by .

Arteta and his squad of inconsistent merry-men saw off a very poor Newcastle United team in a 90 minutes of pure control.

Elneny scored after 5 minutes, burying a mistimed shot from Auba. You can’t knock the Egyptian, he tries his hardest, spent the season practising his shots, and made the difference when he needed to.

Our second goal was a little sexier, Odegaard found Martinelli in space on the left, the Brazilian crossed beautifully to the back post where Auba was on hand to finish acrobatically from 6 yards. A great goal and a perfect piece of delivery from the under-appreciated Brazilian.

It was another game we dominated and the result didn’t really demonstrate the true power of the control we had. 19 shots, only 5 on target… we really should have mauled them, but this current side doesn’t really have that gear within them.

The build-up play was so much better with David Luiz in the side. It’s such a shame he’s ruined his hamstring because he really does add a layer of confidence to a defence lacking crucial pieces. It’s amazing that a player so unreliable can be so important to this process.

Gabriel Martinelli was absolutely exceptional. His direct runs, his movement, and overall energy should always make him a required started. Arteta made an interesting comment about his partnership with Xhaka, claiming his game suits the Brazilian more than Tierney’s. That’s a level of football nerdom I’m not equipped to comment on, what I can say is it’s an abomination that we go into the most important game of the season with him on the bench and ESR in the false 9 role.

Arteta was actually quite tetchy about the criticism of his reticence when it comes to playing him.

‘I can tell you I love him more than all of you’

It wasn’t said as a joke, he was seething underneath. The mask slipped as he reeled off other players he’s been hammered for dropping. I can’t have it. Arteta dropped Gabriel for 12 weeks after half a bad game, yet here we are, watching Willian drop nearly a whole season in the Premier League without a goal. Ruthless standards for kids, not for the seniors he’s invested in.

Another interesting perk of the game was watching Mat Ryan control his box with his hands and with the ball at his feet. He’s a fast mover of the ball, he’s almost thinking about where he’s going to pass as he’s catching the ball. Apparently, he was talking Spanish to communicate with certain players. Arsenal are likely going to lose Bernd Leno this summer, he’s done with the club, and he’s let his bosses know. Apparently, there are big problems in the coaching department. We’ve seen loved coaches leave, new coaches make questionable recommendations, witnessed the shocking dips in form, and now one of our big players is angling for an out this summer. How has it come to this? Who is being held accountable? That’s all on Arteta who seems to have selective non-negotiables when it comes to his staff.

Regardless, it does pose a big question. Who does he start on Thursday? If Leno is looking to exit the club, are we running into the exact issue we had when we rolled with Petr Cech in the Europa League when he was about to take a job at Chelsea? It’s a tough decision the manager has.

Thursday night is absolutely huge. It is a must-win. It is also reputational damage control for Mikel Arteta. His arrogance last week cost us the game in Spain. The decision to play a teenage creative midfielder as a #9 when he had Martinelli at his disposal was all about him. That he didn’t have coaching staff around him strong enough to call bullshit on him is another story.

Villareal is not a great side. Unai Emery knows he is in trouble. We have to take this home game by the scruff of the neck. Simple ideas for the right players. No galaxy brain thinking. No ‘maybe he’s fit’ gambles. No slow start. We need to pull them to pieces and make the final.

Let’s see what Arteta has, this is all on him.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. NJ Gooner

    I suspect that Auba and Martinelli (if he starts) will miss Luiz’s long diagonal balls over the top on Thursday. Apart from Xhaka, when he has time, space and the (occasional vision), I can’t even think of another Arsenal player who can make them over 40-50 yards. Maybe Partey if he isn’t pressed too hard? I am not a great Luiz fan but that will really be a problem if we play for speed up front.

    Pedro, I am also a little surprised that you didn’t reflect on the events at Manure yesterday, and whether it’ll jilt the Kroenkes into any action, whether that is more investment or a sale. I know that sitting on a ranch in Colorado the size of a small European state can give you some emotional distance, but it’ll be nonetheless interesting to see.if it has any effect.

  2. Gazza

    Glad Pedro that you are finally seeing the light with Arteta & his stubborn & blinded Management…he has 2 games to save his position

  3. NJ Gooner

    Why is it a blessing, Sid?

    And would you say the same of Ceballos for Arsenal? No choice is better than having an alternative off the bench?

  4. Northbanker

    If we stumble on Thursday then our priority should be to find a new coach. The club has to stand up and admit its errors of strategy and how we will build for the future. No more Super league crap. let’s get a sustainable model where we’re not forced to sell world class goalkeepers and not signing up old men seeking a huge retirement annuity based on an old reputation

    If we get through then the strategy should be imposed on Arteta

  5. Guns of SF

    Leno nah
    Guen stuck up for him and got canned for his behavior. Leno did not say a peep in defense of his teammate. Did he go to Mike and say, come on… let it go? who knows…

    Seems like a selfish prick
    Wont care if he leaves. Again Emi was the one for me

  6. Aidan Kabudi

    I find it very surprising from you. Just a few weeks ago or a month ago, you were praising Arteta and said that the coaching you heard is phenomenal and we will click next season. Now you tell us leno is leaving , coaching staff changed isn’t good, my question in just a few weeks what has changed from coaching being phenomenal to this? And what changes has been made to the coaching staff and who has left?

    My take on your criticisms on senior players, some aren’t really good like willian it’s true but we can’t just play kids all the time remember what we did to wilshere where is he now?

