JUST SAY NO

by .

Finally, football is back and we can all start being friends again. Kind of sad that international break is like being cut off from the world. My group chats have been dead. Do I only have friends because of Arsenal?

Matt from the pod called me the other day and it was like an awkward first date. I don’t know what he likes outside football. Is that child he walks around with his? I’ve never taken the time to ask.

Friendships during international break is a bit like growing old as a couple and realizing all you had was great sex… my relationships are vapid and narrow. Most are men I’ve met online. Still, I can live with it if we smash Liverpool tomorrow, am I right, internet best friends?

Arteta was asked whether he was prioritizing Europe, he correctly said no.

Good leaders should always reference history for insights into the future… I think one of the defining moments for Emery was when he went all-in on Europa, took his eye off the league, and in the end… fucked both.

This Premier League season like a corgi race… it’s utter chaos, you have no idea how it’ll end up, so the best bet… as I advise all my corgi clients… is to keep going until the very end.

Liverpool has been found out a little bit this season. VVD is very much essential to the way they play, and they, like every other team, need their big players firing. It hasn’t really happened for them.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t still an elite side. They’ll have this season fixed for August, no doubt. Arteta made reference that even in the position they are now, the data nerds have them as a top 2 side by almost every metric. Sometimes, a season just doesn’t drop for you, that’s Liverpool after having nearly everything go right for 2 years.

I suspect Klopp will have noticed what West Ham did. A heavy opening 30-minute blitz against a team that weren’t suspecting it. The key for me in the West Ham game is Moyes knew there would be a very specific plan based on his patterns of play. He zigged and we couldn’t zag. Liverpool will be different because the players will be expecting to be bullied from the first whistle.

What I hope is that we don’t give them too much respect, like we did against City. We have to try a play some football. We’re more than capable of landing punches. The manager said they were better than us, this is true, but that doesn’t mean we have to find a laundry basket and hide under it for 90 minutes.

Liverpool has been beaten by Fulham, Everton, and Chelsea in the last 5 games. They are weak. There is no aura we should fear.

There are 9 games left of this season. There are 7 points between Arsenal and West Ham. There are 6 between us and Spurs. There are 4 points to Liverpool and Everton.

Beat Liverpool and you never know…

Before we leave. It seems like we’re renewing Mo Elneney. Seems like a nice guy, I just can’t understand why we’re giving a new deal to someone who was yanked on 55 minutes in a last 16 game against a bum Greek team.

The more worrying rumour is Sergio Aguerro being a target for Arsenal. No, no, no, no… that is not £300k a week spent well. I don’t care about his ‘special’ qualities. He could be a secret unicorn that harvests carbon emissions in his sleep… he’s not for Arsenal. Let Barcelona start the rebuild with a 32-year-old. We simply have to do better this summer than falling back on players that are past it or simply not good enough.

This summer cannot be about collecting old players again.

Here’s today’s special podcast. I speak with Football Consultant, Rob Gevertz. He’s worked at Manchester City and Talksport. We talk about the world of the digital fan, modernising stadiums, and a bit about Arteta and his progress at the end.

179 Responses to “JUST SAY NO”

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  1. Cashmoe

    Thank you all for allowing me to win the biggest prize on this blog… I want to thank God, Pedro my Dog and the G.O.A.T that is Gambon

  2. Sean M

    Great piece Pete!

    Is it just me that felt the vibe that Arsenal could try and sign Aguero?? From the gaffers press conference.

  3. Mark S

    One of the nice things about this season has been the lack of International Breaks. This past one felt unnecessary, as well as extra long. It’s crazy to think how big this next week is for the season. Beat Pool on Saturday, destroy Slavia Prague on Thursday, and then follow it up with wins against Sheffield United, Slavia Prague again, and Fulham…and all of a sudden Pedro is going to go off about how if you based the league table off of our xG from 61-73 minutes in away games played in the Midlands on Saturday afternoons we would be joint top if the league started on March 29th! Things are looking up for the Gunners! 😉 Love you, Pedro! Thank you for all that you do!

  4. Cashmoe

    A petition to have a one minute silence in memory of Claude Callegari before this weekend’s Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool has been created online.

    The change.org petition currently has almost 13,000 signatures at the time of writing, with many fans posting messages of consolence on the page. You can sign it HERE.

    It reads: “The aim is to get the clubs involved to hold a minute of silence in memory of Claude Callegari, most commonly known from his appearances on AFTV, before the kick off of the Arsenal-Liverpool game this Saturday.”

  5. Danny

    Spurs are going to offer Son Heung-min 200 grand a week.
    It makes me laugh thinking how much we payed Ozil and now Auba, I mean I know it’s not my money but still, we are such a mess.

  6. andy1886

    That Aguero now spends half his time crocked is just another reason to avoid like the plague. Then again sounds like a classic Arsenal signing. Seriously though, if it happens then someone, or even several someones, need to be fired. I think even Pedro would agree that if Mikel leads the charge like he did for Willian he should be the first one to get his P45.

  7. Uwot?

    Aguero is @ Big no no no! What message does it send out to Martinelli for one ?wrong age,wrong salary, wrong fitness issues.Personally think it’s all tabloid b*** ks to be truthful.There’s far bigger fish to fry with what little readies we have.

