YOUNGEST STARTING TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

by .

Are you still riding high off the fumes of that win at the weekend? I am. It’s such a great feeling.

You know what is also great? ‘Too small for football’ ‘game 1 failure’… Ben White, is in line for an England call-up. Inject that right into my veins. There’s a video clip of Arteta talking about the benefits of having a defender like VVD being able to pick out a pass from deep. It was almost a year ago today.

I honestly can’t believe we spent a summer questioning the need to sign a defender that could do all the things David Luiz could, but at speed, without the doughnut behaviours that were part of his baggage. Ben White is going to be a very good signing for us this season and I suspect no one will be questioning whether he was £15m too expensive for us by the end of the season.

You know how you know things are going right? The people licking their wounds for their premature write-off of all the players we signed this summer are talking about… William Saliba. Quite something, wouldn’t you say? Donald Trump was the master of deflections like that, but I won’t have it here, I see you. Those people that said all our summer signings were terrible must face the consequences of their actions.

Arteta has a long way to go towards vindication, but the players we’ve signed don’t. They’re sharp buys.

The best thing about the resurgence of a whopping three games is that Gabriel has come back a total machine. There’s a lot of complaining about some of the terrible moves that we did with super-agents last year, but no one gives credit to the snip of a deal we landed with our Brazilian monster. He’s found his footing in year two and it’s been a pleasure. Could he be the Sol Campbell of the revolution? Maybe. He’s imposing, aggressive, his passing has moved on leaps, and he gives everyone the feeling of security. I have been so impressed with him.

Gunnerblog made an interesting point about the weekend. Players we didn’t see on the bench.

  •  Chambers
  •  Mari
  •  Elneny
  •  Kolasinac
  •  Balogun
  •  Nketiah

Those are some statement bench moves that for me, signify that whatever went on during those magical 15 days, really did mean something to how Arteta is approaching this season.

In fact, it’s why I don’t concern myself about William Saliba. The starting 11 we rolled out at the weekend was the youngest to have ever won a NLD. I don’t think there’s a world in which the Frenchman isn’t brought back into the mixer next season, at a better time, when we have European football.

Also, worth noting… I’ve heard that Eddie is on fire. He’s got that ‘I NEED A NEW DEAL’ vibe about him. A lot of people write off players too fast, myself included. We forget that sometimes, in life, shit just clicks. Think there might be some concerns that if he’s left to leave, we might have an Emi moment. Remember, Emi was nowhere until he turned 27.

Saka and Ramsdale HAVE been called up to England.

Ramsdale revealed his favourite dish is… Jamaican.

It’s official.

‘Arsenal’s reputation for blooding young players is upheld by the CIES data, with the Gunners boasting the lowest average-age team (25.01 years) in the Premier League.’

If we’re losing Granit Xhaka and replacing him with Lokonga, that’d take our starting 11 average down to 23 I think (is that bad maths?). That’s a statement about the future, right?

This is a number to be proud of if we can continue to play well moving forward. The new strategy is now public, the media is starting to clock that we’re pretty decent, now we just have to keep winning hearts and minds with good performances.

This weekend, we play Brighton, a team that has really made some strides on last year. They aren’t quite the same without Bissouma, but obviously, he’s looking good to get back into their starting 11 for the game.

We absolutely tanked them at The Emirates when fans were allowed back into the ground, but this time, at home, it will likely be a little tougher. Both clubs play the same style of football, so we’ll have to be at our best. I’m pretty sure Graham Potter will have a decent plan for Martin Odegaard, who he cited as controlling things last time around.

I’ll have more on that tomorrow, see you in the comments, where SALIBA VIOLATIONS will be cited and punished.

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300 Responses to “YOUNGEST STARTING TEAM IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE”

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  1. englandsbest

    MDGunner

    Oh dear, I jumped the gun.
    1
    The anti-arteta brigade feeling hurt and ill-done by. ‘How can you expect constructive criticism?’
    you ask.

