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. Guns of SF

    Mari is the calm one. Almost too calm at times.
    But I see White and Mari fairly soon after the season starts.
    Mari might pick up an injury, so its Gabby back in… and will hold on to the spot IMO

  2. Matt


    Presumably he is slightly better with the ball at his feet so we can play out from the back at each and every opportunity next season. I can picture it now, we will be drawing the opposition in and then catching them on the break for fun!!

  3. NWM


    “Arsenal staff thought so. We spent 50m to replace him. He was our best CB, even with the errors”

    But…but he’s a passive defender, he was in the 4th percentile for all center backs in the top 5 leagues for pressures per 90 minutes, the 3rd percentile for tackles per 90 (0.76), and the 1st percentile for interceptions per 90 (per FBref).🙄. But he is a very good progressive passer and ball carrier, much better than White has demonstrated himself to be.

  4. Mb

    Alright. Listen to this.

    If Arsenal had bought £35M of bitcoin in 2016 instead of Shkodran Mustafi we’d have over £1.5B to spend on transfers right now.”

  5. Danny S


    If arsenal had of bought 35m worth of Woolworths shares in 2016 we wouldn’t have had to put up with 5 years of mustafi and I’d still feel a lot happier for it.

  6. Valentin


    Ødegaard is perfect in a team that plays slow, possession based football. The problem is that unless your club is ManCity who can afford the best player in every positions, pure possession does not work in the EPL.

    Every clubs who has won the premiership has been playing either counter-attacking football, power football or fast and furious football. A third of the teams in the EPL plays a low bloc counter-attacking football.

    The EPL money means that England clubs can afford better defenders and better players than in the rest of Europe. When adding the laissez faire attitude of referees toward fouls, the only way to consistently beat low bloc opponents is to move the ball extra quickly.

    That translate into one touch football with quick interchanges and fluid movement off the ball.
    One touch football is where ESR excels when he plays close to people who are on the same wavelength than he is (Lacazette, Saka, Nkethia).

    Once in a while, Ødegaard will make a good pass onto which people will cream themselves. But most of the time he will just underwhelm and slow the play. Keeping the ball without offering any penetration is just a perversion of Tiki-taka.

  7. Words on a blog


    Chambers is skilful, reads the game well, and can play at right back, CB or DM.

    He is taller than Ben White, equally fast, and a better header of the ball.

    He played as DM for almost a full season at Fulham where was player of the season (yes I know they were relegated that season).

    I am genuinely completely bamboozled as to why we are spending £50m on White.

    Wouldn’t that £50m be better spent in midfield?

    Someone please explain to me what it is that Ben White can do that Chambers can’t.

  8. englandsbest

    Auba is a question mark. By accident I watched last season’s game against Rangers. What a contrast, he scored a hat-trick, played superbly. Will he recover that kind of form? Does he care? Do we need him?

  9. Pedro

    NVM, he played 46 games in one season for Bielsa… the most intense manager in the league. Pretty sure he can muster the levels we need

  10. NWM

    Vintage GunJuly 18, 2021 21:29:07
    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.

    Once again Arsenal are running up against AFCON. If they sign Bissouma to partner Partey, come January their starting midfield and one of the midfield backups are gone for up to a month.. I do like Bissouma, but if they sign him they have to sign another starting quality midfielder to pair with Lokonga for the month of January.,

    Addendum: This assumes AMN will be gone this window and even if Willock is still with Arsenal, I don’t see him in that role.

  11. Pedro

    Danny, there’s about 5-6 very boring posters on here that are ‘lol but’ merchants and you kill the conversation. I’m not triggered, I just find inane contributions kill the vibe in here.

    Val disagrees with me all the time, at least he brings substance and something new to each conversation

  12. Pedro

    Diss, honestly not sure it matters how many times you watched Brighton. Chelsea, City, Liverpool, Spurs and England all like him.

  13. andy1886

    How things change in 13 months. This from Le Grove on 19 June 2020

    “Nothing sums up our problems more succinctly than the David Luiz debacle.

    1) Arteta had to drop a 33-year-old for a big game because Arsenal can’t afford his deal

    2) Allowing him to derail a game because his head was gone

    3) Having this problem after paying, according to The Athletic, £24m for his services. ONE YEAR.

    4) Allowing a whole media cycle to be dedicated to whether Arsenal can seal a deal for him, because he’s important.