  8. Leedsgunner

    AMN wants to go because he wants to play in midfield.

    It’s a shame because there would have been a first team place for him here with Bellerin apparently looking to leave.

    Torreira wants the club to sell him to Boca Juniors to be close to his family. I get that especially when you have just lost your mum…

    Best wishes Lucas.

    If we sell well we should be able to raise £40m from these two sales…

    Good. Put it towards Odegaard.

  9. Leedsgunner

    Any Grovers here familiar with Argentinian football? Any idea of talented youngsters we could bring over as a swap plus cash deal for Lucas? Just as a thought?

  10. MidwestGun

    Signing Aguero would be a Petr Cech like deal.. Old dude with not much left in the tank, who was convenient/ easy to sign. Aguero would be completely pointless and an indicator that Arteta has lost the plot. When Wenger signed Cech … as our only signing that summer, I knew he was 100% done as a manager it was only a matter of time after that.

    So, I’m choosing to believe it’s just a rumor put out there by Aguero’s agent and has no basis in reality.
    Good title though… Peds… Had to read the article to see what I just needed to say no, too.. Hooked me in.

  11. SAGG

    @Leedsgunner

    No way we sell Torreira fo Baca Juniors because they dont have Money. Argentina Clubs dont have money how will. they pay 25 million for Torreira?

    They will ask for a loan and pay only half the wages or they will want to send us overrated players that we wont use.

    Negotiate with Boca Juniors or any South America club is a waste of time.

  12. China1

    Good article Pedro you old internet best friend you

    See the beauty of the internet is you thought I was an online man from Bristol When in reality in a 6 year old girl from Mexico

    The more you know, eh!

  13. China1

    Can someone please tell me why the arsenal match timings keep moving around

    The next 5 odd weekend games were supposed to be early ones that I can watch including this liverpool match. I checked the time just now and it’s gone to 3am or some shit. I now can’t watch another game until the 18th of April. Whoever it is arsing a round with the schedules, kindly FUCK OFF

  14. China1

    Torreira supposedly wants to go to boca juniors. I wonder how much we could get from them if they’re interested? I doubt more than 15m absolute max.

  15. Gonsterous

    Augerio?? Jesus, but then again it’s the kind of imagination that our current people in charge have. No idea, no vision, no targets. Really not looking forward to the next 5 years as we slip down and cement ourselves as a middle table team.

  16. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    The idea that Torreira would move to Boca Juniors is nuts. They don’t buy players. They take them on loans or freebies!

    This is yet another potential transfer disaster if he is effectively released without a transfer fee.

  17. China1

    ET I dunno if boca are interested, it’s just rumors that torreira wants that to be closer to his family. Sounds believable tho considering he is clearly the homesick type and has been for a long time. Plus he just lost his mum, so extenuating circumstances etc

    But for arsenal to lose a 20+m player on a free via pointless loans etc sounds exactly like something arsenal would do so we’ll see lol

    His career at arsenal wasn’t well managed so I’d be surprised if it gets managed well now

  18. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    Can Arsenal seriously afford to lose Torreira on a freebie?

    This would be far worse than losing Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Sokratis all of whom were in their 30s and on grossly inflated wages.

    Torreira is in his mid 20s and should be at the peak level of his transfer valuation.

    Losing a player in this fashion is doing Arsenal huge reputational damage, because we are
    sending out the signal that we are a soft touch.

    The Kroenke family and Senior Management need to start being more business like in their
    handling of transfer business and contracts.

  19. Kegunner

    Arsenal is no longer a guaranteed top 4 club. Attracting above average players will be difficult. Senior players at the club like Xhaka Torreira are not clearly interested in the project at hand.

    Players like Aguero can be a band aid as the club targets exciting young players that can form a core in two to three years time. Aguero can bring the focus and temperament required to be back to challenging for the title. That focus can inspire the next generation that can challenge for the title.

  20. China1

    ET I’m not endorsing it. I rate torreira more than most. But the truth is we generally are a soft touch and we know we make mistakes a plenty so it wouldn’t surprise me

  21. Moray

    Torreira is yet another shit piece of contract/transfer dealing by Arsenal.

    Edu started the trend when he left of a Bosman just as his game was taking off.

    And even with all the money sloshing around the game in recent years all we could really benefit from was Oxlade chamberlain. Pathetic.

  22. Sid

    It would be very Arsenal to sign Aguero then sell Martinelli to Dortmund for 80m, two years later Dortmund sell Martinelli to Madrid for 200m

  23. Zacharse

    An arsenal line up w aguero?

    No i don’’t see it

    Think he’ll have more offers that make more sense to him probably goin back to argentina

  24. Kroenkephobe

    Leeds

    I agree with SAGG. I lived in Argentina for five years in parts of the 80s/90s and Racing Club filled an Arsenal-sized hole in my football life during that time.

    The whole spectacle of football in Argentina then was fucking brilliant. The atmosphere in the canchas, the singing, crumbling stadia and the whiff of horseshit, tear gas and choripan.

