Arteta drops an injury madness?

by .

There I was, sitting on my computer, all depressed… then BANG… Mikel drops an injury surprise for the ages.

Kieran Tierney > in contention

Auba > in contention

LACA > in contention

What in the damn name of horse placenta wizardry is this?

Now, who knows if any of them start, but someone did send me some information on Kolo that stated he was fit a week after contracting malaria. Auba as a #9? Oof… sexy times at the Hotel Ceramica.

Those three players, regardless of the start, give the Villareal tie a whole new dimension this Thursday.

I caught a bit of all the games at the weekend. It is worth noting that not one club in the semi-finals mustered a win. All played out drossy games. Roma lost to relegation fodder Cagliari. United drew to Leeds United with the title still on. Arsenal lost to Everton. Villareal lost to Barcelona.

I watched some of Unai Emery’s offering at home to Barcelona. It wasn’t great. Clearly, it’s going to be a tougher game than the Slavia Prague one. If we show up like we’ve won, we’ll come away with nothing. That said, we have the quality to win, of that there is no doubt.

Barcelona got in behind them with ease an uncomfortable amount of times in the opening 25 minutes.

Their defence didn’t look particularly organized, they’ve conceded over a goal a game this season, so not really a shock. Villareal’s off the ball work felt very much like it did when Emery was at Arsenal.

The two goals they conceded had a soft, warm, comfort I was familiar with. Goal #1 was a long ball over the top, Griezmann a sublime chip to finish. The second was an Arsenal special, a poor defensive back pass that slipped in Griezmann for #2.

We’ll cause problems with our movement. Ideally, we’ll go there with pace through our #9. I’d certainly weaponise the pace of Gabriel if it’s on offer. His runs and explosive energy could be bothersome. If we have Auba available, we need to surround him with energy and ideas. Nicolas Pepe would be well suited to a team you can get in behind. So would all the younger forward players we have. We need intelligence in there though, ESR, Saka and Odegaard pulling strings and interchanging positions will be a lot for them to handle. We will absolutely create chances.

Arsenal will have to really think about the way they defend. Villareal have ideas from set-pieces, it’s almost classic English football at times. They created 3-4 really good opps and Chukueze really is a live wire, the sort of player that can create something out of nothing. His pace up against Xhaka would be a very big concern for me. Emery, a man who has very little love for Granit, will no doubt be hoping that’s how we line up.

Our approach has to be about goals, no 0-0s or playing for one goal. Take advantage of the away goals, don’t leave with a result that puts us on the back foot. If we score 3, it’s going to be very tough for them to come back into the game. I don’t think that is beyond us.

What is not beyond this Arsenal side is a dull and lifeless performance with an early error.

I really hope the flat performances in the league are because the players are thinking about making a Cup Final. We need to leave everything on the pitch, Arteta needs to have the players fired up, the fans need something to feel good about.

No one wants to spend the next week wondering if a 1-1 draw is enough.

Unai Emery is a beast in this competition. We all watched him out-think Klopp a few years ago. He let Liverpool explode at them for 60 minutes, then turned on the afterburners when they were knackered.

We are not beyond a beating on Thursday night. There’s something extra on this for Unai. He’s a wounded animal, we need to be fucking sharp.

The press conference gave me a bit of heart. Arteta doesn’t look phased. He’s confident, he was using words like ‘excited’ to describe the atmosphere and he seemed very at ease. Not the look of the man we saw before the Chelsea game.

Hopefully, our players are feeling it. The fact that Tierney, Lacazette and Auba are all in contention tells you this: the players are behind the project. Putting your body on the line when you could easily sit the game out is a real boost as far as I’m concerned.

So let’s do it. Let’s get through this week in good spirits and finish the job next Thursday. We need a big effort from minute one to whenever the game finishes out. We are good enough, let’s see that convert on the pitch.

Finally, Daniel Ek spoke to biz news about his desire to buy Arsenal. I’d love to think he had a chance, but the main question he can’t answer is ‘how do you make non-sellers sell’ and there’s not a view on it. Publicly gunning for KSE doesn’t feel like a strategy married to who they are as people. But hey, who knows, I’m not a billionaire, so I’ll leave it ot them.

Right, listen to my podcast then get in the comments.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play | Audible

356 Responses to “Arteta drops an injury madness?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Dissenter

    Arteta is going to make the rookie mistake; put too many walking wounded players in the line up.

    He needs to ease these returning crocked players back slowly
    An example being Tierney who’s utter dog shit when returning back from injury, it takes him like three halves of football to recover his ebullience.

    I wouldn’t even risk Laca. He’s as important as gold right now.

  2. Dissenter

    Daniel EK can propose to offer him is entire 4 billion fortune for Arsenal…and Kroenke will still decline it.

    Kroenke does not need to sell.
    He’s worth three times Mr Ek and he’s married to a Walmart heiress, who’s worth 25-30 billion.
    Arsenal is part of the Kroenke family heirlooms. It will be passed from generation to generation, long after we all kaput.

  3. Valentin

    The pressure that he is putting is not on the Arsenal Kroenkes it is on the Ram Kroenkes. If the Ram continues to hemorrhage money on their stadium, then somebody is going to say to them, you need to raise more money. The $500 millions loan made by the NFL would scare the other owners. The Kroenkes bankers will then say, the easiest and painter of raising fund would be to sell some assets that are underperforming but still attract interest.

    That would be Arsenal. An underperforming asset that requires attention and money but with a credible buyer. I can see Ek stalking them for the next two to five years, until they relent.

  4. Emiratesstroller


    Ek may be a fan, and he may have the funds so he says to buy club, but does he have also the
    funds to improve the team.

    I am going to assume also that the funds offered to him are in the form of loans. So how will those be secured? The last thing that we need is the club foisted with more debt.

    What I suspect that this will do is put some pressure on Kroenke to be more proactive in running the club and improving team.

