by .

The year is 2021. The future is bleak, face masks and Purrell are the currency of the land. West Ham United are genuinely an excellent side.

Imagine these visions in 2018?

West Ham had a good run out against City, beating them for xG, but losing the game. It’s kind of brutal that TV isn’t aligned better between European football and the league. How can you have City playing the first game of the day after a Champions League run out? Truly brutal.

Arsenal and Leicester are in similar boats this Sunday. I mean, bar the fact Arsenal had to do two away legs in the Europa, with our home leg being further away. Again, why does it have to be the first game of the day? Every little helps. The competitions need better alignment.

The big watchword amongst Arsenal fans atm is ‘THE RED ZONE.’ This terminology was big on Le Grove in the early days. People didn’t think it existed when we were calling for Arsenal to get a S&C coach to fix the injuries (remember Wenger getting a witch doctor in to solve the issue?). Well, now people are very much accepting of sports science. The basic premise… when you are fatigued, you have a higher chance of soft tissue injury. The fancy GPS kit they use helps staff understand where a player is in terms of their limit. When you hit the RedZone, there’s a higher chance you could ping something.

The corollary that many of us are worried about is the breakthrough of Jack Wilshere, when Wenger played him 54 times and the player never recovered… and the breakthrough season of Bukayo Saka, with Arteta being unable to drop the teenager. This is Wilshere.

‘I remember having conversations with the physios in my first year in the Arsenal team. They were like: ‘Look, you’re playing a lot…’ I told them: ‘I want to play”

“I was living the dream. I was 19, playing for Arsenal. We were challenging for the league, in the Champions League. No one was going to tell me I needed a rest. That’s one of my biggest regrets – I wish I’d listened to physios a little more, learned more about my body”

It’s very worrying. Arteta is under pressure and playing for the short term. Keeping players fit and healthy during their development is a longterm thing. ‘The player said he wanted to play’ shouldn’t factor. If I child wants to eat a bonfire, you don’t let them, unless you are a weak leader.

This Sunday feels like one of those plotlines in a film.

‘Come on Bukayo, just one more time. Do it for the boys.’

The Leicester game is another Cup Final, not because we’re going to do anything in the league, but because this project needs a major scalp after a rough run of games. Killing Brendan Rodgers title run after he shithoused us earlier in the season would be totally dreamy. He needs Saka if he has a single hope of it.

The manager knows he’s tired, his response is that fatigue is part of the game. Wenger, Ferguson, Pep, and pretty much every manager out there would say the same… but there needs to be a balance. Unai Emery fucked his top 4 hopes when he overplayed Aaron Ramsey after he returned. That sort of marginal error can kill you.

The only temptation on offer is that after today, it’s a 5-day rest until we play Burnley, a game you’d hope we could rest him.

Then it’s straight back into the Europa mixer for a doubleheader against Olympiacos, which is conveniently wedged between Spurs and West Ham United. This next batch of games is where the money is made. 6 wins and the season is saved. If we have a horrendous run, pick up some injuries, and drop out of the Europa, it’ll be a bloodbath with the fans.

This is football. Glory or death. No in-between.

Loan watch is going well. William Saliba has managed 10 games in a row, he’s certainly answering fitness questions and his fanbase is growing. Also worth noting that Dino Mavrapanos is doing well. Lots of admiring glances for one of Sven’s bets. It’d be great if one of them slipped into the squad next season. Both young, both have high ceilings, both have resale value.

Short one today. Before I go. A couple of things.

This internet is a shithole. There are literally thousands of basement dwellers whose only power in life is being mean on the internet. These cowards sometimes pop up in my comments section. I’ve had people send me e-mails this year complaining about it. I am always happy to be alerted to bad actors. If I get the mail, I sort it, every time.

What I have to reiterate, over and over and over again, is this: I am just a part-time writer. I work a fulltime job dropping New York 70 hour weeks. Advertising is where I make my money, not this website. I make ZERO money from tweets, podcasts or blogs. I am also a left-leaning snowflake. If there is someone saying mean things in the comments, trust me, it’s not because I am down with those comments.

So when you email me. Please consider this is just a big hobby on a site that looks sleek, modern, and clean… built for a 2.0 world.

Finally, some exciting news. I’m going to be a contributor for The Gooner. Layth has kindly given me a little bit of space to drop thoughts. I’ve always loved the fanzine. The jokes, elite banter, gossip, and the sketch on the back of mag was always a treat when I’d go to the games with my dad and football fam back in the day. Fanzines were and are a massive part of the footballing experience, I’m glad it’s continuing, but it could always do with your support. Sign up here, it’s money well spent.