    The general pattern is that they sell young proven stars high and get players back when they turn 30 for their swansong, often but not always with the club that sold them. Those that return are free transfers or nominal fees. And unlike here, players contracts can be held by individuals and agents rather than clubs which makes certain transfers unlawful. I think that was a factor in all those shenanigans when Tevez and Mascherano went to West Ham.

    That aside, Argentina and Uruguay are just behind Brazil when it comes to churning out good young players. Edu gives us a foothold in Brazil, but I think Italian clubs have a longstanding and more natural “in” with Argentina where cultural and historical links are stronger.

    As for Torreira going to Boca (or Los bosteros ie manure shovellers as they’re unaffectionately known by other fans), Arsenal would end up with practically nothing I suspect. If he has to be sold, I’d look to a European club, notwithstanding his family issues. Being close to one’s family is a nonsequitur if you can afford to travel and get breaks. Plus, moving to Argentina when I assume his family is in Uruguay is going part but not all the way to return to his family’s bosom.

  25. Sean M

    Thoughts on David Luiz guys? Do you think he should get a new contract?

    In my opinion no. Let’s move on from him 200 Grand a week. We have Young CB’s coming through.

    I know he’s a good guy around the dressing room. But so what? Kompany, Vidic, Rio etc. Were all leaders in their respective dressing rooms but they still got rid. I’m sure Edu & Arteta have other ideas unfortunately. Can’t believe they offered Mustafi a new contract.

  26. Chris

    Agreed about Luiz, I do actually like him quite a lot minus the brain farts and free kicks. However we have the power here, it would be easy not to renew, now is the time to let him go and allow Saliba to fill his spot.

  27. Kroenkephobe

    Is there a “third way” with Luiz? Offer him a 1 year extension on, say, 40% of what he’s now getting. Take it or leave it. If he loves the game and the club he stays (and he must be fucking loaded by now surely!) if he leaves, the club saves money and uses it to retain young stars.

  28. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s success under both George Graham and Arsene Wenger was built around its stable
    and solid defence which remained in place for over 10 years.

    This consisted of Seaman,Dixon, Adams, Bould, Winterburn and latterly Keown. A close examination of their participation shows that these players were seldom injured and turned
    out collectively for most games.

    This is in direct contrast to recent teams played under Wenger and his successors.

    The foundation of any successful team is an injury free, reliable and intelligent defence.

    My view is that we have the foundations of a decent defence on the left side of the pitch with Gabriel and Tierney. We need to find similar calibre players in RB, RCB and GK positions.

  29. Almuniasaynomore

    Goalkeeper is a fascinating one alright. Without rehashing the Leno-Martinez debate,who would you pick to replace Leno if the club accepted this was necessary? Donarumma might be available on a free but I’m sad to say he might be out of our league. Love Nick Pope but his price is probably too high now aswell. I firmly believe the position is underrated, we have to get it right next time. You could argue that Schmeichel was Fergie’s most important signing for example. We’ve seen how Ederson and Allison have dramatically improved their teams. The opposite is also true, god knows what Almunia cost us over the years. Leno is ok,but he won’t take us back to the levels most of us aspire to.

  30. Vintage Gun

    The Aguero links are a myth. Just lazy journalism linking Arteta with a Man City player.
    Italy ,Spain or The Americas for Kun.

    The Torriea situation is real as in a real problem for us moving forwards as he has essentially pulled a Cesc on us by demanding to play for one club only. Killing off all other potential destinations.
    What makes thing worse is that Boca won’t be able to afford him, even if we compromised on the transfer fee. Plus a loan doesn’t make sense at ALL however presented.

    It’s a blow as before his personal heartache i felt we could have received £15- £20m this summer for him

  31. Emiratesstroller

    Vintage Gun

    The Torreira situation is not remotely the same as Fabregas.

    For a start Fabregas moved to Barcelona who paid us a transfer fee albeit slightly below his
    market price. Also we had first option to buy him back if he was sold.

    Also Fabregas came to Arsenal as an Academy player at no cost whereas Torreira cost us a transfer fee of £25 million.

    If Torreira moves to Boca we would have to accept either a loan, free transfer or a pittance.
    Boca don’t have any money and seldom pay transfer fees.

    Arsenal are supposed to be run as a business and allowing yet another player to leave the
    club on “his terms” would be a perpetuating what has been going on for far too long.

  32. Karsa

    No Aguero, or Luiz for me. I’d sell Lacazette, Bellerin, AMN, Guendouzi, Torreira, and Willian if we could get shot of him.

    I suspect Lena will remain. There’s very few replacements available, and Pope is poor with the ball at his feet.

    Bring back Saliba, and Mavro, and buy a new right back and our defence is plenty good enough imo.

    Midfield is where the signing(s) need to be.

  33. Nelson

    I don’t like Saka played in the West Ham match. Now he is injured again. I don’t think it is good for his health in a long run by getting so many injuries.

  34. Rich

    Love the Saliba highlights reel, I get that someone could do a highlights reel of Mustafi, that made him resemble prime Sol Campbell

    I get that throwing young players in before they’re ready can cause more harm than good, and throwing in Saliba + Gabriel together will very likely cost us points through lack of experience

    But we’re two years away from building a truly competitive team anyway, tie Saliba down to a new 5 year deal, and try to build a defensive core around Leno, a new quality right back, Saliba, Gabriel and Tierney

    We’ve got Holding and Mari if either two of the young players need dropping out for a bit

    Luiz has been much better this season, but we should be looking at going in a different direction this summer

  35. Bob N16

    Agree Karsa,

    Much will depend on whether we have European football next season. Defence is more or less okay, if we qualify for CL we might want to buy a starter RB but otherwise a free transfer to back up Cedric.

