by .

BIG news for the Guendouzi fan club coming out of Germany. Bild, their version of The Sun, reckons there’s no chance of the loan renewing and they also state there won’t be a perm move. The article suggests his theatrics don’t work for the club. This story has come off the back of a 7 week period where the player has started one game, dived in his own box to gift a goal, and had his coach call him an ‘animal’ in relation to the way he learns.

Matteo is one of those boring stories that hangs in the air when people who have no clue about human dynamics whine on that his deeply negative attributes are exactly what is required for a team like Arsenal to progress. They mistake being a dickhead with being someone that cares. In Sunday League football, that might hold weight, but in elite team sport, being a supreme dickhead doesn’t wash anymore. It’s not just football that refuses to tolerate it, Reed Hastings, Netflix founder calls talents like Matteo G ‘brilliant jerks’. He doesn’t accept them at Netflix, a company that has changed the face of Hollywood by building a high-performance culture of dense talent that is highly collaborative.

Dickheads slow things down, which isn’t conducive to a time-poor environment when you’re playing three games a week. If everything is an argument, a mediation, or a spanner in the works… it can be a slow drain of energy. Leadership loses trust capital with the wider group because the player being indulged is being put above the rules. Teams don’t like working with dickheads, because it saps energy. You also lose collective focus, because the toxic tentacles of gossip grip the team. Kola and Mustafi had to go because they were fueling those sorts of problems, then they landed at Schalke and staged a coup immediately.

The Matteo Gs camel-back-breaking moment might have been Neil Maupay, but it certainly wasn’t the only issue. The two massive arguments in Dubai, plus plenty of problems back at Colney you don’t know about snowballed, and not even just with Arteta. Freddie had his issues as well, some mocking antics were caught on camera at a training session when the Swedish caretaker wasn’t looking last December.  Really not helpful, especially in a crisis with an Arsenal legend trying to help.

Hertha Berlin are coasting down shit creek, no paddle, head in the mess drowning. Matteo is one of the biggest talents in their squad, and even they don’t see the pay off being worth the hassle.

Dickheads are not good for culture.

We still have some of that dickhead behaviour that goes on at Arsenal. Auba has been guilty of it this season off-field, and in midweek, it looked like an example of him flexing his power muscles when he dropped a low energy disaster class. There are some people in life that have the unique gift of being able to lift a room with a smile… but also the ability to crater vibes without saying a word. Without meeting him, Auba seems to be that guy. He didn’t look interested in the week, it was a shocking performance… it could have been ‘one of those nights’ or it could be a sign that he hasn’t forgiven the system for slapping him for his timing transgression in the week.

“When you have clear ideas and principles, it’s about applying them,”

“There’s no point just telling people what we expect from them, then not making the decisions when those things are not accomplished.”

It’s always something, isn’t it? We should be going into this weekend feeling pretty positive. What we’re mostly thinking is how does Arteta manage the squad after a low-focus 90 in midweek? Do you start Auba after that? Or do you give minutes to Gabriel Martinelli who immediately lifted the game with a powerful 12 minutes? It’s tough, because really, you need your best player for the remainder of the season… what Arteta has to gauge is whether that Auba performance was a bad game, which players have, or a middle finger.

The most important thing this weekend is beating West Ham. We’re mid-March. They are in the top 4 because they absolutely deserve to be there. They are well organised, powerful, tactically astute… and they’ve been beating big teams all season.

You can be a ‘PREM TABLE IS ALL THAT MATTERS’ table banger… and live in a world of misery about Arsenal being in 10th place.

OR, you can say that the first half of the season was extremely shitty, but Arteta survived it and the gift he was given was a second chance.

Here’s the table since Christmas.


We’re now playing like a top 4 side. You see it on the pitch. You can see it with the performances we’re putting in. Cut the errors out of the above and we’d be 8 points better off at a minimum. Remember, we can control unforced errors. Our sustainable football model has us dominating games, defending well, and creating lots of high-quality chances. Errors can be tamed with coaching and better players this summer.

Arteta’s job until the end of the season is to prove that he can consistently deliver high-quality performances.

West Ham is going to be another opportunity to show he has the sauce to keep this half-season form going into next season.

The big challenge tomorrow is going to be fitness levels. West Ham are partly succeeding this season because they are rocking 1 game a week at the moment. Arteta has had a rocky time managing the fitness between Europa League games. He did it to perfection against Spurs last week. Can he manage it against a high flying team that doesn’t have a Europa game?

I think resting Partey and Odegaard was a smart move. Those two give us the control and forward momentum you simply don’t get with Dani or Mo. I’d like to see Pablo Mari in central defence, I think Cedric Soares is our best right back at the moment, and hopefully the resting of Bukayo will see him burst out of the traps.

Who knows what you do with the #9 position?

These are the big moments Arteta and his staff need to manage. In the grand scheme of things, the Premier League is finished, it’s all about beating Racist FC in the quarters of the Europa… but the fans are watching. West Ham is the Essex Gooners bragging rights derby. The Premier League will also be paying attention… can we give Moyes the same laser focus we gave Jose last week? Can Arteta slay his original footballing father again?