    Somehow I don’t see him selling unless and until he receives an “offer he cannot refuse” Nothing that Ek is likely to offer is going to change that situation.

    If Ek is such an enthusiast why did he not get Spotify to sponsor the club when Arsenal were
    looking for commercial sponsors?

  5. Tee

    From last post

    “And I presume that you as an Arsenal supporter was glad that we were flirting with relegation and playing the most dire turgid football that was devoid of creativity.”

    A fan with a brain would know that we weren’t playing scintillating attacking football with Ozil and we weren’t fighting relegation because of Ozil’s absence

  6. into the red

    Ek is playing the long game. He knows Kroenke won’t sell right now, but if things get difficult, the toxicity continues to undermine the club, then he is in pole position if the Kroenke’s crack and decide to sell up. It is hard to see what is in it for them, they don’t convince with glib talk about a sport they have no feeling for, and if it’s for the money, then Ek might offer a very profitable route out. It’s a matter of time.

  7. AFC Forever

    Good news we have injured players coming back, Arteta has clearly kept them ready for the Europa. This is positive news.

    I posted the below at the wrong time and as it is relevant to tomorrow’s game, I have re-posted it.

    As I have said on here many times, under Emery we were a defensive basket case. The Watford game did it for me, something like 30 odd shots on our goal. Ridiculous. The huge decline in our ‘Shot Difference” proves he had to go.

    2. Shot difference by season (attacking shots attempted v shots conceded):-

    11/12: +244
    12/13: +195
    13/14: +170
    14/15: +204
    15/16: +120
    16/17: +134
    17/18: +170
    18/19: -32 (Emerys first season)
    19/20: -56 (Emery after 13 games!!!!)

    For 15 years we had one of the most positive shot differences in the PL. In just one season under Emery it became a Negative shot difference of -32. The following season it declined further to a whopping -56 in just 13 games!. No surprise the fans wanted him out and the Directors decided to put Emery, and us, out of our misery. This shows what a big job Arteta had on his hands.

  8. Champagne Charlie

    Ek is weaponising the current discontent, it’s the only play available to him when it comes to private ownership because you can’t force shit on someone that holds all the cards.

    What is encouraging is that the club stands to benefit come what may. Ideally we rid ourselves of the vapid excuse for an owner in Stan. With Ek shining a light on him it’ll, at the very least, force KSE to up their game and prove they can be semi-competent owners in football.

    Have a feeling we’ll be seeing some greased transfer activity both in and out this summer to quash the bubbling dissent. PR galore for the next 4 months, and Stan will be desperate for Arteta to pull a rabbit out the hat for him and win the EL. If he does I think we’ll have one of the most transformative summers we’ve ever seen at the club with all that’s going on.

  9. Elmo

    Spot on, Stroller.

    The question Jim Kramer should have been asking there was: “Daniel, will this be a leveraged buy-out, and if so, how much of that debt will be loaded onto the club, and what kind of future progress are you imagining for that debt to be serviceable / repayable?”

    Realistically he doesn’t need to put much of his own money up-front assuming lenders still have some confidence in Arsenal’s future business model / cashflows. However if that debt is just loaded onto the club’s balance sheet, even if he were a great ‘fan-owner,’ it’s difficult to imagine how the club re-emerges in any situation other than having a 100% transfer market success rate like Liverpool had for a period of 3 or 4 years to turn them into contenders.

    That’s the problem with buying a club with such a high valuation, compared to Abramovich in 2003, or City in 2008. Just getting control of Arsenal is big boy money, before you even consider the rebuild.

  10. Captain Tierney

    ‘If Ek is such an enthusiast why did he not get Spotify to sponsor the club when Arsenal were
    looking for commercial sponsors?”

    Because Spotify doesn’t need such a big advertisement and Ek is not dumb to sanction that.

  11. Samir

    Would love for us to win the EL but can’t see us beating United. We very well may beat Villarreal though. Depends which Arsenal turn up…And if Arteta wants to continue with the poor team selections / in game management.

    If we don’t win the EL, I can see us in a similar position next season…Maybe then Stan will think about selling us.

  12. Thank you and goodnight

    No one is saying Emery was great. I think we can all agree he was wrong choice. But for ffs Arteta has been no better. The bloody excuses made for Arteta are a joke. He’s had same amount of time in charge of Arsenal as Emery had, yet he’s doing significantly worse in the PL than Emery did, the table doesn’t lie. I don’t understand how Emery is shit, but Arteta is great even though he’s doing worse. I might not be brains of Britain but surely if he was doing a sterling job we’d be better off than we are right now. Let’s not forget for all the supposed shit foisted on him, Arteta has still brought in 6 or 7 players yet his figures are worse than Emery

  13. Words on a blog

    Arteta vs Emery.

    An average and inconsistent defensive manager facing up to an average and inconsistent defensive manager.

    I wonder which one of them will have the better ebening…..

  14. Gonsterous


    Don’t know what discipline you are talking about.
    Arteta is so meek, he can’t over rule the suggestion to buy a GK who wouldn’t get into the arsenal U-11s team.

    Arteta has surrounded himself with yes men and is pretending to be an alpha male.
    How many times do ex arsenal players have to come out and explain, they want to help arsenal but are not being offered a role.

    What happened to Ljunberg? Guy got put up in the stands and he left the shit show.
    No idea what AFC or pedro sees in arteta or is it just that their ego can’t let them admit they were wrong about the guy and it’s time to move on.

  15. AFC Forever


    “Daniel EK can propose to offer him is entire 4 billion fortune for Arsenal…and Kroenke will still decline it.Kroenke does not need to sell. He’s worth three times Mr Ek and he’s married to a Walmart heiress, who’s worth 25-30 billion.”

    Yep. I said it yesterday getting rid of Kroenke IMO is a vanity project. We would all feel better having him out of the club, especially after the ESL fiasco but what will it change? I was a bit emotional yesterday because I think football is screwed along with us fans too. If the ESL and financial doping wasn’t bad enough, we’ve had to witness the dishonest manipulation of VAR.

