RECOGNISING WHAT MATTERS

by .

Several years ago I did the Emirates stadium tour . Our host was the inimitable Charlie George and he was a delight to chat to, Charlie is almost an exact contemporary of mine and I was telling him a story about pre-season training in the summer of 1971 in a local park. I noticed all the boys around me playing football and on scoring, falling to the ground in an imitation of Charlie’s iconic celebration at Wembley a couple of months earlier . He smiled at this and one of our group asked him how well he knew the current team ( this was around the summer of 2014 ) . Charlie looked back a little forlornly and said ‘ Nobody in that dressing room has a clue who I am ‘. It stunned our group because Charlie George was, we thought, a special figure in Arsenal history and even very much younger players would appreciate his place in the history of the club, particularly as he was an Arsenal ambassador, who appeared at the club regularly . But Charlie was clearly sincere and mentioned that when he did see any of the current team they walked straight past him .

Does that matter ? Many people reading this may not realise who Charlie is and what he and his teammates did for the club but in May 1971 Arsenal will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the first of three League and Cup doubles that we have recorded. It was a VERY big deal fifty years ago. Arsenal had emerged from a barren period of 17 years with no silverware by winning the Fairs Cup in 1970. The following season they mounted a challenge for the League and Cup which also encompassed a Fairs Cup defence that saw them attacked in the street after an official banquet by Lazio players and a League Cup campaign. That season they played 64 games on pitches that were mudheaps in winter and barren deserts in spring .

On the website www.Goonerholicsforever.com we are commemorating the Double triumph and at the same time trying to raise money for the Willow Foundation . Willow is the charity that was set up by Bob Wilson the goalkeeper of that Double team and his wife Megs to mark the death of their daughter Anna from a rare form of cancer at the age of 32. It seeks to provide special experiences for terminally ill people or those receiving palliative care aged between 18-40 . Please visit the site in May and try to donate or enter our online auction for memorabilia signed by members of the team. I’ve known Bob for a number of years and he is the go-to person for radio and tv when they want to discuss Arsenal, Arsene Wenger or goalkeeping in general . He was the person the club chose to host Wenger’s leaving presentation in 2018 . If there is a better candidate for ‘ Mr Arsenal ‘ I’ve yet to meet him and had the Arsenal board co-opted an ex-player onto the board there could not have been many better choices. As part of our commemoration on GF we’ve recorded a couple of podcasts with Bob and Pat Rice who was the right-back in the Double side , captain of the Cup winners in 1979 and of course assistant to Arsenal Wenger until 2012 . What story did they have to tell and why does it still matter now ? 

Before beginning to tell you, Let me tell you I’m 70 and have supported Arsenal since 1958. I’ve seen well over 1500 games and my family support spans five generations from a grandfather who watched Arsenal play at Woolwich to a grandson of 11 who loves the club too. I went to around twenty games at Highbury in that double season but played myself on Saturdays so most of the games I saw were in midweek. I did get to some London away games too. Beginning that season Arsenal had a bit of momentum having just won the Fairs Cup although there were no incomings in the close season. There was no transfer window then but the side had several injuries. Jon Sammels missed several early games and Peter Simpson one of the finest defenders never to play for England was seriously injured too. In the first game at Everton Charlie George broke his leg in scoring the first equaliser in a 2-2 draw, a very decent result as Everton were the reigning champions . The side started the season well despite having to make many changes . Peter Storey joined Eddie Kelly and George Graham in midfield. John Roberts a giant Welshman replaced Simpson and Ray Kennedy joined John Radford in a two-pronged attack. Kennedy had scored the away goal that effectively won Arsenal the Fairs Cup but was very inexperienced. He and Radford notched 50 goals between them in the Double season. The season began with a series of very good results and few defeats . Arsenal were unbeaten at home all season ( remember what that feels like ?!) in the League and were a very well-organised defensive side. Talk to any of those players and they attribute this to the coaching of Don Howe although they do recognise the organisational ability of Bertie Mee (my pen name on Le Grove!) who was a foil to Howe who had been a top- class defender. I had expected the team’s form to dip but they were consistent away from home and produced a set of excellent performances coming into Christmas. The one exception was a 5-0 thrashing at Stoke who were a very high-quality outfit then. Think Tony Waddington not Tony Pulis! 

It was a time when the identity of future champions was hard to work out. Everton were champions but we thrashed them 4-0 at Highbury. Chelsea had just won the Cup and played some stylish football. Liverpool were an emerging force and Manchester City were a side full of attacking flair ( although we beat them twice at Maine Road that season). Spurs won the League Cup and eventually finished third. But the favourites were Leeds. They were the toughest competitors and the best football team in the country but had a tendency to fall at the last hurdle . But they emerged as our biggest rival as we emerged into the New Year, trailing a few points behind them ( and there were only two points for a win ).

When the cup campaign began in January we were given away draws in every round. Yeovil were not a serious problem but we needed a tight replay to dispose of Portsmouth then produced a superb display to beat Manchester City with the restored Charlie George scoring two spectacular goals. At that moment the press began to talk about the possibility of a double. Arsenal had stayed in touch in the League but trailed Leeds by 7 points. Fortunately we began a brilliant league run which saw us claw back that lead until a Saturday in April when Leeds and Arsenal were both at home. We played Newcastle and Leeds played West Brom another side who had tremendous attacking power ( although we had beaten them 6-2 at Highbury in September ). Arsenal clinched victory through a late George thunderbolt. Leeds meanwhile were on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat where the referee had allowed a demonstrably offside goal by Jeff Astle to count . We were top of the league heading for the finish !

Stoke reared their head again in the Cup semi-final at Hillsborough. The first half was a disaster. A deflection off their captain gave them a fluke first goal and a George back pass fell short for Ritchie to round the stranded Wilson for their second. In the second half Peter Storey , one of the toughest players in Arsenal history saw a deflected shot cut the arrears and then in the last minute he was tasked with taking a penalty kick to save the match after Stoke’s Mahoney had dived full-length to save a Mclintock header. Storey’s kick was one of the worst I’ve ever seen but Gordon Banks probably the best keeper in the world then had his weight on the wrong foot and it crept in. Stoke were crushed mentally and lost the replay 2-0.

In the league we suffered a desperately late reverse at Leeds which put them back into contention but we went into the last week of the season needing to win our last three games to clinch the Double . We beat Stoke in a nervy game at home 1-0 and then on the Monday travelled to White Hart Lane for our last game . To do justice to the atmosphere of that game and to see how events unfolded do check Goonerholics Forever in early May . I was locked out of the ground in common with 60,000 other people . We needed to win or draw 0-0 to take the title because of goal difference. A Ray Kennedy header with minutes to go gave us victory after a titanic battle on a night when more people were locked out than got into White Hart Lane. The vast majority were Arsenal fans .

