by .

Arsenal notched their first win of the season versus Norwich City. The game wasn’t easy. The result felt like a bit of a slog. But the 3 points on the board were more than deserved and will hopefully act as a pivot point for the season.

The starting line-up was pretty wild. Arteta put most of his new players out on the pitch. We saw Tomiyasu, Odegaard, White, Lokonga… and Ramsdale. Those were big decisions. The Premier League is tough, to make so many changes in one go was always a huge risk, especially notable considering Tuchel had to yank Saul at halftime against Villa. Arteta even dropped Ainsley into midfield. When the chips are down for Mikel, he always turns to the kids, and they usually do the job.

The first half was a fairly mixed bag. We dominated the first 20, fell off a little, then came back before halftime. The second half was where it was at, we refound our intensity, kicked up into the 4th gear we haven’t had all season, and finally made the game count when Nicolas Pepe fizzed a shot at the inside post, bundled himself at the second chance, allowing a rebound to fall comfortably for Auba to prod home from a single yard.

It was the sort of goal the game needed. Just a mad one even the footballing gods couldn’t deny us. At the stage Arsenal were, you couldn’t complain. We just needed something, anything, to get this season going.

So what did we learn?

When Arsenal have all their best players out, even those that have never played together, we are a far more interesting and capable side. It’s weird having to argue with people for 2 weeks that mass injuries and covid outbreaks impact performance, but there you are. We created 30 attempts at the Norwich goal. That is a beasting. The problem wasn’t dominating the opposition, the problem was finding the target.

This new team will deliver what the summer needed of it. Every component piece we’ve added helps us move the ball forward faster and with more variety. The players make us more unpredictable and the quality of final ball is better so it gives players like Auba the confidence to make runs because he knows the chances are that someone will find him.

Aaron Ramsdale was the big move for me. Bernd Leno isn’t committed to the Arsenal cause, but I didn’t expect him to be dropped so soon. The move worked. Sure, it was Norwich and they didn’t do much in possession, but the issues we had in goal weren’t about shots. It was more about communication, decisions making, and raw ground skill. Aaron passed the game with flying colours. His passing range is varied, he’s comfortable on the ball, turning a Norwich player with ease at one point and pinging a pass out wide, and he seems to radiate energy. Patrick Vieira always had great engagement with the fans, Ramsdale seems like he’s going to be that type of persona because he’s basically like having a fan in goal.

Ben White is a good player. You can’t deny it. The weirdos writing him off after one game will look very silly this season. He created three chances of his own yesterday. His ability to move the ball out of defence like a midfielder makes his problematic. As a defender, you can’t sit back because he can pass, you can’t let him run because he can overload, and he’s risky to press because he’ll go past you. He’s a very rare type of problem for a centre back. I thought he was excellent. It’s also clear that the partnership he has with Gabriel already is a game of opposites. The main bonus? Both are very athletic defenders.

Tomiyasu was the real surprise package of the day. He had a debut to dream of. The fans loved him, they felt his presence, and they could all see that he has all the raw ingredients to be a good player. Firstly, he has it all physically. He showed off his pace early catching up 5 yards on a dangerous run with ease. He’s aerially very strong because he’s basically a centre back. His technique on the floor is great and his hunger to join the attack means we’re more balanced going forward. I really like him, his work ethic looks great, and Arteta went to great lengths to communicate that he’s a smiler behind the scenes that is always happy.

Midfield was a mixed bag. Ainsley started next to Sambi and struggled at times, but did grow a bit in the second half. He created a few chances, but his 76% pass completion rate in the final third needs to be higher. It was good to see him given a chance regardless. Sambi Lokonga is such a talent, he came off on 60 because of fitness concerns, but he really does have it all. Great awareness, he’s tactically mature, and he is basically everything Ceballos is not. Quick at passing, tight control, forward momentum.

In attack, we had a good day for movement and attempts at goal. Nicolas Pepe was frustrating, but also nearly really amazing. He created 5 chances, made plenty of direct runs, and was decisive for their goal. He needs to be coming out of games like that with 3 goals and 2 assists. He looks fit, he looks very interested, and I think having a proper right back to create chemistry with is going to make him more involved in ways he wants to be. I just wish he could sharpen his footwork, sometimes he looks easy to defend against because it’s the same bag of tricks over and over. I’m hoping there’s more to come from him.

Odegaard is a very, very good signing. He’s a leader, he works relentlessly, and he often leads the press. I think he’s going to love it at Arsenal this season and I can’t wait to see the sort of relationship he forms with Auba. I can’t believe people were calling him a boring player, I love watching him, his eye for a final ball is something else and we’ve barely scratched the surface with his ability.

The real star though was Thomas Partey. He’s a new player to my mind. He’s our best player and when he came on, he made a huge difference. Keep him fit this season and we’re going places. He’s the difference-maker. We’ve missed him, he will be such a driving force for us this year. Honestly, I cannot believe how good he is.

Finally, so much for the fans getting on Arteta’s back. They are there to support. He’s built a very likeable young team, everyone at the club has communicated that this project might take a bit, and they are all there to back the players. They were excellent all game and it turns out… Twitter/blog comments vibes isn’t an in-stadium thing.

