by .

Well, what an average week.

One bad decision snowballed into multiple.

The biggest problem this week was how we approached the Europa League. We went big, played a group that had been rinsed physically by the Leeds game, we didn’t win.

Then we headed into Sunday, we were forced to rest players, and our lack of depth couldn’t handle City’s quality.

We lost 1-0. That’s not bad against the best team in Europe, the problem was less about the result, it was more about the acceptance of a lesser defeat.

‘We didn’t get spanked as bad as we usually would have’ is a 2019 way to look at games. Yesterday, after going down in under 2 minutes again, we just seemed to land on the idea that losing by one goal would be acceptable.

That’s not cool.

We played our way back into the game after Sterling of all people headed in birthday boy Mahrez’s cross early on.

We were certainly asking questions of City, especially in the last 15 minutes. We were stretching their defence, we were pinning them back, we had some moments. The hope was that we might have a go in the second half.

We didn’t.

We played with fear. The whole game was predicated on caution. Odegaard rarely took a chance by turning into space. The Norwegian was not at the races, it was a timid showing from him, but again, maybe his fitness was running low after a few games in a row after very little before. Mo Elneny’s fear of vertical passing seemed to infect everyone’s confidence. Auba, clearly knackered, offered next to nothing going forward. His fake jumps for balls in the box were embarrassing. His body language was shocking at times. He offered nothing. Is it time to accept that he can’t handle three games in a week? Is it time to accept that in hardworking games like that, you need a different forward leading the line: Lacazette or Martinelli would have offered more.

Defensively, I kept on thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have ball players.’ Rob Holding was fairly decent, but he’s not really built to be spraying it around against City. Pablo Mari was supposed to be the artful of the two, he just kept passing it Holding. Hector Bellerin was deeply frustrating all day. His partnership with Pepe was horrendous, not helped by the wingers return to normal form. His first touch was horrible. His decision making wasn’t great. Then you had Tierney, not his best day out, but maybe City was too much to ask after 5 games out.

Let’s talk about Pepe. He’s just not the full ticket, is he? His runs were poor, his touch wasn’t great, his decision making was laughable… he looks like he should be a good player, I’m just not sure we’ll ever see it. I’d prefer to see Martinelli on the left and Saka coming in on the right

We also have to be very honest about this squad. It is very nothingy without Thomas Partey. You can’t expect to beat City with Mo Elneny playing next to Xhaka. It’s not the Egyptian’s fault, he’s a sound guy, no doubt, but he’s painfully limited in games that require accurate passing with an edge of boldness.

The Arteta system needs fast passing from the base and it needs someone leading the line that is fully fit. Auba couldn’t run the line, he hid from crosses, and he looked sad. Elneny is living the dream, he’s the African Carl Jenkinson, we need to move on from him.

We also need to find a strong narrative heading into the end of the season. At the moment, there’s nothing to hold onto as a fan. We’re 1 step forward, 2 back every other month. It’s exhausting. There’s progress, but it’s not wrapped in anything. Arteta keeps telling us what we already know. He needs to give us hope. He needs to show us he can give us a run or another trophy.

Ending Leicester City’s title run next week? Yes please.

Ending Jose Mourinho’s Spurs career? Double yes.

Winning the Europa League by putting Unai ‘Good Ebening’ Emery to the sword? Don’t say sexy things you don’t mean.

This season has been shit. Give us some f*cking joy. Put a run together.

Check out our On The Whistle Podcast. It’s with Matt and Johnny. It’s a good one. They are basically miserable af and I keep the positivity bubbling. I’m that guy now. Imagine?

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. NORG

    Pedro is right about Adidas. Sales increased over Puma but they are a long way off several other UK teams. A FA CUP final appearance (and win) increased sales at an alarming rate but the Christmas figures were not as good as expected.

  2. AFC Forever


    ” because you’re exactly the fan who kept passionately asking that Wenger be given more and more and more time”

    Am I? Jesus mate, quality debating right there. Well done. Take a fish as we all applaud that insightful, assumption based comment.

    It may be useful at this stage to point out that Wenger was at Arsenal for twenty plus years mate. Arteta, on the other hand, was appointed December 2019, after Emery was sacked. I make that one year and 2 months. And an FA Cup. Unai Emery was given a year, how did that turn out? Why do we all have to suffer because fans like you expect instant success and if you don’t get it go crying for the ‘me, me, me button? Why does it always have to be able what you want?

  3. Winthorpe

    Heard it all now
    Odegaard a safe player. 🤦🏻‍♂️
    The kid is the epitome of high risk passing. Wait til he finds his feet and adjusts to the league
    He will be dynamite
    Just you watch

  4. Matt


    You’re missing the point, intentionally I think.

    As you work in advertising, you know far better than I do that every brand (and lets face it, that’s what we are) are constantly looking to crack new markets and customer demographics.

    Given that fans are essentially customers, I wonder how many young kids (and future customers) we are losing to the likes of City, United, Chelsea (Leicester?) while we are floundering around in the wilderness of mediocrity. Who is going to replace the current fanbase when we get old(er) and die? As TYAG said, what kid asks for an Arsenal kit these days unless his Dad is a fan?

  5. Thank you and goodnight

    I’d never force my kids to support Arsenal because I do. As I said I didn’t care who they supported as long as it wasn’t the spuds or Utd. Also Pedro, kids don’t know about loyalty at that age, they support who’s the best team. Oh sorry one other team I wouldn’t let them support, Chelsea 🤮

  6. Cheney10

    Leftside: I’m not sure I agree that ‘standards are low’, I just think most people can see that our squad is deficient in a number of areas and are happy to give the manager time to address the issues that we clearly have.

  7. Kroenkephobe

    “Arteta is fucking clueless. I had a shit this morning that could do a better job than Arteta, and my shit talks less shit than Arteta”

    That is some pretty metaphysical, errr, shit.