    Football is sadly corrupt, in so many ways. Expecting someone to ply a billion quid into your club to lift it to the level of others is unrealistic. An oil state is different, they are awash with money, what is a billion quid to a Country? It’s also a great way for the UAE, who own Man City, to advertise their national airline hence the problem when they swindled the sponsorship to manipulate FFP. Look at PSG, owned by Qatar ( a Country that bribed FIFA members to host the World Cup) and sponsored by the Qatari National Bank. A pattern emerges if you look for it.

    If we manage to get back into the Champions League that will be massive, not just because of the money it brings in but for the profile of the club and the players it can attract. Without it, I suspect it’s going to be a gradual rise to the top trying to battle the big spenders as they sign the best players. The one light at the end of the tunnel might be the pandemic and the reality that will have played on the fragility of football finances, perhaps we might get some legislation that prevents ridiculous levels of debt and therefore keeps wages & transfer fees more stable. Sorry to be so miserable!!

  16. youdamn

    Arteta is under savage pressure, so looks like he is rushing injured players back to try and save his ass. He tried this already with Partey and it backfired badly. No way Laca or Tierny could suddenly be fit. Luiz is not needed.
    Am worried. Panic stations.

  17. Valentin

    Ek said that he has raised the fund, that does not means that he will borrow the funds. He could well have organised a roundup of 200 investors each putting £10 millions each.
    Or he could have 100,000 investors each putting £20,000 each.

    I doubt that he would put nearly his entire fortune to buy Arsenal, but he could be the face of a take over by a few very rich fans. The former shareholders made a fortune and some may want to come back. David Dein made £70 millions, he could be tempted to come back for £10 millions.

    Also Ek may simply plan to move the company back on an exchange via an IPO. Buy the company and sell the shares back on an exchange with limited exposure to him.

    I am sure that members of AST would be delighted if they were offered a way back into owning part of Arsenal.

  18. Guns of SF

    Valentin yes,
    SPotify can also offer a few splits, get more investors on board.
    Their stock is high for new investors… its about 300 dollars P/S
    Raising capital this way, he can also use this money to buy us

  19. GillespieRoadNoMore

    I bet Adidas were pleased as punch to see CNBC decorate the Ek interview with players in the Puma strip.

  20. AFC Forever

    Valentin, yes.

    However, it’s not about whether Ek can raise the funds it’s whether or not Kroenke wants to sell. He doesn’t.

  21. Pedro

    ‘Arteta is so meek’

    Man, you are so, so, so off the mark. Totally guessing about someone you know nothing about.

    Also, he’s either a dictator, or he’s meek… make up your mind.

  22. Guns of SF

    You know what gets me about KSE.

    Look at where we are at.
    Fall out over ESL
    Poor results
    Lack of investment

    All of the problems documented on this board over and over.

    What is KSE doing?
    They did a stupid Fan q and a with Josh.

    That is it….

    They never, ever come out with anything concrete to share with the fans. its the same fucking rhetoric over and over. And most fans just drink that kool aide over and over

    I can see EK, coming out with a plan, and being much more transparent.

    The more we say that Stan and KSE are absent owners, they simply tap into that sentiment. They dont say shit.

    I do hope Ek has a great offer and puts it forward. If KSE rejects, try again… if its no dice at all, then the fans will make life a living hell for KSE. Wait til we keep losing $$… soon they will be no fans of this current team.

    KSE know that is likely another ESL will take some time to get up and running. Do they want to wait it out? Who knows if next time we even get invited to ELS part 2.

  23. Dissenter

    ‘How long can fans hurt their own team to spite the owner?

    Also, ESL or n ESL, football is headed for the cliffs if it continues to be run the way it’s going. This current path is not sustainable. Pre-pandemic, player wages was at 80-85% of the incoming – that’s a very poor approach to runing any business. Bilk the fans to pay players way too much money that they truly deserve.

    Some other type of reform has to come in place to control the role of agents and control wages.

  24. Tom

    I hate to point out the obvious to anyone thinking Kroenke might change his mind about selling due a possible financial pinch, but the mere fact someone is trying to force him to take £2billion to sell kinda alleviates his potential credit problem with the banks.

    Not to mention of course that the Super League idea isn’t dead , just postponed.

    He’s not selling!!!!!

  25. Rich

    AFC Forever

    I found your comment on the last post really interesting, regarding shots difference by season

    Wenger used to cover technical No10 types, and Alexis was a very high volume player

    Our attacking output really dropped off a cliff, and reading some of the data from before Xmas this season, our attacking numbers were amongst the very worst in the league, relegation type numbers

    You can talk about the coaching, but we did go until Boxing Day without a fit or registered attacking midfielder

    Tierney statistically is one of our most creative players, we’re far too reliant on him, losing one player shouldn’t hurt us as much as it does, but our left side threat collapses without him

    We lose control with Aubameyang on the left, he’s the exact opposite of Alexis, Alexis could be frustrating, but he was everywhere, unless Aubameyang scores, I don’t really notice he’s on the pitch

    I’d much rather a Smith-Rowe type of player out there, but that only works properly if we have Tierney overlapping on the outside

    Xhaka, Ceballos, Partey, Elneny don’t offer a goal threat, they all want the game played in front of them, none of them look to get beyond the ball, and it’s the same with Torreira + Guendouzi

    The only midfielder we’ve got that offers that is Willock, but he’s still raw, and needs to develop the rest of his game

    There’s a few signs Pepe is improving, and Martinelli looks like he could offer the type of high volume performances that we got from Alexis, but we need to remember that he’s just 19

    Saka has 5 goals this season, which is as many as all the other teenagers in the league combined, I think he’ll develop into a consistent scorer over the next 12-18 months, and Smith-Rowe’s overall output should increase as well, but we’ll need some time for that natural progression of their game to occur

    Hopefully we can sign Odegaard permanently, who I really like the look of, and sign a top young left back, so losing Tierney doesn’t completely derail our left side

    I’m not convinced of the argument our poor attacking output is entirely down to coaching or tactics

  26. Avi

    The funny part is, if they do sack him, I reckon they might go for Thierry.

