CUP GAMES MIGHT NOT BE FOR THE KIDS + ARTETA COMMUNICATIONS SHIFT

by .

I spent last week back in England after two years out of the game due to the pandemic. Honestly, it was so good to be back. I knew it had been too long because I was oddly enamoured with people’s accents. I loved the little things, like not being able to get a haircut until after 3pm on a Saturday, or being strong-armed into destruction drinking by nearly everyone. I honestly can’t wait to be back at Christmas and take a few games in. I miss London man, I’m in pieces at my desk this morning stroking a box of PG Tips whispering ‘alright you facking melt’ quietly to myself.

The other nice thing about the trip? I am something of a good luck charm for Arteta’s career. He won his first game with my presence and he just pulled himself partially out of a hole this weekend.

I went back over his interviews. I don’t know what the ground zero situation looked like over the past two weeks, but it felt to me like some people at the club sat down with him and had a proper conversation. I might just be projecting what I’d liked to have happened.

Notable things:

Vibes: His demeanour was very different before the game. He’s back to selling a future we can buy into. There was no moping or feeling sorry for himself. There were no excuses, no disgruntlement at what had gone on, just a laser focus on clearly communicating with the fans what the plan is moving forward.

Content: I think his content has improved over the past couple of weeks. The main message I was getting from his pressers is that he’s happy with the talent, but more than that, he’s happy with the new characteristics of his squad. I’ve found that interesting. When he spoke of his new players, he spoke of their personality traits. Tomi was ‘all smiles with a desire to play’, Sambi Lokonga ‘was desperate to play despite a knock’, and Aaron Ramsdale ‘is a great energy, something different.’ 

Happy family: I think Arteta also went to great lengths to thank the wider staff for getting him through it. Moving up to manager can cloud your ego, we’ve all been there, you make director and you think you’re a GOD of the internet at first. Arteta is not a god, so throwing his weight around in August in press conferences like peak-Jose wouldn’t have gone down well. It read to me like maybe he’d been force-fed a bit of humble pie because he was very keen to stress that everyone had mucked in.

Have you ever seen those memes on the internet where there’s a bear hugging a dog with a caption like “This bear loves the dog” then an animal expert writes underneath “this is a dog tied to a bowl, the bear is about it eat him.” That could be me with these hack observations. They might not be true, but whatever went on, one thing is for sure: the players didn’t down tools on him. Sure, it wasn’t an A+ performance for the ages, but you could see the specifics of what we were trying to do. I thought we were very aggressive for most of the game, our players pressed far harder than they usually do, and our overall play was far more unpredictable. Ben White creates chances, has great passing, and uses his runs to create overloads. Sambi Lokonga, quite simply, is not Dani Ceballos. Tomiyasu gives us height defending longballs, he gives us an option outwide, and he can actually right back. Ramsdale can pass so playing out the back looks good. It didn’t work as a piece of art, but at the very least, you could see the component parts and how they’ll make us better.

Some of the criticism after the game did make for painful reading. People position themselves as elite analysts of the futbol but fail to understand that we’re putting humans out on the pitch. You put a bunch of people together in a new office and it takes a while to get going, it’s the same with footballers. Arteta gifted 4 players home debuts, only one of our back 5 remained the same from the previous two games, we started a brand new keeper, we ran a midfield pairing that had never played together, and we did that all in the first game after the international break.

I know we’re all dying for a blowout here, but once again, we have to accept that it’s going to take a bit of time to start firing on all cylinders.

The good news? 

  1. We don’t have European football so the players can spend more time on the training ground
  2. We have specificity in the important positions, so if we can keep players fit, we’ll have a system that works
  3. We’ve played the two best teams in the country right now

I suspect the club will have a lot of attention on Spurs, who have been shite this season, because that’s an Arteta Cup Final. It’ll be very interesting to see what he does against Wimbledon this week in the league cup. For me, it’s not a rest day, it’s a ‘let’s work each other out’ game. It’s a practice game with a trophy attached to it. Certain players shouldn’t be risked, like Saka, Auba and ESR, but I’d really like to see a strong team out there so we can get some minutes in the legs.

This idea does run into challenges though. We have all these fantastic kids looking for minutes. Folarin Balogun scored for the U23s at the weekend. We’re all watching the Patino hype videos. These players need experience as well. There’s a balance… but the most important thing at the moment is the development of the first team and for the players to get to full match fitness.

I’m weirdly looking forward to the away day at Burnley. It’ll be a roughhouse game and I want to see how this new defence stands up to a thug 90 minutes. I think we have more than enough to dispatch them and I really hope they can be the team we find our edge against.

Right, that’s me done for the day, see you in the comments… and please watch the videos below.

SPOTIFY | GOOGLEIHEART

533 Responses to “CUP GAMES MIGHT NOT BE FOR THE KIDS + ARTETA COMMUNICATIONS SHIFT”

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  1. Kroenkephobe

    ES
    Oooh – where would the UK be without public (for overseas readers who might not know, public means private fee paying schools which ES presumably imagines are the answers to all of Britain’s ills) . Racist Bojo, pig fucker Cameron, Nigel Farage and Randy Prince Andy all attended very costly public schools. They’re great role models.

    ES – just a bit of balance there mate all right? Most Brits would struggle with the 20k per term fees of course but they’re definitely the answer to levelling up Britain.

  2. Dissenter

    Even in America, where most of the professional sports people go through a collegiate system would anyone be talking about producing more educated and intelligent people.

    You have to be educated and intelligent in your own right to win a major championship regardless of what schools you went or didn’t attend.
    Mohammed Ali didn’t have a college degree but was many times more intelligent and better educated than the Ivy-league educated journalists who used to interview him. early in his career.

  3. Bertie Mee

    Pedro
    English beer must have rotted your brain. You’re not paying attention.
    I learnt on here Ramsdale is a serial relegationist, White was crap at Brighton and Leeds, Tomatisu was being hawked around Europe , Odegaard is meh and Arteta should have been fired weeks ago,
    Grovers know

  4. bacaryisgod

    Bob/Pedro

    It’s weird how some people pop off without reading the following posts….

