ARSENAL ROUND-UP

by .

Well hello, I’ve been back in the UK, so the blog has taken a bit of a backseat. In fact, I would say this is the first time in many years Arsenal has not been top of mind, and I’ve been out the mix 3 days and I have ZERO idea what is going on.

So let’s just start on a ramble and see where we go.

Tomi, our new centre back that is a right-back stole the show on international break with a dominant aerial performance. Weird to have two fullbacks at the club that boast 6ft+ frames. I don’t know what the galaxy brain notion is here, but I do remember Olivier Giroud being very important for Arsenal defending set plays back in the day.

‘Tall people are good for high balls’

Maybe this one isn’t so hard to work out. Weird thing with Tomi is he seems to be the player that is most intriguing Arsenal fans. No one has a clue if we’ve signed Kagawa levels of Japanese talent or we’ve unearthed another Inamoto. I’m excited for him, he seems to have a very Premier League athletic profile and he’s young enough to grow. Doubt he’s going to start at the weekend, but I’m looking forward to seeing him regardless.

Emile Smith Rowe stepped out of the England U21 game with some of that ‘unwellness’ which is a bit concerning. It’s not the ‘rona, which is pleasing, so hopefully he’ll be good for the weekend.

Kido Taylor-Hart signed a pro deal with Arsenal. That’s superb news. He’s highly rated and we LOVE the Hale-Enders. Again, say what you like about some of the embarrassing stuff that has gone on at Arsenal, one thing you can’t avoid… the kids are signing up for whatever Mikel is offering. That means good coaching and chances for the first team. We’ve not had that in many years. Can’t wait to see what the future holds there.

Martin Odegaard proved that there is no one better to rip apart a very weak team. He banged out a massive 12 key passes against… Gibraltar. Listen, you can only beat what is in front of you, so let’s just be pleased for him and hope he can dish out that sort of lesson to Norwich this weekend.

Arsenal rejected a bid for Mo Elneny. No one dodges a transfer window like this man. He’s Keanu in the Matrix. Each bullet he’s ducking is a Besiktas, Fenerbache, or Gala. It’s wild that we persist with him. But here we are, he has a nice smile and you KNOW he’ll be getting leaned on after a February injury crisis. I just hope we don’t offer him a new contract or extend him.

Just some passing conversation I’ve been having with Arsenal fans in England. Quite interesting that picking up a season ticket is now a piece of pie. Red members are being offered them. That’s quite a dip for Arsenal who boasted 60,000 on the old waiting list. If you can’t shift season tickets, then moving club level tickets is even harder… gawd knows what they’re doing at corporate level. Part of the splurge this summer was about apologizing to fans for the wrongs of the Super League, but I guess if you really dug deep, it was probably about arresting the decline in matchday going fans. Stan once said that it didn’t matter what price you put the tickets at, the fans would come… seems that might not be the case.

FINALLY. Le Grove was 14 the other day and I missed it. Thanks to everyone that has read, commented and followed the blog. It’s been a wild ride and I love you all for being so kind along the way. Now we have a podcast, we do Youtube, and we’re Pog Daddy’s (look it up). Here’s to 14 more years!

Right, that’s me done for today, I’ll see you in the comments. x

197 Responses to “ARSENAL ROUND-UP”

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  1. Guembusy

    Been reading Le Grove since 2008 although you rarely see me interfering. Wish you happy birthday Pedro, and to continue for many more years. And, a big thank you. What a blogger!!!

  2. Gommit

    Time flies.. I think I might have spent to many months reading Arsenal blogs over the years.. Got hooked on Myles (ANR) back in the day (must be 20+ years now..). Then found Arseblog in Andrews first week and am still following him.. I can’t remember when I started following le-grove but it was just under 14 years ago and it has been my first browser visit each day for years now. Thanks for all the hard work and keep on going. Congrats 😊

  3. Valentin

    Bizarre that you are now acknowledging that Arsenal FC is struggling to sell Arsenal Club season tickets, because a month ago you were pretty adamant that was not the case. Arsenal contacted me about 2 club level season tickets and I declined. I know numerous people who did the same for various reasons.

    Like I wrote at the time Arsenal is facing three big hurdles:

    + Financial impact of Corona / Brexit: people who have lost their jobs or are in threat of losing theirs are not going to commit to a unnecessary big expenditure. With furlow over, the real job losses will start showing. Added to the financial sectors new world order, many banks will cut well paid jobs.

    + Post Corona fear: We all have seen unmasked unvaccinated selfish morons infecting others. England games at the Euro being the best examples of ho not to do things. Right now, being in a large group of people including some covidiots is the biggest risk people can take. A fair number will not willing to take that risk.

    + Football itself: this is the biggest risk for this football club. If fans don’t enjoy their football and/or don’t see a way out of this rut, then they will stop going. Why would you renew your season ticket if it is to suffer bad football and poor results? Same for overseas fans. Why would you wake up in the middle of night to watch Arsenal play if you expect them to lose in a humiliating fashion?

    Losing local fans is not the Canary signal that things are bad, it is the explosion in the mine. Local fans tend to be the last ones to abandon their teams. If Arsenal can’t fill its stadium, it is unlikely that global merchandising will be good either.

