would be about £100 million (got from us) worse off less what he would have got from RM or Barca.

    I very much doubt Wenger would have lasted more than 3 seasons max at either club and then he would have been fin wished at the top level.

    That is why he never took any of the elite club offers at that time if they were in fact real offers at the time.

  27. Tony

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about”

    Seems to be the other way round if you ask me. Similar to your Wenger statement above.

    Did you get out of the wrong side of the be this morning? The mrs spurn your morning erection needs?

    Clearly your brain hasn’t woken up yet..

  28. Winthorpe


    It’s 5 in the morning you old boot. My mrs wouldn’t wake up for Chris Hemsworth at this hour

    Onto football. There are only 2 managers in my lifetime who have cultivated teams that play the most attractive, intricate, one tough football. Who express themselves at peak levels of beauty, grace and control. Who scored the sorts of goals that are played on phones for years while all others are forgotten. That’s Pep’s Barca and Wengers arsenal. You claim he’s no pioneer. He was doing tika taka before pep had his first senior job at Barca. Weneger didn’t just bring a European diet with him Tony, he brought with him his eastern philosophical approach as well as his European principles which made him unique.
    He took the rejects of Europe and turned them into global stars. Invincibles and World Cup winners.
    You think everyone in the European game could do what Wenger did? Then why didn’t they? Shortly after the rest of the league saw the success we had with Wenger, they all went out to fund the next version. Only there wasn’t one. Spurs, chelsea, Fulham, Newcastle. Only Liverpool got close with Houllier.

  29. Tony

    Thanks Socrates

    Don’t know enough of Sadar to give an opinion, but I agree with your earlier post re playing Willian in place of Gabs or Reis.

    “If only Arteta gave Nelson or Gabi a fraction of the chances he keeps giving Willian.”

  30. Winthorpe


    Klopp has one 1 title, 1 champions league. That’s it. You’re citing finals, Wenger has reached both finals and only poor finishing from his star striker cost him both days.

    Every season a new team win the champions league. There will only ever be one Invincibles. Not klopp, fergie, Pep nor Jose could do it. Not with all the money in the world. Wenger did it on a relative shoestring while his rivals were blowing fortunes

  31. Tony

    As I said we’ll never agree.

    I CL trophy is better than the invincibles in my book- brilliant achievement, but not one that wins a trophy.

    I’ve also always said that I prefer GG’s record in the time he did it compared to Wenger.

    Again Wenger won a Euro trophy – Wenger never did this with any club.

    Sorry mate we are worlds apart on this one, so best to keep to our own lanes with it.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    If you read carefully what I posted I did not write off Saliba, but expressed the view that he was not yet ready to start in EPL. There are questions about this player’s performance level in the air.

    We have spent a lot of money on Saliba based on his potential so let’s hope that he does make the grade.

    Personally I don’t think that Holding is anything more than a good squad player and so we
    do need an upgrade to start in right centre back position in team.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    In the modern game a club needs a large squad of players to fulfil its obligations.

    You need to factor in form, injuries as well as rotation.

    Clearly Arsenal like most other clubs in EPL needs to have about 18-20 players who will get
    a significant amount of game time.

    However, when you have a large squad of players as we did have at start of this season there
    are going to be fringe players who are going to be disappointed.

    Arsenal wanted to shift out of club Ozil and Sokratis, but without success and ultimately they decided not to register them. This focussed their minds on whether to stay at club for
    the money or leave and play football. Fortunately both players chose the latter option.

    My guess is that Willian may be the next player on our books who will be de-registered unless he starts showing improvement in his performance by end of this season.

    There is then a second category of players who come through the Academy or are relatively
    low budget. These players may make the First Team Squad, but are in reality average. We
    have got quite a few such players on the books who fall into that category.

    Saka and Smith-Rowe have come up from the Academy and will make the grade. There are
    others on our books like Maitland-Niles, Willock, Nketiah and Nelson who are unlikely to do so and will be shifted out.