    I said clearly ‘impressive’ was the wrong word. Canada deserves no credit for her performance but it is an unlikely coincidence that both finalists were born there.

    As for focusing on her heritage, I haven’t seen much of that. She clearly has been embraced by the English public and her parents’ nationalities don’t make her less English. She’s grown up in England from the age of 2. She’s English. But let’s not get too pompous about this heritage issue. Raducanu herself has openly embraced her heritage as she should. If anything, it’s a hopeful sign that someone from such a diverse background can be celebrated by the English, Chinese and Romanians (and even a few Canadians).

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/sep/13/emma-raducanu-china-heritage-praised-by-chinese-state-media

  5. Pedro

    Dissenter, absolutely. In Germany, they go out of their way to make athletes good citizens, it’s a big thing. Especially when you consider the bad rep of English athletes over the years.

  6. AFC Forever

    Sal

    “Think we should of addressed in transfer window,, taking Laca/Auba/Pepe into third season expecting big gains wasn’t very sharp thinking if were honest”

    I don’t disagree with you. Obviously, Aubamayeng is a top-quality striker but last season he was anything. It wasn’t just his poor finishing but his general play too. Hopefully, the adage about form being temporary proves true. Lacazette was the one for me. I like the bloke and think he is great with the youngsters but that’s where an upgrade was doable.

  7. Pedro

    Bacary, the left have been the worst about it. They are trying to make the point that anyone can be English, but are insistent on talking about her parents countries. She’s English, she’s been a wild success, lots of English people have immigrant parents. The whole thing is so boring. Let’s talk about her amazing achievement and where it ranks, versus arguing over whether the nurse she was born to was important.

  8. Pedro

    Bertie, think Tomi is going to be the big miss by everyone. He looks very, very good. Great athletic profile, think he won the most duels at the weekend. Really excited to see if he can kick on.

    Also love that the fans in the ground all liked Ramsdale.

  9. Thank you and goodnight

    It makes me giggle this shit about the female tennis player Emma Radancu. If she’s lost last night, she would of been a fucking Romanian, but moment she won…..you 100% British she is 🤣🤣🤣. It’s like I said to a mate during the euro’s, all the while Saka , Sterling where helping England progress…. Lovely guys they really are, the moment England lose, yeah they’re not one of us are they. Fucking idiots

  10. Thank you and goodnight

    As for education in this country, it’s SHIT. If you pay for it it’s great, but trust me education in this country is shocking. Do you know that during exams they have to have a digital clock and an analogue clock because some of these kids can’t tell the time on an analogue clock. Seriously…..mad isn’t it to think that this generation will one day be running the country yet they can’t tell the time lol

  11. Bob N16

    Pedro, one thing should be said about Ramsdale is that he has seamlessly inherited the Aaron Ramsey chant which must have really helped make his debut more satisfying.

    You’re talking sh*t TYAG.

    Sterling, Sancho and Rashford received unbelievable support from the country after the trolls had a go at them. Did you not see the wall of support Saka had at London Colney, Rashford uo in Manchester? Have you not heard the applause fans from other clubs have been giving Saka – even the Spuds. The trolls lost, decent people stood up to be counted.

    You’re also wrong about Raducanu. She won hearts at Wimbledon, having to retire in R4.People didn’t have a go.

  12. Pedro

    Thank you and goodnight, only with the minority of racists. Raducanu, like Saka and Sterling… is English. End of. No one that is civilised would say otherwise.

  13. Northbanker

    Leaving Arteta aside (his poor tactical acumen has been exposed too many times), it does look like we’ve bought well this Summer even if we missed out on Bissouma. (who would have improved us more than any of the signings we actually made). The next manager will have a very good base to work with.

  14. Bob N16

    Pedro, where Radecanu is from is understandably of interest. Don’t label it a lefty preoccupation – arriving into the country as an immigrant is obviously newsworthy.

    The fact she speaks Mandarin, aced her A levels, competed in go karts and Motocross is also of interest.

  15. Pedro

    Bob, it’s a really leftwing thing to go there after a win and make it about politics. Why are we debating her heritage? Such a spoiler. We should be talking about her tennis. American’s don’t go on about the parents after one of their kids smashes up a tournament.

  16. Kroenkephobe

    Pedro
    That example was absolutely pathetic and about as empirical as me offering the historical anecdote about old right wing bastard Norman Tebbit and his cricket test in the 20th century. Good job you’re in advertising/marketing and journalism.

  17. Kroenkephobe

    The cricket test, also known as the Tebbit test, was a controversial phrase coined in April 1990 by the British Conservative politician Norman Tebbit in reference to the perceived lack of loyalty to the England cricket team among South Asian and Caribbean immigrants and their children

    Pedro
    That right wing Tebbit cricket test thingy.

  18. Thank you and goodnight

    @Bob

    How am I talking shit when I predicted what abuse these players would get the moment England lost. Did they not get abused? So then it can’t be bollocks. Also Bob I’m Turkish Cypriot but born in England so I’ve suffered my fair share of racism. And trust me just because you’re born here, the majority always see you as a foreigner

  19. Kroenkephobe

    Recycled – blimey. I guess that also means she’s a Palace and Barca fan. Good job she wasn’t wearing a navy blue and white outfit. And don’t get me started on Tim Henman at Wimbledon – clearly a Leeds supporter just like all the others. Just try resetting and feeling happy for her.

  20. bacaryisgod

    The dumbest thing is of course there are very few ‘pure’ English people around any more. We all have some French, Norwegian, German, Scottish, Irish, or Spanish etc in our background.

    In the U.S, they have the pledge of allegiance. which almost all kids have to recite every day at school. It’s a little brainwashy but pretty effective (until an unarmed black kid gets shot by the police but ler’s no go there again…)

  21. salparadisenyc

    ‘Let’s talk about her amazing achievement and where it ranks, versus arguing over whether the nurse she was born to was important’.

    God damn right.