    That will worry the owners, because at the next commercial negotiation they won’t be in a position of strength. Making them lose even more.

    Once fans become detached from the club, some will not come back, their children will not join. An entire new generation of fans could be lost. Already in some part of the world, Chelsea, ManCity are more popular than Arsenal.

  4. englandsbest

    One thing that can be said with certainty about the signings – Tami and all – is that they were no accident, no last-minute panic buys. Some may question their merits and roles – a mystery to all of us – but for sure Arteta and Edu knew what they were after, know what they have in mind.

    A lean mean machine.

  5. Jdawg

    I have to pay some respect and say thank you for the brilliant content and congrats on the 14 years . That’s brilliant, also with no ads all over the place. Can’t say the same for justarseanal which I used to read but their content has gone massively down hill.

    You’ve got me hooked I will continue to be a consistent reader.

    COYG Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal! I’m looking forward to the home game this Saturday, hoping for some joy!

  6. Wengaball

    Arsenal, specifically Josh Kroenke, blew up the opportunity to build on the Wenger era, opting to dismantle the culture, values, systems that built the club for two decades and made it a globally loved brand.

    The club could have chosen to evolve – fix the weaknesses, while defending all that was good with their life.

    Instead, it has chosen to blow up and start afresh. If it loses fans, it will be of its own making.

    Also, starting afresh is always going to be a long haul. So dig in.

    Will be good to have a the chief blogger’s view on this subject. A long read, Pedro, on whether the baby has been thrown out with the bath water?

  7. Wengaball

    On that note, here is an interesting trivia:

    In the old days, baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men,
    then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies.

    By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

  8. Wengaball

    When Wenger came, he built on the Graham era of donor die defence. He not only continued with the ageing back line, he game them new life with diet and fitness regimen.

    He recognised their importance, not just for the football, but for the values.

    Then he added the attack, creativity and football flair to the mix. It was additive and evolutionary.

    Once he left, the first thing that got dismantled at the club was the creative flair. It was bizarre- because that’s what Arsenal was most about, whether win or lose. And it was a massive strength of the brand.

    The remnants of the Wenger defence are still around, even though that was the weakness.

    So we destroyed what was good, and have been holding on to what was weak and now trying to rebuild it. But even if we fix the defence, by itself it just leads to poor football. We’ve seen that and will continue to see till the creativity abs attack are returned to the club.

  9. Valentin

    Wengaball,

    Wenger also rebuild the defense: Sol Campbell, Toure, Lauren, Ashley Cole were a great defensive unit.
    The issue in the later Wenger years was not the defense per se, it was the midfield. We had no proper defensive midfielder. Coquelin, Cazorla was a great pairing, but injuries meant that we never saw it for a complete season just a calendar year.

    Once Cazorla got injured, we never recovered. Coquelin never had a proper creative partner with defensive awareness (Özil, …), discipline (Ramsey, …), technical ability to be press resistant (Xhaka, …), and vision to make splitting forward passes (Elneny, …).

  10. Wengaball

    Other ‘good’ things that have been blown up:

    1) the club was known to conduct its business in a largely ethical way. It was perhaps a bit too rigid and a dose of pragmatism was needed. Instead of adjustments, they swung the other way and brought a wheeler dealer in Raul to helm the affairs. And then the club got into bed with a super agent.

    2) good scouting was another strength – at least in the hey days, and even lately. Finding gems was never an issue – exemplified by Wenger’s presence in M’bape’s living room before he had exploded fully. The problem was closing deals. Instead of fixing that we dismissed the entire scouting network.

    3) good man management – one of Wenger’s big strengths, and also a weakness in the sense he overemphasised it. Instead of getting someone who could balance it out, the club brought in an egomaniac prick.

    As I said it is two fingers up to all that was good. If I don’t feel good about the club these days, it is not without reason.

  11. Biggles

    The kids aren’t signing up because of what Mikel is offering. They are signing up for a mixture of what Per is offering and, for the lazy ones, the chance of lifetime employment sitting on a bench somewhere. What they all know is that Mikel won’t play them unless there’s *absolutely* nobody left and that he won’t be around when they are realistically looking at making a move towards the first team.

  12. Wengaball

    Valentin – I agree. By defence I don’t mean just the back line. I mean the defensive performance of the team.

    Mind you, it is much much harder to coach a good defence in an attacking team, than putting ten behind the ball and claim defence has improved.

    Cazorla’s injury was another of the bad lucks that plagued Wenger throughout. Eduardo and Diaby earlier – two players that were crucial pieces in their respective. I am of firm belief that but for the injury, Diaby would have been one of the greatest ever players in the premier league.

  13. Biggles

    @Wengaball

    I see what you are saying and it’s pretty accurate. I think the problem was that there was no process or method other than “do what Arsene says” in every regard. That started with David Dein leaving. It’s a clear line from which all the things that went wrong for Wenger started going wrong. Sure, we were struggling to keep up with Chelsea’s spending at that point, but we were still challengers. Over the next few years we got gradually worse and I think if we’d had a proper technical director at that point and proper contracts people in then it would have made a huge difference.