We went to Wembley on the Saturday as champions and produced a really solid performance. It was 0-0 at 90 minutes although we had dominated but an early Heighway goal in extra time looked likely to break our hearts. Then a very strange goal which to this day has not been definitively attributed to Kelly or George Graham ( who was outstanding on the day ) brought us level and Charlie George scored with a superb drive in the second half to clinch the Cup and the Double and trigger that iconic celebration. Again the GF account will give you all the drama from the players and some of us lucky enough to be there.

When I was talking to Bob a few weeks ago I told him that as the team were running towards us at Wembley before the start I had a concern that having won the league that would be enough for them. I asked Bob if that had ever occurred to them and the look on his face made it very clear that it never crossed their minds. Frank Mclintock one of the great figures in Arsenal history and a captain still revered by his surviving team mates had lost four times at Wembley. The team were all desperate to win for him and for fans starved of domestic success for so long. But above all they were great competitors and to me they were heroes. And win they did .

As I reflected on the question I asked Bob I realised what a 2021 attitude that is. Arsenal has never had a tougher , more committed team than that one. It has had many better football teams but never one I can remember trusting more to hold a lead . Those players , those that survive, as Armstrong that tireless winger and Roberts have died , and many others are in poor health, deserve to be recognised and as we wade through the squalid detritus of the ESL it is poignant to reflect on a team that achieved great glory but whose players are not recognised by lesser players of the current era. That’s a metaphor for football that doesn’t reflect well on our game .

That week in May was one of the very best of my Arsenal – supporting life. The day after the Final 750.000 people thronged the streets of North London and the club celebrated an achievement only accomplished once before in modern football history at that time . When you are 70 you look back much more than you look forward especially when your club is owned by Stan Kroenke . I look back with pride and satisfaction and a sense that what we had achieved was very special. And it remains special fifty years on .

Authored by Peter Le Beaum (Bertie Mee in the comments)

Please visit www.goonerholicsforever.com to see our Double commemoration in association with the Willow Foundation from May 3rd – 8th .

 

729 Responses to “RECOGNISING WHAT MATTERS”

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  1. Dissenter

    I miss Wenger
    Wenger would have put a player like Azzeez in the match day squad and put him on when they game was all but won.
    A youngster would be subbed in instead of Partey, that’s what Wenger would have done.

  2. IQ

    Unless we’re behind we play so negative. Always passing back for the safe pass. Arteta is more Mourinho than Pep.

  3. vickingz

    I honestly dunno what to make of these guys, without our wingers, then no balls to our cf. Martinelli was almost the only source through which we were attacking from the wing relaying balls to Auba but since auba is off and martinelli now the cf, there’s no balls played to him as a cf. This coach offers nothing, quite honestly.

  4. sly

    much improved performance
    Arsenal should smash villareal on thursday
    will be 50/50 for the finals
    Even if we win EL Arteta should be sacked after the finals
    that’s what a big club would do

  5. Leedsgunner

    Ceballos is the definition of average, what a dull player.

    Arteta will be raving about him. It would not surprise me in the least if he tries to buy him instead of Odegaard.

  6. Gonsterous

    Great win, martinelli what a performance. Huge confident booster for the squad. Xhaka played well but this shouldn’t give arteta a reason to play him at LB against Villarreal again.

    Newcastle look like a terrible side, saint maximan feels like pepe, great talent, little end product (though pepe seems to be changing that)

  7. Habesha Gooner

    My man of the match is unsurprisingly Martinelli. He was a constant threat down the left. He is rough for a winger but he has moments of quality and a general desire and hunger that make it worth it to play him there. But as a striker he will be a beast in my opinion. What a cross for the assist too. He has been horribly mismanaged.

    Other than that this was a dead rubber win. Auba will be better of on Thursday. Ryan and Elneny did well too. And the real test is then for Arteta. I don’t think he is the right manager for us anymore but whether he keeps his job is dependent on Thursday. Lose and he must be fired.

  8. China1

    Martinelli stand out today

    You have to seriously give him credit

    it takes a fantastic character to be talked up as a once in a 100 years talent at 18 years old, then get a long term injury. then get cunted off for a few months by the manager. then come back, finally start and be the best player on the pitch

    just well done to him seriously. the contrast with Willian was so fucking stark

    I love that Martinelli just plays with so much energy and guts. not everything comes off but he’s relentless and most of it does. with him it always feels like a matter of time in the match before he gets a goal or assist because he keeps on going. in that sense he reminds me of Sanchez who although he was different, was also relentless and never stopped taking risks until he got what he wanted. in a team full of boring safe players that’s such a standout and enjoyable quality to see

  9. China1

    yeah gazza. Ceballos could be a very good (though not elite player) but his mind is elsewhere and he’s never going to make it at this level let alone Real Madrid. he will have a career at a middling Spanish team like Villareal imo. that’s his level because I don’t think he’s hungry enough to make it at a better club

  10. China1

    Ceballos belongs at Betis/sociedad/villareal.

    I’m 100% sure he will spend a handful of years at one or more of these teams and probably no one better

  11. Tony

    Xhaka lucky not to see red not that it would have mattered Newcastle were that poor.

    Willian and Ceballos huff and puff a lot but offer very little.

    Luiz hammy pull could be a blessing if he can’t play Thursday.

    A much needed win to go forward with, so happy with that.

  12. Habesha Gooner

    China
    Exactly. I think it is part of the reason he doesn’t play under Arteta. Arteta thinks he is Guardiola. And he thinks we can pass it forever until we can pick one defense splitting pass. He prefers players that protect the ball much more than a risky attacking player. That is why pepe and Martinelli have been on the periphery for much of the season. He prefers William for the same reason eventhough he doesn’t do anything of note in an attacking sense. He just keeps the ball. ESR Odegaard and Saka protect the ball. But they have more than that too.

    But he likes Elneny and Xhaka because they complete a higher percentage of their passes. I feel Martinelli and Pepe would have thrived under Wenger. I like the hunger of Martinelli just like Sanchez. He goes on and on until it comes off for him. That may be why Arteta doesn’t like him. But he doesn’t seem to understand that there are special players that you need to make an exception for. I don’t think he is the right guy to take us forward.

  13. Elmo

    Martinelli Auba Saka for me up top. Between those two wing forwards getting in behind and disrupting the defence, there’s enough to make Auba relevant as sole CF. Pepe off the bench.

    Xhaka Partey ESR.

    Cedric and Bellerin at full back. Not 100% on CBs because it’s always changing from match to match so still don’t know the best partnership, but think we’re playing on the front foot on Thursday, so faster CBs in Gabriel and Chambers to cover the counter.

  14. TheLegendaryDB10

    Happy with the win.

    Good goals.

    But to be honest, this was not a good game overall. Newcastle weren’t that threatening and very poor in the final third.