I hope so. Win tomorrow and we go into International week on a very sweet high. Let’s see what the boys have to offer!

P.S. I answered some questions for Arsenal Addict. David is a good friend of the blog, an OG blogger from back in the day, and he’s firing up his site again. Take a read here and give him a follow @ArsenalAddict.

ALSO, we just dropped a special podcast with @SVCarboholic from the Touchy Gooners podcast. We discuss the Arsenal project through the snobby lens of progressive football. It was great fun… how football chat should be imo. We’ll be doing a part 2 soon. Please check out their podcast, it’s excellent, here’s their Patreon for more elite content.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. AFC Forever

    Ben D

    Yep 3-1 so Man Utd good as out. This Tuesday Sunday stuff is such a hindrance, Leicester looked much fresher. Man City have a much better squad so handle it better imo.

  2. TheLegendaryDB10

    Mr Serge

    Interesting. We must twist their arm and get Ødegaard then at all costs.

    He will be worth it.

    No questions about it.

    And I hope the club whisper in his ear to not renew any contract whatsoever. This may have to extend to his agent.

  3. AFC Forever


    Not sure £50m is right under current financial restraints due to the pandemic. Real have serious financial problems, so they may choose to keep an asset with an increasing value but get the wages off the book. A Loan looks sensible.

  4. Mr Serge

    We get ode and bisouma and Aaron’s plus a proper striker that can hold the ball and finish and we are much improved we should get them all for the amount we sell all the dross we don’t want

  5. WengerEagle


    True, they’re under no real pressure to sell and who knows, maybe they extend the loan to us for another year in the hope it jacks the price up for the following summer.

    Or he is the natural successor to Modric who is 36 this year although still playing at a high level.

    Only going by the soundbites coming out of his camp that he’s really happy at Arsenal and doesn’t want to return and play [or not play rather] under Zidane.

    Another loan is probably most sensible for all parties and would allow us to strengthen other areas too, like bringing in a forward or two.

  6. Peckobill

    Well that was pretty shit wasn’t it . Shockingly bad team set up and tactics by arteta . What a write off season this is

  7. Mr Serge

    WE agreed win win either way he won’t be a bit part player and he has played more times for us than he has for them in 6 years
    I’d he is on the move he would jump at the chance to play for us full time

  8. WengerEagle


    Nice little player, been extremely consistent too going by his Whoscored numbers.

    Not really known outside of France, probably a bit old to be making his big break though given he’s 29.

  9. TheLegendaryDB10


    We still need to strengthen MF by replacing Xhaka and Ceballos. One is far too slow and error prone the other just not good enough for the EPL.

    It’s an absolute priority this transfer window.

  10. WengerEagle

    Mr Serge

    Martial was all in all a good buy for United. Given them decent production and hasn’t really lost resale value.

    Would I pay 50m for Odegaard? I think so. Not an abundance of quality creative players knocking around Europe exactly.

  11. Trask

    Saka for all his talent can be absolutely putrid when it comes to using his brain in goalscoring opportunities

    That chance he had in the 1st half which he shot prematurely would be buried by so many

    All he had to do was drive to d box and pick his spot. He already had his man beaten for pace

    Such a shame when u see that in a supposed world class talent. It makes one question

  12. WengerEagle


    Give him a break, he’s 19. Practically nobody is the finished article by then.

    Have seen more than enough to know that he will go on to be a top player barring injuries.

  13. LoveSausage

    If Arteta keeps playing Auba, this will turn into another Willian situation. Auba needs to earn his place back. Right now he’s just a passenger.

    Odegaard was immense today. I can’t understand people talking shit about Saka. He’s a kid and he’s been carrying this team. He’s having a dip right now but for someone his age he’s been remarkably consistent. Partey needs to learn to pass properly. My 4 year old son could hit a harder pass than he does.

    Sid – you need to see a therapist. I’m sure Freud would have something to say about your obsession with beta males.

  14. Cazorla

    The hysteria in the first half from some posters was embarrassing but what is stranger they almost seemed disappointed that we got something from the game.

    The arsenal have some of the worst ‘support’ in the world with the know nothing online plastics.

  15. Bertfish

    How long has Ode got left on his Real contract as could play a big part in any purchase or extended loan?

    They would be mad nit to have him back tho?

  16. Nelson

    When Saka first entered into the discussion, I have mentioned that his only weakness is his shooting, compared to Folden. He hasn’t improved since then. I also don’t want Partey to shoot from long distance. It looks ugly.

  17. Trask


    Yea I know he’s 19 so I understand that part of it

    But he has had similar situations this season and the decision making has remained the same which is worrying

    He makes many good decisions so when he fluffs ones that should be basic like this, it just makes one question

  18. G

    ” Well that was pretty shit wasn’t it . Shockingly bad team set up and tactics by arteta . What a write off season this is ,” i know, could win a european trophy but let’s write off the season. I take it if we meet manu in final you won,t be watching

  19. Bertfish

    One thing for sure if we don’t with the Europa & then not then even qualify for Europe whatsoever then getting Ode or anyone fir that matter is going to be very problematic..

    Having said that the Europa is very doable. Let’s have it!

