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. Kroenkephobe

    I get the antipathy to Barcelona – if major football teams were school students, they’d be the arrogant cunt who was also teacher’s pet. The mincing and cheating and snide violence put me in mind of peak Fergie Manure.

    But while we’re digging their grave, I wouldn’t hesitate to throw Athletico, Zaragoza (obvs),Valencia, Espanyol and the thoroughly odious Real Madrid in with them. Girona or Rayo Vallecano for me (if I was interested).

  2. Emiratesstroller

    I hate Green Bay

    Yes I agree that George Best was probably the greatest British Born Footballer I watched when he was in his prime. He could win games on his own account.

    Sadly his prime was relatively short, because of his lifestyle.

    Whilst Fergie benefited from the group of youngsters who came through the Man Utd Academy I think that the game changer when they started win the EPL was Cantona.
    Cantona may not have been the greatest footballer, but he turned Man Utd into a trophy winning team.

  3. Northbanker

    Xavi and Iniesta were huge for Barca so that isn;t really correct Graham. However a world super class player lifts a team to another dimension. There aren’t many of them

  4. AFC Forever

    That Barca team where something else. Xhavi, Iniesta, Messi nobody could get the ball off them. Santo Cazorla would have thrived in that team, I think he is so underrated

  5. andy1886

    @Nelson, there isn’t any restriction on players entering Portugal, it’s just that the UK has banned flights there so no English clubs can travel there, Italian clubs are fine to go.

  6. Anonymous Commentator

    Barca are in their current state because they abandoned the principals that unearthed Messi, xavi and iniesta.
    Now at the end of Messi’s career and a red Bank balance they’re attempting to develop a bunch of academy grads to get one more win for Messi but they’ve left it till too late and let some prime talent go along the way.

    If we can’t get odegaard what would the chances of us being able to get Dani olmo be?

  7. andy1886

    @Nelson – do you mean UK clubs could go via another country? If so no, you can’t do that and wouldn’t be allowed back in the country – see information on travel to/from Portugal from

    “Flights between the UK and Portugal (including the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores) are currently suspended. Visitors who have been in or transited through Portugal (including the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores) in the previous 10 days cannot enter the UK.”

    I guess our Italian friends take a different view.

  8. NORG

    Us oldies have seen drab times before but as you get older you tend to moan more – if it is not team performance then it is probably piles.
    ES mentioned Cantona earlier. In 1993 I managed three sites in the UK one of which was in Trafford Park. Cantona had just joined Man U and was staying at the Novotel, Worsley. I often had a meal with him, the French hotel staff all pampered him. He actually liked Wenger.

  9. andy1886

    France have banned all but essential travel from outside the EU (including the UK) and even in any exceptional circumstance visitors have to isolate for 7 days on arrival so we can’t play in France either.

  10. Bertie Mee

    I find the stupidity of most English pundits mind-boggling. I heard Trevor Sinclair say this morning that he’d prefer Citeh to sign Messi rather than Mbappe . Messi is not exactly a Willian signing but it’s a signing that only has downside. He’s not yet a busted flush but as Partey has shown this league is a huge challenge for players from La Liga .. Citeh can afford to piss money up the wall more than most clubs but Mbappe is not only a brilliant investment he’s a superb player and very marketable .
    Cue Wenger telling us he went round his family home to sign him a few years ago . That was after he almost signed Messi , Ronaldo and IBrahimovic

  11. Pierre

    My 5 most memorable games i attended back in the 60’s was.

    1968/69 league cup semi final 2nd leg away to Tottenham on a week night.
    John Radford with a last minute near post header at the park lane end to put us through to Wembley. ..lost to 3rd division swindon in the final.
    1970 fairs cup final v Anderlecht. ..unbelievable night..3-0 victory to win the tie 4-3

    1970/71 FA cup semi final v stoke at Hillsborough…2-0 down at half time ..finished 2-2 with a peter storey penalty in the last minite.

    1971 white hart lane , monday night , Kennedy last minute winner to win the league

    1971 cup final ..charlie george winner in extra time to win us the double.

    Also have to mention the 5-0 win at the Lane just before Christmas ..Brady toyed with them. .

  12. Pierre

    Strange how city are a better team without Debruyne, at least better results without him.

    The only reason i can think of is that Debruyne took more risks with the ball and although he was top for assists , he was also top for giving possession away .

  13. AFC Forever


    Alan Sunderland will be forever remembered for his FA Cup final goal. We were 2 nil up and cruising, the Man Utd suddenly levelled the score. Absolutely gutted until the mop of hair arrived to win the day. That was some Cup Final.