    I’d be hard put to find any in your comments. Impatience personified. Blame the manager for everything. Disbelieve his every word. Ignore any sign of improvement.

    Still there is hope for you.

  2. Ishola70

    It’s all a bit daft now on this blog.

    For those that were accused of going over the top in regards to the defeats the team suffered in the first couple of matches then the same accusation can now be laid at the feet of those doing exactly the same because of a couple of wins. The wins against Norwich and Burnely were not very good overall performances. When someone puts in WBA in the League Cup then you know that is just trolling. The first half against Spurs was excellent. That’s what gives hope.

    When the dust has settled on all this and we get to mid-season what we will probably see is that Arteta did not go on a footballing revolution that shook the world of football this season but neither did he nose dive as some feared he might. What happens a lot when there are two extreme views is that it eventually falls into middle ground. Inbetweenie. And for some the inbetween may still be seen as not good enough.

    Of course we hope that the footballing revolution angle this season is nearer to the mark.

  3. Graham

    Nice comments Ish

    The other issue as a number of people have pointed out is that the board have decided to back Arteta so there is not much point anymore in demanding his exit.

    I think we are looking at best case 4th ahead of Utd and worse case 8th. Really hope for the former as we need CL aim the long run to retain talent.

  4. Graham62

    Graham

    This is what pisses me off more than anything.

    If Arteta stripped naked at the side of the pitch and proclaimed his love for Shirley Bassey, it would be considered part of the “process” as far as Pedro and his bosom buddies are concerned.

    He should read your last paragraph because many of us feel exactly the same. He has the power to close us down, which is his prerogative. He says he doesn’t care what others think but it’s strange that when other posters over the past few years have communicated appallingly to each other, nothing was done to remove them and yet when some of us question his own arrogance, he bins us.

    Strange that.

    Sorry Shirley, no disrespect intended, you’re an absolute legend.

  5. Vintage Gun

    Good post Graham, and it’s a shame to see so many good posters turning their back on this site as a result. This “Say Arteta is great or your a troll” rhetoric is weird if I’m being honest and hard to comprehend given how it was open season on here during Emery’s and Wengers reign. Led by Pedro himself.

    Now people are getting censored and threatened with the bin for praising Saliba but it’s fair game to slag him off. I honestly don’t get or agree with all this censorship over non offensive views on football.

    It’s a shame because this blog has been my go to for many years but it’s being watered down to weak levels recently and i hope it can pick back up soon

  6. Graham62

    From now on I’ll concentrate on the football.

    If Bissouma plays, I’ll go for a score draw.
    No Bissouma and I fancy a 2-1 win.

  7. Sotongunner

    Signings looking good, yes and plenty of time to develop for the likes of lokonga and tavares now too with xhaka out and Tierney likelihood of time off. Ramsdale, tomiyasu are both doing the business already far as I’m concerned and I’m slowly getting onboard with the white signing as well despite initially being concerned about the fee, height, physicality etc.
    The fee shouldn’t mean anything to fans, I for one couldn’t give a rats ass if the kroenkes waste some money. The main questions for fans should be is he good and will he improve the team. If he gets the defensive side of things right and keeps things solid, I’m in no doubt he will and could end up being our John stones.
    Whatever you think of arteta and Edu personally these signings are looking like a breath of fresh air. After all these are football people so they should know better than us fans and pull off the unexpected. I think the reason so much hasty venom was chucked around about signings was for exactly these reasons. These signings were not the obvious and expected and up until this point the eduteta performance didn’t feel fans with trust. Am glad to be surprised and delighted by these signings so far.
    As for Saliba, again I don’t care if the kroenkes have wasted some money on him. If his attitude is bad which I get an inkling it is we should just sell him on and recoup the money as if history has proved anything with the likes of Ozil/Guendouzi/torreira/luiz/mustafi etc these bad attitudes and cliques only poison the team in the long run and it takes longer to rid the squad of that poison than it does just to not accept it in the first place.

