JOY JOY JOY

by .

I spent the day listening to all the great podcasts, reading all the blogs, and even venturing over to some Spurs Youtubers that were most entertaining.

‘WE PLAY LIKE BAGEL FC, FAM’ one of my favourite lines.

I particularly loved The Arsenal Vision Podcast opening statements, do check them out.

Everyone seems to have bought into the project now. That’s a big shift from where we were a few weeks ago and the club has to be applauded for moving on the loose threads.

Everyone knows what we’re doing.

We can’t be City or Chelsea, so we have to go the path that is the smartest. That’s signing established young players about the bang. Does that get to CL glory as fast as signing 5 Jack Grealish’s? No. But we can’t afford to be that club moving forward. The problem with that strategy is the expense. Jack Grealish is a now player, in 3 years time, he’ll be fading out. We’ve had a crack at that approach, what did we learn? We can’t afford to hit Jack G levels, but we can afford older more experienced players… and it doesn’t work.

Arteta and his team are working hard to bring the fans into the process. We are part of it, whether you like it or not, and the manager knows that this whole vision fails if he doesn’t have us onside. YankeeGunner read into the end of the game a little hard, but it was pertinent that all 6 of the summer signings were on the pitch after the 90. I think the rest of the team was made up of players he’d given deals to. What does that say? This is Arteta’s team now.

The overarching theme of it all is joy. I’ve penned a piece about the meaning of Arsenal for The Gooner, which you must buy to read. But one of my themes is joy. Arsenal fans control the narrative. We decide if we want to back an idea or shit on it. We have decided that we will control our mood this season. We won’t cave to the attention seekers. We won’t cower to our inner demons and give up like the meek. We’ll show up and get behind this group of young players who are outrageously likeable.

I’m a Ramsdalian, no doubt. I watched that 90 back. He’s electric, as Dissenter in the comments said, he’s a bit of a showman. We’ve needed that. Leno is a top keeper, but he’s a bit meek. Tomiyasu, what a fucking player. Arteta bought in outrageous specificity with him. He wanted a right back that could play centre back so he could tuck in and support long balls over the top. The move was pure genius. No one is crying over James Maddison because Odegaard is going to prove a better signing. Ben White just quietly got on with dominating Harry Kane. We can now look back on our signings from last season and say… maybe there were some good ones? Gabriel looks like our best centre back, dominant, great at passing, far calmer on the ball. Thomas Partey is a top 3 midfielder in the league.

I don’t even need to sell you on the Hale-Enders… but one thing I will say: Arteta rolled out AMN, not Mo Elneney. That is progress. We’ve shifted out 30 odd players in 2 years. We’ve promoted from within. Signed very young players from all over the world. We just won a NLD Derby with the youngest ever starting 11.

Are things looking up? They might be.

Short one today. Check out our podcast. Small not on that, we ranked 55 for Sports podcasts in the UK this week. That is huge for us considering how good the podosphere is. Podcasting is a different level of commitment and it is absolutely painful to build an audience. So thank you for sticking it out as we searched for a formula and thank you to Johnny and Matt for making the shows so much fun.

NOW LISTEN.

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214 Responses to “JOY JOY JOY”

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  1. Guns of SF

    Not sure we need him with Lokonga now, but then again, xhaka is hurt, TP will miss games and Loko is a question mark.
    So yea, having a Bissouma would be a good option at some point

  2. Steg

    With Xhaka’s injury, I’d love to see AMN start. Give him a chance to prove himself in midfield. Let Partey play a bit more offensively. Honestly don’t think we need to buy a new midfielder. Got youth players coming out of our ears and they need a route through. Lokonga and AMN can 100% fill in for Xhaka.

  3. Domagoj+B

    Everyone seems to have bought into the project now. That’s a big shift from where we were a few weeks ago and the club has to be applauded for moving on the loose threads.

    Everyone knows what we’re doing.