On that note, see you in the comments. I’ll be here with an On The Whistle Podcast tomorrow.

1,226 Responses to “REDZONE FEARS BUBBLING”

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  1. Elmo

    “6 wins and the season is saved.”

    Lol – that’s our reality right now, but how we have fallen: hoping for an unlikely winning run just to be on the outside looking in at 6th entering the run-in, hoping the competition slips up.

  2. Dean

    Can’t believe anyone would criticise you Pedro if I’m honest. Been a big supporter of your blog for years and been lucky enough to share a beer with you on the odd occasion and I know you do this out of passion and love of the club. Not everyone will have the same opinions as yourself or me but you’re a credit to the fan base. Hope you’re well and hopefully see you soon my friend.

  3. Words on a Blog


    I know you work a 70 hour week and all and this is just a part time labour of love gig.

    But I’d like to take the opportunity to complain about Jamie and ask you to ban him.

    He is mean and sarcastic.

  4. Southern Slide Tackle

    Congrats Pedro! I mostly just lurk from afar but I really Appreciate this place and the opportunity to scratch that itch to read and talk all things Arsenal. I’t’d be nice if some of these types wouldn’t make it their mission to slam you and the team anytime it’s not roses out there but the Internet brings out all types of people. Keep your head up and just know that you have a ton of support out here, even from those that lean more towards the right. Go Gunners!

  5. bacaryisgod

    Good reminder that people on her can expect a little too much of you, Pedro.

    Schalke just lost 5-1 with Kolasinac and Mustafi in their back four-shocking. Also, Hertha Berlin lost today with Guendouzi on the bench behind a banged up 33-year old Sami Khedira.

    Will we even be able to give away Kola this summer or will we have to carry a huge chunk of his wages?

  6. Rich

    Pedro the left leaning snowflake 🤮

    21st century “liberalism” is the new fascism

    I wonder how many people in the corporate world are scared to let their true political opinions be known, in fear of being cancelled

    Bet Pedro has had to sit through all types of diversity training, being brainwashed with critical race theory, and having to nod his head in complete agreement, or risk having his career prospects destroyed

    Welcome to 2021


    Sorry to be a party pooper, but The Gooner ain’t what it used to be – banter used to be it’s strength & it has all but disappeared. Probably its hard core base of old farts (like me) dying off (of apathy)?

  8. bacaryisgod

    Rich-I agree that there’s some major overreaching among some in the progressive movement, particularly in academia . However, please don’t try to apply cancel culture as a liberalism issue. Republicans are as guilty of engaging in cancel culture as anybody.

    Critical Race Theory etc. is generally divisive and counter-productive but at least we haven’t seen its proponents try to overturn an election and storm the U.S Capitol. A little perspective would be useful here.

  9. Radio Raheem

    Saint-Maximin trying to singlehandedly rescue Newcastle from the drop.

    I don’t see what Willock brings to this side, until he starts finishing his chances he’s a nothing player.

  10. NJ Gooner


    I don’t comment much, mostly because I have run into some really nasty comments when I make mild suggestions or offer some basic analysis. Life is too short to put up with that crap.

    But that doesn’t mean that I don’t avidly read your blog every day and listen to the podcast. I don’t know where you find the time and energy. Please don’t be discouraged. Keep up the good work.

    From the swamps of Jersey, just across the river………….

  11. NJ Gooner

    by the way, I did make the first team squad as the twenty-first entry. But like Martinelli and Reiss Nelson, that means I will only ever get picked for a pre-season game in July in Asia or Australia.

  12. Rich


    They spent 3.5 years trying to overturn Brexit

    Making up all types of crazy conspiracy theories, that were all proven to be completely baseless in multiple court cases

    As our media and the majority of our political class cheered them on

    The “Liberal” Democrat’s sat on a manifesto to cancel it all together

    They spent 4 years trying to delegitimise Trump with Russian collusion tales, that were completely baseless

    Then when their side wins, they run with the narrative that election fraud is completely impossible, and trying to overturn and delegitimise democratic votes is suddenly fascism again…..

    Democracy only works if you have losers consent

    Here’s a BBC check list on what signs to look out for, for election fraud, the UN also did a similar list

    France are getting rid of voting machines

    If they were still counting days later at a uk election?

    I certainly wouldn’t be happy about it, and I suspect the majority of people wouldn’t be either

    That US election was an absolute clusterf*ck

    Hopefully we learn from it here in the U.K

    We’ve already seen ballet harvesting and postal fraud here, thankfully we’re finally introducing voter ID, as far as I’m concerned the only people who should be offered postal voting, are people who physically can’t walk down to a voting booth

  13. Tom

    Redzone Fears Bubbling,
    Something is Definitely Brewing,
    Arteta Detractors Fermenting Chaos………. if this headline ever appears on Legrove we should probably assume Pedro has a drinking problem.