  8. Pedro

    Matt, great brands stand the test of time. Arsenal are a great brand. Shirt sales aren’t dependent on bad seasons, it’s history.

    Liverpool had massive commercials despite not winning the league for 30 years.

    United still pull in the big dough despite being shite.

    Arsenal is a massive, massive draw and people like to be associated with us.

    We also win trophies. Even in the last ten years, we’ve brought in plenty of cups. We literally lifted a trophy last season. Not sure many of the Spurs kids at TYAG’s training session could say that.

    Football brands are not built on 5 years… they’re built over 50.

  9. Pedro

    TYAG, they are taught loyalty. I wasn’t allowed to shapeshift when I tried. I’m glad. Kids that swapped teams get ripped on as adults.

    You wear the Arsenal shirt regardless of what happens.

  10. AFC Forever

    Matt, why do kids buy Spurs kits? They haven’t won a League for 60 years or an FA Cup for 30 years. It even has a chicken on the front. Unless you’re around 68, not suffering from dementia then you might be able to tell the grandkids or great-grandkids about it. You also better hope they like a KFC.

  11. Thank you and goodnight

    In fairness Pedro most kids I grew up with all remained loyal to the team they chose to support at a young age. Children will support the teams that are successful no matter what. When we were winning the EPL under wenger, it seemed every other kid was an Arsenal fan( Utd being the other choice obviously). Now you drive through my town on match days and you rarely see young Arsenal fans anymore

  12. Matt


    I didn’t mean in terms of jumping ship, once you pick your team you stick with that team (at least most people do). I’m not saying that would change but kids supporting clubs because their old man supports them is going to change. If they are not supporting them for that reason then they will support the teams who are successful in THEIR lifetime growing up.

  13. Kroenkephobe

    My three kids had no choice – when they were young I expressly avoided talking about any other teams. It was a full on propaganda job including the myth that it’s the law that kids have to support the same team as their dad.

    It was self preservation. I couldn’t have handled one of them, say, making a wanker gesture in my face yesterday while wearing a load of bullshit MC paraphernalia.

  14. Winthorpe

    Kids these days support teams based on the player the model themselves on.
    Young black kids in London may go for United due to Rashford or Pogba

    Young muslim kid in Manchester may choose Liverpool because of mane or salah.
    The old rules don’t apply with this generation
    I loved players from rivals as a kid and played more like them but arsenal was my team.

  15. AFC Forever


    “Kids that swapped teams get ripped on as adults.You wear the Arsenal shirt regardless of what happens”.


    The debate sums up the fairweather plastic fan, the ones who buy the shirt for the team that currently wins things, so they can wave their arms in the air. Nobody likes them. Arsenal is a huge club, historically far superior to most others. I have always been a proud Gooner. I don’t want those artificial fans buying shirts, bugger off to Man Utd or Chelsea. Once a Gooner always a Gooner. It’s a privilege to be an Arsenal fan, we are respected all around the World.

  16. S23

    Pedro-great post as usual.
    I understand the give Arteta time approach,and the poor state of the club when he came in.
    I can see some progression in our play,although I would like to think top end players would be able to work a method that enhances their abilities.
    The one thing I cannot accept is the hard lines approach,Arteta is adopting -especially to our young players.
    I fear Saka will be burnt out,Martinelli will want to move on,and we may have already lost Guen and Saliba.
    Perhaps what is needed is an old head like Mick Phelan at United,so the Boss lays out his ways and the other players can approach the assistant as a sounding board.
    I just dont get that impression from Steve Round that is what he does,with young players it is all about face saving,also he could advise Arteta on substitutions and other experienced matters.
    I feel that when the fans are back,it will become unbearable for the Manager and Board and we will end up with whomever is available and cheap.
    In my opinion the Kroenke’s see our club as a nice little earner with no ambition for it,hence the no shows of Stan at our games,when we were allowed out.
    Bad days are ahead,but get through them and we should have an easy run in -on paper!!
    Finish below 8th and I think the fat lady will be warming up.

  17. Matt


    ‘It’s a privilege to be an Arsenal fan, we are respected all around the World.’

    Hopefully you didn’t mean that Arsenal fans are respected all around the world?

  18. Pedro

    Matt, I follow a lot of the young creators on Twitter. The Arsenal base is huge. They started supporting when we were heading south. We’re a massive club, we have a very diverse fanbase, and we’re associated with the cool bits of London and creativity.

    We can handle a bad season.

  19. AFC Forever


    “My three kids had no choice”

    Same here. One Spud shirt and I would have dragged them down to see a psychiatrist. If that failed, the next stop would have been the adoption centre. My wife would have taken their other hand. Not having it.

  20. Kroenkephobe


    I lived in Highbury for 25 plus years and would always see kids out (even on a Saturday) wearing manure and liverpool jerseys. Used to make me apoplectic, and I’d question what their parents were thinking. Never saw it the other way around when up north. Leedsgunner – assuming you’re from West Yorkshire, it’d be interesting to hear your take on that.

  21. Nelson

    I know a few families in Canada. Football is only their second love {behind hockey}. They all support MC, the EPL champion. Winning the league is a big draw.

  22. Jamie

    Local fans support their local club.

    I grew up a 5 minute walk from Highbury, so I had no choice. Thank fuck I didn’t live further up the road.

    I guess it’s different for international supporters, who I suspect choose clubs based on a favourite player.

    Cantona said it best: You can change your wife, your politics, your religion. But never, never can you change your favourite football team

  23. Dissenter

    “I’m hoping taking smith rowe out of the CAM position is not permanent as i think we lose the link up play between saka and smith rowe which is vital for our creativity .”

