by .

Oh my word, Mikel Arteta spoke highly of a youngster. This on Joe ‘I like to score goals’ Willock.

“I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has. I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience.

“He has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next years for him.

“And he got the responsibility and the test of going to Newcastle to help them get where they want to. I spoke with the coaching staff there and they are extremely happy because he was a key part of contributing to get the objectives that they had. That’s a real positive for him.”

Getting the Willian treatment out here!

The praise for Joe is nice to read. His goal record has been exceptional, watching him open up a sprint is something else (and reminds us all of Freddie), and it’s no easy feat scoring goals off crumbs in that Newcastle side. Additionally, the fact that the coaching staff has told Arsenal his attitude and leadership has been immense adds to the validation.

From what I understand, focus was a big issue for him and a few others in the Hale-End collective. Maybe a little too big for their boots, thinking they’re all Jadon Sancho before cashing the reciepts. Sometimes a humbling at another club is what’s needed to convince that you’ve got it pretty good at Arsenal.

Sam Allardyce had solid advice for Maitland-Niles.

“If I were him, I’d play wherever the manager picked me – and I’d never turn it down because if you are able to play in a number of positions, then you are going to get more games than if you had one position and one position only.

“Perhaps you don’t want to be tagged as a ‘utility player’ but sometimes those people are played more often than those who are stubborn and say: ‘I want to play in that position and nowhere else.’”

You have to earn your right to play at Arsenal. There shouldn’t be the expectation that we’ll give a season of concentration lapses to kids trying to make it. Fussing over your role at a big club is a bit odd.

I’m not sure what the future holds for either of them, but a loan spell down the table will certainly have focused the minds of both.

The key takeaway from the preBrighton press conference were:

  • Our position in the league table is unacceptable
  • There was a lot of bad shit going on between Sept / Jan that impacted that run of games
  • Those problems have left the club and we’ve generally been better for it

The obvious problems were the players we didn’t eject in the summer. We know Ozil was a nuisance, we saw what Kola and Mustafi did at Schalke (Mustafi binned today), we know Sokratis was a big personality and probably not the best to be around after being ditched.

My one worry is that William Saliba might have been in that mixer. The whining in the press when he landed the move was very aggressive, something you didn’t see from any of the other loanees with arguably a much stronger case for first team selection from than him. We’ll see though. Saliba is a ball playing right sided centre back, his numbers have been pretty decent, hopefully he’ll make up one of the slots that can compete for the first team next season. Still think we’re going to need an experienced name there. Gabriel, who is older, struggled this season, to expect Saliba who has clear weaknesses to come in and pick up the David Luiz slack might be a touch naive.

We’ve been heavily linked with Buendia. This is the Premier League strategy I suspected we were chasing down. The Argentine is apparently hot on the list. I can see why, he has the same energy levels as ESR, but with more end product because he’s older. He’s done it in the Premier League, he did it after going down (shows great focus), my only issue is that £40m is a lot of money for a player that is untested at the highest level. We’re leveling out a lot of money in the most expensive market in the world when there are likely similar deals to be had for elite players in broke leagues.

Still, the other side of the coin is that we really can’t afford a slow start next season. Buendia knows the pace. He knows the requirements. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder to prove he is one of the best. Liverpool built the core of their side on players that had done it in the Premier League, it makes sense that if we’re going with teenagers, we need to have some people that are going to come in right away and offer NOW product. I’d still like to see us loan in someone like Odegaard if that were to happen. We’re not one creative player from beating the fine margins game.

The mission this summer. Improve edge in final third by 20%. Reduce mistakes the other end by 50%. Everything needs to be threaded through that lense. Buendia would certainly help in the final third.

Ok, that is me done, I’ll see you in the comments.



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Eduardo


    Emery gave Mkhi quite a run in the team – when he and Iwobi were our two main AMs. We were utterly toothless during that spell, I’m not sure which one of them was worse.

  2. CG

    “””””Mkhi has 27 goal contributions this season””””

    Great research Captain.

    Always liked this one.Proper player TWO FOOTED
    Plays it forward, scores a goal.

    100 games for Armenia , that says a lot about his character.You cant just zip over to Yerevan on a no frills carrier.

    8 goals in 39 games for The Gunners too.

    Best thing he has done in his career to escape from Artetas clutches.

    Arteta would have quashed those stats.

    Joe W and Mik having great goalscoring seasons, cant think why!

  3. Eduardo


    Mkhi got a hat trick against some no hopers in one of his first games, inflating his stats. He was fat, slow, and couldn’t shoot. Clearly suits the Italian league which is barely better than the French these days.

  4. Tom

    Ramsey -6 goals ,6 assists in 3000 minutes of play over two seasons for Juve.

    Mkhi – 23 goals, 19 assists in 5300 minutes of play over two seasons for Roma

    Ask Arsenal fans who they’d take back and most would say Ramsey

  5. CG


    Thats your opinion and unlike Rich you have said what you think. Good for you.

    I think he can play. And 27 goals and assists in the Italian League prove that.

    Never made sense in my mind, to relinquish Mik and get in William as his replacement unless 2 things were happening.

