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. Dissenter

    Think you’re being fickle
    You delighted yourself with the ‘third best defence in the league’ thing, which was executed largely by a defense line with Holding as a key player.

    Now we buy the junior defender from Brighton and you’re saying ….’No more Holding”
    Even against a team that are very physical and love high balls/headers?

    Fickle and extremely tickled by Ben White is what you are now.

    The Holding that kept Diego Costa [at his prime] quiet for 90 mins in a FA cup final is now persona non grata?

  2. Pedro

    TYAG, they’ve played City, Liverpool and Arsenal in their first 4 games. Beat Leicester for xG, very even with Liverpool, and had a good game against Arsenal yesterday. Let’s see how they do when they get a better run of games.

  3. TR7

    Judge a team based on how it plays, not always on the basis of results alone. Ask yourself the following questions and the picture will be clearer :

    1. Does Auba look isolated up top ? Can he combine well with the likes of ESR and Saka to convert half chances in to goals ?

    2. Is Ode good enough to bring in the spark of creativity Arsenal team severely lacks ?

    3. Do we have at least 3 players who can score 45-50 goals between them ?

    4. Can you see White and Gabriel form a good partnership in central defense ?

    5. Can Arsenal make do with Xhaka as a midfield anchor ?

    6. Can Arteta build a system to bring out the best from what we have ?

    For me the answer to all the questions above is NO and that’s why I don’t have much hope from the team.

  4. Dissenter

    Honestly, we say write stuff during the summer and it doesn’t mean we won’t support the players in the field.
    If I can get behind Xhaka, then it’s easy for anyone else.
    Ben White didn’t buy himself,, neither did Ramsdale.

  5. Dissenter

    Arteta needs to rest BenWhite and play Holding-Gabriel against Burnley

    …. or at least past three at the back to let those two help White survive against Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes

    Ramsdale has to start at Turf Moore
    I expect Leno to slither off to Germany in January

  6. Nelson


    I don’t know what you are watching. I just watched the goal again. Pepe’s first shot hit the far post. The ball bounded back to him. His second shot hit the neat post. The GK was lying on the ground between the post and Auba. After the ball hit the near post, it bounded towards the GK, who kicked the ball backwards to Auba. Auba was at least 5 feet from the GK and the ball when the ball was kicked by the GK.

  7. Dennis+the+Menace

    If we play White, I would go for a back three given what happened at Brentford. Just to counter Burnley’s tactics and help White out both mentally and physically as he adapts to a new team. Probably would play Holding and Gabriel with him. But, if not Holding, then Tomiyasu or Tierney instead. But I’d prefer to see Tierney and Tomiyasu out wide rather than stuck in central defence.

  8. WengerEagle

    White passed very well yesterday all right Pedro but you yourself said that their best chance came from that Aarons cross in the first half with the header going narrowly.

    It was White who was easily beaten in the air to present that chance to their forward. So as much as you dig your own heels in the ‘Ben White is the best thing since Beckenbauer’ camp at playing out from the back, he is a serious liability aerially and it will harm us this season, just you watch.

  9. Dissenter

    I absolutely think buying Ben White wa s tactical and strategic blunder of epic proportions in a summer where £50 million could have gone a long way to fixing our midfield
    We had alternatives to Ben White, not one but TWO.

    I also objected to the idea of signing a player with one year experience in any top division.

    You on the other hand,oversold White as an elite Rolls Royce who was going to provide “experience’. The. You proceeded to run down the other player on loan at Marseille.

    The summer is over. What’s said is said. That’s in the records now.

    He’s an Arsenal player now and he has my support. He didn’t buy himself and doesn’t deserve the scorn of anyone.

  10. Receding Hairline

    Wow lots of I told you so’s after a win against Norwich, a team we have scored the same amount of goals as in the league, 1. Highest number of shots attempted is now a thing too, ignore the fact only three chances were worth mentioning.

    Holding is a better defender than the two that played Yesterday, guess that will be found out soon enough when all we have to worry about isn’t Pukki.

