by .

Preseason moved into game two yesterday against Rangers. Mikel Arteta went back to the club that gave him his first British experience, even though it was against the backdrop of the smallest crowd he’s probably ever played there.

The game was so, so.

The players looked fitter and sharper. We controlled the 90 much better. We also created a lot of chances. 19 attempts with 9 shots on target is far closer to what most of us were hoping for against teams in a weaker league.

The highlight was seeing Tavares score a great goal with his weaker foot. He has power, he moves at speed, and he clearly has all the raw ingredients to be a good player… he’s certainly plenty raw though.

The two areas for big improvement.

Obviously, we can’t keep conceding goals from set plays. We did a pretty decent job last season rectifying the issues of the season prior… we cannot slip back to corners feeling like penalties. Good job we have pinched the coach from City to help out.

The other area is in the final third. Auba missed some really easy chances, as did the rest of the team. Arteta had this to say.

‘Overall I’m really pleased with the performance. I think we dominated the game, we created so many chances – I counted about eight or 10 clear chances to score – but this game is decided in both boxes. We weren’t clinical in the opponent’s box’

Goals will come, I’ve no doubt. The key point I’m excited about is that we’re finding ways to move the ball into the final third. Last season, we could barely create.

We still have plenty of good players coming back, transfers will kick up a gear over the next two weeks, and we’ll start to see more sharpness with the play.

Arteta trains a cognitive style of football. He teaches patterns of play that take time to bed into players. He picked Arsenal up from a very low point, his ideas will hopefully start to impact the style of football this season and we’ll not only see a lift in quality, we’ll see a lift in how exciting the football is.

Ben White joining Arsenal is one part of solving the lack of speed we moved the ball through the lines. If you complained about our football being slow last season and can’t see how a ball-playing centre back helps move us on in that department, I can’t help you.

We really need to address the partner for Thomas Partey in the midfield. That will again help speed up the football and make us more unpredictable and give us more options.

The key move we’re all waiting for is who the attacking midfielder is because without that, we’re going to have another frustrating year. I don’t care if it’s Maddison or Aouar, we need someone to help us bind it all together. Resting a season on the shoulders of ESR and Saka is not the path to top 4.

Also worth noting that we haven’t had a viable right back for 2 seasons. Even yesterday, it was absolutely clear that there needs to be a big upgrade on Bellerin and Soares. We’ve spent the last 18 months building from the left. Imagine Pepe having a right-back that could offer him Tierney levels of service? Would be incredible.

There’s not a lot bubbling in the ether today… but Arteta said he was looking forward to some new players joining the party next week.

‘We’re going to have some new faces arriving probably, so very positive.’

Let’s see how we’re looking this time next Sunday.

See you in the comments.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Marc

    “. If you complained about our football being slow last season and can’t see how a ball-playing centre back helps move us on in that department, I can’t help you.”

    Sorry Pedro but you can’t spend ages slagging off the signing of Luiz and then tell me we need to spend £50 million to replace him.

    This isn’t a criticism of White but we’d better get CM sorted otherwise we’ll just have another shell shocked CB.

  2. Dissenter

    Pedro; “Arteta trains a cognitive style of football”

    Arteta on Dec 2nd 2020; “I think it’s first time in the PL that we put 33 crosses. I’m telling you that if we do that more consistently we’re going to score more goals. If we put the bodies we had in certain moments in the box, it’s maths, pure maths & it will happen”

    That’s cognitive football for you

  3. Dissenter

    ‘ Ben White joining Arsenal is one part of solving the lack of speed we moved the ball through the lines.’

    Aim and miss
    Leeds move the back with speed through the lines under Bielsa regardless fi who’s playing.
    They did it in Bielsa’s first season in the championship without White. They did in Bielsa’s second season with White. Then did it in Bielsa’s third season [premier league] without Ben White.

    Cognitive coaching surely can produce systems that move the ball faster. It’s a function of coaching more than 50 million defenders.