  8. Ishola70

    What we can all agree on is that as fans we all hope to enjoy watching Arsenal play again and that doesn’t mean just results but the overall performances and entertainment but these usually go hand in hand.

    We hope to see more of the type of Spurs performance rather than what proceeded it to a large extent. The entertainment value from Arteta’s side until very recently was to put it mildly quite barren. We hope this will no longer be the case and we see much more better overall team performances and with the enjoyment of watching to go along with it.

  9. englandsbest

    Graham62

    Pardon me for stating the subtext: Arteta is a poor manager because he didn’t bid for Bissouma. Right?

  10. AFC Forever

    Graham62

    “If Arteta stripped naked at the side of the pitch and proclaimed his love for Shirley Bassey, it would be considered part of the “process” as far as Pedro and his bosom buddies are concerned”

    Time to move on from these childish, personal insults mate. If Shirley Bassey stripped off I would probably be physically sick. It would actually be worse than reading Tony’s abuse-laden novels and that really is saying something.

  11. Words on a blog

    Can we all agree on the following:

    After a surprisingly good (if perhaps somewhat expensive in a few cases) transfer window, we now have a balanced squad (just a little bit light in central midfield). It is also a young, skilful and energetic squad, with no European distractions to tire it out.

    One could say that it is a squad capable of challenging for Top 4. Man C, Liverpool and Chelsea are nailed on for the Top 3 places, but Man U (managed by the likeable but clueless Norwegian Jesus Ole) is vulnerable.

    IF we make it to the Top 4, Arteta can be considered to be a good manager, and I’d be happy enough for the likes of AFC Forever and englandsbest to call him generational.

    If we don’t, then he’s just another flawed manager, with the additional issue of being stubborn and inexperienced.

    The squad can fairly be characterised

  12. AFC Forever

    Ishola

    “We hope to see more of the type of Spurs performance rather than what proceeded it to a large extent. The entertainment value from Arteta’s side until very recently was, to put it mildly quite barren”

    Agree. This is why the profiling of players was so important Ish. Our build-up play from back to front was too slow and it was easier for teams to get set against us. We have to face facts, the personnel we had simply couldn’t play the way Arteta’s PP dictates.

    The moment that demonstrates this best for me was when Leno played the ball to Xhaka, who had his back to play on the penalty spot, surrounded by opposing players – and cost us a goal. Poor decision-making happened all the time. That is why we were slow, sideways and backwards. There were too many like that. The Leno to Holding to Chambers to Holding to Leno to HOOF was a far too familiar site. The fact Xhaka had to cover for Tierney because Arteta couldn’t trust anyone else to move the ball against the press with Luiz out was another indicator that we had to change the players. Hoepefully, the Spurs first half was an indicator of things to come over the season.

  13. Ishola70

    It’s too early to say that this squad is capable of top four.

    Too many fans are making concrete decisions on players mostly new that have only played a handful of games for the club.

    But I see what you were doing there Words on a Blog. You were putting pressure on Arteta and raising that bar for him but the majority of fans will see 5th or 6th as a progression from last season. This is what you can go with when the previous season was failure. Go with the progression line.

  14. raptora

    Sotongunner,
    I agree with your post. Good stuff.

    I don’t agree with the part of Saliba having a bad attitude as there is no indications of that anywhere he’s played.

    “It is customary that the Saint-Etienne academy players live at the training ground complex. What’s unusual about Saliba is that once he stepped up to the first team, he stayed there.

    At the end of his breakout 2018-19 season, training centre director Philippe Guillemet confirmed to Le Parisien: “He is still there. He is peaceful. He wanted to stay in the centre to be quiet, to recover well. No travelling. He’s a little dad to the youngest. Everyone loves it. He gives them advice.” Saliba, it seems, saw no reason to move. In St. Stephen’s city, the boy from the banlieues had found something like home.”

    I’ve read many interviews of his ex-coaches etc, they’ve all said that he is a pleasure to have around, that he is very professional and desperate to succeed. Also he’s been an Arsenal fan since a kid. He’s also a fantastic talent with a really high ceiling.