  20. Bertfish


    I can’t see Real extending the loan for another year as that would leave just one year left on his contract & resale plummets.

    Maybe Real will need to sell him at end of this season specially if he wants to join us & refuses to sign another deal with them…

  21. TheLegendaryDB10


    Agreed with one being a starter. We need someone who can allow Partey to do what he does (break up play and move it forward) without having to shoulder extra work like he is doing now with Xhaka.


    Re Saka

    He is shoulders above the others. He may have a moment as expected from a kid but he will learn.

    This is exactly what I thought with Ø. I was worried that he would have no impact but he grew into the game.

    If we can keep Ø we will have 2 wonder kids at the club!!!

    This is worth salivating over. 😁

  22. englandsbest

    An amazing comeback! There, I’ve said it before Pedro. But anybody who disputes this is skewed beyond belief. He should sit quietly in a dark room, twiddling his thumbs.

    It says a lot for Arteta, the esteem in which he is held by players – the committed ones, that is. And nobody is more committed than Laca, god bless him. For sure Mikel will not let go of him.

    The way WHU are right now, a point at their place is a good result. Does it matter? Hardly. The chance of making it into top 4 was practically zero anyway. And making it into 5th place is almost as unlikely.

    Winning the Europa Cup is another matter entirely. No team left with us in last eight has a points or games in hand advantage. That’s our route to next season’s CL.

  23. Sid

    ‘Sid – you need to see a therapist. I’m sure Freud would have something to say about your obsession with beta males.’

    Says a man named lovesausage, LMFAOOO

  24. Habesha Gooner

    I knew Odegaard would come good. He is technically brilliant. And players that are so good on the ball and haven’t got a shot attitude will always show their ability sooner or later. I don’t think Madrid will sell him. But If they did we have to be at the front of the line. Winning Europa league would help with that a lot too.

  25. Johng

    WHU 2nd goal was disappointing from a defensive point of view but to come back from 3 down is excellent and like the old wenger days when you always thought we had a chance of getting back in the game. Well done lads I say.
    Nice to see Laca get a couple, will push his price up maybe for the summer and a likely departure

  26. Dissenter

    I can’t believe some are going after Saka, a 19 year old who’s been carrying us all season .

    He has earned the right to have a bad game or even a bad month.

  27. G

    Ode was always going to come good I’m just surprised how quick it’s been.. he hadn’t played plus adaptating to new league..
    Changed my mind over laca , wouldn’t mind if he stayed.. more pressing is centre mid and right back

  28. AFC Forever

    Villa have been mugged because of a poor clearance from Martinez. Spurs not had a kick, they have been really poor

  29. Thorough

    At this rate, I won’t sell Laca. Give him a rolling incentive-based contract. Auba has started playing like there’s absolutely nothing at stake. He’s just watching time roll away. He’s disinterested. He’s without fight. We cannot enter next season with him as top striker.

  30. Thorough

    Villa have been mugged because of a poor clearance from Martinez. Spurs not had a kick, they have been really poor

    That’s a rare one. Leno does that every day of the week and twice on weekends. Drop it! Martinez shits all over Leno.

  31. Habesha Gooner

    It’s ridiculous. He didn’t even play that bad today apart from missing that chance. Saka deserves a lot of slack after he basically carried us for half the season. He will become a superstar. I am already dreaming of an Odegaard, Saka, ESR and Martinelli front 4 in the near future already.

    DB 10
    I was so excited when we signed him even for 6 months. I had seen him play on top form before. But what he did today was sensational. It was like they were afraid to get close to him in the final third. He will be worth every penny if we sign him. And I didn’t expect his attitude to be this great. We are used to Ozil after all.

  32. AFC Forever


    I think we will see more Loan deals because nobody has any money, except the ones owned by Oil States. This impacts on valuations, so clubs may feel it more sensible to sit on an asset until valuations return to pre-Covid levels but offload wages. But Odegaard is worth every penny.

  33. Na me ooo

    Arteta’s problem right now seems to be picking the right formation. Start Pepe/Martinelli over Aubameyang and no way we were 3-0 down. Would have been a win.

    If Auba isn’t starting upfront or scoring from the left, he’s pretty useless and a huge liability to the team. Think Mesut 2.0.

  34. Champagne Charlie

    Oh my, what a terrible opening half hour. Pathetic level of desire and discipline on show spearheaded by ‘Auba the pussy’, a worrying new manifestation in our highest profile talent of recent weeks

    4 sprints and 22 touches in the first half from our captain…..That’s abysmal, and the contract looks an expensive mistake.

    Nothing quite tops the amateur nature of the second goal today, that was just scary bad. We never laid a glove on West Ham for almost 40 mins, and it’s that impotence that has blighted our season. You need flawless defending to counter such a goal-shy team, and that’s simply not the Arsenal way. Attacking overhaul needed in the summer, lots to ponder between Auba, Laca, Pepe, Willian.

    Big credit to the side for turning it around though, that’s rarely ever the case 3 down and they deserve the praise for the second half rally even if it’s hollow all things considered.

    Lastly, we have Odegaard. Could see after a handful of games that he’s a level above in terms of movement, technical ability, and intelligence. Was the best player on the pitch. He’s been here 2 months and it’s clear we should be aiming to retain. That’s a proper talent, keep your Ceballos sorts.

