by .

Nothing drives home how average football is without fans quite like the Champions League stadiums being empty. It’s so sad. The pinnacle of European football should have a backdrop of electrified lunatics.

Still, can’t say I didn’t enjoy watching Barcelona getting absolutely crushed by PSG. What a joke of a club they’ve become. All the chickens are coming home to roost at one of the most odious operations in European football. Messi is declining fast, their debt is racking up, and they thought they’d refresh the coaching vision with Ronald Koeman. They truly are getting what they deserve at the moment.

The real feast will be on Thursday night though, you all know that, it’s where the proper ball is played my friends.

There’s an interesting piece on SkySports about fan abuse. The story says that a data science company has been tracking abuse of players like Xhaka and Bellerin. The Swiss international was targetted with racist abuse online by self-identified season ticket holders. Apparently, their tool is able to match online profiles to actual season tickets. Creepy… but, not as creepy as racially abusing Arsenal players with a hidden identity.

I really, really, hope Arsenal find them and take their season tickets. I hope the fans in question complain online so we all see who they are. You just know it’ll be the sanctimonious types that’ll look for support off the back of a woke agenda.

It’s about time there were some real-world consequences for people that take grim digital actions that have real-world consequences for the people they are abusing.

Hopefully, Twitter will move to a subscription model in the near future which will bin a huge tranche of scumbags. No one is signing up for a fake account to pay $5 a month. I’m not sure what Mark Zuckerberg is going to do, the guy let’s genocide, covid conspiracies and Q pass through his platform, not sure he’s too fussed about rich footballers and a bit of racism, but we’ll see. It feels like there’s a reckoning coming across the board and it is long, long overdue.

Some good news from Mark Irwin, he reckons the cost-cutting will pick up pace again in the summer. LT and Guendouzi will be moved on, and likely, David Luiz. When a paper as unreliable as the Independent has a story, always remember, it might be an agent planting the story for nefarious reasons.

The same writer also claims we’ll do a deal for Ceballos this summer, a move I’m not sure about. £25m is a lot for a player who can barely string three good games together. He’s young, sure, but I’d like to see a bit more from him before we start splashing money on someone that looks unsuited to the league at the moment.

There’s a story doing the rounds about Auba having a tattoo in breach of covid rules. I couldn’t be less interested if I’m honest. Players are having haircuts every other day, I’m sure it’s absolutely fine.

KT is back in training. There’s a video of him doing great things. I’d love him to play on Thursday, but I’d prefer we do all we can to have him fresh for the Prem games. We have quite a few young players on big minutes, it might be wise to keep them in good shape, but we’ll see.

I kid you not, I cut myself again with a knife so have to stop this short. My gf literally buying me knife gloves because of the frequency of injuries. What. A. Doughnut. Special gloves? That’s like being given armbands at 30.

See you tomorrow my darlings x

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. MilanøGunner

    Snowflake Pete

    Was wonderful to see Barca being thrashed. Those scumbags deserve these kind of beatings in the very competition they have the most dubious wins in

  2. andy1886

    Pedro, nice to see that not everyone is a member of the Barca fan club. Can’t stand PSG but compared to cheating, diving, referee darlings Barca over the years they’re a minor irritant. Some payback for the diabolical performance of the officials in that ‘comeback’ CL game against PSG a few years back.

    Ceballos? I doubt it. Doesn’t fill any desperate need and with limited funds wasting it on secondary priorities or extending the likes of Luiz would be stupid. Martin O could get another 12 month loan but again I can’t see us buying him at this point. Integrating young players also has to be another priority in the run in this season.

  3. Kroenkephobe

    Doh! When you’re chopping stuff, make sure you don’t show the fleshy bits of your digits to any blades. Hold whatever you’re chopping with fingers pointing front and vertically downwards so the worst will only result in the knife running parallel with your finger nails. And slow the fuck down and concentrate! There’s enough twatty TV chefs to show you the way, but maybe avoid the late perma-pissed Keith Floyd.

    From chopping cebollas to Dani Ceballos (!) he’s worth keeping if those greedy football people on our side and theirs can agree a fee in the region of 15 mill. He did well against Leeds when few expected him to. I’d like the guy if it wasn’t for his nasty politics.

  4. Kroenkephobe

    Google it hitman. DC said Catalans and Basques should leave Spain and that their protests would never have happened in Franco’s time. Pretty chilling if you know what happened there in the 30s.

    That’s in sharp contrast to the lighthearted football related criticism on here about Barca the football team.

    I sense you don’t like the SNP. Why? They’re simply looking to deliver what Scots want, ie an historical correction that frees the country from Tory bullshit. I live in Wales and it’s equally pleasing to see interest in independence rising here.

    It’s mostly Daily Mail readers that fear the SNP because the editors tell them to.

  5. Emiratesstroller

    I think that there are more than nine players currently on our books who will be available in
    the summer transfer market.