    Not everyone Pedro, much too early to make such assumptions, we’ve had many false dawns in the past. You’re extreme positivity after dismissing arteta just a few weeks before, as well as the whole direction of the club is concerning to me.

  4. Pierre

    Arteta has many options with Xhaka out, including putting Odegaard alongside partey with Smith rowe moving more centrally into Odegaard’s position , and then bringing in either Pepe , Martinelli or Nketiah into the inside left position that smith rowe occupied.

    Doing this will give players like Martinelli and Nketiah the chance to impress, neither would let the side down im my opinion, just a pity that Willock isn’t still at the club as he would have thrived in that position.

    Of course Lakonga is the natural replacement for xhaka but with AMN and Elneny available there is certainly no comcern having xhaka out of the sde , who was a player that 95% of fans were happy to see leave in the summer.

    Odegaard, for me is a better version of Xhaka anyway, good presser with more mobility than xhaka (not difficult) .and a wider passing range, the only part of the game that xhaka could be missed is defending set pieces , though with Tomiyasu now a permanent fixture in the side , he is very strong in the air and is now assigned near post duties at corners which was an area we had looked suspect.

  5. Rich

    Nigel Tufnel

    Going to Newcastle to play consistently was a good move for Willock

    Young players improve with consistent football, he’s 22, he’s still learning the game

    He’s absolutely rapid over short and long distances, he knows how to score a goal, he’s now filling out, and looks powerful

    Providing he stays fit, he’ll develop into a top player over the next 12-24 months

    Gnabry needed 2 loans in Germany before going to Bayern, Malen needed 3 seasons in Holland in order to develop

    I’m delighted we signed Odegaard who’s a top player, and stylistically what we needed

    The timing wasn’t right for Willock at Arsenal, and a move suited both parties in a difficult market

    But writing off 22 year olds, who are yet to play a whole season consistently, is knee jerk

    Willock at 24, with 2 whole seasons of competitive football behind him, will be an entirely different player to the one he is now

  6. Pierre

    I think the Brighton bubble is ready to burst and Arsenal will win comfortably at the weekend.

    Maupay , i don’t particularly rate, welbeck is injured, though Trossard has the game to cause us problems , but overall i think we will boss the game, especially if the excellent Bissouma is out injured..

    We should be going into the game with confidence as the side has a better balance to it now.
    Hopefully Arteta won’t mess with the starting line up or system/tactics and just bring in a Xhaka replacement to maintain the balance in the side.

  7. kjelli

    There needs to be a AMN project put in motion.. make Ainsley a world class midfielder, he has
    what it takes if he keeps a cool head and concentration levels high. He can keep Trossard silent
    on the weekend..

  8. Pierre

    Midfielders like xhaka and partey succumb to injuries if they overstretch themselves.

    They should stick to what they do best , patrolling the midfield area, as that is what their bodies are accustomed to.
    V Tottenham, Xhaka decided to play to the crowd and chase the keeper down and suffered for it as his body is used to xhaka slowly ambling around in the midfield area and reacted in a negative way to Xhaka running at full speed for more than a couple of yards.

    Partey’s injuries have been when he decided to stretch his body too much going forward and he picked up a couple of injuries.

    Tierney is another who needs to learn about his own body as he needs to understand that if he pushes too hard his body will break , similar to Aaron Ramsey..

    I have a feeling that Tierney (like Ramsey)will never learn and will continually pick up muscle injuries

  9. Rich

    Pierre

    Xhaka got a knee injury when he watched the ball, and a player went tumbling into his stationary leg

    It was a freak injury

    Xhaka’s fitness is superb, he got a bit of cramp after being out for over a month through COVID + suspension

    I agree about Partey though, he’s only lasted 90 mins in 10 league games

    He regularly gasses out after 70 minutes, tired legs, tired mind, and his passing becomes erratic

    It’s why Xhaka’s injury is a bigger blow than some would care to admit, particularly with so many young players already in the team

    Big opportunity now though for one of Sambi, Niles or Elneny

    Hopefully one of them steps up and takes it

    Unless we go back with Pepe, but the balance in midfield didn’t look quite right against Burnley

  10. Raulishuss

    Esr like nasri and rosicky are playmakers that are more facilitators than controlers. They are better suited to inside wing positions. Same with pires,jack g, foden etc

  11. Knagg Champa

    Which striker do you think we should be looking at as Lacazette’s contract winds down

    A replacement striker aiming for the number 1 spot

    Any one in particular for suggestions?