    I’m never entirely sure if I should blame Wenger for becoming a king. I don’t think he did it out of malice or ambition so much as trying to keep things going, but he should have recognised he was being spread too thin and asked for people to do some of these things.

    So whilst I agree with the things that have been lost, I don’t think they were blown up as it were. It’s more like the ways of doing things were forgotten. Like when one of my colleagues moved on and everybody realised that they relied on him for stuff that wasn’t documented but never bothered to write it down themselves.

  14. Sky

    Keep it up Pedro, hopefully this weekend gets better with a convincing win for the boys, they need it for their sanity.But I don’t fancy Arteta to take us through the entire season,Arsenal should get back to its high standards.

  15. Valentin

    Wengaball,

    I agree.

    Two Arsenal players Eduardo and Diaby who got their career curtailed by assaults that were barely punished by the FA.
    In other countries, fouls of such force ALWAYS lead to extra longer bans and instructions to referees to punish such fouls even if nobody is injured.

    In France some players got 8 games ban for reckless and violent behaviour. Here unless you spit and then everybody is up in arm, you can break legs with near impunity. He is not that type of trop is then uttered by the Neanderthal apologists.

    I am sorry, but you break the leg of a player by your reckless and violent behaviour, you should have a massive 4~8 weeks wage fines. By having the fine proportional to the salary, then players are always hurt financially. The same way in some scandinave countries, fines such as overspending limit fines are proportional to your income, making it a lot fairer AND effective.

  16. Elmo

    Re Tomiyasu: rather than the Kagawa / Inamoto comparison, it will be interesting to find out whether he turns out better than Maya Yoshida, another tall Japanese CB that also plays RB. He was a PL stalwart at Southampton, but we’re looking for a higher standard than that.

    Re the season tickets: yes, the same experience as what you’ve heard, Pedro. I have access to a silver, which is enough for me as there’s no way I could get to most matches nowadays (and wouldn’t want to pay in any case!). However, I’ve been on the ST waiting list since ’07. There were about 32k ahead in the queue at that time, and annual offers of a ST came from 2012 (5 year wait). As I recall, you receive 3 years of offers before you’re told you either drop off the waiting list or request to be put to the back of it, which I took up (at that point, c. 70k+ ahead in the queue). Despite the system showing that I’m now c. 40k in the waiting list, I’ve been receiving ST offers this summer (6 year wait to burn through double the queue; I think first time around I received offers when notionally down to c. 12k in the queue).

    I think a fair number will have given up STs due to becoming used to not going during Covid, or because they know they can no longer sell on matches they don’t want on TicketExchange, because the primary tickets sales don’t even sell out anymore. With that said, if you’re taking a long-term view and always dreamed of an Arsenal ST, it’s probably a good time for picking up the exact position in the stadium you want.

  17. Kroenkephobe

    Wengaball
    I’m an enthusiastic but amateur etymologist. I was fascinated to find out the background to the ‘throwing the baby out…’ idiom.

    ‘robbing the living daylight’ and ‘knowing your onions’ are two others that have fascinating historical connections.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your points about how the club has diminished. Some fool would call them modern realities but we are joining certain other London rivals in a race to the bottom of utter spivness. It’s sad.

  18. Gonsterous

    The other 6foot+ full back the pedro references in the post, is that chambers?

    Also, no xhaka means easy 3 points in the bag. International footie really kills the vibe of PL lovers

  19. Pierre

    Wengaball
    “Once he left, the first thing that got dismantled at the club was the creative flair. It was bizarre- because that’s what Arsenal was most about, whether win or lose. And it was a massive strength of the brand.”

    Absolutely..

    I think many Arsenal fans(the obsessives)thought it was easy to play open attacking entertaining football…

    It has become increasingly obvious that losing players like Ozil , Mhkitarayan, Ramsey and Wilshere without replacing them has had a damaging effect on on our creativity..

  20. Pierre

    Kronkephobe
    “I agree wholeheartedly with your points about how the club has diminished. Some fool would call them modern realities but we are joining certain other London rivals in a race to the bottom of utter spivness. It’s sad.”

    And yet you are the one (of many) who continue to deride Ozil’s achievements at the club , and of course will refuse to recognise how our creativity has slumped to an all time low (as well as our league position) without ozil.

  21. Vintage Gun

    Happy 14th Birthday Pedro for creating and maintaining a BEAST of a blog over the years. And although I’ve disagreed with many posts of yours over this summer iv’e always respected the time and effort you have put in to provide this platform and Arsenal online community.

    Lets hope we get a belated birthday present this weekend and kick the shit out of Norwich to start our climb back up the mountain.

  22. Guns of Hackney

    The new utilitarian right back, centre half hybrid might be okay. He was peanuts and has to be better than the shite we have. I don’t have a beef with him.

    As for season tickets, who is surprised? We aren’t a draw anymore and being a fan is normally passed down or, you support the club doing well. Back when I was a lad in London during the early 80’s, everyone supported Liverpool or Arsenal. My school was in Highbury and it was 50/50. Heading into the 90’s, every fucker was a United fan. Now, I’d say the Chelsea, Scouse, Manc scumbags ALL out support us.

    We are close to being unsupportable.

