by .

Listen, we can laugh, but that’d be unfair. Winning the FA Cup in your first half-season isn’t for every world-class manager. The truth is, we as a fanbase need to be sensitive to the feelings of Chelsea fans. Arsenal rocked Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea with an earth-shattering performance, he’s just lost an FA Cup final to Leicester, and that might have ramifications as they chase top 4 and Champions League glory.

Imagine trying to motivate your team to save top 4 whilst they are thinking about a Champions League final as their confidence plummets?

I speak for us all when I say we wish no ill on Chelsea as their season sits on a precipice.

Side note, I haven’t seen too many talking about Tuchel galaxy braining Arsenal and the final? One of the most expensively assembled sides on the planet losing to Leicester in the Cup Final is a bad look.

Back to Arsenal.

Our season has some way to go. Unfortunately, we are still very much in the mixer for the unsexiest European competition ever dreamed up. No one wants to be in it. I don’t even know what it is. It’s a bit like taking a cyst to the doctor, don’t tell me what it is, just get me away from it so I can move on with my life.

Finish above Spurs? Would be nice. But would I want to do that and be rewarded with Thursday night football in a poverty European league? Don’t think I would. Would you?

Interesting to see the negative spin merchants out in force over David Luiz. Same people crying about our win over Chelsea are trying to convince the world David Luiz rebuffed a contract he was never offered. Can’t have it. There was a lot of pressure on Arteta and Edu to wave goodbye to him. I also suspect there will be a lot of pressure to give William Saliba a chance next season. (brushstroke 1)

Wesley Fofana is proving that if you give young centre backs game time, they can do great things. I think we’d all like to see Saliba in the mixer, even if it’s not great. There is no doubt in my mind that the decision to give Mustafi Europa minutes to him was a very bad one. Someone wrote in our GC we’re about to get the biggest transfer blue balls when he joins the first team and fails to live up to the Ligue 1 tease. I’m not sure I agree. I’ve watched Luiz and Mustafi make massive errors every 6 games for 2 years, if I had the choice, I’d prefer to be a young player with a VVD ceiling.

Joe Willock has made the most of his loan move to Newcastle. The box to box midfielder has proved to be an exceptional impact sub. His goal scoring has been outrageous considering how poor his output was under Emery and Arteta over 80 odd games. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens here, for me, sell him while he’s hot like we should have with AMN last season before we bombed him off to West Brom. Whatever we do, the decision should be made on scouting, not emotion from the fans.

Matteo G is a player that creeps back into conversation because all we see is the guy tearing around the pitch doing mega passion things. If he’s raised his profile at Hertha (not sure he has), we should be selling him. If you are a culture terrorist, you’re always going to be one. Hertha, a team that were in a relegation battle (finished 14th), had to drop him during a prime moment of their season because he behaves like an ‘animal.’ We don’t need that at Arsenal next season. No one likes working with a dickhead and it’s the same in sport.

Part of the mix this summer is making sure the players we hire in are scouted for who they are as people. It’s so odd that we haven’t been doing that. Would have been interesting to ask Petr Cech why Chelsea didn’t give Willian the deal he wanted before we doubled their offer and added a year. Was there no way we could have landed some intelligence on why Frank Lampard was so keen to move on David Luiz after he signed a new contract, despite having the same makeup of squad that would have loved his ‘mentorship.’ You can forgive the Matteo signing, teenagers can change. But the other two feel like we really lacked something on the scouting front.

I’m also interested in the leaks coming out of the club.

Entrenched power is a big theme.

The Athletic wrote extensively about Arteta having too much power with too little experience. Wenger-like privileges without the battle scars or scalps. That sort of noise is well-sourced. We’ve been writing about it since he was promoted last season. I hope there are moves afoot to give more balance in the backroom.

Edu also seems like he’s under pressure, his trust capital is eroding by the week. His physio mate he brought in from the Brazil setup might not make the summer (more brushstrokes). Vinai took the professional steps of hiring headhunters to replace binned scouts, clearly a control thing to avoid more jobs for the boys. We’re also reading pressure on the keeping coach, which I told you first, but important for Edu because he took his recco for Runarrsson, which was a very, very bad one.

Overall, the impression is that the tight leadership and aggressive standards we set have not been kept to. We know this to be true because we’ve seen it.

Ceding power to individuals above the collective good of the club is unacceptable governance. The club needs a vision with a guiding philosophy so strong, there’s limited impact on the project if key people leave. The best clubs know who they are, how they play, and what they stand for. Arsenal don’t. So every time we bin someone, we lose momentum trying to fix the damage.

If we’re possession-based football played with young players that are technically gifted and extremely athletic, then everything should be built around that vision. The coaches, the scouts, the academy staff, the analysts, the manager and the technical director. If something goes wrong with Arteta, we have someone like Graham Potter lined up. If something goes wrong with Edu, we should have a technical director lined up that has a background building teams that play the way Arsenal needs to.  At the moment, we’re being driven by managers, who average 18 months in the role. That’s not smart business for a club that constantly bangs on about the unsustainability of the game. If you want to play the sustainable model, do sustainable things. Like Leicester City or RB Leipzig.

I’d love to think these micro-moves are part of a bigger Vinai plan. The start of him taking control of the club like a proper CEO. Who knows though. Our leadership team has shown consistently they never learn. Bin Ozil, sign Willian. Move on an authoritarian manager, give new manager authoritarian powers after 6 months.

Let’s see if the changes we’re seeing actually mean something.

See you on the other side.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Foxy

    Willock would be wasted as a squad payer he needs to play regularly under good manager in the right team. Leeds maybe under Bielsa

  2. Foxy

    Willock would be wasted as a squad player he needs to play regularly under a good manager in the right team. Leeds maybe under Bielsa

  3. Emiratesstroller

    Bob N16

    I agree 100% with your analysis.

    Willock is a “squad player” at Arsenal and no more. Smith-Rowe has more potential.

    If Willock accepts that he is a squad player then of course he is good enough in that role to
    stay at Arsenal.