  14. Winthorpe

    PierreFebruary 17, 2021 20:43:26
    My 5 most memorable games i attended back in the 60’s was.1968/69 league cup semi final 2nd leg away to Tottenham on a week night.
    John Radford with a last minute near post header at the park lane end to put us through to Wembley. ..lost to 3rd division swindon in the final.
    1970 fairs cup final v Anderlecht. ..unbelievable night..3-0 victory to win the tie 4-3 1970/71 FA cup semi final v stoke at Hillsborough…2-0 down at half time ..finished 2-2 with a peter storey penalty in the last minite.1971 white hart lane , monday night , Kennedy last minute winner to win the league 1971 cup final ..charlie george winner in extra time to win us the double.Also have to mention the 5-0 win at the Lane just before Christmas ..Brady toyed with them. .

    Only one of those games were played in the 60s 😂

  15. Winthorpe

    City’s win percentage is higher with KDB pulling the strings

    63.8% without him. They’ve been elite throughout Pep’s time there with only last season being an off year really.

  16. Pierre

    Pep is the best in my opinion .

    Many wrote city off earlier in the season after the defeat to Leicester, but he steadied the ship superbly and now they are flying .

    People were talking about united , chelsea or Tottenham winning the league a while back , i said at the time that only one team will win it..

    De bruyne back just in time for the Arsenal game , typical.

  17. Pierre

    “City’s win percentage is higher with KDB pulling the strings
    69.5%63.8% without him. They’ve been elite throughout Pep’s time there with only last season being an off year really.”

    I did mean this season , not overall.

    One would think that no Debruyne, Aguero, Fernandinho that city would struggle , but Pep found a different way tò play, a little less expansive but a defence that’s as tight as a duck’s arse.

  18. Tony

    “Only one of those games were played in the 60s 😂”

    Made me laugh this morning

    Saw an article headline this morning saying Arteta has stated that he is going to support Willian through his poor form and help him back to his best.

    Only words I’d have for Arteta are – at the expense of the following:
    Martinelli, Saliba, Guen, Torr, Azeez, Balogun and other youth players that need minutes.

    Let’s face it if Willian is this poor during his game time, what must he be like in training to warrant getting minutes in place of the aforementioned youth players who no doubt are giving their all in training? They certainly can’t be worse in training although Arteta waxes lyrical over Willian’s training displays.

    Same nonsense just different day!

    Was good to read the many comments on attending games and your experiences. It’s enough to make any Arsenal fan envious fo the memories accrued over the decades.

    For me career came first where more often than not finding where to watch a game became my biggest challenge as a Gooner; sport, hobbies and personal interests came 2nd onwards.

    I would have loved to have witnessed the games you all recalled first hand, so thanks for your memories.

  19. Nelson

    There is rumor that Arteta wants to sign Ceballos. If money is tight, I would find out from Madrid whether we can sign Ødegaard instead. A good ACM is more difficult to find and usually cost more than a CM.

  20. China1

    When I was a kid in the 90s and 2000s my parents couldn’t afford to take me to many games so every year They’d take me to some carling cup games. I remember our reserves smashing Utd at highbury. Kanu was different class up front and managed to take 3 defenders out of the game with an impossible flick in an impossible dead end.

    He scored a penalty that day too.

    One of my favourite childhood memories

  21. China1

    Yeah Nelson Ceballos worries me

    Every time he’s near the end of his contract he looks like a world beater yet both times he’s joined he’s done nothing for the first 6 months

    I don’t doubt his ability but I am starting to question his mentality. He was quality at the end of last season and was against Leeds. But where was that quality in the first half of this season? Non-existent.

    I think it’s an attitude thing. He needs a rocket under his ass to have urgency to show up. We can’t afford to have passengers when players aren’t in the mood or have a stable contract situation tho

    For that reason I’m more interested in odegaard

  22. Sid

    I remember the 1933 season we won the treble. I was a teenager little did i know in a few years i would be off to serve in WW2. Unforgetable watching from the roof of a house Ted Drake score

  23. Gonsterous


    I kept reminding everyone here. Ceballos is like any other average spanish player. They can’t handle the rough weather of england and he was very fortunate that the PL extended into the summer months, which is ideal for spanish players as they are used to playing in the humid weathers of spain.

    Technically, like every other spanish midfielder he is above average, but he is not PL material and when he does go back to spain, he will find playing for sevilla or sociedad his level, because he’s not good enough for Real, Barca or Athleti.

  24. China1

    Gons I don’t think it’s a weather thing because this season and last he was an irrelevance in the first quarter of both seasons before the weather got especially shit

    Imo it’s a mentality issue as he just only plays properly when he feels a sense of urgency and that urgency so far always comes in the tail end of the season imo

  25. Emiratesstroller

    I think that tonight’s game against Benefica will be no pushover whatever team we put out.
    Benefica have quite a lot of experience in their team and unlike us have a fairly cushy fixture
    on Sunday.