    This one transfer is everything that is wrong with Arsenal under Raul. A lack of preparation, a lack of data, ‘contacts’ scouting, disgraceful fees, and absolutely shit output.

    How can David Luiz be so important?

    Ok, I’m being mean to Luiz. He’s not a bad player, even now. He’s been good under Arteta. However, his full body of work and the short term nature of his signature will always be judged as another bad piece of business.”

    From “How can David Luiz be so important” to it’s essential that we spend £50m to replace what he does.

  14. Pedro

    ‘He’s been good under Arteta.‘

    It’s in the piece, Andy. The fact he’s out best CB and we just spent 50m to replace him tells you how weak our CB offering is.

    My view on this doesn’t matter. The coaches and analysts believe it and they convinced KSE of the merits. So unless you have a suggested CB partnership you think is elite, no amount of old posts change the facts.

    It is notable no one is out here putting their name to ‘Rob Holding has been our best CB’

  15. Pedro

    Also, for the last time… no one is happier than I am that Luiz is out the club. I’m also happy Arsenal aren’t stupid enough to assume our CB choices are elite.

  16. Pedro

    … and honestly, what a perfect comment to pull from me.

    Ben White:

    Scouted, backed by data, young, doesn’t make many errors, sell on value, so super agent.

    Exactly what I want.

  17. curse

    not sure why the fee for white rankles so much, I’m happy we got him. Looks ready for battle, can’t wait to see what he looks like next to Gabriel and Tierney.

    Max Aarons next?

    Valentin, Who would you have instead of Martin? I was also slightly underwhelmed but saw enough raw ingredients to believe he could be really good when settled.

  18. Leedsgunner

    Will Pedro ever sign a member of back room staff who will have seen it all and give him the benefit of his experience?

    I don’t like it that Arteta only seems to hire people, who are on the face of it, unwilling to challenge him…

    It might make him feel better but he won’t grow as a coach.

  19. andy1886

    Pedro, no shame in changing your view, my assumption is that Arteta has a new(er) vision because I don’t see any evidence that this was his desired style last summer. My concern is that if he wants to mimic City we don’t have the funds to make it work. It’s taken City a billion to get there.

  20. Dissenter

    Matt B
    Actually not, I noticed Dunk everything he played fir Brighton
    …and that stuff about not noticing a good CB is cheap schtick.

    So long as the other side have attackers, you will always notice good center backs.

  21. Pedro

    Andy; two minutes ago you posted a comment I made lambasting ball playing centre back David Luiz as a signing, now you can’t see evidence a ball playing centre back was a need?

    No harm in paying attention to your own posts.

    Ben White was signed to replace Luiz because a ball playing centre back has always been in the plan.

  22. Pedro

    Diss, no other major club seems to have noticed Dunk, he’s 29, still at Brighton.

    Maybe your eye isn’t sharp?

  23. Elmo

    Ben White sell-on value? WTF? His all-in fee puts him in top 10 transfer fees for a defender, ever.

    We’re paying 50 for him up front. If he impresses, more likely end up at 55 having hit the extra clauses.

    Has any defender in the history of football ever been bought for >50m and then sold on for a profit? How many players (any position) have been bought for 50m (or equivalent, inflation adjusted) and sold on at a profit? Neymar to PSG. C Ronaldo to Juve. Lukaku to Inter. Anyone else?

  24. Elmo

    “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.”

    Colney is shut due to a Covid outbreak, and currently having a deep clean!

  25. Elmo


    Yeah. Adjusted for football inflation that’s likely a relevant example. But it does show it’s a very rare occurrence. It’s extremely rare if you’re spending 50m+ that the player will be moving on for more. Likely because you want to keep them!

  26. Leedsgunner

    For anyone who thinks Ben White is good value – leave it out!!!

    Leeds United built their entire defence (and subs) for amount the same money.

    The club is backing the manager for once.

    However the flip side to this is that Arteta has nowhere to hide and no one to blame if it all goes wrong.

    Plus I hope White, stays fit for goodness sake!

  27. Leedsgunner


    Fair enough. I want Arsenal to succeed, that’s the bottom line.

    I personally think Arteta should have been let go after last season when he crashed out of the Europa League but no use moaning over spilt milk.

    If Arteta succeeds marvellously after he brings his own personnel I’ll be more than happy to say that I was wrong.

    Top 4 is minimum for me.