  14. Markymark

    Cornish Gooner is sadly right – after the Trouble Years or alternatively the banter years on the Gooner . Which ended with the final defeat of the Wenger boys . – it’s become a banter free zone . Perhaps some of this board can lend a hand onto the Gooner site as well. It needs its banter back

  15. Vintage Gun

    ‘The player said he wanted to play’ shouldn’t factor. If I child wants to eat a bonfire, you don’t let them, ”

    This Sunday feels like one of those plotlines in a film.

    ‘Come on Bukayo, just one more time. Do it for the boys.’

    Quick brace there Pedro!

  16. CaliGooner


    Funny you complain about conspiracy theories before dropping some whoppers yourself.

    Votes from machines weren’t still being counted after the election it was mail in votes. There were a lot more of those because of a pandemic. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. Dumb ass.

  17. Max


    The right in USA would be fringe in the UK without a doubt don’t get it twisted. They are not to be compared.

    Re Completely baseless Russia investigation…

    Facts are Muller did not acquit him, and came out publicly to say so, he said he couldn’t indite a sitting president. That’s not exactly exoneration or “completely baseless”.

    Why is Trump the only president Ever to not release his tax records in modern history?

    Trumps and his cronies make Farage and the BNP look like saints, sit tight for good news now his taxes finally been released (could have been done before the election but they didn’t want to affect the election, mull over that one).

    All the rest is noise from the demented right.

  18. Claver

    After the benfica game, I remember someone on here saying KT and Partey were our most influential players. He got quite a few agreeing with him.

    I heartily disagree.

    It is Bukayo Saka.

    We are so utterly dependent on That boy it is worrying. I do believe Arteta knows he’s overpaying him. But like Pedro said, a rookie manager under pressure is not going to drop the player that carries his hopes and dreams.

    You just hope he’s made of tougher stuff than Jack, because to ruin his future chasing a write-off season is criminal.

  19. Max

    The left (AOC) raised $5Million to help a Republican state

    The right (Cruz) abandons his constituents to run to the ritz-Carlton in Mexico (o all places, thought they were all rapists?)

    Show me the last time a republican raised money for a Democrat run state?

    Has a single republican politician thanked AOC for her fundraising for their state?

    Instead we see disgusting Cruz mocking AOC at CPAC for fearing for her life when the inbred mob stormed the capital.

    The right in USA are truly insane, despicable and deplorable

  20. Dan T


    KT was massively influential in us winning that game. He seems to have the ability to shame the rest of the team into going up another level. He is a true leader and should be our captain in my opinion. I have more respect and love for KT than I have had for any Arsenal player for a lot of years. He has the modern technical ability mixed with the old-school never quit attitude.

    Having said that: I agree that Saka is our most important player. Arteta must know he is over-playing him. The problem is if he keeps playing him and he drops off or gets injured, then he’s an idiot and abusing a young player. If he leaves him out and we lose, then he’s an idiot for not playing our best player.

    He should have been rested more earlier in the season.The trouble now is that every loss will call the manager in for questioning. He will not risk resting him now. It’s fingers crossed that he can continue to take the physical punishment. Some players can, but not many.

  21. Dan T



    You should know that Marxist zombies ate my babies but the lamestream media refuse to talk about it.”

    Thanks mate. That’s me in the dog house tomorrow; I just laughed so loud reading that I woke my daughter up!

  22. China1

    Just watched the highlights of the west brown game deary fucking me. Ref should be sacked. Dreadful dreadful dreadful

    Also hilarious penalty from welbeck where he hit the post, ball lands at his feet with an open goal and the keeper nowhere to be seen and he side foots it wide and falls over


  23. China1

    We don’t need to beat Leicester as we’re not even
    Making the EL places this season

    If saka pulls up with an injury today our season is toast. For what?

  24. China1

    Not saying we shouldn’t try 100% to beat them and be disappointed if we don’t, but we should be doing so with solid rotation and accept the consequences of a game where the points are worth less than the players

  25. China1

    I have a lot of issues with the far left (I used to be one) and a lot of their shit it batshit insane and devoid of common sense and reality.