  35. Vintage Gun

    “I don’t think Madrid will sell him. But If they did we have to be at the front of the line. Winning Europa league would help with that a lot too.”

    It’s D Day for Madrid this summer regarding Odegaard.

    He’ll have 2 years left on his contract (peak sell time) and to keep him next season they will have to convince him that he will have plenty playing time next season.
    The problem with this is that Madrid have ALREADY made tis promise to him last summer when they cut short his 2 year loan deal at Real Socieadad only to freeze him out once the season got underway.

    Being named the captain of his Country recently will only add to Odegaard’s desires to be an integral 1st team player at club level, so Madrid are really going to have to play him or slay him this summer.

    Oh and get his best mate Sander Berg in also to replace Torreiea and Guen

  36. LoveSausage


    Touché. I guess the difference is I’m not trying to start sausage-related discussions on here every chance I get.

    If Odegaard keeps playing like this he’ll play himself into the RM starting 11. He needs to drop a few stinkers soon or MA should bench him.

  37. Habesha Gooner

    Yeah may be. They were lining him up as the successor to Modric. But they just gave Modric an extension again. The more likely scenario is we will get him for the whole of next season on loan. We might try a buy option too. I remember Fabrizio Romano saying Arsenal will have a sit down with Madrid at the end of this 6 months loan. But the way he is performing is going to drive his price up. We haven’t had technically gifted midfielders in 3 years. Ozil was here but he didn’t give a crap. I would be delighted to have both him and ESR. That would leave a CM, a RB, a Backup LB, and A Backup GK (possibly ryan). It will be tough to do but if we sell well and get CL then there is a huge chance we will get him this summer or the next one if Madrid sell.

  38. AFC Forever


    Agree with that.

    When Odegaard signed there were too many naysayers who suggested that because he couldn’t get in the RM squad he wasn’t up to much. The fact he’s done so well on loan in Spain was ignored, so too his age. Now everyone knows how good he is and the player himself has said how much he loves it at Arsenal & playing every week. The scary thing is, he can only get better. I’m not sure Odegaard would want to remain at RM and nobody wants an unhappy player. There will be a deal to be had, loan or preferably a purchase.

  39. LoveSausage


    It would be depressing if we don’t get a buy option. That said, beggars can’t be choosers. The CM position in particular is so critical that I’d be inclined to keep playing Ode entire next season even without the option + keep Laca.

    Btw, does anyone have the latest on Balogun?

  40. AFC Forever


    “Leno does that every day of the week and twice on weekends. Drop it! Martinez shits all over Leno”

    Jesus mate, you have a giant sized chip on your shoulder. All I said was that Villa had been mugged off because .of a Martinez error they didn’t deserve and you’ve gone full on agenda!!! People like you need to wind your neck in and stop taking every comment as a personal slight. Martinez fucked up, fact I didn’t even mention Leno FFS.

  41. Habesha Gooner

    He was just ridiculously good. It was imperious. It would suck not to get him permanently. We would have a midfielder that our rivals would love to have since Cesc and Santi.

  42. Kendo

    Champagne Charlie
    “Lastly, we have Odegaard. Could see after a handful of games that he’s a level above in terms of movement, technical ability, and intelligence. Was the best player on the pitch. He’s been here 2 months and it’s clear we should be aiming to retain.”

    You must of had dirt in your because you said the same thing about Xhaka.

  43. Champagne Charlie


    I praise Odegaard and you want to drum up Xhaka chatter..

    What was the name before Kendo took your fancy?

  44. AFC Forever

    Harry Kane just cheated again. Completely missed the ball but played his legs into the defender. Gary Neville not impressed. How does he always get away with it?

  45. Nelson

    Arteta said that he’ll study this game during the two weeks break. I believe that this game will give him a lot of information. I don’t understand those professional footballer. In the first 30 mins, they all looked tired. Where did they find all the energy in the 2nd half?

    We knew that Laca has chemistry with Saka. Now he is teaming up well with Odegaard. If Arteta can keep our players fresh and focus, we have a good chance to achieve our goal. Just don’t be two smart and plays Auba on the RW.

  46. Matt

    ‘ The hysteria in the first half from some posters was embarrassing but what is stranger they almost seemed disappointed that we got something from the game.’

    You expect people to be praising the performance? Now THAT is strange.

  47. Kendo

    Champagne Charlie

    I think you should give Arteta less leeway than Emery considering he has a lot more experience with the Premier league than Emery had.

  48. Na me ooo

    We might have to bench Odegaard a few games to make Madrid feel like we aint so sure about him. He keeps playing like this, there is only one outcome.

  49. Na me ooo


    I also think this is the kind of game that Arteta can learn a lot from. But we ve had a few games like that already this season. Let’s hope that Arteta can fix something this time.

  50. TheLegendaryDB10


    Me neither. This is why I was calling him to be subbed. I was half expecting him to falter a bit like kids his age would do.

    He did exactly the opposite and grew into the game. Something I didn’t expect to see.

    He is a talent and we must buy him.

    The fact that he is enjoying himself here is something to build on. Fuck RM. Let us just nab him.