    “An even BIGGER legend of an ex-player, will surely appease the fanbase!”

    …can see that being their thinking, even though it’s pretty much the opposite of what the fanbase actually want😂

    Silent Stan and his son are shockingly so disconnected with the fanbase is unreal

  27. Elmo

    Any acquisition by SPAC, private equity, large consortium or similar will just guarantee that the primary strategy of the club is to push for the Super League ASAP and to guarantee founder / permanent membership by any means possible, with any action on the pitch being way down the list of priorities.

    That is the cheapest, easiest, least risky route back to big money revenues and profitability for Arsenal, and it’s now out in the open for everyone to see. No-one but a real fan would have any interest in spending and rebuilding organically, from this point forwards until Arsenal and ESL founder membership is officially and permanently buried.

    Ek with a big leveraged buy-out loading debt on the club doesn’t help us. Ek revealing he’s the mysterious owner of the 28% share of market cap of Dogecoin, which he’s transferring to Kroenke in return for Arsenal, and that he’s got some other obscure altcoins to fund a rebuild? Yeah – that might work. All very unlikely!

  28. Elmo

    So either a genuine big boy billionaire fan who can afford to buy the club without debt (like finding hens’ teeth).
    Or 51% fan ownership through populist government legislation, in which case we might be shit, but it will be shit all of our own making.

  29. AFC Forever


    Coutinho is one hell of a player. What Liverpool sold him for was crazy but nonetheless, he would be a serious upgrade to our midfield.

  30. Pedro

    Elmo, great points there.

    Being a fan means nothing unless you have oil money.

    Ek going in with partners means they’ll want a return.

    The interview was flat… if you can’t answer how you’ll get a YES from KSE, it’s just a PR move to disguise bad performance of your other brand

  31. Pedro

    AFC, i whined about him last summer then we had 6 shots on target in 4 months.

    I would be very game for him next season.

  32. Rich


    I’d much rather Odegaard to Coutinho

    Coutinho has injured for pretty much the whole season, missed a month with a hamstring injury, and he’s been out since the end of December with Rupture of Outer Meniscus, considering the season started in October, that is serious red flag territory

    It’s the exact type of signing that has taken us nowhere

    We want players on the way up, not players on the way down

  33. Freddie Ljungberg

    I’d take Fekir over both of them, especially if Ode is going to cost 40m +, that is if Real even considers selling him which doesn’t seem likely.

    Fekir has 1 year left on his contract so shouldn’t be too expensive., 15-20m? He didn’t go to Spain for a huge fee either so that helps.

    Still think that was a big miss for us when he left Lyon, miles better than anyone we’ve had in that Cam role for years.
    His injury doesn’t seem to have affected him much, that was the main bone of contention when I brought up his name 2-3 years ago.

    He can play both Cam and on the wings if needed, he also gives us goals from midfield, something we really need. We already have one youngster in ESR for the nr 10 so bringing in another doesn’t make that much sense.

  34. Ernest Reed

    It does not ring as encouraging when you use “hope” often in your piece, Pedro. I think we are all concerned and indeed “hopeful” that the guys show up and put forward a spirited effort. The reality is that hope really is all that we have as this season has shown us all that disappointment has been used more than hopeful.

  35. Mb

    Kroenkas most certainly not gonna sell the club to Daniel, but I will be optimistic and would hope he does.

    An owner who watches football is better than an owner who calls it soccer.

  36. Rich

    Instead of looking solely at external improvements, we should be looking for internal improvements, the problem with that is those types of margins aren’t made up over a few months

    The older experienced players have been largely rubbish

    The issue Arteta has is that if he throws in Saka 19, Smith-Rowe 20, and Martinelli 19

    Fan patience might not last for him to see the benefits of educating those players

    It’s the exception rather than the rule for players so young to push out consistently high output, and Arsenal fans don’t appear to be in any mood to hear anymore about transitions

    The truth about our squad is that if we lose Saka, Tierney, Smith-Rowe + Odegaard

    We’re completely blunt as an attacking force, and relatively easy to contain, and sacking the manager doesn’t change that problem

  37. Wengaball

    We used to create those kind of attacking numbers/shot difference because Wenger usually played a 433 with 4 mids, one of whom would be part of the front 3.

    That sacrificed width but created a wonderful overload through the middle with 4,5 or sometimes even 6 players interchanging positions.

    Most teams would struggle to match that – simply because they were one player short in midfield compared to Arsenal. Not too many managers are adventurous enough to play with 4 midfielders, 3 of whom would be attacking players.

    This, combined with a high defence line that compressed the playing area and the overload of attacking, technical midfielders meant we’d always have positive shot difference and loads of goals.

    It also meant we conceded loads of goals. But that was the Wenger way. Outscore your opposition rather than outdefend them.

  38. Wengaball

    I remember Gerrard talking about Arsenal – you lift your head and you’d see red shirts swarming around you in midfield.

    I guess he was talking of away games with Arsenal in red.

  39. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s be clear the priority for fans like myself is that the owners make Arsenal a competitive
    club once again and that we are challenging in next one or two years for a top 4 place in the league.

    That requires the owners to invest properly in the team and make it fit for purpose.

    The starting point is to eradicate the silly errors, which are far to often self inflicted. There
    are plenty of games since Christmas which should have been won but were thrown away
    by unintelligent and poor decision making on the pitch.

  40. Pierre

    So Aubamayang, Odegaard, Tierney and Lacazette are in contention for tomorrow night’s game.

    What i will say is our most impressive performance recently was away to Slavia Prague and out of the 4 injured players only Lacazette played that night.

