ESR AND SAKA THE MEN THAT SHOWED THE BOYS

by .

Well, the first game in a while I haven’t been able to properly review because I didn’t see it. I can’t even get it on ESPN after the game. Really weird to not have any coverage.

Still, at least the stadium saw 50,000 home fans for a game against a very small side. That’s fantastic. The fatalist view that the stadium would be empty this season seems to be as far off the mark as the idea the fans would make their feelings known in the stands.

Arteta didn’t give us the League Cup side we wanted. Patino didn’t make the bench and there wasn’t much in the way of youthful surprises, but he has a first-team to take care of and winning momentum is obviously high on the agenda.

A lot of people struggled with the idea that Thomas Partey started, concerned that he should be rested. I’m not sure that’s ever going to be a goer when the player is struggling for match fitness after a slow start to the season. He needs minutes. Bodies need to be stretched early in the season. It was the right decision to play him for 60 minutes.

According to pals sending me voice note match reports, the first half was a bit average bar the decent penalty, then Saka and ESR changed the game and ‘were the men that showed the boys where the level was’ (Alfred & Sam from the GC). We exited the game with 19 attempts at goal, and a pretty average 5 shots on target… but Wimbledon didn’t hit the target and were reduced to just 4 attempts at Leno’s goal.

Bukayo looked good when he came on at right midfield. It’s his best position and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him deployed there against Spurs.

Martinelli won the penalty, but still looks a little bit out of sorts. This is the problem we’ll have all season with our young players, they’ll bounce in and out of form as they learn the game. He has too many of the raw ingredients needed not to be a roaring success.

Lots of fans praising Sambi, the kid is a star in the making, it’s going to be a huge shout for Arteta to drop him with Granit coming back into the side for the NLD

Is there something worth moaning about? Of course. It’s a bit sad to see Balogun not landing minutes. He signed a new deal with Arsenal to play games, he’s not getting them, and Eddie who is leaving, is getting them. Eddie is clearly further ahead, but it seems odd to give that game time to the 3rd choice striker who is out. Based on the Brentford game, Balogun should have taken a loan, he’s quite a way off where he needs to be, but hopefully, there’s some time for him against Leeds.

My other major concern is that we’re absolutely bland as algebra if we don’t have our creators on the pitch. We take up the right positions but don’t know how to bang. We need a Patino like kid to make the break, because a midfield of Mo, AMN, and Partey ain’t cutting it.

Over the other side of North London, Spurs rolled with a strongish team to beat Wolves away from him. Harry Kane got the Thomas Partey treatment and obviously scored.  They still couldn’t win in open play though. The longer game should leave them feeling a little leggier than Arsenal. The shit nights sleep will certainly benefit us as well.

3 wins on the bounce for Arsenal. Things are getting better, very slowly. This weekend is really all that matters. Huge for both managers, both clubs, and both sets of fans. Let’s see what we have!

Recording a new podcast a little later today.

GOOGLE | ACAST | STITCHER


229 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Venga, Dani

first?

Venga, Dani

Get in!

Who is the AC Milan fan on here? Is it Bati? Just saw Alexis Saelemaekers tear Venezia a new one. Never heard of the guy but he looked pretty special.

Dolomite

Trophy

Leftside

Tro4hy

Dolomite

4th is the new 8th

MD-Gunner

5th first time

China1

Lol almunia your stories get better and better

MD-Gunner

Good none footballing News:
Missouri Supreme Court upholds ruling that Stan Kroenke and others have to turn over financial information. Fines of $1000 per day per person will commence next week if they fail to comply. No award of punitive damages properly can be determined without knowing the amount of money the defendant has.

Oh hit Stan where it hurts most in the pocketbook.

Venga, Dani

Great to hear MD

Guns of SF

how does that affect Arsenal tho?

MD-Gunner

This court case has been dragging on since 2016 and both against Stan and the NFL there is convincing evidence presented to the courts that fraud was committed by them, thus they lost every single case before the different courts.