  12. Pierre

    Rich
    “Xhaka got a knee injury when he watched the ball, and a player went tumbling into his stationary legIt was a freak injury”

    You are right in that respect but I believe that without the lung long busting run to chase down the keeper moments before the injury , which in itself caused Xhaka discomfort , he would have been more aware and focused and, dare i say it , agile and the injury wouldn’t have occired, I think his body was taken out of it’s comfort zone….jist my take on it of course.

  13. Pierre

    Rich
    “Xhaka’s fitness is superb”

    And there is reason for that, he normally understands his body and the limits it can go , however he got caught up in all the excitement and decided to chase around for 30 seconds like a martinelli and his body thought “what the fuck is goong on here” and packed up on him.

  14. Rich

    I’d like to see an internal replacement for Lacazette

    Get Balogun out on loan at the end of January, once the African cup is finished, and Auba + Pepe are back

    See how he does with 15-20 games in the Championship, which was really beneficial to Smith Rowe a couple of seasons back

    Or give Nketiah/Martinelli a run in the team

    We’ll have to get the balance between youth + experience right, but we’ve got some really talented young players

  15. Bob N16

    Pierre, your theory that he was effectively in the red zone is slightly clutching at straws.Xhaka’s injury was just unlucky, nothing to do with just having made a forward run. He wouldn’t have expected that Partey would foul Moira onto his leg while he was looking at the ball.

  16. AFC Forever

    Pedro

    “There are a few players at Marseille who are struggling with Guendouzi. His way of working, when he always blames others for things, when he falls to his knees in training to implore God because a touch isnt good enough, it grates”

    Yep, remember the dive in his own penalty area that cost them the game, despite being warned about his diving?

    In coaching circles one of the most important things you look for is attitude. Better players are often rejected because of a poor attitude and the negative affect their behaviour is likely to have on other players. The saying about it only taking one bad apple is true. This is a team sport not an individual one.

    When you listen to players like Saka and ESR you feel proud, you can see how humble they are. These are nice kids. Getting rid of Guendouzi was 100% the correct decision, especially now we have even more young players around the place. He needs to sort himself out.

  17. Bob N16

    Our succession planning with our CFs is less than ideal; there were so many other areas that had to be dealt with this last window.

    PEA clearly number 1, Laca and Nketiah in their last year of contracts and two promising 20 year olds needing minutes.

    In retrospect, Nketiah should have gone out on loan from Jan last season. Balogun should definitely get loaned out this Jan – there was a good argument for him having a season long loan but that was probably messed up by Nketiah staying.

    Martinelli is a slight concern- will he get enough game time? Injuries will of course happen but it feels as though his progress has stalled through lack of minutes.

    Assume we’ll buy a 23-25 in the summer.

  18. Jamie

    Eddie and Marti are streets ahead of Balogun in terms of progression/output. The former two will most likely replace Auba and Pepe in the squad/on the bench during their absence at the AFCON. Replacing Partey is the big worry for me.

    The basement European comp would’ve been a great opportunity to bed in some fringe youngsters this season. Finding decent loan moves for some of them is imperative in Jan.

    Arteta should be putting out his strongest fit 11 every single league game until the end of the season. Now isn’t the time for experiments.

    For the second time in as many days, Pierre is right about something. Isak is hot sauce.

  19. raptora

    Mentioning Bamford, I went to check his twitter. One never gets disappointed.