Arteta has a lot of work to do regardless. You could sense he’s been to some dark places of the past few weeks. He’s likely taken onboard some home truths as well, because the way he’s conducting himself is a lot more positive than before. Every game needs a result. Burnley and Wimbledon are huge games, but Spurs is our cup final. We need to gel fast, the football needs to keep adding 10% of excitement, and the fans need to see where the project is going. Everyone was very quick to complain about the talent we brought in this summer, but no one is pinning for Maddison. Not many of the Emerson experts are clawing for him this morning after his disaster-class yesterday. There also seems to be quite a bit of love for our new keeper. Those kids were good signings, I’m convinced of that.

There’s a long way to go this season,  there will be bumps in the road, but for now… it’s one game at a time. Let’s see where this season can take us now everything is in place and looking fit.




Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Almuniasaynomore

    6 English in the Ryder cup but Rose misses out. Delighted for Lowry but probably seen as a bigger gamble than Rose outside of Ireland. American team is powerful but seems to have more than it’s usual amount of discord. Thoughts?

  2. WengerEagle

    Benzema literally getting better with age. Lovely brace tonight.

    Makes you wonder how much better he even may have been as the talisman of a team in the Ronaldo era at Real Madrid. Literally the perfect Robin figure for Ronaldo having said that and really brought out the best in him.

  3. WengerEagle

    Real Madrid now 3-2 up, what a game.

    Their defence looks shocking but they are going to be a lot of fun to watch this season with Benz, Vinicius Jr, Hazard and Bale up top. Already conceded 6 goals in 3.5 games.

  4. salparadisenyc

    Benz had sexy header chalked off from VAR as well… marginally off. Poor Casimeiro got the stink eye for drifting.

  5. Pierre

    Lowry getting the last pick is fair enough, Rose has dropped a level in my opinion and I think will get found out in the high pressure of the Ryder Cup.

    The English golfers that are in are in on merit, very difficult to leave Poulter out even if he isn’t ranked as highly as some of the others.

    USA are strong but I’m not sure sure they have the same camaraderie as Europe and maybe also not the depth of Europe

    A win for Europe….

  6. Almuniasaynomore

    You might be right but of the players not selected who is in better form than him?
    As for the overall prediction despite how Europe have been going through an excellent run of success I was shocked to discover that if you take the miracle at medinah out of it we haven’t won on American soil since 2004. An American victory with the team they have seems very likely. Wonder what the bookies are saying.

  7. Almuniasaynomore

    Poulter’s a must. I’d be more worried for Garcia off the tee. Has nothing to prove as the record points earner but when it goes wrong….. Americans failing to perform is probably our best hope I’m thinking.

  8. Mics

    Happy about the points. Very happy about the points, and glad that our injured players are starting to return.

    But the notion that we somehow beasted Norwich off the park is a nonsense. We won by a tap in goalmouth scramble goal, and for much of the game Norwich held us at bay with ease. Also, they haven’t won a premier league game in what, fourteen matches? We should be beating Norwich 3-0. We still need to improve tremendously. After two years under Arteta, our attack is not even close to where it should be. I hope things look a little better against burnley.

    Good to see Paddy get a win over the spuds. Hell of a debut for Eduoard. He’s going to be a great signing for them.

  9. WengerEagle

    Djokovic is the only player that even if he were to go 2 sets down not playing well, it still feels likely that he will stage a comeback win.

    Medvedev has been great though.

  10. TR7

    Said it before Danill was the only player who could beat Djoker but deep down always felt Djoker would be too determined to lose the match but here we are

  11. WengerEagle

    Too big a mountain for even Djokovic now, Medvedev playing too well.

    Nice for the lad to finally get that GS monkey off his back. First of the nextgen to really do it because I don’t count Thiem’s as none of Djoker/Nadal/Fed were in the tournament in his way.

  12. WengerEagle

    Fair play to Medvedev, really did tighten up there at the end though.

    Just shows you how much is at stake as the guy was playing like a mistake-free robot up until his first match point.

  13. TR7

    Medvedev outplayed Djoker – better service, better return and better in rallies too.

    2 double faults on Championship point for Danill , hopefully he will be able to hold his nerve off better in the many finals he will appear in.

    Thank you note to Danill from all Rafa and Fed fans. No calendar slam and may be Rafa can win French open next year and Danill the Aus Open.

  14. WengerEagle


    Djoker woke up too late, you get the feeling that if he got the double break back he would have gone on to take the set and maybe even the match.

    I’m also a Rafa fan so am pleased that he is yet to be surpassed in Slams even if it is a near certainty that he will be by this time next year.

    Would be stunned if Djokovic failed to win one HC Slam or Wimbledon.

  15. TR7

    “Djoker woke up too late, you get the feeling that if he got the double break back he would have gone on to take the set and maybe even the match.”

    Sorry mate you are underestimating Danill there. The guy has most % points won of his first serve in 2021, more than even Isner who is at 79 percent. He had lost just one set going in to the final. Immaculate service game he has.

  16. WengerEagle

    He already is the GOAT if we’re honest.

    Rafa’s Slam count is far too lopsided towards RG and he has never won a World Tour Finals title. He is the Clay GOAT no question but taking all surfaces into account it is Djokovic.

