by .

I mean, every single time I complain about slow biz, Arsenal deal that day. No sooner had I let rip that our summer was going down the pan because Captain Edu was busy sailing on the Don Shouldwebedoingthis… we signed a player. Well, kind of.

David Ornstein revealed that the Ben White deal has clocked in at £50m, making the right-sided centre back our 3rd most expensive signing in history. For a club that took made players bring packed lunches last season to save money, this is quite the statement.

As fans, we’re in ‘if Edu is involved, there’s no doubt it’s bad’ mode at the moment… but no doubt if Liverpool or Chelsea did this we’d be praising their shrewd scouting. A bit like Ryan Bertrand causing an #ArtetaOut trending topic, until Leicester went there, and it was fine.

Whatever you think about the deal, this much is true.

He’s a truly unique talent in the way that he plays. He’s been coached by Bielsa, who plays murderball at training, he’s been developed further by the excellent Graham Potter at Brighton. He carries the ball like a midfielder, he can confidently move passes between the lines like David Luiz, and he’s now capped.

Then factor in the next most important thing: he’s robust. He dropped 46 appearances at Leeds during his single season there. He played 36 of Brighton’s 38 games last season. The guy has a body that is ready for the challenge. So, so important for Arsenal this season after watching what Thomas Partey’s unusual run last season did to our campaign. Derisk is my fave new term… and this signing has it all in my opinion.

The big question marks are the same for any young centre back with a newly minted profile: Can they do it at a big club?

Harry McG was mercilessly mocked when he went to United, he’s just made the finals of the Euros conceding two goals. Same for John Stones over at Manchester City. Whenever there is a young British centre back that lands a big move, everyone doubts them, it is absolutely standard. I can even remember West Ham fans telling me Rio was great but would struggle at a big club. I think most of that comes down to branding… when you have a boring name and you look like an 18-30s Ibiza club rep, people doubt your talent.

Changing that view is down to the player. Most Arsenal fans don’t know what to make of it, so let’s hope the plan in place is one that is sharp, because boy do we need him to level us up next season. Still, at 23, if he can do it, it’ll look a bargain in a few years time.

For me, this is a massive piece of the Arteta jigsaw. There can’t be reasons this season as to why the system didn’t work. There can’t be rogue ‘but that player wasn’t quite right’ this season. We need to see the finished product. That finished product needs ball playing centrebacks. Fullbacks that can move and deliver final balls. Creative players that can move the ball at speed and be decisive. Strikers that are finishing their chances.

Even if you don’t understand Ben White, know that he’s important, otherwise they’d have put that money elsewhere. Also, Sky reporting that medical is set for when he’s back from holiday is like, exactly what Le-Grove told you.

Apparently, the club wants to reveal the Kido Hart deal as well as the Sambi Lokonga signing. Honestly, I am really quite thrilled about Lokonga. Even if it doesn’t quite work out, the idea is right. It shows that we’re leaning into the analysts behind the scenes, it shows that we have the smarts at Arsenal to fish out value, and it once again reinforces that the powers that be took note of what old players bring to the dressing room.

The Kido Hart deal is also a superb piece of news. You can keep reading all these weirdos saying the club is crashing and Emery was a better idea than Arteta… but the kids who used to leave under Wenger are now signing deals. You do not entrust your future to a coach you don’t believe in. Kido Hart could have his pick of clubs on the continent, he chose to stay at Arsenal because he sees a future here. I think that’s fucking great news.

I still think the biggest worry for Arsenal fans is where we’re putting the money for the Xhaka replacement and who we’re going to bring in to cover for the loss of Martin Odegaard. We’re not moving things forward without those two positions being filled. Our midfield is not going to be a 21 year old in his first Premier League year.

The big rumblings are that Locatelli is the player they want. Again, he’s a bit slow, but he has so much power and craft to his game. The goss from Italy appears to be that Juventus tapping Sassuolo for a 2-year loan deal with an obligation to buy. Arsenal are sitting outside the office with two suitcases full of cash worth £40m. If you run Sassuolo, who are probably bleeding hard at the moment, are you really going to let Juve pull your pants down like that? Cash is king, particularly this season. You cannot be doing mega clubs favours like that. The club might not survive. It always feels like a longshot move… but if Juve don’t have money, that is a very difficult obstacle to manoeuvre. Can you imagine the fireworks if we managed to pull that deal off?

This is another red flag issue… if you wait 4 weeks and Juve miraculously find the cash, you are fucked, because no one else will deal.

How long do you wait for your primary targets?

What does it cost you?

Can you afford to go into a season with either of those two positions vacant?

Transfer windows for clubs like Arsenal are a moving target. There are so many variables. The job of Edu is to manage them to perfection. So far, he hasn’t always delivered, so this summer is huge.

… one thing we can say about Edu though, he doesn’t sit on money, and he will find players. Not always the players you want, but he finds them.

Arsenal play Rangers today. I’m expecting a sexier performance than the one we saw in the week, but again, calm down, it’s just a friendly.