    Now , many on here regard Slavia Prague as a pub team, I don’t.
    They knocked out champions league certainties Leicester City and were unbeaten at home for something like 2 years..

    So , before Arteta pushes the panic button and starts them for tomorrow night’s game , I would say think back and look at that Prague performance and trust those same players to put in a big performance.

    Forget the Everton performance, Saka and Smith Rowe had an off day and were terribly wasteful in possession.
    They will be looking to bounce back and have shown already that they can raise their game for big games like Chelsea, Tottenham and Prague.

    If Arteta is reluctant to start either Aubamayang or Lacazette up top then he has Martinelli or Eddie who can start, both I would be more than happy to see start .
    Martinelli for his energy and willingness to get behind or Eddie for his hold up play and goal scoring instincts..

    There is a misconception that Eddie is poor in possession of the football, the stats prove otherwise,

    I have a feeling that we may see Odegaard starting and it is a possibility that Arteta may use him up top to give Arsenal more control of the game higher up the pitch…possible but risky.

    Pepe should start but there is a possibility that willian may get the nod if Arteta is looking for a more controlled performance.

    Personally, I would prefer to see a similar front line as per the slavia game with Martinelli up front if Lacazette is not ready.

    I feel that taking the game to Villarael will produce dividends, if there is a chance to attack then go for it, similar to Chelsea last night , who should have put the tie to bed in the opening half if they were more clinical up front.

  41. Rich

    One of the other reasons for our attacking output decrease, is that other clubs have improved

    The days of us knocking over 14 teams with relative easy, is gone

    There’s more money in the league, and outside of 15 clubs in Europe, PL clubs can pick players off from the rest of Europe, because we can afford to pay significantly higher wages than the other 4 top leagues

    The talent pool in youth systems has also significantly improved in this country, and is about to go into overdrive over the coming seasons

    The PL is much more competitive now

    That’s not the main reason, but it’s certainly a factor

  42. Champagne Charlie


    I’m a massive fan of Coutinho, and he’s exactly the type of creative player we lacked early season. But between him and Odegaard it’s a no brainer. Would only entertain Coutinho on a serious face saving deal from Barca, the 40 mil being touted is a fat no. One year loan with obligatory purchase? Maybe. Either way I think he should be served a humility contract if it were to happen, no 180k stuff.

    But can 100% see the rationale behind a player in their late 20’s with the likes of ESR, and Saka having emerged the past 12 months proper. I’ve talked up Fekir (27) previously who would be circa 25 mil, then there’s Draxler (27) who is on a bosman. Both terrific talents and profiles for creative players to guide the yute.

    Have said for a while that we’re 2/3 players shy in attack of having complimentary unit. Pity we never kept Laca instead of Auba given his brilliant relationship with Fekir on the pitch. They were everything we hoped of Auba/Laca back at Lyon.

  43. Elmo

    Then if all goes well for Dogecoin, we look forward to you wrestling control of the club from Stan in the years to come!

  44. Guns of SF

    DB10 was that player who dropped into midfield a lot.
    Wenger had 3/4 creators at all times on the pitch. Maestros that can create and dribble … highly skilled…
    Those days, wow- was so much fun to watch. Especially those days we were seemingly unplayable at times.

  45. Champagne Charlie


    Interesting stuff, thanks.

    Goes to show how sorry our attack has been this season, because defensively we’ve actually been very good for large parts. Did my own digging and we’ve an inferior shots per game than every side in the top half bar Spurs, Everton, and West Ham.

    For a side historically recognised for attacking football we’re a mile off the levels. We’re within 0.5 of the teams mentioned but a good 2-3 off the league leaders in this statistic (City, Liverpool, United). Averaging 3 shots less per game is massive at this level, irrespective of the quality of chance.

  46. Wengaball

    Guns – yes there was DB10, then later Nasri, Arshavin, Ramsey, Özil – all have played in the front three but would drop into midfield.

    Meanwhile the full backs would be on the overlap, and the two centre halves pressuring up to the middle of the pitch.

    No wonder we scored for fun. And conceded the same way 🙂

  47. Guns of SF


    There was a black hole after our high line. Poor Kos and co, must have hated life back then…

    Even Song, our supposed DM, scored a bunch. in his latter days, he was pushing into the box, playing like a B2b

  48. Pierre

    ” Did my own digging and we’ve an inferior shots per game than every side in the top half bar Spurs, Everton, and West Ham.”

    I’m sure that if you dig even deeper you will find that up until we brought a no.10 into the side ( Smith Rowe), our shots per game were in ( or close to) the bottom 3..

    Since Smith Rowe/Odegaard came into the side you will probably find that our shots per game are in ( or close to) the top 4..

  49. Rich

    We’d be much better off going for Pedro Neto rather than Coutinho, or even someone like Buendia

    Coutinho is 29 this summer, he’s been out for 90% of the season injured, his wages are massive

    If Edu were to go ahead with a move like that, it would again show a real lack of imagination

    We really need more in our locker than signing established stars past their best on extortionate wages, being fed to us by super agents

  50. The Bard

    Dissenter I’m more hopeful. I dont think it’s a slam dunk that they won’t sell. The team need a lot of investment and they haven’t yet had to endure weeks and maybe months of fans protest at the Emirates. I suspect they might sanction the buying of a marquee player with the hope that it will shut us all up. The other option is they might throw Arteta under a bus and try to tempt a bigger hitter as manager. Interesting times.

  51. Avi

    Since Moyes has taken over at West Ham he’s got them from relegation zone to the top 4, while only having a net spend of around £30M. Meanwhile people on here claiming Arteta needs three summer windows and £500M to achieve that.
    Every way you look at it the Arteta reign has been a failure – we’ve regressed since last season, we’re awful to watch, his signings have been poor ( with the exception of the odd games from Gabriel/Partey ) and he’s obsessed with playing bums like Willian over young players like Martinelli.