    @afabulousopera6 Aug 31
    Whatever negativity we see today will pale in comparison to what we will see if/when Arsenal don’t get a result against Norwich or Burnley and if/when Arsenal lose to Spurs. I don’t see Arteta surviving those three matches. #afc

    @afabulousopera6 Sept 28
    Arteta has managed to do better than I thought he would, obviously. I remain unconvinced by him, however, and I think he’ll soon enough be back in the hot water. Let’s see where he has Arsenal in early December. Arsenal fans who think Sunday is a sign of bright things to come will be disappointed over the next two months, IMO. Sunday was more about Spurs being a mess defensively & a sloppy press playing into Arteta’s hands than it was about Arsenal turning a corner. Time will tell, tho.

    @clockendsniper Sept 28
    It’s as if you’d prefer us to lose to be right! I just don’t get it.

    @afabulousopera6 Sept 28
    One, I’m more an observer of Arsenal than a fan. Two, I don’t think Arteta is the right man for the job and I think the squad has a ways to go to even compete for top six, so I still think much change is needed.

  20. AFC Forever

    Rich

    “We’ll have to get the balance between youth + experience right, but we’ve got some really talented young players”

    That is a very important point.

    These are good young players but they lack experience. You need experienced heads, especially when things go a bit pear-shaped as they will from time to time. What I like about the squad now is the balance and the fact we have cover for key positions, something that has hurt us before. Losing big players is always a problem, of course, we saw that with Partey’s injuries and Aubameyangs poor form last season. With the AFCON we will be losing experienced, key players and that’s when Lacazette will be important imo. Unless he’s moved on.

    Striking options
    There has been talk, quite rightly, of striking options going forward. Unfortunately, Laca and Auba are different players, so if Laca comes into the team, we have to tweak the system. It’s one of the reasons Pep isn’t so keen on playing a number 9, which is what Laca is really. Too static and doesn’t impact the centre backs enough. The Rondo Positional game is all about movement and fluid interchange, which is why Gabriel Jesus was talking about how important it was he had been learning how to play wide. That may mean we will start seeing a bit more of Martinelli, who is already versed in playing down the side and centrally. He is probably more interchangeable and ahead of the curve in the system Arteta prefers to the other strikers we have, who tend to be more traditional strikers. If we lose Auba, it will impact on our system which suggests that’s where we may spend some money on a mobile forward and that may mean an experienced one if Laca leaves. Shame Henry and RVP aren’t a few years younger!

  21. Jamie

    “One, I’m more an observer of Arsenal than a fan.”

    Bam was born a cunt. Waxing lyrical here for years about how to be the right kind of supporter, and when the going gets tough he drops Arsenal and runs up the road into OGS’ arms.

    Still can’t believe he stole Benny’s details in order to circumvent his le-grove ban and post positive puff pieces about himself in the 3rd person. Genuine lunatic.

  22. Rich

    I’m broadly done with big players, on massive contracts, with big ego’s, giant transfer fees, and flash sports cars

    Whilst I’d prefer we promoted internally to replace Lacazette

    We couldn’t go wrong looking at Toney at Brentford, if we did decide to enter the market

    Always preferred Wenger’s mantra

    “We don’t buy superstars, we make them”

  23. Ashwin Gunner

    Pedro

    Not sure if you will see this. but my chat button on the bottom right of the screen shows blank pop up when clicked. Is it supposed to work with some specific browser? Is it intended only for Mobile view? I am using PC

  24. AFC Forever

    Jamie

    “Still can’t believe he stole Benny’s details in order to circumvent his le-grove ban and post positive puff pieces about himself in the 3rd person. Genuine lunatic.”

    How is it even possible to steal someone’s details?

    That Dariano nonsense is an indicator that he’s a sausage short of a hotdog.

  25. Jamie

    Everyone here ‘registers’ an email address in order to post. Bam got BennyDeVito’s from Twitter I think, tried it here and was able to post as Benny. Pete told me Bam tried dozens of times to get back in using a Proxy/VPN.