Before I go… no one told me the new home kit had hooped socks. I am absolutely going full kit on this. Imagine me rolling to a meeting near you soon, wearing these like Payne-Stewart-plus-fours.

OI OI, listen to the podcast.

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Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Dissenter

    Why did the club allow an injury prone player to cut short his break
    Tierney should have been made to take his full allotment of holidays

  2. China1

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen Eddie look like a man on the pitch

    His poaching and goal scoring exploits are obviously well known but he’s always looked like a kid amongst men in the senior team. He’s done well today and doesn’t look like a kid anymore. Good job to him

  3. curse

    Eddie definitely looks more physical, it’s a shame Nelson doesn’t, wasn’t surprised he didn’t get mins last season. lost faith in him really quickly.

  4. PhD2020

    China1July 17, 2021 15:45:38
    This is the first time I’ve ever seen Eddie look like a man on the pitchHis poaching and goal scoring exploits are obviously well known but he’s always looked like a kid amongst men in the senior team. He’s done well today and doesn’t look like a kid anymore. Good job to him

    It’s a preseason friendly against Rangers for heaven’s sake.

    Hardly the time to judge him or make an assessment based on a preseason friendly.

    Anyway, appreciated your commentary yesterday,although I disagreed with large parts of it.But it’s great to hear other’s points of views.

  5. Gooner Grant

    It’s going to be a horrendous season, TOP 4! I’ve serious doubts will make top 10. Will not be at all surprised if we’re looking for a new manager come Christmas.

  6. CG

    Rangers 2 Arsenal 2

    Well played Eddie N for scoring and getting yourself in tip top shape for season 21/22.

    you are a credit to yourself and the club.

    Eternal shame for William looking like the fat disgrace he is.

    And shame on Arteta and Edu for allowing him to continue to put an Arsenal shirt under their watch and pay him £200k a week.

    If I had my way, I’d dump the 3 of them in the River Clyde.

  7. Marc


    If you consider that it wasn’t long ago we were being told that missing out on Europe was a positive because it would allow us to focus on the PL it’s a joke.

    Where are those posters now and why aren’t they telling us a top 4 challenge is on?

  8. China1

    PHD I’m not judging Eddie as a player, just judging his performance today which was pretty good – and how he looks physically which is noticeably bulkier than before where he used to look like Bambi lol

    And yeah I don’t take it personally if people have opinions on things here. You and everyone else are free to think or believe as you wish and say whatever you think (appreciate that!). As long as discussions are respectful I’m good with it. Like I said yesterday if I say something strongly it’s because I really believe it based on what I’ve seen/experienced first hand – and if I say nothing at all or say ‘no comment’ or ‘I don’t know’ etc then you can interpret that either on face value or read whatever you like into it. I’m not going to get myself into trouble saying controversial things so there are topics and points which I simply must excuse myself from, but I don’t need to lie about my experience here – if I say it, it’s based on my loved experience. It is what it is anyway

    Anyway have a good evening and if you like whisky try Arran 10 if you find it because it’s absolutely lovely!

  9. PhD2020

    TR7July 17, 2021 15:53:37
    Going to be another difficult season, isn’t it ?

    Nothing to see really during a preseason friendly.

    Once the transfer window shuts and the season starts with aplomb, give it 1-2 months to feel out the place.Half term assessment come Christmas time.

    We’ll have more of an idea of what’s what.Not that we haven’t figured out already what’s what from the last 18 months.

    Poster’s shooting their load over preseason friendlies are just inviting an early aneurism.

    Interesting to see how Arterta tackles the midfield dilemma during this transfer window.

    Just have a feeling this is 2013/14 season all over again,albeit under a different manager.

  10. Habesha Gooner

    The 2nd half line up barely had players that are going to play for us next season. Nketiah, Nelson, Willock, AMN, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Willian all were playing. All of them have had rumors about them leaving. It just smells like lack of planning in incoming and outgoings.

  11. China1

    Lol weagle Pierre has waited the whole night to pen an essay on Eddie and we all know it

    And it will be absolutely triumphant

    But hey Eddie having a good half, scoring and looking more grown up is no bad thing. One would hope he’s either getting better prepared for arsenal next season or putting himself in the shop window. Arsenal win in either scenario

    Him doing well is worth 100000x more than seeing kola, Willian and bellerin I’m telling you

  12. Peckobill

    Let’s hope Eddie scoring doesn’t make arteta turn down bids for him , we’ve been down that road with AMN.

  13. PhD2020

    SAGGJuly 17, 2021 16:04:35
    PhD20202013-2014 we finidhed 4th and won a FA Cup. I dont think we will achieve that this season.
    I mean with the transfer debacle-Higuain/Suarez and then the Ozil purchase.

    Just taking a scatter gun approach to transfer dealings and not addressing the key areas that needed or need to be dealt with.

