by .

Let me start this blog by saying: there is no such thing in Arsenal fandom as ‘crowing after a win.’

Arsenal vs Spurs, wherever you stand on the spectrum, was a win for us all. If you feel aggrieved after a NLD win, let me be clear, f*ck off with your ‘views,’ no one cares what you have to say. You can have an opinion, but the litmus test for whether it lives here after a dominant NLD win against Jose Mourinho is whether you can be happy. If you can’t, who are you? Why bother?

Now, let’s crack into what was a glorious day for Arsenal.

The big menace to the narrative before we’d even kicked a ball was that Auba was benched. When I originally heard it, I was over the moon. The game was about control, movement was key, sometimes our captain is eaten up by good defenders in deep-blocks. Then it turned out that he was dropped over discipline. It was a non-negotiables move because he’d turned up late to the team meeting. This wasn’t the first time either, I’ve heard plenty of sloppy stories about him prior to this, beyond just lateness.

Let’s be clear. The decision was absolutely correct. Lee Dixon said, ‘if the club meeting is at 10:00, you show up at 09:50’, and he’s right. Basic rules keep order and structure in a chaotic profession. Timekeeping is an absolute minimum, on the face of it, it feels unimportant, but really… it’s all about respect for leadership and respect for one another.

There’s a famous Van Halen story. On their gig rider, they’d demand all brown M&Ms were removed, if they landed at a venue and they weren’t, they’d pull out, because if the management couldn’t take care of a bag of sweets, how could they be trusted to host a complex gig?

If you can’t take care of the small details as a leader, how can you be trusted with the big ones?

When the standard-bearers breach the code of conduct, it has to be addressed, otherwise, leadership is weakened because everyone else is watching and judging. Those decisions are HARD to make as a leader. There is nothing more difficult than having to pull a high performer to one side and tell them they broke the rules. It is easier to let it slide. But it ALWAYS costs you trust capital in the long run. Auba is a HUGE character at Arsenal, but turning up late for a NLD meeting, when the young players are analysing every moment for positive cues, well, it’s hugely embarrassing.

My only wish? Arteta told the press the move was tactical.

Still… weaker leaders like Emery would have caved. If you have ever led in a high-performance culture, you’d not question the decision. Anyone that tells you Arteta was wrong is a bad leader, a weak person, or they lead in an environment where the work is inconsequential. Basically, anyone that tells you they’d accept repeat lateness to company meetings from their most senior talent is a joke… there’s no counterargument.

Now, onto the game.

Did Arsenal miss a beat over Auba? No. You knew this would be a performance from minute two. ESR, MO, and Saka worked the ball like demons. We absolutely controlled possession, like we have done in nearly every game since Christmas, and we made Spurs look average.

Spurs weren’t bad, we were good. Let’s get that straight. This performance wasn’t a surprise. It was a continuation of the good football plenty of us have been championing. They had no answers because that’s the new Arsenal. We restrict chances, dominate possession, and we’re really, really hard to beat (unless we offer it up as a gift).

The first half was all about ESR. Starboy #2 showed up with a vengeance. It was his best performance yet. He absolutely destroyed Doherty down the left. There was a point when I called the Arsenal abuse hotline to report breach of club rules on the pitch because it was so humiliating.

‘Sir, could you calm down and tell me what you see’

‘He’s the blonde one on the pitch and I’ve watched him put this Spurs chap in his pocket for like, the 5th time in 10 minutes. It’s awful to watch, I think this guy has family watching, they’re crying. Please send a steward’

ESR hit the bar, created 4 chances, his pass completion was 97% (against a deep block), he was a fucking menace. The kid the melts called ‘average’ absolutely savaged Spurs. By the end of the half, they were trebling up on him and still losing.

But, for all the chance creation, the possession dominance, and the twice rattled woodwork… we still conceded first. Spurs who offered nothing finally found space in our area, Erik Lamela received a terrible short pass slightly behind him and had to pivot his movement to low punch a rabona past 5 Arsenal players into the bottom corner. It was disgustingly flukey, average to look at, and against the run of play… but predictably part of the Arsenal script of late. It felt like the new norm… Arteta was cursed… the Arsenal would always perform well, but forever be fucked over in the most outrageous of ways.

I thought we’d melt, we did not. ESR and Tierney worked some magic down the left, Tierney picked out Odegaard in the Spurs box, the Norwegian captain kind of buried his first-time strike. Game on. Notable how fast we had players in their box all game, compare that to pre-Chelsea, it’s a really bit of progression.

Arsenal fans were talking about what Spurs could do in the second half to tighten up. Errr, not many options beyond the Tony Pulis shithousing they’d started the game with… so it was always going to be game on in the second half. Spurs had a little bit more to offer, Lucas Moura was problematic at times, but again, the game plan from Jose was simple and bland: get it to Kane 3 times and he’ll score once. Kind of staggering that a manager of Jose’s caliber doesn’t build a system that has him on the ball all game. He’s so, so good.


We scored the third goal. Nicolas Pepe came on at halftime for Saka (pray for him). He volleyed a loose ball pass at Lacazette first time, the Frenchman lashed at the ball, but was smashed by Sanchez at the same time. The ref went to the VAR. I thought it’d be overturned. The ref disagreed… the penalty was given. Laca stepped up and buried his kick. Another perfect penalty.

Spurs started to play nasty. Harry Kane got away with an ‘I AM AN IMPORTANT ENGLAND PLAYER’ shoulder barge on Gabriel. Argentine Erik Lamela didn’t get away with a slap to Tierney’s face and was red-carded.

THAT DID NOT END THE STRUGGLE. Thomas Partey was more like Thomas-OH-MY-GOD-BAD-Partey for the last 15. He was flipping possession and giving away freekicks in Harry K zones like a 20-year-old Carling Cup debutant. Arteta looked like he was pacing the halls in a hospital with a wife giving birth in hour 79 to a 39lbs baby, I’ve never seen someone drink a bottle of water with more pent-up aggravation. Kane rattled the post with one effort (how bad was the carefully constructed wall?!?), the follow-up headed away by Gabriel (HERO). Kane also whipped a really nice cross that Alli missed, as well as having a goal disallowed for a clear offside. It was not a comfortable end, it was turbulence over the Bermuda triangle… if you exited with clean whites, you’re a person with sharper control of their sphincter than me.