  26. Gonsterous


    What ever it may be, he’s not good enough for our squad. Dani and el neny are both very limited players. Oregarrd seems motivated as of now, don’t know how the club will effect his mentality in the long run.

  27. Graham62


    Good morning


    14 games remaining and he’s still trying to find his form.

    I genuinely feel for those players (youngsters) who we should be encouraging.

  28. Graham62


    In 1933 you were a teenager!!

    So born 1920 or before then?

    That makes you over 100.

    Good going mate.

    I can’t even remember where I put my glasses.


  29. Kroenkephobe

    This from today’s Guardian

    Héctor Bellerín joins football’s team of new fashion influencers
    His socially conscious H&M range highlights how players’ fashion clout has grown during pandemic

    Fucking spare me Hector. Oooh what I’d give to be one of footballs’ new fashion influencers! And despite Covid killing millions around the world and sending billions of people towards poverty, at least the pandemic has highlighted how players’ fashion clout has grown. Fucking hell what a berk. It makes him look like a vacuous, self centred, tin earred idiot. Piss poor by the journalist as well.

    Putting aside that Bill Shankley quote, fashion is even less important than football right now.

    Hector – maybe do something a little less ridiculous than trying to look moody like an early Kray twin in a fucking hoodie made from recycled ny-fucking-lon. Here’s an idea – trying learning how to take a 3 metre throw-in to an unmarked opponent in your spare time.

    And breathe……….

  30. Goobergooner


    Fuck that indeed. Agree with all you just said. Especially the throw in part 😂😂😂😂😂

    Also szczesny was being called out so hard from the commentators for taking an extra touch as a gk.

    What the actual fuck was he supposed to do after receiving such an absolutely appalling backpass??? That was all on the defender not on the keeper the first goal that Juve conceded.

  31. Graham62


    Agree 100%. I mean, who gives a Castlemaine XXXX

    Proves the guy has a few loose screws.

    Can’t run, can’t take a throw in, can’t cross the ball etc etc.

    Spend a bit more time working on your game Hector rather than your meaningless passion.

  32. Goobergooner

    AFC forever.
    Regarding Auba…
    “Providing he maintains that level then he’s worth every penny. If he drops off, then that’s a different story.”

    Unfortunately he has already “dropped off”.

    Whether it’s the salary security or arteta’s tactical setup (or both coupled with his family troubles), he is definitely off the pace already this season compared to the stats you mentioned.

  33. AFC Forever

    Morning all. Enjoyed sharing the memories yesterday, it’s not often you get to do that. It’s great when we can put any differences we may have in the present to one side and be nostalgic. Last night I retrieved the framed set of postcards from the 1970’s my wife gave me as a present recently, the 14 players in the double-winning squad plus the Manager Mee. I had completely forgotten about John Roberts.

    On Hector Bellerin
    He reminds me of Walcott in so much as he’s an athlete first and a footballer second. For them, it’s all about their pace. Delivery from both players into the box has never been top level, no comparison to the quality of ball Tierney puts in. Bellerin’s pace is useful against the break and getting to players quickly when pressing but quality with the ball is his weakness. It is an area where we could definitely strengthen.

  34. AFC Forever


    Yes, there is no denying he has been through a bad spell. But he deserves a bit of faith because he has been an important player for us. To be fair to him, he was a victim of our creativity issues and of course, we still don’t know about the personal stuff he went through. As fans, we tend to be a bit too knee-jerk. All players go through difficult spells but Aubamayang is a top player who can score goals others can’t. As they say, class is permanent form is temporary. He gets back to anywhere near his best and we have a special player.

  35. Winthorpe

    Six assists and two goals in about 1,000 minutes are thoroughly respectable numbers for a player in his position. However, his overall contribution stretches far beyond his personal end-product. The Gunners have 21 goals in the 12 domestic games since ESR’s first start of the season on Boxing Day. They scored seven in the 12 domestic games prior to that. (I haven’t counted the Europa League group games during the latter period for reasons that I hope are obvious).

    Pepe, Saka, Lacazette and Aubameyang have all looked markedly improved players during this time. That is not entirely down to Smith-Rowe but he, to my mind, is the single largest factor. I think what I like most about him is the simplicity in his game. I think we will see more of his goalscoring talent as the weeks and months progress and the assists are certainly very useful.