    1. Runarsson will probably be loaned out if not sold and replaced by one of our academy goalkeepers.
    2. Kolasinac will be sold or released from contract.
    3. Chambers will leave. There is no role for him at club.
    4. Elneny could be replaced by Azeez who is rated highly in Academy.
    5. Ceballos contract ends in summer. I am not sure that Arsenal will wish to renew it.
    6. Torreira will be sold
    7. Guendouzi will be sold as he is in final year of contract next season.
    8. Maitland-Niles has no future at club.
    9. Willock may be loaned out or sold.
    10. The same applies to Nelson.
    11. Nketiah is not good enough and I would not be surprised is replaced by Balogun.
    12. Lacazette needs to be replaced.
    13. I think that Arsenal will decide to shift Willian out of club.

    It would not surprise me that Arsenal will reach an agreement with Balogun and then sell
    Nketiah. Both have the same agent.

  6. Crabregas


    I would be happy if every one of your points comes to fruition.

    I would suspect most of the arsenal fan base would be inclined to agree, so hopefully the powers that be also think the same and act accordingly.

  7. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal will have a limited transfer budget next summer even if we conclude some decent

    last Summer Arsenal attempted to buy two midfield players. These were Partey and Aouar.
    The fact that we failed to buy Aouar was a consequence of our failure to sell Guendouzi and
    Torreira or conclude a swap deal.

    I think that Arsenal will want still to buy an additional central midfielder this summer. However, I doubt that it will be Ceballos. First Ceballos will cost at least £20-25 million.
    He will not come cheap and second I don’t believe that Arsenal will be willing to spend
    that level of transfer fee on a player who is currently no better than a squad player.

    If Arsenal are spending serious money on a midfield player it will be either an upgrade on what we have got or has huge potential. Ceballos does not fit into either category.

  8. 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.

  9. Bergkamp63


    I’m with you on that entire list.

    Huge amount of work to be done which is why I have maintained it will take until Aug 22 to sort out most of the mess.

    Ceballos, not for me, surprised if we renew his loan let alone buy him.

  10. AFC Forever


    Yes Arteta and Edu will have a list of targets they believe will improve the team and suit the style and interchange play that we have seen start to develop. The key here is to offload those that aren’t part of the plan, some of which went last transfer window and of course, Partey has joined the, um, Party, sorry couldn’t resist! Player sales will impact the quality/number we can bring in. Of course, a number of things will affect our attractiveness but we are still a huge draw because we are such a respected club. The pandemic will have an effect on the movement of players and their value, so another thing to factor in is where we are with this bloody pandemic. Lot’s of clubs are in a bad place financially, so we could see some offloading going on to trim the wage bill. We may see loan deals becoming the norm.

    It seems fairly obvious the way Aretta is going, he is a disciple of the attacking philosophy of both Wenger and Pep and their preference of filling a team with technical ballers, comfortable with the ball who can move it quickly. Something the English forgot all about when we couldn’t win a raffle after 1966. So I expect him to look for that type of player and a speedy left-back to cover Tierney who seems to get more injuries than we would like.

  11. AFC Forever

    Pedro, agree 100% on subscription-based service. There are so many issues with the anonymity on these platforms because unfortunately, we have some pretty sad individuals in society. There is also the child protection issue too; I have no idea how people with young kids can be comfortable knowing their young ones are on social media being subjected to the abuse, language and potential grooming that goes on.

  12. andy1886

    “Something the English forgot all about when we couldn’t win a raffle after 1966”

    LOL, Maybe you were too young to notice that after the ’66 WC win English teams won a total of eight out of a possible nineteen European Cups before being banned following Heysel (plus Celtic if you include Scotland). That includes six in a row from ’77 to ’82 (Liverpool ‘77,78 &’81, Forest in ’79&’80, and Villa in ’82).

    Better than any raffle I’ve come across.

  13. AFC Forever

    I would not sell Aubamayang he is top, top quality. You need players who can score individual as well as team goals, which he can do. he has had his bump in the road, no doubt linked to his personal issues. Imagine if we could get Pepe to do the same coming in from the right-hand side.

  14. AFC Forever


    I was talking about us at International level. England have been an abject embarrassment in tournaments apart from the home one with Gazza a toe away from probably winning that. Take your point, Liverpool and Forest certainly lead the way.

    I’m probably older than you mate, I remember the first Arsenal double side!

  15. Winthorpe


    He pads his stats against the smaller teams when the pressure is off. He goes missing when we really need him. Let’s see. I could be wrong. But I’ll bet he will disappear when the going gets tough. Out £300k pw £55m striker needs to be winning games like the upcoming Benfica city and Leicester games. If he does come to life playing off our rejuvenated supporting cast then I’ll hold my hands up and admit I was wrong. I’ll bet he won’t though. He will likely do what he usually does and slip into anonymity while the young lads worm their nuts off trying to create something.

  16. AFC Forever


    I can’t agree with you mate because his record speaks for itself:

    Aubamayang since 2013 reads:

    Dortmund: 144 games / 98 goals
    Arsenal: 105 games / 62 goals

    Providing he maintains that level then he’s worth every penny. If he drops off, then that’s a different story.

  17. Vintage Gun

    £20m is a fair price for Dani Onions given his age and profile, but if money’s tight this summer i’d personally buy Sander Berg or for £5m extra Bissouma.