  11. Dennis+the+Menace

    Although one thing I have been wondering about when picking over the bones of our transfer window was why we didn’t buy some experienced players to strengthen the first 11 in key areas as well as youth. After all La Liga and Serie A clubs are having to sell due to Covid. A perfect time to plunder those leagues some might say. But we didn’t avail ourselves of that opportunity. Why?

  12. SurferX

    I just watched the goal again. Pepe’s first shot hit the far post. The ball bounded back to him. His second shot hit the neat post. The GK was lying on the ground between the post and Auba.
    Agree with that bit^

    After the ball hit the near post, it bounded towards the GK, who kicked the ball backwards to Auba.

    Thats where you’ve missed it- its Pepe’s foot that it comes off. Screen shots here- keeper doesnt touch it bud (and even if he did, irrelevant- Auba clearly onside at that point- he is behind the ball).

    Auba was at least 5 feet from the GK and the ball when the ball was kicked by the GK.

    Doesnt matter how far he was from the GK or the ball- all that matters is he was behind the ball when Pepe got that touch. If Pepe hadnt got that touch- he was offside and goal would of been disallowed. Was a fortunate touch because, as the commentartor says, he knew nothing about it!

  13. Aaron

    With WE on this one, only really 3 shots truly with a chance to score.

    I watched the game.

    ESR over Ode by miles. Do not need stats to tell me what my eyes saw, direct runs and passing to open spaces on the MOVE, in transition, not when defense is parked.

    Thank goodness AFC are not at the rock side of the table any longer.

    However, again, if our mids do not chance create, we are not going to be higher than 7th, if Partey gets injured again 10th or worse.

    My prediction is 1-5 through the first 6 games, still sticking with that based upon what I saw during this game against the worst team in the league.

  14. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I was surprised how quick the Japanese lad is… Quite rapid.
    Said it for years now I hope it will happen arsenal playing a sweeper role with white as a Franz role behind gabs n saliba..
    Seriously think that will work.

  15. China1

    Holding is not a better defender than Gabriel. As for White we will see

    Gabriel has superior to Holding in most or all aspects of his play except that holding is slightly more consistent with a run of games under his belt (that is valuable tho)

    Holding is a 7-7.5/10 player but he can play that level in a large majority of games. He will rarely better better but not usually worse.

    Gabriel is a 6.5-8.5/10 player who is usually more around the 8 level. He’s clearly more talented than holding and better than him in every reasonable aspect expect that he is slightly more prone to a bad day.

    I hope with experience Gabriel can consistently be at his upper end because his ceiling is very high. Holding is one of the best *backup* CBs in the league but I don’t think he should be long term starting 11 material for a club that wants to compete for titles

  16. Terraloon


    Not confused at all

    Read your own post where you quote this

    rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent

    So if it bounces of the bar or post the ball will have traveled forward to hit the bar/post then almost certainly the attacker will be behind the ball

    Looking at the latest pictures it would seen that Pepe didn’t touch the ball at all but was deflected off Tim Krul so I think Arsenal got away with one there

  17. SurferX

    I cant remember a defender Ive watched looking as comfortable with the ball at his feet. Ferdinand maybe? Pique? For the Arsenal.. maybe O’Leary in his pomp- but its hard to go back that far as the game was completely different. So the best I can remember in an Arsenal shirt. He was excellent yesterday going forward..

    BUT, Im also not seeing that he’s near those guys in terms of defending (yet)- he seems to get caught wrong-side a bit- he doesnt seem to be dominate positionally or physically (a bit of Keown coaching wouldnt go amiss). And looking at his stats, he’s not dominant in the tackle. So the jury’s out for me- in a 3, fine. In a 4, the SC is always going to peel onto him.

    Burnley away & Chris Wood will be a test.

  18. Graham62

    Can someone, somewhere, please explain to me the positives of the Arteta regime.

    What exactly do you see that I don’t or is it just down to “trusting in the process”.