  7. Captain Tierney

    If Leno leaves, it will be a punch in the face for Arteta and his staff as they sold the better keeper to accomodate Leno as the #1.

    Also if he wanted to leave he should have just left last summer, the GK coach has been here for 18 months.

    What a troubling situation. Anyways we shouldn’t even be replying to offers below 25 million. Theres going to be a keeper merry go round this summer I believe with Donarruma being the first domino.

    Not many good keepers our there in our price range who would be an upgrade on Leno. We’ll have to be real smart if we want to come out of this as winners.

    And I dont even have one name I can say is an upgrade on Leno who we can get for 25 mil or less. And its near impossible to judge keepers on data alone, YT highlights dont help either.
    Just have to hope, Edu and co know what they are doing.

    I’ve heard Maignan is a good GK, anyone seen him to make a proper comment on him?

  8. Ishola70

    Yes he will avoid “Galaxy Brain”

    A five year old can see Aubameyang is looking to be primed for this match so we will see a more convential line-up.

  9. Highbury Boy

    Can’t believe it’s 50 years since my greatest night as an Arsenal fan.
    You have to understand the context. My dad was an Arsenal fanatic often reminiscing about Chapman, Alex James , Boy Bastin and the great team of the 30’s. He was written up in the programme as having seen more home matches than any other fan.We lived round the corner to the ground. My paper round covered the streets adjoining the ground. In the 1952/53 season I saw virtually every match, with my dad, standing behind the goal at the Clock End although we watched the final match of that season when we clinched the title standing in the
    East enclosure. Little did we know that we would have to wait 18 years for another title. And during those years when I got teased at school we were saved from relegation in the 50’s by the heroics of Jack Kelsey in goal and in the 60’s had to see Spurs be the first team that century to win the “impossible” Double and enjoy Glorious nights in Europe. Then on 3rd May 1971 in a re-arranged match (I ‘ve still got my ticket stub) we had to draw 0-0 at Spurs ,who were 3rd in the League at the time , to beat Leeds to the title. A 1-1 draw would be no good as it was goal average in those days, not goal difference. Dad and I were one of the lucky 52,000 in the ground. Another 50,000 were estimated outside. I had seen the derby matches in the 60’s and they were invariably tough encounters but this was cautious and nervy more than anything else until Kennedy scored with a couple of minutes left. Then urged on by the Spurs supporters they really attacked and it seemed like a very long 3 minutes but Wilson & Co held firm to clinch the win and title. Our long wait was over. Won at our rival’s home. The cherry on the cake was to come at Wembley 5 days later.

  10. Mr Serge

    We should go for domarouma on a free and sell Leno that money pays Dom’s wages he is 22 already has 40 caps for Italy bring him in

  11. Captain Tierney

    Donnarumma is reportedly headed to Juve. Raiola wants big money for the player as well as himself. Dont think we can afford thay right now.

    + Why would he even want to join us ?

  12. Captain Tierney

    Leno will definitely have suitors, especially in Germany.

    Dortmund are in need of a keeper upgrade, their options in that position are quite poor imo. They also wont go big as its against their policy. If I were Edu, Id be advertising Leno to them. For 25-30 mil would be a good deal.

  13. Pierre

    Matthew Ryan looks to have a similar attitude to Martinez in goal , in that he regards the area as his domain and looks to dominate…….unlike Leno.

    He is also similar to Martinez in that he looks fully focused on the job…….unlike Leno.

    He is of course a few inches smaller and a few pounds lighter but so far I have been impressed with his game.

    Is Arteta brave enough to start him on Thursday ..

  14. englandsbest

    It’s seems to have become the habit on here to search out every possible flaw in Arteta, exaggerate them and, for good measure, load everything wrong at the Club on him even though he wasn’t around at the time.

    Fairness and commonsense are in short supply.

    Let’s remind ourselves of what he inherited from mostly Wenger. A bunch of overpaid underperformers. Well, he’s got rid of most of them, not an easy task. Right now, he has created a squad that is about three players away from one that can genuinely compete for major trophies.

    Every sensible person knew that this was a process that would take time. He didn’t have the luck to inherit the best defence in Europe, a Dennis Bergkamp, etc. And GG inherited a far better bunch than the mob Wenger left behind. And he didn’t have the handicap of overpaid players, either.

    I look forward to next season with real excitement, not misplaced optimism. There are grounds to believe that the Kroenkes will give him whatever he reasonably asks for.

    And let’s not forget that the season is not yet over. If Arsenal were to win the Europa Cup, I will rate this the best season in many, many years.

  15. Sean M

    The leaks that will come out once Arteta leaves. My goodness none of us are ready for them…

    Good performance from the boys yesterday. Mat Ryan was fantastic. Emi esque performance.

    Not only Bernd L also G.X’s time in London looks to be coming to an end. Need to reshape the coaching staff & football leadership ASAP, otherwise we’re gonna waste another season.

  16. Guns of SF

    There are grounds to believe that the Kroenkes will give him whatever he reasonably asks for.

    Isn’t this part of the problem? Reasonably? KSE seems reason as being as cheap as possible and staying away from the team and letting others be the fall guys.

    This is the attitude of the doped masses.