  14. Godfather

    I’m flying to Orlando for the Inter game.
    Hope the boys make it worth my while.
    I’m sitting a few rows from the bench.
    I’ll make sure the short man hears my opinions 😂

  15. Sly

    At this rate I think a new CM is 50:50 between neves and xhaka staying on
    CAM more likely as ESR will need support
    Won’t be a fun season

  16. China1

    The next arsenal game is in America against inter at 6:00am China time

    Wtf is a 6am kick off?? At least I can watch it before work. That’s gonna be a very odd experience

    Also that’s a real doozie because should we pick bellerin or not? If he accidentally plays well it could cement his move and add a few million to the coffers. If he plays like his usual self the whole deal could be off. Can we afford to role that dice? Probably not, but I’m sure we will

  17. China1

    Godfather that’s cool. Do us a favour and shout extremely positive things about bellerin all game within audible distance of the Inter dugout

    I’m absolutely begging you

  18. Rich


    10-12 points from our first 6 matches, sounds about right

    If we’re on the top end of that target, then averaging 2 points a game over the season would give us 76 points, and while I think it’ll take more than 67 points to get top 4 next season, we’d be unlucky to miss out on 76

    As we stand we’re already weaker without Odegaard and adequate competition for Leno, while Leicester + Villa already look stronger

    Chelsea have a really good project at the beginning of a cycle, and are an elite striker away from being genuine title contenders

    United look like they’ll invest north of £150 million, City will likely get a top striker, and maybe Grealish as well

    Liverpool have invested in a centre half, and will have VVD back, there’s surely no way they’ll lose that many home games again this season

    It’ll be an almighty scrap next season, and as we stand, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see us finish between 6th-9th

    But 3-4 astute signings who improve our first team in the immediate, and by improving the internal competitiveness and balance of our squad, then we can put ourselves right in the mix for top 4, particularly in the latter stages of the season, if other clubs around us go into the knock out stages of European competition

    I’d imagine they’ll be 2-3 clubs out in front, then very little overall separating a cluster of 5-6 teams behind that

    With some astute moves, we can win that battle, get our recruitment wrong, and the Arteta out brigade will get what they want by January

    Today was a meaningless friendly more about fitness just over a week into pre-season, but a player like Odegaard is priceless in those tight spaces, we have to secure a top class final third technician from somewhere, otherwise we’ll see that blunt possession script far too often

  19. Tee

    “SidJuly 17, 2021 16:05:06
    Nketiah is quality, on the same level or better than Lautaro Martinez”

    Lol. Sid just did a Redtruth up there.

  20. Zacharse

    Rich you forget w/out european football our first team stays fit much longer, doesnt necessarily hit the classic slump come november, arteta the diet pep tactician gets all the training ground time his little heart can take. It could wind up being just what we need for a proper reset from
    The wenger era of just rolling w the punches and buying to fatigue/injury

  21. Marc


    I’ve got us as follows.

    Brentford A – 3 points
    Chelsea H – 1 point (possibly optimistic all depends how quickly Chelsea settle into the new season)
    City A – 0
    Norwich H – 3
    Burnley A – 1
    Spud’s H – 3 points (I can’t predict us losing to the Spud’s at home)

  22. Bob N16

    ‘Where are those posters now and why aren’t they telling us a top 4 challenge is on?’

    Based on the second pre-season friendly? Without Saka, Leno, Gabriel, Martinelli, and hopefully three or more other incoming players who we’d expect to be first teamers, oh and making eleven changes during the match.

    I imagine most of the positive-looking posters read the stream, often dominated by hardcore posters who enjoy reminding everybody with numerous posts on a daily basis that Arsenal are in the shit and we have a useless manager and inept Head of Football and next season is going to be sh*tshow, and decide they’d rather avoid getting involved.

    I would say that we might have a few posters feeling that a top 4 challenge is more realistic when we’ve finished our transfer business.

    What do you think Marc?

  23. Godfather

    @ China

    I’ll be shocked if HB plays that game.
    I expect it to be full of Gooners.
    Been trying to get the new red jerseys but they are sold out everywhere and I don’t want the fake ones.
    Hoping they will have em when we get down there

  24. China1

    Godfather I once got threatened by a local in the Beijing birds nest stadium because after Chelsea went about 3 goals up against us in a preseason friendly I stood up and bellowed wenger out

    This absolute moron next to me freaked out and started telling his mates that I was an asshole and didn’t respect wenger (he was right about one thing), and started suggesting we take this outside for an actual fight.

    Anyway the moral of the story is sometimes you have to do what’s right – and in this case you and your family need to come decked out in full bellerin gear (socks and all) and spend the entire 90 mins chanting his name, singing his praises and loudly begging for him not to go to inter as he’s the best RB ever. Just do whatever needs to be done to convince inter that he’s not gash and you’ll be a true hero of the people

  25. Marc


    It has nothing to do with the 2 pre season friendlies – I haven’t criticised those results only why some players are being included when they should be out the door.

    My comment is based on the lowering of expectations by some on here and even worse the justification for lowering them.

    We were told being out of Europe was a plus but now actually doing better isn’t going to happen so what’s the benefit.

  26. Marc


    More of the same as last season – a few good results, the odd good performance but mostly a great steaming pile of meh!