    However, he has reached the point in his career when both he and Arsenal need to reach a
    decision, which is the best solution.

    At the moment Arsenal are short of midfield resources assuming that both Ceballos and
    Odegaard leave. We need at least one midfield upgrade to be recruited even if Willock stays.

  4. Captain Tierney


    That clubbing analogy 😂.


    Obviously the 22 game run is pretty positive and shows great improvement in results. But the fact of the matter is a season is 38 games long, we got out of the Fa cup and Carabao cup pretty early and the Semi final 2nd leg was one of the worst Arsenal have played ever. + Arteta was already on his second chance. If Arteta was to be sacked it would have been more than fair.
    And all the reactions in the span of 2-3 days were reactionary but also justifiable.

    The club though has decided to stick with the fans and therefore the fans should too. No point in crying and moaning and hoping Arteta tanks the start of next season. We all want Arsenal to succeed and I dont care if its with Arteta or Emery or Mourinho.

    + Theres many reports from top tier journalists Arsenal are going to do something ‘exceptional’ this summer.

  5. Captain Tierney

    Willock definitely looks like a good prospect. He is physically gifted, makes smart runs and most importantly adds goals from midfield. That is a very rare trait. Wenger, Emery, Freddie and then Arteta all placed a lot of trust in him even putting him before ESR in the pecking order. There has to be a reason for that.

    Therefore Willock should be sold only and only if we can’t make other sales and require the money to fill other positions.

    Best solution is to extend on a small wage increase and loan him out to a PL club where he will play at least 2000- 2500 minutes granted he stays fit.

  6. Foxy

    squad players really need to be experienced players who can slot in as needed and do the required job. our youngsters need to play regularly if not at Arsenal then somewhere else otherwise you get more Reiss Nelsons.

  7. Pierre

    Habesha/ Rambo
    “What changed”

    Let me explain.
    The problem I had with Ramsey was when he played in a 2 man central midfield as he lacked discipline and didn’t understand the role..

    It is no coincidence that our best central midfield pairing during that period didn’t include Ramsey .
    Coquelin and Cazorla were the ideal pairing as they both knew their role in the team.
    Ramsey often played out wide during this time, as in the villa cup final and had more freedom to get in goalscoring positions.

    Sadly Cazorla suffered long term injury and then Xhaka came into the equation , which meant we had a central midfield pairing of Ramsey/Xhaka…

    Ramsey at that time had very little discipline to play the cm role, he often left Xhaka isolated in midfield as he went “glory hunting ” .

    Wenger was partly to blame for allowing Ramsey to play in such a selfish way which was detrimental to the team, although Ramsey was more than capable of playing a more disciplined role.

    If Willock is chosen to play in a 2 man midfield then I wouldn’t expect him to vacate his position as Ramsey used to .
    The central midfield role requires discipline and positional sense , Ramsey had neither..

    What Ramsey did have to his credit, was a hunger and drive to make things happen in the box , but he never quite got the balance right in his game and he has been found out at juventus as the Italian game is all about positioning and discipline.

  8. Foxy

    CT totally agree having no goal soring midfielders is a key part of our recent troubles, in the past we had Freddie, Fab and Rambo who could all chip in with 10 + goals a season.

  9. Emiratesstroller

    Dela Mare

    My daughter was appointed a senior manager at a FTSE 100 Company in her mid 30s . The
    company is 40x larger than Arsenal with a turnover in excess of £20 billion.

    Does that mean that she should not be employed, because by your criteria she was a novice?

    Arteta has more than 20 years experience in senior football as a player and coach.

    The only matter which is relevant is whether he is up to the job and not your limited assessment of his capability..

    I repeat the question. What is your expertise in this matter?

  10. Foxy

    good post Pierre highlighting a key problem of young player development or lack of it under Wenger , Song of course another good example

  11. Pierre

    Ramsey and Song probably played their best football under Wenger , maybe he got the best out of them by not putting constraints in their game.

    Both players development stalled without Wenger’s influence.

  12. Bob N16

    Good post Captain T.

    As always on LeGrove the partisanship of strong opinion often appears to reduce some posters to almost welcoming a poor run of results to support their passionate positioning.

    There are a handful of regulars on here who find it hard not to post 20 anti-Arteta posts a day – not sure if they’re hoping to achieve much but it makes me scroll through a lot!

    I like many others would have welcomed Arteta’s sacking after the season we’ve had. However, it would appear that he’s going to be given more time; a hopefully productive summer TW, with a full pre-season and a chance to set up a team with the personnel suited to the way Arteta wants to play. It feels like the Kroenkes are almost obliged to invest in the squad after the ESL debacle.

    Obviously if we tank in the first month or two, with crowds back in the stadium, Arteta will be on very thin ice. However, putting vitriol to one side, it should be straightforward to improve our points total by 10-15 if the squad overhaul takes place.

    The doom merchants won’t see it but I think next season should provide an extremely welcome improvement.

  13. shaun

    Look there is actually something we can be positive about and it is actually fact , if we look at the season objectively no one and I mean no one can possibly do as bad a job as Arteta has done , even if we signed fat Sam we would still be better off i mean nine let that sink in nine home defeats horrible football bar maybe two games .The up side is not even Arteta can be as bad as Arteta of this season he has to get better, no where near good enough in my opinion but he can only get better

  14. Captain Tierney

    One can say Wenger allowing Ramsey to go do his thing cost us in defense but it also added 15+ goals in our attack from the midfield. And not just silly tap ins, Ramsey scored some wonderful goals and also in many important games like the 2 FA cup finals. When Emery starting ranking after the 22 game wonder run ended it was Ramsey who single handedly dragged us to a guaranteed too 4 finish with 4-5 games to go.

    Then he got injured again because Emery literally played him every game since putting him back into the side. We all know what happened after, a disastrous finish to the season where we missed out on top 4 after looking like we had already cemeno our place there. Emery couldn’t beat Wolves, Brighton and Crystal Palace. And then ofc the EL final.