    KSE needs pressure on them. If Mike had an cojones, he would tell Josh I need xy and z, even if it costs Stan 150 plus M… At some point, he is going to have to invest. That time should be now

  17. Habesha Gooner

    Well count me excited. This guy ek is serious. He already spoke to Henry, Viera and Bergkamp. He already spoke to Arsenal supporters trust and is going to make a 1.8 billion bid. I hope this will be the end of accepting mediocrity. With the amount of insanely talented young players we have, it could go right for us.

  18. Matt

    Yet another laughable situation occurs. We allow a world class keeper to leave so that we can keep a suspect German as number 1 only for that same German to decide less than a year later that he wants out.

    Seems like another situation that could only happen to this Arsenal.

    P.S. Leno can get fucked!!

  19. Ishola70

    Sean M

    “Not only Bernd L also G.X’s time in London looks to be coming to an end.”

    Will suit a lot of fans.

    Both players are not the real deal although of course Leno has his stronger attributes and Xhaka is a trier.

    Hard to see Arteta ditching both of them though going on past events with him.

  20. Sean M

    heard a rumor a few months ago. Any truth in Auba having a clause in his contract that states he can leave for free/minimal fee this summer if we don’t get UCL football/win a trophy, Pedro?

  21. Habesha Gooner

    No way should we allow Leno to leave without a proper replacement. There are good keepers if you look for them. Leno as good as he is, will only be good enough for a top 4 run. We won’t have more than that with him in the side. There are weaknesses in his game in departments like commanding his area, Claiming crosses and proper distribution. If he wants to leave he can but we should get a good replacement. Not a hyped up player but one that is backed by data. I am not even sure if this is worth talking about though considering it is only pedro that is coming out with these stories.

  22. TheBayingMob

    “Not many good keepers our there in our price range who would be an upgrade on Leno. We’ll have to be real smart if we want to come out of this as winners.”

    Well I was taking from the conversation until now is that Leno shifts on for (25m, whatever) and Matt Ryan moves to be #1 … then it’s not a case of finding an upgrade on Leno but finding a decent understudy to Ryan, the question then becomes is Ryan better than Leno? Leno has been good at times this season but then also a total liability, I kind of feel he wouldn’t be any worse!!

  23. bacaryisgod

    This is the most likely line-up for Thursday. Possible Odegaard will play after seeing his minutes increase but he was poor against Newcastle. Martinelli and Odegaard on if we get desperate for a goal. There’s another possibility in that Odegaard will play deeper alongside Partey instead of Elneny. Gabriel might also be retained but I think he’ll go with the more experienced Mari.

    Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka
    Elneny Partey
    Saka Smith-Rowe Pepe

  24. bacaryisgod

    Pretty scary that Ryan is even in the conversation as #1 after falling al the way down to third-choice at Brighton behind two not particularly convincing keepers. He’s done nothing wrong so far but we haven’t really seen him in any major pressure games nor in a fan-filled stadium.

    Come to think of it, he’s not even our player yet and we’ll have to work out a deal with Brighton to buy him outright. Still, he’s a perfect #2 for now. If Leno is leaving, let’s pray that Arteta doesn’t look to his goalkeeping coach for advice.

    The one encouraging element in this is that we have two young promising keepers in Hein and Okonkwo coming through for the long-term.

  25. TheBayingMob

    “Pretty scary that Ryan is even in the conversation as #1 after falling al the way down to third-choice at Brighton behind two not particularly convincing keepers. ”

    I understand, but Emi had been with Arsenal for 10 years without a look in behind dross like Almunia and a has-been Petr Chec, sometimes you just need a new start and another chance … but yar I get it otherwise, but my other point is even with that being said I’d prefer to see Ryan starting over Leno on any given day as he’s a fucking liability … the goal against Everton was unforgivable even if you go with a weak “everyone makes mistakes” mindset …


    If the Premier League really do come up with a tougher regulation of the behaviour of The Super League 6 (not holding my breath), could Stanley & the 2 other loveable American owners decide to sell up?

  27. bacaryisgod

    The BayingMob,

    I totally agree with you that a new situation for Ryan could be the reason for giving him a chance. He’s also an Arsenal fan. The situation is different with Emi though. Ryan was an established keeper and Brighton #1 but suffered a major drop in form.

    I like him, but I would certainly like us to try to replace Leno with a superior keeper and keep Ryan at #2 if he does go this summer.

  28. bacaryisgod


    Not sure it will make any difference. Any ESL reboot will be several years away so the new Premier League regulations would likely only codify the minimal chance ESL will reappear. Still, it could add an additional reason for Kroenke to decide to sell.

    Either way, if he does sell, expect him to try to save face by buying another sports franchise in the U.S or elsewhere. This way he can frame it as strategic decision rather than an admission of failure. brought on by outside pressure.

  29. Captain Tierney

    Ryan as first choice ?
    Is this a joke. He was third choice for Brighton.

    Now, he is a good keeper but nowhere near good enough if we want to challenge for top 6 next season.

  30. Almuniasaynomore

    The discussion of who plays in goal Thursday shouldn’t be confused with who is our no.1. If Arteta is aware that Leno is departing then he should be finished with him. Ryan is better at instilling confidence through aerial ability and command of his box though is not as good a shot stopper as the German. But Leno has pissed us all off for long enough, the team doesn’t obviously benefit from his inclusion over Ryan (unlike playing Cole in the Cl final which was sickening but the right decision).
    But to be clear, Arsenal going forward cant consider either as a no.1. I’ve said this before and quite simply it’s the age old problem of too many weaknesses and not enough money, but for me a top quality keeper is more essential than any other position bar goalscorer. Its not even how many points a top class keeper wins a team but how many points a poor keeper can cost one. Anyway somebody above mentioned Maignan,good call, wenger eagle recommended him too but Milan are sniffing around if Donnarumma goes. Theres a guy at lille, French under 21,meant to be v good, aflot or ablot or something like that, only saw him twice but his report card is good. Anyway this is not a position to mess around in. Let’s invest now,get a good one and have a solid foundation for the first time since Jens left. It will be worth it.