  28. Champagne Charlie

    “Leeds United built their entire defence (and subs) for amount the same money.“

    14th best defence last season for Leeds, could probably do with spending a bit more.

    It’s all relative. Ben White is a highly-rated English CB aged 23. 50 mil is the standard for that sort of profile, Wan-Bissaka, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell went for between 45 and 80 mil.

    Unlike Pepe who couldn’t be gifted back to France for a third of his transfer fee, Ben White could be very average and still depart for 25-30 mil aged 26. From that POV it’s value.

  29. Leedsgunner


    I disagree, I personally think we’re well stocked on attacking options but they are not being supported by our midfield.

    If we are going to upgrade our attackers we need to bring in people who are happy to score with headers.

    Our attackers are incredibly one dimensional in terms of finishing.

  30. Dissenter

    “Leeds, do you believe a man who told the club he wants CL in 3 years would prefer to hide?”

    That’s you trying to revise history
    He promised Willian a CL FINAL In three years, now he has one season left to deliver anything close to that.
    By extension, you’re agreeing to the minimum of 4th place, right?

  31. Leedsgunner

    For some reason players who have been sold for £70m plus in the EPL have been generally very poor value… in terms of immediate results.

  32. Guns of SF

    Leeds agreed, but we need Mids that can create AND score. We have none of that.
    We cannot go with similar mid like last season That would be a disaster…

    We need shooters, players not afraid to take risks in attack, and goal scorers…

    We have none of that bar ESR or Saka… or Pepe… mostly wing types. We need central attackers too

  33. Pedro

    Diss, do you think Arteta hides from responsibility? Do you think he would rather have a good squad or not?

  34. Leedsgunner

    Not to mention that when Chelsea was knocked out of Europe what did they do?

    They made the most of it by hiring Conte and won the EPL.

    Can we really think we could do that under Arteta? Be honest!

  35. Tom

    “Unlike Pepe who couldn’t be gifted back to France for a third of his transfer fee, Ben White could be very average and still depart for 25-30 mil aged 26. From that POV it’s value.“

    CC ,
    Ben White will have exactly the same amount of suitors as Pepe did if he has a distinctly average couple of seasons with Arsenal.
    Top four clubs won’t want him at any discount price and others won’t be able to afford his Arsenal wages, which is exactly the reason Pepe going back to France would’ve been a none starter whether for a third of his transfer fee or less , not that anyone even tried as far as we know.

  36. Guns of SF

    any word on Bissouma? Is this going to be a hush hush thingy?
    Seems like there is not much noise with folks wanting him?
    Seems like a good time to pounce

  37. China1

    Pedro if our CB offering is so weak how did we have those great defensive records last year that you kept highlighting? It was all David luiz carrying us?


  38. raptora

    CC: “Ben White could be very average and still depart for 25-30 mil aged 26. From that POV it’s value.”

    Never in doubt when you think about the likes of Welbeck and Chambers I guess.

  39. China1

    Ok so if the manager can elevate in your opinion substandard defenders to be an excellent defensive unit then one would presume you don’t need to spend 50m replacing a very error prone player like luiz

    Should be able to get a more reasonably priced player and coach the unit to success, right?

  40. Vickingz

    Pedro is on fire tonight doing the shameful. He’s just all over the place to prove that he’s right and that Arteta must be worshipped. Arsenal only played Rangers and what stood out for pedro was our ability to move ball around in the final third against Rangers, smh

  41. China1

    You tell me Pedro!

    Let’s be clear that Luis was not an elite CB last season. He had great games and shit ones – as per his standard in every other season. But the unit as you said was sufficiently good and the alternatives also sufficiently good that we still had a decent record.

    Replacing an inconsistent and error prone player who is sometimes great and sometimes awful shouldn’t need to cost 50m. Tho don’t get me wrong, if white comes in and is soon one of the best defenders in the world, we got ourselves a good deal there.

    But it’s not a coincidence that last time we discussed this you were lowering expectations for white saying he doesn’t have to be top top class to justify being the 8th most expensive defender in history

  42. Champagne Charlie

    No he won’t, he’s already shown himself a capable PL player. In 3 years he remains a valuable commodity to English teams because of his pedigree and profile, whereas Pepe only has suitors in France who are all paupers by comparison.

    John Stones was ‘available’ last summer for 20-30 mil depending your source but refused to move. Ben White can underwhelm and still retain more value than our recent foreign imports that’ve done just that.