    That is why I wasn’t too keen on Odegaard on a 5 month loan
    It’s a waste of time and money. It is depriving Saka and ESR a chance to forge something unique..
    3 month …and he’s back to Madrid a more refined player at our expense.
    What would we have gotten for the 2 million loan fee?

    Odegaard on a 4-5 month loan in a season that was already gone is short termism at it’s worst. It’s like dangling new toys in front of the masses to keep them happy.

  24. AFC Forever


    “Unfortunately we are a laughing stock in today’s football world”

    That’s not true at all. Current FA Cup holders, a trophy we’ve won more times than anyone else in the last 10 years. We have things no other team can boast about. Football is cyclic, always has been.

    I belong to a large Football Club, where lot’s of different clubs are supported and we have a Whatsapp group. My mates all support other teams, banter is rife but Arsenal are respected. We’re going through one of those difficult periods. Do you know what I get more grief about? The self-entitlement of some of our fans and the way they behave to Managers. True. Most clubs don’t ever win anything, like Spurs and West Ham but West game are respected. Spurs are the true laughing stock, the most disliked because of their fans self-entitlement too – the difference is they never win anything. Fans behaviour gets fans disliked and ridiculed. Arsenal are a class club, cream will always rise to the top.

  25. Kroenkephobe

    One thing I always enjoyed doing when I was out with the kids and would meet friends and family with their kids in non Arsenal football gear would be to look at their Jersey and ask the kid which team it was. They’d look askance and say it was Liverpool/manure/spurs etc. Then with a completely straight face I’d say who? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them, do they play in South America or something? They’d inevitably look up at their parents thinking what the fuck am I wearing here? A little cruel but fucking priceless.

  26. Dissenter

    I’m u nimpressed by the rationale for using Arsenal as a shop window and resting pen for Madrid at the expense of our young talent.

    -A better manager would have given Azeez a couple of minutes here and there.
    -A better manager would not be subbing in Auba when we were down to 10 men against Wolves, Martinelli outh to have gotten a run out to use his industry to make up for the extra man Wolves had.
    -A better manager would have given Nelson a run out when the match was won against Leeds

    Odegaard at Arsenal for 4-5 months in a season where weren’t close to top 4 is proof that Arteta and Edu are clueless.
    It’s another indication that the young players effed up under your generational manager.

  27. Winthorpe

    . Do you know what I get more grief about? The self-entitlement of some of our fans and the way they behave to Managers. True. Most clubs don’t ever win anything, like Spurs and West Ham but West game are respected. Spurs are the true laughing stock, the most disliked because of their fans self-entitlement too – the difference is they never win anything. Fans behaviour gets fans disliked and ridiculed. Arsenal are a class club, cream will always rise to the top.

    So true. It really is embarrassing

  28. Dissenter

    What kind of reaction do you expect gooners to have when their team has lost 10 games at week 25, same number we lost in 38 games last season?.

    What do you expect gooners to do when you and your ilk are selling this as some kind of “progress”?

    You seem shocked that people are rightly outraged when you’re pissing on their necks and telling them it’s raining.

    You call it “self entitlement” but some would call your approach as defeatist and acceptance of mediocrity.

    One man’s meat they say ….

  29. Dissenter

    When you say Arteta should be given time
    Time for what exactly?

    It is very likely that we won’t be in Europe for the first time in 25 years, only a generational manager can reverse the fortunes of the club in one swoop.
    No European competition has to affect the value of commercial endorsements and deals.
    When stadiums reopen, that less money in gate takings
    No European competition means they summer s[pending has to reflect the hit on the budget.

    We would have to pay over the odds to sign good players – a mediocre ”s tax like we paid Paney at a time when we will have a lower transfer budget.

    Time to keep making the same errors, conceding goals in the first 2 minutes of matches.
    Time to keep training the rookie manager like we are Arsenal managerial finishing school Inc.

  30. Na me ooo

    Smith-Rowe should have started . That game needed players who weren’t awed by the occasion. Replace Odengaard for him , and Elneny for Partey( He is injured, I know) and it would have been a different game.

    Also Lacazette is a ballsy kinda guy . He should have started instead of Aubameyang.

  31. Chris

    “ That is why I wasn’t too keen on Odegaard on a 5 month loan
    It’s a waste of time and money”

    Not this again, really?

    The same was said about Dani Ceballos, he came back for another season. It was absolutely worth taking the punt on a young elite player like Odegaard for two reasons. One, he could help us win the EL or secure league qualification for Europe. Two, if he enjoyed his time here he would likely want to stay, realising his opportunities at Madrid weren’t likely to change.

    Not to be nasty but I have never once seen you say something positive about the club, not once. You even refused to celebrate the win at OT if I remember rightly, you need to take things in isolation and enjoy the moment. Don’t be so uptight, enjoy that we have a fine player the likes of which we have been missing for a while, and who is likely to stay longer with us, hopefully sign permanently.

  32. Dissenter

    Ceballos came to us on a ONE YEAR LOAN
    A lot different from coming to us at the end of January for a loan until mid-May

    I didn’t celebrate the win at OT because it was one tiny measly leap in my opinion. Palace and Spuds had beaten them by the time we did.
    Is there a trophy for wining OT?
    We’ve gone from doing the impossible – the invisibles to celebrating winning at OT? That’s like celebrating not losing more than one nill to city.
    We went on a death spiral afterwards so I hope you got some cold comfort from winning at OT. You can remember 2020 as the year we won again at OT.

    Don’t come at me with nasty for just giving an honest opinion that may be different from yours.
    If you think hosting Madrid starlets for 4-5 months is a reason to celebrate then good for you.

  33. Nelson


    The other day I was telling Pedro that Madrid wants to keep Ode to attract Haaland to join. Pedro tried to convince me that Madrid won’t do it and we can keep Odengaard. We’ll see. I like Odengaard.