    Raducanu won the title after having to qualify for the tournament, thats 3 more matches played than others not dropping a set. No other qualifier had made a semi final in a major on either mens or womens side.

    Leylah Fernandez in four matches from 3rd round defeated last years champion 4x major winner Osaka, 3 time major winner and 10th ranked Kerber, world number 4 Svitolina and world number 2 Sabalenka en route to final. Reason she looked cooked against Raducana, she was having split sets in all of the above.

    These girls deserve all the plaudits, don’t think we’ll see runs like that again.

  22. Emiratesstroller

    Kroenkephobe

    Most of the leading independent schools provide means tested bursaries. That includes the
    leading boarding and London Day Schools. They can provide up to 100% cover.

    There are also sports scholarship schemes.

    Many of the top schools are providing financial support for between 10-20% of all students at
    the school.

    Many of the top independent schools are also funding or supporting leading state academies. Highgate is partnering Tottenham Hotspur in the London Sixth Form Academy
    based in Haringey.

    They are also involved in the sister Academy based in Hackney alongside leading private
    schools such as Eton and Brighton.

    Most of the top schools in the country are now supporting financially state schools and talented children.

  23. bacaryisgod

    Pedro

    ‘American’s don’t go on about the parents after one of their kids smashes up a tournament’.

    Not sure we should look at America as a shining light in this regard. The racial intolerance is off the charts as is the number of white Americans offended by the terms Asian-American or African-American and that’s not even including the ‘black lives matter’ opponents.

  24. bacaryisgod

    Thank you and Goodnight,

    I’m a white Englishman living in America. I’m seen as a foreigner but they love the English over here so obviously no racism.

    Not really belonging to a country is a common issue for people living in a foreign country. I certainly don’t feel that English any more but neither do I really feel American. But that’s the path I chose so no complaints.

  25. Upstate Gooner

    “You put a bunch of people together in a new office and it takes a while to get going, it’s the same with footballers.”

    Except that it’s not. Arteta had a couple of weeks of training/preparation with the squad including the new additions. If I’m say an IT manager for a big company and we’ve just added a few new people (all of whom are highly skilled/paid professionals, I might add) to an already existing team operating at a (supposedly) high level, AND I had two weeks working with them before incorporating with the rest of the troops, you can bet your ass they’ll be pulling in their weight and (positively) contributing right away. And if I saw something I didn’t like in “training”, I certainly wouldn’t jump the gun on bringing certain individual(s) into the fold. Arteta picked the starting XI based on his ideas and observations. The performance was very underwhelming, to say the least.

  26. Bertie Mee

    Thank you and Goodnight
    You’re very welcome in any country I hail from
    Immigration enriches the world .
    As for Raducanu she chooses to live in Britain and identifies as British and on top of everything else she’s gorgeous as well as being brilliant at tennis . That game was the best women’s match I’ve ever seen in terms of quality ,power and intensity

  27. Ernest Reed

    “It makes me giggle this shit about the female tennis player Emma Radancu. If she’s lost last night, she would of been a fucking Romanian,”

    She’s actually Canadian, born in Toronto and moved to the UK at age two.

  28. Pedro

    Upstate, sorry, can’t have that. Tomi had 3 days with the team. Others were on international break. The entire back 5 had never played together. You are chatting breeze if you think that’s an easy solve. Ultimately, the fans in the ground understood, and that’s all that matters. Oh and we won.

  29. Tom

    Raducanu’s heritage or the exact timeline when she arrived in Britain is of no importance to me whatsoever.
    The story of an 18 qualifier winning the US open is good enough for me.

    Although she didn’t exactly do it against the likes of peak Graf, Williams, or Seles, so maybe a bit perspective isneeded while proclaiming it one of the biggest achievements in all of sports ever.

    But then again you can’t say that without being labeled a hater who must obviously have some issues.

    Her highest ranked opponents were 4th, 18th, and 28th and none with a GS title to their name.

    This isn’t exactly the golden era of women’s tennis right now.
    Still, congrats to her and the British for nurturing her talents.

  30. Bob N16

    Pedro, slightly ironic that you were accusing the left of a supposed fixation on her nationality and by doing that you were highlighting the same issue.

    TYAG, as a ‘Northern European looking’ person, I’ve not suffered from racism and therefore slightly unqualified to meaningfully comment. Living in inner city London, I am not in a white bubble. I see diversity as a way to a tolerant society that everybody benefits from. I was not surprised by the racist trolls but was delighted that there was a positive, supportive response to those black English players who missed penalties.

    I prefer to dwell on the decent response from the many rather than be surprised and disappointed by the few.

  31. englandsbest

    emiratestroller

    I think we have better educated pro footballers nowadays. More intelligent? I doubt that. Intelligence is inborn. People do not become more intelligent as they become better educated. The IQ test of someone at, say, eleven, is around the same at twenty-one, even though by then he may have a first class degree.

    But I do believe the sports press have become less intelligent. Or at any rate. less literate. In the old days, boxing and cricket and golf journalists were a joy to read even if you weren’t a fan of the sport. Lyrical. sometimes poetic. Yes, we do have a few who show some artistry, but none who reach that kind of level.

    And that that for the media commentators,as well.

    But what a sorry bunch we have now. Particularly in football. Repetitive, boring, unimaginative, humourless. Offhand I can only think of one exception: Ian Wright, god bless him.

  32. RecycledOldSock

    Although Naomi Osaka was raised in the United States, her parents decided that their daughters would represent Japan. They said, “We made the decision that Naomi would represent Japan at an early age. She was born in Osaka and was brought up in a household of Japanese and Haitian culture. Quite simply, Naomi and her sister Mari have always felt Japanese so that was our only rationale.

  33. Bob N16

    Classic Tom, an 18 year old qualifier wins a GS for the first time and you can’t help yourself and highlight that she had a relatively ‘easy’ draw.

    Do you have the same high standards in your life? You must be a hell of a high achiever.

  34. Pedro

    Recycled, Osaka has a Japanese mum, was born in Japan, and her parents raised her with a strong take on Japanese culture. A little different to our star.