    In the speculation category we have got Martinelli, Guendouzi and Runarsson who were recruited at relatively low cost. I hope that Martinelli will make the grade. I doubt that is the
    case with Guendouzi and Runarsson.

    Recruitment is not an exact science. Clubs are always going to make mistakes. The art is not
    to make too many.

  34. Tony

    Not saying you are completely off on your assessment of Saliba not yet fit for the PL.

    However, Saliba could have been very close to being ready for the PL and 100% ready for the cups including the EL cup had Arteta decided that Saliba had the wrong attitude.

    If we had chosen say Rafa instead of Arteta or Carlo they would have handled things much differently according to their experienced gained during their career.

    I would have been happy with Rogers as our manager at the time and he’s proving his worth now. When he can sustain that is another matter. Again, I would think Rogers would have made something of the 30 million Saliba in the UK. only have to look at Forfana to see that.

    You’re right Holding is a very good squad player with a good temperament and ability. I’d hate to see him sold.

    I’ll also be unhappy if we sell Saliba because Arteta doesn’t have the man management skills to handle the player.

  35. China1

    Yeah ES you mocked someone for sharing a short clip of saliba doing well, scoffed at how they are basing their judgments of him on such a tiny clip then said you’ve only watched him twice (ages ago when he had no run of games or confidence and was coming back from personal tragedy and settling into arsenal) and he didn’t look ready. So that’s enough to make your opinion look qualified? Absolute nonsense

    If you are going to judge saliba as not ready it should be based on what he does with a fair number of chances, not a quick hoohah and act as if you’re opinion counts for much on that

    This may come as a surprise to you but players form can fluctuate dramatically and especially for young players short of playing time, confidence, support of the manager and going through personal tragedy, it’s fairly safe to say jumping to any early conclusions about what Saliba can (or can’t) do based off 2 matches is patently silly

  36. China1

    Pedro Martinelli got his games when Auba, Willian and Pepe were out with suspensions, illness and the like

    They’re all back now and he’s out

  37. Saladin

    I hope the manager stops fucking over Martinelli. Would rather lose Arteta in a heartbeat right now than Martinelli in the future. Same for Saliba to be honest.

  38. Thorough

    When you actually hear someone say ‘Saliba isn’t ready to start in the EPL’ what the f does it mean? Because Arteta said so? A rookie manager that firmly entrenched a top 6 epl team in 10th?

    I’ll rather say ‘Arteta isn’t ready for the EPL yet’… And that can be substantiated.

  39. Winthorpe

    I’ll rather say ‘Arteta isn’t ready for the EPL yet’… And that can be substantiated.

    I’d tend to agree that neither (Saliba and Martinelli) should be first team options right now ahead of their rivals. I think Arteta is right and he has better options available. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be getting mins in cup competitions and off the bench. There is no situation where Willian should be getting minutes ahead of martinelli for me. That’s where the fault lies with arteta. Pedro himself has called out his vindictiveness towards the younger players.

  40. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    Sorry you are wrong.

    No-one is suggesting that Saliba is not a good technical footballer, but the 5 second clip posted does not demonstrate that he is a good defender.

    We have paid £28 million for a “Centre Back”. There are plenty of “pretty” footballers in the French League. That does not make them good defenders able to cope with the rigours of

  41. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    I agree that I have watched Saliba play in 2 games, but I have relied also on the observations
    of a sports journalist who watches regularly our U23 and Academy Teams and was present at 2 games earlier in season when Saliba was poor and his persona on pitch stank.

    If you have got 8 centre backs on your books and need realistically 5 how should a manager

  42. Socrates

    “Pedro himself has called out his vindictiveness towards the younger players.”

    I don’t know what they call it, but Pedro comes across as the guy that gives with one hand and takes with the other.

    And I with Thorough’, would rather lose Arteta than any of Saliba, Martinelli, balogun or even guen for that matter.