Guns of SF

cooking the books lol

Venga, Dani

@Guns – think Stan is going to most likely owe an extremely large sum of money. We can at least hope that that might prompt a more serious listen to people like Spotify guy.

MD-Gunner

For once there is pressure on Stan and his interest in Arsenal will be even less because his beloved Rams are his focus. This can be a good or bad thing for Arsenal, bad even less investment in Arsenal financially as well as emotionally. Good thing it may help moving him closer to selling. It will be bad publicity in the open which can only be good for any Arsernal fan.

salparadisenyc

I’m sure Stan is really fretting the 1k per fine.

Venga, Dani

Haha not the 1k fine Sal. The fine comes in if Stan doesnt turn over financial docs, which would be used to determine the punitive damages. That’s the sum of money I’m referencing.

Guns of SF

1k per day? he can go the entire year and just yawn

Leedsgunner

If it was up to me Xhaka would never play a game for us again.

We have the personnel to play better without him.

I can still see Arteta persisting with Xhaka though, even if it goes disastrously wrong in the NLD.

Guns of SF

Leeds
My gut tells me he is going to pick xhaka like we have all been accustomed to. However, a little voice is now telling me, he might not.
I think it will be telling to see what happens…
More realistically, xhaka comes on for TP or loko and then after this game, gets his starting place back

Dissenter

That Missouri can will drag on forever, attorneys will use a thousand and one ways to stall it.
By the time, the dust settles, thew fine will be a measly fee.

People need to go raed up on the Robert Kraft solicitation charges to understand the magic that armies of attorneys charging $500/hr can do

Like Sal wrote, Kroenke isn’t losing any sleep over the civil suit. He would have factored that into the cost of his LA move.He would have sought legal advice before moving.

Mashing nashers

You read Arteta’s post match comments about nketiah, it’s a pointed critique on other lads training and professionalism. Nketiah is probably training his ballsack off, and other lads are lounging around and on the balloons. Perhaps it’s a message to Patino, Balogun, Hutchinson and the other youngsters that there is a level of training you have to achieve BEFORE you get to play a second-tier match. It could be a salutary lesson – I imagine Arteta has been blowing a lot of smoke up youngsters bums to get them to sign, stuff about pathways of development, first team squad places… Read more »

China1

If Eddie played as well yesterday as he did in preseason we should be trying to tie him down to a new contract I know there are 5 strikers if you count martinelli but sure at least one of laca or auba are leaving this summer. Eddie looks like a viable backup option to a main striker right now. Balogun looks more raw but can justify a 3rd place spot. Martinelli can compete for the wings in the mean time. But I think it’s premature to assume Eddie must leave. If he was second choice taking laca’s place in the… Read more »

China1

The big question we need to know for the Spurs game is

1) does Xhaka play?
2) does Leno play?

I’m not enormously concerned about anything else besides those

China1

Wow doesn’t it feel nice when we have less shit players to worry about?

We used to ask

How bad will bellerin be today
How bad will Leno be today
How bad will Xhaka be today
How bad will Willian be today

Etc etc

And in previous years add in Ozil, Mustafi, etc etc

That number is gradually decreasing thank fuck

China1

Arteta sucks tactically but at least if he will finally stop picking the dross he will stop hampering his own chances even more

Leedsgunner

Nketiah praise and time on the pitch is Arteta on the charm offensive… Arteta is trying to go over Nketiah’s agent’s head to his client’s heart… for him to sign a new contract with us. As I see it, if he does, Nketiah’s agent loses out on a lucrative pay day. Nketiah leaving the club on a free is about the player AND his agent hitting the jackpot when he signs the new deal with the new club. In fact I heard that Arsenal and Crystal Palace had an agreed a fee between themselves. The player even agreed a wage… Read more »

Guns of SF

I hope Lo Celso gets kicked in the ass hard too. Cant stand that fool

Venga, Dani

@Leeds – Nketiah has same agent as Balogun…a bit complicated

Guns of SF

if we can keep Son quiet, we can win, that fool always scores on us.
I hate that he is a spur, should have joined us instead

Guns of SF

I think we win 2-1
We will score from open play… ESR.
I might change my mind but im feeling this today.