  35. AFC Forever

    Upstate Gooner

    “Arteta had a couple of weeks of training/preparation with the squad including the new additions”.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Two weeks. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

    My god, there are no words. An entire new back 5, one of whom arrived last week, a new central midfield partnership and a bunch of debutants all playing in a competitive match for the first time and you want a Man City performance. I honestly can’t believe these naive comments today, this is illogical. I understand the desperation to piss on the win in order to discredit the devil worshipper Arteta but why advertise a complete lack of understanding of the game to do so?

    Jesus, at least have the sense to turn on the light so you can actually see the shit you’re typing mate.

  36. Pedro

    Bob, exactly, that’s my point. I’m talking about it because people are obsessed with point-scoring against the right because of politics, or against the English, because we have so many elite athletes these days.

  37. englandsbest

    emiratestroller

    On second thoughts, yes, per. haps they ARE more intelligent. (I’m talking about sports people, not the press.) And for a very simple reason. In those days they earned little more than the man in the street. Now many earn far more than a top heart surgeon.

  38. RecycledOldSock

    Emma Raducanu was born on 13 November 2002 in Toronto, Canada, to Ian and Renee Raducanu, originally from Bucharest, Romania, and Shenyang, China, respectively. The original spelling of her family name in Romanian is Răducanu (pronounced [rəduˈkanu]). She attributed her mentality and ethics to her tennis idols Simona Halep and Li Na, both from countries of her ancestry.

  39. Upstate Gooner

    “Upstate, sorry, can’t have that. Tomi had 3 days with the team. Others were on international break. The entire back 5 had never played together.”

    Again, if Arteta saw something in training that he didn’t like, he didn’t have to put out that starting XI. Yes, we (barely) won but to me, they looked shaky. And that’s against the “mighty” Norwich.

  40. Bob N16

    Too much information TYAG, although there’s a few who surely push you hard on here- perish the thought!

    Sorry Pedro, probably should keep off politics but the Tories for the most part disgust me, the Home Secretary is horrific and her unsympathetic stance on immigrants, from an immigrant background, highlights my disgust. No more politics, promise.

  41. RecycledOldSock

    British tennis star Emma Raducanu today put her success at the US Open down to her ‘tough’ and ‘very, very hard to please’ parents, praising them for bringing her up to have mental strength.

    The 18-year-old said her father Ian and mother Renee Raducanu had been hugely influential in her sporting prowess and they were ‘just so happy and proud of me’ when she spoke to them on the phone after her win.

    They could not be in New York to see her extraordinary journey through to the tournament’s final because of strict Covid-19 rules in the US which meant they would have needed a special exemption visa to travel.

  42. Pedro

    Upstate, you have no point here. His best team was the the one with the freshest players. They played the way they did because they don’t know each other. If you solution to that is: Play the shit team that lost the past three games… then I think you are struggling with this conversation (and football).

  43. englandsbest

    I think with nationality you are what you think you are. Britain is a prime example. There are four countries involved. I may be wrong but I think most Scots. Welsh, North Irish call themselves British, and equally there are some English who don’t.

  44. Tom

    “Classic Tom, an 18 year old qualifier wins a GS for the first time and you can’t help yourself and highlight that she had a relatively ‘easy’ draw.“

    You really need to get over yourself Bob.
    There’s a big difference between trying to rain on someone’s parade with immediate hot takes, something I didn’t do, and the push back days later against claims of this being one of the greatest achievements in all of sports ever.

  45. Dissenter

    If Raducanu had been a prodigious mass-murderer
    Would anyone be fighting to claim her; Canadian born, British raised, Romanian dad and Chinese mother.
    Why don’t we all wait what she identifies herself as
    My bet is she sees herself as all-of-the-above

    Sorry Pedro, she doesn’t fit into one box so it’s okay to okay about the complexity of heritage
    It pays Raducanu to claim all four to increase her marketing potential. She will make tonnes of money in China if she plays it right

  46. BacaryisGod

    Radacanu was eligible and chose to represent Britain. She’s a British tennis player.

    Nothing wrong with what Tom said about her achievement being assisted by a relatively weak field and favourable draw. The achievement is still remarkable, even more so because no-one even won 5 games in a set against her.

    If anything, adding some perspective might take a little pressure off her because she’s now got a massive target in her back and the tabloids will be relentless. Don’t forget that after Serena won her first slam as a teenager she had to wait two and a half years for her next one.

  47. AFC Forever

    Tomiyasu looks one hell of a player. We often praise other clubs for unearthing gems but we have found one here. Early days of course but fast, strong & technically excellent. I think our transfer business deserves more praise. Looking forward to seeing them when they’ve adjusted to the league and are playing regularly.

  48. Dissenter

    Bacary
    Just because she represents GB doesn’t squelch the conversation about heritage though.
    Qatar have lots of foreign born athletes that they facilitated [paid] to wear their colors, doesn’t make them Qataris.

  49. Dissenter

    AFC
    I’m not sure we “unearth[ed]” Tomiyasu though.
    He was hawked by Bologna who are broke , around premier league clubs, it came down to Spurs or Arsenal at the end.
    We waited and waited…until Spurs chose Emmerson Royal, then had an open field to get him.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter, sometimes the best signings are done without realizing what one is buying.

  50. BacaryisGod

    Dissenter

    Of course it shouldn’t squelch conversation about her heritage. She’s happy to discuss it so that shouldn’t be a bone of contention. However, it shouldn’t be used as a way of painting her as something other than a British tennis player.

  51. BacaryisGod

    Dissenter

    There’s obviously a line that can get crossed. Raducanu is so far away from crossing that line which is why her nationality shouldn’t even be an issue.

  52. Kroenkephobe

    And it is likely that the genetics of intelligence works at least in part by a genetic influence on the environment. This means that a genetic basis for intelligence is as much about one’s nurture as about one’s nature. … Identical twins are genetically identical – they’re nature’s clones.