  43. BlackStock

    “For his first 10 years Wenger was the legend you rightly say and brought to Arsenal what Europe was already incorporating into their diet and body maintenance systems. Wenger did not invent ir, he copied the best using such modern ways.”

    So we hired a Chef …makes sense

  44. Emiratesstroller

    There are those who keep on posting on here who criticise Arteta for his poor man management and handling of young players.

    Is that really the case and for that matter is he really handling our young players that differently from others?

    Saka and Smith-Rowe are playing regularly in first team on “merit”. Most of the others are
    not doing so, because bluntly they are either average or not playing particularly well.

    Martinelli came back from a long term injury and it was fairly obvious that he was not 100%
    match fit when he played.

    The two major decisions made by Arteta which many including myself consider were wrong are the sale of Martinez and the recruitment of Willian.

    Apart from these two can we say honestly that he has made the wrong decisions about
    recruitment, departure and team selections?

  45. underrated Coq


    If Arteta has gotten all those correctly, what could be the reason behind Arsenal spending most of the season in the bottom half of the table?

  46. Winthorpe

    BlackStockFebruary 17, 2021 08:18:33
    “For his first 10 years Wenger was the legend you rightly say and brought to Arsenal what Europe was already incorporating into their diet and body maintenance systems. Wenger did not invent ir, he copied the best using such modern ways.”So we hired a Chef …makes sense

    Block stock
    Do me a favour. The man was a pioneer. Anyone who denies it has an axe to grind

  47. Winthorpe

    This anti wenger shit all stems from expecting him to fail when he was first appointed and having to wait for over a decade before anyone would take you seriously. That and now you have the Johnny come lately, know nothings who didn’t know what arsenal fc was before 2010

  48. Pierre

    Congratulations Tony , you have your Le Grove arse licking off to a fine art.

    Loves to jump on a le grove bandwagon does Tony, always goes with the majority view and never the minority..

    He has excelled himself this morning.

    Starts off with 2 dead certs …a couple of digs at Wenger Ozil….will never fail to get support from the majority..

    Next , it’s onto the legrove flavour of the day, Odegaard, apparently he is the next Bergkamp àccording to Tony…i have news for you Tony …he’s not.

    Next is the jumping on the bandwagon and Arteta’s failure with our young guns, and of course the mis use of Martinelli

    Followed by a dig at Jose and Bale…..

    To round it off , of course a mention of Saliba will always get the Le grove faithful on your side…

    Tony did finish with these 2 classics

    “I CL trophy is better than the invincibles in my book- brilliant achievement, but not one that wins a trophy.”

    “I’ve also always said that I prefer GG’s record in the time he did it compared to Wenger.”

    Classic Le Grove arse licking from Tony , not one original thought , not one comment that would go against the grain..

    Oh and a little dig at me , as per usual, that is sure to impress Le groaners.

  49. Winthorpe

    OlisFebruary 17, 2021 09:15:55
    Tiny is full of shit and far too much to digest this early.We did get a trophy for the invincibles achievement

    There’s only one gold trophy

  50. Graham62


    Yes, Wenger deserves the plaudits for what he brought to the game. From 1996-2008 I had nothing but respect for the guy .

    After 2008 things started to go downhill. Excuses can be made( overused imo) but at the end of the day he failed to act on the obvious and became obsessed with his own self-importance.

  51. Uwot?

    @ Chris,herbs army,Afc forever.Have pointed at this performance of Riley’s at old toilet that day as bordering on downright criminal.Corrupt.The most blatant one eyed ,biased refereeing I’ve witnessed in the prem.A disgrace.Here was a ref appointed for this match with the sole aim of making sure Manure win.whatever the cost.Prior to this as far as I can recall he( Riley) had reffed manure & his last eight matches & awarded 7 penalties ! I knew we were not going to get a result there from the minute of his appt.An absolute disgrace to his profession.