DivineSherlock

I swear now I have seen this many times now , Saka and ESR play well together when not on opposite flanks . No offense to Odegaard but he should be #8 or moved to the left. Drop Pepe if you have to but play Saka and ESR together.

Leedsgunner

It’s well known that Nketiah and Balogun have the same agent. Until Balogun signed his extension, I suspect his agent was expecting his client to leave on a free – reaping a good sum elsewhere with the number of clubs monitoring Balogun. When Balogun signed with us his agent probably didn’t make as much as he could have done… if his client signed elsewhere. I reckon his agent is trying to make sure he doesn’t repeat the same twice…except I don’t think Nketiah is being chased as much as Balogun was. Really, Nketiah should have been sold January 2021 when… Read more »

Guns of SF

isnt laca contract up in summer? If so he is gone… maybe we sell in Jan

Venga, Dani

Yeah Laca is in his last year

China1

Eddie sign da ting

Now is a good time for us if he does because he hasn’t done enough to warrant especially high wages

Seriously tho Auba is on his last legs, out of form and will be gone within 2 years max

Laca is in the last year of his contract. The path to lots of game time is very much there if Eddie keeps doing well and is willing to fight for it

Guns of SF

anyone want to take a gander at describing the differences between Eddie and Balogun?

Gonsterous

Great result, and a great booster for the upcoming game against spuds. They are on a low so if we nick a win, I think we can build momentum to climb up the table.

The brentford loss really coming back to bite us in the arse because if we win spuds, and had won that brentford game, we would be in top 4 spots.

At the end of the day, whether arteta stays or goes, I’m always behind an arsenal win.

Guns of SF

I think Auba leaves next summer if we dont make top 4 or win a cup of sorts.

China1

With a few wins and lots of clean sheets on the bounce it certainly makes things less grumpy. Long May that continue

Guns of SF

Gons
Yea keep an eye on that loss, it was a gimme and end of season we might be rueing the loss even more….
If we miss top 4 by a point or something…

But lets not go there. Lets be optimistic

China1

I also think Leeds is probably a good draw

It’s not easy but very winnable with a professional performance. As much as the league cup is the bottom tier trophy, I really would like us to win it for once

China1

As much as Harry Kane is good I have a feeling they could regret not selling him for 100+m

If he gets injured, has a bad season or whatever I think their hand could be weakened next time. He’s already looked a bit off colour. meanwhile I think two very carefully picked 50m players would probably do more for their team than 1 100m player.

You think back to liverpool years back. They sold coutinho for a fortune then reinvested really well in the following years and kicked on.

Guns of SF

China
They know what they are doing, we are still trying to figure it out…
but I think we are getting better at it.
We do need to get better mids and get our attack going…. or it will be a really long season

Habesha Gooner

We are in a decent run before the derby. I think we have a good chance to win considering spurs are in shambles right now. This is the Lineup I would go with and I don’t think there is going to be much debate on it bar two players. Ramsdale, Tomi, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Lokonga, Saka, Odegaard, ESR, Auba. Pepe needs to be on the bench for this one. Xhaka should only make the bench and I don’t think he should come on before AMN either. He needs to earn his place. I know that playing ESR at LW… Read more »

MD-Gunner

As much as I want Arsenal to win, for the NLD the idiom “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” comes to mind after all we are dealing with the saucy one to arrange the starting XI plus the bench and have a game plan plus strategy on how carve open the Sp*ds. On the opposing site you have Nuno and he might be just more saucy then Tets.

TeeCee

Sorry but Eddie is a poor striker. Too lightweight and not good enough for a top half team. Keeping Eddie shows no ambition, nice guy but like Elneny…….no thank you!!

Almuniasaynomore

The boardroom,Emirates stadium. The now weekly meeting of the Brotherhood of Arsenal’s Sincere Trusted And Really Dedicated Servants (B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S) is taking place. Despite the success against high flying Burnley the mood is far more sombre than the celebrations following the epic win over all conquering Norwich. The men and woman sat around the illustrious table seem unusually aware of the heritage of the club which they are meant to serve. The gaze of the former chairmen and managers, whose portraits are arranged along the walls, seems to weigh heavily on them. Chairman Josh Kroenke stands to address the members. JK:… Read more »

Habesha Gooner

CRAP
Constantly Recalibrating Arsenal’s Progress
😂😂😂 I love it.