  34. bacaryisgod

    I do admire Pedro’s optimism. Last time everyone was calling for Arteta’s head (including me) we went on a decent mini-run. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that might have been a dead cat bounce.

    Pedro thinks we’ll beat Benfica, Leicester and Tottenham and then I think he set a target of 8 wins from our last 12 games. I’m not saying that’s impossible but everything would need to fall perfectly into place for that to happen (including Partey return to fitness, Auba returning to consistent form, Saka not breaking down after being overplayed).

    The other more likely scenario is as follows:

    -Arsenal get knocked out of Europa League-probably not be Benfica but the odds are slim on us winning it.
    -We’ll limp to the finish line in the Premier League. (8th-10th position)
    -Arteta will fail to bring Saliba, Guendouzi and Balogun into the fold for next season
    -We’ll start the 2021-2022 season in much the same way as this season and Arteta will be gone around Christmas (not the best time to hire a replacement, of course)

  35. Dissenter

    I wish we got Odegaard for 1.5 seasons with an option to buy or a first bid shoudl they chose to sell. That woiuld have been good.

    I’m fundamentally against loans that don’t serve our interests. Short term this season is gone and he has no longer term benefits since he’s off to Madrid by May. I understand that some may see it differently and I have to respect that.

    Madrid has designated Haarland as a must-buy because he has a clause on his contract. They will recall Odegaard,. that much is clear.
    It has to be said that he’s not playing like a transcendent talent yet, by the time he gets going the
    season will be over.

  36. Chris


    Not interested in getting into a to and throw with you as it is wasted energy and I mostly come on peace but again, not one positive vibe from you, at all.

    Nearly everyone here was saying Ceballos was a waste of time because it was a loan, forget the length of it, just the fact it was a loan. We may even sign him permanently this summer, rightly or wrongly. The point is, some loans can lead to a long term deal. You are just choosing to ignore this possibility.

    You do have different opinions, they are all negative. Sorry.

  37. Cheney10

    Leftside: I’m not sure that Dissenter’s argument is all that strong in terms of a response. You have to look at the club’s current reality, and as much as I share your,Dissenter’s and others frustrations, we are not in a position to magic success. Our squad is simply not good enough and changing the manager without adequate investment will harvest the same results as we are seeing now. We need to give him time, give him financial support and make a proper judgement once he is not hamstrung by the mistakes of the past.

  38. Pedro

    Nelson, Spanish papers are already saying that Madrid don’t believe the player is interested in staying.

    Why would Odegaard act as a pawn for a manager that doesn’t rate him?

  39. The Bard

    Dissenter. Was your comment written in jest ? ‘Given time for what ?’
    I think its called building a side and that takes time. I havent ever seen a successful side in the last 60+ years that didn’t take time to build. Even the greats like Clough and Paisley needed time. We’ve been a dysfunctional club for at least a decade so I think the phrase ‘given time’ is apt.

  40. Dissenter

    “Negative”… says you
    I don’t believe the club should make 4-5 months loan of a developing player that have no option of becoming permanent when these loans will give our own developing talent less time on the field.

    I don’t understand how you can look back at that “not celebrating ” a win at OT and still brag about it.
    If not for anything, it should have sobered you up.
    We went into a precipitous fall after that and the team we beat went on an unbeaten run, indicating that your celebration was in fact meaningless. That’s type of stuff fans of provincial small clubs do when they go visit big teams in the capital city.

    Did you make a DVD of the OT win by any chance.
    I ask because that’s your gold standard for proving you’re a positive fan.

  41. zimmie2652

    You know your club is in trouble when f*cking ESPN is shitting all over you. Those twats wouldn’t even know about the sport if Sophie Dee sat on their faces and read them the rule book.

    “Manchester City seemed to hardly break a sweat in dispatching Arsenal on Sunday. It finished 1-0, but it never really felt close, and an Expected Goals count of 2.09 to 0.29 rather supports this. Raheem Sterling scored straight away and Mikel Arteta’s crew never really produced anything significant in the opposition final third.

    For City, that’s now 18 wins in a row in all competitions, another clean sheet and a Quadruple push that’s still alive. Kevin De Bruyne’s return is a plus — one they no doubt appreciate, but don’t really need as far as the Premier League is concerned. It was interesting to note though that Pep Guardiola used De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva as alternating false nines rather than give Gabriel Jesus (let alone Sergio Aguero) a run. You wonder if perhaps he’s already projecting towards next season and a future without a genuine striker.

    As for Arsenal, the many absentees can’t really justify this performance. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had to deal with a difficult time off the pitch, but he contributed little on it and he got little support too. When Guardiola praised Mikel Arteta for Arsenal’s excellent defending, it felt like the sort of pat on the head he gives opponents after beating them. On days like these, it’s hard to understand what, if anything, Arsenal is building towards.”

  42. Globalgunner

    I lost my son to being a United fan because for all the years he was growing up we never won a thing under Wenger. he was never particularly fond of football as a wee one but when he went to high school, everybody else was a United fan simply because they were winning the league literally every other season and Wenger had made us into a joke. Kids like to belong to the in crowd. Its one thing to support your local team but who do you support when you are 6000 miles from Highbury. I grew up and went to school along Gillespie road so that where my own support comes from but in truth it was only rekindled years later when we were winning stuff from 98-2004. That’s also where most of Arsenals global support came from. . Success breeds a massive following. Where do you think Chelseas global support comes from:? The Mourinho years? A whole generation of Arsenal support has been lost to our near 20 years of indolence. I cant force my kids to adopt my passions. Yet we hear that we can still wait a bit longer, while our apprentice manager learns how to coach a successful team

  43. Chris

    “ I don’t believe the club should make 4-5 months loan of a developing player that have no option of becoming permanent when these loans will give our own developing talent less time on the field.”