  31. Chris

    Not sure about Ryan being number 1 for next season (I would keep him as back up) but the question should be, right now, do we play Leno of Ryan for the remainder of this season?

    Leno wants out, big red flag right there, Ryan looked assured yesterday although we are yet to know about high pressure situations. There are points for and against for either. The Cech comparison is a worthy one. We don’t owe Leno anything if what is being said about him is true. If we feel the defence looks more sure of themselves in front of Ryan’s command and presence, then that’s the way we should go for the rest of this season.

  32. Ernest Reed

    Arteta is like a child being told not to touch a flame, but does it anyway because he has a point to prove.

    I will say it again, should Arsenal take care of business and handle Villareal as they should, it wont be because of Arteta, but rather it will be in spite Arteta.

    I have zero faith in Arteta as a manager, but most certainly i do have faith that the players can rescue themselves despite the handicap that is their current manager.

  33. Ernest Reed

    “Matt Ryan is a good number 2 not a regular starter for the club the size of Arsenal”

    Sounds very familiar in regards to a former Arsenal keeper thought not to be a number one until given the opportunity to prove otherwise.

  34. Ernest Reed

    “And let’s not forget that the season is not yet over. If Arsenal were to win the Europa Cup, I will rate this the best season in many, many years.”

    You are right, fairness and common sense are very much in short supply. Give your head a shake already!

  35. Almuniasaynomore

    Made some balls of that. Maignan is of course the lille keeper, the other guy,that we could get is Lafont, plays for nantes. Any more reports like that and I could get hired by our scouting department…….

  36. Guns of SF

    I agree- I even go as far to think that the players are tuning him out with his weird tactics and just balling… doing what they know will work best.
    Mike thinks they are stupid or something- anyone and their dog knows his lineups and tactics are shit. The players know right off the bat in most cases I am sure

  37. Rich

    Only Arsenal could go from Leno + Martinez fighting it out to be our No1

    To Ryan + Runarsson fighting it out to be our No1, within the space of a few months

    Our ability to do really stupid things, is the stuff of legends

  38. Ernest Reed

    Non-negotiables can be a good thing, in moderation. Over time i cannot help but feel that Arteta has taken this aspect a little too far, GunsSF.

    There are far too many inconsistencies that border on absurd from Arteta. Something is not right and its more and more obvious now. It’s absolutely a control thing with Arteta.

  39. London gunner

    For all the football experts on here who laughed at me when i said lukaku was quality.

    44 goals in 6 starts second top scorer after Ronaldo and spear headed inter to first seria a title in 9 years. Suck on those big ones.

  40. London gunner

    No Serie A player has assisted more goals than Lukaku’s 10 this season and his chances created, expected assists (creating a chance that would be expected to be scored) and distance carrying the ball are all at the highest level he has produced in the past four seasons

    with eight goals or assists in 10 starts against their six main rivals – Milan, Atalanta, Juventus, Napoli, Lazio and Roma.

  41. DivineSherlock

    I think if Leno leaves than its really bad judgement from Arteta and I would really consider downgrading his position to Head coach for sure. And when You look at Edu’s work alone I think he has done really well all things considered. He has delivered every player Arteta demanded of and managed to tie several key players to good deals. Also managing to get rid of the deadwood players.

  42. Pierre

    ” And when You look at Edu’s work alone I think he has done really well all things considered. He has delivered every player Arteta demanded of and managed to tie several key players to good deals. Also managing to get rid of the deadwood players.”

    Will just point out that the supposed “deadwood players” are not culpable for our present league position…

  43. Almuniasaynomore

    Divine Sherlock
    If my wife is trying to sell stuff on Ebay but cant and I tell her I’ll sort it for her, I’m not sure I’m going to get any credit if I just dump it all in the bin and then hand a brown envelope to the bin man to get rid of the extra rubbish. I don’t know if Edu or Arteta oversaw the disposal of our ‘deadwood’ but if operating like that is considered by them to be shrewd we are in a world of pain that isn’t ending til both are gone.

  44. Danny S

    Christ Pierre.

    Every time I come on this blog these days to have a read I see a comment from you and I lose all interest.

    It’s like being stuck in a time warp. Same old shit regurgitated.

  45. Venga, Dani

    So Leno’s gone then…if only we had a homegrown quality goalkeeper who loved arsenal and was a real leader on the pitch…if only… EMI COME BACK

  46. Venga, Dani

    just mind boggling incompetence this past summer between selling Martinez, and getting Willian in. Shocking stuff that really should be seen as sackable offenses for Edu/Mikel.

  47. Dissenter

    The set up that deemed Runnarsson good enough as back-up goalie cannot be allowed to have ANYTHING to do with securing a replacement for Leno.

    Arteta has his merry band of assistants should be excluded from having any say in determining who Leno’s replacement should be.