  17. WengerEagle


    Fed won the vast majority of his Slams in a weaker era. I’m sorry but his competition was Roddick, Hewitt, Safin [genius but no discipline] and Nalbandian.

    As soon as Rafa emerged he stopped collected titles for fun and by the time Djokovic hit his stride he all but stopped winning Slams.

  18. Elmo

    So that’s Jimmy Connors for you, Red, with his 109 singles titles? Had you down as more of a Lendl man (#3 with 94 titles, just behind Fed).

  19. TR7


    You are preaching to the converted. I have never considered Fed the GOAT. A clay court specialist won back to back Wimbledon beating him on his own favorite turf and that was it for me whereas he could never touch Rafa on clay. For me Rafa was always the GOAT but Djoker has a strong claim now.

  20. WengerEagle


    Djokovic has a stronger claim than Rafa if we are being objective about it. What does Rafa have over Novak besides the Olympic Gold?

    Djokovic has won 2 of every Slam including beating Rafa at RG twice [Rafa has never beaten Djokovic at Australia], has a ridiculous amount more Weeks as the World Number 1, owns the H2H record, has 5 World Tour Finals titles to Rafa’s Zero, Has won every Masters 1000 title twice whereas Rafa has never won in Miami or Paris.

    He also has a much more even spread amongst his Slam titles with 9 AO, 6 Wimbledons, 3 US Open and 2 RG.

    Rafa has only won AO once and Wimbledon twice and he was poor for half of his career at Wimbledon.

  21. salparadisenyc

    Great run from Joker but heat of slam proved too much, Zverev had him doing considerable damage for Med to sieze on. Medvedev went full Warwicka on Joker, just beasted.

    I’m not disappointed.

  22. WengerEagle

    Wawrinka may not have been close to Andy Murray as a consistent player but his peak was up there with the big 3, short as it flamed out.

    Only man to beat a prime 2015/2016 Djokovic at Slam Finals. On his day capable of beating pretty much anyone but Federer who was just the worst match up for him.

  23. TR7


    I know the stats but the way I look at it is who wins between prime Rafa (2004-2010) and prime Djoker (2015-2021) and I can’t help but feel Rafa just edges Djoker.

  24. TR7

    One more point which people forget – Fed had 5 years of free reign without Rafa and Djoker whereas Djoker has had a free reign with Fed and Rafa struggling with injuries. Rafa never had such a good fortune. He always had either/both Fed and Djoker to contend with and he perhaps has participated in fewer grand slams than the other two.

  25. RecycledOldSock

    Australian Open has been played on a Plexicushion since 2008, a medium-paced hard court with lower bounce and less spin than the US Open.

    While the US Open is on DecoTurf, which is slightly faster with higher bounce.

  26. WengerEagle

    Haha TR7 it’s funny you’re normally bang on the money objective on here on most things but when it comes to Messi/Nadal and Ronaldo/Djokovic you let your own personal bias shine through.

    Djokovic is a year younger than Rafa, they are not a decade apart what do you mean if they met in their primes?

    They did, Djokovic wiped the floor with him in 2011-12 when they were 24/25. Are you trying to say that Rafa’s prime was from his late teens to mid twenties now?

    And Rafa had his own fortunate stint from 2017-mid 2018 when Djoker was having his demons and playing terrible like he did himself a year earlier. He collected 3 of his 6 Slams in that time and has only beaten Novak in RG since 2013.

  27. WengerEagle

    I just don’t know how you can call somebody the overall GOAT when 65% of their 20 Slams came on one surface.

    As much as I love Rafa. Will always prefer him to Fed and Djoker but it’s a near impossible task to legitimately claim him to be the GOAT.

  28. salparadisenyc


    GOAT comparisons and tennis are tricky, too much nuance in the game. McEnroe whose no question the GOAT of commentators breaks it down by surface. Nadal clearly the clay goat, Fed grass and Joker hard court.


  29. WengerEagle


    Wouldn’t disagree with that way of looking at it. GOAT discussions are always tough when it is so close as it is with these 3.

    As of right now, you could still make an argument for any of the 3 being the GOAT albeit it is more difficult for Rafa and Fed imo. But ultimately Slams are the most critical metric and they are all tied at 20 a piece.

    I would be shocked if Djokovic doesn’t go on to win a few more though given he is still so competitive. And if he retires with 22/23+ to the others 20 Slams, it will be pretty unanimous. Rafa’s only going to win RG from here on out and sadly Federer looks done.

  30. salparadisenyc


    Clearly at a changing of the guard moment in tennis, but i’d be astounded if Djokovic doesn’t become the overall eventual goat with time on his side.

    But in tennis when it shifts its shifts monumental at times. Australian open going to be an interesting metric of where he’s at. Joker has shown before when the tap goes cold it can be frigid.

    With players like Zverev, Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Thiem, Shapaolov knocking on door and a couple breakout 18 year olds looking elite like Alcaraz nothings written.

  31. Goobergooner

    Good writeup Pedro!

    So this may end up being a long read, so feel free to skip…

    So tets now has his squad available. Was a very interesting lineup. I’d say partey instead of amn from the start and we would have had a bit more about us first half, but I’m sure he’ll be starting next week.