    Welcome back.
    I was thinking that Corona did you in or something.

    Really looking forward to reading your hilarious banter again. 😀

  51. Cazorla

    I didn’t say that people should be praising the performance Matt. I said people were being hysterical about what they were posting.

    ‘Artetaout ‘
    ‘I’m fucking done with this team’
    ‘Chambers is fucking shit’ (gets motm)
    X,y, z player should fuck off
    ‘We’re so fucking shite so much for the improvement’

    People just waiting for something to go wrong so they can’t throw their toys out of the pram, its nothing but predictable.

  52. Matt


    You can’t expect people not to be emotional during a game, especially with a performance like that. It was one of the worst 35 minutes of football in a generally poor season where we managed to demonstrate all of our usual fuck ups.

  53. Thorough

    AFC Forever.
    Smart man. As if every time people like you mentioned Martinez cock ups it is not to make Leno look big.
    See, I enjoyed today’s match, everybody was having an opinion, Noone was even talking about Lenos perrenial fuckups because it seems we’re used to it now, only for you to bring your Martinez obsession. Wind your head or what do ya say? That’s for you.

  54. Kendo

    Champage Charlie

    Arteta has more qualifications for working in the Premier league than Emery having played for Everton and Arsenal and coached behind the scenes under Guardiola.

  55. Tom

    What the last two pl games have shown was that if you press this Arsenal side more times than not they will make mistakes at the back and if you leave them space to play, they will create teams problems.

    Jose elected to sit back and paid the price. His second half reshuffle , personnel and tactical one , almost worked for a point but Arsenal managed to hang on if by the skin of our teeth.

    The Hammers took the game to us from the kick off and we couldn’t cope.
    The worst thirty minutes of football against anyone this season.
    At 3:1 in second half they kept making defensive subs and dropping back and we bossed the game completely even if they still created some good chances.

    For all this talk of defensive improvement and stability we do look fragile under pressure and that’s a big worry going into later stages of EL.

  56. Tom

    Harry Kane and the entire English punditry makes me laugh.
    Forty years of playing and watching football I have never seen the type of penalty given as the one Mike Dean awarded today against Villa.
    Kane elected to let the ball run out of play and instead chose to collide with Cash and create contact.
    Shocking case of refereeing

  57. Tom

    If Kane ever leaves Tottenham then he better go to another PL club otherwise he’s gonna need to reinvent his game because half the shit he does to win decisions won’t fly with neutral refs

  58. alexanderhenry

    Good result, despite the catastrophic first half hour.

    Odegaard is a player arsenal really need to try and keep.
    Lack of resources at the club and a passive, disinterested ownership mean it’s a slow build under Arteta but we are building at least.

  59. AFC Forever


    “Noone was even talking about Lenos perrenial fuckups because it seems we’re used to it now, only for you to bring your Martinez obsession”

    Mate you have issues. I don’t think you can put a cigarette paper between Martinez and Leno, I am a Martinez fan. Great goalkeeper. All I did was mention Spurs got lucky due to a Martinez clearance error and you went full rant, for some reason; red mist descended and you lost your head because you thought I was digging out your man crush. Honest mate, it really isn’t healthy having an obsession like that. Loosen up, don’t take everything so damn personally.

  60. AFC Forever


    “Good result, despite the catastrophic first half hour. Odegaard is a player arsenal really need to try and keep”.

    Yep agree. The first 35 minutes was appalling but to be fair they showed incredible character to come back. If only the players hadn’t lost their focus at the start we would have won by a few goals. Considering we played Thursday night and West Ham had a week off, really can’t knock the effort they put in to get back into the game and almost win it. However, I would fine every player who turned their back on play for the second goal because that was rank amateur.

  61. Leedsgunner

    A hard fought point in the end. I hope this forces the powers that be at Arsenal to address our midfield’s fragility.

    There’s no middle ground with this group. When we are good we’re good but when we’re bad we’re bad.

    In the end, like I said a hard fought point!

  62. AFC Forever


    “Harry Kane and the entire English punditry makes me laugh. Forty years of playing and watching football I have never seen the type of penalty given as the one Mike Dean awarded today against Villa.Kane elected to let the ball run out of play and instead chose to collide with Cash and create contact. Shocking case of refereeing”

    I agree Tom and I said this earlier – but I don’t blame Mike Dean (despite the fact he is probably the most incompetent of all the referees). I blame VAR & our pundits. Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy do this all the time, they initiate the contact and it is blatant cheating. You watch what Kane does. He knows his left foot cross will be blocked as Cash slides, so he steps over the ball with his left leg (allowing the ball to run out of play) and having now changed direction, runs into the sliding Cash’s legs. I have seen him do this before. Kane is a serial ‘cheat’ but because he’s English and the England Captain nobody calls him out. Today, Gary Neville and others called Kane “clever” for how he won the penalty despite it not being one. They admire his cheating and there lies the problem, they think it’s clever.

  63. China1

    Ode was absolutely exceptional yesterday. He looked like a young ozil but with work rate, power and guile. Just exceptional

  64. China1

    If that had been ozil yesterday you can see him vanishing as soon as the second goal went in (if he was even visible before it)

    But ode just put the team on his back. That’s such a great thing to see. Being technically great is amazing but combining that with work rate and attitude is game changing.