    With Arteta being fired around Christmas.

    What are yours?

  27. Godfather


    Wow it’s amazing how tough people get when their friends are around. Imagine fighting over Wenger smh.
    We shall see. It’ should be fun mixing and mingling and sharing opinions with other Gooners before the game.

    Not sure about capacity but I’m hoping for at least 70% to be pro Arsenal. But if they keep playing like we’ve seen in these two games it might turn pretty quickly to Arteta out.

    I still don’t get this Ben White purchase.
    We need more athleticism and creativity in the center of the park. And why not at least give Saliba a run of preseason games to see what he is like. It seems very personal with Arteta. Must be that little man syndrome smh

  28. Sid

    Shots on target %
    Nketiah 41%
    Lautaro 33%

    Non penalty xG/shot
    Nketiah 0.2
    Lautaro 0.13

    Goals per shot on target
    Nketiah 0.4
    Lautaro 0.42

  29. andy1886

    I’m expecting a slight improvement and calls for ‘one more season’. Which is what Marc is getting at. Anyone who wanted Wenger Out but doesn’t apply the same standards to his replacements owes old Uncle Arsene an apology.

  30. China1

    Godfather fingers crossed for a great day out for you guys

    I’ll be watching if I can get a free stream on YouTube. If you catch yourself on camera give us a LG hand gesture 😂😂

  31. Rich


    I’d break the season down like this, this isn’t what I’m saying will happen, but hope we assemble a squad capable of producing this type of consistency, in a very competitive league

    Bottom half we need 50/60 points, we’re going to need to be so consistent against teams down the league, with little room for error

    Villa, Leicester, Everton, West Ham we need to average 4 points

    Chelsea, City, Liverpool, United, Spurs, 10-15 points, realistically we’ll likely be towards the bottom of that spectrum, but we do need to take some points from those games, however ugly

    There’ll be the usual bedwetting if we lose at City, and lose or draw a fine margins game at home to Chelsea, but providing we do the business and take 10-12 points against Brentford, Norwich, Burnley, Spurs, then I’m not going to get too stressed early on

    We’ve then got Brighton, Palace, Villa, Leicester, Watford, before we go to Anfield, which is a game I usually dread

    We need 12 points from those 6 games, and to be on roughly 24 points from our first 12 games

    Our last 11 games look decent, and if we make a fair few changes to the squad, I’d expect us to finish stronger than we start

  32. Valentin


    I understand exactly where you are coming from. There is no point in risking to make your life difficult by oversharing your thoughts with strangers on internet.

    A friend of one of my sister lives in China and is married to a Chinese man. As a rule all her social media posts are innocuous. She learned the hard way that Chinese people can be too proud. Sacarsm and constructive Criticism can have dire consequence.

  33. Bob N16

    You can’t have it both ways Marc,

    The top four of last season are clearly firm favourites to finish in the same position next season. One of those teams will have to have a real under-achieving season to drop out of the top 4. Off course I’m hoping that Arsenal will be the best of the rest and could take advantage of any slips. This is of course is heavily dependent on the calibre of players that we can bring in before the end of the TW.

    You appear desperately to want Arteta to fail and be sacked (this is of course quite possible) but by not acknowledging that the top 4 have that much better squads, you’re being unrealistic to expect us to finish in the CL positions.

    Without European football and 3 more first teamers in, then 5th is more than possible. 7th or below is sackable, 5th or 6th, as long as we’ve genuinely narrowed the gap should mean that our progress is acceptable.

    ‘If that’s Arteta’s expectation he should be fired now.” I have no idea what his expectation is, I was simply suggesting your expectations are unrealistic and you are loathe to accept that finishing fifth would be a sign of progress and therefore mitigating Arteta’s continued employment.

    Of course if we start really badly, Arsenal’s end of season position will be irrelevant to Arteta as he will have been sacked before Xmas!

  34. Valentin

    If the expectation is that we cannot compete for top 4 because we don’t have the financial resources, then what was the point of sacking both Wenger and Emery for failing top 4?

    There is a massive difference between failing top 4 by a whisker and finishing 8th despite playing defensive boring football.

    We were promised that Arteta is a marvellous coach who would have us competing for top 4. Now the excuse for his failing are given before the season even started. That’s rank of hypocrisy and double standard.

  35. Davi

    Only two problems I ever had with Eddie were his very slight physique, which made it difficult for him to impose himself, and his poor finishing in 1v1 chances. He has addressed the first, which actually means he now has a decent shot of being a long term PL level CF imo, but he did miss his 1v1 chance against Hibs, so he still needs to improve there (don’t think I’ve ever seen him finish one in a top level game)
    He has a decent level of talent and a great attitude to the game from what I can see, so I expect the other flaws to his game to iron out, but finishing the 1v1s is maybe a psychological thing which is more difficult to overcome?

  36. Bertie Mee

    A remarkable skill to extrapolate from a pre-season friendly in July where 9 of the 11 who finished the game may not be here at the start of the season. Xhaka will NOT be here this is the usual poncing around you get with Roma ( remember Mkhitaryan) .
    Please note Chelsea , Citeh, Spurs and Everton haven’t signed anyone . United have signed one as have Liverpool. We’ve effectively signed three

  37. WengerEagle

    Valentin hit the nail on the head there.