    This is a great article if you’d like to know more about him: https://theathletic.com/1349145/2019/11/05/cold-blooded-ambitious-on-the-ball-and-already-learning-english-william-saliba-will-be-worth-the-wait-for-arsenal/

    Pictures with our shirt: https://twitter.com/afcstuff/status/1155220118454059015

  15. Tony

    Being named generational for top 4 after nearly 3 years at the helm is severely lowering the bar, Words.

    But I agree targets set at the start of the season should still stand.

    Top 4 and give him a crack at Europe. Win the CL and Arteta can be claimed generational and handed the holy grail. It’ll be the first in our history, so he deserves to call his sauce generational.

  16. Rich

    Ishola

    I took a fair amount of stick after we lost our first 3 games under mitigating circumstances

    And dared to suggest that our first 11 is decent, our squad better balanced, and we’d get plenty of results this season, once things settled down

    It wasn’t like I was suggesting anything too outlandish either

    5th, spitting distance of 4th, and 69-74 points

    Things aren’t all rosy in the garden, but the mass hysteria after our first 3 games, was completely detached from the reality of our situation

    We’re susceptible to injuries in certain areas of the pitch, because our squad depth is poor, but so is most of the league outside of last seasons top 4

    Our first choice 11 can give most teams in this league a game, particularly at home, we’ve got plenty of good young players, who’ll improve with experience

    We’ve quietly gone about assembling an exciting young squad

    Ramsdale 23
    Tomiyasu 22
    Tierney 24
    Tavares 21
    Saliba 20
    White 23
    Gabriel 23
    Sambi 21
    Patino 17
    Odegaard 22
    Smith Rowe 21
    Saka 20
    Martinelli 20
    Balogun 20
    Nketiah 22

    If we keep this together, and add well to it, then we have the makings of an exciting young team over the next couple of seasons

    I’m as positive as I’ve been about Arsenal for a long time

    I agree with Tony about Tomiyasu, looks like we e got a steal for £17-£20 million, he looks tailor made for that inverted right back role, he’s got a little bit of Cancelo about him

    And Cancelo is a real life cheat code

  17. Ishola70

    AFC Forever

    “Agree. This is why the profiling of players was so important”

    What we saw prior to the Spurs match from Arteta for too many matches was handbrake football. Stabilisers on the bike football.

    If these new signings mean no more handbrake football or at least much less of it all for the good.

    It remains to be seen though whether Arteta himself will fully let go of the handbrake. Looks like there are less excuses for him now though as most fans are going with the line that he now has the tools.

  18. G

    ” Youngsters doing well considering many reckon Arteta doesn’t rate them.”

    Quality statement.. can you elaborate on the MANY

  19. Mark

    @Graham on Pedro

    ” it’s a shame he now has to treat the rest of us like we are idiots who are not capable of forming a view.”

    Well said!

    Also some good posts as always from Graham62 , I know you don’t post as much now but they are always on point when you do.

  20. Tom

    If Arteta makes top four with this squad I’ll be the first one to call him Mr Generational, and Pedro Mr Visionary.
    Englandsbest can be called the wiseman.

    Can I just ask the locals which Arsenal pubs in London have gotten so extreme that upon voicing any criticism of the club or the manager you’d get your teeth kicked in and your ass thrown out.
    I’m making the trip this month to watch Arsenal play and I have a very basic dental plan.

  21. AFC Forever

    Ish

    “It remains to be seen though whether Arteta himself will fully let go of the handbrake. Looks like there are less excuses for him now though as most fans are going with the line that he now has the tools”

    Yes. I’m not going to change my mind from last season. My entire point has always been that Arteta has been hampered by the players he had. I will live and die by that obviously. That was why I liked the Ramsdale and White signings. Not popular but I have been consistent.