    1. The Execs are on the take.
    2 Management are incompetent.

  6. China1

    I’m getting a 2 hour VIP tour of the worlds biggest floating hospital tomorrow which just got built 10 mins drive from here

    Not sure if it’s going to be one of those amazingly interesting things or I’ll want to jump off the side after 45 mins… is there really that much to say about a ship to make it 2 hours??

    But a couple of really senior managers are going to gotta keep up appearance and pretend discussing why they used aluminum for the hull or w/e is great fun.

    Maybe it will surprise me and actually be legit for 2h

  7. Eduardo


    Management are utterly incompetent, no argument there. Willian signing is among the worst in the club’s history; the Sanchez Mkhi swap wasn’t much better, but the real crime there was not selling Sanchez before his contract ran down.

  8. Rich

    Willian wasn’t Mkhitaryan’s replacement

    Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Ramsey, Monreal, Koscielny, all left in the summer of 2019

    And were replaced with Pepe, Martinelli, Saka, Ceballos, Tierney, Luiz

  9. Tom

    I’m sure the general Mkhi dislike had nothing to do with missing out on £60m for Sanchez to City deal and going instead for the Alexis/ Mkhi swap.

    One strike against him even before he first suited up in an Arsenal kit.

  10. Tom

    “I’m getting a 2 hour VIP tour of the worlds biggest floating hospital tomorrow which just got built 10 mins drive from here“

    China, the funniest thing about that sentence is that if you switched a few words around and said the worlds biggest floating hospital was built by the Chinese in 10 minutes, no one would even bat an eye.

  11. Tom

    “Emery gave Mkhi quite a run in the team……”

    The same Emery Pedro and others proclaimed the worst manager in Arsenal history ?

  12. China1

    The difference between mikki and Ramsey is Ramsey did it for arsenal and he did it for several years. He put the team on his back one season and was a key player (in spite of having a very problematic weakness of abandoning xhaka)

    But the key point is we can talk about what mikki was done really well at Roma and fair play to him. But having a really good season in another league doesn’t really compare with having a handful of very good seasons at your own club. The mikki we had at arsenal didn’t consistently play like the one we’re seeing in Italy, so people are going to be scepticql he can do it reliably for us when he didn’t reliably do it at any stage across a handful of years in England. Ramsey did and he did it for us

  13. Pierre

    Mhkitarayan…a criminal waste of creative talent.
    if only we had someone higher up who could have questioned Emery’s and Arteta’s decision making on our players..

    We have bought and disposed of so many players in the last 3 years and yet our 2 most influential players are 2 academy players, and don’t be surprised to see another 2/3/4 players from the academy grab their chance if they are actually afforded the chance to prove themselves..

    The amount of creative talent that Arsenal football club have allowed to leave the club for nothing beggars belief, and if we allow young talent like Willock and Nketiah to leave before they have the chance to showcase their talents, we could live to regret it.

    Though of course Le Groaners will be happy to see willock and Nketiah leave , just as they were with the previous players……worked out well, didn’t it.

  14. China1

    The workers must’ve been charging by the hour and sat around drinking baijiu until 3 weeks ago then smashed it out

    On another note the man city owner had pledged to pay for the city fans expenses to attend the CL final. Gauntlet thrown down to abramovic to match or better it now lol

  15. Pierre

    40 starts fornArsenal

    21 goals/assists.

    And the know nothings celebrated his departure.

  16. andy1886

    Rich, not strictly true. Mkhi went on loan in 2019/20, he didn’t leave Arsenal until 31.8.20 when Mikel was manager and decided to release him. Same transfer window that we signed Willian…

  17. Dissenter

    Sadly Mykhi wasn’t suited to the English game
    That’s due to not fault of any Arsenal manager. He should have been United ‘s failure alone until Arsenal decided to share the fun.

  18. Captain Tierney

    Whats up with the Mkhi love today.
    Good player in a league suited to his strengths but absolutely woeful in his time in the PL and for Arsenal.

    And why are we comparing Ramsey Juve numbers to Mkhi Roma numbers . Lets compare Ramsey Arsenal numbers with Mkhi Arsenal numbers. That would be a better comparison if we are comparing to see who would be better for Arsenal.

  19. Captain Tierney

    Pierre when taking about Martinelli always uses appearances as a match count but when taking about Mkhi appearances have turned into starts.

    Whatever suits your agenda, eh 😬

    In that sense, Martinelli has 11 G/A in 18 starts ( not even considering FA cup and Carabao cup games where he probably has more G/A than starts). Must be a world beater this guy.

    Similarly Pepe has 34G G/A in 49 starts. Must be a legend this guy

  20. Crimson

    We won, we lost. we finished 8th
    Sad and pitiful
    Turn it off and on again!!
    The scars of the season will last till kroenke goes or till they empty their pockets. Which will never happen.
    Mikel is learning on the job and hopefully he has learnt from his bad decisions. Twitter and haters will hate but he is here, support him!!
    Massive surgery needed with the team
    I count 11 players gone
    5 quality needed
    No Europe could be a blessing
    Well to Joe. Really cool achievement
    Ballard impressing
    Did anyone find Gabriels tooth?
    Thanks David Luiz! Saliba is incoming!
    Thanks Hector! Love ya face and soul but Ciao
    Love you Arsenal ❤