    EB Your comment about intelligence (only) being innate got my BS detector oscillating slightly. I think the more likely explanation is that it’s a combination of both nature and nurture. After all, the best way to boost one’s intelligence is to read, listen and watch. That’s nurture surely.

  53. Kroenkephobe

    I may be wrong but I think most Scots. Welsh, North Irish call themselves British, and equally there are some English who don’t.

    EB you are… Wrong that is. There is a strong and growing sense of non-British identity in all constituent parts of the UK including England. Independence as a sentiment is growing in parts the UK, not helped by the fact that many see Westminster politics as meaningless and anti their interests. The situation in Ireland is far more complex and historical but we could soon see a major change in the leadership structure in the ni assembly according to polls.

    Despite claiming to be a unionist, Bojo and his policies are doing a fine job of helping to bring about alienation and independence. Yes Cmyru butt!

  54. salparadisenyc

    Toms right no question Raducanu had the easier draw with #1 Bartey being taken out by Rodgers but Bencic and Sakkari were on extremely good form and Emma throttled both.

    Would of been interesting seeing a Bartey vs Raducanu matchup, doubt we’ll have to wait long.

  55. Mr Serge

    my parents were born elsewhere am I not British ? I was brought up here as was my mum she came here with her parents at 2 years old is she not British ? Funny if she is not as she was educated over here and raised 4 kids over here.paid taxes over here I would suggest she is British as is Emma

  56. MidwestGun

    Pedro.. Thanks for letting us have our say on the players in the poll. What I learned by taking it.. was we have mostly 3’s and not enough 5’s.

    Also.. severely disappointed there wasn’t a rating below 0 for Xhaka.. 😀

  57. Nigel Tufnel

    Ben D.
    “Interesting to read people on here giving Tottenham the benefit of the doubt after losing to Palace because they were missing 4 players. Same people gave us no such leeway when we lost to the two best teams in the league without several players.”

    I noticed the same. First we have the self haters here, then the people who cozy up to the enemy… they basically treat them with more respect than our own guys, who in so many cases haven’t even had a chance to prove themselves either way.

    When they do play, all negatives will be pointed out here, with positives downplayed.

    Not talking about Pedro.

  58. Graham62

    Going through three rounds of qualifying and then winning seven matches on her way to winning the final, is a phenomenal achievement..

    On top of this, she didn’t drop a single set.

    That ladies and gentlemen is quite amazing and definitely one of the greatest ever sporting achievements.

    I raise my glass to Emma Raducanu.

  59. Graham62

    Raducanu could have gone all the way at Wimbledon if it wasn’t for stomach problems and nerves getting the better of her.

  60. Mr Serge

    Midwest I have a friend who is a spurs fan and he was gutted xhaka was missing the spurs match when I told him we had Wimbledon in the cup and therefore he was available he jumped for joy

    This is how shit xhaka is

  61. MidwestGun

    Burnley takes the lead.. on a header. from a setpiece. They have some serious height and physicality we better be on our A game.. defensively on any corners and freekicks this Saturday.

  62. Tom

    Watching Burnley/Everton………if playing Leeds is like going to a dentist, then playing Burnley is like going to see a proctologist who just ran out of lubricant.

  63. Ernest Reed

    Completed the survey, objectively so. Some of the very new players I cannot provide a fair rating for because one or two games does not a player make – those are a “Dont Know” because who knows what they will amount to over time.

    Really like the opportunity to provide opinions, Pedro.

  64. Emiratesstroller

    englandsbest

    I do think that football is beginning to attract more intelligent footballers than in the past.

    For a start I don’t think that many pupils educated at grammar schools or private public schools would have been encouraged to play professional football before the EPL was established.

    Today the earnings on offer plus career opportunities in football change the profile of the
    sport.

    Dennis Bergkamp started the trend at Arsenal and obtained a degree in Engineering from Warwick University. Both Flamini and Lehmann were also intelligent. Flamini studied law
    and Lehmann was a university graduate.

    Wenger was probably the first top Manager in English Football who secured an Economics
    Degree at Strasbourg one of the top universities in France.

    Before the EPL era I doubt that such opportunities would have existed.

  65. NJ Gooner

    I really don’t get all this identity politics rubbish here today.

    We just fielded among the most cosmopolitan teams in our history, with players from Asia, Africa and across Europe. Most of our greatest heroes hail from outside the UK (okay, with the exception of Tony Adams and I just loved Lee Dixon). Bergkamp, Henry and my first love, Liam Brady.

    We are ARSENAL fans. That is – or should be – our foremost identity. I’m an immigrant. My parents were immigrants. Anybody who wants to question my – or Emma’s – allegiance should get off this blog and go find a friendly one to them somewhere in the bowels of Reddit!

  66. Receding Hairline

    Rafa getting something out of an Everton team that had a disastrous run in last season, we on the other hand finished last season strongly but for some our poor start to this one was unavoidable.

    Forget the results, performance wise we have not really shown much.

  67. raptora

    Watching an above average midfielder like Doucoure shows what Xhaka cannot give us.

    Doucoure is both capable in defence and in attack – 2 assists today, should have been 3 and a overturned goal. He can run, he can hustle.

    Xhaka can’t run, can’t hustle, has the dynamics of my grandmother and his influence is hardly noticeable in both phases of the game.

    The only time we miss Xhaka is when we are playing the bottom dwellers Elneny and Ceballos.

    We should have sold him and brought in a player more fit for the EPL. We will have another garbage season with him starting most of our games because we declined the money that we could have used to strengthen our severely lacking in quality CM.

  68. Almuniasaynomore

    Tony,
    Up to my watch all day,read your thoughts over breakfast but never had time to respond. I agree with what you said and you struck me as being both genuine and a little down. Hang on in there man,I’ve read you giving advice to others who were considering withdrawing for a while. You told them to ignore the posts that annoy them and stick to the others. Good advice. If you go now I’m back to reading the cornflakes box and I can’t take one more morning wondering what riboflavin is. Rich always says that the biggest critics are actually the most optimistic because they see the possibilities and are driven mad by the failings. That defines a lot of us, you more than most. For the life of me I don’t know how every Arsenal fan isn’t cracking up at what’s happening to our club. You’re not on your own!