    ESR has been rested once since Odegaard joined, and in case you don’t want to break him (or Saka for that matter) we need to rotate and having that added quality of Odegaard is a positive thing, so unsurprised you fail to see that. We just need to find the right combination of the trio, someone earlier mentioned them swapping positions during games, that’s what I am thinking too.

    “ I don’t understand how you can look back at that “not celebrating ” a win at OT and still brag about it.
    If not for anything, it should have sobered you up.”

    You are completely missing my point here. You didn’t even allow yourself to enjoy the the win at OT in the immediate aftermath of the final whistle. Why should an Arsenal fan not be allowed to brag about winning at OT for the first time in years? How can that be sniffed at? Again the point is, take things in isolation, enjoy the moment because that’s part of what football is about. You are waiting for another Invoncibles season before you can be happy, and that’s just sad.

  44. Tom

    Arteta will be given time no matter the league table come May or Europa league results.
    Empty stadium virtually guarantees this, but I find it interesting that the one thing that has possibly saved his job is being put forth as the one thing he’s suffered from the most.

  45. Tom

    It’s quite simple.
    People who believe Arteta was the wrong appointment and is taking the club sideways at best while wasting time and resources— for which there’s been plenty evidence—won’t be celebrating single victory regardless the opponent.

    Now, In not there personally but can easily understand their motives.

  46. Chris


    “ won’t be celebrating single victory regardless the opponent.”

    Well I just don’t understand this mentality, sorry. A football fan being mocked for his team winning a match is just bizarre, equally as one not being able to celebrate it whilst not ignoring the bigger picture.

  47. Paul Mc Daid

    As long as we are owned by an uninterested owner we are going nowhere, Club is a joke how it is run, Nobody answers to anyone, It’s a joke off a situation.

  48. Dissenter

    I was happy and relived that we beat United for one second, one fleeting moment and my mind was switched unto the villa game because it’s a marathon, not a cup final for the OT win-trophy. I was never sad or unhappy that we won, just so that you know.

    There a difference between been fleetingly happy and moving on vs wanting to stay in that OT victory moment to “celebrate” it. There’s NO significance to winning at OT in my humble opinion.

  49. englandsbest

    No excuses, we were beaten by a better side. Currently streets ahead of the rest in PL, and maybe the best in Europe. Add in that that they had a day more rest and are on an unbroken winning streak. and you could say we put up a pretty good show. We needed a nudge from Lady Luck but maybe she’s saving that for the Europa, or for next season.

    Does the defeat matter? Not a lot when you consider that the very best we can hope for in PL is maybe 6th spot. Can we win the Europa? Definitely. We have a better chance of doing that than of reaching sixth spot.

  50. AFC Forever


    “won’t be celebrating a single victory regardless of the opponent”.

    This is the type of self-entitled, ‘it’s all about me” fan that gets us all a bad name. We beat Spurs and you’re going to refuse to celebrate because you haven’t got your own way. Pathetic.

  51. Pierre

    Just watching the pre match discussion on the brighton/ palace game and it shows how well Brighton have been playing without getting the results.

    Their problem is up front , they are 8th for xg goals 20th for shot conversation.
    Defensively they are in the top 6 i think it was , so there league position is false , mainly because they have not a striker to finish off the moves.

    My immediate thought was , why didn’t they try and sign Eddie Nketiah, on loan at least.
    If anyone can finish off moves , Eddie can .

    It would/could have been a great move for both clubs and player. As it is , Eddie is being ignored by Arteta and Brighton have struggled in front of goal , so to me it was a .issed opportunity for both Eddie and Arsenal..

  52. Tom

    GlobalgunnerFebruary 22, 2021 19:02:19
    I lost my son to being a United fan …

    Then you have failed as a father my friend.
    You only had one job in life in regards to your sons…….. not let them become United supporters.

    As for daughters………not let them become strippers.
    I hope you’re doing better with the latter.

  53. Hitman

    The only thing the club has going for it is its group of talented young players. They could be a thing.
    But the YTS trainee can’t see it.
    Balogun, Saliba, Guendouzi are likely to be off. Martinelli being overlooked in an ominous way.
    Arteta’s dealings suggest he is a petty vindictive chap. He won’t win many dressing room with that type of personality. He will be gone within 12 months.

  54. Cheney10

    I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of Eddie. It would have been good to get him a few minutes elsewhere to see if being a regular helps but I think he lacks on a technical and physical level.

  55. I hate Green Bayg7

    Three subjects to avoid with kids.


    On the subject of wearing shirts, aren’t you anti anyone over twenty wearing them?

    I wear mine and I’m 65

  56. JayJay

    Becoming a fan of a team from different country is always different I imagine, tell you how it was in my case. I’m from Poland, obviously I always loved football and was supporting my local team since I was 12, the very first game I went to was the last game of my club (RKS RADOMSKO ) in league 3 equivalent that gave us promotion. I witnessed another 3 promotions right to the top flight, how fucking amazing that was. We got relegated straight away and that was it, we’ve lost our sponsor and got down to conference where we are still.
    But back to the topic, it was back in 90’s and there was not many opportunities to watch live football games, unless you could afford to pay for canal+ , my parents couldn’t, so most of my knowledge/info was coming from sport newspapers, following games on radio and tele tex, and that how it started ,one day when I was 15 (1996) I found on tele tex addresses of some big clubs and example of begging 😉 letter in english asking for some souvenirs, so I sent about 10 of them to different clubs in England, Italy and Spain. East to guess who replied first, I received some posters, leaflets and a catalogue from great AFC, that was it, love started and continues… back to 2005, I finished uni and didn’t know what I wanted to do, my best mate immigrated to England, bought me a ticket and I moved to Northampton, it took me 4 year (long time, I know) to go and see arsenal live, my other mate got 2 season tickets from some bloke he worked with (btw I could never understand how could somebody be a season ticket holder and sell it to other people, what a fucking bell end he must have been) and I went to Emirates to watch us trashing Blackburn rovers 6:2 with lord bendtner starring 🙃, so yeah that is my love story with mighty Arsenal, hope you didn’t fall asleep while reading

  57. salparadisenyc

    Have to agree, can’t get behind wearing a kit post 18 unless it’s a really bad stag do in which case it may be time to question the friendship or let the booze erase all memory.