    Whatever that process is.

  19. Tom

    Pedro, I was going to complement you for having the foresight re Arteta dropping Leno for the Norwich game during your back and forth with Johnnie after the City loss but then I read this: “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.”

    Arsenal fans are some of the most forgiving around and anyone who says otherwise haven’t been to many top clubs’ fixtures when they are struggling badly,

    I’ve been around football for over 40 years and never have I heard fans of a top club singing during an away loss “you’re nothing special, we lose every week” , and during a home win “ we are staying up”.
    These are the standards now. Most fans realize Arteta is out of his depth and we need to act accordingly.
    Top four anytime soon is a pipe dream. Top six this season is probably beyond us as well, even without Europa games midweek.
    If you recalibrate your expectations accordingly— somewhere between 6-10 in the table— this season might be still considered a success.

  20. Graham62

    21 months and I still don’t see a structure or identity.

    Does anyone else?

    Brighton, Wolves, Palace, Everton, Brentford, West Ham etc all play to a specific system.

    Why can’t we?


  21. SurferX

    So if it bounces of the bar or post the ball will have traveled forward to hit the bar/post then almost certainly the attacker will be behind the ball

    ^mate- all of that is nonsense & irrelevant- its simple. Offside is assessed at the point it is touched by a team mate- doesnt matter what happens to the ball, it is assessed at the point it is played- so not when it hits the bar / post / wall- but when it was trouched. If, at that point, an active player is behind the ball, you are never offside.

    Its in the laws of the game;—offside
    – player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play:
    – A player is in an offside position if any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent

    So, you can never be offside if you are behind the ball when its touched by a team-mate. Its bizarre how many people struggle with offside- it really is that simple.

    “Looking at the latest pictures it would seen that Pepe didn’t touch the ball at all but was deflected off Tim Krul so I think Arsenal got away with one there.”

    So you disagree with the linesman, the VAR referees that assessed the video, the screenshots and video above and the commentator on that video. OK, then we’ll agree to disagree.

  22. Tom

    “It’s 3 points out of 12 so far.If we end up in the top four I will be the first in line to suck Arteta’s dick.“

    Moray, be prepared for a major scuffle with Englandsbest and Nigel T if that happens.

  23. Matt B

    Arsenal fans are some of the most forgiving 😂

    Not in the comments section on this blog. I’d say they’re some of the least supporting and most entitled. Thankfully not in the actual stadium….

    A different world in here….

  24. Dennis+the+Menace

    I know Graham62. We shouldn’t be waiting this long. It seems always to be a fresh start every ten games or so!

  25. Terraloon


    You are missing the point here

    That goal was only allowed because they believe Krul deliberately played the ball.

    You do indeed correctly quote part of the offside rule but you miss out the relevant part in that Pepe couldn’t be offside and had he purposely played the ball either sideways or backwards then you are right Auba could not be off side but what changes matter so is in bounces back off the post

    Read again the full rule particularly the last bit

    2. Offside offence
    • interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
    • interfering with an opponent by:
    • preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
    • challenging an opponent for the ball or

    • clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or
    • making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an or opponent to play the ball
    • gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
    • rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent
    • been deliberately saved by any opponent

  26. Dissenter

    I think you just limited your list to 3-4 clubs
    Brighton play with Dunk who plays the ball out of the back s much as anyone
    Tyrone Mings makes so many mistakes at Vila because he too plays the ball out of the back
    The list is longer than you want to acknowledge

  27. Samesong

    Dissenter give it a rest those were off the top of my head and it wasn’t limiting it on purpose I was just trying to think based on Surfer post.

  28. SurferX

    “Ball playing cbs in the prem
    Harry Maguire

    Thats a fair list mate, but from what Ive seen (based on a small sample size of 4 games in) he looks better on the ball than any of them. However, from what Ive seen they are all better better than him defensively (and in the case of Kompany, VVD- by a looong way). Dias too I think..