  69. Tom

    Not a great result for us.
    I have a feeling this will give Burnley the extra motivation to get something from the Arsenal game…….as if they ever needed extra motivation for that.

  70. Dissenter

    Demarai Gray is a very good signing for Everton, someone has got him playing.
    Always wondered what was going on with him at Leicester, wasting all that talent.

  71. Ishola70

    Tom
    “Not a great result for us.
    I have a feeling this will give Burnley the extra motivation to get something from the Arsenal game…….as if they ever needed extra motivation for that.”

    Yes I was thinking that as well. They have yet to win a match this season so will be desperate to pick up points in their next home match.

    But of course it can work both ways. Burnley may indeed be in an irreparable rut at this moment in time and Arsenal will be able to take care of them.

    One thing is for sure they are not as “soft” as Norwich.

    Mr Serge seems to think some on here rate Burnley with his comment “they are not all that”. It’s never been a case has it of rating Burnley that highly more of having doubts about Arsenal.

  72. Tom

    “Raducanu stuffed Shelby Rogers 6-1 6-2.Enough said.”

    Would that be the same Shelby Rodgers ranked 47th, with a quarterfinal for best GS result ever!

    As much as I enjoyed watching her play( was actually rooting for her) , forget all sports, this wasn’t even in a top 10 best tennis achievements ever.

  73. Tom

    Ishola, Burnley might not be “all that” but they have plenty to hurt us with , something I didn’t think Norwich had, after having watched them this season.

    A few speculative shots from outside of the area at home against Leicester, with two of those on goal( one straight at Schmeichel), a gifted pen, and a wimpy Pukki header straight at Schmeichel, again was the entire extent of their Leicester goal bombardment praised by Pedro.

    Burnley’s pressing is better, they are better from set pieces, and you just know they’ll get away with murder at Turf Moor.
    This isn’t Wenger’s team any more, where we all knew Burnley’s only chance was to kick us off the pitch.
    The difference in quality is still there but the gap has shrunken.

  74. NJ Gooner

    Burnley would be rough game, regardless of today’s result.

    But football is a confidence game at that level and a 3-1 beating will only make them disconsolate. Think of how confident they would have been if they had won.

  75. TitsMcGee

    until an unarmed black kid gets shot by the police but ler’s no go there again…)“

    Lol

    Educate yourself. White kids, Asian kids and Latino kids are shot by the police. You never hear about them though but it’s not a political talking point.

  76. englandsbest

    Kroenkephobe

    On intelligence, the reverse applies: you need to be intelligent to listen, watch and read

    On nationality, you seem to be confirming what I said: we are the nationality we think we are.
    But you are right, there are people who for whatever reason, political or philosophic, reject the concept of nationality.

  77. Kroenkephobe

    where is the link to the poll

    Guns
    I assume like the rest of us a black dot with a speech bubble in it appeared towards the right slightly below centre of your screen when on le grove. When I first saw it, I wondered if my detached retina was recurring.

    If you click on that you’ll enter Pedro’s foul underworld of illicit, pointless data gathering. Rate the players – ooh the power!

  78. englandsbest

    emiratestroller

    I had no idea that my favouritest-ever Arsenal player had a degree from Warwick U

    But since we are remembering Arsenal university graduates, there was a doctor who played for the Club back in the forties.

  79. MidwestGun

    Actually now I think about.. there are a ton of teenagers who have won Grand Slam titles.. Hinges, Seles, Austin, Sharopova, Serena Williams. Steffi Graff.. all won before they turned 18. Probably more then that but my brain is locked down..

    Still happy for y’all.. Tennis is a huge sport there and y’all havent had a good female player to root for in a long time.

  80. RecycledOldSock

    Raducanu credits her Chinese and Romanian parentage with much of her determination. Born to a Romanian father Ian and Chinese mother Dong Mei Zhai, now known as Renee, in Toronto, the family moved to the UK when she was just two.

    Until the pandemic, Raducanu had travelled regularly to her mother’s home city of Shenyang in north-east China to visit relatives including her grandmother and train at the Shenyang Institute of Physical Education. There, the teenager not only found her court feet, but even played table tennis with professional players to improve her reactions.

  81. Tom

    Graham,
    – most career singles titles (167 Navratilova)
    -most years ranked inside top 10 ( 20y Navratilova)
    – most consecutive matches won ( 74 Navratilova)
    – only player to win a calendar Golden Slam ( Graf)
    – number one for 377 weeks ( Graf)
    -only player to win all slams on four occasions ( Graf)
    -a 100% winning record in three separate seasons ( Graf)
    – most wins across all four slams ( S. Williams 65)
    -most grand slam titles in open era ( 23 Williams)

    As for how unlikely Raducanu’s win was ……. the bookies had her at 400:1
    Leicester’s was 5000:1

    I file this one under people simply forget how good some others had been over the years, or dismiss them because of the silly notion that it used to be easier years ago.

    This is most prevalent when comparing footballers across eras, with people claiming footballers were slower and that’s why it was easier for the likes of Pele and Maradona to dominate.
    Which of course is pure nonsense. Football as a game was slower but if you were a fast player in 60s , 70s and 80s you would’ve been fast today.

    Poland had two wingers in the 1974 WC who routinely dribbled the length of the pitch in training in low to mid 11 seconds.
    Both would’ve been among the fastest players today as well.

    Jessy Owens ran 10.3 s 100 meters sprint in 1936 on burnt cinders using a gardening shovel to dig out holes for starting blocks.
    When they tasked a WR holder in 200m sprint Andre De Grasse ( same body type as Owens) who has a 100m career best of 9.69s to run under the same conditions as Owens ran in 1936 , he didn’t even break 11 seconds.

    Raducanu’s US open was special for all the reasons mentioned and I’m a big fan, but let’s not get crazy here.
    You even thought that if it wasn’t for some health issues at Wimbledon she maybe could’ve won it there , so not exactly like she came completely out of nowhere.