  4. Double

    I thought the wing play and and midfield looked really good. They closed down and won the ball back really quickly. I’m thinking we need a goal scorer beyond anything else. Nelson looked sharp all the youngsters looked hungry. Much better than the last outing. Need to sort out someone who can win a header from a corner, agree with corners shouldn’t feel like penalties can do without that all season, that’s both games!

  5. Danny S

    We moved the ball a lot better from the back when we had a GK who could move the ball. Arteta fucked that up.

    On the point of struggling in set plays, not sure bringing in a CB with appalling aerial ability is really going to help.

    But it’s ok cause he can run with the ball.

  6. andy1886

    It would be nice to have a keeper that could move the ball on quickly too. Watch how long Leno takes to find a colleague. White will find himself closed down pdq, the opposition will take around 5 minutes to work out he’s the one to press.

  7. Rich

    We’re in no need for a right back, we’ve got Bellerin, Soares, Chambers, Niles

    White also played a similar hybrid inverted right back role for much of last season

    I certainly wouldn’t say no to upgrades in any area of the pitch, but we’d surely need to see quite a bit of movement outwards, before considering bringing in a right back

  8. Chris

    Arteta “ ‘We’re going to have some new faces arriving probably, so very positive.’

    We await with baited breath then. In reality probably only the deals that are widely reported ie White / Lokonga, but we also need at least one more midfielder (creative/box to box) a back up goalie and a right back would be good, one as impressive as Tierney so we can focus attacks down the right as efficiently as down the left side.

    As well as new faces, some familiar faces need to be leaving also, we need to see progress on that.

  9. raptora

    Pedro cut Arteta’s quote right when it got interesting.

    Arteta: “We should’ve scored many more goals and with the quality of the players we have up front, they have to demand more of themselves.”

    Mr. Ego criticizing his players yet again.

    Yes, some of the people in here will tell me I’m overreacting. And, yes, looking at this quote on its own, I’m overreacting.

    Knowing the complete story however, casts this in an entirely different light. He’s had similar interviews when he blames the players on other occasions. It’s not a one-off.

    Wenger for an instance, would have approached it in “With the chances we had, we’ve got to do better”. Arteta says “with the chances we had, the players need to demand more of themselves”. It’s a small difference, but it’s day and night.

    I’ll end here and treat this as an opinion that some of you will obviously not agree with. Just treat it like a differing opinion and realize we are not all the same. This is how I see it, and if you don’t see it the same way, it’s perfectly fine.

  10. Marc


    Agree – but only under what I would describe as more normal circumstances. You’ve got a great player on the left wing (for example) if you can get an even better one you do it.

    The problem with Arsenal right now is the squad / team has glaring deficiencies you have to prioritise.

  11. Danny S


    We DESPERATELY need a RB. We had no one with any chemistry with any right winger last season. Bellerin is spent and shit defending and crossing. Cedric is not too quality, chambers is slow as fuck and can’t carry the ball.
    And do you not understand about niles? A) he doesn’t want to play RB and B) he really pissed tets off for some reason.

  12. Pedro

    Rich, surprised you don’t think we need a proper right back. Danny nailed on there. No one is what we need. I really don’t want to see Hector or Chambers there this season.

  13. Danny S


    True. Even white with all his ball skills would find it hard in an arsenal team with Bellerin and Xhaka passing it back to him constantly, not being supported on the right side and having a keeper behind him who shits his pants when he gets the ball at his feet.

  14. Pedro

    Andy, totally agree there. My guess is that there is so much change coming, they’d rather not have to find a new keeper as well.

    Bernd down to 2 years though…

  15. Pedro

    Diss, your point about Ben White is a bit weird.

    Arsenal played better with Luiz moving the ball through the lines, not so good without, so we signed a replacement for Luiz.

    The line was a hit.

  16. Marc

    Aren’t the rumours that Leno wants out? If he does and only has 2 years left you’re getting into dangerous territory if you decide to sell next summer, on top of having a player in a critical position who’s not happy.

  17. Northbanker

    I agree that GK is an issue and until we find someone who can command the box and distribute fast and accurate we will still struggle. Leno is a disaster from both perspectives -he is a great shot stopper but a modern keeper needs to be more than that. [yes Emi was that keeper but he’s gone so we need another]

    We didn’t push hard enough on Onana and if theres still time we should do so now.