    Elneny did well in midfield. Xhaka did not get sent off. And hopefully that goal will wake Auba up a bit for Thursday.

  15. China1

    martinelli is a player who gets bums off seats. arsenal have had so few of those since Sanchez left it’s been absolutely miserable for the most part

    one would think with Martinelli, esr, Saka and Pepe there is all the dynamism, trickery and explosiveness we will need. Partey is good enough (but needs to hurry up and settle ffs). so really we’re good a great CM away from having a very interesting midfield and attack. I also think we have enough quality and potential in CB (though a lot of it is young, work in progress and still learning). Tierney is the level we need. Ryan looks like a solid backup keeper.

    so imo the first 11 issues the squad has are:

    Partey needs a real partner
    We don’t have any elite or elite potential RBs
    Tierney is injury prone and we have passable backup but would be good to push him more with a player closer to his level
    Leno is not good enough

    that’s 5 players I think we need. + I’d like us to get competition for ESR as I don’t want him getting burnt out, so 6 maybe.

    I doubt we can afford great quality in so many positions, but if we can get a first team quality CM and RB this summer and some smart bargains for the rest I’ll take that.

  16. Tony

    China1
    Martinelli’s cross for Auba’s goal was as perfect as it gets.

    Good character not allowing Arteta’s pettiness affect him. Looks like he has the right advisors.

  17. Valentin

    China1,

    Some people when underestimated will have fire inside to prove you wrong, some will will just sulk. Martinelli may be the first type and Ceballos the second.

    So IMHO it’s not an issue of being hungry enough but more to how people respond to challenge in life. Both think that they should be in the team, but Arteta ignores them. Martinelli knuckles down and works even harder in training session to force his way in the team. Ceballos got frustrated, gets into fight with teammates, make it known that he does not want to come back. In short he sulks.

    One channel his inner rage, frustration positively, then other negatively.

    The added difference is that while by sheer willpower and hard work Martinelli forced his way into contention, Ceballos performances do not warrant his inclusion in the starting 11.

  18. Valentin

    China1,

    We need:

    + A tall striker who can play with his back toward goal. A Giroud like to act when play Plan B and go longer

    + A dynamic, agile central midfielder who play as a mix between a 6 and a 8. Somebody who can defend but also make forward passes.

    + A tricky dribbling winger. If Saka is permanently repositioned on the right, then we need a left winger, if he stays on the left then a right winger. I was hoping that Reiss Nelson would make the step up, but clearly Arteta did not give him an opportunity to claim the position.

    + A goalkeeper who is more than just a shot-stopper. Today Ryan made some good high ball catch, but he was also a little bit loose in his sweeper keeper role.

    + A leftback understudy.

  19. Arsnil

    “I think [Dani Ceballos] was really good again and he showed the character he has to play.”
    Arteta post match interview. I kid you not!!!

  20. Danny

    Arteta again win stupid subs, bringing on Partey, what the fuck for?
    Thankfully Auba got rid of the hair do!

  21. Dolomite

    Arteta is slowly becoming a hate figure for me…. this suckering up to underperforming and lazy players is really starting to wind me up.

    First it was Willian, now its Ceballos who is blatantly SHIT.

  22. Guns of SF

    Ahhh
    Great start to Sunday… having my morning joe and seeing us beat up Newcastle.. a nice way to start the day.

    The protests are getting tons of coverage here… including a 15 minute split screen play by play of what was happening during the Arsneal game. How annoying but at the same time, very interesting to see…

    KSE should take notice…I get the feeling they will eventually sell.

  23. China1

    valentin I don’t think we need a winger

    Saka, Pepe, Martinelli, ESR are all good on the wings (I’m assuming one or both of Auba and Laca are staying and competing up front)

    We also have some squaddies like Nelson if he stays and a couple of others who can make up numbers maybe. If we buy a quality winger, we’ll have other quality wingers on the bench. this should be one of our lowest priority positions imo

    fix the positions where we’re average before you look at improving where we’re good imo

  24. TheLegendaryDB10

    I was about to add something about Marinelli but China’s post @ May 2, 2021    16:11:53 says it all.

    This is why I like him. He is always pushing forward trying to create something or like in this game you could see him trying to pass/ cross the ball to Auba. That assist for Auba’ s goal is a clear example of this.

    I hope the Arteta keep’ s them playing together on Thursday.

  25. China1

    val I don’t disagree that Ceballos channels his feelings badly but it’s worse than that because he’s been playing quite regularly for a good handful of weeks now. not like it’s his first full game in ages like Martinelli.

    Ceballos hasn’t even been playing well and he’s still got this annoying swagger going on. whatever his problem is resides in his head one way or the other and he’ll never cut it at this level for a prolonged career

  26. MidwestGun

    Man United idiot fans pretty much ruined any protests for everyone So now it looks like instead of serious protests against bad owners… it’s just a bunch of violent dickheads with nothing worth saying… the media is already playing up that angle.

  27. MidwestGun

    And it cheapens all the other Club protests too. Makes it look like dissident splinter groups leading protests.. against mainly the ESL.. when that is not our issue at all.

  28. Pierre

    Martinelli did as well as could be expected considering our left back rarely crossed the half way line to create space and put doubt in the defender’s mind with the overlap.

    Martinelli therefore had to always go on the outside of the full back , which is not his strongest side, but nonetheless he managed to skin the full back a few times and attempt the cross/cut back with his weaker foot…

    A mature performance from Martinelli who is learning when to commit defenders and when to keep it simple, and his assist had to be the perfect pace and the perfect direction in the corridor of uncertainty..

    Would probably just give him man of the match along with Gabriel who had a very composed game
    The crucial test for Gabriel in the future will be when he plays in games with meaning and keeps his cool in the big games.

  29. Foxy

    Pierre the LB didn’t happen to be Xhaka by any chance – worse for a winger to play ahead of than even Bellerin

  30. Valentin

    China1,

    Martinelli and ESR are not wingers, they can do a job against mediocre defensive fullbacks, but will come unstuck against proper fullbacks. ESR does not the pace to take a player in a 1v1.

    I wrote that Ceballos performances did not warrant a place in the starting eleven. So like you said watching him sulking about his treatment when he did not had it as bad as Martinelli grates. However to me that is on Arteta. His man management and squad rotation is so poor that he has successfully alienated most of the younger ones (Martinelli, AMN, Willock, Reiss, …) and started to do so with some of the older ones as well.

  31. Rich

    Kronkephobe

    For someone who claims to not enjoy reading my posts, you call me out an awful lot

    The words “Rent Free” spring to mind

    Go crawl back inside your safe space, make sure you keep yourself safe from words and opinions that differ to your own

    My wife said she’s not surprised some Marxist wants what someone else has work for, without putting in any graft to earn it (her words, not mine)

    She is a Geordie though, so she’s not in the best of moods after that Newcastle performance…..