    If you are more than happy for us to finish in 5th next season then what was the point of sacking Emery and Wenger?

  38. Bob N16

    Valentin, which of the top 4 teams last year are likely to finish below Arsenal next season? If you believe that they had better squads last season and are all likely to invest heavily this TW, is it realistic to expect one of them to seriously underachieve? Liverpool did last season and only just scraped in, of course this was primarily down to significant injuries and Pickford!

    I’m not sure how useful it is to constantly go on about the Wenger top 4 years. We’ve been mismanaged, our transfer ins and outs for years have been poor and but for some really promising Hale End graduates we’d be in an even worse situation. Most supporters recognise that we’ve got to turn it around but to suggest anything but Top 4 is automatically a failure for next season is being either ingenuous or dare I say it, agenda driven!

  39. Marc


    You’re really struggling to see my point.

    We had posters on here saying missing out on EL football was a good thing because it gave us no distractions in the pursuit of getting top 4 this season. Nothing has changed between when they were saying this and now so if we’re not going to make top 4 what was the benefit of not getting EL?

  40. Rich


    We had 20 consecutive top 4 finishes, we were always going to have a dip at some point, we just need to ensure it doesn’t become a permanent decline

    In the same way for a long time we were better than some other teams, right now we’re in a cycle of other teams being better than us, and the league generally being much more competitive

    What I want to see is the beginning of a new cycle emerging, with a young, hungry and exciting team, who have their best days ahead of them

    Forget Arsenal historically being the third biggest club in the country, forget our wage bill and revenue

    Then analyse our squad with others, and there’s very little between a cluster of clubs, we’re way behind 2 teams, with Chelsea as well on the verge of a new cycle, and United set to invest north of £150 million

    As we stand we’re already weaker without Odegaard + Ryan, and we’re competing with Spurs, Villa, and Everton, with Leicester who’ve already strengthened, slightly ahead of that pack

    I wasn’t surprised things improved with Smith-Rowe + Odegaard, and if we upgrade 3-4 first team players, and sort out a few other issues with our squad, then I think we can put ourselves in the mix for 3rd or 4th, but it’ll likely go right down to the wire, with very little separating the teams around us

    My main concern isn’t around the coaching, my concern is around the scouting, recruitment, squad planning, contract management, and general running of the club, which has been horrendous for a long time

    Letting two rookies take charge of this process seems bonkers to me, so I’m just praying they don’t screw it up

  41. Globalgunner

    Valentin. Big thumbs up for your post. People already making excuses before the shyte show even begins
    By Xmas they will say give him another TW
    By May it will be something else. My abiding prayer each evening is that Zidane will take some time off and will still be available for us by December. This chance is taking Arsenal nowhere

  42. Marc


    Or missing out on EL football.

    Right now it looks like the argument for missing out on EL is so we can get back in the EL.

    I’ve got Bob making excuses and that’s the issue – too many ready to make excuses no matter what.

  43. Aussie+Gooner

    With no midfield to speak of, White will be doing more than his fair share of defending! For a club that was pleading poverty to then splash out 50m on a player with one years experience in the top flight playing for a mid table team and who plays in a position that was not a priority to cover is ridiculous. It can only mean that the Krankies plan to splash the cash to fill all our urgent needs!

  44. Marc


    “If the expectation is that we cannot compete for top 4 because we don’t have the financial resources,”

    If we don’t have the financial resources to compete doesn’t that mean losing another £30 odd million in TV revenue plus matchday revenues for at circa 5 matches is piss poor?

  45. China1

    Yeah valentine at the end of the day I live here and need to follow the law and rules

    And whilst one could argue sure nothing forces me to stay etc – that’s right – but I have a brother in England with my parents whereas my wife is an only child. If we leave not only is it very important to me that my wife is good with the decision but also there are huge impacts for her parents if we are no longer here.

    At the end of the day the circumstances are not simple. It is what it is.

  46. Peckobill

    Anyone thinking top 4 is an unfair requisite of arteta needs to realise he himself in his interview for the job would’ve said himself that he could deliver that .

    Now before anyone jumps on the I wasn’t there at the interview, there is absolutely no way the conversation about returning arsenal to the champions league wasn’t discussed , it would’ve been one of the most pertinent questions put to arteta , how he’s going to return us to the champions league without being a financially doped club .
    He would’ve come out with the usual bollocks about improving the players we got and adding a player here and there ( in fairness most applying would come out with this bullshit ) .
    Now if he said he could deliver it ( which he would have ) , then deliver it he should .
    There and then in that interview he said the most I can deliver in the PL is 8th, 8th and 6th , then he doesn’t get hired it’s as simple as fucking that .

    Top 4 or out .

  47. Marc


    Sorry mate repeated your comment without seeing it.

    But exactly – I’m not even sure some on here understand the irony of it.