    Sambi is a very exiting prospect. There were times he was a little slow after his first touch and got himself under more pressure than needed, yet still managed to avoid losing the ball. I think that’s just him getting used to the intensity of first team English football though, as you could see as the game went on he was a bit quicker with the ball.
    He is very good at moving the ball from deep. Got a nice turn and can dribble in tight areas. Also has good vision and reads the defensive game well. His physique is exactly what is needed in our midfield, lanky but strong, can get all over the pitch and can win the ball in the air. He is going to be a very good addition to the squad.

    Tomiyasu looks like he will slot in nicely. Going between an Rb and a rcb he seemed to get up and down that whole flank. Once he settles in he will be quite useful in building play more from the right. He finds a lot of space and also looks to move the ball positively. Will be great with quicker interchanges too. Also loved he was getting extra applause when winning aerial balls. And he’s definitely not slow.
    Will be good to see how he develops into the team.

    White. What a lovely range of passing he has. We all knew he was brought in to be more progressive from the back, he did that quite well. Norwich’s deep block allowed white to pad his progressive ball carries a bit this game, but he definitely looks composed on the ball and it should still be a strength to our play against teams who press us more intensely. He won a few aerial balls and was decent enough marking his man and being able to cover in behind tomiyasu and Gabriel.

    Our forward play from the defensive line seemed much more direct which is a good start from the new players. Hopefully we can keep some consistency in the backline.

    One thing that was still a bit concerning is how rigid our defensive system is while trying to press up front.
    It kind of counteracts itself as either the backline was too deep with the front 5 or 6 pressing, or we’d have a few players pressing but the rest of the team drops way too deep and settles in shape which renders the pressing of the couple of forwards somewhat useless.

    We created a lot of half chances and random efforts but just look mostly toothless up front still. Esr needs to be our main attacking option, ode should be the one to move around for him.
    Esr very unlucky not to score but straight at the keeper haha. It will come for him. He gets into great positions. Just such a positive ball of energy he brings to the side.

    I just don’t get our fast start fast drop off approach either.

    Also fuck I enjoyed not having xhaka in midfield.

    Sambi amn ode is a lot better at playing positive football.
    Sambi partey with ode ahead or partey ode and esr ahead or partey Sambi esr would all be good against deeper block opposition, and Partey Sambi Combos I see becoming our regular more solid option for being able to compete against proper midfields.

    There is a lot to be excited about in terms of the players we have. Whether or not tets can overachieve with this squad is still hopelessly questionable.

  32. Goobergooner

    Also I like ode he was dropping deeper and playing some (xhakaesque 😂) long balls into some really good areas. Unlucky not to have an assist. Likes to find space in between the lines too which opens up our options a lot more.

    But damn is it annoying seeing him always want to be on his left foot.

  33. WengerEagle

    ”With players like Zverev, Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Thiem, Shapaolov knocking on door and a couple breakout 18 year olds looking elite like Alcaraz nothings written.”

    Absolutely. Only takes one of the above group to have the game of their life like Med did tonight to deny Djokovic again next year. And age will eventually catch up, it always does.

    Still, incredibly unlikely he ends next year without at least one GS.

  34. Tony

    Morning all
    Short football one from me today, as I’m beginning to lose the magic from this blog that has captivated so many to read and post. The read only’s are as welcome in my mind, as those who post: we’re all gooners and perhaps more of the read only group can have their say, too. The more the merrier regardless of views you have.

    Be bold and join in the melee of the fractured fan base, as sad as that is. It’s not about who’s wrong or right from the two sides, but offering POVs to support your views. Almunia is a good case to follow.

    So to Pedro’s post, and as much as it sounds perhaps disingenuous to Pedro I stopped reading the posts a long time ago when you started the enabling Arteta love-in. That’s not disrespect to you Pedro: I just don’t support your views on Arteta and your childish-troll antics with other posters.

    Bin me if you want, I can enjoy other blogs and participate, but after reading how you replied to those who don’t support your belligerent Arteta views seemed to me, a veteran of the sex drugs and rock & roll industry, to be driven by some recreational fluid imbibing or far stronger elements from South America. I’ve seen so many times the arrogant, false bravado that simply isn’t you, Pedro or is it and you’ve been masking it?

    It seems your blog of love has flown out the window with the toys from your pram and any courteous replies with same edge that we all enjoyed.

    BobN16, if you condone Pedro’s behaviour, your ‘lay off Pedro speeches’ now have no place here. In fact you should be quite the opposite unless you found slight or worse from Andy1886’s posts. If you do, then I don’t see why I should post further after today. I dislike enablers, Bob, always have done.

    Bob, you were right to defend Pedro when he was slated the first few times, after that, you just wrote redundant words because Pedro was going after everyone and anyone who didn’t agree with Pedro’s ‘it’s my blog Arteta stance.

    My own position has been to not post during the TW until we hit pre season or what should have been pre season, but the opening games has proved our pre season was like the last one: players being unprepared for the games. For me less was more in that period.

    I have pretty much purposely left any Pedro/Arteta/Edu bashing other than offering my POV of wanting them replaced and pointing out the constant errors that continue to persist. That is judging what I see and posting where I see better selections getting more agreeable results.