  23. Vintage Gun

    “The other 6foot+ full back the pedro references in the post, is that chambers?”

    I’m guessing Nuno Taveres. Saw him close up at West Brom. Looked tall

  24. Habesha Gooner

    Oh Le-Grove is 14. Happy 14th birthday.

    This international break went so fast. May be it’s due to the fear of watching Arsenal play. Thanks Arteta. Anyway, I hope we beat Norwich. Players are coming back and we need to see something better now.

  25. raptora

    Happy 14th Birthday!

    I’m blessed to have this place to rant after a shit result.

    May the shit results be less frequent than recently in the near and distant future.

  26. Useroz

    Some reports cite high salary demand by Elneny as reason for the collapse of the deal not Arsenal rejected it. So we’d believe what we’d like to believe though a player like Elneny shouldn’t have been allowed to remain here however one looks at it.

  27. cheffy

    Congrats Pedro and Le Grove, rarely comment but have read this blog for a long time and one of my mainstays from earlier days (together with ACLF, RIP).

  28. Lacaqualidie

    The club sold its soul when we moved to the new stadium. The plastic badge being the epitome of that. Wenger ‘Wengerised’ Arsenal, which gave us some great times and the PL great football, but it also set in store a worse future, especially since David Dein left.

    Once the big shareholders started selling to outsiders then the Arsenal ethos was always going to transmogrify to one of a corporate entity/sporting franchise. ‘Play the Arsenal way’ and ‘Arsenal values’ have been thrown out the window.

    It’s a shame Wenger didn’t realise he was losing it and help the club look for a successor. Once he’d passed the mantle on he could have sat on the board or become a club ambassador which would have helped retain the club’s character.

    Instead, new ownership has gutted us and the results on the pitch are the consequence. Who knows what the new policies and culture will bring, but currently it’s failure which is reflected in season tickets not being taken up and fewer people wanting to watch.

  29. Tony 2

    Happy 14th + 1. LG. Brilliant work Pedro you are a star. Re what WB said about Diaby. I concur 100%. I was there that fatal day v Sunderland and 2 things stuck out (we won 3 0 btw) 1st as there wasn’t a full house when the Sunderland prick crunched AD you could hear the crack from the stands. A horrendous career threatening injury. (Still makes me wince just thinking about it. 2) TH played for around 85 mins and received a standing ovation from the home fans. Nice gesture. If you don’t believe how good AD was Google/YouTube his highlights feel v LFC in league cup. He would’ve been a monster for many seasons for us. Have a good day y’all

  30. cheffy

    I wouldn’t be too quick to surmise that there might be something there cos the kids are signing up. Too many factors at play plus a number of the young players are not doing being treated too well or often languishing.

  31. CG

    Hardly a surprise , season tickets are available and the executive boxes are empty.

    They will remain so, until either KSE sell up or erase the current imbeciles in charge and appoint proven professionals in the right positions and start acting like a serious club again.

    Why would anyone want to pay cash to watch Arteta and Round ball and their Everton dirge anyway?

    (They oversaw the team scoring 4 (FOUR ) goals at home in x 14 home fixtures last season and they have not scored in 270 minutes of the season thus far.

    A. Wenger’s Arsenal alone scored 5 in his last home fixture v Burnley.

    I guarantee if the club had appointed A. Conte during this international lull, like they should have- he would be having the same effect as Ronaldo has had on the Man Utd v Newcastle Utd fixture this weekend

    ie. SOLD OUT and the punters licking their lips and looking forward to the season.

    ps. Happy 14th birthday.
    Bet you never thought . you would be celebrating it with Arsenal bottom and Spurs at the top!

  32. InsideRight

    I’ve just watched the two-minute compliation of Charlie Patino over on Arseblog.

    Absolutely outstanding performance against Swindon. I’ve not seen Patino play before but I can see why they are raving about him at Hale End. Cultured left foot even at his young age, fantastic awareness and brilliant touches to get himself out of trouble. Looks to make forward runs and picks out some really intelligent passes into the channels and out wide.

    He’s like an English Santi. He’s better than Xhaka and Elneny already. It can’t be long before he gets on the bench. With his talent he is going to be a star.

  33. TR7

    I know Patino was playing against kids but his style is very similar to Pedri of Barcelona. Touch, control, awareness of space and players around him – delightful stuff !! Looks more of a La Masia product. We are producing good talents in our academy.

  34. TheLegendaryDB10

    Happy 14th Birthday Le Grove!!!

    Despite differing perspectives re MA Pedro, I’ve always followed your blog (read it daily), alongside Arseblog, as you are a great writer!!

    One also has to thank the many posters here for making this blog what it is!! Without them (and their madness 😉) this blog would not have the personality that it has.

    Keep it going Pedro!!!

  35. Words on a blog

    On the season ticket thing, I took a “holiday” from my 2 season tickets this year.

    The combination of COVID concern, the exorbitant cost and the execrable football was too much for me to take.

  36. Dennis+the+Menace

    We’ll done Pedro for keeping this blog going for all these years. I think it’s become quite influential (which is why I am giving you a hard time over Arteta 😉). Look forward to hearing from you on who Arteta’s successor should be and how to expedite it.