    Someone so unhinged shouldn’t be allowed to teach children. Florida, though.. enough said.

  26. Rich

    Via Arsenal.com

    Further to injuring his right knee during Sunday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur, assessments and scans have confirmed that Granit Xhaka suffered a significant injury to his medial knee ligament.

    A specialist consultation took place in London on Tuesday evening which has determined that Granit does not require surgery.

    Granit’s recovery and rehabilitation programme will start immediately and we are aiming for him to be back in action in approximately three months.

    Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Granit to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.

  27. InsideRight

    “Ernest Reed – I sincerely hope these Alexis return to Arsenal rumours are just that, rumours. Don’t want him anywhere near the club, the selfish malcontent.”

    I agree. God, can you imagine the cringe of him sitting at a piano playing 1-0 to the Arsenal? He was a fine player, but he’s yesterday’s man and he would upset the balance of the side.

  28. InsideRight

    I’m not a big fan of Xhaka, but that injury news is appalling. I feel for the guy. It’s great that he doesn’t need surgery and I hope he recovers quickly.

  29. Steveyg87

    Nobody wants to be the guy that picks on players after such a convincing win but I’m suprised how few noticed how easily Odegaard was bullied off the ball. He’s a baller ,but he will have to work on his physicality

  30. AFC Forever

    InsideRight

    “I’m not a big fan of Xhaka, but that injury news is appalling. I feel for the guy. It’s great that he doesn’t need surgery and I hope he recovers quickly”

    Classy comment. I read somewhere he has a big influence on the players at training etc, so that will be a loss.

  31. englandsbest

    What I remember most clearly about Roger Hunt is that I cannot remember seeing him miss an easy chance to score.

    It’s my view that a striker for a half-decent side who never fails to score a goal that ought to be scored would win the Golden Boot year in, year out. Take OG as an example. I love the guy, but if he had converted all his chances he would have topped 40 goals every season.

  32. Steveyg87

    “Esr like nasri and rosicky are playmakers that are more facilitators than controlers. They are better suited to inside wing positions. Same with pires,jack g, foden etc’

    You could add Hleb to that list, Jack Grealish reminds me of him

  33. Raulishuss

    Yea steve. Hleb too. Pires was a great example as i think he played as a number 10 for om and compared to the rest he was actually a creative genius in the middle also. Even iniesta had most of his best games in that inside left channel. When pep moved silva and kdb to cm it was to occupy that same positions as sane and sterling couldn’t really play there.

  34. raptora

    Grealish has had a seriously tough first couple of months at City. I would say that anyone of City’s benched offensive players would have played better in his place. Of course that Pep wants to help him fit in as fast as possible but he’s not looked like a good transfer. Probably just more of what City already had abundance of.

    Sancho is another one that’s facing huge difficulties in replicating his Dortmund form.

    That’s 2 out of the top 3 most expensive players added to the EPL teams this Summer.

    It just shows how transfers are never guaranteed to work and that you were a top class player somewhere, doesn’t mean you’ll reach the same height at another club.

    Although a smart person would fancy both of Grealish and Sancho to work, there is a decent chance they will not do great at least in their debut campaign, unlike someone like Lukaku who would probably come good for almost every club around.

  35. Leedsgunner

    We have internal solutions to Xhaka’s absence but AMN needs to understand that it’s last chance saloon for him.

    He really needs grab this opportunity with both hands and make the most of it now in terms of his work rate, attitude and actual ability.

    Remember he complained publicly that “all he wanted to do is play… AND he is being given time and space to play in his supposed preferred position.

    No more excuses.

  36. Gonsterous

    The NLD was great but let’s not start saying this is how arteta wants to play, because direct, instinctive play with the handbrakes off hasn’t been a blueprint under arteta, and goes against the narrative of JDP, which pedro was explaining just a few days ago.