    This from arseblog on ESR
    Fills me with immense pride

  36. Winthorpe

    ESR and Saka while vaital cogs already are going to run this arsenal team for a decade
    I truly hope Pepe and Odegaard are here with them providing assists and goals and offering the sorts of performances I know they are capable of
    Such an exciting quartet of super talented lads

  37. Winthorpe

    Perfect summary of ESR
    He can adapt his game to become whatever he needs to be during a game. That’s why on the podcast Pedro says he reminds him of a different arsenal legend every game. He tailors it to suit the needs of the team. He finds the weakness of the opposition and the spaces where he can support whoever is playing on that side. Doesn’t matter what part of the pitch. He does the right thing at the right time with little fuss and is happy to let the others take the plaudits for his clever work

    I love the lad
    What a find

  38. shaun

    Love Saka and ESR but Saka is a little further ahead for me but it is close as I love the way ESR increases the tempo of play in the final third , something that has changed the dimension of our attacking play .when those two mature hopefully they will be very special players indeed

  39. Uwot?

    Well raise my f** ng rent! Bell end poncing about again.This time as a fashion wannabe.All that’s wrong with the modern footballer.You just know If Fergie had him the hairdryer treatment would be all over him with double training sessions on how to take a throw in & cross the ball…properly.sadly simple ,basic skills take a back seat these days to their actual profession of being a footballer or a pretend one.

  40. Pierre

    “You just know If Fergie had him the hairdryer treatment would be all over him ”

    Bellerin probably thinks the hairdryer treatment is a new hair product

  41. Nelson

    We have to improve the squad depth if we want to compete for Top4 next season. We rely heavily on two youngsters, Saka and ESR. If we play them today, it would be a madness to play them on Sunday again. We need them for the rest of the season.

    Arteta can talk really well. I hope that he can convince KSE to help out in the Summer TW.

  42. AFC Forever

    Thanks Jim.

    The bit about Keith Hackett and Manchester referees was something I mentioned previously. It has nothing to do with whether or not that Manchester referee supports a Manchester club. Hacketts concern was about a referee living in an area where he would be regularly subjected to bias & influence; perhaps by local media reports or the fact their children go to local schools; or they have to walk around in the local area etc. Pissing off the natives can lead to a heap of problems, just look at the recent behaviour on social media.

    The problem PGMOL have is they only promote from Northern regions, which with the North/South divide is often used as a reason to explain why, since PGMOL started, Arsenal stats are so poor. You will regularly see Manchester referees travelling all over the Country to do Manchester games because 33% of referees come from there. There are 16 referees in the ‘select group’;
    5 from Manchester; Atkinson, Kavonagh, Mason, Taylor & Tierney
    5 from the Midlands; Attwell, Coote, Friend, Mariner, Scott
    3 from Yorkshire;
    2 from the North East
    1 from Liverpool; Mike Dean (probably the most incompetent of the lot yet somehow gets all the big games)

    So if you drew a line in the middle of England, there is nothing below that line, which is damning. Keith Hackett remember was the former head of PGMOL, so he knows where the problems of that job are and he was adamant it was the imbalance based on regions, as seen in Jims video above. He claimed it was deliberate and was based on the fact that the Northern referees tended to allow a more rugged and physical game – remember the FA are very protective of the “English” game. As hackett said, it needs more balanced representation and accountability. Mike Dean made two mistakes that were made worse because he viewed them on the VAR screen – there is no excuse for fucking up so badly, none whatsoever. He will continue to get games, yet he should have been sent for immediate retraining because he clearly does not understand the game. He was allowed to deflect because morons sent him death threats. he will be back making the same bad decisions he usually does.

  43. AFC Forever


    “Bellerin probably thinks the hairdryer treatment is a new hair product”

    Made me laugh. He really is a poser that boy.

  44. AFC Forever

    Big game tonight:

    Can anyone pick the starting 11 bearing in mind we fly back tomorrow and play City on Sunday.


  45. Kroenkephobe


    Extra smarmy hair gel with a special alkysaliva essence from the windswept, isolated wastelands of Glasgow. Formerly endorsed by D Beckham. Because they’re worth it!

    Feeling good about tonight. If we get those balls pinging about on the flanks and start getting behind their back four, the goals should start coming.

    I hope Benfica don’t bring that huge eagle cos it might attack Hector’s barnet. I lived in Lisbon for 6 months and went to some games at estadio da luz – they were shite at that point and the circling bird of prey was just about the only entertainment.

  46. Uwot?

    Yes andy1886. Key part of that sentence “ if you deliver”-With regards to Bellend ,I think we all know the answer there ,hey?with any luck this summer the Barca bandits will come calling ( the can’t resist a bit of DNA )& we can get rid of the mincer.

  47. Jamie

    Hector isn’t doing anything Freddie didn’t do before him.

    The difference is their output on the pitch. That’s why Hector gets panned for his extracurriculars. If he was an elite RB, no one would give a shit what he wore or what he ate the night before a game.