    Saying that, if we manage to get close to £50m For Torrieia and Guendouzi i’d get two out of the afomentioned three

  18. Tom

    “……then I’ll hold my hands up and admit I was wrong.”

    Has that ever happened before, Luis Winthorpe lll , Un, Don?
    I mean holding your hand up and admitting you were wrong that is?

    Do you still believe Arsenal have a top four squad and achieving anything less than that would be a massive failure on Arteta’s part in his first full season?

  19. andy1886

    AFCF as you were talking about Pep and Arsene’s teams which are obviously club sides I seemed that you were referring to that. Incidentally I made my first trip to Highbury in the winter of 1970 so following our first double I had plenty of experience at club level of poor football first hand.

  20. andy1886

    Winthorpe, three points is three points regardless of the opposition. It’s hardly as if Auba scores meaningless goals when we’re already well ahead, he scores goals that win games.

  21. Winthorpe


    If you’ve got a good supporting cast of Saka Pepe Odegaard ESR Tierney and Partey then we have enough ball players, potentially, to mitigate his awful habit of ruining our attacks before they reach the opposition’s penalty box. However so far that’s exactly what he’s done. Yes he’s got his goal but at the expense of our all round attacking play. He stunts us
    Sunday was the first time I’ve seen him offer an exceptional performance as striker so maybe that’s what he needed all along. I hope so.

  22. Tom

    As a matter of fact I am , It’s my favorite past time.
    I’m shocked Pedro hasn’t banned me yet considering how many I have sent his way.

    Now your turn.

  23. Matt


    Has your girlfriend resorted to putting corks on your forks, ala Ruprecht from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels yet??

    £25m for Dani, an absolute no from me. He is another who just doesn’t influence a game consistently enough.

  24. bacaryisgod

    Genius move from Pedro foreshadowing a Le-Grove migration to a subscription model. The answer is yes-I would pay but maybe $29.99 a year. That’s what the Washington Post annual subscription costs and they have more overhead than you.

  25. AFC Forever

    “Incidentally I made my first trip to Highbury in the winter of 1970 so following our first double I had plenty of experience at club level of poor football first hand”.

    We are probably a similar age. I used to walk to home games through Highbury Fields, with the rain falling off the tress as I carried my flask of hot Bovril or Coffee my dad had made. It was definitely colder back then on those freezing cold, concrete terraces and ice-cold metal safety bars. As you say football at times was absolutely dire, dreadful I was reading an article on football development and they claim that it was pitch technology that bought the game on quicker than anything else. When you consider some of the bobbly or boggy pitches games used to be played on (remember the Baseball Ground – Derby) you realise it really was chalk and cheese. I’m still playing, on and off, and I love the 3G & 4G pitches – wish we had them when I was in my twenties!

  26. Tom

    All right, since Pedro has mentioned the topic in his post allow me to clarify my position on on line abuse, or any other kind really, since many apparently have taken my off color remarks on death threats as an admission of such behavior.

    I have never threatened anyone on line or in real life, which I thought would’ve been self evident for most on here if they had paid any attention to my posting history devoid of any demands of players sale/acquisition, managerial changes, or league table placement to justify my future support of the club.

    Further more, I’m not on Facebook, Twitter or any other social platform apart from a couple of Arsenal blogs which is the entire extent of my on line presence.
    I hope that does it.

  27. raptora

    Of course that Pedro’s gf is angry with him. One of the risks of dating your right hand I guess. Gotta try to keep her safe or else he can always start dating his “other girlfriend” if ya’ know what I mean.

  28. Sid

    Having a longer ring finger compared to index finger reflects greater exposure to male hormones during a girls time in their mother’s womb

  29. andy1886

    AFCF – Yeah, it’s a totaly different game now. Ploughed pitches and stands like cattle sheds (Filbert Street comes to mind). I travelled to matches on the train and tube from around 12 y.o. which was far less scary than when we’d go up in my mates dad’s Ford Capri (drove like a lunatic, I recall seeing the speedo at 100mph when approaching a roundabout on the North Circular Road, give me the West Ham ICF on the tube any day!).

    Remember the North Bank Peanut guy? Always wondered if he was an official Arsenal merchandise seller or just a chancer making a few quid under the radar.

  30. Kroenkephobe

    I remember him well. He had an aura about him and a voice that got everyone out of his way when he was doing his rounds.

    The Peanut guy was probably giving the Hill-Wood family a hefty % (or face an old Etonian knee-capping). Not sure if he was a Gooner though – he did alternate Saturdays at Shite Hart Lane.

    A shame he never wore Spats and a monocle – he could’ve been THE Mister Peanut.

    I gather he opened a shell company when he retired….

  31. AFC Forever

    Andy, funny the things you remember. Wasn’t he the guy with the tray hanging around his neck and those little bags of nuts?

  32. Bergkamp63

    Just visualising Pedro running around shouting “Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma” whilst banging his pots if we beat City at the weekend.

    I might even join him !

  33. Northbanker

    Andy and AFC – I was also attending Highbury (only when my uncle or older cousin would take me!!) around 1970. First match 1969 v Leeds although went to League Cup Final, also Leeds, in 1968. So no doubt we probably all met!!