  48. Useroz

    Arteta hired a bunch of journeyman assistant coaches just as he was a journeyman at Everton before joining Arsenal. I was unsure of what he brought to the team at the time…

    The Runnerboy purchase was just one of many sackable offenses Arteta, Edu and cohorts manage to pick up in under two years. It’s quite funny if it isn’t happening to Arsenal!

  49. Nelson

    “Pedro, I am also a little surprised that you didn’t reflect on the events at Manure yesterday,”
    I read that the Manure supporter trust has posted 4 questions to their owner and demanded answer in a week. According to one question, they want the owners to allow the fans to buy shares. It appears that the British government will protect these minority share holders. Arsenal fans can learn a few things from what the manure fans are doing.

  50. bacaryisgod

    Bielsa stalling on a new Leeds contract.

    What thoughts on him replacing Arteta this summer?

  51. Dissenter

    The Kroenkes own 100% of Arsenal so I’m pretty sure that no amount of fans demanding answers will make them give up shares to fans
    It will be a slippery slope for “government” to “protect” any fan who’s forcing the sole owner of business to give it up. Surely the UK government won’t try to act like Idi Amin Dada.

    This is the of these fait accompli situations; the deed is already done – live with it.
    Unless another billionaire makes an offer that the Kroenke’s can’t walk away from, Arsenal belongs to him.
    I mean you can’t just go to your local family owner corner shop and start dictating where they display their bananas.

  52. China1

    Runarsson has to go down as one of our truly bants signings

    We’ve had a LOT but he makes the grade

  53. Tony

    “Fairness and commonsense are in short supply.”

    From those who are blind to Arteta’s continual mistakes and poor man management as has been pointed out here every day. That’s without Arteta being the worst Arsene manager for at least 50 years.

    Try introspection re Arteta Englandsbest and make a list of Arteta’s pros and cons see what you come up with. If you’re honest with yourself the pros will be a very short list compared to the cons.

  54. Guns of SF


    I dont think so, that would be too much for conservative Arsenal. Hiring a older, experienced coach, who loves to attack but speaks little English… Too many flags-

    I would love to see him with us. He is a coach and only a coach.
    With a proper defense and defensive coach, we would be a joy to watch again

  55. Guns of SF

    Kallstrom gave us like one good game and that was it…
    If the fella was healthy, I think he could have helped us a lot more.
    But I guess having a broken back made for a cheap Jan transfer

  56. Zimbogunner

    It’s funny how some people here think. Wanting Arteta out ? Even poor Jose Mourinho said we are a badly run club and he won’t come coach us. Who else can come and do a better job than Arteta given that…1. we have very sting owners
    2. We have too many overpaid dross in our squad who won’t move any inch from thier comfortable life ( PEA, Kola, Element, Xhaka)
    3. Everyone out there thinks we are a joke club including players coming in good form from Thier previous clubs(Partey)

    The best at the job is Arteta. Let him continue doing whatever he is doing . The only black spot is his favorites are shit like Willian and Leno.

  57. Zimbogunner

    After 1 game some here are calling for Ryan to start over Leno….ooh poor arsenal fans😆😆
    It’s not the first time…Last year you all went ballistic for Ceballos after seeing a few 360 degrees turns in a few games…Today you don’t want see that man near the lineup
    You saw MO scoring against Spurs and a good game against Westham and you are saying he is the one to wipe out sorrows next year. I’m pretty sure when the club signs him on permanent you will start abusing him after he drops poor performances. Mind you he is a reject of a not so great Madrid. A player who cannot challenge the aged modric.
    The technical department need to approach this off season in a clever way and buy us proper right back with good defensive skills, get a proper 10 even if it means Edu go dig deep in his South American market. Replace well Laca , Torreira , Guen, and others leaving

    We should cash in on Wilock though a good squad player but if good cash from the market grab and run
    Sell AMN a decent mid team or promoted one will look at him…
    Sell Leno We won’t fail to find a replacement one… Chelsea’ got Mendy from nowhere. Never go for the established they cost too much.

  58. TheBayingMob

    Zimbogunner starts with

    “It’s funny how some people here think”

    Then ends with

    “The best at the job is Arteta. Let him continue doing whatever he is. The only black spot is his favorites are shit like Willian and Leno”

    Yup, it is certainly fucking funny how some people think …

  59. China1

    Kallstrom was an ok player but signing short term loan deals for a player with a broken back is as bangs as it could possibly get

    It’s sitcom levels of absurdity

    We should add runarsson into the baby’s hall of fame. I suppose he walks into the starting 11 with the n1 jersey

  60. Tony

    Dark Hei
    “Yup, even if its free, whats the point of signing a guy with a broken back”

    Being charitable or maybe philanthropic?

  61. Habesha Gooner

    To be honest Runarsson looked decent before the city game. That game showed him up in that he wasn’t able to play at that level yet. Kallstrom on the other hand was a banter signing. We didn’t use him at all and there was no point to signing him. At least Runarsson passed a medical and had no broken back. If we loan him out to the championship he might get better.

  62. Foxy

    Whoever we go for in goal has to be able to dominate the 6 yard area like Emi did and have fast distribution. Leno has neither for instance the 2nd Valencia goal the corner cross was right on the 6 yard line, Leno who was about 3 yards off his line then back peddled to the goal line rather than go out and catch or punch.

  63. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s current goalkeeping resources do not inspire great confidence.

    The first team squad goalkeepers of Leno, Ryan and Runarsson have all got their weaknesses.