    You nailed it there, identical profile of player. Perma crock and a guy that hasn’t cracked the first team.

  43. Champagne Charlie


    Why are you fixating on Luiz’s errors or erratic defending when the void that’s being filled is based technically, and in terms of our ability to build from the back?

    None of our defenders are excellent footballers, whereas Luiz absolutely was, and Ben White is praised from all corners as being just that.

  44. NWM


    Ben White:Scouted, backed by data, young, doesn’t make many errors, sell on value, so super agent.,

    Sell on value? Where do you think the market is going? Arsenal only get value for him if he’s a linchpin for a decade, which he could be, but I don’t sell on value unless the Manchester Clubs or Chelsea come for him in the next 5 years. His value is inflated by the homegrown surtax and big clubs on the continent aren’t going to pay that surtax.

  45. Pedro

    China, if you can accept a manager has a talent for creating a unit out of sub-par talent, it’s odd to not move to the next level of: ‘maybe better players would do better things in said system’

  46. China1

    Charlie I’m not fixating on his errors I’m talking about the complete package, the good the bad and the ugly. Some of our best periods of the season didn’t have him consistently in the lineup. Mari and holding were doing well together just after Christmas for example.

    I think we’re overstating the impact of the bonus that luiz brought in footballing terms. His best games last season were the ones when he defended great, more so than him doing some awesome transitions – and on his bad games any footballing quality he does have was negated by the errors.

    So why wouldn’t we look at the full picture when comparing the two since one is a direct replacement for the other?

  47. China1

    As far as I’m concerned it’s a very simple arrangement – if he is top class then we got value for the fee. If he is anything less than that we’ve overpaid

    Same applies equally to mustafi, Pepe, xhaka, ozil, laca etc etc etc who were all overpriced and under delivered

    Over to Ben to show he was worth it now. I hope he does

  48. Moray

    I’m not sure Arteta claiming he will win the CL in three years is proof of anything, Pedro.

    Let’s focus on whether we feel we are closer to winning it now or further away then when his tenure began.

    We won’t win it this year, for sure.

  49. Champagne Charlie


    I don’t think Luiz’s football influence is overstated, I think the opposite in truth. It’s a part of the game that often goes unnoticed in regular viewing because there’s little immediate returns like a goal/assist from a 50 yard pass. But creating an angle for a pass and breaking lines consistently from CB is massive.

    In reality a lot of what Luiz brought was hurt some by Xhaka being the recipient in midfield. He never had the light footedness to receive on the half turn and continue the progressions that way. Instead he’d drop deeper and him and Luiz would act like quarterbacks during our best footballing displays.

  50. Moray

    China, I think it’s pretty clear we’ve overpaid. From where we are, maybe we needed to. Edu has to thin out our CD ranks anyway. Let’s see the quantum of our activity this summer and look at where we are as a squad then.

  51. Moray

    Charlie, Luiz was horrible for us.

    Regular defensive errors and quarterback passes which resulted in us having fewer attempts on goal than I can ever remember.

  52. Moray

    If we have pace and skill in our midfield, do we really need a CB who can bomb forward and dribble past people? That would be my question. I also don’t think we need a goalkeeper who can take a good penalty.

  53. Champagne Charlie


    Luiz wasn’t horrible for us at all, that’s a sham.

    You can have the best midfield in football, but you’ve got to get them the ball. How do you do that in an era of high-press football without defenders that can create a yard and pass through traffic well?

  54. Dissenter

    Don’t we have any intermediaries that can convince Locatelli about the Arsenal project?

    We can easily get Locatelli and Aouar for about 60 million
    If only we had our priorities right

  55. NWM

    PedroJuly 18, 2021 22:55:28
    “NVM, he played 46 games in one season for Bielsa… the most intense manager in the league. Pretty sure he can muster the levels we need”

    Is this a response to my throw away line at the end of what was initially a sarcastic post about Luiz. It’s the only time I mentioned White in this thread.

    That said, the data unquestionably shows that Luiz’ combined progressive carries and passes last season exceeded Whites progressive carries and passes by about 150 meters per 90 minutes. (FBref) It’s a fact that White has yet to demonstrate the ability to match Luiz’ numbers. Maybe he will, in the center of the defense he will have more touches than he did as a hybrid CB/RB, but he will also face more pressure from the other teams and he will have more defensive responsibility. In a three man defense when he goes forward he still has two CBs as cover, when he goes forward as one of two CBs, communication with the DM and/or the FBs is important because he only has one CB for cover. The fact he played for Bielsa has nothing to do with it.