  48. Nelson


    For today, I would play the same team as last game. For Sunday, I would play:

    _____________________Mathew Ryan
    Reiss Nelson_________Holding____Mari____________Tierney
    ______________Chambers______ Elneny

    That’s all we have unless there are some youngsters who can step up.

  49. Rich

    Reiss Nelson at right back would be interesting

    I’d go with rotation today as well

    ………..Holding Gabriel
    …..,,…Ceballos Elneny
    Willian Odegaard Pepe

    This starting 11 should be capable of getting a result, bring Xhaka on for Ceballos, and get Odegaard off after 65 minutes

  50. The Bard

    Bellerin looked the real deal a few years ago but as some have posted he hasn’t really progressed. His delivery and passing are average. Injury, poor coaching who knows. I wouldn’t mind if we sold him. It’s such an important position these days you need top quality, bang average won’t do.

  51. Chris

    Lots of talk across Arsenal media today about rotating, and personally I just don’t agree with it.

    It really is obvious why we need to be putting our strongest resources into winning this competition, we shouldn’t be taking any game lightly.

    Honestly, rotate in the league for the next two games, we are unlikely at this stage to finish much higher or lower.

  52. shaun

    tonight I would go for

    Chambers , luiz, Mari , Soares/subbed for Tierny on 70 mins
    Ceballos , Elneny
    Pepe ,Odegaard-subbed on 60 mins for ESR , Martinelli
    something is telling me we can get a result against city , god knows why lol………………lol

  53. Anonymous Commentator

    Put out the same team that beat Leeds, let’s at the very least see if that standard of attacking play can be maintained.
    Rotate for city, maybe even play the 3-4-3, we can’t be expecting to handle the ball all that much there.

  54. Winthorpe

    Freddie never once shoe horned his political views into interviews either. He got on with his football. I couldn’t give a toss what bellerin wears or what hair cut he has, I care about him playing well for arsenal. All of the rest is just his vanity become a distraction. Learn how to pass or cross the ball. That’s what fans want. Look at KT as shining example of what fans want form their full backs.

  55. Rich

    I disagree about the league

    It’s all to play for, things were looking grim back in December

    But the emergence of Smith-Rowe, and loaning Odegaard, changes the whole dynamic of the team

    We can create now, we already had goal scorers

    Saka is rapidly improving

    We’ve got Tierney + Partey to come back

    If we can keep our key players fit, we can do much better over the next 14 games

    But that will involve resting players, so they don’t break down, the schedule is hectic

    Take a strong bench, but our squad players should have too much for Benfica

    Lacazette + Pepe are playing well, I’d definitely rest Saka who’s played the most minutes of any outfield player this season, and who’ll likely be the first name of the team sheet for England as well

    Odegaard + Smith-Rowe can play together

    But we loaned Odegaard so we’ve got competition in that area, which enables us to rotate and rest Smith-Rowe

    Tonight is an important game, but we’ve got a first team squad of 25, we need to use it

  56. Rich

    If Partey is back for the weekend?

    This team can give City a game

    …….Holding Gabriel
    ……,…Partey Xhaka
    Saka Odegaard Smith-Rowe

    City will rightly be favourites, but this team can cause anyone problems

  57. Matt

    You couldn’t possibly find more of a contrast between our full backs. You have Bellerin on one side and on the other you have KT who has probably not put an ounce of product in his hair ever!

    The only similarities are that they both tuck their shirts in, which suits KT much more than Bellerin!

  58. Winthorpe


    I agree with much of what you say but we aren’t reaching top four this season
    The Europa is our best chance and for me that takes precedence now. I’m not sure we have enough depth right now to field a team strong enough to compete in both

  59. Chris

    I do think Arteta will rotate this evening, I believe he will be resting players for the City game, and I do want to have good faith on the players that would come in tonight, but we have looked so much better as a whole team with ESR and Saka pulling the creative strings, it would be a shame for our prospects on this competition to suffer when there are huge rewards for winning it.

    I know Benfica haven’t been doing as well as they would have liked, but they shouldn’t be underestimated. Whatever team we put out, a score draw would be a good result, although away goals are a nonsense in two legged neutral venues.

  60. Winthorpe

    My predicted 11

    ESR/Willian (I hope not but I fear he may rest both Saka and ESR)

  61. Uwot?

    While we’re on the subject of Bell end ,I’d also like to know what’s with the 1970s hot pants shorts😅is it a shout out to his fanboys?or another fashionista attempt?

  62. Chris

    Borrowed from elsewhere: lunchtime trivia?

    Who are the only four players to have featured for BOTH Arsenal and Benfica in European competition?