  18. Dissenter

    ‘ Aren’t the rumours that Leno wants out? If he does and only has 2 years left you’re getting into dangerous territory if you decide to sell next summer, on top of having a player in a critical position who’s not happy’

    The planlessness is the most consistent thing about Arsenal these days
    I’m sure they’ll let him run down his character and some will still be ready to defend it.

  19. Pedro

    Danny, you are on your own with that one. Data, the eye test, signing Ben White for 50m. Take the L and watch the TIFO video again.

  20. Pedro

    Northbanker, Leno doesn’t like the keeping coach, so I’m waiting to see if Arteta makes a change there

  21. Pedro

    Diss, he’s a backup keeper that’s gets England call-ups. Not my cup of tea, but I’ve seen us do worse

  22. Pedro

    Marc, I would like a keeper that could play with the ball at their feet for sure. Watching Donnaruma break the lines was extremely appealing.

  23. Champagne Charlie


    It’s not a matter of us not needing a RB, it’s a matter of us not needing one given the rest of the XI. I know you’ve very confident in our spend, but are we about to pay top dollar for a CM, CAM, and RB?

    We’ve just spent a month nailing down a CB.

    Don’t want another shopping cart analogy, but it’s quite clear we can challenge for top 4 with any two of the four RB’s on the books, but we aren’t doing shit with Elneny in midfield, and just ESR creating.

  24. Marc


    Agree but whatever we do that GK coach seems a problem. No point getting a new keeper who ticks the boxes only to have them fall out as well.

  25. Danny S


    I’m not talking about white now, don’t twist my comment.

    The golden ‘since Xmas run’ that you judged Arteta on last season

    23 games.

    With Luiz – w6 d4 L1

    Without – w9 d0 L3

    Tell me how Luiz was so important again? Please?

    Or just fob me off and tell me I don’t understand because you don’t know how to show it.

  26. Rich


    It’s more numerically, how can we have that many right backs on our books?

    We’d need to clear out 3 of Bellerin, Chambers, Niles, Soares, in order to create the space

    We’ve also now got 3 left back in Tierney, Kolasinac, Tavares

    As much as I’d like to see some new signings, we really need to get some out, before bringing more in, right now our squad will stand at 30 with White + Lokonga

    13 players outside the match day squad is unworkable, and 5 right backs would be bonkers, even by our standards

  27. WengerEagle


    Think that you underestimate the importance of having an outlet down the right a bit even if I agree with your point that CM needs the major surgery if we are to uptick any proper level.

    Chambers/Soares really are non-existent going forward.

  28. Pedro

    Danny, go back and watch the games and how we played.

    Also, you can complain to me about it… but that’s what the coaching staff and analysts believe, and the case was strong enough to get KSE to spend 50m.

    Who is closer to the truth on this one?

  29. PhD2020

    WengerEagleJuly 18, 2021 20:30:38
    Onana is great with his feet.

    PedroJuly 18, 2021 20:31:30
    WE, he is… that went hot and cold really fast

    Yep,was surprised that Onana as a potential target suddenly lost traction.

    Was on board with that signing.

    That’s if you-Pedro & Wenger Eagle are talking about the same player?

  30. Pedro

    WE, I have no idea. Seems Marseille are front runners, so wonder if it’s just agent talk to flush out a bigger club?

  31. Marc

    Arteta like Chambers – prior to his ACL he was picking him at CB and he seemed to like him at RB as well.

    Not saying it’s going to happen but I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go into the season without a new RB even if we sell Bellerin.

  32. Champagne Charlie


    No I get the benefit, and I’ve long said Bellerin should be sold. But you won’t find a top team with the issues we have down the spine of the side.

    I can play the game where we have an infinite budget and scope for overhauling the team. That’s easy, would make loads of changes to suit my own preferences. But there was outrage on here that Ben White was getting bought even though he’s a more rational purchase than a RB.

    So what’s the difference? Is this brilliant RB coming for 10 mil? Who is he?