  52. bacaryisgod

    Arsene was right in this recent interview. The best deals are the ones which get done behind closed doors. We all know what happened here:

    1. Ek has already been rebuffed privately by KSG. They won’t give him the time of day.
    2. Fans have been protesting over Kroenke ownership
    3. Ek is piggybacking on fan anger to raise public pressure on KSG.
    4. It won’t work but it was a desperation gamble in the hope that protests will continue to increase.
    5. KSG will never sell to Ek after this stunt. If they sell, it will be to another buyer.

    If Ek is doing this just as a fan to increase KSG to step up more then he’ll have done the club a service even if he never becomes the owner.

  53. Wengaball

    Black hole is about right!

    The year Cesc and Nasri left, Song was our creator in chief. Pin point over the top balls that Van Persie would volley into the net.


  54. bacaryisgod

    Not so sure injured or sick players wanting to play in a European semi-final is a sign of them believing in the project. Maybe they want to play in a high-profile, meaningful match. After all, if all the players believed in the project, we might not be sitting 10th in the league.

  55. Guns of SF

    What does KSE need to do?

    Invest- every year…. throw in some of the money to make us competitive. Pandemic will drive prices down… teams are losing money.

    Actually start to give a fuck about the team. Show up to matches. Speak more to the fans. Actually become a fan, if that is possible and show it.


    Bring in competent and experienced staff to run the team.


    Be a fan

    Eat crow and apologize to all the fans for being such fucking losers and change your ways! and mean it, and do it!

  56. Pierre

    Just had a quick look at Gommit’s link and it shows that prior to the Chelsea game , we had zero games in the league when our expected goals were above 2.

    Since and including the Chelsea game, we have had 9 games when our expected goals were above 2.

    This is ample proof that Arteta go it drastically wrong in the first half of the season by playing without a recognised no.10 and is also ample proof that not including Ozil in the squad was detrimental to the team …

  57. Avi

    Get real people ffs, Ek isn’t buying the club and its becoming very annoying yapping about stuffs like that to social media

    I think he’s a bluffer who’s looking to take advantage of the gullible arsenal fanbase in upping his rep and Spotify business

  58. bacaryisgod

    How about this for a perfect loan switch if Barca would be interested and assuming Odegaard isn’t available next season?

    Aubameyang for Coutinho?

    Sounds simple enough right? Both players in need of a new environment and both on astronomical wages.

  59. englandsbest

    For sure a vibrant vigorous Arsenal on Thursday. Forget the PL. I mean,how can anyone, player or fan, get excited about coming, at best, 5th?

    Daniel should ek-off. The Three Invincibles ploy was just spin designed to get naive fans onside. And anyway, do we want to swap one billionaire for another?

    Right now, the Club are moving forward in the right direction. The Kroenkes seem to have finally cottoned on. Owning a Club of Arsenal’s magnitude is an obligation. The need to get the Club back amongst the elite.

  60. Nelson

    I can’t believe some of us still support KSE as our owner. Arsenal has been in decline since his ownership. Under them, I can’t see Arsenal can complete in the EPL. You can’t trust what they said. We have seen them long enough. We need an owner who loves the club and not just use the club as an investment tool.

  61. Dissenter

    “This is ample proof that Arteta go it drastically wrong in the first half of the season by playing without a recognized no.10 and is also ample proof that not including Ozil in the squad was detrimental to the team …”

    How is Ozil getting along in Turkey?
    He’s a waste of space and has been so for the past two seasons.

  62. Wengaball

    Guns – all they need to do is appoint a competent team that knows what it’s doing.

    First they over relied on Wenger. To be honest, he did a good job but if he had support, we could have won a few things.

    Then they appointed a snake oil seller.

    And now, mostly a rookie team.

    They also handled Wenger’s exit very poorly. Whatever his faults, they could have given him another year, then persuaded him upstairs to keep things stable.

    Josh pulled rank on Wenger. Not in great taste.

  63. bacaryisgod

    Pierre-I agree with the first half of your last paragraph and strongly disagree with the second half of your last paragraph.

  64. Wengaball

    Dissenter – how is Özil doing in Turkey is an unfair question.

    You drop any top level player into an inferior team and he would look pedestrian. When every other player is not at your level, there’s no chemistry and no performance.

    Football is a team sport.

  65. bacaryisgod

    Nelson-nothing to do with supporting KSE. Nobody wants them around. I mean literally nobody on this blog. However, there’s a harsh reality to be faced and that is they don’t want to sell and can’t be forced to, at least right now.

    Think how long Newcastle fans have had to put up with Ashley? They couldn’t get rid of even though he claimed he wanted out!

  66. Avi

    Standards are very low. Whatever happens this season doesn’t matter really, Arteta will be given into next season. Then next season making the Europa League places will be seen as progression.

    So it’s a long road we’re on now. I supported the new young approach but it’s been a tough ride with mainly horrible horrible football and my energy levels are low now.

  67. Avi

    Worst season ever with the worst football ever, with the worst results ever, we’re barely winning back to back games.

    Then I’m watching Luiz, Cedric and Willian ffs. Why am I watching Arsenal built around old Chelsea men. It’s totally deflated me now.

    I swear if he doesn’t win the EL and then goes on to start next season with the likes of Willian and Luiz still playing for the club that’s me absolutely done with this fuckin club

  68. Guns of SF


    This is true. Bless him- hopefully this will light a fire under KSE

    If Ek is doing this just as a fan to increase KSG to step up more then he’ll have done the club a service even if he never becomes the owner.

  69. Pierre

    “but it’s been a tough ride with mainly horrible horrible football and my energy levels are low now.”

    Difficult to watch at times , though every now again there is a glimpse of what we could be ,like the 4-0 victory in Prague

    A new dawn soon becomes a false dawn when we slip back to our pre Christmas form.

    Fielding a settled side would help , especially a settled back 4.