  37. raptora

    Just watched a compilation of Ode vs Gibraltar. Some good moves, won a few balls, good fight and desire, nice change of the dynamics. Not going to lie – couple of times he had the easiest passes to make that would have lead to almost certain goals but instead he overhit it. He ended with 0 goals or assists in a game Norway scored 5 times. Time is on his side to improve.

    Interesting that he is used on the right side of a midfield 3.

    When you are playing vs Gibraltar, go in the box, try to score goals, show what you want to develop in. I guess he wants to develop his passing and not his shooting. We will probably never see him score 10 goals in 1 EPL season ever. He is so against going inside the opponents box.

  38. Chris

    Big thanks to all that you do with Le Grove Pedro, always an engaging read and great pods.

    Also a big what up to the posters here, for their views on Arsenal, all football, literally any other subject and also the comedy! It all keeps me coming back day after day.

  39. Valentin

    WOAB,

    Exactly the 3 reasons I cited earlier. 😁

    I think that the Kroenkes will not see how abysmal the renewal season tickets and the general sales of tickets are until end of November, beginning of November.
    By then it will have a direct impact on Arsenal treasury.

    A accountant friend of mine used to work for a company who did the book for Fulham, QPR and Millwall. He said that bar Theo Paphitis (who was on it every week) most executives did not have a clue about the financial situation until 3 months into the season.

  40. Ollie

    Raptora

    That’s an incredibly harsh assessment of Odegaards highlight reel there. He put his team mates through on goal multiple times, hardly his fault if they have taken a bad first touch or shot straight at the keeper.

  41. OCGooner

    Happy Birthday Le Grove! Reading since 2009 although don’t comment all that much. Thanks Pedro for your diligence all these years. Not easy to keep one of these up for that long (with a day job to boot).

  42. Valentin

    Ollie,

    It was against Gibraltar, so if his teammates have to reach to control the ball and still miss against them, I doubt they will have the same freedom against premiership defenders. We can only hope that it was due to his teammates still being rusty or not good/sharp enough.

    However as Raptora wrote, I would also want to see more runs and shots from him. It was cannon fodder Gibraltar! Any attacking players should want to score against them. Great players have that ruthlessness in them. He does not even try to bully minnows. The only thing worse than a flat track bully is a non bully.

    I remember the flack Alexander Hleb and his refusal to shot received.

  43. raptora

    Ollie,
    I agree I’m being harsh. But am I wrong with the notion that an offensive player, who wants to be world class one day, should go into the game vs Gibraltar with the full and obvious intention to pad their stats, try some shots, gain some momentum, score?

    We got an AM that is allergic to going inside the box and is also allergic to making late runs ala Ramsey. He will score 5 goals at best in a full EPL season. And he it doesn’t look like he’s trying to develop his game. It looks like he is perfectly fine with the cross-field passes and flicks.

    I see your point. I just want more from him. The desire to become a complete player.

  44. raptora

    Someone like Eriksen has 36 goals in 109 NT apps.
    Odegaard has 1 goal in 33 games.

    I’d expect him to have the ambition to score vs Gibraltar.

    1 goal in 33 games is some shocking stuff.

  45. Havyn

    Our league just began. At Brentford, we should have had a penalty when Fora was brought down. Their second goal was a clear foul but that doesn’t matter because in the middle was a Manchester United supporter official called Oliver.

    We had lost key players through injury and illness and that affected our game with the Chavs and City.

    Unfortunately Oliver will be in the middle against Norwich. We need to pray.

  46. Samesong

    Ode is not going to be that ruthless, selfish player. He’s too tidy a player. I watched him in the previous game against Latvia and he rarely went into the box. I don’t recall him taking any shots either.

    What he is good at is moving into spaces to receive the ball. And 1-2 touch passes. Can play with his back to goal. But can easily be dispossed if you bully him enough.

    Not saying I don’t like him, but I think ESR has more about his game.

  47. CG

    Raptora

    “””1 goal in 33 games is some shocking stuff”””

    Its probably why he never made it a Real Madrid.

    Good technician, consummate pro but simply no output.

    I also did note a stat, that in Saka last 17 premier games he has scored 0 goals and created 1 assist.

    So where the goals are coming from for season 21/22 , your guess , is as good as mine.

    I wish Arteta would put the documentary on about Ferguson. How Fergie contantly reminded his players at Aberdeen and Man United , thats all his players must take responsiblity and score.

    Its staggering that Arteta has spent all this money on players and is lauded as a great coach and we struggle to do the most basic thing.

    Score a bloody goal!.

  48. MD-Gunner

    From the Athletic article “Which Premier League team has the best goalkeeper?” just read and weep.

    “Emiliano Martinez is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, right? Surely I’m not alone in thinking this?

    Not only is he brilliant at the basics — shot-stopping, collecting crosses, commanding his area — but he’s also a handy weapon to start off attacks with his pinpoint kicking and vision to pick a pass between the lines.

    Without knocking Arsenal too much — the league table is doing a sufficient job — this has to be said: letting Martinez join Aston Villa was one of the Premier League’s most embarrassing transfer errors in recent memory.

    To then go and sign an arguably inferior goalkeeper for more money in Aaron Ramsdale just a year later makes it even worse.