    Leno is currently our first choice. He does make some good saves, but his game in last two seasons has been full of errors, which does not inspire confidence particularly in tight games.

    My main gripes are that his distribution is not just predictable, but puts the team under pressure. Also his concentration can be off beam as we saw in the game against Everton.

    Ryan played on Sunday and to be honest was not put under any serious pressure by the Newcastle forwards. However, I was concerned about his positioning. Do we want a goalkeeper to be off station half way up the pitch?

    Overall I am concerned about the goalkeeping coaching and recruitment at the club. Whilst
    Arteta and Edu made the decisions to sell Emiliano Martinez you have to ask the question
    what was the input of the goalkeeping coach in the decision making process and why we
    chose to recruit Runarssson as second string.

    By all accounts there are also similar issues with the goalkeepers in U23s and Academy as well.

  64. Valentin


    There was absolutely no problem with the U23 and academy goalkeepers. We could have had Martinez as No1 and João Virginia as No2 both home grown. He is now No3 at Everton at 21 years old. A few of our former goalkeepers are now enjoying decent career away from Arsenal.

    The issue was always with the senior team goalkeeper coaches. None of the goalkeepers liked them nor respected their training method.

    Leno made it clear a while ago that the goalkeeper coach brought in by Arteta who successfully got the other two sacked or not renewed was somebody he did not want to work with. That’s the same guy who recommended Runnarsson and tried to block the arrival of Matt Ryan.

  65. Emiratesstroller


    You are referring to the “past” and I am referring to “today”.

    The U23s do not need SIX goalkeepers all of whom receive minimal game time. My feedback is that Arsenal have got one decent keeper in U23s who is Okonkwo and he wants to leave.

    Woodman the senior academy goalkeeping coach is also leaving. So this does not suggest that everything is okay below first team.

  66. DivineSherlock


    Will just point out that the supposed “deadwood players” are not culpable for our present league position…

    I never said they were , dont post your agenda on every attempt. Read what I said .

    Will you read properly what I said ? I said I dont trust Arteta’s judgement . Since we’re told by Pedro that he was involved in transfers we have been given Willian , Saliba went on loan , Martinez was sold and Runarrson brought in . Maitland Niles bid was rejected and he went on loan to WBA subsequently . These are some of the most baffling decisions Arteta alone has made. If the Kroenke’s or Vinai were any clever , They would have already demoted him back to Head Coach.

  67. TeeCee

    Runarsson came with the second worst record in a very weak Ligue 1…….he’s lived up to that billing. A shocking bargain basement signing straight out of the Wenger ‘could be world class’ book! There are so many issues at Arsenal with management in general, from the top to some of the coaches, but there is NO-ONE at the club with any real knowledge and experience to change things for the better so we just bumble along making mistake after mistake. The biggest signing in the summer would be a DOF who knows what he is doing and who is given pretty more power than the inexperienced charlatan currently ‘managing’ the team….and I use that term very very loosely!!

  68. kjelli

    we need to be bold on Thursday in every department, hope Tierney and Matt Ryan will start and
    Laca is fit to go. Score early and kill the game

  69. DivineSherlock

    Also all this has been successfully accomplished by Edu so far without a. hitch . This tells me he is very good at what he does , Succesfully convinced Auba , Martinelli , Saka , Balogun to sign as well. Edu is not responsible for the football on the pitch , but as far as I can tell he has done everything Arteta required him to do . He has brought the desired players and sold/loaned unwanted ones. I would like to see Edu do his work without the manager’s interference . That means demoting him to head coach .

  70. shaun

    I think I saw somewhere that Martinelli is on a 100k a week and I would also think Balagon got the sixty he was after as his camp have gone very quiet , so with out a hitch in this case comes with overspending , Auba , Willian and Partey with the latter two being on well below the £200,00 mark and offered in excess of it to join Arsenal that is just poor and throwing money at the issue which we all know is the easy fix if you have it . I am not having Partey or willian worth 200k a week, it’s just negligence by Arsenal. Edu is clearly a newbie and being taken for top dollar which is not a problem for me . If the Arsenal owners put a Brazilian air hostess in charge of negotiations then they should be paying top dollar and they should also be 10th in the table ” what you get is what you pay for” in arsenals case a mid table manager and a novice director of football .It is not even worth debate the two position we have gone extremely cheap on are the two most important just look at how much the scum next door are willing to spend on a manger as levey knows how important that is ,Arsenal have been piss poor this season way worse than anything we saw from emery

  71. Tony

    Just another Arteta tentacle not performing for the better of the club.

    Academy keepers witnessing the debacle would not be filled with confidence to stay and fight for a place at the top table.

  72. Valentin


    When Arteta starts to interfer with the work the academy coaches are doing, under the guise of closer tie with the first team is exactly why some coaches are leaving.

  73. shaun

    the Goal keeping decision could end up costing his job , no one wants to harp on about it but most think we could have been top 4 or there about’s with Martinez between the sticks , the guy was super motivated had Arsenal in his heart and we would have been 10-12 points better off , it just shows you how stupid Arteta is, just plain dumb . leno Is shite and Ryan is a poor mans Martinez and the less said the better about that Runnerson c…

  74. China1

    Speaking of keepers. Gotta love having promising kids nowhere to be found on the bench but TWO goalkeepers sometimes on the bench

    It’s as baffling as it is dumb

    I’d seriously love to know if there has ever been a good reason for it except for arteta to make his point to whoever outfield players he decided he wanted to exclude for his own personal reasons

  75. Valentin


    Absolutely no football reason, unless you consider planning for two goalkeepers getting injured or send off in the same game. If you don’t trust the No2 to do the job properly and feel the need to have a third goalkeeper just in case, then do not hire the No2 in the first place…

    It’s classic small man marking his territory. It is petty and vindictive and rob a youngster from an invaluable experience he may have benefitted from.