    I’m quite clear what I think we need this window, and I could accept that Ben White makes sense on top of that. But I’m failing to see how a first choice RB can also be taken into account as a necessity, significant goalkeeper too now?

    Not really painting a wonderful image of the club if that’s the belief.

  33. WengerEagle


    Could well be.

    Marseille would be a step down from Ajax so sounds like agent talk akin to the Locatelli to Arsenal noise to attempt to force Juve’s hand a bit and get them to add a few more 💰💰💰

  34. Champagne Charlie

    “Chambers/Soares really are non-existent going forward.“

    Cant agree with that. Not a fan of either as a first choice, but Chambers in particular was much better last season at RB than any other time in his career. Always viewed Cedric as an able backup, which he is.

    Per Orbinho:

    “Only three players have registered more assists for Arsenal than Calum Chambers over the last two seasons

    19 Saka
    15 Pepe
    8 Tierney
    7 Chambers”

    Again, Chambers has never been my cup of tea and I wanted him sold when he had a standout campaign for Fulham (which was cause for a wank on here from some). But he’s been demonstrably better even if he’s not my ideal.

  35. WengerEagle


    I’m not Leno’s biggest fan as you well know but he’s one of the better keepers in the PL, top 8-10 one certainly.

    Chambers and Cedric are both below average RBs, neither would even start for a midtable PL side.

    I agree that your team is only as good as your spine but there is no reason imo that we couldn’t raise the 20m odd from one extra sale to finance a proper RB to add to the XI.

    One of AMM or Nketiah or Nelson alone likely net you that fee.

  36. Rich

    Leno was only behind Aubameyang for player of the season two years back before his injury

    Lack of direct internal competition is never healthy, one minute he’s got Martinez breathing down his neck, the next he’s got Runarsson

    I’m not surprised he started slipping

  37. Champagne Charlie


    Again, in principle I totally agree. But look at the figures you start getting close to with all that considered.

    Still yet to land on a CM and CAM, both of which we know are red hot necessities for the club. How much for that pair? Anything from 65 mil (Neves, Aoaur) to 100 mil (Locatelli, Maddison). That’s dependent on sales too you’d think.

    So then we’re White, Lakonga, Tavares (70mil) plus another 65-100. You fancy a RB and GK on top of that?

    Seems ambitious. Not seeing the signs of it myself,

  38. WengerEagle

    Is the budget actually 200m Pedro?

    Presuming that would include money we take in from sales (Nketiah, AMN, Bellerin, Xhaka, Nelson, Willock?).

    Have a feeling that we won’t sell Willock mind.

  39. Pedro

    WE, there’s money to spend, but that figure came form a random weirdo on Twitter.

    I think they will find money for big names. Big desire to aggressively reshape this summer

  40. CG

    If you want to predict the type of season Arsenal will have , you simply need to see, who is on the aeroplane to the US tour.

    If the likes of of Willian, Elneny, Sead K, Chambers, Hector, Cedric are on it , as opposed the training compex in London and told to look for other clubs ,that will tell us more than a few pre season results.

    It was Arteta and Arteta alone, you used the word ‘ruthless ‘after the horror show of season 20/21.

    Cognitive or off the cuff , after 18 months of Arteta , he just cant seem to ever settle on a best X1 or a style of play.

    The next excuse will be ‘ Benjamin White was in the Euros, and needed a month off and we need to integrate him’.

    He is simply running out of time , out of friends and out of excuses.

  41. Champagne Charlie


    Didn’t say it was impressive, but he’s a mile off “non-existent” being 4th most prolific with assists in the past two seasons. Only has 20 league games in that time.

  42. Pedro

    … so in short, you are close to where it’ll be.

    Cash available, but where the number ends will depend on exits because they don’t want a bloated squad. The players not included last year really caused problems. No way they are allowing that again.

  43. WengerEagle


    I don’t see us signing a CAM in all honesty even though I would love one.

    Willock to Newcastle for 30m and Aouar in for 25m would be amazing business but we’ll hold onto Willock and watch as his purple patch doesn’t continue and only for an inevitable struggle and depreciation to kick in.