  34. NJ Gooner

    AFC Forever and Kroenkephobe,

    Ah, but do the two of you remember

    1. Alex Morgan singing?
    2. The number board by which you could decipher the half time scores?
    3. The day we beat Sheffield Utd 1-0 so as not to drop into the bottom 3?
    4. When Brady really was the king of Highbury?

    First game: Man City, 1967.

  35. Kroenkephobe


    If he’s banging those pots, I bet his other half will insist on the gloves in case he nicks one if his fingers…

  36. Nelson


    This is how I cut thin pieces of meat or Cheese:
    – sharpen the knife
    – use one hand (the fingers) and press the object against the cutting board
    – bend slightly the fingers with the finger tip towards you and the knuckles outwards.
    – The position of the knuckles will guide the blade of the knife and will determine the thickness of the piece

  37. Bergkamp63

    NJ Gooner,

    I was at Highbury (Northbank) in Dec 78 when we beat Spurs 5-0, Liam Brady curling one into the top corner from the edge of the area !

    Happy Days !

  38. Bergkamp63

    KroenkephobeFebruary 17, 2021 14:10:18
    BergkampIf he’s banging those pots, I bet his other half will insist on the gloves in case he nicks one if his fingers…

    I wonder if she insists he wears them in the bedroom also !

  39. NJ Gooner


    We’re you at Wembley when Alan Sunderland scored the last minute winner in the cup final against Manure?

    That, and the double winning goal against Spurs in ‘71 were probably my two most ecstatic Arsenal moments.

  40. andy1886

    Kroenkephobe, I read that he also did the rounds at The Valley, the same bloke apparently. As Northbanker said we probably all passed each other over the years without knowing it. Another little detail I recall was collecting the coupons in the programme in case we got to the cup final and also all the programme sellers outside and looking for issues we may have missed.

  41. NJ Gooner


    Well done! What a fabulous moment.

    Brady? Sixty yard passes? No problem. Imagine what he could do in today’s market.

  42. Bergkamp63

    NJ Gooner,

    Yep, I was there that day against Man Utd in the 79 Cup final, went from cloud nine to gutter and back again all in about 2 mins.

    I was only 16 then, just as well, I doubt my nerves would take it again !

  43. andy1886

    Kroenkephobe, I read that he also did the rounds at The Valley, the same bloke apparently. As Northbanker said we probably all passed each other over the years without knowing it. Another little detail I recall was collecting the coupons in the programme in case we got to the cup final and also all the programme sellers outside and looking for issues we may have missed.

    I remember the 5-0 at the Lane (Dec ’78) really enjoyed that one, an early Christmas present. On the downside another one that sticks in the memory is being right behing the goal in the North Bank when George Wood had an awful game against Watford (bring back big Pat!) and conceded four. All part of the ups and downs I guess.

  44. Kroenkephobe

    I think that Brady-inspired defeat of Sp#rs was at the Lane. Made it all the more sweet.

    My first game was away at Filbert Street. We lost 4 1 which was an horrific experience. Really edgy atmosphere pre and post game which kind of went over my head at the time. But I remember pressurising my absentee dad to take me to more games on the way home. He was a Hammers fan and hated it! I’ve had a real fascination and preference for away games ever since. They just shade it for me although I’ll always love Highbury.

    NJ – which season was that Blades game 73/74?

  45. Vintage Gun

    “Vintage-25m for Bissouma might be a bit optimistic?”

    I meant 10m on top as i rate bissouma at around £30m and Sander Berg around £20m. So if we did manage to raise £50m for Torrieia and Guendouzi then i’d reinvest the money on them two.

    Party Bissouma, with Xhaka and Berg is a solid four CM’s fighting for two places.

  46. Kroenkephobe

    Ah, the Valley Floyd Road. A ground and club saved by fans from oblivion. Good stadium now but impossible to imagine those huge crowds they had in the post war period. My family are from N Kent and there were always heated discussions about the Addicks and the Gills.

  47. Vintage Gun

    If We can get Balogun to sign, i’d have Auba. Martinelli and Balogun as our three Cf options next season.

    Sell lacca and Eddie and try and keep Odegarrd.

  48. Bergkamp63

    Yeah it was at the lane, we used to sing “we won 5-0, we won 5-0, we won 5-0, at the lane”

    Memory not what it used to be.

  49. Kroenkephobe

    Vintage – Agree about Bissouma. He has a forcefield around him and opposing players really struggle to get the ball off him. Not as convinced about Berge who I think is less good at linking with forwards and is less mobile. The optimist in me still thinks its worth trying to rehabilitate gunnerdoozi and/or Torreira if our stubborn management can be convinced to reset their relationships with the club.

    I remember that Brighton game when Maupay jumped into Bernie to try and injure him. I remember ranting at the telly pleading for one of our players to front up and protest. Guendouzi may not have followed the script I would have but he showed some fight albeit in a losing cause. How many times have we wanted our team to do that since PV/Manu/TA etc. stopped playing? Special shout out to Steve Williams in that regard who was a master of abusing refs and other players when necessary. Loved the guy.