  58. I hate Green Bayg7

    I’ve said this many times and I will keep saying it.

    To un-fuck a fucked organisation, things get substantially worse before they get better. And we were about as fucked as it’s possible to be.

  59. Globalgunner

    Tom dont worry he is in his 20s now and doing ok.

    You can only hope your children will love what you love. Force doesn’t come into it. My red line would have been if he wanted to Support Spurs, but they haven’t won anything since before even I was born. There IS a God apparently

  60. JayJay

    Thanks dissenter,
    I remember spending every night looking at that catalogue and dreaming of all that stuff I couldn’t afford

  61. Pedro

    Amen Greenbay, especially when it took ten years to fuck it.

    Raul is right up there with damaging figures. A total charlatan. A flat earther only thinking about himself.

  62. Globalgunner

    I call BS on the stigma of not wearing a kit if you are over 18. In the olden days when fans still attended matches, Most 80% of said fans used to wear the kit. Most of whom are well over 18.

    Nothing more appealing than a fit female in a football kit BTW

  63. JayJay

    I know, I imagine there are some similar and better stories and I know there are some fans from different countries on this blog and would like to know their stories. The best thing is that second club to reply was Parma and third one… Blackburn rovers

  64. Globalgunner

    Kris, too true. British fans dont realise that they make up less than 20% (my estimate) of the clubs worldwide following. Big teams cannot survive on only its local support. Even the dimwits at Arsenal know this, but dont know what to do about it. Do you really think Kroenke relentlessly pursued Arsenal because of its local following?

  65. salparadisenyc

    Ødegaard signed on with Madrid thru 2023, so many variables as to what could happen but not beyond the pale to envision him signing for Arsenal if it all clicks.

    I then fully expect his mate Haaland to follow.

    Back to my happy place.

  66. I hate Green Bayg7

    Been thinking about yesterday. We lost 1-0 to maybe the best team in the world. They had three shots on target. If Saka hadn’t slipped, he may well have scored.

    I just KNEW the amoebas would say Pep went easy on us.

  67. The Godfather

    “Matt, absolutely. Jumping ship is and always will be seen as fucking embarrassing.“

    Careful now Pedro because hot jumped ship on Arteta just a few months ago while you said he was in a death spiral!

  68. I hate Green Bayg7

    The one issue I do have with yesterday was not starting Cedric. He has been really good every time he is called upon.

  69. Nelson

    My football story is quite boring. I studied in West Germany, Gottingen and supported the local team Gottingen 05. There was no seat and only standing place inside the stadium. During the halftime break, all the gates were open, allowing fans to buy food and drinks. Being a poor student, I went to the stadium during the halftime break and watched the game free. Since there was only standing ticket, no one knew that I had no ticket.That was my first encounter of professional football.
    After I went back to Canada, I followed local sports, hockey, MLB and NFL. The owner of my hockey team, George N. Gillett Jr. sold the team and bought Liverpool. That drew my interest to the PL. I was attracted by the beautiful passing plays of the gunner and I started to follow the Arsenal team.

  70. I hate Green Bayg7

    When we moved to Los Angeles in 1995, before the days of streaming, and you connected to the internet by landline, I was resigned to seeing the occasional game. Well, either the US has a massive Arsenal fan base or the producer at NBC was a fan, but every game was live on TV, even the league cup games!
    The downside was getting up at 4.30 to watch lunch time games

  71. Kay

    I thought Arteta was supposed to coach something that neither Wenger nor Emery couldn’t do.

    Now we are bitching about not having 200mill to spend on centre halves

    Yes this place has gone bonkers

  72. JayJay

    Thanks Tom, Pedro,

    Fast forward and I’m here on le grove reading good posts from pedro and comments from fellow gunners, lovely, especially that where I work are only liverpool fans, only one calls himself arsenal fan, but when I messaged him after sterling’s goal, saying “fuckin perfect start” he replied “I’m not watching, no point, we’ll lose 4:0”. Arsenal fan, really?

  73. Kroenkephobe

    Agree with others that it is a nice story Jayjay. Just a shame that the capitalist fuckers at the club sent you a catalague rather than something more meaningful, eg an unsold programme. I remember my mates getting a letter from Ken Friar which they were thrilled with. That was then, this is now. Anyway glad it had the right effect.

  74. Dissenter

    I hate green bayg
    “The downside was getting up at 4.30 to watch lunch time games”

    How about waking up to watch lunch time games at 4.30am to listen to Alexei Lalas on Fox soccer
    Fox soccer taught me how to watch football on mute or transpose it with a BBC radio commentary

  75. Valentin

    When I was young, Lyon was a non entity Football club. ASSE was the big historical club of that region.
    Now bar old nostalgic and kids of local fans, Lyon is the dominant club in the region. Within or Outside the Rhone area, the number of kids wearing the Lyon kit massively outstrip the number wearing the ASSE kits.
    Success from Lyon and lack of success by ASSE resulted in that massive shift.

    In London, before Abramovitch, Chelsea was viewed as a Cup team. 20 years under the Russian oligarch has brought them massive success. Most neutrals would now consider Chelsea as the bigger club than Arsenal.

    Wait a few years where the Invincibles will be forgotten or consigned to history. TH14, DB10, PV4 will make the odd TV appearance and be considered as irrelevant as Souness is today.

    Falling into mid table mediocrity is very easy. Climbing back will be much harder. Once that done, forget about the historic club premium for commercial right, Adidas deal will fall in line with the Aston Villa/Everton level of reward.