    A CM has to be a priority, Partey can play DM or box-to-box but he should have a physically dominant partner who can play between the lines. If a club wants to give solid money for Xhaka, I’d sell but otherwise he’s a solid back up and can start games against lesser opposition.

    Martinelli deserves/needs more game time next season. Unless we can offload PEA and/or Willian then Lacazette should be sold.

    The vast majority of clubs will be short of money. We may have to be pragmatic about the fees we can get with the many players we will be keen to offload. It’ll be a buyers’ market but that works both ways.

    No way should we accommodate Aguero. It’s a sign of stupidity to keep repeating the same mistake. Unless we were clearing out PEA, Willian.and Lacazette then an Aguero deal shouldn’t happen.

    Keeping Odegaard for next season is a no brainer, if it has to be a season long loan, fair enough.

  36. SpanishDave

    Just a comment.
    Boris wants us to meet and dine outside , on Monday the temperature will be -4 c with the wind chill and snow.
    It’s ok to die from hyperthermia.
    Madness

  37. Sid

    You can get away with CB like, Senderos, Squillaci, Djourou , Luiz at Chelsea if you have a great midfield
    You cannot get away with a midfield of Xhakalson, injury prone DM, Ceballos, Elneny
    We need a minimum of 2 quality players in midfield

  38. Vintage Gun

    “The Torreira situation is not remotely the same as Fabregas.For a start Fabregas moved to Barcelona who paid us a transfer fee albeit slightly below his
    market price. Also we had first option to buy him back if he was sold.”

    Emiratesstroller

    I didn’t say the situations surrounding why both Cesc and Torreia demanding to leave to one specific club only are the same. What IS the same is that by them both publically announcing they want(ed) to join one club closes the market to offers from all other teams hence lowering their value. Especially in Torriea’s case as Boca’s recorded signing was
    Juan Román Riquelme for £11m fourteen years ago. Nothing over £7m since.

    In regards to the transfer of Cesc, for the player we was at the time of leaving for Barca I wouldn’t call what we received for him “slightly below his
    market price” We got ripped off and bullied.

  39. Tom

    Just say no might be Pedro’s way of reacting to any football fact that doesn’t suit his carefully chosen narrative.
    Liverpool have been found out this season? Maybe.
    Or maybe they had more injuries than any club operating on a budget can withstand.
    17 different CB pairings says it all really, and the vast majority of those were players moved from positions of major influence ( leagues best defensive midfielder for example) for them last season to fill a role they never played before.

    Fabinho and Henderson had 14 goals and assists for them last season.
    This season ……only 3.
    Turns out it’s harder to contribute on offense from a CB position than from the mid. Who knew.

    When City don’t like one of their £50 m CB’s they just go out and get a new one but for £60m.
    Liverpool got one for £2m from the lower league to fill the void.

  40. Tom

    “Klopp is focusing on the CL, it should be a straightforward win for Arsenal.“

    This one from the same shelf as AMN can be better in mid than Wijnaldum , I assume , Sid?

  41. Rich

    The Liverpool team we lost 3-1 at Anfield to at the end of September, were the best team we’ve faced all season, we had a couple of opportunities to take something from the game, but we were completely dominated for the vast majority

    Liverpool would be smart to back Klopp with what he needs, for me his achievements far exceed anything Guardiola has ever done

  42. Tom

    Who says Arsenal must honor LT’s Boca transfer request?
    Surely playing in Italy might be more attractive to him than rotting on the bench in Spain or England.

  43. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We will be lucky to get 5 m for Lucas.
    My hedge is that he will leave by mutual consent at end on season and we will get fuck all for him
    Another classic transfer by the club that couldn’t buy meat in a butchers

  44. Tom

    “At 25 yrs Wijnaldum was playing for the Geordies, they were relegated
    Let that sink in“

    At 20 yrs Wijnaldum was scoring and assisting double digits in Eredivisie .
    Let that sink in.

    Buendia got relegated with Norridge last season.
    He must be shit then too.

  45. The Bard

    Almuniasaynomore the keeper saga was right up there for classic Wenger obstinacy along with Sanogo and Kalstrom. Absurd justifications. Every man and his dog knew they were useless.

  46. Nelson

    “Now Boris is saying that vaccinated people cannot meet other vaccinated people in the same house as it isn’t 100% safe!”

    I am confused. How can family members living together?

  47. Nelson

    Liverpool’s attack is 30% better when Diogo Jota is playing. They have three attackers who are deadly. I hope Arteta is aware of that.

  48. Tom

    “We’re at serious risk of becoming a humourless population, who don’t know how to take a joke or laugh at ourselves, and are scared of telling jokes, or using the wrong analogy, in case someone takes offence“

    Yep.

    Conversely, one can enjoy stand up of some of the more edgy comedians like Jim Jefferies, Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, or Ricky Gervais, and still find some of your far right, info wars ideas boneheaded.