  50. andy1886

    Kroenkephobe, as you get older the old memory goes. I’ve been to The Valley for sure but the Charlton game I remember most was actually played at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day 1988. Dragged the GF there to an open concrete terrace sparsely populated with weeds growing through it. Won 3-2 despite them making a bit of a come back in the second half.

  51. AFC Forever

    I was also at the WHL when we won the League for the first part of the 1970/71 double. My uncle was a Spurs fan and he took my dad and I to the Spurs end with my cousins (Spuds). Absolutely heaving and a bit like that Anfield night a tough challenge. If memory serves, we couldn’t afford to concede as a goalless draw would win us the title a score draw wouldn’t (?) Leeds would win it. When Kennedy scored that header it was pretty quiet around us!

  52. I hate Green Bay

    My first game was 1970, a 2-0 win against Liverpool, but the overwhelming memory is of the fear. There was no question about wearing your colours, football violence wasn’t a possibility, it was fucking compulsory. There was no segregation, every game was dangerous.

    I remember going to Stamford Bridge and it was pissing down and we were standing under that ramshackle falling down half building at the away end. I think it was held up with matches.

  53. Bergkamp63

    Remember being in the Northbank one evening game against Spurs back in the late 70’s which we won, the reason I remember it so well, it was the last time I stood behind one of those stupid metal barriers, I wondered why there was nobody just behind it when the place was so packed.

    That is until we scored !

  54. AFC Forever

    Bergkamp63 and NJ

    Liam (Chippy) Brady was an incredible player. My two favourites from the 70’s were Brady & Armstrong, 11 & 7).

    I miss the old number system where the players wore shirts representing the positions they were playing. Not sure I miss the 1 substitute though.

  55. Bergkamp63


    Yeah, that night I was just talking about, just to the right of the Northbank, someone hurled a pool ball in a stocking over, luckily it missed us narrowly !

  56. Bergkamp63

    I used to like Alan Sunderland (can’t imagine why !) and Frank Stapleton too.

    Brady was the mast though !

    Just seen a 4m clip of his goals, incredible talent.

  57. Rich

    People are in dreamland with these predictions of £25million transfer fees being thrown around

    If you think the market was slow last year

    Then add a further 12 months of football revenue being decimated

    No sign of when fans will return

    Clubs continuing to haemorrhage money

    Banks reluctant to lend out anymore money to businesses who are in the red, and losing millions every month

    Outside of Bayern Munich and clubs with very wealthy backers, there’s no money

    It will be a market of mainly loans and free transfers

    With clubs with wealthy owners pillaging + plundering talent, off clubs in financial meltdown

    We’ll have a first team squad of 28 this summer, with the possibility of no European football

    We’ll struggle to being players in, without letting a few leave

    And if KSE don’t underwrite some cheques, I don’t see us doing anything at all

  58. Kroenkephobe

    I havent been to Selhurst for years. It was a Monday night game vs CP. Merson scored the winner, and I think it was the bruised banana kit so early 90s. That wonderful time when you could travel across London to a game with no ticket but be assured of squeezing in. Not one of my favourite London grounds. I think it’s now an annex to Sainsburys…

    I remember the detachable cassette player (any youngsters reading this, this was a slightly less flexible music medium than Spotify) being ripped out of my mark I Golf, and S London police being as fucking crap about it as, well, N London police. Nostalgia…

  59. Bergkamp63

    SuperMac (Malcom MacDonald) was another favourite of mine, Charlie George was great but just a little too early for me to remember him well.

  60. S23

    I dont think there will be any major transfer business next year due to the ongoing restrictions.
    I wouldnt blow all of our budget on Ceballos, he is decent at passing ,but as slow as Granit when players are cutting through our midfield.
    I would rather a more athletic player with good recovery pace.
    Good to read all of the chaps memories of Highbury, as I would also have been around in those halcyon days-the peanut guy , the freezing terraces and the safety barriers and getting crushed against them when David Rocastle was driving forward.

  61. Bergkamp63


    Yeah, we have suffered with the best of them !

    I remember in 1981, last game of the season, we beat Aston Villa 2-0 (I think they won the title that year), there was 58K + in the ground, we finished 3rd that year, packed to the gunnels !

  62. andy1886

    B63 – Brady was obviously ‘the man’ but i did like the Sunderland/Stapleton combo up front (funnily enough Luiz’s hair always reminds me of Sunderland, but without the nasty 70’s ‘tache). Big Pat was also a favourite.

    Arsenal confession? I actually liked the Emerald Green and Blue away kit and used it to play 5-a-side football in the early 80’s.

  63. Kroenkephobe

    On Bissouma, it would possibly play into our hands, if there was a renaissance in player swaps post covid.

    BHA is chronically struggling for goals. Why not suggest a swap for Bissouma with Eddie, Reiss or Joe W plus cash if necessary to make it up. In the US, players almost exclusively move between clubs in trades.

  64. Le Professor

    “It’s about time there were some real-world consequences for people that take grim digital actions that have real-world consequences for the people they are abusing.”

    Cannot come soon enough!!

  65. Pierre

    Probably close to missing the boat with Bissouma

    He is one of those that should have been targetted a year ago, his price has probably at least doubled , maybe tripled in the last year.