    It’s objective writing, penning what my eyes saw not from my emotions.

    To keep it equal you have every right, Pedro, to write what you see, keeping it objective and letting us know you still support Arteta regardless what you ulterior agenda is if it is to work for the club as a writer or PR guy, in the future. That type of agenda is fine so long as you remember that without posters you have no blog. You have to walk a fine line with Bantz and what you believe in. Do that and friendly respectful bantz generally follows.

    Whatever you do don’t start a business with that I’m-right-no-mater-what business plan and top down managemen of the 80s and early 90s.

    However, your beliefs are not mass supported here on your own blog. What does that tell you? Probably, you see differently from the fans at the game. The boos rang out a few times, but were distant, the fans will not be so forgiving if or when we accrue more losses.

    Risible ’30 shots in the game’ type comments (click bait from you and for us who watched the game and use apps, such as Live Score to get the game’s stats is just 6th-form common room sulking.

    3rd best defense post Xmas etc was funny but you believed it, which is what made it all so futile reading.

    You see that Pedro as a direct slur on you and Arteta. It’s not, but you are too blind in your anger as to why 95% here disagree with you because of the obvious mistakes, last season, in the EL cup and now this season only us being the minnow of the PL and not doing anything on the pitch at all comfortably.

    As a direct opposite to you I try hard to write posts that are agenda free save that of wanting the team to win and challenge for the top honours. All gooners want that! I’m no longer interested in what opposing fans have to say.

    Watching The Arsenal for 55 years I know what’s good for us and the management, leadership and accountability we need at the forefront of our club. From the owners to the coaches.

    Some years ago when I first starting posting here, it was a slug fest. The AKBs vs the WOBs where it got nasty and feisty all round. I was frequently called a ladyboy and my wife a prostitute sliding up and down poles being chosen for sex.

    The gloves were always off. I replied with the wealth of having US$millions from our company and things I had accumulated during my long hours of my global career. It rightly pissed off the so called keyboard warriors.

    Unfortunately, it offended posters unintentionally I hadn’t targeted and I learnt my lessons from that. I couldn’t help myself with my cinema because it was a 5-year plan that came to fruition. If you go to the elite home cinema showrooms, you’ll find in the UK it costs around £250k+ to have something below what I have built.

    It’s my retirement present to myself that my family love.

    I had waited for 20+ years to have a double ptporse room: Cinema and Music. So apologies fi I talked too much about it. My ADHD driven excitement got the better of me.

    The more the last Wenger decade derailed trying to win the top 4 trophy, the more it became rancid on here, but we were fighting people who were helping to eventually drag the club to where it is today: the laughing stock of football who no-one fears. In effect the enablers won shooting themselves in the feet at the same time. However, having done that they continue to believe in Arteta and Edu.

    Now they magically appear after a win and tell us who post our POVs of the game we’re cnuts and plastic fans while they continue to support and enable people clearly not experienced to manage us – hence the terrible results for the past 20 months bar the FA cup win that has harmed us in the long run keeping Arteta and Ed at the helm.

    If you are content with that Pedro, none of us pro fire Arteta fans, yes fans, can help you.

    I’m at the point where I really don’t like your current persona. I don’t read your posts, I get the general take from them that are taken from posters’ comments.

    You ban Don and his many personas to become just like him.

    Pedro your blog has lost its way in wanting the best for the club. Since we all took a step back from the continual melee and tried to wring objectively without name calling everyone who objected to a POV: something you nurtured to the blog of love, but then you wanted it kept positive: your positive; a false one only supporting Arteta. Anyone who defied you went in the bin.

    Despot blog management: a new low for you Pedro.

    Respect is earned Pedro and pre Emery and & Arteta you earned that in spades.

    It is also easily lost and far harder to gain back. That’s where I’m at right now.

    I know it won’t matter to you what my thoughts are. You don’t care if you lose some of the best posters to have posted here. You’ve said as much. Arteta Stockholm syndrome seems to have you in its grip where with this blog you have lost your hold on what was a blog that demanded respect from the faithful; AKB or WOB.

    It’s 09:30 here so I’ll take the day to mull over whether I want to be here any more or you can make it easier and ban me like you have so many other who’s only crime was to disagree vehemently at time with the all knowing, ITK Pedro.

    Your choice Pedro.

    Bantz was it? Sorry it was pure disrespect especially to andy1886. and others who gave their POV without belittling you.

  35. S Asoa

    Relax Tony
    Just state our indignation in short, so as to avoid getting in unnecessary words in.
    The downside
    Arteta is an arrogant balloon, or baboon if you will have it, insecure guy in knowledge of his inaquadecies so falls back on the trusted method of bullying the weakest. Guess this drives you.
    Of course none of us knows what is Pedro’s agenda, maybe a contrarian view to drive up the clicks?
    Remember the contrarian Wenger we love you banner?
    Who knows?

  36. Sid

    Supreme leader is smitten, just like Pierre and Ozil, theres a crisis out there, because of Diet and destruction of the social unit, Caitlyn Jenner issues everywhere.

    Sid is here to fight that, make men great again

  37. Tony

    S Asia I’m good, I just have standards I live by where the way I’m driven I find it near impossible to lower them. They’ve served me well in my 66 years.