    He was absolutely phenomenal

  65. China1

    I am getting concerned with the frequency of Leno’s errors

    He’s been directly or indirectly at fault for a handful of goals in the last 2 months alone

  66. AFC Forever


    “He’s the definition of going through the motions…”

    That is fair. No idea what has been wrong with Aubamayang this season, previous seasons he was winning us games on his own. Thursday night he missed a couple he would normally bury, did little else and today he didn’t seem to do anything at all. On the other hand, Lacazette worked really hard for the team, Pepe looked sharp and on form, he doesn’t deserve to start. I would give him a few games on the bench to get his hunger back because we need Aubamayang and not Aubmaying.

  67. China1

    I dunno why our finishing is so poor this season

    In years gone by Laca auba and the others would at least be odds in with a good chance but right now our good chances feel more like half chances

    Like that Pepe one at the end yesterday, that’s a huge chance and should be winning us the game.

    Laca and auba have both been unable to hit a barn door recently even from close range and Laca needed a deflection for his shot yesterday.

    Saka should be scoring his great chance. Ode had some half chances tho he’s scored twice recently so gets more leeway

    I like that partey is willing to shoot from range but it’s normally row z

    The players must do better than this because we’ll continue to drop results until we do

  68. Tom

    Good description…….of course I’ve seen him do it many times, and Rooney before him too, just never this blatant where the ball is clearly rolling out for a goal kick ( because he lets it) and he creates contact some four feet or more away from the only object that’s supposed matter on the play — the ball.

    What Cash did wasn’t even worth calling a challenge, he simply slid down his own path and a good distance away from Kane to block the imaginary cross that was never on the cards.

  69. Nelson

    Arsenal has this DNA. the players can have brain farts or switch off. If we don’t eliminate that, we won’t be winning anything.

    People blamed Tierney for the third goal. When we lost the ball in the midfield, Auba didn’t bother to come back and defend. Tierney had to cover two players.

  70. Tom

    “I am getting concerned with the frequency of Leno’s errors“

    Not sure it was a clear error on his part but definitely not looking his sharpest lately.
    I had this mini debate with Pedro the other day when he scoffed at the idea a professional keeper can lose confidence because the game plan entails risky passing around his penalty box that results in giving away cheap goals.

    I hope this is just a hiccup and not a beginning of a trend.

  71. Moe

    Here comes Alexanderhenry talking about the ownership again………..on cue. Dude, this team is in the red, tens of millions have been pissed poorly between Wenger, Gazidis and Raul. Can’t put that on Silent disinterested Stan.

  72. Tom

    “Arteta has more qualifications for working in the Premier league than Emery having played for Everton and Arsenal and coached behind the scenes under Guardiola.“

    Not even a debate worth having.
    Having faced every PL side twice a season for a decade or so, no matter in which club colors and what capacity, his advantage over anyone new to the league would’ve been paramount.

    Not to mention other things like refs, schedules and general rhythms of the place.

  73. Tom

    Talk of Slavia Prague getting disqualified from EL picking up steam!?!

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Arsenal progressed to next round without kicking a ball?

  74. China1

    Dissenter that article says the two games against slavia will be counted as 3-0 each in our favour if the tie is cancelled

    So it looks like our run of conceding might come to an end after all! And what could be more efficient than scoring 6 goals without creating any chances or taking any shots?


  75. Tom

    Ha ha
    No chance of that happening though , not enough evidence even though everyone knows the Slavia player did say what he’s accused of saying.

    No one reacts the way Rangers players reacted if you just call someone “you fucking guy” lol.
    Btw, it must been a PR person or a lawyer for Slavia to come up with that one.
    No one who ever played football would’ve said that or believed someone else said that to an opponent and needed to cover their mouth to do it too,

  76. Guns of SF

    Have to say that Ode is coming into his own. Was skeptical at first, but seems to be more and more comfortable now… taking chances and creating for the team

    I am worried about Auba though. He is really having a terrible season.
    its like he can ONLY play as center forward and nowhere else.
    Laca is much better in the spot due to his link play and tenacity on either end.

    I would see if he can be sold this summer. Too bad we paid a ton to keep him…

    Other than that, how is Mike going to get him scoring again on a regular basis?
    I sure hope Martin gets minutes there next season but if Auba is going to stink it out, its gonna hurt Martin and his development

  77. Gonsterous

    What a wasted chance to get back into contention for the top 6. We really need 50m players for every position for arteta to do well it seems. We have pep lite, now let’s go turn our club into man city lite.

  78. Tom

    If Laca wants to upgrade his Ferrari 488 Pista to what Auba has and Arsenal to pick up the tab then he better be fucking tenacious

  79. Tony

    Great game for the neutrals – us fans not so much.

    I haven’t read any earlier posts before writing this, so apologies if I’m rehashing previous thoughts here.

    Before the game I thought we could win if we improved on our Spud’s performance for 90+ minutes.

    Then we ship 3 goals in 30 odd minutes and concerns of a whitewash were looming ominously.