    As kronkephobe said, the option of a swap is a good idea,Brighton are not a club to stand in the way of a player who wants to further his career.

    I can’t see us paying close to 40/50 mil for him so a swap is the better option

  66. Vintage Gun


    I’m also a fan of Guendouzi as he has massive potential and experience for his age. If a manager could reign in his indiscipline on/off the pitch i’d have him as one of our CM core four.
    The boy has heart and backs his boys on the pitch.

    I would sell Xhaka but with all the anticipated changes in midfield a couple will stay.

  67. Winthorpe

    Do you still believe Arsenal have a top four squad and achieving anything less than that would be a massive failure on Arteta’s part in his first full season?

    I consider it a failure, yes. However the recent upturn in attacking play as well as a strong defensive performances with so many key players (Mari, chambers, Tierney, Partey, Martinelli) not playing their part, the youth only in first year as legit seniors together and a couple of vital first team components still to add in very optimistic about next season.
    Arteta has proved he can beat the big team through his astute tactical awareness. He’s proved he can improve shite and top quality players through coaching and tactical mitigation. He’s got to learn to deal with his boys in a more measured manner but I’m happy with how things are going and really looking forward to the game tomo and starting next season with a full ore season and a couple of signings in key areas

  68. AFC Forever

    Boys, the bruised banana kit for me. I hated it when it first came out though. Still got one somewhere archived away.

    I remember my school kit was made by Admiral who supplied Leeds Utd at the time. The Headmaster was a Leeds fan. Anyway, that kit was so thick and itchy it was horrid (I remember Kevin Keegan moaning about it when Admiral supplied the England team). The headmaster even supplied us all with those sock ties that had the number printed on huge letters on the tag that hang down on the outside of the socks!!! They used to make a flapping noise when you ran!!

  69. Alexanderhenry


    Just out of interest, why do you consider Barcelona to be particularly ‘odious’.

    I’ve never liked them for a variety of reasons, which is why the arshavin goal against them will always be one of my favourite arsenal memories.

  70. Mb

    Glad to hear all your stories, that’s what keeps Le-Grove one of the best blogs with one of the best people.

    If I may, I watched first match on a Red membership in 2019 – Arsenal vs Burnley. Goals by Auba and Laca; Chants of Dani boy all around.

    It was a dream specially when you are not a resident here.

  71. Nelson

    ” In the US, players almost exclusively move between clubs in trades.”

    Transfer fee doesn’t exist in north American sport. The only money involved is covering part of the player’s salary. On the other hand, young players are drafted. Draft position can be traded.

  72. AFC Forever


    I agree. For me, we really won’t know where we are until the Final match has been played and the summer transfer window navigated. We have Partey yet to really make an impact and the Summer transfer window provides the opportunity to improve further by adding quality while offloading fringe players, as discussed earlier. We need a better option to play alongside Partey and build a partnership. This has to be a process, you can’t keep shelling Managers in the hope something will magically happen. It won’t. If you don’t have the right players or the right balance to function tactically, you will struggle. It takes time and transfer windows, it always has. I feel for Arteta because he gets a hard time when none of us fancied most of the players he inherited. He also had a real shit storm of a mess to sort out with all the problems with Ozil etc and what came with that, not easy but he made a stand. How many attempts had previous managers had to sort out our problems, like defending, without making any difference? He sorted that almost immediately. I can see a big improvement on the pitch but we are still a couple of key positions short. There is no point setting unrealistic expectation levels unless you’re playing a game or don’t understand how football works. Reality is, we have had years of piss poor management both at managerial level and above that has left us where we are and Areta and Edu have been given the shitty end of the stick.

  73. andy1886

    Kronkephobe/B63 – Chris Whyte looked decent for a while, Ledley King of Sp*ds fame reminded me of him (sorry Chris). Talking of Raphael Meade I recall he hit a double against S*rs (as did Charlie) in a 4-2 win. Both looked like they had something but never quite made it. Petrovic also looked promising initially.

  74. Danny

    Late to the party……
    First went to Highbury in March 1970 against C.Palace, we won 2-0. Radford and George got the goals. Marinello played……
    At full time I went to Jack Kelsey’s “shop”!

  75. Winthorpe


    Exactly. Looks like you’re one of the few measured posters here that actually loves the club and understands the game. 2 permanent signings in midfield this summer for me. Odegaard and bissouma would do me. If AMN doesn’t want to play right back, which is basically a winger in this system then I’d sell and bring in a proper right back too. I don’t like Bellerin. He’s not good enough on the ball

  76. AFC Forever


    Yes a partner for Partey, someone younger who can cover the ground but has to be a baller too. Bissouma is a decent shout. Bellerin needs an upgrade, I agree. As you rightly say, we don’t have full-backs in the system, they are inverted wingers. We have seen what we lose when Tierney is out. I don’t think we are that far away but there is no doubt we have to upgrade in key areas. Middle of the park is so important in modern football with pressing and transitions to consider and we have to make sure we have people who are technically go enough to receive under pressure and move ball quickly; players like Odegaard, ESR have the edge over Ceballos because his vision isn’t at their level imo.