    First one I thought of was Stefan Schwarz, possibly even against us for them?

  63. Vintage Gun

    I hope Saka gets a rest today Or a sub appearance at best. If our other options cant cover a teenager for one game then they shouldn’t be here.

  64. AFC Forever

    Nelson and Rich

    Really depends on how Arteta is prioritising between Europa and PL. I think Ryan will start in goal. If Tierney is fit I can’t see him playing tonight unless he gives him the last 20 minutes or so to get something into his legs. I think he may rest the best part of Sundays starting 11, the others will get rotated off. Starters I think for Arteta will be Ryan, Mari, Pepe, Lacazette, Nelson, Elneny, Ceballos & Odegaard.

  65. AFC Forever

    Talking of Bellerins shorts, anyone on here know why Jack Grealish wears those extra small shorts? I have no idea how he doesn’t chaff in those, he looks like a reject from the Village people.

  66. Zacharse

    Wow great reading. Definitely had no idea how many ‘old boys’ on here. Thanks for that

    Nice write up on LG fan fav david luiz on bbc. Guy’s seen it all done it all and responded in kind. The only player in the current side i’d want to pick the brain of over a pint.

    All signs point toward tera rotating today, at least w saka and at CB. Hope we keep up the form and end the tie in the first leg

  67. China1

    They must all be Brazilians because I can’t recall us having a single Portuguese

    Interesting seeing vieira and Henry linked to Bournemouth. To date vieiras managerial record has been better. If either of them gets it then I wish them the best tho

  68. Nelson

    The league has many teams playing low block or parking the bus. Also EPL is much more physical than teams playing in the Europa cup. Those EPL teams, who are fighting for survival, have many big and physical defenders. Just like Villa, they’ll be fully prepared and eliminate Saka with physical plays. I can see that we could lose points against those teams.

  69. Chris

    David Luiz yes, not sure if Michael Thomas played in Europe for Benfica. One of them is Reyes also, he spent a season at Benfica 08/09

  70. China1

    Jamie you’re right Freddie was modeling in his tighty whities and was a massive gay icon (even tho as far as I know he is straight)

    And no arsenal fans gave a fuck. We loved the guy as an absolutely legendary player. Infinite time for the guy. Never heard an arsenal fan ever say a bad word about him

    Bellerin gets it in the neck not because people care about extra curriculars but because his performances aren’t that good and his attention always seems to be elsewhere. Be an elite RB and we will all gladly tolerate his awful taste in trousers

  71. China1

    Yeah if Bellerin wants to have his extra curriculars tolerated he should start by learning how to take a fucking throw in

  72. China1

    For comparison if saka came out tomorrow as a vegan hippy with a side career modeling nappies made from grass I’d be like yoooo have fun bro because Saka is THE GUY and he can do whatever the fuck he needs to do if it keeps him happy and performing like a boss

  73. Winthorpe

    China1February 18, 2021 14:10:23
    Jamie you’re right Freddie was modeling in his tighty whities and was a massive gay icon (even tho as far as I know he is straight)

    Only second to King Kanu 😉

  74. Winthorpe

    I’d play my strongest tonight and rest for city
    I do t see us beating city anyway so why risk and important competition for a game we are highly likely to lose, even with our best 11 on the pitch

  75. Rich

    I agree Chambers isn’t a right back,

    But the reality is Bellerin can’t play every minute of every game

    And our competition for Bellerin, is Soares, who’s also our only cover for Tierney, unless we move Saka there

    Loaning out Niles + Kolasinac, and not aggressively pursuing a left back, has unbalanced again

    The mismanagement of our squad continues…..

    We fix the balance of our attack, only to screw ourselves over at full back

    Typical Arsenal……

  76. Danny

    we were sitting pretty in 3rd with 5 games
    Actually we were 4th with a game in hand over 5th place Chelsea but Emery still managed to completely fuck it up.

  77. China1

    Winthorpe I never knew Kanu was a gay icon

    He will always be one of my top 5 favourite players. Firstly because the shit he used to do on the pitch just made me happy and secondly because he has done so much to help kids in need in his life. He’s one of the best human beings ever to play football

    Even now he’s still helping African kids with holes in their heart get the surgery and support they need to have a chance at life. Infinite love to him

  78. AFC Forever


    Chambers is a right-back, he always was. But he’s played centre back for us as well.

    When on loan with Fulham, when he walked their player of the season, with 46% of the fans votes, he played DM. But he started out as a right-back. The game has changed now, full-backs are now wingers which perhaps doesn’t suit him We also have to careful we don’t do this kneejerk thing and dump on players because they haven’t been around.