  29. Kroenkephobe

    Kin ell lads. I expected a little bit of noise from the usual suspects after yesterday’s very narrow win but there’s far too much revisionism on here today.

    So white suits, black shirts and curly wigs on and the most falsetto of voices to join the great Barry Gibb and his brothers to singalong to Saturday Night Fever. Almunia – I know disco isn’t your cup of tea mate, but try bursting into song with this little classic.

    Listen to the crowd
    We beat Norwich and were proud
    Obscuring truth is going down
    And I can feel it

    On the waves of Auba’s hair
    There’s spin and bullshit out there
    Pedro does his best to share
    But we won’t buy it

    That Man City midfield
    They beat us by fi-i-ve
    Made Arteta seem an arseho-o-le
    You come on le grove and try controlling my soul

    Then I get Mike fever, Mike fever, Mike fevah-a
    I think I’m gonna vomit
    Stop that Mike fever, Mike fever, Mike fevah-a
    I’m at my fucking limit

    Here I am
    Praying for his tenure to en-n-nd
    Hoping Conte becomes our friend
    Borne on a plane
    Into Stanstea-a-a-d…

    EB’s got Mike fever, Mike fever, Mike Fevah-h
    Under him we’re horseshit
    Fever, Mike fever, Mike fevah-h
    Arsenal’s useless halfwit.

  30. Dissenter

    Got that met, wasn’t saying you had an ulterior motive.

    It’s just that every team has defenders who are good on the ball,. Pedro has created this narrative that ball playing defenders are like rare earth metals.

  31. Samesong

    Diss Fair dos

    Surfex I haven’t see enough of Ben White to make that judgment that he is better. But it’s all opinions mate.

  32. SurferX

    You are missing the point here

    That goal was only allowed because they believe Krul deliberately played the ball.

    lol.. no they didnt.

    A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent.

    A ‘save’ is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within the penalty area).

    Krul was lying on the floor, scrambling with his hands over the goal line. I think they would of classified that as a deliberate save- certainly not a deliberate pass. So if Pepe hadnt touched it- Auba would of been offside.

    Only Arsenal fans would be trying to convince themselves they got lucky when the decision was clearly correct. The thing that was lucky was it balooning off Pepe’s foot when he was on his arse and knew nothing about it. But a lucky decision it wasnt- it was the right decision.

  33. Tom

    Ben White is very good on the ball, fast, good dribbler and a passer, but suspect on defense and weak in the air.
    Sounds to me like makings of a real good attacking midfielder.

  34. NWM


    Only one quibble, you said AMN needed up improve his pass completion percentage in the final third, but the final third is where big risks can reap big rewards and what Maitland-Niles was doing was taking big risks. I can think of at least two occasions when he attempted through balls to runners that were intercepted by their defense. Half a yard of pace or direction might have resulted in one of the runners being one v one against the keeper. AMN didn’t have the perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, but I was impressed with his ambition.

  35. SurferX

    Your right bud- I havent seen enough of him yet either. Just first impressions.

    But yesterday it really struck home.. he created 3 chance on his own; was transitioning the ball really well.. He can carry it, play short, play long, press. really top drawer with the ball at his feet. Which was for me interesting, because defensively I’m not convinced (again on first impressions)- I expected him to struggle against a pyhsical SC- but positionally he looks off too. He reminds me of a MC that is standing in at DC when everyone else is injured.

    Maybe thats just the way the game is going.. but my reflections it felt odd from the club where success was built on Adams, Bould, Keown, Cambell, etc.

  36. bacaryisgod

    A lot of promising signs but Burnley will be a much more accurate test.

    -Ramsdale: Johnny called it perfectly on the pod. He brings energy and enthusiasm to the position. I still rate Leno, but he’s been looking almost depressed recently.

    -Tomiyasu: He could turn out to be our new right-sided Monreal. Total commitment with an ability to occasionally arrive on the far post for an important goal or two. The encouraging thing is Monreal got off to a rocky start. Tomiyasu came out flying.