  70. Pierre

    could have sworn Ozil was injured after playing a handful of games after being side lined for 11 months .

    Those games were basically Ozil’s pre season .

  71. bacaryisgod


    You’re looking at it the wrong way. I like Pierre’s point that Arteta got it terribly wrong in the first half of the season. He thought he could boss the league with negative football like he won the F.A Cup.

    The argument that Pierre tries to make is that everything would have been so much better with Ozil in the line-up. How about just placing more faith in ESR from the start of the season?

    Pierre has previously made a fair argument that Ozil might have been frozen out because of his position over salary cuts (one that Arteta stuck his neck out on). However, if the reports were true he wasn’t alone in rejecting the cuts, why was no-one else frozen out for this reason? Ozil also publicly embarrassed the club in a cynical PR move by offering to pay for Gunnersaurus.

    But look at it this way. Arteta might have felt Ozil’s conditioning and attitude was off after we returned from lockdown. Without Ozil we won the F.A Cup and defeated Man City and Chelsea in the process.

    Arteta’s mistake had nothing to do with Ozil. His form had been dreadful since he renewed with us. The mistake was that Arteta relied on other under-performing older players like Willian and Aubameyang and a defensive strategy when he should have trusted in youth and an attacking approach much earlier this season.

  72. AFC Forever


    “Since Moyes has taken over at West Ham he’s got them from relegation zone to the top 4, while only having a net spend of around £30M. Meanwhile people on here claiming Arteta needs three summer windows and £500M to achieve that”.

    We spoke about this yesterday and the odd freak seasons teams like West Ham and Leicester have like Wolves last season. . Firstly, Arsenal are too big a club to aim for a ‘freak’ or ‘blip” season. We need to build for consistency and that takes investment. We also have a lot more pressure on us for results and that creates other issues.

    Secondly, there is a massive difference between having a squad for one competition and another to be able to rotate and compete in say Europe and Cups. You can’t beast players and you need to be able to rest. If you don’t play in other competitions you can play your best team every week as there is a reduced risk of injuries. Playing your best team every weak is a big advantage.

    Third. When you only have PL games, you have a whole week to recover and prepare. When you have two games, you can’t prepare tactically for both. It is much more beneficial to have an entire week to practice team patterns of play to benefit from weaknesses or perhaps opposition strengths and those types of things.

    So as well as West Ham have done and Moyes deserves praise indeed because he has done a blinding job. However, if he was trying to compete in the Europa League or Cups, he will have found it more challenging with that squad. It’s the old argument about whether or not, vanity wise, we would have been better having a season out of Europe. We certainly wouldn’t have had the same level of injuries or needed to rotate to what we know is a weaker team.

    So ultimately, yes we do need player investment. The players we have are too prone to individual errors and whilst we definitely have some very good players, we have a number of weaknesses. Arteta has had to compromise the way he wants to play to suit the players he has and of course that is not ideal. Fans can’t have it both ways, you know spend years criticising players as not good enough and then say they are so they can point fingers elsewhere.

    Success is usually linked to what you spend with blips inbetween Tonight you have PSG v Man City, nearly two and a half billion quid ‘invested’ and last night Chelsea v Real Madrid with similar numbers, albeit most of Reals debt is short term and will need to be repaid, unlike Chelseas ‘gift’.

  73. andy1886

    Shots per game is a very simplistic measure. Like all stats it means nothing with context. Remember the infamous Watford game? They had 31 shots but at least 75% were from twenty or thirty yards and had very little chance of finding the back of the net. Emery seemed to be happy to let the opposition shoot from distance, but ultimately it comes down to results. Arteta after 50 games averaged 1.5 points per game and Emery averaged 1.76 points per game over his first 50 games. Win rate Arteta 42%, win rate Emery 50%.(PL games only – Arsene Wenger also registered 1.76 point sper game over his first 50 PL matches but he had a higher win rate of 54%).

  74. Cazorla

    Dissenter missing the point being made about Ozil obviously.

    Ozil was our creativity. ESR was injured we had fuck all. You can understand if money was tight that MA preferred Aouar over Partey if he could only have one.

  75. bacaryisgod

    That’s not to knock Pierre over his devotion to Ozil. We all have blind spots. Pedro’s is Arteta. Mine is probably Pepe. I’ll probably go down with the Pepe ship long after others have boarded the lifeboats.

  76. Cazorla

    Aving a laugh

    ‘’ I swear if he doesn’t win the EL and then goes on to start next season with the likes of Willian and Luiz still playing for the club that’s me absolutely done with this fuckin club’

    Well don’t let us stop you. The mentality of a modern plastic wanker ‘fan’. Bye bye

  77. bacaryisgod


    I disagree. ESR missed 8 games through injury, I believe. We had other options outside Ozil. Could have played Saka in the Ozil role for example. The issue was more that he adopted a defensive outlook and stuck with underperforming players like Willian for too long.

  78. bacaryisgod

    Go east on Avi, Cazorla. He’s clearly depressed right now! If he’s posting on this blog, the odds are that he’s not quitting the club anytime soon.

    I’m more of an optimist. Willian has deservedly dropped down the order. Not sure what will happen with Luiz. I would like to think we’ll bring back Saliba and not renew Luiz but with the Kia-Edu relationship, you can’t be sure.

  79. Avi

    .you was probably still sucking on mama’s titiess when I started supporting the club

    Show some fcking melon.

  80. Rich

    Arteta wanting Aouar is another worry

    He’s completed 90 minutes in just 6 out of 25 games this season, has now been relegated to the bench at Lyon, and has had his application questioned on a couple of occasions

    Arteta has said he’s worked hard to get Willian to the Emirates

    For some reason he chose to sign Runarsson

    If Edu rings Kia to sign Coutinho who’s been injured all season, then that’ll be a serious red flag

    But wouldn’t surprise me in the least

  81. Avi

    Time to watch serious football clubs play the game! Got to enjoy the one you can before watching the arsenal stink the place out tomorrow eh

  82. AFC Forever


    You are being disingenuous for some reason. The drop under Emery wasn’t a small drop it was huge. Going from a plus of around 150 – 200 for 15 years to a negative of -50 odd is Chernobyl type catastrophy. He had Champions League in the palm of his hands and flushed it down the pan.