  32. Valentin

    The games was so boring. Knowing that Arsenal had nothing at stake, Arteta could have used the game to experiment and give a chance to the some members of the U21 team.

    Also unless he intend to play Cedric at left back, playing Xhaka in that game was taking an unnecessary risk.

    Also that game convinced me that for all the good things said about Ödegaard, I do not see what he brings to the team that would warrant paying the extortionate fees that Real Madrid will demand for him. Tidy, but powder puff player.

  33. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s be quite frank Newcastle are a very poor side on today’s performance and I don’t think
    that we learned anything new about the players selected.

    However, the two positives in today’s selections are that Elneny is defensively a much better
    player than Ceballos and should be picked for Thursday’s game if Xhaka has to play left back.

    Second Martinelli needs to get more game time. He showed enough today that he is probably
    our best left wing. The cross he produced for second goal was outstanding and he was a
    problem for Newcastle throughout the game.

    I must confess that I was not impressed with Ryan. Rather like Leno I think that the way he
    plays he has a mistake in him. .

  34. China1

    val Martinelli himself has said he prefers playing on the wing. I also don’t see why he will be incapable of doing well against good fullbacks. he has pace to burn, decent feet, is willing to cut inside to shoot or go wide and put in crosses and he’s only 19. he’s got plenty in his arsenal

    ESR isn’t a winger and doesn’t sprint much as per his style but was absolutely roasting his man when he last played on the wing and with great pace as well. depending on if we have other options like Ode playing at 10, he is absolutely an option on the left even though I agree that shouldn’t be his standard position

    but we have Pepe anyway

  35. Time up

    You could not make it up…..

    Arsene Wenger talking in beIN sport saying, you can’t stop business spending as much as ch as they want if they want to grow like Aston Villa and Everton, the fair play should not stop them lol.

    Now he’s working for the owner of the PSG TV channel, he changed his tone.

  36. Habesha Gooner

    I think we lack a proper midfield and a Coach in order to progress. We have a lot of the pieces in our team. And a lot of it is due to the amount of high potential youngsters in our team. But we have some senior players that are crap and some salvageable. If we had the right manager then we will totally be progress over the course of next season. CM, CAM (Odegaard if possible), RB and backup LB and Backup Keeper (Ryan is okay) is what we need to prioritize. After that depending on who moves out we would need a decent replacement. Apart from Lacazette and Nketiah where we already have too many options. I wouldn’t mind a Left winger to replace them. Auba Martinelli and Balogun is a nice mixture for the CF role. We should cancel willian’s contract if possible.

  37. Dissenter

    I wish there was a way to keeo Guendouzi in the club but Arteta has burned that bridge
    Ceballos was more disruptive yet he never punished him

    Like Habesha tatted, we have some very good pieces like Saliba and just need a coach that has a track record of promoting youthful players to come in and take over the project.

    Arteta has no clue
    When the game was all bit won at Leeds, he brought in Auba rather that a youngster like Martinelli
    Today this dead rubber match was all but gone, why bring on Partey when it could have been a special moment for a youngster.

  38. Tom

    Midwest
    The United fans not the only dickheads here.
    What the fuck were the NBC doing with the split screen bs showing a bunch of fucking morons walking around the empty OT pitch during an actual Arsenal game is beyond ridiculous.

    If I wanted to see a bunch of dipshits storm a building I’d rewind the Capitol riots.

  39. Sid

    If it was upto me a few water canons, police dogs, tear gas, batons probably rubber bullets would have solved the incident at OT

  40. MidwestGun

    Tom-
    NBC was putting the full on hype treatment to the stadium incident.. sounds like what went on outside the stadium was worse.. bottles being thrown.. and some violence on the police. But like I said now all the coverage will be about that.. instead of the main issues. The way Arsenal fans went about it last week was the right way…. but leave it to the Mancs to be idiots.

    And yeah I thought the length of time NBC spent on it during our match was dumb… cover it sure but not for a half hour when our match was playing.

  41. Nelson

    Martinelli is currently much more suitable to play LW. As a #9, you have to be aware of where is the opponent behind you and use the body to protect the ball. He still has a lot to learn to be a striker.

  42. Rich

    I’d like us to sign Odegaard, brilliant player, with the potential to become something special

    I like Buendia, but he’s always played from the right for Norwich, would be a risk that he could adapt to the central position

    We’ve invested big money on Pepe + Willian the past 2 summers, only for Saka to nail down the right side

    I’d love Pedro Neto, but this would be decent enough, particularly if we’ve got no European football

    Odegaard, Smith-Rowe
    Saka, Willian
    Martinelli, Pepe
    Aubameyang, Balogun

    If we could sell Lacazette, Nketiah, Nelson, put that towards paying for Odegaard

    Renew Willock’s contract and loan him out somewhere he’ll play every week, then aim for him to replace Willian in 12 months time

  43. Guns of SF

    Martinelli needs to gain more strength to be a striker in the prem.
    HIs strength is his movement, and coming from the wing allows more running and cutting…
    But lets see…. he is a great athlete and can learn I am sure

  44. Guns of SF

    We really should be looking at 2 CM this summer.
    TP has a bad injury record this season and he aint getting any younger…

    BIssouma ok for one… and another pure B2B ….

    Get in Buendia- he can fit in the midfield as well….

    No to Ode… not for that money.

  45. Guns of SF

    ESR too, bad injury record. Need Buendia as a good option too.
    I think we cannot think that both TP and ESR will not be injured next season for stretches of games

  46. Tom

    “NBC was putting the full on hype treatment to the stadium incident.”

    Yea, I’d be shocked if Arlo White doesn’t win some sort courage in journalism medal for his frontline reporting of the OT invasion.

  47. S23

    Fantastic to get a win after Thursday’s horror show.
    Would have liked to see more of the youngsters given a run out,especially as Ceballos and Ode will not be here next year(hopefully in the case of Ceballos).
    Willian is still stealing a living,but Elneny played very well,and why does the coach still persist with Xhaka at LB,when Cedric is sat on the bench,counting off the days of his 4 year contract.
    I was quite impressed with Ryan,especially claiming high balls.
    Overall I am off to enjoy the rare winning feeling that has been missing for a while.

  48. Nelson

    Now that Manure has to fit in another game in the next three weeks before the cup final. It is a high profile game against the Pools. The problem is that we have to advance to the final to take advantage of that.

  49. Sid

    ‘Researchers found the average staying power for Geordie fellas was 24 minutes… while it was 13 in the South East’

    @Rich, what you do with this information is up to you.