  49. Guns of SF

    Jota is the player I wanted at Arsenal. Excellent skills. Great dribbler.
    Anyhow, I think we beat them. 3-1 or 3-2

    The real question is which Auba will show up.

  50. Dream10

    Guns of.SF

    I don’t think Aubameyang will start
    Expecting Lacazette with Pépé and Willian either side.
    Auba and Odegaard on the bench

  51. Guns of SF

    against Pool, we need energy and pressing. Laca gives us that. Auba will get eaten alive if he goes the 90 mins.

    Bring him on as sub if anything.

    Need ESR, Ode starting. Those 2 will give us more in attack.

  52. Rich

    Tom

    Either you believe in free speech, or you don’t

    If you don’t believe in free speech for those you disagree with, or people who are factually incorrect

    Then you don’t believe in free speech

    If you don’t believe in the right for those you disagree with to peacefully protest, then you don’t believe in the right to peaceful protest

    BobN16

    I’m a free speech extremist, you won’t change the world by silencing people and pushing them to the fringes

    You change the world by changing peoples opinions, and you can only do that with open dialogue

    You’ll never know how to win the argument, if you don’t listen to people and find out why they think the way they do, because if you don’t know why they think like that? How do you expect to change their mind and create positive change?

    The argument against racism or sexism is a simple one, the amount of pigment in somebodies skin, or their gender, doesn’t define their character

  53. Rich

    Pedro

    COVID passports are football related

    And our CEO has just come out demanding policing of the internet and speech

    I’m just making my argument for why I think that’s an awful idea

  54. Pedro

    Rich, really not interested in hearing arguments for the right to abuse on private platforms. These cowards wouldn’t do it in real life because they’d be arrested. You have no right to free speech on Twitter, Instagram, or any site.

  55. Guns of SF

    Rich
    Free speech vs hate speech.
    What do you feel is the difference or is that all the same to you?

  56. Rich

    Pedro

    I was called out on this forum for being a middle aged white guy

    There’s your racism, sexism and ageism all in one

    It doesn’t bother me, but equally you can’t claim to be against racist, sexist and ageist abuse online

    And then turn a blind eye when people brazenly do so on your platform

  57. Bob N16

    Rich,

    Free speech is vital in a healthy democracy but we have laws for a very good reason. Tolerance is vital but certain positions that some people take go against acceptable behaviour.

    It is not acceptable to be a Neo-Nazi for example, promoting hatred against others is against common decency (and the law).

    People should be allowed to express their views but not if those views promote violence and hatred against others.

  58. Pedro

    Rich, I’ll take my chances that cancel culture will forgive my sins against things you’ve told people about yourself.

  59. Nelson

    For me, free speech means you agree or disagree with the subject but not insult the other person. Anyway, it is entertaining to participating in a blog to talk about a common interest, Arsenal. Let’s enjoy what Pedro has offered to us.

  60. Pedro

    ‘Oh Pete, your just a mid-twenties elite writer’

    Was furious about this, but accepted it as a truth.

  61. Tom

    Rich
    Not the free speech debate again, it’s been done to death.
    This is Pedro’s private blog and he can set his own rules as he pleases.

    My position has always been let everyone express their views freely so it’s easier to figure out who the wackos are.

    Personally, nothing offends me , but I am a privileged middle aged white guy.

  62. Rich

    Pedro

    That was my point, I’d never told anyone my age, race or gender

    Someone assumed my gender, and prescribed my views as being views only held by middle aged white men

    If you categories a whole group of people based on race, gender or age, that’s the very definition of discrimination

    It didn’t bother me in the least bit, apart from the rank hypocrisy of those discriminatory views coming from an alleged liberal

  63. Rich

    Pedro

    If your mid-twenties?

    Then I’m in my late teens….

    You are an elite writer, your conclusions are at least 90% wrong, but at least you’re consistently wrong about everything, with a little bit of style and really good humour to go with it

  64. Luteo Guenreira

    Gotta love it when the middle aged white guy plays the race card. How dare people assume you’re white. I think you’ll survive all this horrible discrimination though, Richie Rich.

    Arsenal 2-1 tomorrow.

  65. Nelson

    Players doubtful for tomorrow:
    Bukayo Saka ….hamstring
    Emile Smith Rowe …. hip
    Granit Xhaka ….unwell
    David Luiz ……right knee
    Martinelli ….too young

  66. Luteo Guenreira

    Joke Friday

    Ali and Habib are beggars. They beg in different areas of London.

    Habib begs equally as long as Ali does, but only collects £2 to £3 every day. Ali brings home a suitcase FULL of £10 notes, drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage-free house and has a lot of money to spend.

    Habib asks Ali: ‘I work just as long and hard as you do but how is it that you bring home a suitcase full of £10 notes every day?’

    Ali says, ‘Look at your sign, what does it say’?

    Habib’s sign reads: ‘I have no work, a wife and 6 kids to support’.

    Ali says, ‘No wonder you only get £2- £3!’

    Habib says, ‘Why? What does your sign say?’

    ‘I only need another £10 to move back to Pakistan.’

  67. Pedro

    Rich, your 90% accuracy rating is about as good as your economic views. Stick to your elite views on the football.