We closed the game out after 34 minutes of extra time and took a HUGE win.

In 15 months, Arteta has taken down all of the top 6 managers, Mourinho the most irritating of them all.

So where are we?

What I am hoping is that the game went some way towards vindicating the positive narrative I’ve been pushing over the last few weeks (ok, 15 months lololol).

Arsenal are not the complete package. But we are offering up something the best clubs do before they bang. We are hard to beat, we’re controlling games, and we are creating high-quality chances over and over again.

Quick round-ups:

  • Kieran Tierney is a beast and he should be our future captain. He’s fu*king immense. I love him.
  • Lacazette missed some chances, but he worked wonders dropping deep to bring the creators into the game. HUGE performance for me.
  • Nico. We thought he was on his way out. He’s taking on Kanu vibes. He took his chance in the second half, looked interested, stayed focused, delivered the pass of the game that led to the penalty.
  • Martin O. Honestly, were people calling him average? This guy is mustard. Efficient, surprisingly fast, a really, really hard worker… and he turned up with a goal. We need him next season and there has to be a BUY option.
  • Great insurance is a product you don’t notice. David Luiz and Gabriel were immense. Super tidy, disciplined, and clever all game. Keeping that Spurs front line quiet is NOT easy, they did it.
  • Cedric deserved to start. He seemed a little fearful of Moura at times, but overall, I love his pace, his compactness, and his solid attributes both ends. A great game from him.
  • GRANIT. The man has had plenty of criticism from this site, so I will not deny him. He was brilliant. Loads of clever movement, some big tackles, and really positive game. He’s our second-best midfielder, even with the errors, his inclusion is no longer controversial. We have to accept that.

It is totally acceptable to say the last 15 were nervy. We have to get better at seeing out games… but again, context, we sneeze at the wrong moment of late and someone scores. This team has been punished to the max every time they make a mistake since January. I am not surprised they were panicked going into the last phase of the game. We’ll improve that each game we stop doing dumb things.

We aren’t going to compete for the league this season, what we might do is win some big games that make the fans believe there’s something special brewing.

Against Spurs, you saw the special sauce. You can’t deny it now. That wasn’t a fluke. That game has been brewing since December 29th. Where are the ‘he plays bland football because that’s how he was as a player’ crowd now?

The first 45 was the best since Arteta took charge. We play attractive football which I’d class now as a clear identity. We are now a progressive side, there’s always an interesting plan with innovative features. We are competitive in every single game these days.

Remember that time when people said Klopp couldn’t coach a good defence? Then he bought good defenders and a keeper and everything clicked. Arsenal are maybe a year out from that. Spurs didn’t bank on that today, they didn’t have control of that game at any point, they were flustered and upset. That wasn’t a bad performance, that was a tactical masterclass by Arteta.

That was the sauce.

Now, we could lose on Thursday. We could lose at the weekend. Point is, would you take the Spurs project over the one Arteta is offering up? No. Would you take the Everton one? No. Do you still want the Southampton one? No. Are you still wondering about Nuno? No. The Arsenal project is a good summer away from proper top 4. It’s two good summers from competing for the league. The absolute joke is we’re now 7 points off 5th, 10 from 4th, and we play Chelsea, West Ham, Liverpool, and Everton out of that pack.

Progressive coaching is the future of the game, it’s finally clicking for Arsenal, and regardless of what happens the rest of this season… it’s clear that Arteta is the best coach for us moving forward. There’s no one better for the role. He’s done enough since December to prove that. Next season is going to be way, way better… I am absolutely clear on that.

Now let’s see what he has for the rest of the season.

Europa now feels doable. Who knows in the league. For now, let’s enjoy beating the scum. It’s been a while.

See you in the comments.

P.S. Listen to the latest podcast. Matt goes so hard at ESR lovin’, the player might put out an injunction. Johnny admits he might finally be a believer (Check out his excellent fatherhood pod here). I just have a lot of fun because that was special.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Jim Lahey

    Always nice to beat the Spurs. But I have to say, the Arsenal Vs. Spurs rivalry doesn’t mean all that much to me! I grew up under the Wenger years where Spurs weren’t even an afterthought. They were just some team we beat twice a year!

    United is my main hatred. Can’t stand the cheating scum and their glory-seeking fanbase.

  2. Jim Lahey

    What strikes me now looking back at some of these old games was just how crocked the officiating was.

    When watching it in real-time we were so desensitised to United’s cheating ways. But Looking back on it now it is crazy to watch. How did they not have two red cards within the first 10 minutes of that game?!

  3. Kroenkephobe

    I reckon Tierney’s music tastes comprise a roll call of the best from Scotland in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Aztec Camera, the Skids, Big Country, Altered Images, The Orange Juice, early Simple Minds and The Hibee supporting Proclaimers. I agree that the medium would be C90 tapes recorded from John Peel sessions. “Tae save money likesay” .

    He’d eschew all that fancy shite like lamborghinis and drive his mum’s old skoda.

    He was outstanding yesterday – sublime.

  4. Northbanker

    Great post Pedro. Absolutely loved the game but wish we hadn’t feel sorry for Spurs when they went down to 10 men by bringing on Willian to even things up!

    What great performances and it’s unbelievable we’re still lurking in 10th despite looking better than anyone we’ve played since Chelsea win other than City.

  5. underrated Coq


    Are you really in any position of giving Superfan speeches after years of shitting on Wenger? and being an everyday moaner during Emery era?

    How weird

  6. Ernest Reed

    “Are you really in any position of giving Superfan speeches after years of shitting on Wenger? and being an everyday moaner during Emery era?”

    He who owns the blog calls the shots…

  7. Northbanker

    U Coq – what a bizarre comment. A lot of people on here bemoaned Wenger’s later years. We all took that view at different times. I wasn’t quite as ready to do so as others but ultimately i had to agree his time was done.

    Emery was an appalling manager and most of us had had enough after Baku. The following 1/2 season was just painful and some of the worst football ever delivered.

    Why wouldn’t we support Arteta’s time if by and large it is appearing to be gong in the right direction.

    Utterly bizarre and confused thinking mate

  8. Ernest Reed

    “What great performances and it’s unbelievable we’re still lurking in 10th despite looking better than anyone we’ve played since Chelsea win other than City.”