    I cant understand why so many people hate on Ramsey. Great player and in a right system could have been world class. He played with his heart whenever he was on the pitch and was ready to extend with Arsenal for much much less than what he got as a free agent. He was/is a true gunner.

  15. Vintage Gun

    “+ Theres many reports from top tier journalists Arsenal are going to do something ‘exceptional’ this summer.”

    I’m hearing this also. At first i just brushed it off as “Season ticket renewal time” like the ole war chests stories of yesteryear. But KSE have to do something this summer or their asset will be worth as much as a subbuteo set come next year May.

    Exceptional to me would be something like buying Jack Grealish and then allowing us to spend what we make on transfers to further strengthen the squad.

    A gift from the Ghouls if you like.

  16. Vintage Gun

    Ramsey was cool but he lost his head after that 16 goal season. Started playing like a deep lying striker and was consistently leaving gaping holes for our athletic Midfield to unsuccessfully cover.

    Plus he started yapping on about joining curious George at Madrid. And finally when the contact was offered (before being taken off the table) he was waiting for other offers. Then cries when we lose patience.

    Decent player overall but nothing we should be revisiting moving forwards.

  17. China1

    Yes batistuta I forgot about the ‘league winners over the calendar year’ trophy we used to be told to celebrate in wengers heady barren years haha

  18. Captain Tierney

    Ramsey didn’t lose his head. He was always the same type of player. Not suited to play in a 2 man midfield especially with partners like Xhaka and Cazorla. We should have brought a Kante type of player to cover for Ramsey or switched to a 4-3-3.
    Trying to shoehorn him as a deep lying midfielder was the actual issue.

    But it seemed like whenever we took him out of the side the team’s attacking potency dropped down a couple of levels.
    Hence why not Arsene ir Emery could keep Ramsey out of their starting 11s.


    Ramsey wasnt waiting for other clubs, he was waiting for the finer details to be finalized. You can see that in an actual interview.Then suddenly Emery ostracized him ( as was not Ever Banega 2.0 at #10) and took back the contract offer.

    Only to rely on Ramsey to nearly save our season in the last few months.

  19. andy1886

    Exceptional? I’ll believe it when I see it. Thing is when the judgement of the people making these decisions is suspect (and that’s putting it kindly) then exceptional might turn out to be exceptionally bad. Remember the Pepe signing? Some people were ecstatic, lots of claims that we had ‘won the transfer window’. Didn’t turn out too well because

  20. CG


    ””””Willock is a “squad player” at Arsenal and no more. Smith-Rowe has more potential.”””””””’

    Only clueless Arsenal fans ( and they don’t come any more clueless than this one ) would ever contemplate letting a player who has scored 5 goals in his last 5 games go to a possible rival.

    The hardest thing to do in soccer is find goal scoring midfielders and we have a potentially brilliant one , who has been at the club since he was 4. and who bleeds red and white and yet the club would rather sign another old and ageing Chelsea dog.( Bertram)

    The argument , the we need the funds won’t wash too.

    Supporters said the same , when our Argentinian man mountain was sold to Villa- and has it improved it?

    No,not one jot!

    Willock should stay. And the coach ( whoever it is ) should be COMPELLED to make him even better than what Steve Bruce is currently doing.

  21. Pierre

    Captain Tierney
    “One can say Wenger allowing Ramsey to go do his thing cost us in defense but it also added 15+ goals in our attack from the midfield”

    If only

    He did score some very good and very important goals
    but Ramsey’s goal scoring record at Arsenal ( all comps) is not as good you think ….I would hazard a guess that apart from his very exceptional season , Ramsey’s goalscoring record is only on par with a certain lazy, shot shy German who rarely ventured into the box

    2011/12…….3 goals
    2012/13…….2 goals
    2013/14……..16 goals
    2014/15………9 goals
    2015/16………6 goals
    2016/17…………8 goals
    2017/18………..12 goals
    2018/19…………5 goals
    2019/20………..6 goals

    Not exactly 15+ goals a season is it …..Will just point out that willock has scored 9 goals in 19 starts this season..

  22. Emiratesstroller


    If you read carefully what I posted I suggested that we should hold onto Willock as a squad player.

    However, I made it clear that I consider Smith-Rowe to be the more gifted player and with greater potential.

    Willock may decide to leave Arsenal and if the price is right then we should let him go. He has I believe one year left on his contract.

  23. englandsbest

    We should be upbeat about Willock, AMN, Nketiah. They are young, they have realistic potential, are bound to improve, and have Arsenal commitment. We should keep them. The guys we should get rid of are the want-aways like Torreira, Guendozi, the give-aways like Kolasinac, and Willian, and the no-ways like Bellerin and Elneny.

  24. CG

    ””””””Diet pep and his fanboys prefer Partey in CM instead of dynamic players like Willock, Buendia”””””””

    This Willock scores goals for fun.

    He would have scored them against Villareal too, if given the chance.

    Martinez stopped them and they wanted to sell him,
    Willock scores them and they want to sell him too,

    Always think of the x 3 G’s Sidney.


  25. James wood.

    Trouble is Willock is loved at NEWCASTLE.
    HE’s game has been upped by a large percentage.
    He is enjoying he’s football.
    Newcastle want him.
    I just don’t see that being replicated by the current
    Arsenal set up.
    I have no doubt’s the same will happen to Eddie /Nelson etc
    A bit off love a few goals the back room and the team behind you
    you up your game and the worlds your oyster.
    I just don’t see ARSENAL PLAYERS with a smile on there faces
    they play with fear .
    Arteta does not seem to be a motivator.

  26. Sid

    Since our dead rubber wins against WBA and Chelsea, the superfans are back and emboldened with choruses of ‘doom merchants’,
    thats the reasoning that got us into midtable.

    Im telling you for free!

  27. CG


    ”””’If you read carefully what I posted I suggested that we should hold onto Willock as a squad player.””””

    I know you did. And I am only jesting.

    you are entitled to your opinion, like anyone else.