Northbanker

China I agree with you – Spurs should have cashed in. I felt the same when we renewed Auba’s contract. Sell at the top with a player of that age. I can’t however blame either club for keeping their prized asset but look at the return we’ve had since we put Auba on Ozil-like nillions.

Graham62

Balogun, where can I start? When he first came on the scene he looked great. Positive, dynamic, hungry. He looked more than ready to take that step up. So what’s happened? How come he’s fallen so far off the pace? Why is it that he has lost that spark that we first saw when he burst onto the scene? What goes for Balogun can be said of all our youngsters. What special potion is Arteta including in their daily diets that accounts for their form and development being affected so much? My perceptions may be way off the mark but… Read more »

Ishola70

To win the League Cup you have to hope Man City have a hiccup along the way and pray not to draw them too early.

It’s basically their cup.

And as the League Cup is one where we see rotational sides play this is of course perfect for Man City given the overall strength and choices they have among their overall squad.

Graham62

Give these same players to Wenger in his pomp and it would have been oh so different.

There you go, I do remember the positive aspects of Wenger.

Ben+D

Good game last night. Wimbledon were no slouches. They played well in parts but we controlled the game well. I was at the game, it felt like there were more ‘tourist’ fans than usual, which probably explains the high attendance number.

I have a good feeling about Sunday. COYG!!!!

Graham62

Ah yes, “tourist fans”

The world has changed.

How many would have attended without the tourists I wonder?

NORG

G62

Tourists have played a major part in the attendance figures for decades. Now the high attendance is made up of a high number of people who are attending the game because they usually are unable to get tickets. If you recall the games at Wembley for European football – the crowds were just under 80,000 – most were not regular attendees.

China1

Habesha agreed on your analysis

Esr played left against Spurs last season and ran their fullback into the ground

Pierre

As i have been saying for the last couple of years , the kids have never let us down on the pitch. They have got us through the group stages in europe with ease, same with the league cup and FA cup early rounds. Any one who thinks Balogun is ahead of Eddie Eddie doesn’t understand the game, Balogun is still learning , Eddie is 100% ready and as far as I’m concerned should be starting. We may have a similar situation to smith rowe and willock develooing here, in that Eddie needs a little injury or 2 to players… Read more »

Sid

I would go with Partey and one of Lokonga/Ode in Holding midfield ESR in the hole, Saka right, Pepe left, Eddie up top.

If Auba plays up top, replace Pepe on the left with Martinelli.

Jamie

Nice win last night. I’ve only seen the 4 minute highlights on arsenal.com, but Eddie’s goal was great.

OGS knocked out by the Chosen One. Poor old Bam can’t catch a break.

Pierre

Eddie in pre season from the left

https://youtu.be/bJh1jOEC4Jg

raptora

I’m really enjoying how Cedric celebrates the goals. So much pashun!

Pierre

Eddie from the left v chelsea pre season

https://youtu.be/49ytG5qmbxA

raptora

Great stuff, Almunia! CRAP is definitely a thing for the history books LOL

Habesha Gooner

Pedro, You seem to have reposted the previous post. And I don’t know on which post to comment 😂😂😂

shaun

“Ramsdale, Tomi, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Lokonga, Saka, Odegaard, ESR, Auba” looks right to me although I would swap ESR for Pepe obviously lol………………….lol .i just prefer ESR in the 10 position and although they have completely different styles of play they tend to drift into the same positions to receive the ball they being ODE and ESR .I actually prefer ESR in the 10 position but he is still a little naïve and his decision making is not quite what it should be .I would probably start ODE in the 10 and then bring ESR on when the spuds… Read more »

Muppetman

You know Kane who has looked shite all season will have a worldie against us!