    Dropping points against teams you should be beating (Burnley, Wolves, Villa) will reflect in the table before long.

  9. Pedro

    underrated Coq, absolutely.

    Wenger tanked the club. I called it. It happened.

    … but. Let’s be clear. NEVER would I cry over a dominant win against Spurs.

    That’s never been a position.

  10. Northbanker

    Ernest – it already does cos we’re in 10th! Te way we’ve been playing we should be 4th having bettered Chelsea, Leicester and now Spurs along the way. Only City have been better than us.

    So not sure what point you’re really making other than another being half empty glass merchant. I’m however taking great pleasure in the gradual change of direction and seeing a much brighter overall future.

  11. Pedro

    Northbanker, amen to that, each week that passes it becomes a little harder to be miserable about the project.

    We went to hell, that’s why we are where we are… but we’re 10 points off 4th in our worst season ever and I’d take our project over plenty of those around us.

  12. Northbanker

    Not quite our worst Pedro as I go back to 1974/75 when we were bottom of Div 1 for a short while. The 3 seasons from 73/74 to 75/76 were dire. “Fans” on here just so spoilt no idea what dire football is(although Emery had a damn good go at simulating last season)

  13. Ash79

    Willian!!! That’s right, take it to the corner mate…yeah…, NOOOOOOO, WTF!!?? YOU AGENT PRICK…….FFS YOU’RE EXPERIENCED!!! FFS C#NT!

  14. Pedro

    Northbanker, I just don’t understand how you can look at what’s going on and not be excited.

    We just controlled Spurs. The post game commentary about them being bad is wrong. We were just excellent. The only managed 6 attempts at our goal. The system is top class.

  15. Jamie

    Gabriel deserves loads of credit yesterday too. Hard to believe he doesn’t speak English, it’s his first season in the Prem, and he’s 2 years younger than Holding.

    So much potential to become elite. I really like him.

  16. Nelson

    “Are you really in any position of giving Superfan speeches after years of shitting on Wenger? and being an everyday moaner during Emery era?”

    Pedro was correct for both cases.

  17. La croqueta

    Spurs didn’t bank on that today, they didn’t have control of that game at any point, they were flustered and upset. That wasn’t a bad performance, that was a tactical masterclass by Arteta.

    That was the sauce.
    Hmmm. Interesting take. So what i get from this is that you’re saying Spurs are the bigger team. The better team (goliath). Amazingly Arteta (david) was able to usurp the gigantic task of beating Jose and Spurs at home. Hmmm interesting take. Can I ask. When did beating Spurs signal that Arsenal (The supposedly 3rd biggest club in English history) were on the road to success? I just ask because I was always told Arsenal were bigger better more successful and above spurs in every footballing way? When er.. when exactly did that change?

    Putting ridiculous Sauce, masterclass and progress narratives aside. It was a Great win. 3 points. We move.

  18. Northbanker

    Pedro – agreed. It was a statement match in so many ways. I still have some real reservations about Arteta and some decisions -Leno tactics; Emi sale; Martinelli and Saliba treatment; and above all signing up Willian for 3 years.

    At moment giving that benefit of doubt. All other MA signings are coming good. Posters on here were calling out Cedric and Mari transfers before they had properly seen either. Both looking to be excellent additions. Gabriel is a great signing. Ode – slow stat but now springing into life as he gets match fit

    These players plus Saka’s development and ESR’s final emergence taking us to a great renaissance

  19. Ernest Reed

    “So not sure what point you’re really making other than another being half empty glass merchant”

    Half empty, half full? Either way, momentum can carry the day and if they keep putting up decent results then the rest takes care of itself. Just pointing out that until such time that this team greatly reduces its propensity for the boneheaded, its tough to progress in truly meaningful ways.

    Being realistic should never be confused with being accused of being a merchant of optimism/pessimism.

    Try to stay in the moment North, not everyone is out to get Arteta or the club. I place the clubs best interests above individualism or self-served individuals. Whether Arteta is here a year from now will rely solely on his ability to progress. Nothing nefarious in that view.

  20. Nelson


    Let’s admit that Arteta vs Mou is like david vs goliath, especially when Arteta was defected by Mou in the previous encounter. It just confirmed that our team has improved since then.

  21. Ernest Reed

    It is interesting how many are seeing MO as something for the future. It presupposes that of course somehow Arsenal are able to pry him away from Real with a good offer or, at the very least, look to extend his loan. It would be quite a coup if they were able to acquire him, but equally I’d like to see Cellabos’ term come to an end at seasons end – he’s really not what this team needs moving forward.

  22. Pierre

    “That guy is one dirty dirty player. How he is an England captain I don’t know.Has there been a more dirty, and a more incoherent man for the national captaincy?”

    Shearer ?

  23. Pedro

    La croqueta, I explained it all in the blog. There’s about 1800 words there for you. Go back and read again.

  24. Northbanker

    Ernest – ok sorry its ‘realism’ not pessimism

    Dropping points against teams you should be beating (Burnley, Wolves, Villa) will reflect in the table before long. = statement of obvious and was posted by you in response to my comment that it was incredible we were still 10th given how many teams we have been better than since Chelsea (actually since prev Spurs game) other than City ie all of them

    We are playing like a top 4 club and that will come soon enough

  25. Ernest Reed

    “It just confirmed that our team has improved since then.”

    I dont think I’d classify Sp*rs as better than Arsenal at any point in time. What made the earlier loss to them bitter to swallow was the abject performance of some of the so-called leaders on the team.

    Arsenal have not really improved in the manner that some describe, its more that Sp*rs were punching well above their true ability at the time of the first meeting. Yesterday’s performance was very much in keeping with historical expectations. Sp*rs are a crappy team, always have been and always will be. Arsenal simply send a stark reminder yesterday for them to mind their place beneath them.

  26. Pedro

    Spurs were top of the league when we last met them in December and people were calling them legitimate title contenders.

    To say the improvement since then is being overblown is a massive understatement.

  27. Ernest Reed

    “Spurs were top of the league when we last met them in December and people were calling them legitimate title contenders.”

    As long as they have Mourinho guiding them Pedro, they will never be contenders for anything other than pretenders. Unlike dry salted bacalhau, Mourinho’s gone spoiled bad past any expiration date.

    And yes I can say it, my Mother is Portuguese!