  28. Batistuta

    Lol why would you call fellow gooners “doom merchants”? Why should your own style of supporting be seen as superior to someone else’s? Funny bunch

  29. Emiratesstroller


    Arsene Wenger made it crystal clear on many occasions that once a player reaches 21 years
    of age you have to make a decision about his future.

    Willock is one of those 50-50 players who could become a very good player. However, I think
    that Smith-Rowe has greater potential and he would be my preferred starter at Arsenal if
    we had to make a choice.

    Other players such as Maitland-Niles and Nketiah should be offloaded, because I don’t think
    that they are good enough. Nketiah for example will be competing for a place with Balogun
    who is rated a better all-round player.

    Both Nketiah and Balogun have the same agent and I suspect that the reason that Balogun
    has agreed to sign a new contract is that he knows that Nketiah will leave this summer as
    he has got just one year left on his contract, which is unlikely to be extended.

  30. Kaz


    Put the games played per season to goals rate for Ramsey.

    He missed large swathes of the seasons due to injuries.

    6 goals in 38 looks weak.

    6 goals in 16 looks very capable.

  31. Champagne Charlie


    When a manager has just embarked on their first ever full season in the job you look at the patterns and underlying metrics to establish whether they showed signs of improvement.

    Arteta started horribly and we’ve improved on that throughout the season, it’s really not that difficult to figure out. There’s no excuses for anything either. It’s been a poor season, but if all you’ve got is ‘we finished 9th sack him’ then you’re pretty basic no matter how many “lol”s you type.

  32. Pierre

    “Put the games played per season to goals rate for Ramsey.He missed large swathes of the seasons due to injuries.”

    WIll just point out Ramsey averaged over 40 games a season for Arsenal .

  33. CG


    ””””’Willock is one of those 50-50 players who could become a very good player. However, I think”””””’

    Surely with 5 in 5 and goals against

    Liverpool at Anfield ( last minute)
    Man City
    Spurs ( last minute ish)
    Leicester City
    one other

    He is a very good player now. He scores goals from midfield.
    Which is off course the hardest thing to do in soccer.

    Lets not beat around the bush – this current manager aint good enough,

    Willock, Kolasnic and AMN should not have been loaned out in January.

    They should all have been in the squad for Villarreal where they would have been used.

    Arsenal should be playing a wounded Man United in the final next week.


    Doom Merchant No .1

  34. Pierre

    If you care to look back you will find that Rambo and Habesha brought up Ramsey due to the fact that I mentioned how well Willock was doing….his goal scoring stats are already better than Ramsey’s , though you wouldn’t think it by the way Willock is talked about on Le Grove .

    James Wood summed it up with this comment

    “Trouble is Willock is loved at NEWCASTLE.
    His game has been upped by a large percentage.
    He is enjoying he’s football.
    Newcastle want him.”

  35. TR7

    Willock’s is good off the ball but incredibly limited with ball at his feet. No serious team can accomodate such a player in their starting 11.

  36. Captain Tierney


    By that I meant goal contributions. Compare that to Xhaka, Partey, Elneny and Ceballos.
    And not only that, but his late runs into the box created havoc for the opposition defense.
    And the drawback to that was us being vulnerable on the counter.
    It was a simple give and take..

  37. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I find it strange that Eddie was just dropped midway through season…

    Think that was harsh . The main strikers under preforming yet he gets the blame.

  38. Matt


    ‘Lol why would you call fellow gooners “doom merchants”? Why should your own style of supporting be seen as superior to someone else’s? Funny bunch’

    All is well in the garden of Arsenal, didn’t you know? We are top 3 since February 6th at 8:36 PM and the Krankies are going to do something exceptional this summer. There is nothing, I repeat nothing to be negative about. We have Arteta in charge, what could possibly go wrong…

  39. raptora

    Anyone still defending Arteta after he guided us to the worst finish in 2 decades and a half and crashed out of Europa vs a 5x worse squad lead by Emery Villareal, cannot have the club’s best interest at his heart.

    If Arteta gets sacked or not, it’s not up to us, and I know that fans voice matters little in these affairs, but we could still be loyal to our club and be proper fans who want the best for the team of our hearts. Whoever wants this noobie, egotistic, zero style, illogical, problematic, horrendous ingame and man manager to be kept in a job and ruin another year of the Arsenal Football Club is against the club.

    I will say this though – every day that Arteta stays at Arsenal, the Kroenkes are losing control of the club. I’ve said before that a top class manager has all the tools available to him to work his magic in Arsenal under Kroenke (similar to Liverpool), but if Kroenke cannot bring a top class manager then he is failing as an owner. The sooner we get rid of both Arteta and Kroenke the better as I’ve lost hope in their recruitment of any directorial role.

  40. Sid

    At the moment, its Not like our midfield is playing combination football, so it does not matter that Willock is Not great with the ball at his feet.

  41. Pierre

    “Willock’s is good off the ball but incredibly limited with ball at his feet. No serious team can accomodate such a player in their starting 11.”

    There is a misconception that both Willock and Eddie have a poor technigue on the ball .
    Granted they tend to keep it simple and they don’t attempt the Hollywood pass too often, but hey were brought up through the Arsenal/wenger academy of football and technically they are good enough.

    What they both lack is confidence , not ability…the difference in willocks’s game now he is playing with confidence and feels wanted is there for all to see.

    I’m not saying that one or both will become top level players but I just think it’s premature to write them off taking into consideration that they are now playing under their 4th managers in 3 years , and each manager has their own football philosopher and preferential type of player …

    I say give them one more season to prove themselves as hopefully they won’t gave the likes of lacazette, willian, ceballos and odegaard to restrictt heir game time..
    Aubamayang to Chelsea is also a possibility for me.

    Bringing in yet more new players will only add to the confusion, a couple will be suffice .

    Martinell, Balogun, Eddie , Willock and Nelson along with Smith Rowe and Saka are our future, let’s not waste another 300 mil on players that are no better than we already have.