    Anyway, I prefer my eyes to stats – all the stats do is back up what my eyes told me and that was the fact that without the ball we were a shambles. Emery had us set up so poorly off the ball, my Sunday league team would have been able to get at us. I’m not a fan of sacking managers like most on here are but I wanted him gone quicker than a quick thing on ice.

  83. AFC Forever


    “Time to watch serious clubs play football”

    What two oil states? You are watching Qatar vs UAE, two clubs responsible for the reason football is no longer as competitive as it once was. If that is what you call a ‘serious football club” that I can only assume you thought the Super League was a good idea?

  84. Ishola70

    Good start from Man City.

    Not created a clear cut chance yet but flowing passing football.

    For the second night running it looks like the EPL side will outfootball the opposition if not beat them on the scoreline.

  85. AFC Forever


    “Time to watch serious football clubs play the game! Got to enjoy the one you can before watching the arsenal stink the place out tomorrow eh”

    I suspected you were trolling.

    What is the point?

  86. AFC Forever


    “Invest- every year…. throw in some of the money to make us competitive. Pandemic will drive prices down… teams are losing money. Actually start to give a fuck about the team. Show up to matches. Speak more to the fans. Actually become a fan, if that is possible and show it. Invest. Bring in competent and experienced staff to run the team”.

    Yep, it takes commitment and desire. They need to care, then it might work. Certainly agree about getting football people in, I would start with Keown. He cares.

  87. Champagne Charlie


    Not sure what sort of argument you’re looking to walk everyone into, probably Ozil-related, but our output since the uptick at Boxing Day hasn’t been good enough still….

    Since ESR made his debut:

    27 games in all competitions
    14 home
    13 away

    46 goals
    26 conceded

    8 cup games: 14 goals, 7 conceded (2 clean sheets)
    19 league games: 32 goals, 19 conceded (7 clean sheets)

    Looking at the PL since Boxing Day it suggests the current output puts us at 64 goals for a full premier league season. Which is still short of the average return needed to talk about top 4 challenges. However there’s a big issue with the numbers still, and it comes in the breakdown of the goals.

    In the 19 PL games since Boxing Day we’ve failed to score in 6 of them, and scored just one goal in 4 more. This is the same story in the 8 cup matches which have seen 2 games without a goal from us and a further 2 where we’ve registered a single goal.

    Scoring 4 goals in 10 PL games is never going to get you near a top 4 challenge. That’s a quarter of a league season, the sort of time frame the league leaders are banging in 21 goals at their current rate of 2.1 goals per game.

    We need to be going into every game almost certain we’re going to score at least one goal. That’s the level. But we’re far from that this season and it needs addressed.

  88. Cazorla

    And I’m still sucking on your mummies now.

    Apparent long time supporter but will be done with the club next season if you don’t get what you want. Ok son

  89. Kroenkephobe

    Right now, the Club are moving forward in the right direction. The Kroenkes seem to have finally cottoned on

    Seriously mate, are you out of your mind? Or worse, are you Mark Gonnella? I agree with absolutely nothing you write about the club and I’m not sure many others do.

    Do you actually have links with the club establishment because you sound like their spokesman. Cmon mate, what’s the story here? I don’t dispute your right to say what you say but what’s the backstory? Your credibility is in question.

  90. andy1886

    Mr Serge, quite honestly it’d be best if they just cancelled the competition at this point. Of the four Madrid are possibly least dispicable but even then they’re running a club that is effectively bankrupt.

  91. Mr Serge

    Andy yep the richest clubs go through most times let’s say we won the EL how the hell would we compete with the top 16 teams. In the competition? We would be humiliated

  92. Guns of SF

    If RM is wanting Mbappe, for a lot of cash, they might sell us Ode… I mean RM is not loaded with money either.

    Not that I am pining for Ode. I still am on the fence…
    I still have not moved from

    Both would add much to our midfield/ wing

  93. Batistuta

    Lol at posters crying about oil money, not like you support some poor club that hasn’t spent any money in years while appointing rookie managers to stink the place out

  94. Buzzy

    This is why managers like Pep or Arteta will never be considered great. They like to tinker with things too much so that the spotlight is on them. Playing false 9 is a useless outdated philosophy that doesnt work against strong defenders. City just dont have a focal point up top. Great managers like Fergie always kept things simple and effective.

  95. Mr Serge

    Batis are you saying that we are financially doped lol financially stripped or starved you should say we only spend what we make
    The issue here is we have been buying badly for years

  96. Batistuta


    Thought he has Aguero for again and Jesus OK the bench, can’t see why he’s still rolling with the false 9 crap or does he think he’s playing Burnley or Newcastle

  97. Batistuta


    I’m saying we’ve spent so much money on dross that if properly spent would have us at least competing with the big teaks and not preparing for another season in the Europa league or one out of Europe altogether. I’m saying we’re not as poor as is been made out

  98. MidwestGun

    Sup? How y’all today… ? missed the first half.. but not surprised by the score. Saw Neymar’s dive… Ill give it a 8.4… good execution but too much splash on entry.

    Just read Pedro’s post.. don’t know about everyone else but Auba and Laca being healthy actually makes me worry more about the match tomorrow, not make me feel better..
    Screams Auba left… and Laca Middle… repeat if they both can play. And don’t know why Pedro keeps thinking Martinelli will start …. he usually does not. Wishful thinking, I guess.

  99. Ishola70

    “PSG look the strongest team left in the competition, tipping them to win it really”

    Not been that impressed by their overall team play in this game so far tbh but as far as individuals are concerned they are already winners of the CL.