    Once we stemmed their goal fiasco tide and got a goal back my son and I thought we’d get a point or nick the game in the 2nd half.

    At 3:3 I don’t know about other gooners, but my son and I were kicking every ball and running the gauntlet of emotions at the TV for the rest of the game.

    Laca says this morning that the players didn’t respect Arteta’s game plan.

    Shades of Emery ‘s player dissent creeping in?

    Whatever the issue it’s not a positive one between manager and players when tactics are’t believed in enough to follow.

    Last night Arteta’s game was Emery?Wenger MK II in high octane attacks and ludicrous defending.

    I’m with the others’ here being vocal that Arteta should be judged the same as Emery with the same accountability. I felt Emery should have been let go after the EL cup final because Emery lost whatever mojo he had after that final, and any real connection he had with our squad, which didn’t improve through the fiasco of the summer TW Raul highjacked for his own deviant agendas.

    I’d be very surprised if Arteta makes it through next season where, if I were Pedro, I’d be looking now for an excellent PTSD rehab doctor to rid Pedro of his Arteta-can-do-no-wrong and Arteta-needs-time-not-accountability overly compulsive, Arteta trolling obsession.

    Right now there doesn’t seem to be much difference between Arteta and Boris Johnson in leadership qualities with Xhaka/Willian/Auba/Luiz (take your pick) being Arteta’s Carrie Symonds.

    I’ve been banging Odegaard’s drum since the first press report we were looking to loan Martin from RM and there is still a much higher ceiling to come from Odegaard who will be essential for us next season in achieving a CL placement finish.

    Auba should never have been picked and I assume Willian had an injury not to make it to the bench.

    On that 1st half display with the players not following Arteta’s game plan it does nothing to change my current opinion of Arteta not being the right manager for us at this stage of his managerial career.

    Clearly Arteta has decent coaching abilities that showed from the interchanging play and movement off the ball in the 2nd half.

    The most worrying part is that Arteta hasn’t seemed to have leant from his 18 months(?) of managerial faux pas and complete lack of man management skills particularly with our best academy players waiting patiently for game time.

    One FA cup does not make a manager become a great manager as Arteta is showing us on his roller coaster management process.

    Our identity is there is brief glimpses but sadly Arteta has no clue how to implement it for 90 minutes each game because of poor team selections and in-game management.

    With the players we currently have Emery would have got us top 4 regardless of communications issues because it seems Arteta has communication issues that seem to be Arteta’s inability to get the mix of youth and experience working well together.

    That Chambers, Laca and Odegaard were rightly MOTM contenders asks so many questions of Auba, Xhaka, Luiz as to why with so much experiences they can’t match the aforementioned players’ levels.

    I said previously Auba isn’t on the same wavelength as our ESR, Pepe, Odegaard, KT and Saka. Yesterday Auba was more in the way and a liability than the player he can be scoring g goals for fun.

    His attitude isn’t right as any manager worth his salt and us armchair supporters can see except Arteta.

  80. Tony

    “At this rate, I won’t sell Laca. Give him a rolling incentive-based contract. Auba has started playing like there’s absolutely nothing at stake. He’s just watching time roll away. He’s disinterested. He’s without fight. We cannot enter next season with him as top striker.”

    My sentiments entirely.

    Laca seems to be much more in tune with the younger players than Auba and showed yesterday Laca is worth keeping.

    Someone said yesterday swap Auba for Odegaard. I’d add Willian, Luiz and Xhaka for Odegaard.

    There is no real tangible financial return for those 4 players and we are better with then off our payroll.

  81. Guns of SF

    Can anyone really give a reason why Auba is stinking it out?
    Right wing?
    Personal issues?
    Motivation? big pay day- last big contract
    Lack of skills?
    Decline due to age/ fatigue?
    Issues with manager?

    Maybe all of the above? Im sure that most of these come into play

  82. Tony

    “Villa have been mugged because of a poor clearance from Martinez.”

    Like Leno letting the ball under his body at the near post for their 2nd goal and almost offering WH another goal playing out from the back.

    Blind support for an inferior goal keeper to Martinez.

  83. Tony

    Ego, £350k a week contract and small creative changes in the game not suiting Auba as being the only/main source of goals like last season, where everything was about Auba.

    Now Auba is having to share the creativity options with others and no longer the trusted go to player for goals. As I mentioned above Auba seems to be in the way of the team rather than seamlessly fitting in and enhancing out attacks, especially Auba’s work off the ball.

    Auba’s off the pace physically and mentally with the rest of the players, especially Odegaard, ESR and Saka.

  84. Tony

    The obvious one is Auba and Arteta’s relationship, especially with Auba breaking Arteta’s NNs recently with his tardiness and poor attitude.

    When was the last game we saw Auba’s infectious smiling throughout a game?

  85. China1

    Tony I don’t think the lack of evidence is the primary issue

    It’s that UEFA love that shit. Racism has been an ever present in European football under UEFA and they’re not about to suddenly start caring now. Expect a token gesture, a warning or something. Maybe a tap on the wrist fine. And expect them to do it again whenever they next feel aggrieved by the colour of someone’s skin

  86. Kegunner

    Player management is key. Important players have to be properly motivated to keep performing. Like Vardy at Leicester. Auba is not suddenly bad. He has had personal problems, team is not where it needs to be and is the captain. A whole lot of pressure. Arteta needs to step out of the limelight and keep his players performing.