  28. Northbanker

    Winning the NLD is of course in reality a sideshow but tbh its always going to play a big role for me. Its more the fact that i cant stand them winning it. I am still haunted by being in their Executive Box when we lost 5-1 (the Bendtner fight night) and having all these Spuds fisting salutes in my face. Fact that we played juniors didn’t seem to matter (League Cup)

  29. Kroenkephobe


    Nah mate. Alan “chicken n beans” Shearer is an urbane sophisticate compared to the lisping cheating lunatic HK. Most Spurs players are impossible to like, even less so after yesterday.

    Doherty, the Gooner, being an exception not least because he was sub par yesterday.

    Looks to me like an unhappy ship with Mourinho cast as Captain Bligh. Fuck ’em.

  30. DivineSherlock

    Its always shifting goalpost with the moaners , when Spurs were playing well it was all Mourinho is a gamechanger and now when we beat them , Spurs were crap. Nobody is mentioning Ancelloti now that he is in mid table skirmish just like us. Typical Maureen people on here.

  31. englandsbest

    None of us knows for sure what Auba did (or didn’t do). Chronic lateness seems likeliest. But those who say Arteta should have kept it sub rosa are mistaken. A captain breaking the disciplinary rules sets a bad example, especially for the younger players. Absolutely right to show him up, discomfit him.

    How will Auba respond? I fear badly.

    IMO giving him a long contract and a huge wage was a mistake. He is in the comfort zone, like Ozil was. And like petulant Ozil, his ego may count most.

    Fortunately Arteta has learned a lesson from Ozil. You do not pander to such people. You ostracise them, you get rid of them.

    In his absence Laca (who gives all) will grow in stature. Nketiah has huge potential as a striker, so too does Martinelli. And many on here rave about Balogue.

  32. Pedro

    Ernest, bit of a pattern on here of underplaying every team we beat. Spurs favourites for the top 4 yesterday, now they’re shite.

  33. Up 4 grabs now


    Great performance yesterday barring the last fifteen minutes.
    We can never do anything the easy way.

    Top marks.for arteta having the balls to drop auba, could have really blown up in his face if we lost yesterday.
    In hindsight it was probably a good thing as laca never stopped running yesterday.

    Midfield two were quite poor I thought, xhaka was his usual average self and partey was quite poor as well. Let’s hope that was just a blip from him.

    But it’s small grumbles, you win the NLD and it sets up your week.
    It’s been a pretty poor season, so savour the good days when they come along.
    North London is red, well done boys.

  34. Pierre

    Our league position is false as we will see by rhe ed of the season .
    I said back in january that with a good summer transfer window we could compete for the title and i still believe that.

    Arteta needs to focus on the football and not become distracted again by wanting to show the world who is the boss.

    The emergence of Smith Rowe has given the team a new dimension in our play.
    I think Arteta has done well to integrate Odegaard and smith rowe into the starting line , though personally I believe smith rowe is the more creative player, but Odegaard brings a calmness to the role and rarely gives the ball away and also has a tremendous work rate.

    Watching the team with partey , Tierney, Saka , Smith Rowe ànd Odegaard starting gives any Arsenal fan a sort of reassurance as they are genuine quality.

    Partey and Tierney being 100% fit is crucial to our progression.

    The next transfer window will be crucial to how we progress next season.
    The squad we have now is capable of top 4.
    With a couple of good signings and possible re emergence of one or 2 of our young guns, we could at the bery least compete for the title, winning it is probably too much to ask .

  35. Kroenkephobe

    Providing he’s fit, Thursday would be a good time for Martinelli to get some action. His pace and directness would terrify Sokratis. I’d have some quality on the bench but I’d be looking to make quite a few changes to yesterday’s team so that they get some rest and we line up the same for the hammers as the spuds. And give Ryan a game too.

  36. Cazorla

    Don’t know how anyone could watch the game yesterday and say that xhaka was average. Him
    and Partey (even though he didn’t have his best game he was still influential) controlled the midfield and won a lot of 2nd balls.

  37. Dissenter

    I’m impressed with how Arteta has grabbed the opportunities that ESR provides for the team.

    I do have to ask; what took him so long?
    Why did he wait until December to give him a run out at the top level?

  38. NJ Gooner


    Everyone is, or should be, excited by yesterday’s performance. And if they aren’t overjoyed then they should admit that they simply are not Arsenal fans. I started attending games in the 1960s. I’ve attended great and dire games. I don’t take the good days for granted.

    But having said that, we need to keep an eye on the big picture – as you Matt and Johnny also say you do in your great blog:

    1. We played up to our potential with a great plan.
    2. Maureen came with a terrible plan and Spurs were dire.
    3. But we had everything go in our direction (for once!): an injury to Son; a red card for Lamela; the penalty decision (for once!) going in our favour.

    Yet we still only won by a goal– and could have given that up without some true heroics by Gabriel at the end. We were great. But on another day, things could have worked out very differently.

    So, while we should luxuriate in the victory, Arteta will say that it also shows how far we still have to go to reach the top four. Perspective isn’t dampening the day. It’s just recognizing that the sauce still needs considerable work.

  39. Samir

    My team for Thursday:


  40. Bertie Mee

    I share your optimism Pedro. Arteta will be a top-quality coach. His team outclassed Mourinho’s yesterday . I’m also supportive of your railing at negative responses to wins like yesterday . There are far too many ‘fans’ who have no understanding of club support . They frequent boards like this to moan and often leave if there’s nothing to moan about. You have to be happy when you school Tottenham.
    One reservation though. I really don’t think you can give Xhaka a free pass like you have. He fails us regularly and is limited in a number of ways . Two games without a disaster does not a triumph make

  41. G

    Arteta was always going to play ESR it was just a question of when.. if he played him earlier and he was shit for 2-3 games then people would have moaned as well..
    Pepe , just saw it again.. what a ball

  42. Pedro

    NJ, I never tell people how to support outside certain areas.

    > never wish a loss on your team
    > always celebrate beating the scum

    Trolls revealed themselves today and after the game. Absolutely shameful. Also kills the vibe on here.

  43. Mb


    Guen played 33 PL games 2 years back, more than Xhaka. He played another 24 before Arteta binned him purely for non-footballing reasons.

    He is 21, got lot to learn but he had shown glimpse in the past. It could be a literally free Partey’s partner.