  68. Pedro

    Also Rich, I’m sure the sleuths heard a few things from you.

    Tradesman. 90% male occupation.
    Moved to Australia. Likely moved there because you had a trade. They discriminated by age with visas, so chances are, you did that in your twenties.
    Moved to South Wales. The least ethnically diverse place in the UK.
    > Most only move there for family reasons. Space. Bigger house.
    You post on a football blog that is basically 100% men.

    Chances of you not being a white man closing in on your 40s are quite limited.

  69. Almuniasaynomore

    The bard

    Yes, it was really hard to understand the stance wenger took on Almunia, for me that was when I think he began to put his own ego before the club. The sickener was that Given was ready to leave Newcastle for a title contender at that time, I think he could have won us another title or two. But it was easy to see that Given was an upgrade then, I don’t see any quality,reasonably priced upgrades available today. As most on this site have said,the midfield needs to be prioritised anyway.

  70. Kroenkephobe

    Rich
    I was intrigued by that nugget you imparted the other day about being brought up on a council estate. You should change your moniker to “nouveau rich”.

    Judging by your exhausting oeuvre, the idea that you’d be anything other than a white, privileged, gammon-y, angry of Tonbridge Wells English exceptionist type is risible. Stop being a snowflake you big right wing crybaby!

  71. Tom

    Joke Friday
    My wife says I spend too much time on my computer and if I don’t take out the trash right this minute she’ll smash my head on the keyboard.
    This woman’s always full of empty threats(%fp2%9:’/su8,37b29f4klr5ihdbm

  72. SpanishDave

    Rich
    Here there is a gulf between older experienced goner who have supported the club more than twenty years against new boys on the block.
    We all have options based on our long connections with the club before Wenger when most fans started.
    Pedro sometimes forgets this

  73. Tom

    My wife left me o not on the fridge :” clearly this isn’t working, good buy”
    I don’t know what she talking about. I opened the fridge door and it’s working fine.

  74. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia

    In his day, Given was a fantastic keeper wasn’t he – brave, agile and cool as a choc ice. There was also that ridiculous and lengthy flirtation that old chihuahua head had with Mark Schwartzer who would have been another upgrade. I had so little confidence in Almunia that it seriously undermined my support for the club during those times.

  75. LithuanianGooner

    It’s totalitarian societies that are based on cancel culture (I lived in such a society for over 20 years and saw it with my own eyes). It’s pity that British society are moving in that direction. One day you wake up horrified and say “we had such good intentions, how could we have become like that”. Liberty is usually lost little by little.

  76. Almuniasaynomore

    Kroenkephobe

    Agree with you totally, his loyalty to Newcastle cost him, his move to city occurred just before they started churning out trophies and also coincided with the rise of Joe Hart. Christ,do you remember Danny Rose’s ‘screamer’ against us for the spuds. I still don’t know what Almunia was trying to do, all he needed to do was stand still and put his hands up. Like I said that’s when I seriously started to question Wenger. Then again I cursed George Graham from a height for replacing lukic with Seaman and look how that worked out!

  77. Rich

    Team news

    Luiz out discomfort in his right knee

    Saka + Smith-Rowe late fitness tests

    Xhaka unwell, late fitness test

    Willian available

  78. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia,

    Just allowed myself to watch that Danny Rose goal again. I’m re-traumatised! Almunia’s reaction was glacial. I thought twitching Arry’s head was going to spin off his shoulders after that went in.

    I loved John Lukic as well – brave, calm and always willing to come for the ball, even though some called him Johnny Bostik because they thought he was always stuck to his line…

    He used to do this really curious thing when he took a place kick where he’d do a little shadow punch halfway through his run up. I always looked for that and if he did it I knew all was good in the world.

    That was peak time for all supporters doing the old “you’re shit aaaagh” when the opposing goalie was kicking it out. One of the more reductionist chants but we loved it. A mate of mine once claimed it helped win an NLD because he’d got it going against spud GK Erik the viking/wanker Thorsvedt. Was very happy when Lukic returned for a while.

  79. Almuniasaynomore

    Re-traumatised is right! When you look back on it we were fairly spoiled for keepers over the years, Wilson, Jennings, Lukic ,Seaman,Jens, with honourable mentions for Rimmer and Maninger(rarely let us down though I’m not sure he would have lasted as a no.1 over a prolonged period). Felt szcezesny(close enough) was unlucky but the league cup final mistake was pretty close to unforgivable (bow your head koscielny). That’s why I just don’t get how we’ve failed to address the position for so long now. Is it that younger Arsenal fans just haven’t seen real quality keepers at the club or has the standard of keeping dropped? Do you remember Southall winning leagues for Everton by himself?(slight exaggeration). If we could just get a good number one it would take a lot of pressure off what is,as stroller pointed out, a young but promising defence emerging for the future.

  80. Colney Gooner

    Did you hear about the bloke who can’t stop singing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin songs? He’s got crooner disease………

  81. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    If injuries are to be believed then I hope the beach bum has a plan to throw a new youth into the team tomorrow to unsettle the pool.

    Also wtf has Eddie done .
    Fella ain’t getting no seconds on the pitch at all lately.