    -White/Gabriel: This is our only viable partnership at CB right now.

    -Sambi/Partey: Didn’t play together yesterday but it’s going to be fun when they do.

    Wish some posters would have thought first before kneejerk criticizing the subs Arteta made.yesterday.They were all made for fitness not tactical reasons. ESR and Partey were on the bench for that reason. Tomiyasu and Sambi came off for that reason. There’s so much to go after Arteta for that it’s tempting to go after him for everything. I get that, but the subs yesterday made perfect sense.

    Still have a feeling that Arteta is trying to play Pep football with a Klopp team. Hopefully that might change with two dynamic full-backs and a Partey-Sambi CM combo.

  37. Mee

    Seeing Leeds play. Night and day to what our assortment of shit offers. Ramsdale the relegator is all you need to tell we are not a serious club at all.

  38. Samesong


    I have no doubt on that assessment of White. I had to just have a quick look over the highlights
    He is very composed on the ball. Does play nice short and long passes. And can press.

  39. Samesong

    “I think he was terrific,” said Arteta after the game.

    “It’s not only what he did on the technical side, it’s what he transmits, his energy, his chemistry with the backline, how he reacts, his body language – I think he was top.

    Father and son return to Emirates Stadium after 533 days
    “We have two fantastic goalkeepers. Never forget what Bernd has done for us and what a good goalkeeper he is.

    “I had to make a decision and today I believed Aaron was the right one to do so, like in any other position we have to decide and that’s what we decided today.

  40. Samesong


    Jota already proved it he score 9 goal in 19 last season (7)of those sub.
    Already benchinf Firminho week in week out

  41. Mr Serge

    KarsaSeptember 12, 2021 10:02:27
    Amazing how many were writing White off after a single game

    People wrote him off before one game lol
    Pedro is correct no rumblings of discontent at all in the match let’s see if that carries on

  42. Mr Serge

    I said yesterday that white looks a different player next to Gabriel and tomiyasu I like Gabriel he can be a dominant cb with experience we had 8 players 23 and under yesterday in the starting 11 how many teams can say that ?
    Let’s see what happens next few games but the youngsters are likeable the support tomyasu got was amazing

  43. Lari03


    Very interesting comment…”playing Pep football with a Klopp team”.

    Care to expatiate this some more?

  44. Nigel Tufnel

    As said….

    Holding in defence, then line up White, Lokonga, Partey in CM against stronger/tougher opposition. White at the base, Lokonga left, Partey right…

    good comment. I’d love to see it.

  45. MidwestGun

    To be honest, I don’t care what formation or lineup we use going forward ….as long as Xhaka is not in it. What we do with him once he comes back from suspension will go a long ways to what happens on the pitch. AMN wasn’t lighting it up in midfield but he still was about a million times more progressive then Xhaka or Elneny. . He attempted at least 8 or 10 line splitting passes .. unfortunately he only completed about half of them. Plus I wasn’t worried about him getting beat for pace defensively. For me.. the biggest disappointments yesterday were Odegaard, Saka and Tierney. Auba too wasn’t sharp at all but at least looked interested.. Biggest positives for me were TT and Ramsdale. Ramsdale might not be the greatest Keeper hard to tell when he faces no real shots.. But at least he doesn’t look like a German Zombie. ESR too was an instant shot of Redbull to the side.

    I think the 2 biggest mistakes we made this summer player personnel wise were not replacing Xhaka properly… and not finding another goal scoring option at the 9 position. Think that was on display yesterday to some extent.

  46. Nigel Tufnel

    Receding says…..

    “We created 30 attempts at the Norwich goal. That is a beasting.”No it isn’t. 13 of those 30 shots were blocked shots, only 6 of that 30 was on target, we created only 2 big chance the entirety of the 90″.

    .. nice job Hairline in taking stats and putting the most negative anti-Arsenal spin on them that you possibly could.

    What is it in your life that made you this pessimistic about everything? I could venture a couple guesses, but I won’t be mean like some of you here.