  56. China1

    Dissenter we probably could offer torreira and he might be tempted but Loca still seems too hesitant. At the end of the day he’s a Juve fan and has them interested. He will also know if he doesn’t join now there’s no guarantees they won’t just move on to another target and never come back in for him again. Football can be a cruel mistress

    Imagine if it were you playing for Wolves and Arsenal were trying to get you and just struggling with the finances – meanwhile you have Roma banging the door down to get you.

    Sure it’s flattering, but would you take that punt on Roma or would you be fighting tooth and nail to get your arsenal move?

  57. China1

    I think Luiz’s ball playing ability was more important in artetas first season when he kept banging those balls over the top to auba to run in and score

    Since that tactic got sussed I think luiz’s influence on our build up and attack has been dramatically less important

  58. Leedsgunner


    I don’t know what you’re on about but the fact that he told Daniel Levy where to do makes him (Conte, that is) eminently suitable to be Arsenal manager. 😜😂😉

  59. Pedro


    Luiz player for Arsenal… White for Brighton.

    One is 34, the other is 23.

    Think we can see why White is appealing to Arsenal.

  60. Leedsgunner


    What do you mean? That Conte is a cheque book manager?

    Errr, what’s Arteta then? Is he buying his targets with Costco coupons? Or does £50m for White not count? 😂😂😂

    Face it, he might be younger and yes YOU love him as we all know and have been told ad nauseum but Arteta is just as a cheque book manager.

    After all as we all know, he learnt how to be one from the best!

  61. Moray

    Charlie, I appreciate the value of a centre back who can develop the ball through the midfield.

    My point was that, whatever Luiz was doing, it helped us deteriorate as a team each year he played for us.

  62. Leedsgunner


    Don’t dodge the facts.

    Arteta, like Pep, is a cheque book manager… but fair play to him that’s NOT ALL he is. I think I’m more than fair in saying this.

    Arteta has been open minded enough to take the challenge on at a club where money wasn’t on tap.

    Pep, for all his plaudits, only went to clubs where money wasn’t a problem. Where’s the challenge in that?!

  63. Pedro

    Leeds, if your facts are ‘Arteta needs money to succeed’… I’m not sure that is the insult you think it is. It’s a desperate take

  64. Leedsgunner


    I think you just can’t stomach any criticism of your hero. Bless.

    I wish the Arsenal well.

    Arteta has nowhere to hide.

    Top 4 is the target for me, especially when he’s willing to spend £50m on a defender.

  65. Tom

    CC, you know who else showed himself as a proven PL player and England international?

    Drinkwater…………. before he went to Chelsea in a big money move.
    Guess where he’s playing now on loan?

  66. Pedro

    Leeds, if you have good criticism… but ‘he’s a chequebook manager’ is painfully average.

    Divine, great idea!

  67. Leedsgunner

    Man Utd trying to sell Lingard, their version of Torreira for £30m, I wonder if they’ll get it?

    If they do, we need to find out why we are so bad at selling our fringe players.

  68. Tony

    I’m a big Odegaard fan but not at the expense of ESR being pushed out wide left.

    If as Pedro said earlier that Madison wants to join us then he should put in a transfer request as our players do.

    If he doesn’t, then that would suggest Madison isn’t serious about wanting to join us.

  69. China1

    Rob needs to add a few scars (can draw them in pen if he doesn’t want to hurt himself) to make himself look scarier

    His face is too friendly for his size and haircut

  70. Tony

    Going to disagree with your Odegaard observations.

    When Ode first arrived he had some very good games for us where most here wanted to make his move permanent.

    He was unlucky to get an injury from international duty I believe that he never really came back from. Whether this was was a mental thing or just not getting up to speed he didn’t regain his pre injury form.

    I always said that Ode should replace Xhaka with Thomas with ESR centrally in front in the 10 position.

    I don’t believe Ode was the problem post injury; Arteta and his continually changing selections and poor in game management made Ode appear to be impotent in games.

    Ode can be a great player for us if the manager knows how to get the best from him.

    Clearly Arteta didn’t, but yet still wants to buy Odegaard.