    Likewise with the right it’s equally as ridiculous that you have people claiming to be Christians and believers in freedom who would not only tolerate trump in all of his blatantly evil ways but actively support it and enjoy seeing him try to overthrow democracy

    So the lesson I’ve learned in life is that there’s a lot of good and reasonable ideas and people on the left and right but people have been brainwashed into accepting their side is eternally right and the other is always evil when in reality there’s a lot of grey area if people stop getting swept up in the band wagons

    People have completely forgotten what compromise looks like

    It’s for that reason I’m a centrist. But a centrist who could never accept someone like trump who is so patently an awful human being that it’s not even funny to see people defending him

  26. China1

    Godfather has a point

    Maybe a 600×600 pixel pornhub advert (3 frame animated gif ofc) at the top of the page and other pop up youporn ads (1280×1280 pixel 2 frame animated gifs of avatar sex with a cross to close the add that doesn’t appear for 30 seconds) and this add should randomly pop over over the comments section

  27. China1

    Very disappointing to learn recently that the massive star Betelgeuse is in fact smaller, closer than previously thought – this is a shame because astronomers previously thought it could be about to go supernova but that will in fact likely not be for several hundred thousand more years 🙁

    If it did go supernova it would apparently be a hundred times brighter than the moon and remain so for a few years, visible even in the day time before eventually vanishing entirely (black hole)

    The other interesting point is due to its distance several hundred light years away it looked possible that the star could’ve already exploded hundreds of years ago and the light from the explosion just hadn’t reached us yet, but with these new findings it seems no such luck

    Such a pity as I’ve been fascinated by that possibility for ages. We’re actually lucky as well because if the angle of its poles was 20 degrees closer to us we’d end up being irradiated by the enormous gamma ray blasts out of the poles when it goes. That’s been considered a potential cause for one of the global mass extinction events on earth millions of years ago when another star went supernova whilst pointed at us

    In terms of scale that star is several hundred times more massive than the sun and is so large if it was placed where our sun is it would engulf all the planet up to around mars within it. The gravity and forces at hand are so extreme it’s literally bulging into a potato shape rather than spherical like our sun

    Limitlessly interesting is space

  28. China1

    If any of you fuckers is as interested in space as I am, you can easily find Betelgeuse as the left shoulder of the Orion constellation, one of the brightest stars in the sky, a reddish colour and visible throughout the winter in the northern hemisphere

  29. Gonsterous

    Let’s not compare jack and saka. Both talented but jack was really great with his thinking. Always leaving his foot in, always over playing with the ball.

    Saka on the other hand, does the minimum requirements, he doesn’t try to draw in fouls (though few players try to rough him). And he often releases the ball at just the right time. He also knows how to conserve energy unlike jack and his all out running.

  30. Gonsterous


    That was a fascinating read but sadly I’m no fan of astrology. Science and technology ain’t for me. Im more In to history than science 😅😅

  31. Tony

    70 hour weeks and the blog?

    Amazing how you find time to enjoy a social life.

    I’ve always appreciated your writing skills even if I disagree with the words and attitude making up your POVs at times.

    Currently we’re at loggerheads over Arteta and I promised you humble pie if I’m wrong at the end of the season.

    To take that a step further, I Just wanted to say that, as you get no remuneration from the many hours weekly you put in to keep some ingrates happy, mad or indifferent, if Arteta proves himself this season winning the EL cup to guarantee him another season, I’ll concede and send you a top shelf bottle of spirit or case of your fancy beer.

    Lefty snowflake eh? 🙄 Next you’ll be tell us you’re gender neutral.

    Whatever floats your boat grasshopper.

  32. China1

    Gonsterous yeah it appears to not be a very popular field for most people. I love history too but I’m terrible with dates. The stories are always fascinating tho

    One thing with astronomy that’s always quite interesting is if you take your telescope somewhere public and point it at the moon and let strangers walking past take a look they will more often than not end up wanting to stay a while and talk more about it. There’s something especially interesting about the details you make out from the high contrast shadows and highlights along the edges of the craters around the edges of the moon because without a scope you just can’t appreciate that detail

    I saw that on YouTube a while back and tried it just two nights ago and had the same experience with some neighbors and their kids

    But for me the most exciting thing is when you can make out the rings of Saturn or the striped bands of Jupiter and these tiny little pin pricks of light next to the planets which are their moons.

    As I say for me it’s limitlessly interesting. Never get bored of it

  33. Tony

    The Burnley game should see Arteta start or give decent minutes to, Balogun, Azeez and Martinelli. We should see Saka, ESR, MO and KT’s names anywhere near the starting line up or bench.

    If it costs us points, then so be it. The learning experience will be worth it.

  34. China1

    thats an awesome offer tony. Pedro you should take him up on that!