Captain Tierney

‘As much as Harry Kane is good I have a feeling they could regret not selling him for 100+mIf he gets injured, has a bad season or whatever I think their hand could be weakened next time’

Yeah and seems to happen a lot nowadays. More of a psychological than players not turning up imo.
Alexis, Aouar 2 players off the top of my head who didn’t have the best of seasons after being denied a move.

Sky

It’s encouraging, slow but good progress, Laca scoring and getting minutes.All of these tees up to a very hopeful NLD. Patino will have his day!

Rich

How Nketiah + Balogun haven’t handed their agent his P45, I’ll never know How have both his client stayed at Arsenal this summer…. No European football, and a first team squad of 27, he should have got one of them out on loan for the season and prioritised playing time Even if Nketiah had to sign a 12 month extension in order to take a season long loan, that would have been more beneficial to his career trajectory, than sitting around twiddling his thumbs He’s 22, and he’s being advised horrendously, he’s wasting another season of his progression, numerically we… Read more »

Naija+soccer

My starting 11 against the Chickenheads on Sunday.

Laca

Pepe/Martinelli. ESR. Saka.

Ode/Lokonga. – Partey.

Tierney. Gabriel. White. Tomiyasu.
Ramsdale.

*Arteta must play Saka in his best position, right wing.

*ESR must be played next to Saka, they Ying Yang each other so well.

*Odegaard sometimes gives me Modric vibes so would like to see him as a CM

*Pepe is better on the left. DO NOT PLAY HIM ON THE RIGHT!

China1

I hope we have xhakaneny pairing in midfield to dominate the game

Graham62

If GX plays against Spuds, Arteta should be handed his P45.

Guns of SF

As long as we see TP and Loko in the middle, Ill be happy…
Hope they last the entire game….I dont want to see GX

Zacharse

Stan is still far off from having to pay anything just yet, probably years before he pays a dime.
Diss
Robert Kraft had all charges dropped against him as his arrest was textbook entrapment. Trump had his allies in palm beach doing this sting presumably, as it was an utter failure.

“ That number is gradually decreasing thank fuck”
Agreed

Wondering if a blow out is on the cards saturday. I could see a high scoring game where we pummel them and make a few mistakes on the way. NLD doesnt care about form, could be our moment

Habesha Gooner

We need to sell Pepe at the end of this season. I bet we can get around 30 mil from him. He is still 26 and teams will take a chance on him. Italy will have suitors for him. And their finances will be much better at the end of this season due to fans returning. May be French clubs might take a chance too but I highly doubt it. May be at ridiculously low prices like 20 mil or something. There is value out there if we got 30 for him though. Aston villa got Leon Bailey for 30… Read more »

Guns of SF

Habesha
Now you jinxed it and Pepe will score a few this weekend. LOL

Gazza

Pedro Longer game for Spurs ? What the 10 mins for 1 extra pen kick for 5 players…

Zacharse

Surprised how highly eddie is thought of. He doesnt do it for me. Too many shades of Theo- doesnt have the hunger/killer instinct but he does have a pretty cool head which could develop. Still for me not sure he ever reaches CL level a la Theo

Graham62

For my sins, I’m a Pepe fan. Of course he’s not worth anything near the amount we paid for him but can anyone on here honestly say that since he arrived he has been used wisely and felt an integral part of the team? Yes he can be an exceptionally frustrating player but there have been many occasions where he does something special. Do I think Arteta has done a satisfactory job with him? No, I most definitely don’t. The Willian scenario didn’t help matters as has persevering with him out on the right most of the time. For me… Read more »

Guns of SF

Graham
Pepe needs a free roaming role. He is best when not static… and moving across the front line.
Too small and weak to be striker tho IMO.

A second striker behind Auba, perhaps this is his best spot.