    I just hope it’s not at the expense of playing Ode centrally and shunting ESR out wide where he is far less affective. Pepe should be on the left mostly tucked in to the old inside left position. This allows for the overlapping left back to create crosses or take defenders out of position so Pepe can cut through the gaps left by defenders into the box.

    50 crosses a game isn’t going to get us top 4 whatever way you look at it.

  71. China1

    Tony I like Ode, tho I just feel he’s a little passive. The talent is there, he works hard as well. No major flaws and lots of strengths – but he would do better to take games by the scruff of the neck more. If his team mates don’t make runs for him to feed he typically likes to go safe sideways and back even tho he’s perfectly capable of dropping a shoulder and beating his man to force a change and create room for himself and others – he needs to do that more often imo

  72. Tony

    Mike may well have well thought out player positioning and in game transitions and selections, but the stumbling block will be Arteta having a settled first 11.

    Hasn’t happened in 18 months, so odds are it won’t happen this season.

    Always happy to be wrong but Arteta being as rigid as he is doesn’t make me think he’ll change.

  73. China1

    Yeah Tony I will be surprised if we have a settled core of 13-14 players who play every week. It will likely be chopping and changing again as he likes that

  74. Tony

    China 1
    Totally agree with you but as I said it’s down to how Arteta directed Ode to play with Arteta’s style of handbrake football. Arteta seems to stifle players rather than let them express themselves.

    Thus far Arteta hasn’t got the most out of his players – not one. Xhaka playing better was because he was protected and deep. It was a positional improvement, not an Arteta improving Xhaka and now Xhaka want to leave.

    Arteta’s blue eyed boy wants to leave in his prime, says a lot about Arteta.

  75. Tony

    Try please god no Arteta first and see what an elite manager would do with Ode/ESR and our front 3.

    Did you not think Ode was good before his injury?

  76. China1

    Yeah for Ode to do his best he needs to be told to play more aggressively but also the wingers and CF need to be told to make more direct off the ball runs

    Ode’s ability to play a killer through ball is absolutely class so his team mates also need to facilitate that by giving him runs to aim for

    It should be when he picks up the ball anywhere near the final third that Saka, Pepe and Auba should all be desperately fishing for space to burst into so he can find them

    Our offense in general is just too basic imo. We have some really quick dangerous wingers and a (historically) elite poacher. I don’t think it should be that hard for us to overwhelm defenses with brute force. But our build up is always so slow and the wingers are always receiving the ball too close to the halfway line playing back to goal rather than us racing to release them a bit earlier.

    Obviously we hope White helps with that but more importantly whoever replaces Xhaka needs to be able to receive the ball and release the ball forwards or drive forwards much much faster

  77. Guns of SF

    Ode is a light weight. Almost exclusively left footed. He does not move well with the ball. Not sure what you all are watching at all… He does lose the ball a fair bit, and presses but with no end product… So, he has some energy but to last an entire season… nope

    ESR is robust, stronger, and better able to use both legs.
    Ode does not want to be back- unlike Dani who said in the press over and over he likes it at Arsenal etc, you dont hear a peep from Ode.

    He wants to make it at RM>.. he has said that too before

  78. China1

    You see what damage sterling does when he gets on the ball. He constantly goes forwards and asks questions of his man, most of the time it comes off. Sanchez was the same

    Don’t be so safe. Wingers and AMs are allowed to lose the ball sometimes provided they’re getting good payoff for taking risks frequently. Save the safety for the deeper players and CBs ffs.

    Like with Pepe. Our CMs need to beat their man and he needs to be drifting forwards between the lines, the CMs then need to put it just ahead of him to run onto facing goal and let him do his thing

    Instead there’s so much slow crab football and back to goal player from players who should be going on barnstorming runs like sterling and grealish do

  79. Guns of SF

    Ode never really looked all the comfortable with Mike ball.
    its shocking that someone so one footed is not seen as a liablity with a team that lacks offensive nous from their mids.
    Any CAM needs to be 2 footed. Sorry but being one footed means you move in a certain way to keep and recieve the ball on the left foot. Its mind numbing how said players cannot use their weaker foot to keep moving forward but instead my twist their body to keep the ball on their left. This is Pepe part 2 no way…. ever

  80. Tony

    Not disagreeing with either of you, but your comments are on the plays and movement Arteta demands and the players have fear of upsetting the tyrant Arteta.