    Do you see United being sentimental over Lingard? No chance, they will take the money for him and run. Already put it towards signing a notable upgrade in Sancho.

  44. Champagne Charlie


    I’m factoring that in. Aouar is around 30 and so is Neves, call it 65 for the pair, Locatelli and Maddison are the more expensive options figuring near 100 (probably over).

  45. Matthew Shannon

    Florian Neuhaus to partner Partey, Max Aaron’s and Mert Mulder to compete for right back spot because Soares, Bellerin and Chambers are rubbish. Niles I’d love to see be given the spot because I honestly believe playing in our system that’s the position that suits him best. He might want to leave to play in midfield but he will be warming a bench for a bottom club if he wants to do that. Alexander Isak to replace Laca. We havnt had a real target man since giroud left and he would give us that at 6’4. I think Willock should be given a chance to cover for Smith Rowe and we go all out for a top keeper like Oblak from Atletico who was rumoured to want a change of scenery. Yeah I know over the top but if we want to make top four and be competing these are the moves we need to do now

  46. Marc


    “The players not included last year really caused problems. No way they are allowing that again.”

    Well that’s a massive problem – Other clubs will know we need to shift players so will low ball fees, a pain normally but in a COVID hit world even worse.

  47. Champagne Charlie


    I’d be gobsmacked if we didn’t buy a creator. Think one thing Arteta has to his credit is a lack of romance toward young players. He won’t be sat deluding himself that ESR and Saka are going to be a match for the firepower we’re competing against.

    He’s a massive fan of Odegaard, not a chance he isn’t replaced this summer.

  48. Pedro

    WE, I was told by someone close to Maddison that the player wants it, Leicester don’t, but 70m secures it.

  49. WengerEagle


    Agreed. If Auba drops another stinker of a season like last we are in deep trouble.

    Need Saka and ESR to both kick up their numbers to 8-10 in the PL as well as Pepe hitting double figures.

  50. Matt

    Anybody else have serious doubts about Aouar’s attitude!? I can’t see him being the sort of player who will be up for a fight. Seems like a luxury player to me, which we can I’ll afford to have.

  51. Pierre

    Centre back is all about pairings not individuals.

    When people talk about great centre backs , they talk about great centre back pairings.

    Adams /Bould
    Terry / carvalleho

    All title winners i do believe

    I would say Koscielny/Mertesacker was also a decent pairing.

    Luiz at Arsenal was an individual and that was why he was a liability.
    Results and clean sheets for last season will show that Holding and Mari were the best centre back pairing.

    I’m convinced that Ben White won’t be used as a conventional centre back due to his weakness in the air.
    Will Arteta play him at right back …maybe .

    .my concern for the season defensively if White is played at centre back in a back 4 is set pieces, and that’s not just because we have conceded 3 already from dead balls.

    You only have to look through the team to recognise that we don’t have full backs , midfielders or attackers who attack the ball in the air…

  52. Pedro

    Marc, Roma want Xhaka, Inter want Hector, Newcastle want Willock, Palace want Eddie.

    Biggest issue is Willian, but apparently he’s not an issue at the training ground, he’s very well liked

  53. WengerEagle


    Well he has strongly indicated that Willock is part of his plans which means between him, ESR and Saka that we will have 3 players that can play the CAM/LF role.

    Willock is a downgrade on Odegaard as a footballer so I do question the sense in turning down Newcastle’s money.

  54. Danny S


    There lies the issue.

    For Artetas style to work, he needs a very technically gifted striker with a bit of presence to bring your sakas and pepes into play as well as score goals.

    Auba is an out and out striker and laca lacks presence.

    I can’t see Auba doing well unless Arteta changes the system to suit him and let’s face it that’s unlikely going to happen as tets is a little rigid.

    I think had we not given Auba a bumper new ridiculous deal, we’d be looking for a new striker as top priority this season but tets is fucked on that front .

  55. Marc



    Roma want Xhaka but for less than what we want to sell at.
    Inter want Bellerin but aren’t they looking at a loan deal
    Newcastle think we’ll keep Willock and then loan him again in Jan
    Palace want Nketiah – think that’ll happen for circa £10 – £12 million.