  52. Nelson

    “Shkodran Mustafi wins Bundesliga player of the week”

    I have a feeling: if Xhaka went back to the Bundesliga, he could also win player of the week.

  53. Thorough

    Thorough, ES watched all of two matches ages ago. Conclusive enough wouldn’t you say???

    That’s how you know people who can’t think for themselves. They just wait for what Tets say and run with it. That’s how one olodo kept saying Saliba is shit because he watched his first game back in the French league and he was gash. Only for me to read later he had the highest rating in that game then ended up being the clubs player of the month.

    From the little I’ve watched of him I can even say he’s a modern day ball playing center back that’ll delight coaches with sauce like Pep, not some generational mistakes.

  54. Thorough

    I believe Leicester didn’t buy Fofana to become a starter so early, but an injury here and there, he got lucky, and the coach gave him a chance.

    But to tell a kid whom hadn’t kicked a ball in anger for 6 months that he wasn’t good enough borders on being moronic. Arteta is sick. He’s a fucking generational fraud.
    We’re 10th but we’re too good for Guendozi, Saliba, Martinelli and Balogun, but can accommodate Runnarson, a distinctively average Bellerin, an utter gash Williams, Kolasinac and Mustafi even made our team ahead of Saliba.
    Tets is absolutely mindless.

    And nobody says play them 90 minutes every 3 days. Go the Wenger route. I remember vividly how he bedded Van Persie in. Hell allow Henry and the other big boys do the hard work and by 70 minutes when we’re 3 goals or more up and there’s absolutely no pressure he introduces Persie and other youngish players.

    It grates me when we’re playing some plumbers in Europa, be 3 goals up and Arteta is bringing in supposed first teamers like Ceballos and Auba/Lacazette.

    The man is mad I tell you. He’ll only make it when we shell out big time and have enough big players to paper over the cracks.

  55. SpanishDave

    Spot on that’s stirred the nest.
    Arteta is just using us to experiment then he will rush back to Man City .
    Look at what’s happening at Chelsea with a manager of experience with the same players.

  56. Winthorpe


    He’s trying to create a conducive environment at the club though isn’t he and if characters like Guendouzi, who’s abusive to staff around the club, prevent that then I’m happy he’s going.
    I do agree though that he’s got a two tier system from which people like Luiz and Willian are benefitting hugely. I also agree that he could have handled Guendouzi Saliba AMN and above all Pepe a lot better. He’s publicly destroying their value to the club and any potential buyers. I just don’t understand why he’s so abrasive. Especially with Pepe. All that talent. He’s got to learn to harness different personality types. We do t have the money to throw away on failed expensive imports

    That said the team is starting to look very good at the business end of the pitch as well as solid defensively and I think next season we will really see Arteta ball come to life
    If he doesn’t make top four next season then I’m happy to cut ties but it’s a little premature to throw the baby out when there are so many positives coming from the team right now

  57. Chris


    Yep nobody will ever be able to convince me that result wasn’t predetermined in a way, Riley told to not let those flamboyant foreigners win another title, I mean you just watch those ‘tackles’ again from Neville, Rooneyband van Nistelrooy, absolutely disgusting with no intent to play the ball. Ferdinand having the gall to tell Freddie to get up after wiping him out when clean through. Then Cole booked for his first foul. And then of course, Rooney taking a dive. Riley couldn’t wait to blow the whistle.

    I have calmed down over the years due to getting on a bit but watching that again reminded me of how in my youth I despised everything about United. I HATED them.

  58. China1

    Es ‘if you have 8 CBs and need 5 how are you supposed to react?’

    Get rid of the 3 who have the least value and upside to the team and keep the rest. We had mustafi in the squad but no saliba. That cannot be acceptable. Or if getting him prepared for the PL is a priority then proactively send him out to an English team in the summer. Instead we fucked up his loan move back to France then let him come back to France 6 months later. If France isn’t a suitable playground for him to prepare for the PL then why did we send him back to France?