  50. Rich

    Depends if we’re in Europe or not

    It’s a lot easier to build team cohesion, and keep our players fit, if we play Sat – Sat, rather than Sun – Thurs – Sun

    I’d much rather be in Europe, but you’d have to think we’ll get less strains, if the workload and recovery periods are extended

  51. Almuniasaynomore

    I think someone asked this question earlier in the week but if it was answered I missed it. If utd beat arsenal in an El final having already qualified for the Cl through their league position what happens to the Cl place on offer for winning the El? Negative mentality I know but it does include the premise of arsenal being in the final!.
    China,
    I’m late in the day but my condolences to you .

    Kroenkephobe,
    Welcome back,hope you got things sorted in Spain, your swashbuckling with Rich was the inevitable outcome of Spanish bureaucracy I’d say, sid loved it anyway. Wasn’t Bertie’s article brilliant, I’d say you were strolling down memory lane there. Keep meaning to ask you,what’s the locals take on Mick McCarthy,would they like to see him get another season?

  52. Pierre

    Rich
    Playing in the Europa group stages allows the manager to experiment with younger players , give game time to non starters in the prem and play any players returning from injury..

    Up until christmas, fatigue is a poor excuse unless playing in the champions league…

    In other words , we have failed miserably to compete for the title with no champions league to distract us, and that includes Wenger’s last year.

  53. MidwestGun

    Almunia if United win and qualify for the CL through the league then French League gets an extra team in. Or the 3rd place team of the 5th ranked league… basically..
    According to Uefa.com and my google brain.

  54. PhD2020

    Got to give credit where credit is due to the Manure fans..

    Not suffering fools gladly..Making that stand known, albeit in small numbers.
    Wish the bend over, take it up the jacksy, spineless, upstart Arsenal merchants could find a backbone to suck it to Silent Stan..

    But no, we are classy, we are the Arsenal, we are the biggest club supposedly and historically in London…Chelsea with two Europa Cups ,one CL Cup, six FA Cups,three League Cups,might have shifted that balance of power over the last decade, versus Arsenal’s-two EPL’s,seven FA Cups and zilch/zero European cups over the same time period..

    Go figure…

    The northerners seem to have more gumption than their southern counterparts, when it comes to making a stand, based on principal, rather than on acceptance of mediocrity and/or stasis..

    Claps all around on my part.Fair play.

  55. Dela Mere

    Pierre

    Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions league first round knockout stages for 7 straight years so no excuses for not competing for the title due to weariness.

  56. Pierre

    Guns of sf
    “Martinelli needs to gain more strength to be a striker in the prem.”

    Let’s hope he is a jamie Vardy type striker , if so we need to play to Martinelli’s strengths as Leicester do with Vardy.
    Trying to make Martinelli into something he isn’t is futile..

    My fear is that he is more a Miguel Almiron than a Vardy.

    That’ll make the natives restless.

  57. Almuniasaynomore

    MidwestGun
    Thank you for that. It was a forlorn hope yet still felt more tangible than Arsenal actually winning the thing. Ok , time to take the out the optimism inducing meditation tape (pubs are still closed).

  58. Pierre

    Rich
    “I’d like us to sign Odegaard, brilliant player, with the potential to become something special”

    I think it was TR7 who said Odegaard has a similar game to Ozil ….of which I agree.

    The problem is , it’s not the prime Ozil which is similar , it’s the Ozil of the last few years I’m afraid…

    If I was to choose between Smith Rowe and Odegaard, it would be Smith Rowe all day long, as the game comes alive when Smith Rowe receives the ball on the half turn in the final third ….you get the feeling that something is going to happen , at the moment I don’t get that feeling with Odegaard when he is on the ball , though of course he is coming back from injury .

  59. Rich

    Odegaard was brilliant against Spurs, West Ham and when he came on against Leicester

    We need more than one attacking midfielder, this season we played until Boxing Day without a fit or registered attacking midfielder, and it really wasn’t pretty

    For Arsenal to be in a position where one injury to Smith-Rowe can ruin us from an attacking perspective, really isn’t healthy

    Odegaard + Smith-Rowe can play together, particularly if Tierney plays on the outside of Smith-Rowe

    Odegaard or Smith-Rowe is the type of problem we want, direct competition for places is healthy

  60. Venga, Dani

    Seeing Buendia on here again. Seems like he wont exactly be coming on the cheap, yeah? 30 million maybe? It was great when you could pick up gems from relegation teams (andrew robertson, wijnaldum, etc) but man city had to fork up a lot for Nathan Ake and Everton didnt exactly get Doucoure on the cheap either

  61. Venga, Dani

    Habesha GoonerMay 2, 2021 16:37:15
    Funny that Eriksen in his first full season away from Tottenham in about 8 years has a league winners Medal. It is like the jokes write themselves.
    —————–

    You LOVE to see it

  62. Habesha Gooner

    “My fear is that he is more a Miguel Almiron than a Vardy.”

    Wow, this is just horrible pierre. Just because you made a rash comment a year ago doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. Martinelli is more almoron than vardy???

    Everytime he has played a significant amount of minutes during a match, he has had end product. Almiron is criticized for not having end product. It is like you are hoping he fails just so you are proved you were right about your take on him. It is really pitiful from a supposed supporter.

  63. Almuniasaynomore

    Dani,
    The thing with Buendia that concerns me is that I cant remember a single example of a promoted club selling their best player the summer they got promoted. No research done,granted, can you? And your right about the price,even if they were willing to sell he would be expensive. I haven’t seen enough of him to know if he’s worth it but have not heard anyone say anything negative about him.

  64. Habesha Gooner

    Venga
    I think Matheus Pereira and Zambo anguissa are like wijnaldum and Robertson. Very capable of playing at a really high level in a relegation team. If we don’t get Odegaard or buendia, I would go for Pereira. Anguissa would be a great pick for reasonable price at CM too now Fulham are also getting relegated.

  65. Rich

    Almiron is 27

    Newcastle
    Games – 87
    Goals – 13
    Assists – 5

    Goal or assist every 371 minutes

    Martinelli is 19
    Games – 44
    Goals – 11
    Assists – 6

    Goal or assist every 128 minutes

  66. Nelson

    Pierre

    Arteta’s preferred attacking system consists of two wingers and a striker. Vardy type of striker would not fit into Arteta’s system.

    I also prefer ESR as #10 than Ode. The overall attack is faster.

    Today, Martinelli played the LW without the support of a LB. Imagine if Saka is the LB and teams up with Martinelli, it would be very difficult to stop.

  67. Venga, Dani

    @Almunia – yeah good point. He really is their best player too. Only thing I could think of would be that Buendia agreed to stay when they went down so maybe there’s some goodwill towards him from mgmt. Imagine if we had gone for him instead of the geriatric willian last summer….

    @Habesha – I haven’t seen enough of those guys to really know. Wasn’t Pereira on United’s books for ages?