    My take is if we win the EL then all criticisms aside this season will have been an obvious success. It won’t undo the criticisms I have but I will very very gladly say he’s done enough this year and I just hope he’ll kick on next year. If we don’t win the EL and there are no surprise miracles in the league then I’m not impressed

  35. China1

    Gonsterous what’s your favourite historical era? Growing up for me it was ancient Egypt but for the past several years it would have to be the Cold War era

    I once saw a fabulous documentary about little known times when the Cold War nearly kicked off for real. We all think of the Cuban missile crisis but there were several cases where we had the leaders of America and the USSR literally unsure if they were under attack and almost gave the order to launch their nukes

    There was even a case of a fucking wild bear in America which caused a ruckus at the perimeter of an Air Force bass that didn’t have a radio tower. The order was given to some pilots to scramble their nuclear armed bombers and fly to Russia as they believed they were under attack not realizing it was just a bear. Since they didn’t have a radio tower they couldn’t call the planes back if they launched and ended up having to speed down the runway in a car chasing after this bomber to flag it down and abort mission

    As hilarious as it is terrifying lol

  36. Tony

    “The terms of scale that star is several hundred times more massive than the sun and is so large if it was placed where our sun is it would engulf all the planet up to around mars within it. The gravity and forces at hand are so extreme it’s literally bulging into a potato shape rather than spherical like our sun”

    Wonder how long it took God to build that one. Clearly a work in progress.

    Was wondering if Arteta is a son of God because it’s a fcuking miracle He’s still in the job.

    Perhaps daddy will bless Him in the EL cup. Already looks that way drawing Olympiacos .

  37. Sid

    Supreme leader doesnt want top shelf bottle of spirit or case of fancy beer,
    After a 70 hrs week what a man needs is a pop out cake with a little package from Soi cowboy inside.

  38. Tony

    “ Maybe a 600×600 pixel pornhub advert (3 frame animated gif ofc) at the top of the page and other pop up youporn ads (1280×1280 pixel 2 frame animated gifs of avatar sex with a cross to close the add that doesn’t appear for 30 seconds) and this add should randomly pop over over the comments section”

    You seriously need help China🤣

  39. Habesha Gooner

    Mustafi and Kolasinac leading a player revolt against the manager at schalke is the most predictable out come of the century.

    Pedro 👏👏👏. You are not an objective writer but you do so with a certain “Pizazz”. This is where we all vent our frustration of Arsenal. I hope someday it will be the place we celebrate a premier league or a Champions league trophy someday.

    So on to today’s game. I would go with Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey (if fit enough), Xhaka, ESR, Pepe, Martinelli, Lacazette. I would rest Auba and Saka and bring them on if we are in trouble.

  40. Guns of SF

    Tomorrow I hope to see Martinelli play. I mean what does he need to do to play?
    90K per week can only keep you content for so long.

    Come on Mike play #freemartinelli

  41. Pierre

    “Also hilarious penalty from welbeck where he hit the post, ball lands at his feet with an open goal and the keeper nowhere to be seen and he side foots it wide and falls overLOL”

    The hilarious part is that Welbeck, like you , doesn’t know the rules of football…

    He did do his best impression of Bambi on ice though, which was comical, and the gormless look on his face as the ref blew his whistle due to welbeck having touched the ball twice , was priceless..

  42. Captain Tierney

    Just watched the Brighton FK incident of yesterday.
    One of the most bizzaree refereeing moments of all time.
    Lee Mason looked like a class 7 boy refereeing professional football.
    Clear goal.

  43. China1

    Haha Pierre where on earth does that come from that we don’t know the rules?

    Is it because I said mean things about mesut?

  44. Andy1886

    Yeah, the Sky commentators didn’t know the rule, seemed baffled when a FK was given and mumbled something about offside. I’m pretty sure that the majority on LG knew why even if Welbeck didn’t.

  45. Captain Tierney

    Arteta talking about Pepe and Gabi – Great players. Need to show more consistency and challenge for places. Developing well. bla bla bla
    Always highlights their lack of consistency and challenges them

    Arteta talking about Willian – What a professional. What a player. Everybody likes him. He is really trying in training. I trust him. Basically – he is my unicorn.
    Confessed that he tried very hard to bring Willian in. Always talks him up like he is some messiah.

    Need to see more consistency from Arteta. His love for Willian is damaging future Arsenal superstar/s.

  46. Pierre

    “Haha Pierre where on earth does that come from that we don’t know the rules?”

    Not we….you..

    You’d better explain the rules to China as I’m not sure he quite understands that you can’t pass to yourself..

  47. Pierre

    I didn’t see the Arteta interview, but I’d imagine he was asked about Willian by a reporter , so he could hardly say Willian is shit, though he has been pretty shit so far, although he was a better level of shit v Benfica when he came on.