    Those shots that were blocked were mostly going towards the goal, one of which was a certain goal for Pepe that a defender made a great play to block. Of course they’re not good defensively in general, we understand that, but we were getting into postions to shoot and make them scramble more than we have been.

    Some beauty passes (four at least) from Ben White in case those haters want to look them up on YouTube.

    Most here will discount them, but would be drooling if they were coming from Alderweirald or somebody else.

    Now the response, but he’s small and not good in the air!” And “we overpaid!”

    So forget every good thing he does on the pitch. A clean sheet in this league for a cb is nothing, of course. Knowledgeable bunch here.

  47. Nelson


    I have to admit that I am not 100% sure that their GK’s foot hit the ball. The camera’s angle showed only the GK’s right leg was high up reaching for the ball while Pepe just rolled over to the GK without any attempt to kick the ball. I would be surprised that the ball can bound 5 ft away without any kicking action. Definitely, Pepe was not trying to pass the ball.The commentator also said that Pepe didn’t know what happened. In any case, the goal was allowed. End of story.

  48. Tom

    I think that particular lunging tackle, where a defender wins the ball with one leg and collapses over the ball carrier’s ankle with the rest of his body ,needs to be seriously looked at………….especially when most top level football is played on semi- synthetic pitches these days.

  49. Receding Hairline

    “nice job Hairline in taking stats and putting the most negative anti-Arsenal spin on them that you possibly could.”

    Didn’t know being pro Arsenal was also being allergic to facts…thanks for the education.

  50. Dissenter

    Just heard it was Craig Pawson that gave the red card, not VAR
    He’s always been one of the worst refs in the league

    That was more of studs caught up in the turf while the player is making a twisting motion

  51. Mee

    Mane missed an open net earlier where a player of his quality should be scoring. His former self could have had two or three goals.

  52. bacaryisgod


    I would like to see a little more ‘heavy metal’ chaos from our team. I even think Pepe would thrive in the environment that Klopp provides. Arteta’s possession-based football is a little too deliberate and inhibiting for me. We have the players to thrive in a more aggressive, pressing team that moves the ball more quickly. I hope that now we have players like Tomiyasu and Sambi adding energy to the line-up we can move more in this direction.

  53. Mee

    “Well the Le Grove jinx is strong.. guarantee if you trash talk a player.. they will score.. happens too much to be coincidence.”

    Wish it worked on our players. White would probably be tied with Lukaku for goals…lol

  54. MidwestGun

    Eagle.. My go to second team to watch when I don’t want to deal with Arsenal’s misery.. Is Dortmund.. couldn’t care less where they finish or the inner details.. Just like to watch them play.

  55. WengerEagle

    He is no doubt up there TR7.

    I prefer to do it by position because there are too many great players that a top 10 overall excludes too many.

    Top 5 strikers of the past decade for me in no particular order are:

    Suarez, Ibrahimovic, Lewandowski, Benzema, Aguero.

  56. WengerEagle


    You must be loving them right now, I watched highlights of their match vs Leverkusen yesterday and it was insanity.

    Both sides full of creativity, goals and allergic to defending.

  57. Almuniasaynomore

    This line seems like it was part of the original :

    “Then I get Mike fever, Mike fever, Mike fevah-a
    I think I’m gonna vomit”

    Brilliant. How’s the form today? At least the brits have the tennis to cheer them up, though big Jack would be proud of the recruitment system there. Was watching the leeds game,I’m with the lads who think liverpool won’t win the lge,the other 3 are all ahead of them now. Yet we’re so far behind even them it’s unbelievable. Where are we going at all? At least Xhaka will be back for the derby……

  58. MidwestGun

    Yep.. of course defense is important to winning consistently but not for my viewing pleasure. And like I said don’t care where Dortmund finish. Just too bad my boy… Gio Reyna is carrying an injury right now. Alright I guess I better go accomplish something today.. rather then watch sports on tv.