  68. Habesha Gooner

    Venga
    It is not the same Pereira. Who you are referring to is Andrea’s Pereira who isn’t good enough for teams below us. Checkout Matehus Pereira on YouTube if you have got a chance. He is the reason westbrom even stayed in the premier league for this long. Zambo anguissa is like the diaby we never had. Elegant dribbler and a very vertical and progressive passer. But he is not a controller like Xhaka. Both would help and wouldn’t cost a lot considering their teams are getting relegated.

  69. Kroenkephobe

    ‘Researchers found the average staying power for Geordie fellas was 24 minutes… while it was 13 in the South East’

    Sid

    Rich uses the Conservative party method – in-out, repeat if necessary.

    Talking of which Boris Johnson was happy to shell out 850 quid the other day cos he thought it was the price of schtupping a whore called Anna Glypta….. Turns out it was some rather overpriced wall paper.

  70. The BFB

    I’ve just about had enough. In a game that meant nothing against a pathetic Newcastle side, instead of giving fringe players such as Azeez, Balogun and Nelson game time, we had to endure a midfield of Willian, Ceballos and Elneny ; not one of those three should have a future at our once-great club. As for Odegaard, his ball control is excellent but, unlike Saka and Smith Rowe, he doesn’t make things happen. He can’t dribble, won’t shoot and, instead of looking for a defence-splitting pass, prefers the easy option of a simple sideways five or ten yarder. It’s so annoying because he has the ability to do so much better. Then there’s Martinelli. Time and time again Arteta refuses to pick him. And then, just four days before the most important game of the season, he gives him 90 minutes and he receives an injury. I really fear for our club when the manager commits blunder after blunder and never learns from his mistakes. Being a gooner has never been so frustrating.

  71. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia

    Hiya mate. I’m now officially quarantining after 3 frenetic days negotiating European airports and Catalan bureaucracy. Ever had a pcr test? – not as bad as a barium meal (whatever that is) but having a cotton bud scraped over your tonsils and then same cotton bud stuck up your hooter ain’t pleasant. Twice! Ms Kphobe and I have to do two more tests on each other tmrw and 6 days later. We’re then gonna party like it’s 1999.

    But… It was worth every minute. I’m now safe in my European home (any clash fans out there? ) and am delighted despite nouveau rich’s typically harsh rhetoric which might possibly make me cry myself to sleep…

    Feels great to be part of the European club again. The other massive upside was missing the team being rogered by Unai and the crew of the yellow submarine. Any news on easing of lockdown on your side of the Irish Sea?

    Today’s game saved more mental anguish but not much else. I thought gh Martinelli was terrific and until he tore his hamstring, Luiz looked assured in his last game for us. What was your take?

    And seeing that manure protest didn’t have me clutching at my pearls either. Let them have at it as far as I’m concerned.

  72. G

    Doesn’t take martinelli off around 70 min up 2-0 in a dead rubber. He gets injured in the 91’Well done Mikel’’’

    Yeh hindsight is a great thing
    ‘’

  73. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia

    I think Mick McCarthy has done a kind of managerial aubameyang in a way. He was initially on a contract with the Bluebirds just til the end of the season. Then proceeded to take them on a 7 game (wow yes 7) unbeaten run and then got an extra two years when some story emerged he was in line for the celtic job. He promptly signed the extension and Cardiff reverted to being awful and went back down the table.

    He has developed little since his long ball heyday of the 90s (80s?) and the football is dire. The problem is there’s no one like John Aldridge or Niall Quinn to bail him out.

    In a nutshell I think the fans in Cardiff are even more displeased than we are with Mikel. To quote Roy Keane, he’s a bollix.

  74. Almuniasaynomore

    Kroenkephobe
    Delighted to hear you’re sorted there, well done. I’ve experienced 2 colonoscopies and I don’t know about the UK but there done sans anaesthetic over here, not a pleasant experience so I don’t envy you the pcr. Still sounds like it’s going to be more than worth it.
    Talking of outdoor dining maybe in july but still no date for pubs reopening,seriously conservative approach, has to work though as public adherence is weakening rapidly.
    Today’s game was a non entity for me, love watching Martinelli, cant understand his exclusion, I still hope that he and gabriel,saliba and of course Saka and Esr will be a tremendous foundation for a bright future. But I really think that Arteta is at the stage where he is actually threatening that future. I’d sacrifice the El to be rid of him,sacrilege I know, but I think he’s alienating players and fans and that damage will far outweigh the benefits of El success. Anyway how far would we go in it with him at the helm? As for financial gain, he’d only waste it.
    Utd fans are my pet hate, no club attracts glory hunters like them,but if their display today sent a small shiver through a few American owners then I’m all for that.
    Watching the snooker at the moment, another sport that hooked me in during the halcyon days of the 80’s. As Bertie’s post reminded me,we were blessed to grow up in an era when sport meant so much, to us and to the players. I hope my young lad gets to experience at least some of the joy I did from sport back in the day.

  75. PhD2020

    Let’s call it for what it is..

    Over a ten year period,this blogger has called it wrong on so many occasions,for so long.How really connected are you?As in,are you any different from other bloggers out there,that claim to have the inside knowledge?That purport to be,in the know how?

    Are you driving traffic?Is there an agenda?Are you being an impartial blogger,calling it as it is?

    Which is it,in all honesty?

    Why do I raise these questions?

    Examples..

    -The in-between with Geoff & Peds(fellow co-bloggers) over Arsene from as far back as 2010.Geoff being a Wenger out, from 2010 onwards,Pedro being a Wenger in,up until six-seven years ago(circa 2013).But Peds,claims this blog(or rather him)was an always Arsene out merchant.A bit out of synch from the reality from my perspective.

    -Then the Steve Bould(2012)-No.2(Pat Rice replacement) appointment..Pedro, heralding this, as the next revolutionary and uplifting appointment,that will take us to the next level.How did that pan out..?All based on inside sources from Peds, that Steve Bould was the man, to make us a force(defensively),whether you agreed with Ped’s opinion or not.It was more of a case,I know more than you from Peds. if you dared to question his narrative.That time was circa-2012.Nothing has changed since then.He knows..You as a commentator, don’t know anything.Check,the time period,if you are in doubt.

    -Almost 10 years ago,we had that narrative drived down our throats from Peds,with the mentality,inside sources and I know more than you mantra.

    Then,we had,how can we replace Arsene as a (legacy)manager,for almost a decade from this blogger.Given that Guardiola(Pep spends too much money) was available in the latter half of Arsene’s twenty year reign..

    Allegri- too defensive and to much money and not within our budget and boring football.

    Nagelsman(snapped up by Bayern).

    Tuchel(snapped up by Chelsea,with one foot in the CL 2021 and a few league titles behind me at previous clubs).

    -Klopp-too Gegen pressing for our liking. and he’s won FA(F..k All),apart from his time at Borrusia.He’s a failed finalist,before his heroics at Liverpool.