    I think it’s a ploy by the media to stir things up between the fans and Arteta , and what with Arsenal fans being so gullible, it never fails to work.

  48. Goobergooner

    Arsenal have lost their last 3 away games against Leicester, and only won once in their last 6 epl ties.
    Also been awarded more red cards (2) than goals scored (1) in the last 3 away games to them. Geeeeezusss.

    Fucking Vardy 11 goals in 12 epl games against us!

    Auba (if he starts, could be crucial) has scored 38 goals out of 50 games on a Sunday.

    Let’s brew this sauce and start the turn around now!!

  49. Northbanker


    Your comments re part time writing. Understood but why don’t you do what every other site /gaming platform does when also not wishing to patrol 24/7?

    You appoint like minded individuals as administrators with some dos and don’ts to boot.

  50. Leftside

    This is a game we should be looking to win, not a fan of putting eggs in one basket. Just manage the players in both and see where it gets us.

    Arteta needs to use his squad more.

  51. Captain Tierney


    I know he cant come out saying Willian is shit. But why doesn’t he give the same reply when asked about Pepe or Gabi. The amount of chances he gets is already baffling enough. But when you see Arteta singing Willian’s praises week in week out it gets absurd.

    Also this was right after the Willian interview where he openly admitted
    – he doesn’t want to play in Brazil
    – he wants to stay in UK
    – really wanted to stay at Chelsea
    – Only signed for Arsenal because we gave him a 3 yr contract.

    What happened to all the Project Champions League talk?

    This is a play who is here, for one reason only. That UK visa stamp on his passport. He has no motivation to achieve anything now. His performance levels may not have dropped at Chelsea because he has an emotional connection with them. But he really doesn’t have a single motivation to give his best for Arsenal. First of all we have been his direct rival for more than half a decade. Arsenal fans hate him and abuse him. He has bagged his final big contract. He knows he wont be called up to the Brazil squad.

    What a waste, really.

  52. Gazza

    Great site Pedro keep up the fantastic regular input

    On player burn out if all managers used their squad depth on a more frequent basis, rather than constantly pushing the out the same 10-11 players every 3-4 days this would eliminate or if not reduce the issue

  53. Graham62

    If we don’t see the likes of Martinelli,, Lacazette, Pepe starting today I’ll be really pissed off.

    Leicester may still be low after their Europa League exit, so I fancy we can get something from the game.

    Surely Arteta will not continue to freeze these players out?

  54. Graham62

    Dan T

    I agree with your take on Tierney. I just love the young mans passion and desire to succeed.

    He is our one and only true leader out there.

    Without him in the team, we’d be out of the EL. Saka is our creative force but Tierney is our driving force.

  55. Pierre

    I am in agreement with you regarding Willian, surely he breached a non negotiable when he said
    “he really wanted to stay at Chelsea
    – Only signed for Arsenal because we gave him a 3 yr contract.”.

    Willian is basically a back up now , he has improved a little lately, but that wasn’t difficult.

    Personally, I would rather see Martinelli or Nelson get game time ahead of Willian.
    And i would rather see Balogun or Eddie get game time
    ahead of Lacazette.
    And i would rather see Azeez get game time ahead of xhaka/Elneny/Ceballos.

    Now is the perfect time to give the kids a run in the league..

  56. SpanishDave

    Why talk about resting a fit 19 year old?
    Xhaka plays every week never gets dropped , never needs a rest, never breaks sweat.
    Good players want to play, overpaid average joes would rather sit on the bench and take the money.
    We all know Vardy will score pissing past snowflake Bellerin.

  57. Matt

    As if Willian wasn’t unpopular enough with the fan base. Then he comes out with those nuggets in an interview. What an absolute clown. I can’t think of an Arsenal player in recent times I’ve disliked more.

  58. andy1886


    Look back at how Wilshere was overplayed and suffered his first major injury after playing just about every game at eighteen and suffering a stress fracture of the ankle that summer in training. I read an article from a musculoskeletal expert who explained that at that young age the body isn’t fully formed and such injuries are typical in youngsters being overplayed. There are plenty of other examples of players injured early in their careers who never recover from that. Why risk Saka? We’re not finishing in the top five or six anyway.

  59. andy1886

    Matt, exactly, he was never bothered about Arsenal, just wants a nice pay cheque and to stay in London.

    We need players who want to play for the club. Young hungry players. It’s one reason why I don’t want ES’s fancy Aouar – he wants Madrid. If he came to Arsenal it would be begrudgingly and we’d have to deal with his scummy brother who scuppered the deal last time out by demanding a £10m fee.