  59. IQ

    We have three players in Saka, ESR and Odegaard (four if you count Martinelli) who are going to need regular playing time in a set position to allow them to develop properly. Arteta needs to decide on one for all of them so that they can develop their games and understanding. His penchant for chopping and changing will ruin them.

    Even yesterday he started AMN off in the middle before moving him to right back. Our team seems to consist off too many utility players at the moment.

    Since Arteta wants to attack from the wings I would move Saka back to wing back as that’s a role I think he could excel at and it would also enable him to play ESR and Odegaard in the middle ahead of Partey. Otherwise I struggle to see how he will give all of them enough game time.

  60. WengerEagle


    Who do you and Middy rate the most out of the American lads?

    Guessing Pulisic but Reyna looks like he could be even better. Also have some top talent in Dest, Adams, McKennie, Robinson.

  61. CG

    Top 4 already cut adrift.

    KSE not repacing A.Wenger with J. Klopp looking most costlier every season.

    Ronaldo, Lukaku, Salah and Mane all on the scoresheet.Goalscorers.

    Crikey this season will be dull.Arteta dull.

    Ramsdale is a good talker
    White makes pretty passes
    TT raiding down the flanks

    There will be eulogies about that little lot on here.

    If it all clicks, we are back in the Europa.
    Cant wait.

  62. TR7

    “Suarez, Ibrahimovic, Lewandowski, Benzema, Aguero.”

    Rooney in the same elite club for me, perhaps the most rounded striker along with Benzema.

  63. Nigel Tufnel

    Receding hairline and Dissenter,

    Funny how all your responses to me don’t point at any specifics I used that weren’t correct, or at least reasonable.

    I criticize your negativity all the time, but in every case I point out the garbage you spew that often goes unchallenged by many self-hating gooners here. Many, like you, get their facts from football manager, highlight reels, and newsnow clickbait sites. Worst of all, from wannabe experts like you two.

    It’s like having klansmen teach a course in civil rights. It’s backwards, biased opinions, given as fact, and coming from an unsavory lot.

  64. englandsbest

    Isn’t it the case that only forward passes can be offside? Pass back and it cannot be offside. And Pepe was forward of Auba. Unless Auba was interfering with play. Which clearly he wasn’t. And if Oliver and Dean agree on a goal for Arsenal you can bet your last buck it’s a 100% genuine goal.

    But who cares anyway, it’s history. What matters is the future, which is bright.

  65. WengerEagle

    Rooney was a monster TR7 but he did a lot of his best work in the previous decade before the 2010s.

    He doesn’t hold a candle to those other 5 for 2014-2020 so misses the cut.

  66. Dissenter

    Can you just wind your miserable ego in and find new material to lament about.
    You need to stand up in a corner, face the wall and be quieT

    .and stop making stupid remarks about klansmen teaching civil rights courses.

  67. MidwestGun

    Well for me… Reyna top of the list of course we still have Pulisic who is still very young. Dest.. can be a bit too overly tricky at times. Mckennie is a geat player.. rate him but, bit of a headcase loves the partying a bit too much. Up and coming player to watch Ricardo Pepi… only 18 y/o. Might be the #9 US team has been looking for about a decade. Wont be in the MLS too long is my guess.

  68. Kris

    Cristiano has scored most of his goals in recent years as a striker, so he should be included. Him drifting in from the wing has been replaced with almost exclusively headers, tap-ins, and penalties – your typical striker routine.
    Lewandowski the most rounded of the lot – the best passer plus a goalscoring machine. Haaland may soon rival him for goals due to his beastly physicality, but will never be as good all-round.
    Young Ibra (before the British public rated him) was unbelievable. Just a reminder:

  69. Dissenter

    Zaha turned Emerson Royal inside out and tied him up in knots yesterday
    He’s like the premier league’s welcome party for full.backs.

    I wonder how our new boys will fare against him.
    Zaha’ s agent served him wrong< he’s too good for palace.
    He’s got 2 years left on his contract, I would still sign him next year or on a free transfer in 2023.