  82. Uwot?

    @kronkephobe.I’m still traumatised by Almunia.CL semi finalist the Ems.Ronald from about a mile out daisy cutter.And his piece de resistance the CL final nr post between his Bambi legs.I could go on & on.Never forgave wenger for those years of Almunia.criminal.

  83. China1

    Pedro I think I agree with you on 70% of points and tend to strongly disagree on the remaining 30

    But I do have to say you are an excellent writer.

    I have this image in my mind of you feeling frustrated at work because you’d be constrained by the whims of the client and use this blog as an outlet to impart your ‘own’ work. Am I right on that?

    My brother used to be a phenomenal graphic designer and he literally dropped out of uni for this reason. He used to get middling scores from lecturers based on their wish to see him do less interesting work. As well he used to absolutely resent it when he’d present 5 amazing logo candidates to a client and they’d without fail pick the least creative, meaningful or interesting one

    I have this image of you coming up with a slogan for a tooth paste company and them saying ‘yeah that’s good but how about we just change it to ‘makes teeth whiter’ instead haha

    Is my suspicion right?

  84. China1

    My brother once showed me these 4 possible logos he’d designed for a client which were each similarly amazing, creative and thoughtful. Then he laughed and said ‘but I bet he chooses this one instead’ and pointed to a really shit one he’d literally made as a joke in the hope that the contrast between the mundane one and his other ones would lead the client to pick one of his good ones

    Sure enough the client picked the one he had made in sub 5 mins

    He was furious lol

  85. Habesha Gooner

    Liverpool tonight.
    I would go with this line up considering all the injuries.
    Leno
    Cedric Holding Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Ceballos
    Pepe Odegaard Martinelli
    Auba/ Laca

    I have this sinking feeling though that Arteta will either put both Auba and Laca on at the same time or he will play his favourite willy now that he is back from injury. Things might go south if he does that.

  86. Dream10

    Hope Xhaka is ready for tonight’s match.
    Willian nailed on to start
    Saka and Smith Rowe unlikely to be in the XI (maybe one of them makes the bench)
    Luiz not fit
    Think Mari will get nod ahead of Gabriel

    Leno
    Cedric Holding Mari Tierney
    Partey Xhaka
    Pépé Ceballos Willian
    Lacazette

  87. Useroz

    Tonight we probably see another intriguing lineup from Arteta that produces a typical disjointed performance in the 1H, especially after a break.

    Just hope we wouldn’t concede in 1H, and look to a better 2H…

  88. S23

    Trepidation towards tonights match,we should be able to put up a decent performance,but how many times have we seen,when you need a performance or a player needs a goal-bring on the make a wish foundation,Arsenal-guaranteed 3 points or a highlight reel goal.
    Like our atrocious injury record,I am hoping we have moved on from that.
    The Torreria situation should be straight forward,he is under contract to us and will go where we want him to go,surely a non negotiable-when my Mum died unexpectedly,I still had to go on tour as i was in the military at the time,didnt want to go and get shot at,but that was the job,I am sure if Torreria breaks his leg in training he would still want to be paid by us-a two way sword,we have to become tougher in our recruitment and management of players.
    I think we should go back to the old way of 1 year extensions to players over 30,not too many of our 30 year olds would cause us many tears if we said goodbye to them at the end of the season.
    We must remember we are The Arsenal.
    Fingers crossed for the win,tonight.

  89. The Bard

    Useroz so Aguero worked with Arteta and yes he has been a world class striker but he not going to come to Arsenal because he had some love affair with us over the years.
    He will only come if we pay him £200 grand a week give him a 3 year contract. Surely we’ve learnt our lesson on paying passive wages for players in their 30s.

  90. Rich

    Be interesting what Arteta decides to do at right back tonight, I’ve never been convinced of Chambers at right back, he’s far too slow over the first few metres, and Mane is incredibly strong, quick, and direct

    Chambers was one of our better players against West Ham after the 35th minute, his positioning caused West Ham all types of problems when we were on the front foot

    The issue is we’re unlikely to largely dominate Liverpool for 55 minutes, and their forward line can be ruthless

    If Xhaka is still sick, I’d definitely go with Elneny next to Partey, that worked well at Old Trafford earlier in the season

    Assuming both Saka, Smith-Rowe and Xhaka don’t make it, this is what I think we’ll see

    ……………..Leno
    …….Holding Gabriel
    Soares …………. Tierney
    ………Partey Elneny
    Willian Odegaard Aubameyang
    ………….Lacazette

    I’d go with Pepe instead of Willian, but Arteta generally opts for structure

  91. China1

    I want Gabriel to play ahead of Mari (assuming only one of them plays)

    Gabriel is on very good form and was one of our best players in March with some decisive performances. He’s also got more pace.