  42. Tom

    You’ve got to appreciate how the same people who were traumatized by the Emery disaster class against the Chelsea in Baku to the point of bringing it up twice daily for a year, , all of a sudden experienced a case of amnesia and erased the twice now Arteta’s failure in Europe from their memory.

  43. JayJay

    Sometimes you’re full of BS pedro, guendouzi wasn’t drop because of his behaviour, just because of a knock, once fully fit he was back in first XI. You’re so agenda driven and don’t even bother to do some research

  44. Tom

    Nothing against Willock but there’s a world of difference playing mid for a club happy to have 30% possession and a club striving for dominating it.

  45. Bertie Mee

    I would agree that there are many posters on here whose main interest in Arsenal is watching them lose so that they can say ‘ I told you so’. The essence of support has changed in a modern environment where fans are less tolerance and have access to social media as a platform to express their views . Football is a strange business as it is so short -term . Until last midweek Tuchel could do no wrong. If he ends the season badly does that suggest he has failed?
    Arteta’s record is very strange. We are a very decent side away from home but very disappointing at home . I’m content that he gets until Christmas to show how he is moving the club forward. If he can’t then he can’t complain about being dismissed

  46. TR7


    ‘let’s not waste another 300 mil on players that are no better than we already have.’

    I have never been a votary of spending money for the sake of it. I have written numerous posts defending the likes of Holding, Chambers, Guendouzi, AMN etc. – players who I think can add value to our squad even though they are not real top quality players.

    But when it comes to midfielders I think we need real ballers to get back to top 4 again. Players in the mold of Santi, Rosicky who can carry the ball up the field and beat players either off dribble or pace is what we need. Again fair play to Willock for scoring a few goals and I am glad he is enjoying his football but honestly I don’t see him how he helps us take our game to a higher level.

    We need a partner for Partey and a baller for the attacking midfield position. Willock for me doesn’t fit any of the two roles at least as of now. If we want to hedge our bets, we may send him on another loan for 12 months and see whether his game goes up by another notch.

  47. Kenyangunner


    Nothing against Willock but there’s a world of difference playing mid for a club happy to have 30% possession and a club striving for dominating it.

    Not sure which team you are referring to. I think our possession vs Chelsea was around 20%

  48. Marc


    I’m here – and if you don’t think we have serious issues especially on the financial front you’re either naive or drunk on the special sauce.

  49. Matt


    ‘ would agree that there are many posters on here whose main interest in Arsenal is watching them lose so that they can say ‘ I told you so’. ‘

    There are also many posters on here whose main interest is selectively picking out stats that support their idea that Arteta is actually the right man for the job, despite what they can see with their own eyes.

  50. Almuniasaynomore

    One of the main problems in society today is is the emergence of the polarization of sides in the debate. I imagine this comes from the woke culture who seek to find injustices in Society and oppose them almost like some keyboard superhero who will avenge these wrongs. The problem with this is of course that it fails to recognise the vast majority of issues in society are not a question of good vs bad or black or white answers they are often very complex. As such they require knowledge and understanding of both sides ,a sense of empathy and a willingness to listen. Instead what we have is the cancel culture who epitomize the attempt to drown out opposition. In simple terms what we have lost is the understanding of context and the need to recognise that both sides often have very logical and reasonable arguments worthy of consideration. Unfortunately because of this polarisation we are becoming increasingly unwilling to listen and more abusive in our opposition.

    I love reading Le Grove because as I have said many times I have found the vast majority of posters to be most intelligent and passionate about Arsenal. What I dislike is is the increasing sense of disrespect that is shown to people with a different viewpoint. I would like to see arteta removed but I also enjoy reading posts by people such as Charlie and AFC forever who I find very articulate and logical. I don’t agree with them but I understand what they say. This constant narrative that one side is positive and the other is negative really is pointless and unnecessarily divisive. There are two sides that is it . Why should one be considered negative and another positive when both sides are simply seeking what they believe is best for Arsenal?I would be inclined to agree with those who suggest that those who resort to abusing others are simply without an intelligent argument to make. Don’t get me wrong I understand that tempers can become flared and we can become passionate about what we’re saying but for me these should be occasional outbursts not the standard feature that they are for some posters, Idealistic maybe but we are all Arsenal fans after all and our club is divided enough.

  51. Tom

    Yea, but that was clearly by design # Artetamasterclass.

    Newcastle are happy to have 35% possession against Burnley, as well as 15 other PL clubs.

  52. Useroz

    TomMay 17, 2021 13:14:52

    “You’ve got to appreciate how the same people who were traumatized by the Emery disaster class against the Chelsea in Baku to the point of bringing it up twice daily for a year, , all of a sudden experienced a case of amnesia and erased the twice now Arteta’s failure in Europe from their memory

    Magical 🤔🤔

  53. Bob N16

    Bati, I have absolutely no issue with people demanding Arteta’s head on a platter, after this season , as I stated before, I wanted his removal after the terrible two legged semi final and our league position.

    My issue is simply that I have a daily ritual of reading LeGrove, which is less enjoyable when I have to scroll down posters who repeatedly post essentially the same message again and again.

    It is not a judgement call on who’s a better supporter, how positive or negative you are – posting on a blog isn’t really that important when it comes to it, let’s be honest!

    I enjoy hearing other fans views on here, it adds to my experience following Arsenal but with respect, I prefer chatting to mates face-to -face about the Arsenal and nothing beats attending matches which I know not everybody can do.

  54. Pierre

    I do agree that our present style doesn’t suit Willock and it is hard to find a place for him in the team , a 4-3-3 similar to Liverpool would suit him.

    I wouldn’t expect Artets to change systems to accommodate Willock so he needs to show that he can demand the ball more in the build up play instead of just being an off the ball runner.

    He is more a final third player that’s for sure , but watching him at Newcastle I would say he is learning fast in other areas of his game..

    Of course, we would all like to see our midfield littered with the quality of Cazorla, Ozil, Wilshere, Ramsey Hleb , Rosicki but those days are gone, our football is not off the cuff any more, .