    OK, so Martinez wanted the regular game time as a No 1, which encouraged Arsenal to sell, but how on earth did they not realise that he was worthy of a starting place after spending a decade at the club?”

    Let the MOBs rule. Only one follow up action FIRE Arteta and we will be done with the Emi topic.

  49. TR7

    Ode is a poor man’s Ozil and I didn’t like Ozil that much.

    ESR is the guy, reminds me of Rosicky and Nasri in some ways. Let’s hope he and Saka don’t regress under Arteta, already seeing some signs of regression.

  50. Samesong

    Odegaard cannot make late runs, he lacks speed and acceleration

    He don’t need to but when he has a chance just shoot outside the box.

  51. Dissenter

    My concern about Odegard is that he’s a static op-center, a bit similar to Xhaka on the lack of athleticism.
    You won’t get much dynamism even though he can pass the ball. He needs movement around him to thrive. He’s not a ball carrying midfielder that can drive forward or dribble past players.
    You can clearly see why Madrid said no thanks to Ode.

  52. CG

    TR7

    “”””Ode is a poor man’s Ozil and I didn’t like Ozil that much.””””

    Ozil ‘s Arsenal career.

    254 games
    44 goals
    77 assists

    Thats serious output, compared to our current pea shooters.

    A proper manager would say to all our midfielders, if you dont score me x 10 goals each this season- you won’ t be here next season.

    That normally does the trick.

  53. bacaryisgod

    This is why Bacary is God.

    Football London Interviewer: “Of course, you are someone who knows what it’s like to be an Arsenal right-back very well. Takehiro Tomiyasu was the deadline day signing. Arsenal brought him in. What do you make of that deal? Do you think it’s a smart piece of business from Arsenal?”

    Bacary Sagna: “To be honest, I don’t know him”.

    No nonsense, just like his defending.

  54. TR7

    CG

    Ozil was a good player but wasn’t the type of midfielder I like. I like midfielders who can run with the ball. Iniesta, Zidane, Santi, Rosicky, Cesc, Hleb etc.

  55. TheLegendaryDB10

    CG

    You are absolutely right. Fergie instilled ruthlessness in his teams.

    The number of times you would see Manure winning 3/4 – 0 (for example) and yet you would still see the players trying to score another goal. They never stopped until the final whistle blew.

  56. CG

    TR7

    ”””’Ozil was a good player but wasn’t the type of midfielder I like. I like midfielders who can run with the ball. Iniesta, Zidane, Santi, Rosicky, Cesc, Hleb etc.”””

    They are all crackers.

    Ozil, Santi, Rosicky, Hleb and Cesc. All touched, mentored and coached by the peerless A.Wenger

    Crikey, if Arteta got his hands on that lot, what different careers they would have had and what memories we would not have to cherish.

    No one put out more exciting teams and players than Wenger. Two decades of highs and lows.

    What fun that was.

  57. TR7

    Diaby was sensational too, a huge talent ruined by injuries. Arsenal could have had a midfield of Diaby, Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb with RVP as striker. Jack Wilshere too was a baller. Arsenal.and Wenger should/could have ruled the world if not for injuries, bad luck and Wenger’s apathy towards goalkeeping and central defense position.

  58. CG

    The LegendDb

    ”””’CG You are absolutely right. Fergie instilled ruthlessness in his teams.””’

    Conte is cut from the same cloth.
    In fact he looks even more ruthless than Fergie

    Conte believes in goals and goalscorers. Because you aint winning x 3 league titles with x3 different clubs without either of them.

  59. Duzie

    We deserve to win the Premier League for the sake of Pedro and Geoff. That’s the least we deserve for all the content you’ve been putting out here. I’ve been here since late 2008, since LG had its first UI 😃. I was an AKB until April 2009, when we choked hard against Manutd in the CL semis – I never looked back as I joined the dark side.

    Congrats Pedro. This blog is among my top 2 most visited sites. Thanks for entertaining us !

  60. TR7

    Garry Cahill in place of Squillachi and Mark Schwarger in place of Aluminia/Fabianski and we would have won a couple of league titles in the period 2007-2010.

  61. The Bard

    Valentin a good post. A half empty stadium is a bad look, especially abroad. I gave up my season ticket 2 years before Wenger left. I pick and chose my games these days. Precarious times for the club. Your post is exactly why developing a long game strategy is useless.

  62. Duzie

    Sid,

    The right manager could coach it into Odegaard. When Diet Pep leaves, and Conte hopefully joins, our prospects will up their ante.

  63. Habesha Gooner

    Odegaard is the type of player people slag off but if he is out of the team, you would see the effect. I am really glad we signed him. He can see a pass and has vision. This is exactly the type of player we have been missing since Ozil retired in his head and Santi moved to Villareal. And unlike Ozil, Odegaard works hard. And he is also a ball carrier. He might not skin people regularly but he gets us up the field more often. And also he is the exact type of player that will help us hammer small teams if we have a decent manager. Parking the bus has become very easy against us because we don’t have any incisive passers. And he will help with that.

  64. raptora

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LVjyO8tUkE
    My type of midfielder.