  76. Raulishuss

    Has there been a bigger conspiracy theorists on legrove than val? Dude give it a rest sometimes you lie too much

  77. Captain Tierney

    ‘Speaking of keepers. Gotta love having promising kids nowhere to be found on the bench but TWO goalkeepers sometimes on the bench’

    That really highlights Arteta’s poor team selections sometimes. I dont have doubts over his coaching ability, and I do believe Arsenal will enjoy success with him. But some of his decisions are really baffling.

    We signed Balogun on a new long term deal after warding off interest from 15+ clubs. In the interview Arteta will praise Balogun, declare him the future of the club, take him to Spain to our EL match. Then doesn’t even include him on the bench giving his position to our 3rd choice GK especially in a game we start with no striker on the field. Baffling.

  78. Raulishuss

    It’s classic small man marking his territory. It is petty and vindictive and rob a youngster from an invaluable experience he may have benefitted from.

    How ironic you’re everything you accuse arteta of

  79. China1

    Yeah Tierney it’s just vindictive

    Just as we saw with Martinelli being intentionally excluded ‘to test his character’

    It’s nothing to do with football and all about him making some kind of honestly quite weird point. Even if it costs the team

  80. China1

    I’d absolutely love to see the stats for the percentage of games when a professional team has required 3 keepers.

    In an entire premier league season, 38 games for each of the teams, the PL will probably only see this scenario play out once every couple of years at the absolutely most

    Those are gambling odds I don’t think we need to be desperately covering when other parts of the team might genuinely benefit from an additional option on the bench

  81. Victorious

    is it just me or does Ryan look a bit small in the goal?

    Ospina felt the same but those 2-3 inches make all the difference.

    Still can’t believe this club sold Martinez ffs, he’s absolutely a worldclass goalkeeper and could have been our number 1 for years. What a shocking show of complete incompetence!

  82. Matt B

    The goalkeeper fiasco is a terrible indictment of Arteta and pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with him:
    1. Poor decision-making (selling Emi)
    2. Inability to identify the better player (thinking Leno is better)
    3. Instils no loyalty (Leno wants to leave)
    4. Purchasing poor players in spite of promising youth already at the club (Runnarson etc.)

  83. Victorious

    If truly the clown Leno is angling for a move then its becoming a double kick in the fucking gut.

    A serious club will be sacking those responsible for such shambles but arsenal is currently a joke so fully expect it be swept under the carpet like the clueless fans didn’t take notice, lol

    I believe Arsenal is the second most poorly run club in the world, just slightly behind Newcastle

  84. Daniel Altos

    If we want to get a good gk in the 7-10m range we should go for pedrag rajkovic of Reims…he is an excellent keeper and is only 25 years old….he will be an upgrade on leno

  85. Victorious

    I can assure you we’re NOT getting a goalkeeper better than Martinez anytime soon.

    He’s a top tier and i dont expect those sort to get excited by a midtable club run by complete idiots with an amateur novice as coach

  86. Pierre

    “we need to be bold on Thursday in every department, hope Tierney and Matt Ryan will start and
    Laca is fit to go.”

    You will probably be disappointed on all 3 fronts there…all 3 could possibly be on the bench…

    What I believe will stand Arsenal in good stead is the fact that we went to Prague in the knowledge that our season was over without a positive result and put in possibly our best performance of the season..

    For the players to know that they can rise to the big occasion and not fold under the pressure will give them enormous confidence going into Thursday’s game.

    Villarael looked nervous in the first leg once we put them under pressure in the 2nd half, our mistake was to take the foot off the gas in the last 15 minutes as I believe they were there for the taking..

  87. Pierre

    I’m surprised Danny s is not policing Le Grove due to the “.Same old shit regurgitated”..

    Leno / Martinez…check.
    Kallstrom broken back …check
    Arteta incompetence…check

    Maybe it only irritates him when someone posts a different point of view to his …

  88. Vintage Gun

    “is it just me or does Ryan look a bit small in the goal? Ospina felt the same but those 2-3 inches make all the difference”

    Yeah i noticed that he’s a bit Ospina-ish when it comes to height.

    But hey, at least Mat Ryan owns a neck. That’s something he has over Ospina.

  89. shaun

    personally I think most fans would want to see

    Cedric, holding Gabriel, tierny
    partey xhaka
    Saka ,ESR, Pepe

    Laca coming back from a hamstring would be dodgy putting him back for the full ninety and I rfeally think Pepe warrants his place over martinelli on the left and it’s a toss up between Xhaka and elneny or for those that fancy ODE in there next to Partey that for me would be an experiment for another time

  90. Valentin


    Having a third keeper just in case if one gets injured before kickoff make sense. But using 3 keepers in the same game is such a freakish occurrence that it is not even worth planning for it.