    Al the parts of the game I enjoy watching are not there in this present team ,saka and Smith rowe excepted

    Pass and move
    One and 2 touch
    Give and goes.
    Letting the ball do the work.
    Sublime skills
    Have all been replaced by the work ethic, but that won’t last , technique will always succeed in the end…

  55. Useroz

    AlmuniasaynomoreMay 17, 2021 13:37:40

    Fair points 👆

    I think no one will disagree the club has fallen to an unacceptable position for whatever reasons.

    Wajnting Arteta out isn’t negative indeed. Nothing wrong to expecting better and more qualified personnel to help restore the club’s status and importantly performance, level.

    Adopting a wait n see approach may also be a sign of being negative that is without taking a proactive stance in addressing obvious problems and issues. One would even argue that’s way overdue and responsible owner and/or execs should have acted upon emerging risks say before last Christmas to prevent (hopefully ) a history making outcome at end of the season.

    So it’s a matter of personal experiences and philosophy, not right or wrong.

  56. TR7


    Totally agree with your last post. I am sick and tired of mechanical football with absolutely no flair and laboured passing. As for Willock, yeah currently I don’t think he fits in with the requirements and set up of our team. Ideally we would like ESR and Saka to become more of final third players by getting more involved in goal scoring rather than putting Willock in there just for his runs in the final third.

  57. Words on a blog


    The irony is that Arteta’s work with Pep over at Man C should have made it clear that the primary purpose of an off-the-ball “work ethic” is to ENABLE

    “Pass and move
    One and 2 touch
    Give and goes.
    Letting the ball do the work.
    Sublime skills

    A work ethic in and of itself is pretty useless. And it should certainly not be used to replace all of the above.

  58. Tom

    Emi didn’t look to hot for Villa against CP yesterday did he.
    All this “Emi organizes hid defenders “ talk on here got me thinking that maybe it wasn’t Emi doing it but rather a solid senior CB , like a Tyrone Mings, maybe.

    He was out injured yesterday and Villas back line , including Emi, looked like a deer in headlights whenever CP had the ball in the area.

  59. Tom

    “Bati, I have absolutely no issue with people demanding Arteta’s head on a platter, “

    Why waste a perfectly good platter when you could put some fruit on it?

  60. Useroz

    “Pass and move
    One and 2 touch
    Give and goes.
    Letting the ball do the work.
    Sublime skills

    Work ethnic cannot/ should not be a replacement of the above.. it’s just a means to an end.

    We lack end products in which case Work ethnic becomes a moot point, sadly.

    I don’t believe the 15 , 16 first team regulars are so poor that they couldn’t do some of the above…

    From the games this season, a more likely scenario is that these most desirable attributes of playing style have more or less been coached out of the players/team, in the name of disciplines and structures.

  61. Chris

    AlmuniasaynomoreMay 17, 2021 13:37:40

    Well said. I think 98% of people who post here all want Arsenal to win everything in sight, and just have different views on how far along we are to doing that.

    Let’s not speak of the other 2%!

  62. The Bard

    Bertie Mee good post. I agree. My view is than most of those posters only started supporting the club under Wenger and aren’t used to a prolonged period in the doldrums.

  63. S Asoa

    David Luis wanting out or being left no choice but to leave is an insider / outsider conundrum.
    The fact is, Luis and Williams are / were(shortly) running a restaurant in London . At 250k a week Williams would not ever leave. But Luis and Williams are opening up in USA so both want to leave. It helps that American League pays high salaries too.
    Guess ,the insiders argument has gone ppf

  64. Just Another Customer

    “Al the parts of the game I enjoy watching are not there in this present team ,saka and Smith rowe excepted”

    and that of course thanks to the philosophy built by a certain someone

  65. Marc

    I think there’s another part to the problem with the division of fans. We seemed to have got to a point where certain sections of the fan base support a manager before or over the club. It’s as if they’re all in on that manager and the idea of criticising whomever is blasphemy.

    Personally I don’t really care who the manager is if they’re doing a good job. There are managers I don’t like and there are managers I’d hate to see at the club but that doesn’t mean I put that over supporting the club.

  66. Kroenkephobe

    Hiya mate. Interesting and thought provoking read as usual. Thanks.

    I agree that many issues are complex and nuanced such as whither Arteta or what to do about the Kroenkes, not least because we, the supporters, arguably feel more strongly about it than anyone yet, paradoxically, we are the most powerless because we have an emotional attachment (which makes us impartial) and only the smallest financial investment. How do we make sense of what is happening to a club that has given us all so much joy in the past? One way is to be part of this community, adjudicated thoughtfully by el presidente Pedro.

    But some issues are less complex such an anti immigrant rhetoric, lazy stereotyping and promoting economic dogma that works only for the richest, eg the Kroenkes. That needs to be challenged because it tends to originate from one or two sources who have second agendas.

    Don’t get me wrong. I read this site and contribute to it because it’s entertaining. And idle speculation about players and the management fills the dead time between games. Once fans are allowed back in stadia, I’ll be back to my usual habits which involve going out and standing in horizontal rain watching football – any football – because I love it. My dream this autumn would be to get north of the border and cram in some fitba d’Escocia, starting with a trip to Easter Road. Pop up to Larne Almunia and I’ll meet you off the ferry in Stranraer!

  67. Kroenkephobe


    Agreed. It can’t be that we are the only club whose fans divide like this every time a manager’s performance slips . There didn’t seem to be any MKBs (Mourinho knows best) at Shite Hart Lane a few weeks ago. To my mind, it’s evident that we need a new manager. It baffles me that others (still) think he’s doing a good job. The usual metrics and equally importantly the sentiments of fans and pundits all show as clear as day that he isn’t the answer. Why was UE fired relatively quickly when Tets and Wenger are allowed to take us through a slow and demoralising decline?