  44. Vintage Gun

    Still buzzing!

    I fancied Lacca for the match so fair play to Arteta for picking him. Regardless of the reason why. Same with Cedric.

    If the rest of the season is about Mikel generating fan credit for next season yesterdays game went a long way with me.

    Really good stuff out there yesterday. Well done Arsenal

  45. Thorough

    So we’ve almost beaten ManU home and away. (lucky bastards stole a draw)
    Thumped Chelsea
    Beaten leicester
    That has got to be one of our best runs against the top 6 teams in almost a decade.
    If we can keep this up and start mulling the likes of Burnley as we use to do then we may be up to something.

  46. Thorough

    Aubameyang has been stinking the place out. I don’t think we would have won if he’d started yesterday. The donkey job that Lacazette does is so underrated.
    However, the message above shows why some of us have reservations about Arteta. If this degenerates further Auba may get ostrasized. In this cash strapped Post-Covid period we won’t get cash for him even if we get someone willing to pay his wages which isn’t even a given.

    So Auba goes.
    What if Partey breaks the non-negotiable?
    What if Saka does?
    What if ESR does?
    How many players can a coach go to war against?

  47. Rich

    “How many players can a coach go to war with?”

    Expecting staff who are paid millions p/a, to show up on time, really isn’t much to ask

    Arteta is absolutely right to install discipline into the dressing room

  48. Nelson

    Now we have a good occasion to appoint Tierney as our captain. Auba is a playboy. He is not captain material. It is better for the culture of the team to have a captain who shows steel and dedication on the pitch. It is not a good example to have a playboy as the captain. That is not a serious team.

  49. China1

    Last time we played spurs they were top of the league but not title contenders.

    There’s a very big difference between being top or close early in the season and being up there for the long hall. A good way to put it is if at that fine I’d given you a tenner and said place a bet on who you think will win the league, only a spud would’ve actually bet on spurs. There’s absolutely zero competitive history from them and there are better squads in the league with managers less prone to blowing up

    This was as I’ve been saying just a case of spurs being chronically overrated.

  50. China1


    2019-20: 6th – 59 points (37 points off first)
    2018-19: 4th – 71 points (27 points off first)
    2017-18: 3rd – 77 points (23 points off first)
    2016-17: 2nd – 86 points (7 points off first)

    Current season if points extrapolated until 38 games: 61 points

    And this is the new generation Spurs that’s supposedly really good. One competitive league campaign (several years back) and one good CL run, both of which ended in nothing.

    Spurs are not even as good as peak banter years arsenal when we used to win nothing but at least we were always value for top 4

  51. China1

    Even in arsenals greatest depths we’ve picked up FA cups whilst they’ve got nothing

    It’s all very Spursy

  52. Tony

    “Tony crapping on about gunnerdoozi as if he’d carried out a psychiatric evaluation was hilarious. Read that back Tony with your bullshit detector turned on and I think you’ll be a little embarrassed.What do you know about neurology and have you ever treated or even met the guy?”

    Probably would have thought the same had I read my post without any understanding on the subject.

    Sadly my experience comes from my having ADHD all my life and my son, daughter and wife all having variations of hyperactivity issues.

    Two of my wife’s close school/family friends are Drs in the field, and we’ve have worked closely with separate Drs for our 2 children’s issues.

    Both have a Dr for medication and one for talking to to learn steps to employ filters people that who don’t have ADHD use instinctively and immediately they begin to do or say something.

    ADHD tends to attach itself to other spectrum based issues, such as OCD and autism; the latter sees a very good friend’s son now 14 have autism attached to his severe ADHD. Unfortunately, in the UK, mental health issues’ Drs are more readily available in the private medical sector and very limited in the NHS services.

    Hence needy people do not get the access they need from NHS Drs.

    So in reality, my experience with such brain deficit issues spans over my 65 years and my wife & daughter and son for the last 23 & 12 years respectively.

    Granted I’m not a Dr, nor do I think I have all the answers, I don’t, but because of our situation my wife and I are well read on the subject and can see signs in other people and our Dr friends keep us up to date with new thinking on the subject.

    As much as the subject was very much unknown about in my early stages of life, in the last 20 years ADHD is now recognized as extremely commonplace where in my son’s private school here in Thailand there are 5 of my son’s classmates who have ADHD in one form or another from a class of 25 students.

    I mentioned before a Horizon episode with Rory Bremner trying to find out what level his ADHD is worth a watch if you want to know more about the subject. However, that program is NOT the basis of my suggested Guen/filterless thinking.

    Rightly or wrongly I made assumptions on Guen and people who display similar behavioral patterns because they generally are repeat offenders from their young lives, and have passed the 13 year old age group where ADHD can be grown out of or learnt to be properly managed by meds and learning steps I mentioned earlier.

    If you’re interested Kroenkephobe, watch the above BBC Horizon and at least have some knowledge on the subject before castigating me.

    Anyway, it seems Guen wants to come back after his Hertha loan stating he’s still and Arsenal player; let’s hope Saliba feels the same way..

    Although, if Guen does have any form of spectrum based alphabet soup that is due to a brain chemical/growth imbalance and it’s left unmedicated, Guern’s previous filterless outbursts and behavioral patterns are not going to change.

    In my post yesterday I never said that Guen HAD a brain imbalance, I said he MIGHT have and if so, it can be medicated easily and COULD be the root cause of Guen’s outbursts.

    Of course you could be right and Guen is just a spoilt, nasty kid who never grew up with no mental health issues and is just a horrible cnut!

    However, considering Guen represents important investment for us, us being a club floundering financially, wouldn’t the bright thing to do be to give Guen some blood tests and a series of reasonably easy tests and a life habits’ questionnaire to learn more about Him.

    So no! I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, just well read and informed on the subject.

    How about you Kroenkephobe? You have a better explanation for Guen’s behavior?

    If so, do tell.

  53. Tony

    My son was skimming though LG recently and with a straight face said he had something to tell me.

    He said it had something to do with you.

    My thoughts instantly went to to you predicting that Ozil and Wenger were being re-employed by the club and that it was one of your contrarian wind ups.

    But it was far worse than that.

    My son said that he wanted to take up golf! Then started laughing knowing it’s a sport I know nothing about or have any interest in.