    Face and respect is the main stay of Thai traditional culture; they literally kill over it, but oddly they always dominated my life from as early as the orphanages I was in. I guess that really shaped me as I had no parents to show otherwise. By the time I was adopted I was set in my ways to maintain my survival and growth from owning a few clothes and nothing else.

    That is also a mainstay code of the MC world. You step over the banter line and you have to be prepared to back that up to the club and who you’ve disrespected. The club I belong to is no different.

    Nothing protects you but your belief in your honor and moral compass code. Same for the club anyone who disrespects the club wearing his cut with patch is unceremoniously kicked out of the club.

    Things that make me walk away from situations in life are: hypocrisy & double standards and situations that are generally out of balance. Pedro is guilty of all three.

    Appreciate your sentiments but I feel I’m at a Pedro/Arteta driven Le-Grove crossroads.

    Incidentally, I’ve been meaning to address your thoughts on me possibly being too controlling with my son and daughter’s education. I could see why that would appear to be so, but it’s actually the reverse, as with them coming to us with solutions to their issues/problems, equally we let them come up with the way they cope with their studies and extra classes.

    Obviously, we offer fine tuning to their efforts, but it is on them to decide if they want to add that.

    Perhaps it’s because we are a family with various disorders, we find a happy and loving common ground to coexist that covers all aspects of our lives.

    Anyway, I appreciated your thoughts.

    I like a great deal of posters here yourself included and including past adversaries Charlie and Pierre, but Pedro is so out of balance in the way he treats posters with his non negotiables or bin attitude.

    Well that doesn’t inspire me to give the 3+ hours a day I’ve given this blog for many years.

    I can’t write what I don’t respect and I’m about all out of Pedro respect here at the moment.

  38. Sid

    “”””””””BobN16, if you condone Pedro’s behaviour, your ‘lay off Pedro speeches’ now have no place here””””””””””

    Let SpongeBob be, he is sweet in a child like sort of way.

  39. Pierre

    A brave (or stupid) decision to play a back 4 and keeper who are virtual strangers when it comes to playing competitive football together.

    Arteta got away with it yesterday so the gamble was successful
    Who knows, maybe the signing of Ramsdale will prove to be a work of a genius, but let’s wait and see.

    A settled defence is a must for any successful football team, so if Arteta believes that the defence that started v Norwich is our strongest defensive line up then he has to stick with it and not be reactionary to every mistake or below par performance as he has been previously.

    Takehiro did well, he looked quite aggressive in the air and going forward and appears to have a great enthusiasm for the game which may rub off on his team mates , similar to Ramsdale I suppose.

    My fear is that the defence may easily become ragged when put under pressure, I’m not sure i see a lot of a calmness and authority at the back. , but again I will emphasise the importance of maintaining a settled back 4 whenever possible.

    Personally, although I know it is not going to happen, I would like to see Eddie given a run up top.
    The team is crying out for a striker who can link the play , run the channels ro stretch the defence and sniff out the opportunities , and Eddie would prove to be our best option if given the chance…
    If Arteta can be ruthless with his selection in defence, then he should aļso be ruthless at the top end of the pitch.

    AMN will prove to be an asset with his ability to play in a number of positions and should accept that his role in the team is as a utility player.

    The return of partey is important as is his ability to stay injury free.
    Arteta appears determined not to start smith rowe and Saka alongside eachother which I feel will affect both players development as they have superb on field chemistry.

    Odegaard was Odegaard, neat and tidy on the ball and worrked hard
    Pepe was Pepe, frustrating at times but also our biggest threat in the final 3rd.

    A victory was more important than the performance and the same could be said for next week’s game v Burnley.

  40. Kroenkephobe

    Hiya Tony

    Very eloquently put. I think we all have to make sure we have a bit of self preservation/self protection in mind when we come on here. I had my own bete noire at the start of the summer who seems to have taken a hiatus. I also think some of us (and I’d include you and I in this) are ready to interpose ourselves when something is clearly awry. I was aghast yesterday at how an unconvincingly ordinary performance against lowly Norwich could provoke so much Arteta revisionism. It’s not warranted. But I’m not going to get dragged down by it so I made that stupid fucking song up which helped, in my mind at least, to make me feel I’d taken the piss and redeemed the situation. I learnt from Almunia that adding a bit of humour is good for the soul – the Pro Arteta faction have no outlet for doing that because they’re polishing a turd.

    You won’t be banned because your arguments are well made, and are much loved by readers and commenter alike. As the good old Redskins once sang in relation to the miners’ strike in 84, keep on keeping on.

  41. Northbanker

    Morning all
    As this season starts to shape up a bit, I still believe we have actually bought very well. Finally a transfer strategy has shaped up where we finally realise we need to focus on younger players. I stated some time ago we should have a ban on signing anyone over 24 but never expected it to be the mainstay of our transfer policy.

    Could we have done better? Absolutely. The big miss for me was Bissouma. That could have made a massive difference to our start assuming Arteta would have actually picked him.

    Our first choice XI was probably almost there against Norwich and with some greater cohesion could actually prove to be very good if they are not destroyed by Arteta’s negativity and by infecting the line up with Xhake, Leno Kola and Elneny.