    Our off the ball movement is very poor under Arteta that makes it hard for playmakers; I’d bet it would be the same if we had Madison – he would have to play to Arteta’s tactics that are slowed down by the safety handbrake.

  81. Guns of SF

    Poor development- and how these players made it this far is a good testatment to them but as a youth coach, that had to have been corrected to some degree …. I mean even now, youth players here are practicing all the time with their weaker foot. Its something that most coaches I speak with encourage all the time. Sucks for the kids but in order to really be good you must learn both feet.
    Look at Maddison video please!!!! scores with both feet and uses them well

  82. Tony

    If we bought Madison how long before you think the spicy Madison upsets Arteta’s non-negotiables?

    I get what you’re saying but we have to remember the dogmatic elephant in the room.

  83. China1

    I wonder how zlatan feels that giroud, his new partner, has won a CL and a World Cup whilst he has won neither

  84. Leedsgunner

    Apparently Brighton is planning to use some of the money we give them for Ben White to bud for Odsonne Edouard.

    Why don’t we see if they will take Eddie Nketiah from us? £15m with a generous add on clauses should do the trick.

    Plus Yves Bissouma swap for AMN and Reiss Nelson? They have been interested in both players previously.

  85. Pierre

    Maddison or contest.

    Maddison all day long , he has more energy in his game, is unpredictable, has a hunger to make things happen, and will score and create more than Odegaard.

    Maddison sees himself more as a number 8 than a no.10, so maybe there would be room for both he and Smith rowe, though personally I would rather see at least one quality centre mid come in above all else..

    Odegaard is predictable but reliable , so I assume Arteta will prefer him, similar to himself who was about as predictable as they come but a player you could rely on.

  86. Guns of SF

    No players should be in the mold of Mike A.
    No thanks
    Slow, boring, over run all the time, defensively suspect, only good at long passes
    ( sounds like Ode)

    Mike A got most of his goals from the spot too

  87. Tony

    “Odegaard is predictable but reliable , so I assume Arteta will prefer him, similar to himself who was about as predictable as they come but a player you could rely on”

    You could bet right Pierre with the comparison currently, but Ode has a better temperament and played more like Maddison at Ajax if my memory is right.

    Ajax have never been predictable when I’ve watched them play. More like the fast flowing ‘total football’ style of play.

    Arteta and Ten Hag are different managers in most aspects.

    Do you see this differently Pierre? Pretty sure you watch far more football than I do.

  88. Pierre

    Considering that Luiz was our “best defender” , I can’t remember too many Arsenal fans being disappointed when he decided to leave….the opposite in fact.

    To me, that says it all really.

  89. Useroz

    Rodgers sets Maddison fee “…getting towards Maguire money”. Well, fat chance Arsenal would nor should pay £80m or thereabout for Maddison….

    Shows how costly it’d become when you let a very paletteable alternative in Buendia got away

  90. Pierre

    “Our off the ball movement is very poor under Arteta that makes it hard for playmakers; I’d bet it would be the same if we had Madison – he would have to play to Arteta’s tactics that are slowed down by the safety handbrake.”

    This is true, our movement is poor and that is why Smith Rowe is a blessing as he is the one that flicks the switch and the game comes alive.

    Even when Smith Rowe plays a simple ball he will always be on the move looking for the return, i would imagine that he is a very difficult player to play against due to his constant movement and ability to find pockets of space.

    Maddison is somewhere in between odegaard and smith rowe in his style of play but more leaning towards smith rowe in that he takes more risks with the ball than Odegaard.

  91. Tony

    I posted yesterday I’m prepared to give Arteta a clean slate going forward.

    That said I only have the last 18 months to reflect on Arteta; therefore, quoting past behavior is a fact and not a criticism.

    If Arteta has changed, then I welcome that and us genuinely plying football that will get us into the CL.

    I’ll get firmly behind Arteta if that ism the case.

    Until then I’ll watch closely and not criticize regularly, but Arteta has a short time frame (10 games) same as I gave Emery.

    Do leopards change their spots?

    Let’s see, Divine, as I said to guns, I sincerely hope so.

    Checking wiki you’re right. Somehow I connected Ode with De Jong and De Ligt.

    Thanks for setting me right.

    We both seem to be on the same pages with your recent posts. Not necessarily entirely but close enough to enjoy reading your thoughts.

    Hope you’re golf is going well.