    One of my brother send me a picture from kids in Brazil, they were more kits of Chelsea and even Leicester than Arsenal. Time to wake up and see the reality.

  76. Kroenkephobe

    In London, before Abramovitch, Chelsea was viewed as a Cup team

    Before Abramovich, Chelsea were seen as a team that yo-yo’ed between the first and second flight. Matthew Harding helped but they had an enduring flakiness and soft underbelly that we always seemed to exploit. God love ’em…

  77. bacaryisgod

    By the way, allowing your child to become a Man United fan is simply bad parenting. My son floated the idea of him supporting Liverpool a couple of years ago and I shot it down in an instant. It is one of my very few non-negotiables as a parent. He’s completely committed now but moaned throughout the City game, largely at Odegaard for the reason that he wanted Laca to be playing instead of him.

  78. Winthorpe

    Oh crap! I read that Odegaard has a year left this summer
    It’s two years! Fucking bollocks. Ok I reckon they will go for another loan with obligation to buy. Arteta won’t spend on him this summer if he can get a loan and use the funds elsewhere
    I’m certain

  79. Guns of SF

    My son knows better than to say anything other than Arsenal.
    Sometimes he messes with me but quickly corrects himself when he sees my look.

    I purchased the dreamcast navy “Pires” shirt for him before he was even born. LOL. Could not pass up a good deal on Ebay.

  80. Winthorpe

    One of my brother send me a picture from kids in Brazil, they were more kits of Chelsea and even Leicester than Arsenal. Time to wake up and see the reality.

    Chelsea have had more Brazil’s in players. Of course they will wear more chelsea kits
    They’ve had Luiz, ramires, Oscar, Willian, Diego Costa, Pato, Thiago Silva, Emerson, Alex, Belletti.

  81. Tom

    Crystal Palace CB just dealt with an identical ball Arsenal conceded from and none of their CB’s
    cost £60m.
    Emiratesstroller was making a case City’s CB’s cost a fortune and he’s not wrong , but no one was making a case Holding needed to be better than one of them over the span of a season, or better than them at all.
    He just needed to deal with a simple ball he’s perfectly capable of dealing with against a much shorter winger not known for scoring headers.

  82. Kroenkephobe


    Sounds like you’re better at sticking to your non-negotiables than a certain diminutive trainee football manager we sometimes (!) talk about on here.

    I once tried to tell my son’s u13 team that I coached that I wanted them to play like Arsenal – they pissed themselves laughing.

  83. Mb

    Mikel Arteta looks to be one of the first benchers, who comes on time, attend all lectures, tops in all the internal exams but always comes second when it matters.

  84. Dissenter

    Arsenal does generate strange faces from people, ranging from polite chuckles to guffaws.
    We have made more bad press than good press in the last decade.

    Liverpool’s past saved them because they won big European trophies, enough to write legends and myths about
    Arsenal’s history? Wenger helped with the invisibles but he stayed too long. The club needs to make sure that the story of the invincibles gets told again and again.
    Most of our folk lores are local, they don’t connect well with non-UK neutrals, in my opinion

  85. Socrates

    Arsenal have scored just two goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season – the joint-fewest in the league along with West Brom.

  86. Danny

    C..Palace now 2 points from us, along with Leeds, Wolves and Southampton, they’re queing up to overtake us, we could soon be back in 14th.

  87. Emiratesstroller

    Earlier today there were posts about Arsenal’s support level.

    First of all Manchester United’s support level was derived from two historic events. The first
    was the Busby Babes and the Munich Tragedy.

    Manchester’s second event is of course their success in 1990s and 2000s combined under
    Ferguson. They are recognise as the most successful club in modern era in English football.

    It should be mentioned that historically Man Utd were not the premier club in Manchester.
    Manchester City were recognised as the major local club up to 1950s.

    Liverpool became the major club in English Football in 1970s to 1980s due to their success
    in First Division and Europe. That popularity was also enhanced by Hillsborough Disaster.

    However, as pointed out Liverpool were remarkably unsuccessful for 25 years and were
    almost bankrupt. Nevertheless they remained always a universally popular team.

    The third most popular historical club in England is Arsenal despite all the negativity. That
    is because it was always considered the most “stable” and “well run” football club and recognised as the best team in London. Their popularity was also enhanced by the football
    culture during the early years of Wenger.

    Frankly I don’t think that either Chelsea or Spurs can be remotely compared with Arsenal.
    They will always be regarded as “nouveau riche” clubs whose modest success is built on
    money. That may appeal to certain type of fans, but is generally short term.

    Despite what is often written on Le Grove there is still a huge Arsenal Fanbase. That is

  88. Moe

    Spot on mate…..these kids ain’t supporting no loser team at school n become the laughingstock of their mates. Hell no, not even for Daddy. The draw for Arsenal is exactly what now?

  89. Andy1886

    Stroller, I think that your view is very UK-centric. As was pointed out earlier oversees fans greatly outweigh UK based ones and have little understanding of our history. Even Wenger’s last title would precede the majority of them. Liverpool may not have won the league until last season but did win two CL’s and made two more finals. And the CL is heavily featured in overseas broadcasting.

  90. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    I was referring to English Clubs. Both Glasgow clubs have also got massive fan bases. These
    are based on different criteria including nationalism and religion.

    Andy 1886

    Arsenal have got a large global fanbase particularly in Africa and Asia. The club may not
    have been particularly successful in building its commercial brand, but I do think that the
    team is hugely popular.

  91. Emiratesstroller

    Graham 62

    Scottish Clubs appeal to people of Scottish heritage worldwide and then split between Catholic and Protestant.

    What is seldom discussed in the Scottish Independence debate is that similar to Ireland the
    population in Scotland decreased and even now is only marginally large than prewar levels.