Valentin

I don’t understand how the lower League clubs have accepted the removal of replay and extra time after draw to go straight to penalty. Smaller premiership clubs already snubbed the cups and fielded fringe players in favour of staying in the premiership. Lower League clubs with aspiration toward automatic promotion also considered the cups as an unwelcome distraction and many field weaker teams. In the previous round, WestBrom did not try to pretend they were remotely interested in a giant killing. They put their own U23 team against Arsenal. People may argue that big clubs ignored the domestic cups, but… Read more »

Zacharse

Hot take
Arteta has a solid season for us, we miss CL on final matchday. Barca poaches arteta and fires koeman

Ishola70

Valentin

Man City have won the League Cup four on the bounce.

So they have another additional advantage now do they?

I don’t think it really matters does it.

Man City win it every season because they have an overall strong squad and we don’t see their strongest team until they reach the final.

Graham62

What constitutes a good coach?
Simple.
Someone who makes the most of the tools at his disposal, even if it means binning those tools that are detrimental to the teams progress..(GX/ Leno/ Willian etc).
Has Arteta done this?
No!

alexanderhenry

Have to say, Nketia’s finish was sublime. Pure instinct.

Yes, it was a carabao cup game against Wimbledon, but you never know Nketia could be the next Jimmy Greaves.

Ishola70

May already have been seen by some.

Tuchel “the bully” apparently.

An aspect that some Arsenal fans have complained about regarding Arteta.

But obviously Tuchel has many more elements than just the bullying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0VH6BL5_cg&ab_channel=DWKickoff%21

Venga, Dani

Think Xavi will be Barca manager surely with Laporta back

shaun

“For my sins, I’m a Pepe fan.” yep me 2 and with out him lego head would only have 4 points now.If Pepe has scored 16 goals last season and had 8 assists and was playing for Brighton or palace do you honestly think we could by him for 20 or 30 million . he needs to be played on the left with quick tempo football not this dullard JDP bollocks lego head serves up .oh yeah swap him for leon baily or better yet sancho …jokers honestly

curse

Tom, “Curse, I don’t think they can even afford to fire Koeman” facts 😂😂 I think the Gun/Eddie situation is clear when looking through a different lense. To me they are not in the same boat, that’s where the confusion comes in. Eddie is competing with Laca and is not good enough as his all round game, especially his hold up play is average. He’s not for the future and never will be. The Gun is for the future and won’t be starting for us any time soon, even if he went on loan at the start of this season.… Read more »

Naija+soccer

Guns

I agree with Pepe needing a free role hence why I m crying for him to be played behind striker. Wenger used to play Ramsey on the wing for a while, then he moved him to the middle and his game vastly improved.

I think the same thing would happen to Pepe

Habesha Gooner

Guns
I hope so. Even those of us that have defended pepe are finding it hard to continue defending him. I think we need to cut our losses in the long run. But I will never understand posters that shit on pepe who has been here 2 years and is contributing something and defend someone like Xhaka who has been shit for almost the entirety of his Arsenal career.

Graham62

shaun

In total agreement.

“JDP bollocks” I also agree.

curse

GunSF, too small? thought Nicholas was 6ft? weak? you’ve forgotten the palace goal haven’t you?

Graham62

Nketiah is talented.

Unfortunately, our manager isn’t.

Dissenter

Tuchel started from Mainz and moved up the ladder as he learned his trade.
Arreta started at Arsenal and will probably work his way down the ladder.

Dissenter

Tuchel must have tampered his ego down over time/
He doesn’t mess with Marina at Chelsea, maybe it’s having a woman in charge that keeps some egos in check.

Habesha Gooner

Shaun
I actually would swap pepe with Sancho or Leon Bailey. They offer much more than just a goal threat in patches. I don’t rate Arteta. But him being in charge hasn’t stopped ESR and Saka putting in decent performances. Pepe is a good player for a specific counter attacking system. He has been horrendous in tight spaces. He makes crap decisions in those moments. We just overpaid.

Guns of SF

Curse

You think Pepe is 6foot? Nah
Maybe about 155 lbs max too, hardly enough body mass, to play as an all out striker… how many times does he get pushed off the ball?

Hence why I think just behind the striker, causing problems with his movement, confusing the defense, etc…

second striker maybe or one who plays in the hole

Guns of SF

Diss- lol

Arreta started at Arsenal and will probably work his way down the ladder.

1 2 3