    So having attained his Red belt in Tae Kwon Do by the age of 9 and then moving on to a reasonable level at badminton and football, but never good enough to plat at pro levels, he’s moved on to my least favoured sport to the extent that I’d rather watch paint dry.

    So he’s belting 100s balls on the driving range daily in the cooler evenings with a couple of old golf pros whose sons are doing well on the Asian circuits.

    As any supportive parents would do, we are readying ourselves to be with him on the course when he’s ready to attempt to play games.

    My wife is a keen golfer, but she’s too involved often being away on business most weeks with running her company to have time to get near a golf course, so that leaves me having to face the Thailand summer with temperatures that can reach 45*C. for 3 to 4 months; therefore, it’s going to have to be 6am tee off for him, and then follows the rain season (mostly during Thai school holidays) for similar duration with 90+% humidity on a good day.

    That said, our 4 to 5 month winters offer perfect golf playing weather.

    I thought my suffering would amuse you.

    I’m getting used to it all now as my son tells me in detail what’s he’s learning each day back up by videos from his phone taken by my wife’s gold playing brother who says that the pros think he’ll do well once he can get his ADHD focus in check to be aptly coordinated to play.

    At least he’s happy and has something he can fit in around his new senior school, which happens to have a student golf club, and the many external extra classes he and Thai students do every day from the ages of 12 to 18 to ensure they graduate high school with a GPA high enough to gain entrance to a decent university here or abroad.

    Golf, fcuking golf!

    I never saw that coming, but the plus side I won’t have to do any more treadmill walking once I start accompanying games with my sn and get a good tan in the process.

    In Thailand the caddies are women many who speak, Thai, English and Japanese as many from abroad come to play the international courses here. I have no idea how good they are, but I’m sure I’m going to find out much more about the courses and game.


    Anyway, now Ozil has departed we both currently have similar views, especially playing youth.

  54. China1

    Lol tony I’m sorry for your loss re the golf

    I play it myself extremely casually (driving range once every few months) but I get bored after 30 mins. Dunno how anyone has the patience to stick at it for hours on end day after day

    Btw on a different note, living in China we have something known as Chinglish where English translations are often piss poor with hilarious results. Is there a name for the Thai equivalent

    First time I went to Thailand above the toilet in our hotel was a sign that said ‘please throw the thing appeareds in the toilet’

    To this day it makes me smile when it randomly crosses my mind. Still wondering which thing appears in the toilet and where and why I must throw it 😂😂

    Some of the Chinese ones are great too. Seen a guy in his 70s on the subway quietly minding his own business with a cap that just said FUCK U on it 😂😂😂

  55. DivineSherlock


    haha you seem to be outdoing yourself with this long posts. Its just proves a hindrance to read some other posters comments thats all.

    Aussie Gooner
    Never understood Golf , plain old boring sport. Rather watch paint dry.

  56. Tony

    Tinglish is the Thai equivalent, China.

    Thais generally write in Thai on walls etc. They do, though, have many daily mix ups in English.

    Early 00s I was staying in Bangkok at a well respected 5* hotel and sitting down to breakfast my waitress asked if I were well?

    I replied long business dinner with too much to drink and feeling it.

    Later when she returned to clear my plates she asked how my overhang was now I’d had coffee and food?

    That always stuck with me, but the Thais’ pronunciations can often be a leveller, in many situations, especially the girls when they mess up they can become seriously endearing by their shy embarrassment.

    The bar girls have this particular art of pronouncing and words wrongly off to a tee.

    You’ll often hear westerners giving girls English lessons in earnest in entertainment areas whilst being reeled in.

    One thing that never ceases to amaze me is why practically all foreign men arriving in Thailand suddenly think they are better than John Travolta at dancing as soon as they step off the plane.

    That and the group of ripped western guys at a kick boxing exhibition where the loudest and biggest guy takes bets on how quick he’s going to knock this 5’5” 60kg skinny Thai out.

    Only to find after less than 2 minutes in the ring he’s needing a wet sponge to wake in him on the canvas floor.

    They mostly claim their water was spiked or the Thai hit him when they weren’t properly prepared to defend themselves.

    Others just say what the fcuk happened?

    Never a dull day in Thailand when tourists are here.

  57. Tony

    Actually should correct my earlier post, China. I was thinking more about the Thai general public.

    There are so many misuses of English in instruction boards and posters. They tend to gloss over you when you’ve been here so long.

  58. Tony

    Got to love Henry never short on wit owning Carragher yesterday.

    “ Thierry Henry has marked his return to the Sky Sports studio by mocking Jamie Carragher.

    The former Arsenal forward has been absent from our screens for almost two years due managerial commitments at former club Montreal Impact.

    He has returned on Monday Night Football though and was quick to mock the former Liverpool defender.

    As he was welcomed back Henry said: “I’m happy to be here, 2 meters away from Jamie like in the game.”

    Carragher replied on social media saying: “It’s a long night”.

  59. China1

    Tony my boss told me several years ago he hired someone at his previous company here. On day 1 the guy sent an email to a massive distribution list of 100+ people introducing himself by saying ‘hi I’m the new gay’

    Always loved that story

    Another time a really senior manager here told me he received an email from a local here asking for approval to replace his hard cock because it had stopped working. He was bent over in hysterics telling me he assumed he meant hard drive and had just replied with ‘approved’ without bother to check

  60. Kroenkephobe


    No, I have no diagnosis for anything that might be going on in anyone’s head for 2 reasons in this case.

    First, I’ve never met Guendouzi as you may well imagine so to say he’s suffering from this or that would be crass and wrong headed. He seems to me (based on watching him play) to be a full blooded kid who is passionate and emotional about football. He gives me a strong sense from his play that he loves the game. Now notice here Tony that I’ve made no guesses about his psychological state nor said anything negative that I simply cannot prove.

    Second, I’m not qualified in any way to do with medical nor psychological stuff (and I would never claim to be). My career was in foreign affairs and writing so I like to think I have a filter for the truth and avoiding speculation. Moreover Tony, a qualified medical practitioner would not be qualified for long if he/she was making diagnoses about someone’s mental health without having treated them for a lengthy period of time.

    I sympathise with your domestic situation – and that gives you a slightly more advanced understanding of the generalities of mental health than, say, me. But you have to agree that you remain unqualified to diagnose Guendouzi. In essence, what you wrote about him is not only dumb but borderline vindictive.