    Also there is far smaller immigration in Scotland when compared to England. Scotland was
    for a very long time an Emigrant Country.

  92. D

    I feel really bad for the shock of disappointment you will get when Partey comes back and surprise surprise, just like in all the games he has been able to play, he performs worse than Xhaka.

    We aren’t missing him at all, the problem is quite simply the idea of Artetaball. We play with this fear against virtually everyone, the coward setups and the attacking stats are telling enough, and bribing Meslier to concede 3 goals is the only reason our position looks remotely respectable, but if you pay attention, you realize we’re only playing better than the bottom 4 sides in the league.

    Brighton is a perfect example of what they delude themselves into thinking Arteta is doing. Brighton outplays the opposition, they create a ton of chances, they look and feel the better team on the pitch but individual quality lets them down, particularly in attack. Despite making the atrocious mistake of signing Danny Welbeck, their XG is actually better than ours. We’ve played like the better team in this season only 3 times, 2 of those against relegated sides and a fairly encouraging performance against a decimated Southampton, but nothing else.

  93. Goobergooner


    “My three kids had no choice – when they were young I expressly avoided talking about any other teams. It was a full on propaganda job including the myth that it’s the law that kids have to support the same team as their dad.
    It was self preservation. I couldn’t have handled one of them, say, making a wanker gesture in my face yesterday while wearing a load of bullshit MC paraphernalia”

    This is up there with one of the funniest things I’ve read on here hahaha.

  94. Nelson

    Arteta tasted success by introducing ESR in the offense. He probably thought that he could do the same thing with Odegaard. I hope he doesn’t gamble on Odegaard in the Thursday match and gets back to the proven lineup with ESR, Saka and Laca in the attack. On the left he could pick either Pepe or Auba.
    Odegaard is a good player. But he’ll need a few more games to integrate with the team. Thursday match is too important to experimenting on a new member. I want our team goes deeper in the competition and ideally, meeting Emery’s team along the way. We fans want to know the answer whether Emery is really as bad as what Pedro said.

  95. Tony

    “This is the type of self-entitled, ‘it’s all about me” fan that gets us all a bad name.”

    Give it a rest AFC. You are just as bad calling people trolls who don’t align with your thinking.You’re actually projecting more entitlement than the people you’re complaining about.

    Football is a sport that evokes the strongest of feelings in people and tribal wars between clubs fanatical fan. When emotions are high many people say and do things they don’t really mean – just spur of the moment venting.

  96. Tony

    Are there many Berkshire MILFs where you are from?

    Can you refresh my memory are you from India or Africa?

    Do you need to stock up on your MILF pics?

  97. Tony

    Really sad to see Pele having to use a zimmer frame in the press today.

    His face said it all.

    Still best ever in the world?

    Big yes for me.

    Always wondered if another country could replicate or better Brazil’s golden decades throughout Pele’s football life and beyond for at least a decade?

    Can’t see it happening now the way football has advanced.

  98. China1

    ES we can’t take for granted that arsenal will remain the most popular club in London anymore or for much longer because it’s determined by a constant conveyor belt of old fans dying and young kids getting into football

    Honestly speaking is being a historically stable or well run club couldn’t be less interesting to a 7 year old getting into football right now. Even the glory years of early wenger are a distant memory to be told to them by their parents generation and this will carry little to no weight.

    If the kids see Harry Kane rearing it up, or Sterling, or Werner just for example, that will be what determines where their allegiances end up.

    Arsenal are not the richest club in London. We are not the best club in London. We are not the most likely to win major honour a in London. We don’t have the most exciting big name players in London. We don’t have the most charismatic or famous manager in London. We pretty consistently place lower than spurs and Chelsea in the league. We don’t compete in the CL let alone compete for it.

    Literally the only way you can sell arsenal to new fans right now is to talk about history. Sadly very few will honestly give a shit about what some French guys did for us in the PL back in 2004.

    We are in essence completely irrelevant right now and only success on the field will return us to being that marketable again

  99. China1

    When we still had arsene we had some claim to be the kings of continuity and wenger represented a brand of football even if we stopped actually playing attractive football regularly about 3 years before he left – he did have a very powerful impact on arsenals brand image. But since wenger is gone and his successor has too, there’s not really any lasting point of arsenal to differentiate us from spurs and Chelsea favorably over the last couple of years

    We don’t even play the most attractive football in London. Our stadium isn’t the biggest in north London anymore either. Our brand really is remarkably average for a big team right now.

    This is why it’s imperative even if we don’t win the league or compete these days that we absolutely must win the EL and get playing in Europe again etc. it’s also important that we keep winning the FA cup just to keep our head above water as a club that wins things even if it’s not one of the 3 most important trophies.

    FYI I’m actually quite ok with us being a cup team and not winning leagues if we keep winning lots of cups. I think it’s a cool novelty – but we really must win the EL ASAP to stop appearing so second class

  100. China1

    Like I keep saying if arteta brings home the EL this season I will say great job in spite of all the gripes I’ve had this year.

    Most people think we won’t manage it and they’re probably right but this has to happen this year to salvage the season and give us a great platform for next year.

    Step one is do a number of benfica. Get it done Mikel because I’m not interested in any excuses if we can’t beat benficq over two legs. There will be zero excuses

  101. Winthorpe

    MoeFebruary 22, 2021 22:47:31
    Spot on mate…..these kids ain’t supporting no loser team at school n become the laughingstock of their mates. Hell no, not even for Daddy. The draw for Arsenal is exactly what now?

    Most of these kids don’t sound like they have dads
    I’d say most son’s who share a close bond with their dad will support the team their father supports.

  102. Winthorpe

    Always wondered if another country could replicate or better Brazil’s golden decades throughout Pele’s football life and beyond for at least a decade?

    Did Spain not dominate the world for a decade?