    If you are selling shit it’s difficult – if everyone knows it’s shit and knows you’ve got to shift it you’re not going to get good prices.

  56. Danny S


    That’s what makes me laugh about Eddie.

    If he was half as good as any people on here said, he would have 100% had a 20m bid in by now from a palace or wolves etc. But fact is he’s not good enough to be our 4th choice striker let alone any prem clubs 1st choice so we will get peanuts for him. Same with nelson, amn and all the other average crap we have.

    Holding out now for more cash fir shit will leave us rushing to complete deals fir important positions on deadline day. Again.

  57. Pierre

    “I’d be gobsmacked if we didn’t buy a creator. Think one thing Arteta has to his credit is a lack of romance toward young players. He won’t be sat deluding himself that ESR and Saka are going to be a match for the firepower we’re competing against.”

    Obviously you were hibernating when smith rowe and saka saved Arsenal’s season and Arteta’s job in the 2nd half of the season.
    Pity Arteta decided to play them on opposite sides of the pitch to accommodate the average Odegaard.

    Smith Rowe and Saka another year older will give the team what it needs without the help of the likes of Aouar who struggled to complete 90 minutes in the “farmers league” i think pedro called it .

  58. WengerEagle


    Yeah we’re in a strange place on the ST front.

    I think that Martinelli and Balogun will be the only remaining two of the current crop by the start of 2022-23. (Laca gone on a bosman, Eddie sold this summer, Auba entering last year of his deal and forsee us pushing to sell).

    Would love a dynamic long-term replacement up top like an Isak or Darwin Nunez.

  59. Pedro

    Pierre, sure, agree… but the pairings we have on offer aren’t that good.

    Gabriel – man mountain, elite in the air paried with Ben White, elite with the ball at his feet for passing and progressive carries.

    Feel that’s a pretty sound offering.

  60. Marc


    Yes but not every club is effectively having to have a fire sale.

    I’m not making a criticism of Arsenal here I’m just pointing out we’re in a difficult position.

  61. Champagne Charlie


    You sure about that? Didn’t read that way post-match, seemed very ‘while he’s here’ in reference to Willock and was absolute about ESR staying.

    Think a lot of it is posturing because at some point you’ve got to act like you need convincing to sell vs telling everyone you’re binning 10 players.

    Willock is a great opportunity to make decent money, be incompetent not to imo.

  62. WengerEagle

    Gabriel is very rash and prone to jump in though. Outstanding athlete but lacks defensive nous and composure.

    White from all accounts is a very front-foot aggressive CB too. Tends not to work too well in tandem.

  63. Champagne Charlie


    Yea I’ve seen you post that dim comment a couple of times. Saka and ESR saved our season from what? No European football?

    They helped us play like more of an Arsenal football team, as did Odegaard who was creating chances at a rate bettered by nobody. Hence why I’d be amazed if we didn’t replace him.

  64. Pedro

    Pierre, gotta agree with CC, it is dim to think ESR and Saka alone takes us to top 4. We are absolutely signing an MO rpl

  65. CG

    “””””Pierre spitting truth right there.”””

    He is indeed.

    And off course the Italian defenders Chellini and Bonnici. 37, 34

    World class old school defending.

  66. Marc


    Make your mind up.

    “The players not included last year really caused problems. No way they are allowing that again.”


    “Marc, it’s not a fire sale at Arsenal. We don’t need to sell to buy. Gives us more leverage”

    This conversation is not about finances this is about we either have to shift some bodies or we don’t.

  67. Pierre

    “If you are selling shit it’s difficult – if everyone knows it’s shit and knows you’ve got to shift it you’re not going to get good prices.”

    Lets be honest Marc, everyone thought Willock was shit until he was given a proper run of games to prove the doubters wrong.

    So when le grove talk about Eddie as being Shit, I say judge him (like Willock) when he has had a run of games..

    Maybe he will prove the doubters wrong .

  68. Vintage Gun

    I’m really interested in who we sign to partner Partey. Will he have a more defensive or offensive default setting.