  77. AFC Forever


    Peter Marinello, forgot about him. Skilful player but it didn’t really work out – I believe he was a bit of a party animal or something like that?

  78. Leedsgunner

    It’s too early to write off Dani Ceballos completely but Real Madrid would need to be accommodating too on the price. I don’t think they will because they have other interested parties in Spain like Real Betis.. £25m for a player with his technique and ceiling wouldn’t be the worst deal in the world. Apparently Cazorla rates him very very highly and he acts as a mentor to Dani… the player needs to be more consistent.

    If RM however change their manager I would be working hard to buy Odegaard if they were open, which they might be. Every new manager wants to bring in his own players so they might be open to doing a quick sale if this loan goes well.

  79. Logie Bear

    Loving all the nostalgia on here today
    My first real memory is losing the 1972 FA Cup final to Leeds, Alan Clarke goal, Mick Jones with all the sympathy for breaking his arm and collecting his medal wearing a sling….!

    First match was April 1980 away to the Spuds, winning 2-1.
    It was the debut of Paul Davis, still one of my all-time favourites. That was around the time of those epic encounters with Juventus as well….

  80. Winthorpe


    I don’t think the middle of the park is as important as it used to be. For me the game is won and lost in wide areas now. Modern midfielders don’t tend to control the game the way they used to in the hey day of gerrard scholes Vieira and keane

  81. AFC Forever


    “If I may, I watched first match on a Red membership in 2019”

    Bet you enjoyed that!!

    As Andy, Bergkamp and the others were alluding to, football has changed beyond recognition. The stadiums used to be so bitterly cold and much of the football was dire. It wasn’t helped by the churned up pitches or the fact most of the players were piss-heads half intoxicated! Anyway, I can’t speak for Andy or the others but when I visited the Emirates for my first game it was just incredible. Like most of the Gooners, we arrived early and it was mad to see how the area around Drayton Park (I was born in Tollington Road) had changed. People forget it wasn’t just the fact that this new circular stadium appeared like a spaceship from Mars but the fact it was so close to Highbury yet chalk and cheese. We walked past the stalls selling all the memorabilia scarves etc and the atmosphere was buzzing. When I walked into the stadium I had this weird feeling, like a proud father watching his children achieve something. We sat in our seats just looking around and realising just how different it was from anything we had experienced before. The huge clock end clock the only real reminder of the wonderful Highbury stadium. The Aston Villa game will always be a memory, just a shame we didn’t win it. My first evening game under the lights was something because I had been given a pair of Club Level tickets, which included a meal. Club level is hard to describe, private open-plan bars, carpeted floors and toilets that actually worked and had hot running water. It was like going to one of those Gentleman clubs where the Ladies dance around poles. Well, sort of.

    It’s just a shame the stadium hasn’t had the opportunity to cheer a League Title win. I am sure that will come sooner rather than later.

  82. Logie Bear

    andy 1886

    Petrovic. Now, there was a player – for a minute or two. I can remember the excitement when he became the first of our (one, and only one) allowed “foreign” players

  83. Danny

    AFC Forever

    I remember he got the ball, ran down the right wing and everybody in the stands stood up to see “The Scottish George Best” in action, also out of respect (maybe?) but of course he got injured, missed nearly all the double season and though he stuck around another couple of seasons, he left before the 73-74 one. Add to his injuries and what you said about being a party animal, he messed up what could’ve been an amazing career. Charlie Nicholas when joining us was warned not to end up like Marinello.

  84. AFC Forever

    Winthorpe, yes but the transition through the centre of the pitch is so important because that’s where you are going to get hurt or open a team up against the press. It’s the one area where we can still get exposed sometimes.

  85. Uwot?

    @Alexanderhenry.Why Barcelona so odious.Well I’ll make it short & sweet.But they’re right up there with Manure.As arrogant b’stards & glory hunting fans.The incessant tapping up of DNA cesc & the total disrespect for our club with the “ shirt” swapping incident .UEFA s darling club. Can bend the rules whenever they fancy it.With immunity.The bent refs in their pocket.ex Van persies lucrious sending off in Cl quater final for kicking the ball away.The CL final when another shit biased ref ensured we had no goalkeeper & ten men for 60 plus minutes.I could go on & on ( diving & pressurising the ref incessantly)but I’ll leave it to others.

  86. Leedsgunner

    If Brighton stay up, they will want top dollar for Bissuma… £50m at least I reckon. For that type of money I would rather we brought bin someone younger like Odegaard. Or what about Bennacer who has been doing well…?

    Brighton might accept £30m plus Nketiah if they were feeling generous… and Nketiah might go for it too if he was to become their main man striker wise…

  87. AFC Forever

    Jamie, think it’s around £60.00 a ticket club level? As you say, it is like a posh airport lounge – not EasyJet or Ryanair…!! Always take the wife Club level to special games like the Emirates Cup etc. If I can get her out of the bloody shop; last time I went and had Pie, Mash and Liquer while she spent ages, and my money, buying a load of gifts for people in the Arsenal shop!!