    Rain season brings snakes out so have to tread carefully in the roughs checking for cobras and the like.

  92. TR7

    Want to see a 3-4-2-1 formation employed by Arteta next season


    White –Holding–Mari

    Saka –Partey — Naves —Tiernney



  93. TR7

    The above formation allows Saka to combine with ESR and also ensures that creative responsibility is not only on one young kid ESR. Maddison can take some responsibility of creating chances. If he plays in an advanced position he can shoot and play through balls.

    Partey and Neves are capable of helping both defense and attack. Tierney will have the license to bomb forward knowing there are 3 center backs manning the defense.

  94. China1

    TR7 that’s a good lineup. I don’t like playing wing backs but it is a good lineup if we play with them. Tho I would prefer us not to have Neves

  95. Useroz

    Amusing view on Auba’s performance, ,courtesy arseblog

    Fair play to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He’s now in the September of his career and I applaud his steadfast refusal to use up any of the goals he has left in him on a pre-season kickabout against some Scotch lads. We need those goals during the season, so he’s not wasting them against Connor MacLeod and his ilk. His determination not to score was first class.

  96. Terraloon


    Diss, honestly not sure it matters how many times you watched Brighton. Chelsea, City, Liverpool, Spurs and England all like him.

    And yet

    Chelsea, City, Liverpool (CL ) clubs didn’t enter into the bidding process. Spurs ain’t got the money nor the attraction of CL football.

    As for England he got into the squad because they increased the squad numbers and didn’t get near the starting 11 in any competitive game .

    Arsenal are getting their pants pulled down on this one . White might , just might turn out to be a decent signing and most on here are quite open on that point but at £50 million in the current market he has no where to hide

  97. Pierre

    Strange that Pedro and Charlie are so convinced that David Luiz was so impressive last season.
    Results and clean sheets certainly do not show this..

    Did Luiz form a good defensive partnership with Gabriel , Holding or Mari …not really

    Was Luiz faultless at the back …not really

    Did he use his experience to avoid red cards …not really

    Will the fans miss him….not really

  98. andy1886

    Pierre, as I posted last night Pedro take last summer on Luiz was that he wasn’t important and his signing was a bad piece of business – see below from Le Grove dated 19/6/20:

    ““Nothing sums up our problems more succinctly than the David Luiz debacle.

    1) Arteta had to drop a 33-year-old for a big game because Arsenal can’t afford his deal

    2) Allowing him to derail a game because his head was gone

    3) Having this problem after paying, according to The Athletic, £24m for his services. ONE YEAR.

    4) Allowing a whole media cycle to be dedicated to whether Arsenal can seal a deal for him, because he’s important.This one transfer is everything that is wrong with Arsenal under Raul.

    A lack of preparation, a lack of data, ‘contacts’ scouting, disgraceful fees, and absolutely shit output.

    How can David Luiz be so important?

    Ok, I’m being mean to Luiz. He’s not a bad player, even now. He’s been good under Arteta.

    However, his full body of work and the short term nature of his signature will always be judged as another bad piece of business.”

  99. Emiratesstroller

    I do not think that Arsenal are by any definition a “cheque book club” when compared to the
    likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man City, PSG, Chelsea and Man Utd.

    What is more relevant is that Arsenal have spent their money in recent times poorly. If you
    are going to spend mega bucks on transfers and wages then it should be on the right players.

    Personally I am not concerned about spending £50 million on White if he is worth the money. Man Utd spent £70 million+ on Maguire who hardly impressed in the first season that he joined them.

    Man Utd are spending £75 million on Sancho who is highly rated, but failed to secure a regular place in the England Team at the Euros. Saka cost us nothing and was considered by
    Southgate the better option.

    Arsenal need to change their playing personnel. Posters on Le Grove have been complaining
    for years about our performance level and the failure to invest properly in team.

    Now it appears that the owner and management are willing to do so there are complaints about how the money is being spent.

    What is clear is that the Kroenke family are for the first time since they took control of the
    club prepared to invest in the team. The fact that we are not competing in Europe makes the
    exercise more expensive than it might have been.

    It is not my money or for that matter any of you who complain. So why are you so concerned
    about the cost of recruitment.

  100. Terraloon


    The one thing that that doesn’t translate in terms of a player is their leadership skills

    Luiz was , love him or hate him, a leader and his influence both on the pitch and off it shouldn’t be underestimated.