  82. MD-Gunner

    Trust the process after 4 games in 16th place 7 point off 4h place with a goal difference of 14. Bellerin leaving AFC to win trophies. Feyenoord boss raises questions over Arsenal training intensity after Nelson injury.
    Fuck this process.

  83. salparadisenyc

    BIG

    For me the two need to be mentioned together, Raducanu and Fernandez brought life to a women’s game direly in need, love to city on its worst anniversary and believers of many who forgot how good women’s tennis can be as it’s been littered with egomaniacs (that was for Eagle).

    These two actually love playing tennis… currently.

    I saw the semi’s at Ashe on Thursday, can’t overstate how much crowd behind both, like a big wave crashing over the place. Was sad to see one loose.

    And both rocking the Met Gala tonight, what a whirlwind.

  84. China1

    Hector bellerin is a very odd man. We already knew that but he’s confirmed he left arsenal to win trophies.

    Arsenal have won 3 FA cups in the last 6 odd years, played in a EL final, 2 semis and won some charity shields (not that those matter)

    And he’s left that ‘to win trophies’ at real Betis.

    Right.

  85. China1

    Pedro it seems you can repeatedly take part in the poll. Not sure if that’s intentional or not but it does leave the door open for Charlie to submit 300 5 star values for Xhaka so just be aware of that

  86. Pierre

    If you think of how Arteta likes his left centre midfielder to slot into the left back position to cover for Tierney, then Maitland Niles would seem an obvious choice to play that position as he is very comfortable playing full back, and I have to say that his performance in midfield at the weekend was very under rated as he put in a good all round performance

    Lakonga , who played alongside AMN, has the ability to find space in the busy midfield area and they worked well as a partnership.

    The only part of the game we struggled was for a period in the first half when we bypassed the midfield and played too long and consequently kept giving the ball away.

    After half time we reverted to playing through the middle and Lokonga and AMN took control of the game..

    The arrival of Partey and Smith Rowe gave the team more pace and aggression through the centre of the pitch as Odegaard dropped back into a central midfield role which maybe would suit his game more.

    The strange thing about Odegaard is that without the ball he sprints about the pitch trying to close down the opposition and looks quite lively , but with the ball at his feet he has no pace and rarely if ever sprints with the ball.

    If I look for a reason as to why Odegaard strugglea to travel with the ball , I can only think that he lacks the confidence or bravery to show the ball to the defender to entice him in to a tackle.
    For Odegaard to reach the top level he needs to show more bravery on the ball, he needs to commit defenders to draw them out of position and he needs to put himself in a position that he will be clattered by a defender like a Gascoigne or Grealish or even a Smith Rowe.

    Playing with the fear of being tackled will hold Odegaard back as he will become another Xhaka who just recycles the ball.
    You rarely see xhaka or Odegaard fouled whilst attempting to dribble, that is because they rarely attempt to dribble into dangerous areas and settle for the simple option .

    Maybe the deeper role will suit Odegaard more as he has good qualities on the ball that suit a central midfielder more than a CAM.

  87. China1

    As well if Eddie is blowing up with several thousand 5 star ratings we know Pierre has copied the ozil trick of star padding 😎

  88. MidwestGun

    What poll are we talking about and how did I miss it?
    ______
    Sal … click the black talk bubble in lower right hand corner and click start chat. will have a poll. Its administered by you.gov. Explained in Pedro’s post a couple of days ago. This one is on rating each player in the squad.

  89. salparadisenyc

    Thanks Mid and China

    FYI Pete i’m on a big screen and that bubble falls below my visible area.
    This monitor set up for pictures which may explain that.

    Get in!

    Players lucky i’m into a bottle of red.

  90. Double Double

    Pedro, you do follow some random Twitter people, she really lets politics get in the way of a good sporting event, either that or you have too much time on your hands.

    Dissenter if she represented a country of her parents background in a international tournament (Olympics). Would she still be a British tennis player and would you have cared if she won or lost the US or just appreciated what a great sporting achievement it was by either one of them?

  91. Dissenter

    DoubleDouble
    Maybe you should be more secure in your concept of nationality and not try to totally appropriate an individual who’s as multi-national as it comes
    Chinese state media are right to praise her Chinese heritage
    Romania will mention her father’s heritage
    Canada will point out that she was born in Toronto
    The UK will claim the last 16 years of her life and of course that her preferred nationality is the UK

    As they say, “victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan”

    It’s not an attempt to diminish her Britishness, just a mention that it’s more complicated than most.

  92. Tony

    Morning all.

    My son got really upset when I told him I’d had enough of the Arteta’s disingenuous, trolls on the blog led by Pedro with the likes of Arsenal forever AFC who takes the time to write blogs from his charity job in Barnordos or was it the Salvation Army?

    Either way he spews scorn on the Artea-Out brigade being the brave keyboard warrior he is after a win, but hides fearful of retribution when we lose. As we lose a lot one of the plusses of that is Arsenal AFC and his cowardly Arteta supporters hide from us nasty plastic fans as he labels us.

    All we get from them are mindless excuses as with the Hungarian immigrant, ES, who likely has some Isreali blood in hm, as it makes up of 50% of my real heritage. Now ES thinks he’s a cut above everyone else while he looks at his silver spoon in its case on the wall.

    If anyone has spent time in Isreal will get to understand their plight over the millenniums. In the 90s I had the good fortune to go out and appear on their TV in Jerusalem staying at the King David hotel and the audience being mostly made up of their army replete with weapons in the TV studio.

    That’s another story for another day.

    I actually don’t have a problem with Englandbest being Arsnealworst in real terms and absent minded of all things Arsenal, where as ES is a 78 record, scratches and all that’s never turned off primarily because ES has never grown out of the 50s privileged upper middle class he belongs to.

    At least EB has the courage of his convictions and only gets some ribbing for his efforts. No one tells him he’s a plastic fan or can’t be a real fan as ES and AAFC pout their insults. No, we pretty much treat him as a misguided Gooner and help him see the err of his ways. We poke fun but don’t call him all the names under the sun.