  61. China1

    Kroenkephobe tbf Tony only said he may afflicted, not that he definitely is and he’s been pretty supportive about Guen in general so not sure you can consider that vindictive

  62. Tony

    I understand and respect where you’re coming from and would agree, while being knowledgeable in areas of behavioral conditions, I am not qualified to make any such diagnosis. I can, though, read the signs well.

    However, to be fair, I didn’t say that Guen had any named condition, I said he might have something that is the cause of such poor behavior outbursts, such as chemical imbalance in the brain.

    It’s far more prevalent in today’s generation than you might think.

    I wasn’t diagnosed until 7 years ago, so very easy to go undetected and I had learnt to live with it. The filters I spoke of in their most basic form are having right and wrong as a guide to all your actions. An outburst can appear from nowhere and something out of normal character said because it was unchecked first by the power of reason; right and wrong.

    Let’s hope the club and Arteta in particular handles Guen better when he comes back. There’s a player in there, but it comes with a lot of baggage. Remove the baggage and Guen could quite possibly be a first team regular.

    Let the baggage grow from a views often of misperception and you’ll have another Bolitelli, Pogba, Rabiot to deal with. It won’t end well.

    Question is what is the baggage and how to get rid of it?

    I only offered another view as to what the cause of that baggage might be.

    I have 2 hugely successful friends who are both bipolar. That’s not an education for the faint hearted.

    Let’s leave it there whether we agree or not.

  63. Kroenkephobe

    Hi China

    Hm. The opinions that Tony posted yesterday about Guen were too forthright to be described as circumspect. All that bunkum about chemical imbalances. We know nothing about the kid so we should all lay off him, not least because I still think he has the makings of a complete midfielder. Everyone deserves another chance especially a kid in strange surroundings and in such a high pressure environment. We were all cocky twats at the age of 20 – why should Guen be held to a higher standard?

    It’s only now after years of wengerball that the average age of our squad seems to be falling and going in the right direction. Maybe we have to reacquaint ourselves with the pros and cons of younger players rather than make rash judgments.

    Mental health is on everyone’s agenda right now so the last thing we should be doing as gooners is piling onto our own players in an unsubstantiated way.

    I think Pedro has also been far too scathing about the kid and it puzzles me why. I might be wrong but I think the word “cancerous” was used to describe him somewhere on here which is extremely harsh.

    What he did at Brighton last season was badly executed, but I thought he was right to be fired up after Maupay deliberately injured Bernie. OK, so it wasn’t Vieira v Keane but he and BL showed some spirit that day that appeared absent in everyone else including Arteta.

    We should not be writing our own players off in this way, nor making quarter arsed judgments about them. Let’s keep our powder dry for some of the PL’s biggest ball bags, e.g. Kane, Fernandez and Jamie fucking Vardy.

  64. Kroenkephobe

    Hi Aasim

    That’s a medium to large sized if.
    I reckon we’ll finish fifth
    The season’s was crap
    But no relegation scrap
    At least we beat Kane and his quiff!

    I’ve decided it’s national limerick day. Can anyone beat that?

  65. China1

    Yeah Kroenke I agree entirely

    I don’t think Guen is necessarily the right player for us but I do think the treatment has been OTT.

    He seems like a good player with a lot of potential but a propensity towards causing trouble. As far as I’m concerned either we start again with him and arteta tries to unload that baggage as has been said or we sell him and make a decent profit. I’m happy either way

    But what I disagree with is I think tony is throwing ideas around about what might be the cause of his issues. But I don’t think those are inherently unfair to bring up.

    It’s different but I lost my eldest brother to suicide and in retrospect you look back at lots of things he did in his life and suspect there were likely a series of unrealized issues there that went beyond just him feeling extremely shit one morning and doing what he did. We didn’t see it that way before hand but you look back and a lot of stuff starts to make more sense through that lense, even tho we can’t verify it anymore.

    I don’t think tony proposing that as a possibility is negative, his point is just that he sees some points which are familiar to his experiences dealing with that kind of thing and so it’s a possibility

    The same way if when my son gets older he carries some certain behavioral traits of my brother id be seeing red flags and need to talk with him about it. Maybe they’d mean nothing at all but they’d be flags nonetheless

    Regardless of all this, at arsenal it all started because of Maupay incident which I think was ridiculous. You’re absolutely right then even if what he said was unprofessional, he was the only player in the team who cares and was going to war for his team mate after a disgraceful intentional foul. Other real captains like auba and xhaka was smiling and chatting with their players and I was very glad to see Guen go to town on him. He deserved it.

    If I was arteta that would’ve never been a big deal to me. I’d have taken him to one side the next day and said look you were right to be pissed and I’m glad you stood up to be counted. Next time just don’t bring salaries and this kind of shit into it because it makes us look bad. But by all means next time it happens just call the guy a neckless cunt instead.

    Job done. No drama. Guen knows he is backed by his manager for defender his team mate and will take the advice more seriously because that’s what he can do in return for arteta backing him

    I don’t know about trouble he’s caused elsewhere, but for that Brighton one it was literally a storm in a teacup and very poorly handled

  66. Tony

    Kroekephobe you really are one blinkered blowhard unable to read what was posted and understand the context.

    Thankfully the club has psychologists as part of their support team; they are an essential element, especially when players were suffering silently with depression. Our Sol was one such player.

    But hey let’s do it your way and just give the lad another chance because whatever has made Guen go off on one with several clubs was just growing pains of being a twat being your perceived cause.

    Very enlightening.

  67. Tony

    Thanks China it was exactly what I was trying to convey.

    I also agree that Arteta was very poor at handling the situation as he is with many youth players.

    Anyway after our high tempo 75 minute Spud’s performance I’m looking forward to the next 3 games and how Arteta and the players are going continue that front foot play momentum although I doubt Oly, WH and Bin Dippers will make the same mistakes as Mourinho did.

  68. Kroenkephobe

    Spot on China. Arteta and Edu should reset their relationship with MG. They’re the adults in the room with a talented and valuable asset. Guen has the makings of a very good player I’m sure.

    Tony – blowhard moi? You were the one offering a quack analysis of one of our young players. Extraordinary thing for you to say.