    In between all that,Gazidis,lionised as the man to take us forward,by the same blogger(Peds)..But the stumbling block,was Arsene.Once Gazidis,was able to usurp Arsene,now there would be the succession planning implemented and Arsenal as a club would progress,so the story went on this blog for ad infinitum.

    What happened?Arsene left or was diplomatically sacked and Gazidis hot tailed it to Milan(2018)..Peds,failed to call that one too, circa 2018..
    Leaving us in a quagmire..

    Gazidis the mercurial one, championed on this blog,for eternity as it seemed.How can Gazidis do his job well,with a legacy manager(in Arsene) blocking his ambitions(Gazidis) to take us to the next level,to promote and realise his long term vision for the cclub.

    But no inside knowledge on his departure(Gazidis) and the shit show he left behind..

    But we were systemically blitzed with how the Prada based propaganda machine(Le-Grove), extolling the very virtues of how Gazidis was making seismic waves by Peds,and how we were going to be up there challenging with the likes of Bayern,Barca,R.Madrid etc for how many years or decades…And we are talking circa 2014-2018..Result-Gazidis left for AC Milan..And not a word from the blogger about the imminent departure.

    And now,roll forward to 2021,we’ve had you waging a systematic ,propaganda campaign over a circa two year period to promote a rookie(Arteta)with no managerial experience,other than to coach an oil rich financed top tier team as a number two if that at best,based on your contacts and inside knowledge.

    And systematically denigrate a manager for circa 18 months-albeit not to our suiting at Arsenal(Emery),but had some sort of managerial experience,with a European pedigree of winning European cups,all for what purpose versus a rookie with no managerial experience other than his recruitment should based on inside knowledge?

    My question is,what is your overall game?

    To troll and show contempt to your bloggers,whilst driving traffic?
    Or to drive your own narrative and troll regardless..

    Either way,you are making waves(albeit good or bad) and good luck to you in your endeavours.

  76. Pierre

    Rich,
    You know as well as I do that Almiron doesn’t play in the Europa Cup.

    The Premier league is where a player should be judged , you know that .

    Almiron
    Premier league
    Played 84 (inc sub)
    Scored 8
    Assists 3
    Equates to a goal or assist every 7+ appearances

    Martinelli
    Played 38(inc sub)
    Scored 4
    Assists 1
    Equates to a goal or assist every 9+ appearances.

    Martinelli has been a substitute more times and taking games started , Martinelli just about shades it by a fraction.

    Comparing Martinelli to Almiron shouldn’t be regarded as an insult.
    Almiron is playing for a club that struggles to put 2 passes together and yet his figures compare to Martinelli.

    I like Martinelli , but I tend to go with what I see with my own eyes instead of what I want to see, and today I saw a player who really tried to make an impact and in the first half he caused Newcastle problems .
    He faded in the 2nd half and if it wasn’t for his very good assist , I can’t recall him being very influential after half time…

  77. Kroenkephobe

    Almunia

    Yeah me too with the snooker when I’m allowed! I hope Murphy wins – seems like a thoroughly decent bloke even though I read he is a manure fan. The jester from Leicester is just a tad too smooth but he’s probably the favourite. Like you I’m at that stage where every time I see captain black crapping on I feel my inner Victor Meldrew rising. .

    Did you see that incident today in the second half where we kicked that ball out and tets performed some fancy control and gave it straight to a Newcastle player rather than let the ball bounce into the stands. Utterly clueless and becoming more and more annoying. If he’s still in the job by the end of summer and merkin man stan is still pulling the strings, I’ll be an unhappy bunny.

  78. Pierre

    A very good first half though , which should put him on contention for Thursday’s game …personally, I’d like to see him start as we need to press with intensify

  79. Rich

    Pierre

    Martinelli is 19, some of the outrage over his lack of game time has been a storm in a teacup

    Whenever a team isn’t getting results or is playing badly, fans default position is to pin their hopes on an injured player returning, or a player out of the team

    I love the purpose he plays with though, reminds me a bit of Suarez/Alexis

    Always positive, always looks to provide penetration, doesn’t let mistakes get to him, and then just goes again, he’s electric

    In a team as structured and robotic as ours, it’s understandable that fans are clamouring to see a player who’s the antithesis of the way we generally play

    He’s still quite raw in aspects of his game, but I’m confident if he can stay clear of injuries, he’ll develop into a consistent match winner, he looks like a really big talent, with a lot of belief in his own ability

  80. bacaryisgod

    Here’s my theory why Arteta doesn’t seem to like playing young players like Martinelli, Balogun, Azeez and of course Saliba and Guendouzi.

    Phil Foden is the theory.

    Arteta saw Pep holding Foden back even when fans were screaming to play him and the plan seems to have worked perfectly for club, player and probably country. The thing Arteta overlooked is that Pep was holding Foden back from playing regularly in a great City team. We’re the opposite of that. This is the perfect time to give all of our young players a chance.

  81. bacaryisgod

    Listening to the podcast today, Pedro seems to have done a complete about face on Arteta. Nothing wrong with that at all. and it’s refreshing that Pedro is recognizing his error. He hasn’t completely turned on him and he still states that he’s a ‘world-class coach’. Johnny called him out on this and rightly so. Pep was doing ok before Arteta joined City and after Arteta left. He might have potential as a coach but he has to be judged on his Arsenal coaching and not his Man City assistant coaching. There’s nothing world-class about his coaching since he’s been at the club and he’s been Championship class in every other aspect of management.

  82. Almuniasaynomore

    Kroenkephobe
    My dad has never forgiven me for supporting Steve Davis when we had the hurricane Higgins to get behind. We both supported crafty Ken although it has been lean times since then though there is a young guy called Aaron Hill from Cork who is the next great hope. I mention this because I see that Murphy is living in Dublin now. We might have to claim him as one of our own! I think that’s why I am a fan of Selby he is the modern version of Davis.
    I didn’t see that incident today that you referred to but I can’t help but draw the conclusion that Arteta is a man for whom appearance trumps reality. I’m well aware that as fans we have only hearsay, tv footage and gut instinct to go on when judging these guys but I think we’re pretty good at it and for me Arteta has a huge ego which dominates his thinking. Good managers should be like good parents in some ways ,there is no room for ego or pride in your decision making, those in your charge are prioritised over yourself at all times . I don’t think he’s capable of such selflessness. Anyway he’ll reveal himself for what he is,they all do eventually.

  83. bacaryisgod

    Pedro did identify the primary problem. There’s no-one at the club, from the Kroenkes to Vinai and Edu, that can be trusted to make the right hiring decisions if Arteta goes and there’s no-one that is compensating for Arteta’s weaknesses. If he ever did have a Clough-like genius potential, he desperately needed a Peter Taylor-figure to ground him and steer him away from some of his more destructive decisions.