    Whether Arteta can refrain from reverting to type remains to be seen.

  42. Kroenkephobe

    Good analysis of the game there. I’d also say the win was achieved because of the lingering spirit at the club left by the two greatest ever figures in Arsenal history – Wenger and Ozil. Nurse! Get me my tablets!

  43. Batistuta

    “A victory was more important than the performance” was the go to early last season when some of us pointed out that it wasn’t sustainable long term.

    There’s still no pattern of play, style of what we are supposed to be under Arteta or anything resembling a clue, we’re such a boring side to watch it’s painful. Only thing of note I took from that game was there maybe was less crosses from Tierney.

    Time and time again, Auba appeared on th shoulder of the defenders looking to make a run from a through ball but our midfielders would rather just pass it sideways and backwards I mean I like Odeegard but Smith Rowe remains our best attacking midfielder and should play always as he has some sort of understanding with Saka who looks so far off the boil and who could blame him as he’s basically carried us attacking wise for the better part of a year.

    It’s going to be a long and frustrating season and I struggle to see us score goals because there’s just so many sideways passes and slow tempo type football it would be very easy to defend against

  44. Batistuta

    We’ve got a good core of young players though who look like they’re not really enjoying their football and could do with the game being played at a faster pace with a better strategy and tactics and a manger who isn’t so cautious really. Liked the idea of a young manager albeit out of a place of let’s give the manager a chance as it’s already happened as I felt there were clearly better options out there at the time but we’re here now and for me personally I do not believe in whatever the manager is trying to do as he’s had enough time for us to see it.

    Our standards have fallen off so far it’s scary how much time and patience we’re willing to give someone who’s not been very good at their job, it’s like Arsenal fans are the only ones averse to managerial changes like it’s some those of taboo.

    I hope the team gels and puts in something resembling a commanding performance but not holding my breath on that.

  45. China1

    I must’ve been watching a different game because I thought Ode was very poor

    He did very little of value in the first 70 mins, he often didn’t press much either. Looked like ozil. He did a bit more nearer the end when they were on the ropes, but overall a very underwhelming performance

    Tomi was the stand out player on the day

  46. Graham62

    As you well know I have so many doubts about Arteta. The way he sees the game and uses his players is piss poor in my opinion. Talented individuals like Martinelli are being totally ignored and because of this he drains the confidence of those players that could be benefiting the team.
    There is no structure or (appealing) system of play. Where the fudge is the identity? It doesn’t take an Einstein to see we have so many talented individuals but the way Arteta utilises them is dumbfounding.
    I don’t think he really knows what he is doing and because of this we will never progress under him.

    Trust in the process.

    Yeah right!

  47. Gonsterous

    Just rewarded the game and boy were we terrible

    Great debut by our RB
    Players seem to be getting back to full fitness
    White looked tidy
    3 points
    First win

    We looked clueless against the worst side in the league. No idea how to break down their defence
    Depending too much on individual performance
    Ode looked average and offered us nothing new
    Tierney was awful, blind crosses into the box all afternoon

    I want to say mikel is making us defensively solid but then I remember we have conceded 9 goals in the last three games including 2 against against newly promoted brentford

    Not very positive, as we seem to have the weakest mid in the league.
    Going to struggle this season, unless something changes.

  48. Sid

    Its easier to pull opposing teams out of position by making runs instead of passing, the later requires highly technical type of players, we have many players capable of the former.

  49. Tony

    K’phobe thanks and agree with all your thinking.

    There just comes a point where the distastefulness and lack of loyalty to the people who have contributed greatly to help the popularity of the blog’s rise amongst it’s fellow blogs.

    I’m a very principled person who wears my heart on my sleeve for people I feel akin to that includes present company, Almunia, China, Guns, Gons, PhD and other posters some people on this blog.

    Steely toughness otherwise and unswerving in upholding my principles. That may seem strange with the way I, you Almunia and other horse around here as if sitting in a pub or stoned around a camp fire. A moral boosting effort to keep the troops, our brothers in pain, some respite before Pedro pours hot water on the burns. Cue Brothers in arms by Dire Straits.

    Probably a defense mechanism but I always want to help others and see them happy around me. You and Almunia and I seem to find it easy to get on each other’s wavelength. Age, experience and depth of character (emotion) perhaps are what makes it so.

    Anyway after much digression if I see Pedro comes to his senses and brings respectful balance to his rebukes, I’m good. As with Charlie vs ? if they’re happy to engage then enjoy the mental gymnastic par and parrying.

    Charlie’s sharp and can be a funny cnut at times with the liberties he takes bending his acid tongue tributaries representing varying understandings of his single narrative. They should be a mental acuity tests for people 60 and onwards. RH could always patent the skill then Charlie would have to pay him royalties.

    I’ll come back when Pedro resembles the guy I wholly respected back in the anti Wenger days. That doesn’t mean Pedro has to have a POV I agree with. Quite the contrary I’d enjoy a bit of bantz with him that isn’t personal and embittered.

    For now I’ll read the people listed above I get the most enjoyment from and see what happens with Arteta. I don’t see Pedro changing any time soon.

  50. Dream10

    Lokonga looks a good talent. But there is a sizeable between Xhaka/Partey and him. He is a squad CM at best right now.