    Like most adopted kids I wanted to find my real parents in my early 20s after I’d left home to make my way in the world. What I found was exceedingly repulsive with my real mother having married a multimillionaire mostly residing in a huge villa over looking Peuto Banus and James Hunt’s villa.

    I was offered to stay with her in her late 40s with her 73 YO rich Jewish husband who I actually liked at lot who lived in Bishop’s Avenue in Hampstead. I turned her down for the despicable person she was, but kept in touch with technically my 90 foot yacht owning step dad.

    Not for money or the privilege I could have had instead I talked to him for business advice up until he died about 8 years later. He was old style Jewish where the faith & business was his life even working the day he died with millions in property and assets bak in the late 80s.

    I went it alone and made my fortune to spite my real mother because I never talked to her again, but kept contact with my real sister my mother dumped me in orphanages to keep. My mother had me at 17 and my sister from another father at 18 and a half. Pretty much tells her story getting pregnant by rich men who had no interest in kids.

    The UK is like America a multinational country where immigrants can claim citizenship far too easy. So why the debate whether a super nice kid with immense talent is classed as English is pathetic.

    If Pedro stays longer in the US, will he claim to be American?

    On a football note Ramsdale has frozen Leno out because he wants to leave. That’s encouraging the man who has leaked the most goals over the last few years is our number 1. I’m sure Pedro will find ways to spin the second coming of Emi.

    Bellerin is telling anyone who will listen he left us to win trophies. Obviously like most isn’t an Arteta and Round fan.

    Another record Arteta and Pedro can rejoice about is Spuds are ahead of us in the UEFA rankings for the first time in 29 years. How you going to spin that Pedro? Still it obviously doesn’t bother you because you are still his number 1 fan, surpassing his mother and wife.

    It coms to something when the 2 above points are all that the press have to offer on Arteta & Pedro’s Arsenal. AAFC will have plenty to say once he opens the charity shop and has a lull in putting out the merchandise and serving a couple of customers.

    Reading Sid yesterday also made me realise I can do better being outspoken rather than seething in silence. K’phobe you had much to do with my decision making. Thanks I appreciate your sentiments.

    Alright Bob. I read your thoughts, enough said.

    So I live to fight/post another day thanks mostly to my son, K’phobe, S Asoa, Sid and Pedro being Arteta’s sycophant.

    Pierre
    I’m not biting as I found your sock (Tony) issues deserving of your baiting that was equally as daft as my sock posts. Did you notice when you ceased your baiting most likely because Ozil was no more, and Wenger has been surpassing himself uttering verbal diarrhea about biannual world cups that Pep G wants now he’s interested in international management, which shouldn’t be surprising, as Pep can only manage the top players in the world, which diet Pep is too stupid to understand.

    I watched the Burnley/Everton highlights this morning and hardly shocking Benitez has got Everton on their way to playing good football. Arteta is no match for Benitez or any PL manager for that matter.

    Burnley is a bruiser team so nothing new there. However they can play football bin g the noticeable difference to a Pulis side. Mee no doubt will target White aerially while Whites playing space will be marshaled by Burnley’s MF.

    All this give White time to settle is garbage, He’s a PL ready player, so why does he need more time? Was Brighton that much below or better than us that £50m White needs time? Time for what?

    Arteta loves him an always changing side to fit his view wrongly of the opposition, so White can expect a merry go round of CD partners. Arteta doesn’t do partnerships. I pointed this out before. The best partnership currently on the pitch is Saka and ESR, so Arteta played them on opposite sides of the pitch. We had Mari and Holding in a good CB pairing that got changed for no reason.

    Put Pepe in the inside left with CT and Ode giving him balls into the penalty box and he will add 10+ goals a season not including penalties and probably as many assists. Saka on the inside right roaming around the box supplying assists and scoring himself with ESR should see another 10+ goals between them.

    Auba should be used as an impact sub and one of Martinelli, Bolagun and Eddie as a ST. If only as many of us said last season those 3 forwards should have had a lot more game time than they have.

    We need to buy an established ST proven goalscorer that can give us the goals we’ll miss from Auba. Auba needs a new league because the PL know how to wrap him up or pick his pocket.

    Watching Burnley this morning we can beat them in spite of Arteta and Round. Whether we will is another matter entirely. The NLD is what it is a fight to the death for victory where hope is the only mantra we can hang onto for what generally is like a cup final for every NLD.

    Watching and commenting her on the match I’d say Palace have more chance of beating us as Paddy has got them playing with an identity you’d expect from Paddy. Their win against the Spuds was well thought out tactics adhered by the team with Paddy quiet during the play.

    Anyone wishing to trawl though my posts at the time Arteta was being wrongly considered and I advocated then, if we had to go for a novice then Paddy was the guy to employ.

    Why? Experience Paddy had from NYC and France over the zero experienced Arteta Pedro championed and his next Gazidis moment.

    Congrats Pedro you really know your football, eh? Don’t worry I was your level at your age. I know a bit more now at 66. Shocker I know a real head scratcher for you. One day you’ll wake up and smell the coffee, but until then you and I will be opposites. The only core beliefs we share is our love of the club.

    As mentioned yesterday, a muso friend send me the Delicate Sound of Thunder tour BluRay, which after talking to him last night I found out it’s a general release 2020 version of new footage and improved sound that brings it close to the excellent production of Pulse. A much better version of the original DVD version with a far clearer studio mix.

    A must have for any Floyd fan.

    The original in 88 has kelvin issues and a lot of shots were pasty because of the light values and the cameras back them lacking high ISO settings to modern cameras. The sound was a little jumbled because of cross over frequencies not being isolated or better noise gates used.

    https://shop.pinkfloyd.com/product/X3AMPF715/pink-floyd-delicate-sound-of-thunder-theatrical-release-bluray-dvd

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWA6d67Xab8

    I’ll be ordering the box set as well

    Have a good day Grovers you included Pedro.