    Or if sending him back to France is in fact a legit move then how about we acknowledge that he’s looking the part out there (again)?

  59. China1

    Also ES in the EL group stages we were playing games against teams comprised of Sunday league part time players who farmers and miners for their day jobs

    But it’s was more important to have our old heads playing than let saliba get some minutes under his belt and sharpness back?

    He may or may not go on to be a quality player, but what is true is that arteta has managed him awfully

  60. China1

    Yeah Chris 100%

    I actually forgot how angry Utd used to make me feel til I saw that. 30 seconds in and the only emotion is absolute hatred. Fucking cunts

  61. shaun

    That is the worry a lot of fans have with Arteta and his non-negotiable bull shit he appears to be devoid of the cuteness and intelligence required to solve perceived problem player performance which ultimately leads to deprecation of the player as an asset and it is something he has to learn quickly , there are signs he is learning but then a couple of wins and he reverts to type. A fully focussed AMN, Guen and Saliba should be able to help the current Arsenal team and as Arteta himself says it is his job to get the best out of them, it’s just that he seems to have a pretty warped idea about how to help these players. At one stage it looked like he had lost the dressing room completely and seemed to me like he had to humble himself to get them back on board . it seems to be a slippery slope with him and his ego

  62. Pierre

    “But to tell a kid whom hadn’t kicked a ball in anger for 6 months that he wasn’t good enough borders on being moronic. Arteta is sick. He’s a fucking generational fraud.
    We’re 10th but we’re too good for Guendozi, Saliba, Martinelli and Balogun, but can accommodate Runnarson, a distinctively average Bellerin, an utter gash Williams, Kolasinac and Mustafi even made our team ahead of Saliba.
    Tets is absolutely mindless.”

    These are valid points you are making and is part of the reason I’m not totally sold on Arteta.

    I’m on the fence him , i like the fact that he has improved our defence and organisation.

    Offensively he looked like he didn’t have a clue up until the new year, the creativity problems started with the change from a 4-2-3-1 to wing backs and improved again with the return of a quality CAM against Chelsea.

    Part of the reason he hasn’t totally lost my support is what i highlighted yesterday, in that some of our new signings haven’t been able to get game time due to injury.
    Partey, Tierney and Mari..

    With a full strenght squad and a couple of additions in the summer, then will be the time to judge Arteta..

    It’s all about learning from his mistakes of the last 12 months, better man management, better decision making , better squad building.

    He needs to get it right for the start of next season or the writing will be on the wall…

  63. China1

    Graham I used to hate Utd much more because they were our real rivals. Spurs were just a small team from down the road and an irrelevance to our league placings.

    Then Utd and arsenal became shit and stopped caring about each other and by virtue of us being shit spurs are now in our ballpark so the rivalry is much stronger for me

  64. Thorough

    I don’t want us to go the way of Manu. They kept buying their way out of trouble, hit gold in form of Fernandez and now they think Ole is the fish’s tit. I actually think he’s an average manager and they can do better. He’ll always let them down when it matters most.

    I believe coaches should have the total package or something close upon arrival but Arteta falls short on so many levels.
    Man management – bad.
    Ingame subs – pathetic.
    Judgment of talent – questionable.

    For someone that’s been a captain and assistant coach for years I doubt if his man management will improve. If his in game changes haven’t improved in a year I doubt if they will too
    We are just living in hope that he’s as good as some analysts think he is and that’s not a strategy. If we keep buying players of the caliber of Partey, coupled with our set of amazing youths coming through colney, we’ll become stable and progressive eventually and he’ll look good. However, what Arsenal really need is a coach that punches above his weight a la Mourinho at Porto.

  65. Pedro

    Alex, the corruption, skirting the rules, the use of debt to gain an unfair advantage, the bailouts, played tapping etc