  60. Northbanker


    Completely agree – we need to build for the future with those players

    Their energy will give us a lift overall and frankly we’re more likely to get a result today using some youngsters who have miles to burn and which will create uncertainty in the opposition

  61. Nelson

    Talking about player needing a rest, I am more worry about Tierney. He always gives 110% whenever he sets foot on the pitch. Bellerin is another one who doesn’t need a rest.

  62. Tony

    KT has that grit driven passion Stuart ‘psycho’ Pierce had only with far better technique.

    He’s the nearest we’ve got to the old style 80s no nonsense attitude.

  63. Matt


    Definitely a no to Aouar for me as well. He is another nasri in the making. Fans will forgive a lot it they can at least see that players are putting the effort in. I don’t even see that with Willian.

  64. Guns of Hackney

    If an 18 year old can’t play a few games of football, I have no idea what the world is coming to.

    In my prime I drank on average 8 pints a night for seven days a week on a diet of bar peanuts and cocaine. In bed by 01.00, up at 06.00 and off to work. I repeated this for a decade. Not to mention the tiring sex I had with numerous scandalous women. Trips to the clinic etc.

    This generation is weak.

  65. Kroenkephobe


    If you’re ever planning to monetise this site, I recommend that it be done carefully and in such a way that it doesn’t alienate readers. Create some employment opportunities for some other budding writers, techies and business minds to help you.

    The Gooner is now a mess thanks in part to numerous inane pop ups that have to be navigated. Moreover, Layth is not fit to lace Kevin Whicher’s boots when it comes to editing. Gooner articles these days are so poor and lightweight (save for Robert Exley’s excellent histories) that they almost deter btl action. Where’s Graham Perry when he’s needed?

    If you’re going to lend your services at Gooner towers, aim to channel Odegaard rather than Dennis Suarez or Kallstrom!

  66. Nelson

    Brendan Rodgers benched Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira in his Thursday’s loss. Also without James Maddison, that team was half power. It is clear that his priority is in the League.

  67. S Asoa

    After Williams shits over after his interview telling he badly wanted to stay on at Chelsea…
    ……a lover’s infatuation
    “ Mikel Arteta is hoping Arsenal fans will start to see the best of Willian in the coming weeks.

    The 32-year-old moved to the Emirates Stadium from London rivals Chelsea in the summer – he “really wanted to stay” – but has struggled to make an impact.

    The Brazil international has been criticised online for much of the campaign, having provided three Premier League assists and failed to open his goalscoring account for the Gunners.

    Arteta introduced Willian off the bench in Thursday’s Europa League win over Benfica and he helped in the comeback, laying on Kieran Tierney’s goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s late header saw Arsenal advance.

    Following that positive cameo, Arteta now wants to see the two-time Premier League winner kick on having been so keen to bring him to north London in the first instance.

    “He is a player who we all like,” Arteta said of Willian.

    “His team-mates like him and we were expecting many more things from him since he joined but for many different reasons he hasn’t found his best performances.

    “But hopefully Thursday’s performance is going to give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player – he is a player I really like and I did a lot to bring him in and hopefully he can still give us more. “
    Anyway better he plays him instead of bruising Saka with non -stop game time into the Red Zone.
    But I doubt Saka will be rested in spite of 2 players Arteta can play there, Pepe and Williams

  68. Nelson

    There’s no Holding, Partey, Saka or Martinelli in the starting XI today. Pedro must be saying that Arteta is protecting Martinelli.

  69. Buzzy

    I dont care who else starts today but if Bellerin makes the 11 then we certainly have a manager who is totally clueless

  70. Jamie

    No other player has had his career propped up by a handful of decent performances more than Wilshere.

    Talked about as though he was an elite midfielder, still under 30 and playing in the Championship (sent off yesterday for headbutting Tom Cleverley – elite mentality on display).

  71. Kroenkephobe


    Dad? Is that you?

    That’s some going mate – big up yer self. Almost reads like my entire adventures of the 90s in North London and then Buenos Aires (although fewer pints and shed loads of “E”s). Arsenal and Racing Club de Avellaneda.

  72. bacaryisgod


    You ask about Xhaka. It’s a pretty simple explanation. If you have a beaten up old pick-up, it’s ok to run it into the ground. You don’t do that with a Ferrari.

  73. Emiratesstroller

    I don’t get the argument posted on here that Arsenal need to rotate.

    Arteta made 4 changes from Man City game when we played against Benefica.

    I agree that there is an element of rotation, which should be made so that our players are being properly rested, but there is a limit to how and who these are.