    I’ve always liked the idea of a Bissouma Party underpinning our midfield.

    The issue I have with that is goals and creativity. We don’t score enough goals overall, and our midfield chipped in with almost zero goals in the league last season. Not sure Bissouma moves the needle there.

    A midfield 3 of Party Bissouma And Aouar would be interesting though

  69. Pedro

    Marc, we need to shift bodies, but we don’t need to sell to buy like last year. That gives us leverage over other clubs. Fairly simple stuff.

  70. Marc


    I wasn’t actually talking about Nketiah – if you saw what I posted you’d see I said I think he’ll get the move to Palace.

    I’m talking about Xhaka, Bellerin (not a bad player but a pace merchant after an ACL?), Kolas, Willian.

  71. Danny S


    If white has pace and is on the front foot, Mari would be his better partner. Calm and good on the ball and a leader of the back. Like a slightly faster Per.

    I think if whites place is with Gab, one of them needs to learn to sit back and dictate the defence. If you have 2 aggressive CB then you need a goalkeeper to keep them in check.

  72. Marc


    That’s backwards logic – it works both ways but could easily end up with an even more bloated squad but with even less matches.

    Like I said I’m not talking about finances etc this is how do you unload shit when everyone knows you’re desperate to get rid of it.

  73. WengerEagle


    Out of our current crop imo Mari is the best suited partner for White.

    Slow all right but White’s supposedly very quick so could be reminiscent of Koscielny-Mertesacker which was our best CB partnership since Campbell-Toure.

    Mari is massive, aerially strong, composed on the ball and reads the game very well. He is also vocal and an organiser.

    Traits that mirror Per.

  74. Champagne Charlie


    I don’t like Bissouma stylistically, and actually I think we’re more likely to see us move toward a midfield balance like Barca and City (1 holding, 2 creative)

    Said it a month ago, but Partey-Aouar-Maddison would be a huge statement in the middle of the pitch for us.

  75. Danny S

    The important thing about a decent CB pairing above all is consistency.

    Almost Any league winning team will have had 2 cb who played 30+ games together at least.

    I think in our invincible team sol and kolo played 37 and 38 league games (that’s from memory, not 100%).

    Last season we saw about 100 different combinations.

  76. WengerEagle


    Perhaps but after how we handled AMN last summer would it really be a surprise?

    I don’t think that he trusts Willock’s ability on the ball myself so you may well be correct. Teams do not defend against us as they do Newcastle.

  77. Marc


    Have you actually watched an Arsenal match since Arteta took over? The idea he’d go with a 3 man midfield with 1 DM and 2 creative players?

    Madness – Arteta makes Tony Pulis look like a drunk Wenger.

  78. Rich

    For all the talk around Arteta, next season ultimately depends on how well we recruit, and how long those players take to settle

    We haven’t got 6-18 months for adjustment periods as we sometimes see with players

    White isn’t the finished article, but still needs to be an instant upgrade on every defender at the club, particularly since we’re paying this type of premium

    Xhaka’s replacement needs to be at least as good as Xhaka from the off, and a significant upgrade once settled

    I hope we sign Odegaard, he already knows the club, and I think he’s brilliant

    If we get those 3 signings right, then it’s logical to think we’ll be much improved, we definitely need adequate competition for Leno as well

    Anything after that, will surely depend on moving players on, but again we’ll need a 100% success rate on transfer this summer, there’s no room for error, and no room for prolonged teething problems

  79. Pierre

    The difference between smoth rowe and Odegaard is the game comes alive when Smith Rowe is on the ball, he takes risk with ball, he commits defenders and he has a superb relationship with Saka that should be encouraged.

    One doesn’t get that sense of anticipation when Odegaard is on the ball , you can almost predict what he will do when he receives the ball.

    If Smith Rowe can have that kind of impact in so few games then he will grow into an integral part of the Arsenal team ..