  48. Marc


    If we’re only going to compete for 6th to 8th where do people get off on suggesting we should spend £150 million or more?

    It’s all bullshit and doesn’t add up.

  49. China1

    I’m always a bit curious as to whether the league is really that much more competitive

    In terms of points tallies many of the highest points tallies ever have been recorded in the last decade.

    We have more teams competing for top 4 than ever before – that much is true, but in any given season typically one or two teams absolutely run away with it and smash everyone. How many times in the last 10 years has 3rd place been within 6 points of 1st? I’ve no idea, but I bet it’s not more than 4.

    Most seasons consist of 1 or max 2 major teams showing up and fisting the league whilst the others flatter to deceive and get into long drawn out scraps for 3-6th or so miles behind the league challengers

  50. Globalgunner

    If we dont have money to compete for top 4. Then how the hell did Leicester manage to be there for 99% of last season. People reaching down into their bowels to find all kinds of excuses. I’ll tell you why. Leicester had a fr better manager than we did. That’s why and we didnt. I’m not the betting type but will venture Brendan Rodgers will be looking down on us again end of next season

  51. WengerEagle


    Exactly. Champions League title within three seasons may have been tongue-in-cheek but not to deliver top 4 after 2.5 seasons and two full transfer seasons to replenish the squad and put your stamp on it?

    That’a failure. No matter how far some stretch the goalposts.

  52. Marc

    Bob get’s asked a simple question that is very difficult to answer if all you’ve got are excuses and he disappears.

    And he get’s holier than thou with other posters.

  53. Marc


    What people are forgetting is that Arteta was close to missing out on Europe season before last as well. It was only some fat cunt fucking up who’s now been sacked that means this isn’t the second successive season out of Europe.

  54. China1

    Weagle I met my wife at uni in Bristol and her student visa was going to expire a few months after finishing her masters. Contrary to popular belief it was incredibly hard to find a job to get her a work visa (extremely stringent rules for non EU citizens at the time). I was still a student and couldn’t earn enough on the side to sponsor her on a partner visa. Marriage would’ve been too soon and even then wouldn’t resolve her visa status without me earning enough.

    So I decided to go back with her, finish my masters here and do whatever job would get me a visa in the mean time (teaching English was the easy choice). The plan was just for 1-2 years but 7.5 years and a kid later… plans change I guess lol

  55. Bob N16


    We didn’t get European football because seven teams finished above us!! It wasn’t a strategy to finish so far down the table so we could ‘concentrate on the PL’ – a ‘benefit’ if you like.

    We all know that we need significant improvements in our first team, particularly in midfield and strikers need to get more clinical. We have been ‘told’ that we will be able to invest a significant amount in the squad.

    Most posters ,including myself, expect no midweek football to be to our obvious advantage however it is foolish not to acknowledge the comparative strengths of the top 4 from last season. Ignoring this strength and not acknowledging that one of them will have to significantly under achieve for us to finish four places better off feels agenda driven.

    It feels like those who are strongly anti-Arteta are suggesting anything other than 4th will be automatically a failure.

    Many would argue that finishing fifth, the best of the rest, may well be the most we could realistically expect. With a young squad with plenty of improvement still available, this would probably be acceptable for most supporters. The hard core Arteta-out will probably disagree!

  56. Peckobill

    Irrelevant whether you liked Wenger or not , wanted him in or out ( he should’ve gone about 6 years earlier ) the whole premise of this blog was “ we stuck in elite purgatory “ continuing to just get top 4 finishes . The elite purgatory line become a mantra on here , the whole basis of getting Wenger out so we could challenge again and now it’s ok to get Europa league ? Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit I say .
    Klopp broke into the top against doped clubs so why can’t we ? Well the hiring of decent managers is why but deep down everyone knows that .
    Whenever arteta gets sacked for the last few years wasted as much as I wanted Wenger gone we might as well have stuck with him up till the point arteta would’ve got sacked . Would it really have been any worse ?
    Totally wasted these last few years

  57. Valentin


    Like you wrote the point would make sense if they were arguing that missing European Football give us a better chance to get Champion’s League. But no they are now arguing that we have no chance of making top 4, so no chance to qualify for the Champion’s League.

    It looks like our best chance is to win the FA CUp, and then winning the Europa League. That means two years beyond Arteta promise to win it within 3 years!

    Does that mean that Arteta bullshitted his way into the Arteta’s job?

    Pedro may do all his PR dance, but it is like dog food marketing. If the dog refuse to eat the treat, even the most brand enthusiastic dog owner will switch brand. He can act as Arteta personal cheerleader in chief all he wants, but if Arteta does not deliver soon, it will be for nothing.

  58. Marc


    You’ve got yourself into an argument with me over people who said missing out on EL was a good thing.

    You either think it is or you think it’s a bad thing. It’s not complicated.

    I think it’s terrible it reduces our income and makes us even less attractive to new players.

  59. China1

    Bob the way I see it is I won’t judge based on a single number (4th vs 5th etc), it’s all about context

    If we played well and got 80 points (we won’t) but finished 5th I’d call it a fantastic season and huge improvement. Great job.