  68. Sid

    Diet pep fanboys should not ridicule others into silence

    Reductio ad absurdum is also known as “reducing to an absurdity.” It involves characterizing an opposing argument in such a way that it seems to be ridiculous, or the consequences of the position seem ridiculous. It can be ridiculous in the sense that the argument seems silly, or ridiculous in the sense that that no reasonable person would take such a position.

    Im telling you for free!

  69. WengerEagle

    Almunia say no more

    No issue with a difference of opinion and outlook. Champagne Charlie and Pedro himself are both staunchly behind Arteta but can at least entertain debate/empathise with people that want his head on a stick. With both sides respected as we all just want the best for the club at the end of the day.

    What is boring and dulls the site down is some of the older chaps having a daily pop at anyone with a dissenting view of how the club should be run/criticising the status quo in any way shape or form and labelling them plastic fans or doomers/moaners/groaners, etc.

    Pierre easily the worst culprit but far from the only one.

    Turns into a pissing contest of how many years you have supported the club, how many games you have attended, you weren’t around for the leaner spells in the 70s and therefore have fuck all to complain about in the midst of our continual decline, etc.

    Have supported the club for over 20 years and barely missed a game in that entire time even getting over to see us in person half a dozen times including a couple of away matches and yet I have still been called a plastic on here along with others by said bunch.

    If you can’t construct a solid argument/counterpoint without resorting to getting into a dick-measuring contest about how long you have supported the club and throwing out the ‘you’re a plastic’ bollocks when backed into a corner, then it’s probably a pretty flimsy point you’re making.

    On a brighter note, I at least can look forward to receiving my True Arsenal supporter certificate in 2051.

    Wonder if it comes with a nice fat certificate/medal…

  70. Marc


    “Why was UE fired relatively quickly when Tets and Wenger are allowed to take us through a slow and demoralising decline?”

    When you figure that out please let me know.

  71. Champagne Charlie


    Totally agree with that post, and the sentiment behind debate with differing views. But there’s all too many examples of what you say about intolerance to conflicting opinion, it’s pathetic. Says more about the individual than anything else mind.

  72. DivineSherlock

    The only reason we are not worse off is because we played young ones like ESR and Saka . Absolutely should not let Willock go , if Steve Bruce can get goals out of him so can Saucy Arteta . We should have cut Ceballos loan short and played Willock .

  73. DivineSherlock

    Emery not winning the Europa League was failure whereas Arteta is making progress ? Where is the logic ? All we had to do was score a solitary goal at Home against the suppposedly dodgy coach who cant teach defense .

  74. Champagne Charlie

    Arsenal want 20 mil for Eddie, and apparently we’ve tested the waters for Berge at that mark already.

    I might have to start the Zaha propaganda again for one last time, Palace are full of geriatrics and it makes way too much sense to me to send Eddie their way for Zaha. Benteke does the donkey work but has 15 league goals in the last 4 years ffs. Eddie would get goals.

  75. CG

    Bertie Mee

    ””””’The essence of support has changed in a modern environment where fans are less tolerance and have access to social media as a platform to express their views .

    Nowt do with it.

    It was not social media that failed to beat Villarreal over 2 legs ( not one) or put us mid table.

    You want shut gobby Arsenal doom merchants up.

    Employ an Arsenal manager , who does his job properly.

  76. Gonsterous

    We don’t have to spend another 150m to get back in the CL.
    We need smarter signings, not expensive ones. Wenger got santi for 19m. He got hleb, nasri and others for much less.
    We have gabriel, saliba, mari and holding at CB, why should we drop another 50m in that position?
    The recruitment has to be smarter. Saliba was a smart buy, now we have to make it work.

    Arsenal at the moment have no identity, so we don’t know what players to buy. We see someone play well for a team and think they will do the same for us.
    There’s more to that. What system is the player playing currently? Does he fit ours? Is he flexible to fit ours?

    We could buy van dijk and he would look lost in our team. We could buy hazard and he would be a gervinho. Teams are build on systems and identity, not mix and match. It’s why international teams with world class players, still don’t play well with each other.

    First build an identity, scout and train academy players in that system, so we have ready made replacements who can be called upon. Let’s stop with this pass round the back and hope for individual brilliance to get a goal bs.

  77. DivineSherlock

    And I am not a fan of either manager and I only want whats best for the club but One was sacked halfway through the season because we were languishing in midtable while the other was backed through that worst period ? Why isnt the same metric applied here ? Its the first time in our history where we have failed to score 10 times in our home games ! 19 goals in 17 games . Fuck me what kind of sauce is that ?

  78. Ishola70

    I don’t go for this Arteta given too much power so this has affected him on the football front.

    He won the FA Cup with basic tactics.

    And he has simply been found out over the longer term in the EPL.

  79. Gonsterous

    There’s a reason why arsene was generational. He built an identity for club, and he had players from youth level till the first team playing the same brand of football.

    It’s a shame how it ended, because it got too money oriented at the end, and what happened on the pitch did not become a priority. Something that we are still paying the price for.

  80. Ishola70

    Implying that he has taken on too much workload and too much power points to him being good or really good if only that workload and power is taken off him.

    He hasn’t shown that he is an overall good football manager regardless thus far.

    This view of too much power sounds like another excuse from his backers.

  81. Left Testicle

    The results are conclusive. Here is Emerys full season in charge versus Arteta’s full season in charge ( I’m even giving Arteta 2 wins and 6 points for the 2 games yet to be played).

    UE W21 D7 L10 Pts70
    MA W18 D7 L13 Pts61

    I don’t think Emery was the answer but why does Arteta get more of a chance than Unai? We are worse off with Mikel.

  82. Left Testicle

    Yeah.The Zaha ship has sailed. He’s 28 with no resale value. This time next year he could potentially be another Ozil/Aubameyang/Willian.

  83. Kroenkephobe


    Yes, but a certifiably plastic one sadly. Spent my formative years around people from Edinburgh – they became plastic gooners because of me and vice versa. Hibees leave gooners in the shade when it comes to devotion. I keep trying to persuade my Welsh other half that we need to start spending time north of the border.