    And a proof that a player with similar physique to Odegaard knew he needed to add goals to his game, and indeed he did. In 7 seasons, from 2007 to 2014, he scored 56 league goals or 8 goals per season, including a league campaign with 15 EPL goals in 27 games in 2009/10. He was probably the best midfielder in the world in that football year. Absolutely carried us on his 22 yo shoulders.

  65. Samesong

    Habesha

    Oden needs to add goals or assists to his game. This will improve him as a player
    It’s not a question of slagging him off.

    1 goal in 14 games on his loan spell? Do you think Oden would of been happy with that return?

  66. Samesong

    And a proof that a player with similar physique to Odegaard knew he needed to add goals to his game, and indeed he did. In 7 seasons, from 2007 to 2014, he scored 56 league goals or 8 goals per season, including a league campaign with 15 EPL goals in 27 games in 2009/10. He was probably the best midfielder in the world in that football year. Absolutely carried us on his 22 yo shoulders.

    Who you on about? Fabregas?
    The youtube link is Ruud Guillit.

  67. redbro14

    There should be lots of mobility in the side now, speed and pace, but will our manager be able to deliver? So far all we have seen is a horseshoe of death by boredom…..is he allergic to movement, swapping places, fluidity and natural creativity of our players. Has he taken ‘Juego de Posicion’ and killed it by his OCD approach?

  68. TheBayingMob

    Talking of Season Tickets, I remember Chelsea hawking STs at Waterloo Station circa 2002 ish … a couple of dolly birds walking around asking people who wanted to sign up for one – different times …

  69. Chris

    Love Arsene but I am not a fan of his proposal for a World Cup every 2 years.

    It’s more special having it every four years. Also when does the players welfare come into it? It’s just another excuse for FIFA to make more money, they have absolutely no shame.

  70. Dissenter

    Wenger’s 2 yearly WC idea is just bat shit crazy
    How is the qualification going to work every two years?
    Just goes to show how out of touch he became eventually

  71. Chris

    I read the qualification would work my having more groups, each nation only playing 6 games, in two periods of time in October and March.

    One thing that is definitely outdated is the ridiculous stop start nature of the beginning of every club season due to international breaks. Playing 4 games than a break x 3 is just daft and irritating to the club dynamic. Plus it would surely make far more sense to have international football for a longer period at a time ie 5 or 6 games over a couple of weeks, so the players are together longer and giving the coach longer time to work on game plans etc.

  72. Dissenter

    Chris
    Surely Wenger should know that the average footballer is playing way too many games as it stands
    Then you have the idea of devaluing the most prestigious international tournament

  73. TheLegendaryDB10

    CG

    Conte would be massive for us. His experience and knowledge would be invaluable for us as this would help with creating a decent foundation for the team.

    A rebuild cannot be done by a novice due to the fact that he lacks experience.

    Imagine Conte coming in and winning the league in his 1st/ 2nd season like he did with Chelski in his first season with them. That would be a dream…

  74. Mr Serge

    The fact that you can still get tickets for the NLD a week after they go on sale to red members blow my mind, red members would have had to be online on the dot to get those a couple of years ago

  75. NWM

    TR7

    “Ozil was a good player but wasn’t the type of midfielder I like. I like midfielders who can run with the ball. Iniesta, Zidane, Santi, Rosicky, Cesc, Hleb etc”

    Per FBref, before Emery and Arteta arrived with their structured systems, Ozil was Arsenal’s most progressive ball carrier, averaging more than 220 meters on 13 progressive carries per game and this was on the downside of his career,. Unfortunately, FBref didn’t track progressive ball carrying and passing before the 2017-2018 season. If you’re talking about beating a man off the dribble, he did that too, though not as often as someone like Wilshere, who as a consequence was constantly on the injured list.

  76. TheLegendaryDB10

    As for Wengers suggestion of a WC every 2 years… it’s just mental. How are the players supposed to rest? And then you have the Euros. How does that fit in??

    I suppose it’s just AW trying to show that he is doing some work at Fifa.

  77. Mr Serge

    You can’t get a normal season ticket if you are a red member there is a waiting list club level you can but you are paying £2500 for the privilege

  78. Johng

    Happy birthday Legrove, I was there in the hospital at the birth and have been ever since. Well done to you and Geoff in the earlier years.
    Long may you continue.
    As for the football over those years. This must be the WORSED ever.
    Let’s hope it gets better soon

  79. WengerEagle

    Mr Serge

    “The fact that you can still get tickets for the NLD a week after they go on sale to red members blow my mind, red members would have had to be online on the dot to get those a couple of years ago”

    I guess it isn’t just the doom merchants on Le Grove as the self -proclaimed ‘balanced’ (ha) Nigel Tufnel lets on that are sick to the core of the pile of steaming shit that the club has been serving up to us over and over again that has led to such extreme supporter apathy as we are seeing.

    Also must be a humourless and witless **** to boot to get no enjoyment out of Almuniasaynomore’s sketch series. Even Pierre has been getting a kick out of it after all.

    Congrats on the 14 years Pedro. Been contributing myself about half that time but have been a near daily reader since around 2009 and was just a thoroughly entertained lurker for the first 4-5 years haha. This site has provided a tremendous amount of catharsis and a platform to engage in over the years as a proud Arsenal supporter.