    After Fulham’s relegation from the Premier League, he came back to us and scored his first goal of the season on 22 September 2019 in our 3–2 victory against Aston Villa, which inspired our comeback with 10 men coming from behind twice to win. Two days later, he played the full 90-minutes at right-back, providing three assists in our 5–0 EFL Cup victory over Nottingham Forest. Soon after, Chambers ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee against Chelsea. He hasn’t played since.

  79. Rich

    I agree top 4 is very unlikely

    Europa League is doable, and also very important, we can get 5th or 6th

    If we keep our key players fit, we’ll do much better over the bulk of the last 14 league games

    Keeping them fit, will mean rotation.

    28-30 points from 42 available, should be the aim

    Which will give us 62-64 points

    City – 0 points

    Leicester – 3 points

    Burnley – 3 points

    Spurs – 3 points

    West Ham – 3 points

    Liverpool – 0 points

    Sheffield United – 3 points

    Fulham – 3 point

    Everton – 1 point

    Newcastle – 3 points

    West Brom – 3 points

    Chelsea – 0 points

    Palace – 1 point

    Brighton – 3 points

    63 points should put us in the top 6

    I’m much more confident now, 2 quality attacking midfielders makes us dangerous, the goals should flow more freely if we can keep them fit

    We can have a good end to the season, hopefully our second string can see of Benfica, then the draw is kind to us, and horrible to United + Leicester + Spurs

    Arsenal vs Villarreal is written in the stars….

  80. Winthorpe


    I think we can get something at city and chelsea
    Also, are we not at home to Everton? I’d bet we could take 3 points there. My worry is spurs and city more than anyone in the remaining games
    Liverpool and chelsea are there for the taking off we go at them

  81. Matt


    I think you are looking back at Chambers with very rose tinted glasses on. You say we have to be careful not to dump on players just because they haven’t been around, but that works both ways. Let’s not make him out to be a better player than he actually is by picking some choice highlights, including when he was at Fulham. Let’s remind ourselves why he as at Fulham in the first place!

    Who knows, he may prove me wrong. I said earlier in the season that Holding was not good enough and he has proven me wrong so maybe Chambers can do the same.

  82. Winthorpe

    Chambers was very good at rb under emery and even better at cb once Arteta took over
    Fulham’s player of the year after 4 months at dm.

    It would be cray cray to get rid of someone that valuable. Same with AMN. You need players like those in your squad

  83. Rich

    Chambers is far too slow over the first few metres, gives away silly free kicks, and he’s clumsy

    Technically he’s a decent player, but he lacks the athleticism to play there, he’s much more suited to playing centrally with a team who sits deep

    Rather than running up and down the width of the pitch, or sat on the halfway line

    We won’t be doing him any favours coming back from an ACL, and playing him at right back, he’ll be targeted by pacy and agile players

    But we’ve not really left ourselves with much choice.

    It’s either risk Chambers at right back against Benfica, or risk breaking Bellerin

    It’s clear we’re going to have to manage Tierney’s game time, or risk breaking him as well

    Unless we’ve got a young lad ready to break through?

    We’re going to have to find a way to rest and rotate our full backs

    Genuine competition for Tierney, should be at the top of our transfer list this summer, and leaving ourselves short after letting Niles + Kolasinac go, is just another example of our comp,eye incompetence when it comes to building a cohesive and balanced squad

    We love a bit of mismanagement….

  84. TheBayingMob

    I’m not sure it was pounced on (I’m sure it was), but earlier in the comments Sid said he watched Ted Drake score for Arsenal as a teenager in 1933, not knowing that he would have to go and serve in WWII just a few years later. Made me chortle. Let’s assume Sid was 13 at that point, the youngest teenager possible … that would put him at 101 years old today. If we have a centurion tapping out comments on a football blog with his telegram from the Queen sitting next to him, then kudos … I doubt it tho. Good laugh all the same.

  85. Nelson

    “Arsenal vs Villarreal is written in the stars”

    This would be the game of the season for our divided fan base. Both RH and Pedro would be nervous.

  86. TheBayingMob

    “It’s clear we’re going to have to manage Tierney’s game time, or risk breaking him as well”

    Tierney will never play a full season for Arsenal, why the club have continually dealt in broken players over the past 15 years is concerning and shows no signs of abating.

  87. AFC Forever


    “I said earlier in the season that Holding was not good enough and he has proven me wrong so maybe Chambers can do the same”.

    Matt, fair comment. However, the debate was about him not being a right-back, which was incorrect and then criticism followed. I think the criticism has to be fair and balanced and that wasn’t imo. I was really just arguing that he started out as a right-back but has played at CG and as DM, which highlights he isn’t as bad as some would paint.