  84. China1

    Spending our tight resources on more wingers when we have saka Pepe and Martinelli is a really bad way to spend our money imo

    Just fix the dross we have first then try and improve our already good or very promising areas

  85. Champagne Charlie

    “Spending our tight resources on more wingers when we have saka Pepe and Martinelli is a really bad way to spend our money imo“

    Spending money on players that will actually move the needle in our attack that’s just dropped 50 league goals for a season is the best way to spend the money we have.

    Willian and Pepe are terrible senior players, they’ve given us academy returns.

  86. Guns of Brixton

    My dudes

    The England RB situation. What’s the opinion ?

    I would say Wan Bissaka and TAA. Got others saying WB and Reece James. I feel TAA is on form. Englands best RB

  87. Jamie

    Kroenke –

    My wife is from Edinburgh, we’ve been here since the start of covid.

    Sadly her family are all jambos, so unless I’m going with a friend I don’t get to any Hibs games. Incredible if Hibs win the cup and manage to qualify for the Europa League.

    Scenes when Emery arrives at Easter Road.

  88. Batistuta


    Maybe we all have different standards for judging managers and that’s perfectly fine, i choose to look at overall what my eyes tells me and that’s simply that we still over a hear into this process can’t seem to have any discernible style of play on the field and the results have shown exactly that whether it be since August or December or January or whatever timeline anyone chooses to view it from.

    The football even at the basics level again “FOR ME” hasn’t seen any kind of improvement, we were told to look past the results under Emery and more at the performances, same here with Arteta rookie or not, he gets paid the big bucks to deliver.

    We still look like we’re going to conceded whenever an opposition team runs at us, still make the same fundamental mistakes, still look nervous as fuck playing out from the back and the football in general has been unimaginative and boring and of mid table standards, whether or not we want to bury our heads in the sand and say the players available are not fit for purpose to do even the basics that don’t involve aimless sideways passing is another thing entirely.

    Good on you that you see improvements, good on me too that i don’t see said improvements and the league table since August when the league actually started shows that

  89. Rich


    You could argue the opposite just as easily, we had fans before the Chelsea game saying they want us to lose, just so they can get rid of the manager, each to their own, but I can’t get on board with that

    We won our first league game at Stamford Bridge in almost a decade, and people are crying about the manner in which we pulled it off, fans whinged for years that Wenger wasn’t pragmatic enough in these types of games, then cry when we put in a disciplined away performance

    We might have just kicked off a Chelsea end of season collapse, and if fans can’t enjoy that, they’re completely soulless

    Arteta could have little argument if he got the boot, and had there been fans in the stadium, I’d expect he’d have been gone by now

    Personally I’d like us to rip up the whole script, but since that looks extremely unlikely, I’m taking a few weeks away from Arsenal this summer

    Hoping for the best, but fearing the worst, I flat don’t trust Edu + Arteta in the transfer market, the Ryan Bertrand rumours suggest we’ve learned nothing from past mistakes

    Arteta can turn this around though, we’ve been better since Smith-Rowe emerged, and we loaned Odegaard

    If we address the balance, size, and quality of our squad, I think we’ll have a better season, regardless of who our manager is

    I wouldn’t say no to upgrades in any area of the pitch, but Odegaard, and another top quality technician in the final third, would see us winning more football games, and should be the priority

    Quality cover for Tierney + Leno to keep them on their toes, and provide cover

    Hopefully then we can get Torreira, Guendouzi Xhaka, Elneny out, and reshuffle our pack in the middle of the park, but that would just be a really nice bonus

    I think KSE will invest this summer, they don’t really have an alternative, unless they sell the club, they’re out of their minds trusting these two with any money though, because we really can’t afford anymore fu*k ups

  90. Dissenter

    The level or your bias is outstanding
    You are the only one on the planet that lumps 2021 Willian with Pepe.
    You can’t get past your dislike of the player and the fact that he was bought ahead of Zaha to review his performance with fairness.

    If Pepe’s output is academy level, than that academy player must be an extra-terrestrial being.
    ..and for god’s sake don’t throw in Saka because he’s a fully established England international with three seasons in our senior squad.

  91. Ishola70


    “Arteta can turn this around though”

    To what extent can he turn this around though?

    He has set himself a low bar going into next season because of heavy tanking this season.

    Are we going to do cartwheels for getting sixth place next season?

  92. Dela Mere

    Champagne Charlie
    “Willian and Pepe are terrible senior players, they’ve given us academy returns.”

    Says the man who supports a novice manager.

  93. Pedro

    Left, I know it’s really, really hard for you to compute this… but maybe the global pandemic had an impact on elite sport this season and that might be a point of differentiation between Emery and Arteta.

    We are 9 points off 4th in our worst ever season. 8 points from last seasons league winners. A single point behind Carlo A.

    Showing us what happened when a really experienced manager took over the club, had two full preseason, spent 200m, all outside a pandemic isn’t the table you think it is.


  94. Sid

    Arsenal losing games has zero corelation to how much a poster on le grove wants the manager to lose,

    Im telling you for free!

  95. Champagne Charlie


    You don’t need to qualify “for me”, I’m not the one claiming this or that poster is a ‘fanboy’, ‘deluded’, ‘brain dead’, because they are or aren’t for the sack of Arteta.

    I’ve been quite clear on my stance, I’d totally understand his sacking based on results, but I think it undermines appointing a rookie to dismiss him after a season and pretend there was no learning on the job due.

    That’s apparently fair game to ridicule and dismiss with many of the terms above. But feel free to pull me up for calling someone a bellend for their views about Arsenal if that occurs.

  96. Nelson

    Arsenal has to stop signing those free 30+ players and offer them a high salary plus a signing bonus. We then got stuck with them and have to pay them to get rid of them. We have to learn how Leicester City or Dortmund conducts their business. Have you ever seen them signing those type of players? Have you ever seen them offering a 30+ player (Auba) a 3 year contract? I can’t see how the team can progress if the administration continues to act like that.