  80. Pedro

    WE, like that comparison. Hopefully we see more from Mari now he’s adapted a little more to the league

  81. Sid

    Diet Pep prefers Odegaard in the middle because of that predictability.
    Most of our patterns of play are predictable

  82. Sid

    White isnt very quick, he was embarrasing vs Rashford, soething that has never happen to Koscielny or Toure

  83. Gabigol

    Tavares can also cover at right back…

    He is raw but Partey is able to cover if we find a decent partner for him.

    Otherwise AMN is an option if he doesn’t get any offers. It doesn’t seem anyone has cash to spend, I don’t see Edu entertaining another loan for him.

  84. NWM


    Onana may be great with his feet, but he’s suspended until sometime in November and then in January he’s almost certainly going to AFCON, so he will only be available for about half the season. Signing him as your number 1a is a big gamble when your number 3 is a young academy player. They need to sign a number 2 for the whole season. If they expect Leno to leave next summer, it would probably be smart business to sign Onana in a depressed market and then they will have a new number one, possibly beginning in February and certainly at the beginning of the following season.

  85. GoonGoonerGone

    If Arsenal are looking for a creater in midfield, look no further than God. Our prayers will come true. Our fans will be in seventh heaven. Arsenal will be rebuilt in six days. There will be light in this darkness. Pedro will continue his praise and glory of Arteta. All the Arsenal players and fans will be singing from the same hymn sheet. The Emirates will be heaven on earth. It will be a sin to criticize Arteta with Pedro telling all and sundry to go to hell if they don’t believe in the generational sauce.
    In the beginning was the word, the word was with Pedro and the word was Arteta.
    (This is merely a tongue – in-cheek response to a creater (pun on creator) and is not meant to cause any offense to anyone’s religious sensibilities. My sincere apology if anyone takes offense.)

  86. Sid

    By the time he fell over the 2nd time Rashford had reduced his sprint, he will have problems if we do Not sit deep

  87. Guns of SF


    I agree, if we play a high line, he will get caught out… ala Mustafi, who was a good athlete too, with pace and decent leaping ability.

    I sure we dont stick with the double pivot, but if we do, White might be ok…

  88. Pierre

    . Saka and ESR saved our season from what? No European football?
    They helped us play like more of an Arsenal football team, as did Odegaard who was creating chances at a rate bettered by nobody. Hence why I’d be amazed if we didn’t replace him.”

    Actually we know why we lost to Villarreal ans we know why we didn’t qualify for Europe via the league.

    Also Odegaard couldn’t even better a novice in respect of goal contributions, and he was plating in his favourite no.10 position , unloke Smith Rowe who was shunted out wide to accommodate Odegaard

    Premier league and Europa for Arsenal 20/21 ….goals and assists.

    Odegaard, a goal contribution every 322 minutes

    Smith Rowe , a goal contribution every 213 minutes..

  89. Samesong

    Smith Rowe and Saka have good cohesion when they play together prefer Smith rowe in that cam position personally.

  90. Danny S


    When saka played right, with Pepe left and ESR central we had a couple of great results I think.

    Fir some reason Arteta didn’t fancy it though and when Ode turned up he shoehorned them in together.

  91. Sid

    The best solution to defense is controlling possesion like man c
    2nd best solution is counter pressing/gegen press like liverpool.(once in a while the press is beaten leading to freak results)

    We lack midfielders to do those 2 things effectively.

  92. Valentin


    I agree with your point that Gabriel and White would be a bad combination. They are both aggressive defenders who like to lunge and try to intercept the ball early. They need somebody calmer and who can act as deep security blanket if they miss the ball.

    I hope that White will be used in a Back 3, because to me it is clear he can’t play RB and we will be murdered under the high balls with only 1 big CB who can head the ball.

    Add to the mix a smallish midfield, no decent heading ability in our attacking line (Lacazette, Aubameyang, ESR, Pepe), Leno often rooted to his line, a pairing of White+Gabriel will concede at set pieces.

  93. Danny S


    Doesn’t matter. Didn’t you hear, we are signing Ben white! He can pass through the lines so we won’t actually need a midfield.

  94. Tom

    “Has Mari appeared in pre season yet?”

    Yup, and left an impression………… mostly on one of the Rangers , like , literally.
    Open field tackle Bruce Lee style.