    If we came third with 72 points but all the major clubs around us totally imploded for various reasons I’d call it only a solid improvement and wouldn’t be fawning over the league position if performances flattered to deceive and our position was heavily dependent on other clubs having a bad season

    Just like I wasn’t impressed when we came second to Leicester. The number failed to represent that we were in fact just an average top 4 team that season that got lucky that our rivals all had toilet seasons, making us second by default

    Context is everything

  60. SAGG

    If we were going to hava a dip at some point, then why did we sack Wenger?

    If we need to clean the team first then why sack Emery, Because he was 8th at November? Arteta was 14th in the dame.period last season.

    What I see is.thata Wenger.and.Emery receive all the shit with the UNDERACHIEVERS TAG while Arteta has all the excuses playing worse football and having less points ,a lot less.

    Now he is out of.Europe who Arteta lovers said was for the best, but.the same.guys are saying we will achieve EL next season.

    This club deserved all this shit with this kind of fanbase. At least Arsene Football Club has good football and high standards but this Arteta Football Club is totally shit

  61. Dissenter

    Bob N16 – 5th is the new 4th and anyone’s house says otherwise is a hardcore Arteta-out

    What about just using the same standard that was extended to Wenger and the other Sparniad.
    Why is Arteta so special?

  62. Marc

    We are seeing more and more posters on here lose patience with the bullshit, the ineptitude, piss poor football, piss poor results and just the general malaise around the club.

    Can anyone remember if an Arsenal Manager has had his team boo’d off during the first home match of the season?

  63. Marc


    What started this was my comment about people moving the goal posts and lowering expectations. Give it a couple of months and 5th will be an unreasonable expectation. We might as well just say 17th is good enough.

  64. China1

    Dude the first year is so was awful. I adapted very slowly

    I work 50-60 hours a week so I haven’t put hard time in on studying for many years, but I do have quite competent conversational mandarin. As long as it’s nothing hyper specific or unfamiliar I can discuss most common topics ok. As for reading and writing, Chinese has a Roman alphabet version called Pinyin which I mastered (not very difficult) but mandarin characters I never learnt to read or write

    The funny thing is if you type on your phone you use pinyin and it suggests mandarin characters accordingly. But since I can’t read mandarin characters, I have to just hope that the characters it suggests match my meaning – like in English you can have two words which are spelt the same in Pinyin but have different characters in Mandarin

    Needless to say I had a funny one the other day when I sent a message to my elderly father in law, written in flawless pinyin, but since I let my phone auto choose the characters based on my pinyin, instead of inviting him on a 2 day holiday to Jixian mountain range (his favourite place) I accidentally invited him bungee jumping instead 😂😂😂😂😂😂

    I thought it was odd when he said ‘no’ so quickly and bluntly and checked with my wife why he won’t come… fuck man. I need to learn those bloody characters too I guess…

  65. Bob N16

    Rambo, see what you did there with ” Bob the builder’ – classic banter.

    To those who disagree with me, are you suggesting anything less than top 4 is a sackable offence? Is there a scenario where say 5th place is acceptable?

    Simply arguing that Wenger and Emery got sacked for this same ‘offence’ is not recognising where we find ourselves now, with regards to the strength of our top 4 competitors. I would argue it’s not creating excuses for Arteta, but simply being realistic at a time when our first team is in a period of transition and our competitors have stronger and more established squads.

    I would prefer that Arteta doesn’t get sacked in the first couple of months of the season because it would mean that we’ve not gained enough points. If he gets sacked then I will certainly not be shedding any tears.

  66. TR7

    Arsenal should be in conversation for top 4 right through till the end of the season like Leicester were in the last two seasons even though they missed out on it eventually. Anything less will be a failure in my opinion.

  67. Peckobill

    A simple yes or no
    Do you think arteta said he could deliver top 4 to the board in his interview?
    Do you think the board hire him if he said I can only deliver two 8th’s and a 6th place finish ?

  68. Bob N16

    Marc, it wasn’t a choice that we didn’t finish in the EL positions!

    The fact is that when we finished 8th some supporters, including myself, recognised that the ‘silver lining’ was that we should benefit by a few points by not playing those extra games, particularly the away fixtures. I was hoping for 6th or higher, the Spuds can play in the shittier EL!

  69. Sly

    You can trust the process to your hearts content
    Real question I think is does anyone realistically see a rebuilt midfield for next season
    For all the huff and puff with the TW there is a real likelihood that Xhaka stays and we don’t get a CAM
    Best case scenario is we get Neves
    Locatelli is a pipe dream, appears odegard is one too
    With a midfield of Xhaka or Neves +/- a CAM I see us finishing 6th to 8th (bearing in mind ESR can’t bear the burden alone)
    With Xhaka and no CAM 8th to 10th
    With Artedu apparently fully backed for this TW they bear full responsibility for the outcome

  70. Rambo

    Bob, no I’m with you. At some point you gotta accept realities and reality is Arsenal are a shitty, mismanaged club top down. Arteta is merely a symptom, not the disease; getting rid of the chancer is alleviating the symptom, not curing the disease.