  70. salparadisenyc


    Agree with mid Ricardo Pepi most exciting thing coming thru thats yet to find footing in Europe. Saw FC Dallas play Austin last week, had very good game kid can find net, makes great runs, can dribble seems to always be in right place of a classic poacher.

  71. Dissenter

    Yea, that Ricardo Pepi kid is bound for glory so long as he gets a good move.
    He has to go where he can play regularly, maybe Holland. He has to work his way up from Belgium/Holland to France and then maybe England/Italy/Spain.
    He can’t afford to waste his talent on the bench. He better stay in the MLS until that perfect move materializes.

  72. Batistuta


    There’ll always be the sadness with Arsenal and how far off we’ve fallen but yea absolutely buzzing with Milan, just hope we don’t fade off like we did last season

  73. salparadisenyc

    Oyarzabal w/ 2. (1 pen) putting Sociedad within 1 of Atletico, hoping they can sustain a bit longer this season. La Liga hasn’t been this wide open is years barring favourites Atletico.


    Good call get Pepi playing at Ajax, PSV or say Celtic definitely has potential.

  74. kjelli

    There are some silly rumours going round that Jack Wilshire could be utilised in the team!!
    This is utter nonsense and should be denied asap.. as it shows a weak mindset (cheap) of the club.

  75. Dissenter

    Yea, Benzema can’t stop scoring

    That’s why the Real Madrid for Mbappe was dubious.
    They bid, desperately hoping PSG dot take the bait. They don’t need Mbappe this season
    The bid was like a courtship ritual.

  76. Pierre

    “Isn’t it the case that only forward passes can be offside”

    Not really, I’ll think you’ll find that Aubamayang was onside because he was behind the ball when pepe played the ball.

    If Aubamayang had been ahead of the ball it would have been deemed offside

  77. Kroenkephobe

    Spot on about the tennis. I think Canadians, Chinese and Romanians can equally claim Raducano as their own. I have to say though that she’s a very impressive player for an 18 year old.

    Leeds are so flaky and bipolar aren’t they?Some terrific players but real lapses too. I saw that tackle and result was clearly horrendous for the tacklee but I’m not sure it was a red for the tackler.

    Thinking ahead to Burnley (what else is there to do in the utter futility of life? ), I’m glad the fixture at their place is happening at this stage of the season. Their pitch was a shocker last year during Xhakagate. Gabriel has to play as does Holding if he’s minded to jump up and down a bit. Play White somewhere else. If TP and Lokonga start it could be a positive afternoon.

    I was quite happy with that rendition of night fever. I’m used to Pedro’s u-turns on Arteta but hearing others made me want to burst into song. My other half heard me singing it and laughed in my face as usual, the phillistine.

    Watched Cardiff earlier with the little fella. Very un Arsenal like team are the madly physical bluebirds – they went a goal behind to Forest but scored two late on courtesy of a young sub. Even Mick Mccarthy has better in-game management skills than the basque bullshiter.

    Have a good week mate.

  78. salparadisenyc

    I don’t know Dissenter Don Carlo rocking a 442 king Benz and Mbappe leading that with Vinicious Jr in the Pires and Hazard on right sounds pretty tasty to me.

    Defensivley they are fucked this season loosing Ramos and Varane, Nacho a shocking center half.

  79. Dissenter

    But $200 million for a player they can get for nada, next season?

    I think they had to tell Benzema …this is how much we value you.

    That’s will be one of the most ridiculous free transfers of all time, to get a 23 yr old [next-summer] ‘veteran’.

  80. salparadisenyc

    Carlo seen muttering when’s Alaba fit… continuosly.

    No doubt about that Dissenter here we are complaining about loosing Lacazette on and free and PSG pulling a classic hold my beer moment with Mbappe. Mental.

  81. salparadisenyc

    Medvedev is going to give this a twist, going to be a fight.
    Was in Ashe on Thursday, stunning. No tourists in town makes it all the more appealing.