    And if you insist on throwing insults around, you’ve exposed yourself as a bit of an arse on this point. Let it go now mate – I know you won’t climb down but at least admit that you overreached yourself.

    Why not try a witty limerick instead – you might have an untapped ability.

  69. China1

    It’s a shame this issue with guen in Germany has happened at this time as if we do want to sell it will impact his value. Much better if he was on the naughty step at the start of the season and playing really well like he did before from Xmas to the end of the season

    It makes a world of difference to how he will be perceived.

    Given the shitty market and lack of money I don’t know how much money we can get for a player whose reputation is messy. With that in mind when he comes back I’d sit him down and just have an honest talk with him about what we want from him, what he wants from arsenal, what can be done to ensure he achieves his potential with us or if not, just agree that he must keep his head down whilst we look for a buyer.

  70. China1

    Man I can’t tell you how much I want arsenal to win the EL this year in a final against spurs

    The EL is second rate but that victory would be one of the most cathartic things imaginable.

    Seriously stop to think how good that would be seeing their players slumped on the pitch at full time crying because they failed again, this time against their most hated rivals.

    Honestly qualifying for the CL as a prize would pale in significance to how enjoyable that would be

  71. China1

    Just picture Joses face at the final whistle. Or Harry Kane’s as he plots his escape from there

    Them having to stand next to us as arsenal lift the trophy and the fireworks go off

    Then there’s the stunned pundits who can’t believe that spurs have been spursy again and it was in fact their 100th false dawn in the last 100 years

    Golden. After such a shit year with the pandemic and arsenal having a crap season, can you imagine just how hype that would be

  72. Kroenkephobe

    I agree. There are obvious solutions that don’t look difficult to achieve. Plus you’d have to think that Guen has developed and become a more rounded person, simply because of the passage of time and the processes you go through when changing employers and countries.

    I’ve always been fond of spiky midfielders and think all good teams need one. Steve Williams, Storey, dear old Rocky, Richardson, Manu and PV meant more to supporters than just good players. They had a presence. Guen COULD be the next in line with just a few tweaks.

  73. Bob N16

    Temperament aside, I feel Guendozi wants too many touches and has a tendency to go short to the CBs to pick up the ball. Both these traits could be coached out of him but he feels a little too flawed to be worth the bother. I would much prefer a more physically dynamic box-to-box midfielder who can read the game well, quick one/ two touch passing and is confident in retaining the ball when closely pressed – another Partey in fact!
    Partey is the sort of player who compliments the players around him, who covers their flaws if you like. Let’s have at least two of those type of players in CM.

    On a different point, I can’t believe I’m alone in thinking that our physios and medical team are having a blinder. In a congested season, with only a six week break in the summer, our injury list is virtually clear. Long may it continue but respect where it is due, surely?

  74. Pierre

    Arteta has been fortunate that there has been no fans at the Emirates, if so he would probably be out of a job by now.

    Fortunately for Arteta , we had a few injuries/suspensions.just before Christmas and in very un Arteta like fashion, he took a risk on Smith Rowe and Martinelli , and despite a couple of poor results since then , it is obviousthat we have turned the corner..

    Changing back to our system of 12 months ago saved Arteta his job.
    Playing the 4-2-3-1 was successful 12 months ago and is proving a success now .
    Having a CAM in the side provides the perfect link between midfield and attack

    The only person that can stop the progress is Arteta himself if he resorts back to flexing his muscles with the players to show who’s boss , or resorting back to wing backs.

    It didn’t work when Emery tried it , it didn’t work when Arteta tried it last time , and it won’t work if Arteta goes down that road again.

    We should play our strongest line up v Olympiakos, the definite starters should be Leno, Tierney Xhaka , Partey , Saka , Smith rowe and Odegaard..

    I personally prefer Mari and Holding as the centre back partnership, but it will probably be Gabriel and Luiz which is fair enough as i don’t think there is a lot to choose between them.

    Cedric at right back for me and Aubameyang up top would be my choice, though i believe that Arteta will plump for Bellerin.

    It’s a toss up on Aubameyang or Lacazette but i think Arteta will go with Aubameyang.

  75. Nelson


    You have forgotten that there is a three times Europa cup winner still in the field. Do you think that our rookie coach has a chance against an expert winner???

  76. Bob N16

    Disagree Pierre with your lack of rotation after a 3-1 away leg victory. Saka and Partey look like they need cotton wool lung. We have depth in a few areas of our team and should be used.
    There were psychological reasons for the last 15 mins against Spuds but we also looked like we were dropping off physically.

    We want and need a strong 90 minutes against West Ham, a little rotation makes a lot of sense , the bench could always be strong on Thursday!

  77. Captain Tierney

    Wota lovely day.

    Seeing the Pundits, try their utmost to discredit the penalty was hilarious.

    Same people were saying the Luiz incident was a pen but not a red.

    Well Davinson Sanchez clattered into Laca and got nothing of the ball.

    They are describing the tackle as reckless, and then finish by saying still not a penalty for me. Well we got given a penalty against us for Luiz having legs. And all these pundits were in agreement it was a penalty.

    But when a similar decision is granted in favour of us, all of these pundits are furious. The hate.

    Massive performance from future Captain Tierney.
    Esr, Gabriel, Ode, Xhaka, Partey (for 70 mins), even Luiz were immense.

    One thing people overlook is how well Arteta has made us defensively. If we remove all the individual errors, we are easily the second best defensive side in the league and really not much far off Man City. And this is not an easy task. We have been horrendous defensively for the last 10-12 years. Arteta has worked wonders in this department.

    Now its about getting in the right players. An upgrade at CM, RCB, RB, CF(not urgent) and well be fighting at the top end of the table.

    Next season is going to BANG.

  78. Pierre

    Nice to see someone in your family has some sense.

    Golf is a beautiful game that requires skill, technique and patience to play the perfect round and is a perfect way to spend the day..

    4 hours on the course , a couple of drinks after the game and then home to watch the football ( or golf) …perfect..

    12 days and 22 hours and the course opens….not that I’m counting the hours (my mrs is though) .

  79. Nelson

    “The only person that can stop the progress is Arteta himself ”

    You have forgotten that we have players who have brain farts.

  80. China1

    I think your predicted lineup is correct Pierre

    Bellerin and Auba will likely be back in regardless of our preference. Others will stay largely unchanged