  84. Rich

    Bacaryisgod

    I don’t buy that theory

    Martinelli is still raw, has picked up a reasonable amount of minutes for a teenager who’s coming back from a bad injury, we’ll gradually see more of him

    Saliba had played 30 games before this season, we had 8 centre half’s, he probably isn’t ready yet to be thrown in at the deep end

    We also had Gabriel 22, who only had around 60 senior appearances, didn’t speak much English, and throwing in 2 novices was always a highly unlikely scenario, experience in the centre of the pitch is important

    Balogun has Aubameyang, Lacazette, Martinelli, Nketiah, and Pepe currently in front of him

    Azeez has gone back and forth with the under 23s and under 18s this season, and probably isn’t ready

    Guendouzi has an attitude problem

    It’s difficult to throw in too many youngsters at once

    Saka is 19, as talented as he is, he’s still not developed into the double digit goal + assist wide forward we need him to be, he’ll get there, he just needs a bit of time

    Smith-Rowe is 20, I think he’ll develop into a fairly regular scorer, but he’s still not scored his first PL goal, he needs time, and to pick up experience

    Arteta has no problem throwing in Smith-Rowe + Saka consistently, so your Foden theory doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

  85. Dissenter

    bacaryisgod
    Have two say the dynamic between Pedro and Johnny is very interesting
    He plays the role of super ego to Pedro’s infantile crush on Arteta
    It speaks great of Pedro though because to takes a good man to bring someone strong enough to challenge him and gently tear his obsessions into shreds.

  86. Dissenter

    bacaryisgod
    I don’t buy the ice thatbthere’s no-one in he club gifted enough to make the right appointment of manager, post-Arteta.
    It’s understandable that the Arsenal management were lacking in experience in that area because the know-how to head hunt the right manager was atrophied because we never had to head hint managers for 22 years.

    There’s a bit of serendipity involved; you can search throughly and still end up with an unsuccessful manager of you can stumble unto the right fit because of good timing.

    I’m not concerned post Arteta, If we get it wrong…then we try again. It’s no big deal because that’s how the larger world works.

    We need to strengthen the DoF role to keep a long term perspective of the project.
    How many managers have Chelsea had in the time we held unto a failing Wenger?
    How many trophies did they win in that period with a revolving door of managers?

  87. bacaryisgod

    Rich

    Saka was already an established member of the team. Arteta didn’t bring him through. Smith-Rowe was only selected after injuries and a terrible run of form forced Arteta to try something new.

  88. Guns of SF

    What we need is experience. Emery, experienced but was not a good fit and lost the dressing room.
    We need a coach who has the tactical nous and also the relationship building skills with our players including vets and an encouraging had with the youth.
    A Wenger but someone who can be tough when needed. A weakness of Wenger.

    Someone who can connect with fans. Humble and also likes to play attacking football.

  89. bacaryisgod

    Dissenter

    Ok, who in the club is talented enough to choose the right manager and a top team around him? If we need to strengthen the DoF role, who is responsible for overseeing that?

  90. Rich

    Bacaryisgod

    Saka wasn’t quite established, he was dropped to the bench for the latter part of last season, didn’t play in the FA cup semi final or final, and was just 17 at the start of last season

    Smith-Rowe was kept around when he could have been sent out on loan, you could put that down to Arteta’s hoarding compulsion

    But we don’t know, he picked up a shoulder injury, got a chance, took it, and has played consistently since

  91. Dela Mere

    Emery lost the dressing room and got better results than his replacement, which begs the question, what is the reason for such a poor season.

  92. LeMassiveCoq

    PHD2020.

    V good post. Perhaps Pedro is like ‘H’ in Line of Duty and is pulling all the strings…

    More likely his narrative is driven by the majority opinion of the fan base who follow the blog.

  93. Matt

    Man U say second in the league and firm favourites to win the EL and as a fault be back in the champ in league next year, yet their fans create such a fuss in the protest against ownership, the game gets postponed and look and all the headlines.

    We are 7 places and 18 points behind them and yet we have a couple of hundred people turn up to a silent protest. As long as we stay classy that’s all that matters.

    I can see it any day now, the league will start to hand out points for ‘classiness’. Just wait, we will b back challenging again in no time!

  94. Lacaqualidie

    This post is without any doubt the best one I’ve ever read on Le Grove. Thank you ‘Bertie Mee’. Every word resonates with me. I only became a Gooner in the late 70s. I remember getting my first football kit as a 6 year old and couldn’t wait to join my under 7s local team.

    We were all mad for football at that time. In fact my best friend, who was a Liverpool supporter, roped me in to organise a ‘proper’ football game on our primary school field. We used to play each lunchtime when we could in the summer in what I later learnt was an old orchard – trees for goal posts and dodge the wasps!

    We got our 11 v 11 game – my mate and I used all the skipping ropes to mark out the pitch and used those standup post used for rounders to make goal posts. The rest of the school turned out to watch.

    Suffice to say, it wasn’t the game my mate and I dreamed of – more of a melee of 6 year olds chasing a football (with me shouting pass it!)

    At one point the referee; a certain Ms Hall, blew her whistle and deemed me off-side. A few minutes later she asked me why I was standing on the side of the pitch. I said that she had sent me “off-side” i.e. off the side of the pitch!

    So much for women not knowing what the ‘off-side’ rule is!

    My old man grew up in Ruislip after the war and became a Met Police copper in the 70s. We moved out of London when I was in nappies, but occasionally he had colleagues who would take me to the odd game at Highbury. I’d ‘commute’ into London with him and then I’d be left at the police station. I got to play snooker on ‘the big table’ in the common room and then fussed over rotten by the West Indian ladies who ran the canteen. When it was time to go I’d get ushered into a cop car and taken to the match and stand with one of my dad’s mates.

    Happy days.

  95. PhD2020

    And by the way, how is that top of whatever tree from December/Jan looking now for Arsenal?

    The contempt and disrespect for your bloggers and commentators over a significant period of time is mind numbing..

    Respect is mutual..

    Don’t urinate and defecate over the intellects of your bloggers, especially the one’s that rooted for you, from the outset.
    And if by dismissing them, holding them in contempt when you are questioned(quite rightly), at least, call it for what it is, through your unbiased and impartial view points.

    Which should be met without an aggressive, prolonged and sustained, multitude-pronged agenda/campaign from your quarters.

    Rather than waging a systematic propaganda campaign, over a decade, that tears at the heart and soul of what fans really feel and stand for..Silencing them with retorts of:-“I know more than you,”etc,etc..

    What about listening more and taking on board,both sides of the argument.?

    As opposed to playing the running with the hounds and hunting with the foxes type of approach..

    And the latter approach,is one route,you’ve been consistent with and pursued passionately with renewed vigour over a decade or so..

    My thoughts, my views, apparently on a blog ,where I can voice my opinion.

    All the best.