    Imo Gabriel is the logical CB we should be building around

  92. Rich

    Going for a 2-1 Arsenal win tonight

    Super Mo Elneny with the winner, and Partey with the opener, who’s well overdue his first Arsenal goal

  93. Wiglaf

    Rich

    Chambers was played at rb vs West Ham to negate their aerial threat
    It won’t be him today. I’ll be amazed if it’s not hector.
    I hope he goes with Mari and holding today
    Leno is a joke without those two protecting him from high balls

  94. Wiglaf

    China1April 3, 2021 11:13:40
    I want Gabriel to play ahead of Mari (assuming only one of them plays)Gabriel is on very good form and was one of our best players in March with some decisive performances. He’s also got more pace. Imo Gabriel is the logical CB we should be building around

    China
    And yet we concede more goals with him and Luiz in the side

  95. China1

    Gabriel was player of the month multiple times when playing regularly at the start of the season. Got injured and missed a lot. Came back a little rusty and hasn’t had a long period in the side since. But quite tellingly he was a contender for player of the month in March which was the first time since the early season when he’s played quite frequently.

  96. David Bolo

    I hate it whenever we face a team that’s been on a terrible run. We are always the team that allows others to end terrible runs. Anyway, I have written off this season and just hoping for a top 10 finish and a good showing for each of the remaining matches.

  97. Leedsgunner

    Not only do we need to say no to BUYING rubbish we need to say no SELLING our stars. Multiple reports stating that the club would consider selling Saka to raise funds.

    No. No. No.

    We have more than even excess weight to shed before we consider selling our stars.

    It’s like selling Fabregas all over again.

    Plus I wouldn’t trust this lot to spend the wisely in any case…

  98. China1

    Also look at half the goals we’ve conceded recently

    Leno, xhaka and Ceballos have all made huge errors leading directly or indirectly to goals. Luiz has made multiple as well. And mari was heavily culpable for Leicester scoring as well.

    Of all the goals we’ve conceded in recent weeks a large number have been from poor errors but very few have been on Gabriel

  99. China1

    Agreed Leeds

    We’ve got dross that should be sold before we consider looking at auctioning off the family silver.

  100. Wiglaf

    China1April 3, 2021 12:12:16
    Agreed Leeds We’ve got dross that should be sold before we consider looking at auctioning off the family silver.

    Yeah
    Leno bellerin and aubameyang

  101. China1

    Yeah David it’s true

    Before every match they always pull out some stat about how their CF hasn’t scored in his last 12 seasons and is suffering from two broken legs. 85th minute and he *inevitably* bangs in a screamer with his weaker foot from 30 yards

    I HATE those stats they bring up because we bottle it every time they do

  102. China1

    Out of interest which quality keepers are available these days? I think the Milan keeper is but I haven’t followed him for years and dunno if he’s a real upgrade on Leno.

    Anyone been watching him this season?

  103. Dream10

    China

    The reason I don’t think Gabriel will start is that Liverpool may start with Jota or Salah as the #9.
    Lots of interchanging with those two and Mané
    Believe Arteta trusts Mari more to lead the defense especially with Luiz missing out

  104. Rich

    Gabriel is doing well, he’s 23, it’s his first season in a new league, learning a new language, and he’s got less than 100 competitive games behind him

    I like the look of him, he’s calm, composed, doesn’t rush in, he’s powerful, and good in the air

    He’s understandably a bit raw in aspects of his game, and will need to be dropped out from time to time like most young players

    We didn’t buy the finished article, but there’s a good chance we can develop him over the next 12-24 months, and he can then lead our defence for the next 7-8 seasons, and provide us with some stability at the back that we’ve been lacking for a long time

    Stability and cohesion are such an underrated aspect of building success

    Liverpool have crumbled without VVD this season, City struggled last season after failing to replace Kompany, if we move away from Luiz this summer, and opt for the potential of Saliba, then fans need to be prepared for a further adjustment period

    Unfortunately that won’t happen, the same fans who are screaming for Saliba this season, will be screaming for Arteta’s head again next season, when we go through teething stages of developing an elite young talent, in a central position on the pitch, where mistakes tend to be fatal, and experience is a real factor

  105. Wiglaf

    We conceded 15 goals in 13 games before he was out, over a goal per game

    we conceded 4 goals in 8 games when he was out 0.5 goals per game

    Conceded 5 in the 4 games he’s played since his return

    Seems clear to me we are stronger without him

  106. Wiglaf

    China1April 3, 2021 12:16:28
    Out of interest which quality keepers are available these days? I think the Milan keeper is but I haven’t followed him for years and dunno if he’s a real upgrade on Leno.

    China
    There’s a guy over at Villa who’s stats are you there with Emerson’s this year as the best keeper in the league. Wish we had someone as good as that

  107. Rich

    I wouldn’t sell Saka for £150 million, unless he kicked up a stink

    CL is worth potentially £40-£100 million, and that’s before you look at the commercial aspect

    Europa League is worth potentially £30-£50 million

    Saka is a match winner, and comfortably the best teenager in the league, we should be building a team around him, not selling him to the highest bidder, and then replacing him with a player of inferior quality, or 3 players of inferior quality

    Moving on our deadwood permanently and picking up fees in this market, is going to be our main issue

    We’ll have a first team squad of 28 this summer, so even if we sold Saka, we likely still wouldn’t have the squad room to replace him with 3-4 players

    Replacing him like for like would be almost impossible

    Selling our best players who are on the way up is a really bad idea, we should never allowed Ashley Cole to leave for Chelsea, Cesc for Barca, Nasri to City, or given United Van Persie so they could win another title

    Arsenal better not even be contemplating selling Saka