  91. shaun

    Leno / Martinez…check.: because it was a season defining mistake , massive issue considering leno still has two years left on his contract he should have been told to sit down and wait your turn Martinez is number1 and that won’t change unless his form changes for the worst .We hear now that Leno wants to leave and this should have been spotted or picked up whilst making the first moronic decision which is why Arteta incompetence…check: has an will always be a topic of conversation.
    Kallstrom broken back …check no idea
    Wenger/Ozil…check: have you been talking about Ozil again ?

  92. Valentin


    I am not the only one who alluded that the new goalkeeping coach setup is not fit for purpose.

    Salvatore Bibbo who despite the name was born in England was goalkeeper coach at Arsenal until he left in August 2020. Bibbo was one who championed EMI over Leno.

    Andy Woodman was also a goalkeeper coach at Arsenal until he was told that his contract was not going to be renewed by Arsenal in summer 2021. So he left a couple of months ago to take over as manager of Bromley FC. He had made clear that Arsenal should have purchased an home grown goalkeeper. He is the one who leaked how bad Runnarsson was.

    So it means that we have lost two goalkeeper coach in 1 year of Arteta management. I am all for a headcoach working with people he is comfortable with, but they need to be vetted by the club. That new guy brought by Arteta has Leno stating a while ago that he did not like working with him. This is the same guy who suggested Runnarsson, so that does not scream quality judgement.

    Basically Arteta removed the few coach who voiced their opposition. He is surrounding himself with yes men with no pedigree.

    Before you attack people, gets your fact right.

  93. Leftside

    Imagine selling Emi and now Leno apparently wants to leave, this club can’t stop with the insanity.

  94. Valentin

    Anybody read the transcript of Der Spiegel report on the falling out of the ESL?

    Basically any club would leave the ESL consortium is subject to penalty clause that is then shared among the remaining clubs. The amount €150 millions each. Only three clubs have not announced leaving the consortium.
    Now Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus wants the other 9 clubs to cough up the money, who obviously see that as pure extortion.

    I can see a very messy legal divorce in sight.

  95. Rich

    I remember a Reading v Chelsea game where Cech went off injured with a bad head injury, which was-the reason he wore that helmet for the remainder of this career

    Then Cudicini went off with a neck brace, and John Terry ended up playing in goal

  96. Pierre

    Take it up with Danny S as he seems to have a problem with “regurgitated shit”, but only “regurgitated shit that he doesn’t agree with.

    Of course fans talk about the same topics , only an idiot would call it regurgitated shit.

  97. Elmo


    I suspected that was the case, and that was why the three clubs who never pulled out of the ESL are those in most current financial distress.

    Perez has never changed his line that it’s going ahead, and that’s because he sees an outside chance at solving Real’s financial problems by suing those who pulled out.

  98. China1

    Rich sure it does happen. I can remember a couple of times

    But I’ve been watching football for 25 years. And I can only remember a handful of occasions.

    That tells you everything you need to know about the odds. It can and does happen but the probability of a third keeper being needed are astronomically smaller than the odds of an outfield player being picked

  99. China1

    As well some of the players who haven’t even made the bench have some sort of potential value at least. Like Nelson and saliba.

    The probability of Nelson or saliba having been useful off the bench is surely substantially higher than a 3rd choice keeper

  100. Dissenter

    Perez can go ahead and sue for all I care

    The clubs that pulled out will just point to the shambolic interview he did in Spanish media as the reason why they ESL started to come apart.

    Perez ain’t suing nobody

  101. Gonsterous

    Really need mislintat back at the club. Though he doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to buying older players.

    He seems to specialize only on a certain age bracket (17-22), and will need someone who can get scout players (23-25) who can still grow and develop.

    Raul was supposed to be that person but they never worked it out. Can edu be that guy? Though 50m for partey quite points to the contrary.

  102. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    As Cher sang….
    If we could turn back time….and kept EM and sold the dodgy sour… He’s always been iffy.
    I would start the Aussie and hopefully it will be a G’day.

  103. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    China just shows money can’t buy you class all the time… A brilliant deal by AM… Levy class.

  104. Saladin

    Don’t mind Leno leaving at all. Dude is a good shot stopper but has a shaky box presence and cannot pass the ball for shit. Only problem is, we should have never sold Emi when he was clearly the better overall goalie and Arsenal through and through.

  105. Gonsterous


    Yah I’m hopeful about partey too, though he needs to practice his shooting, it’s so terrible.
    Just checked his stats at madrid and in over 130 la liga games, he managed 12 goals. Don’t know whether that’s good or not but it’s better than xhakas

  106. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Also if Leno talking bout leaving hours before a massive game… Drop n sell straight away…

    Last of the kraut clique destroying the club from within

  107. DigitalBob

    Its critical we get a proper midfield partner for Partey next season, without that I’d expect more of the same.

  108. David Smith

    History repeating itself, with managers losing their keepers due to their loyalty to shit GK coaches, wenger / Peyton/ Szcesney was the same if some reports are true

  109. China1

    I don’t mind parteys poor shooting if the rest of his game will be there (and his stamina)

    If you go back 10 years every average and poor team give or take had a good keeper

    Van der sar

    Pretty much all played in the PL at the same time. All of them would be a huge upgrade on what we have except probably Howard

    Why did it suddenly become hard to find good keepers???

  110. Valentin


    Howard at Everton was good. He just could not handle being a keeper at ManUtd.
    The one I would disagree with is Shay Given. He is exactly another Leno. Great shot stopper, terrible goalkeeper rooted to his line, who used to Palm shots instead of catching.