    Ability, form, injury, being played out of position or playing with other players not good enough etc all affect performance levels. Why were DeBruyne, Salah and Torres so poor at Chelsea? Not that Chambers is in their class but you get my drift. Chambers hasn’t had a chance to play in a team that is much better set-up under Arteta defensively, so I would prefer to judge when he gets a chance again. That was a serious injury though, takes a lot to come back from one of those cruciates. Best luck to him I wish him the best suffering that injury wearing our shirt.

  88. AFC Forever

    The BayingMob

    “’I’m not sure it was pounced on (I’m sure it was), but earlier in the comments Sid said he watched Ted Drake score for Arsenal as a teenager in 1933, not knowing that he would have to go and serve in WWII just a few years later. Made me chortle. Let’s assume Sid was 13 at that point….”

    I think it was ignored because it was Sid being silly. Silly Sid if you like. Mind you, Emirates Stroller watched Stanley Matthews in 1956 so he has to be in his 70’s, now that is something. Makes all us 50 year olds, Andy, bergkamp63, kroenkephobe look like spring chickens.

    Mind you, Sid may have bought one of Pierres watches?

  89. Rich

    Full back is the most physically demanding role in the team.

    Tierney gives a lot, we broke him by playing him for 120 minutes in the cup, even in the latter stages of injury time, he was making darting runs in behind

    Soares got into some really good positions against Leeds, but either his left foot let him down, or we lost momentum cutting back onto his right

    Tierney will be alright, but we need natural competition, so we don’t burn him out

    He was electric in December, I think he created more chances than any other player in the league?

    All action players like Tierney + Martinelli are fun to watch, but they need carefully managing, I love their enthusiasm for the game

  90. Zacharse

    Lets see if they get past salzburg which I doubt will happen

    Very interested in the man u sociedad tie, those are the two favorite teams to win EL

  91. shaun

    Consistency is key an Arteta has proven he can’t keep the team performing at a consistently high level and that is the worry . we can beat most of the teams we have to play if we cut out the silly individual errors and if the coach keeps a balanced side and does not revert to dumb substitutions and change the tactics if we are getting over run in the middle don’t just play the whole game out with the same formation that just isn’t working

  92. Rich

    Europa League outright

    Spurs 5/1 Favourites

    United 11/2

    Arsenal 9/1

    AC Milan 10/1

    Leicester 12/1

    Napoli 12/1

    Ajax 14/1

    Leverkusen 16/1

    Villarreal 18/1

    Benfica 20/1

    Roma 20/1

    9/1 is a decent price….

  93. Nelson


    Compare to the League

    -Top – four Sky Bet odds: 20/1

    -Adam Smith: Arsenal to finish at 10th with 54 pts

    -Football Observatory: Arsenal to finish at 11th with 53 pts

  94. Uwot?

    @Afc forever.yeah agree about Grealish & his shorts.It’s a wonder doesn’t pull a hernia😂Maybe the speedos look is making a comeback?

  95. Kroenkephobe


    The spuds are favourites for the EL? I imagined they’d be somewhere in the top 5 but favourites?

    I know the year ends in 1 but someone’s taking the piss. Let’s hope things backfire for them against WAC pellets. Boom boom.

  96. Rich


    Spurs are favourites with Bet365

    Haven’t shopped around though


    The reason I think we’ll do better in the second half of the season, is we now have 2 quality attacking midfielders

    It’s a game changer for us, our issue has been breaking down deep blocks

    Teams had been happy to give us the ball, and hit us on the counter, and we had no solution to that script

    In the second half against Leicester, Luiz went off, they man-marked Xhaka, and Vardy hit us on the counter

    We seen the same script against Villa, Wolves, Spurs, Burnley, Southampton and Everton

    I think teams will struggle to keep us out with Odegaard + Smith-Rowe

    We didn’t have the technical quality to break down a deep block

    Wenger used to covet technical number 10 types, and we used to dominate against weaker teams

    The only fit one we had in the first half of the season, was being paid £300k p/w, to play fortnight on his sofa

    Which again comes down to poor squad management, rather than necessarily poor coaching

    We’ve got issues at full back numerically, but we’re in a much better place from an attacking perspective

  97. AFC Forever


    “I prefer holding to chambers but I wouldn’t let chambers go. He’s a good player.”

    Yep, agree. Injury permitting. Cruciate injuries can be horrible to come back from. I had a cruciate and cartilage injury in my twenties and it cut it all too short really because I was a decent player. Still playing occasionally, mid-fifties, but knee swells and it’s agony, never recovered. Stop it, I’m starting to feel sorry for myself now.

  98. AFC Forever

    Rich, my eyes go mad having to scroll to read your comments – any chance you can stop your phone paragraphing every sentence mate? AFC