    Setting up expectation on a top four finish is akin to expecting a lottery win.

  71. Marc

    “with regards to the strength of our top 4 competitors.”

    Last season:

    Chelsea shit and sacked their manager

    Liverpool shit

    We didn’t we make top 4 last season then.

    Bob has 3 positions.

    1) Move the goal posts

    2) Make excuses.

    3) Move the goal posts and then make excuses anyway.

  72. China1

    Marc man I’ve had some hilarious fuck ups over the years

    There is a classic story from about 6 years ago that ended with me getting a boy in his final test to draw a picture of ‘cow man’ on his test paper because my mandarin pronunciation was slightly off when trying to tell him to draw a picture of a girl 😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Ah man. I totally forgot about that. Fuck that was funny

    The look of absolute bemusement on this 9 year olds face when the teacher is insisting that he needs to draw a picture of ‘cow man’ and he’s looking at me like WTF IS COWMAN AND HOW DO I DRAW THIS AND WHY IS THIS IN MY ENGLISH TEST?????

    I was trying to help the poor lad as he was the weakest in the class and on course to get 0 in his final English test for the year, so I told him what to do in Chinese. I was trying to say ‘the question says draw a picture of a girl wearing jeans, a t shirt and a hat’ and instead I was telling him to draw ‘cow man’ dressed in jeans at shirt and a hat

    I came back to check if he’d done it a few mins later and saw he’d draw bipedal cow wearing clothes and I was like WTF IS THIS…. WAIT…..OH….


  73. Marc


    I’m finding it very difficult to not lose my temper with you – you talk about me insulting Pedro – you don’t know what an insult is.

    What are the benefits of missing out on the EL places last season if we’re only going to make a EL place in the PL this season?

    As for ” it wasn’t a choice that we didn’t finish in the EL positions!”

    No it was sheer incompetence by the manager.

  74. Dissenter

    Imagine the hypocrisy
    Pedro constantly dissing Brendan for narrowly missing out on top-twice and then will happily accept 5th place from Arteta.

    ‘Best of the rest”! … now you know why they tell us to be “positive”

  75. Kroenkephobe

    Given the proximity to the dug out and your moniker, perhaps you could leave a few horse’s heads on some seats. If you can only get say 4 heads, I suggest you leave them on seats earmarked for Arteta, Round, Willian and Bellerin.

  76. CG

    Great story that China,

    From Bristol to Beijing.

    7.5 years. And still Arsenal in disarray before the season starts.

  77. Marc


    So what you’re telling me is that you are solely responsible for the entire nation of China’s declining view of the UK?

  78. Bob N16

    Sid, you’re such a seedy character, so many of your comments descend into smut or innuendo. Glad that I don’t know anybody in my real life with your hardly disguised proclivities. I would prefer it if you would go and be disgusting elsewhere but that’s not in my power.

    China, agree, context is everything, that’s what I’ve been trying to argue.

    Pecko, I would imagine that Arteta suggested that he would take Arsenal to the top 4, no idea what the timeline was. It’s up to the board to decide if he hasn’t delivered. I would have sacked him last season but that’s not really relevant!

    Thanks Rich, sometimes it feels like your up against a wall of opposition. We’re all Arsenal fans but it sometimes it’s easy to forget that on here!

  79. China1

    I’m solely responsible for Cow Man I know that much

    I gave the kid 1 point for successfully drawing cow man in jeans at shirt and a hat because that’s what I’d told the poor kid to do 😂😂😂

    I couldn’t let him get 0 after that come on

  80. Rambo

    For me I’m getting more detached from Arsenal by the day and thus get a few laughs following debates between the Loyalists vs The Entitled. Or whatever you want to call the parties.

    The Loyalists, with their unrelenting optimistic, naive view. The Entitled, with their blindness to how shit Arsenal are.

    *grabs popcorn*

  81. Globalgunner

    I think the argument goes like this: “We have no money because we didnt qualify for EL. Because we have no EL we may not qualify for EL…However not qualifying for EL puts us in a better position because we dont play in the Europa”

  82. Bob N16

    Marc, 17.54 seems like you need a lie down!

    ‘What are the benefits of missing out on the EL places last season if we’re only going to make a EL place in the PL this season?

    As for ” it wasn’t a choice that we didn’t finish in the EL positions!”
    No it was sheer incompetence by the manager.

  83. Bob N16

    Global – another person who needs a lie down!

    I think the argument goes like this: “We have no money because we didnt qualify for EL. Because we have no EL we may not qualify for EL…However not qualifying for EL puts us in a better position because we dont play in the Europa”

  84. CG


    “””CG Why did you withdraw your claim to ‘Grimsdale”?””””

    I didnt.

    ‘ Grimsdale’ as most of Le Grovers know is associated with English comedian Norman Wisdom.

    If Grimsdale arrives for more than what we sold Martinez , i am finished with AFC.

    Some might be happy, with that.