  37. Rich

    Gonsterous

    White, Partey, Smith Rowe, Ramsdale, make us more direct

    We need variety in our game

    The Partey pass for Aubameyang was sublime, and while there’s always an element of risk vs reward, he does beat the press, and open up games from deep

    Ramsdale has good variety in his kicking, goes both short + long

    White can pick a pass from back to front, and isn’t afraid to drive into space

    Smith Rowe is the oil in the engine, his movement is superb, his instincts are always forward, pass and move, pass and move…

    Take out those 4 players, and we’ll transition more slowly

    Keep them fit, and we’ll transition more effectively this season

  38. The Bard

    Raptora I agree Grealish doesn’t quite look the real deal at City. It doesn’t appear to have the same freedom under Pep. I also agree that not all transfers work but if the player is quality they are more than likely to do well. Its taking Messi a while to settle at PSG.

  39. Gonsterous

    Rich

    The style of play was more to do with the can’t lose this game mentality than anything the lads learnt in training.

    Will we see the same directness against Brighton? I don’t think so. Why? Because the NLD is the most important game for the club, that’s what drilled into all the new signings at arsenal.

  40. Dissenter

    I want Bissuma to play on Saturday.
    I want Bissouma to be 100% fit. I expect Bissouma to show us what we missed by passing up on him. I think he truly wanted to come to us this summer.
    How else would one be able to see how good Lokonga really is. Looking forward to those midfield battles

  41. Nelson

    I hope Arteta keeps the front 4, Auba, Saka, ESR and Ode to let them build up more chemistry. When they are all fit, there is no need to change the lineup. The others can sub in to keep them match fit. We have only one EPL game per week. The starting 11 has sufficient time to rest.

  42. Gonsterous

    Englandsbest

    That’s what I’m saying. The direct footie is not result of training but more to do with the adrenaline of the situation.

    We didn’t see that style of play against Burnley, nor did we see it against norwich. Will we see it against Brighton? I don’t think so, so it’s safe to assume, that’s not the style of football arteta will drilling in to the team.

    There was word of JDP, now that’s being discarded for this new direct approach after one game of instinctive play with a subdued arteta on the side line, not barking to players where to stand or pass to.

  43. Nelson

    “We didn’t see that style of play against Burnley, nor did we see it against norwich.”
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    It now becomes clear what Arteta’s attack is. It is to support Auba. The attack didn’t work for the Burnley and Norwich game was because of Pepe, who has no chemistry with the rest of the forwards. Pepe is a good player by himself. I would prefer team goals than the occasional highlight goals from Pepe.

  44. Leedsgunner

    Is Bissouma coming back from injury then? Impressive that Brighton has mounted a good run without him for all of it.

    Isn’t Patino a central midfielder? If so, we should include him on the bench… and give him some minutes in light of the Xhaka news. He’s apparently better than Wilshere was at the same age and Wenger was ready to give him a chance to a young Wilshere, why not him?

    Obviously not starting him but he should be introduced to the rigours of first team football… and brought into squad… and used when appropriate.

    I for one love it when our Academy players make the step up. When they do and they succeed it literally saves us millions.

  45. Guns of SF

    The problem is Elneny. How damn long has this guy been with us?
    Get rid of him, and promote Patino or Azeez…
    it is useless players like elneny that are blocking the way for good home grown talent.
    Shocking we could not move him for cheap

  46. Leedsgunner

    Could the Xhaka injury also give youngsters like Ben Cottrell a possible route back in? Last year he even made a debut in the Europa League when we played Dundalk… although he is coming back from an injury.

  47. Leedsgunner

    Jim

    It was widely reported that Azeez supposedly had a recall clause in his loan contract… whether if it’s true only time will tell.

  48. Nigel Tufnel

    Rich,
    You directly compared Willock to Serge Gnabry. Top world talent starting at Bayern, as a winger, by the way. Compared him to a guy that can’t pick a pass.

    Do I have to explain how embarrassing that looks for your judgement?