    Like Pierre said above, I fear the defense will buckle if put under pressure. Thought Gabriel and Tomiyasu were good on Saturday. Both Tierney and White have had poor starts to the season. White looked alright against Norwich. Suspect the Tottenham match will tell us more about him. Tierney needs to do better.

    Not a fan of Saka and Tierney on the same wing. Both providing width doesn’t add anything.

  51. Bob N16

    Alright Tony, you clearly needed to get that off your chest!

    I’m not here to take sides on whether Pedro has too much faith in Arteta, I really don’t think that it’s that important. When people start digging him out about it, to the point where they’re getting unpleasant, it feels like the sensible thing for them to do would be to take a break or leave the blog. But whatever, it seems like some people would be prefer to be annoyed by Pedro but keep coming back for more.

    I wish everybody had the same opportunity to attend matches as I do as it feels easier to simply get behind the team when you are physically there. I didn’t realise how much I had missed it; meeting friends, faces, gallow humour chants ‘ we’re staying up’ ‘we score when we want’ ‘ we’re staying up, we’re staying up’, jumping around manically when we finally score a goal, leaving the stadium after a win, going to the pub for a few pints, checking the table, discussing future games etc. It’s much easier to ‘smell the roses’ than to lump on with it’s only Norwich or Arteta out.

    Seedy, you come across as a complete d*ck splash- don’t refer to me again, particularly with your puerile, snide bullsh*t.

  52. Valentin

    Hi Tony,

    Respect for your comment that pretty much express in a more elegant way my own view.
    Respect is earned and belittling or insulting people who disagree with seems to be the new norm. When you add the constant flipflopping, it becomes tedious. Especially when any results even undeserved lucky victory against the team likely to finish bottom of the league is feted as proof of a resurgence when it could well just be a dead cat bounce. I see Burnley bringing us back down to earth. The good news is that Spurs seems to be ready to implode, so the NLD may not as one sided as I feared he would be.

    Talking about Dire Straits, for a while they were my favourite band, they seems to have completely disappeared from the people consciousness. Never mentioned when discussing great bands from the past. Maybe because none of their hits are rousing power ballad or anthems. What’s your view on them and why they seems to be the forgotten band of the late 80’s?

    No before anybody mentioned them, U2 is not the forgotten band from the late 80’s beginning of the 90’s, I would say that they destroyed their legacy with their offering. Trying to follow the trend with dance music and becoming world preacher seems to have killed their ability of just producing good music.

  53. Kroenkephobe

    That’s cool Tony.

    Getting lit up together in a pub or some class As, Bs or Cs around a campfire would be my idea of heaven right now. An entire day taking the piss out of the club we all love despite its manifold foibles and reminiscing about better days. Oh, and some amateur dramatics with Almunia’s sketches. Keep it going mate.

  54. Pierre

    “. I’d also say the win was achieved because of the lingering spirit at the club left by the two greatest ever figures in Arsenal history – Wenger and Ozil. Nurse! Get me my tablets!”

    A feeble attempt at humour , what you must accept is that you will never have the mind or the wit of Almuniasaynomore however much you try…

  55. Kroenkephobe

    Oooh Pierre you cut me to the quick.

    Feeble possibly but it obviously struck a chord which was the intention. No need to be so defensive matey, nor get upset about those two wankers – they wouldn’t piss on any of us if we were were on fire. Worshipping false idols is a bad idea. 😁

  56. Tony

    Thanks Valentin good blog management would bin repeat offenders of the puerile crap thrown his way.

    Last time I checked managing a blog requires man management skills. At times Pedro could be Arteta’s twin. Hard to tell the difference at times.

    Mark K did some movie sound track I think could be wrong. I’ve got him playing with some top Gaelic musicians an eclectic tic mix of folk and his 80s songs. The drummer Terry is from Wales. He played with stockpile for tours and one offs.

    I have 2 DVDs early and later music and the one I mentioned above.

    I’ve been decompressing in my Room as a friend sent me the Delicate Sound of Thunder tour that’s film wise totally different from my DVD.

    Don’t ask me why as I need to talk to my friend. Sound quality us better to as it’s BluRay.

  57. Graham62

    Bob N16

    You are right. Getting banned for a week or so, as I did, also helps a wee bit.

    Ok, if you’re not a lawyer, you must be a priest.

    “Repent your sins”.

  58. Pierre


    All done with a smile on my face, especially as the team are still in recovery mode since their departure .

    Though You haven’t quite sunk to the levels of some ( Tony) on here with their childish reference to socks , never a good path to go down in my book

  59. Graham62

    It’s now over two years since Jose Antonio Reyes tragically died in a car crash.

    Took my son to see that game at Highbury, v Chelski in the Cup, in February 2004. My son at the time was just 10 years old.

    That left foot was so so sweet. Right into the top left hand corner. We were right behind it. Fantastic memories.

    Brings a lump to my throat every time I see it.

    A super super player.

  60. Globalgunner

    Graham62. I remember it well too. We could have nurtured his talent to its full potential if Wenger had a stronger personality and didnt allow Henry`s insecurities to allow the kid get browbeaten. He was a real gem, but easily bullied both by teammates and the opposition. Lauren was his only friend I gather