  87. China1

    I’m very curious about how ESR would do as an 8.

    I’m not proposing we put him there, or that I’m sure it would work, but I’d definitely be interested to see how it would go if it ever happened

    He’s tenacious, press resistant, great on the counter, can create from deep, hard working and willing to throw himself into challenges.

    I don’t know if his positioning would be up to it or if he would learn that given time and I don’t know if he’d enjoy the role.

    But in a scenario where those two don’t undermine him, if you have partey sit and put Pepe on the left we might actually have a complete midfield/winger unit


    If ESR could do that role successfully that unit would be absolutely good enough for the levels we claim to be striving for imo.

    We’ve seen arteta looks to play his players out of position and Ode is being treated as first choice 10 atm. But I can’t see him letting ESR play 8 unless there are several injuries to xhaka, Ceballos, p.pirlo etc, so I doubt we’ll ever know what that really looks like

    Ofc we got a glimpse last night but that was just because we were chasing the game and throwing everyone forwards. I don’t expect we’ll see him start Emile there in the coming years

    But if he actually did I’d be watching that very closely. Like I said, not sure it would work but the ‘what if…?’ Factor is a big one

  88. Thank you and goodnight

    Sorry guys I know people will be down with me in regards to my opinion. I’m sorry but I really can’t see the differences everyone’s talking about. We’re worse off points wise , even though we have a better squad than under Emery, still making errors that plagued wengers later years . Players being played no matter how badly they play or how many soft goals they concede.

  89. Gonsterous

    Positive result? I don’t know what to say. We made a great come back but it was against WHU, who have been playing well but we should really be beating teams like west ham and everton, especially with the quality of players at our disposal.

    Arteta really is looking clueless, given that he’s been playing / assisting in the PL for over 10 years he has no idea how a season unfolds and seems less than prepared for anything. The usual 4-2-3-1 gets played no matter the personnel and he seems to have no idea about his players strength and weaknesses.

  90. Matt

    Guns of SF on Aubayang.

    ‘ He smiles when he scores thats about it, and of course in training’

    Exactly this. As I said the other day. It’s amazing how much fans will give someone the benefit of the doubt for smiling on the training ground, as if it gives the impression how much of a team player they are. The truth in his case seems the exact opposite.

  91. Thank you and goodnight

    It’s also worrying that 15 or so months on and he still doesn’t know his best back 4…….apart from the obvious that luiz almost always plays… can chop and change the midfield and forwards to an extent, but constantly chopping and changing you’re back 4 , doesn’t make it easy on them to find consistency.

  92. Thank you and goodnight


    I know it’s rotation for ffs. But a solid back 4 should never be rotated. Maybe only for caraboa cup, but in the league it should never be changed , barring a loss of form or injury. Take city last year, they lost kompany then Laporte to injury and they didn’t have a settled back 4 for most of the season and they struggled conceding sloppy goals. This year with DIiaz and a settled back 4 , defensively they’re a lot better this season.

  93. Thank you and goodnight

    Same with Liverpool this season, injuries to their centre backs and loss of form from Robertson and Alexander, and they’re struggling conceding silly goals. Last season with a solid back 4 they won the title. If he wants to rotate, rotate the midfield or forwards not the defence. Fuck me if GG kept on chopping and changing we wouldn’t of had one of the best back 4’s in England at the time

  94. Cazorla

    City rotate most games depending on opposition and don’t have the same back 4 every game at all.

    Rotate both full backs and rotate all cbs.

  95. englandsbest

    All managers make mistakes. IMO Arteta’s worst was the Auba contract last summer. On the other hand I understand his dilemma: subtract Auba’s goals and Arsenal would have been relegated. He seemed indispensable. This season proves he isn’t.

    At the time I preferred him sold, the money used to bring in a totally committed player – which clearly Auba was not. Perhaps Arteta tried but no Club wanted to pay for him

    Fortunately Arteta learns quickly. He will not allow this to drag on into an Ozil saga. He is giving him the opportunity to behave like the team captain. But Auba is on borrowed time. If he doesn’t toe the line he’ll be treated like Ozil.

  96. Cazorla

    Think Laca was lost in translation with what he meant by ‘didn’t respect the game plan’ was they didn’t carry it out as instructed not because they don’t respect the manager or the instructions. Why? Fatigue? Slow start?

  97. Mb

    Auba scored 20+ goals for seasons, earned a new contract and now is tanking. How’s that gonna be different for Laca? Do we never learn?

  98. Mb

    We need to understand that what 2,00,000£/week player is doing can be done by 50k one. It’s not like they are messi or ronaldo.

  99. Kroenkephobe

    To lighten things a little, I’ve been working on a song to honour Odergaard. This to the Robin Hood TV series tune

    Odergaard, Odergaard, beating your defence

    Emile, Gabi and Bukayo as his merrie men

    A viking on the pitch

    Against the scum he scored

    Odergaard, Odergaard, Odergaard

    Can anyone beat that?