    Hopefully we will be starting today’s game with Partey as replacement for Ceballos. I would
    be inclined also to bring in Mari or Holding into Central Defence to steady the ship there and
    play either Pepe or Lacazette so that we have more goalscoring options than we have played
    in recent games.

    Personally I would not be resting either Aubameyang or Saka for the Leicester game.

  74. Nelson

    Leno, Soares, Mari, Luiz, Tierney, Elneny, Xhaka, Willian, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette

    Subs: Ryan, Bellerin, Saka, Ceballos, Odegaard, Aubameyang, Holding, Partey, Martinelli

  75. China1

    What are you talking about Pierre

    You said welbeck and I don’t know the rule then when I replied with ‘we’ you said ‘not we, you’. Tripping over your own feet dude, use your zimmerframe next time

    Also I don’t blame welbeck for making the mistake because a lot of strikers are going to instinctively shoot when they miss a penalty and the ball immediately arrives at their feet with an open goal. Credit to any strikers present enough to not instinctively tap that in, but most strikers would regardless of it being disallowed

    The funny part is not him having an instinctive mistake it’s him as a striker doing what he’s always done best which is missing open goals from a few yards out and falling over

    But let me know if you’re able to comprehend this because I know you’re struggling

  76. China1

    Martinelli keeps leaving skid marks in the toilets before arteta uses the facilities it’s the only idea I have left for why he’s been binned off

    Pedro once again I ask is Martinelli a priority for Mikel? Just because he signed a new contract last year? Really???

    But I’m fine with us rotating heavily it’s a good call, so long as ESR gets dropped for the next game.

  77. Jim Lahey

    He has all the time in the world for a spent ex-Chelsea reject, but none for one of the best young prospects in the league. Very telling.

  78. Thank you and goodnight

    This is why Arteta deserves the sack. Willian has done nothing to suggest he should even be in first team squad, let alone to start a game. I’m sorry but if I was Balogun, Martinelli, saliba etc I’d fuck off. As for Saka, any other club comes in for him , he’ll be off. And rightly so. We are a mid table team and will be for years to come

  79. China1

    The only way Martinelli gets an extended run in a Mikel team is if we have 3 wingers out injured/suspended for 5 games in a row. Forget it happening otherwise

  80. bacaryisgod


    I’m not an expert in twitch fibers but I don’t know how that’s relevant to likelihood of getting injured. I’m not in any way citing this as scientific proof but a look back at Arsenal players over the last 20 years would indicate that our black players are just as lucky to be sidelined with non-contact injuries.

  81. Leftside

    “He has all the time in the world for a spent ex-Chelsea reject, but none for one of the best young prospects in the league. Very telling.“

    Yep, it’s astounding.

  82. Foxy

    Good to see Cedric at RB but why is Holding not playing instead of Luiz?

    XHaka & Elneny 😢 means they are not confident re Partey’s fitness.

    Pepe will need to pull off a big game, hopefully ESR and Cedric will help him find openings.

    At least Saka will have his feet up on the sofa.

  83. Globalgunner

    A midfield of clunk and clunker AKA Xhaka and Elneny supported by Granny Willian. Surely our manager needs and eye check followed by a psychiatric evaluation.

  84. Bertfish

    Arteta has given up on the league with that line up. It’s all on the Europa!

    Yes we have to rotate but why so many & why do it for Leicester when we have Burnley next.

    Could come back to bite him big time if we end up totally out of Europe next season,

  85. Jim Lahey

    Not only has Arteta discarded some of the best young talent in the league he has destroyed any sort of resale value.

  86. Pierre

    Ten out ten for a nice piece of backtracking there China, though i thought the zimmerframe comment was mildly amusing ..

    To me, the comical element is Welbeck attempting to score from the rebound off the post, and the gormless look on his face when hearing the referee’s whistle.

    Anyone who has ever taken a penalty would/should know that you get out of the way of the ball, allowing the possibility of a team mate to score from the rebound.

  87. Victorious

    Every manager ultimately decides the hill to die on! Emery for a time was ready to die for Xhaka so its no surprise really our rookie coach has it all for Willian

    He’ll eventually get sacked for being a thick twat,just a matter of time, pray we still have Martinelli in the club when that time comes.

  88. Victorious

    Got to feel for Martinelli! Arteta is basically waiting for a negative reaction so he can justifiably bin him, I mean for fcking old past it Willian? This guy is crazy

  89. Foxy

    A high level of twitch muscle gives explosiveness but not endurance and can actually lead to more injuries as in sprinters hammies.
    What seems to the case however is that Afrucan players seem to achieve adult strength at an earlier age Song being a good example.