    Comments section is what sets this place apart clearly but your writing over the years has largely been on the money along with being entertaining and consistent for the most part pre-Tets.

    I will forgive and forget and welcome you back with open arms in a Prodigal Son fashion once the ghost of Tets has last been extinguished from the Emirates and your tears have dried!

    Cracking a Peroni in your honour, here is to the next 14+ years.

  80. TheLegendaryDB10

    Mr Serge

    I agree re the fact about buying tickets as a Red Member, considering I am one.

    For all Category A games, tickets used to sell fast. You had to be online @ 10:00 sharp to get a ticket.

    The same applies when buying a ticket exchange. It was all down to luck, and regularly logging in, to check if one was for sale. And you had to snap it up fast, otherwise someone else would have bought it.

    I just checked right now for the Norwich game and I can still buy tickets for Upper tier seats, 3 days before the game.

    It never was like this before.

  81. TheLegendaryDB10

    A question to all members, what do you think of the new membership card?

    I absolutely dislike this new design of combining a VISA pre-paid card into it. Even the card looks soulless now
    Before, you at least had the picture of the Emirates and more importantly, “The Arsenal” was written on it.

    Now it’s just “My Arsenal Rewards”. What garbage.

  82. Dissenter

    If the local community isn’t warming up to Arsenal, think of what’s happening to the larger global community.
    Arsenal is settling into midtable-lower league table status without as much as a whimper.

    The people vested with spending transfer money don’t seem to get the strategic value of making signings that get’ fans back in the stadium. It’s all about some interminable and unmeasurable “process”

  83. MD-Gunner

    A funny perspective since Arsenal’s transfer fees spent amount to eighth most expensive squad in the world with MA’s team worth

    £541m following summer spree, is this an omen that MA’s side are expected to finish eight this season?

    Please anyone jump in here and have the eighth most expensive squad in the world finish higher then eighth!

  84. Habesha Gooner

    Same song
    Fair point on Odegaard. I can’t imagine he will be one of those players who gets double figure goals every season. But I can see he amount of Assists he will provide if the rest of the players take there chances. We even saw it in the 2nd half of last season when our strikers failed miserably on a number of opportunities he created. I have no doubts about him elevating us creatively. David Silva isn’t a regular goal scorer. But his effect on his teams isn’t questionable. Even Kevin debruyne who is the best midfielder right now had a return of 16 goals in his best season. The rest is 12 and 10. So he contributes around 12 on average in all competetions. And he wasn’t scoring this much when he was 22. And Comparing Odegaard to Fabregas is too much. Not every other midfielder has the ability to score a ridiculous amount of goals from midfield. We aren’t getting a Bruno Fernandez with Odegaard. But we are getting a highly creative player.

  85. TheLegendaryDB10

    Diss

    When you have Edu just talk about building the team for “the future”, you just know there is no plan at all on how to get us back into top 4.

    At least they are getting that we need younger players, but for a youth team build, you’ll need an experienced manager. Not an unknown, experienceless novice.

  86. Double Double

    Are theses youngsters staying with us because of Arteta or the BFG. I think he’s one whose getting the most out of them. Definitely future director material

  87. MidwestGun

    Ozil hasn’t been relevant to world football for 4 years and yet Pierre goes on and on about him every day. That’s some obsessive dedication

    Anyhow.. speaking of dedication… Congrats on 14 years Peds..!!!! .

    Been a long strange trip. Long may it continue.

  88. Valentin

    What is the point of a creative player if he does not score, does not assist and does not create pre-assists? To create big chances than nobody score from?

    If his teammates keep fluffing their lines after he creates so called big chances, then either his teammates are poor or his big chances are not big chances. They look like big chances, but the timing is off, the weight of the pass slightly wrong, the angle of the direction skewed, the cross too high.

    Not everybody can be an Iniesta, a Fabregas or even an Özil and makes the perfect splitting passes look easy.

    Right now Ødegaard is one those tidy elegant players with good technique but no consistent end product. I don’t subscribe that nice people finish last, but I do believe that ultimately it is footballer warriors who won trophies. Players willing to run and score even if it is not their primary role. Spain won the WORLD cup with an Iniesta shot from inside the penalty box. If Ødegaard is unwilling to take a shot against Gibraltar, he won’t be natural for him to try against premiership opponents.

    if Ødegaard does not add any final product to his game, he and Arsenal will be left behind. He needs to be able to seize the initiative and try to score himself instead of always delegating that responsibility to a teammate. Arsenal needs him to score 10~15 goals in the league.

  89. InsideRight

    Another Southgate Snoozefest.

    Predictable, formulaic, uninspiring.

    Has anyone ever seen Arteta and Southgate in the same room?

  90. TheLegendaryDB10

    Very fair draw considering that Poland have been really strong and aggressive with their game style throughout the game.

    England didn’t do to badly but they need to up their game in these type of games.

  91. Lacaqualidie

    I much prefer ESR in the No 10 slot over Odergaard. I think ESR is wasted out wide and ofers more threat in the middle. I’d even think of playing him alongside Partey to keep him in the centre where he does most damage than play him out wide (in a 4-2-3-1).