  88. Danny

    I remember the season after we did the double our form was shit so in the winter transfer window we signed Alan Ball for a UK transfer record fee. I always laugh trying to imagine this world cup winner (and league champion winner the year before us) walking into the double teams dressing room for the first time, they must have eaten him alive!

  89. andy1886

    That’s right Logie, Cockerill it was. Of course we should condemn it but at the time we were just like ‘WTF? Davis?. First case of a retrospective punishment I believe as the ref missed it during the game (wonder what VAR would have made of it?).

  90. Pierre

    2 bob it cost me to get in when i was 10 , in the schoolboy enclosure .

    4 bob when i progressed to the north bank .
    clock end was 4 bob with an extra 2 bob to go in the west stand enclosure( i think it was ) before it was turned into seats.

  91. Logie Bear

    AFCF / Andy 1886

    That clip got it spot on, Davis was known as such a gent, so Cockerill must have really wound him up / said something (racist?) at the time.

    He had such a cultured left foot (why is it only the left foot that is cultured?)

    I met him years later at a sporting lunch event.
    He still looked fit enough to be playing, think he was working with some of the youth teams at that time.

  92. Press Box Gooner

    Nostalgia time:

    First game at Highbury – Jan 4, 1964 FA Cup 3rd round. Beat Wolves 2-1 – Baker & Strong scored.

    Was at both legs of the 1970 Fairs Cup final – hitchhiked to Brussels for the first one; no ticket needed for the second. Rocked up to Highbury and paid at the turnstile. Ended up on the pitch after the final whistle celebrating the first trophy for SEVENTEEN years. Different times.

  93. Emiratesstroller

    I have been watching Arsenal since the mid 1950s and it would be interesting to find out from other posters which is the most significant game they have watched as a supporter.

    Whilst I have watched many games in the flesh including our league and double wins plus England winning the World Cup I am clear that the most memorable game I saw at Highbury was our home game in 1958 against Man Utd, which was a 5-4 defeat.

    This was the last game played in England by the great Busby Babes including Duncan Edwards. The game itself was a thriller. Arsenal were losing badly in first half, but came back in second half.

    The other notable game which I watched was actually an away game at White Hart Lane when we won 1-0 to win the first leg of our league and cup double when Bertie Mee was

    Spurs were of course always reminding everyone that they were the only team in 20th Century which had won the League and Cup double.

  94. I hate Green Bay


    The numbers don’t lie. If we sell Lace for £40m, Guen for £35m, Torr for £30m and Chambers for £25m, that’s about £300m for bs to spend.

    Cuckoo, cuckoo

  95. AFC Forever

    Press Box Gooner

    “Ended up on the pitch after the final whistle celebrating the first trophy for SEVENTEEN years. Different times”

    Yes, it is almost a totally different sport. In those days, the players earned an average wage and it wasn’t unusual to see them walking along down the road. As for the state of the pitches, no better than the average local park. How many live TV games did you get to watch, hardly any. I watched the 1971 FA Cup Final on a black and white TV and after the game all the kids went outside to play, all wearing our Arsenal shirts. The following day it was the open top bus Holloways Road, Highbury Corner and then into Upper Street making its way to the Town Hall. You couldn’t move for people. The double was unheard of, almost impossible to win back then.

  96. AFC Forever


    “the most memorable game I saw at Highbury was our home game in 1958 against Man Utd, which was a 5-4 defeat:

    Total respect, 1958…!!! Take a bow. I hadn’t been born, I was a sixties child. You got to see the Busby Babes, that really is something. My dad used to always say that Duncan Edwards was one of the best players he had ever seen.

  97. AFC Forever


    VAR would have awarded a penalty to Southampton, which the referee allowed to be retaken three times until the lad finally scored. Davies would have received a 9-year ban, not 9 games and under pressure from PGMO the club would have been forced to play the rest of the season behind closed doors.

  98. Emiratesstroller

    AFC Forever

    Actually the first game I watched at Highbury was Arsenal v Blackpool. Stanley Matthews played against us in his 40s!

    I have watched many memorable games in my lifetime. Sadly I don’t get the same level of enjoyment today, because success is measured on how much a club spends on not on building great teams.

  99. Kroenkephobe

    AFCF and Danny

    PM was serenaded by the North Bank who adapted that Donovan tune “(They call me) mellow yellow”. It’s great that since signing KT, it’s reminded gooners of Scottish players we’ve enjoyed seeing, even Ian Ure! I worshipped Charlie N – it took a while but I think he was the one that finally replaced Charlie G in fans’ hearts.

  100. SpanishDave

    Can’t believe it I was also at that game, my Dad used to take me from Chelmsford to see Arsenal one week and Spurs the next. I chose Arsenal as my team
    Being in crowds of 60,000 was awesome.

  101. Emiratesstroller

    I remember Ian Ure very well. He was highly rated in the Scottish National Team, but sadly did not make the same impression at Arsenal.

    From recollection he became a Prison Officer at the end of his football career!!

  102. I hate Green Bay


    Me too, would have loved to see Duncan Edwards, such a tragedy.

    I was extremely blessed to have seen George Best quite a few times. He is probably the best player I have seen.