    PP is largely about fluid transition and interchange that starts from the back. Arteta knows that because that is what he has been coaching at Man City. To move the ball quickly back to front requires players who can do that by beating the press. It stops the other team getting set. You end up going sideways and backwards when players either arent capable, don’t have the vision or lack the confidence to move the ball quickly forwards. So they go side and back for fear of losing the ball. At times it used to bore me rigid but I always thought that was largely a player issue.

    With regard to the way he played in his first season; he had to play that way. Emery had left us wide open and we were leaking shots against at record levels. He coached the team to be better without the ball and it worked. He doesn’t get the credit for that or the FA Cup win because citing good things Arteta has done offends certain people. I expect to see a more expansive way of playing, the players signed indicate that will be the case but as the season unfolds we will soon be able to say.

  22. Leedsgunner

    Stand in for Xhaka

    Back when we were all trying to figure out why we were paying so much for Ben White, the crew over at Arsenal Vision podcast did an excellent interview with David Harrison I believe of the Brighton and Hove supporters club who made an intriguing suggestion.

    He suggested that Ben White would make a superb defensive midfielder given his passing range and tackling ability. He postulated that it might be in Arteta’s masterplan to transform him into one…

    Agree? Disagree? Worth thinking about?

    After White who is the next best defender to partner Gabriel in the middle of the park if Ben White was played in this way?

  23. Ishola70

    AFC Forever

    “With regard to the way he played in his first season; he had to play that way”

    The concern for many was that we saw the handbrake football in his second season as well.

    But we hope Arteta has now turned the page on this entering his third season.

  24. englandsbest

    Words on a blog

    We get that you are trying hard to be fair-minded but you are contradicting your.self by using the term ‘generational’. Counting Arteta a duff manager if Arsenal don’t make top 4 is missing the point. What matters is that he is moving the Club in the right direction.

    A choice, if you like, between a quick fix or a return to the elite. A quiick fix is temporary, a return to the elite means consistently competing for top ritles and trophies. A matter of time.

    However, as an optimist, my expectation is – and has been – top 6 finish this season

  25. DivineSherlock

    woah Pedro calm down with that vindication thing man . Its only 3 wins , I would say wait for a bit for Arteta 2.0 atleast until the ManUtd game . Lets not get too hasty . 3 matches doesnt make a season . As for the signings yes they looked good together so far , long may it continue. But Leno , Torreria , Guendouzi they all looked good for a while as well , so keep calm and stay excited for the matches . Lets not polarise the fan base here.

  26. Tee

    “Emi has that Leno has never shown it and I have yet to see it from Ramsdale. In the game between Villa and Manure, Emi fucked with Bruno’s and Ronaldo’s mind. He was passionate and confident telling Ronaldo I want you to take the penalty and I fuck you over. He got into Bruno’s head and he misssed. Emi turned around and did a jig to the Manure supporters, absolutely priceless. That is what we lost and he deserves for that fantastic passion a well wish, too bad it is not helping AFC.”

    You saying this because he saved the pen. I bet he wouldn’t have saved it if Ronaldo had taken the pen.

    Wonder why he didn’t get into the heads of the penalty takers who scored against him.

    He is gone and so be it. What is obvious here is that it’s anti Arteta posters who always bring the Martinez discussion onboard to attack him.

    Ramsdale, whose performance till now is one of the best in the league is ours, End of.

  27. AFC Forever

    Leeds

    Good question.

    That is true about White being able to play as DM, he has done that.

    I don’t think he will be played that way. However, what he offers is the ability to pass short, long AND step into midfield to go past players. That’s why he was signed because we don’t have anyone else like that. If we lost him and we needed to play another centre half to partner Gabriel, it would slow our build-up play from the back. Holding or Mari come in.

  28. Rich

    AFC Forever

    The issue both Emery + Arteta have had is a lack of quality and balance

    Emery’s first season was overall nowhere near the disaster some made it out to be, and I wasn’t surprised we’ve finished 8th in back to back seasons

    I’ve been accused of being both a Emery + Arteta apologist, but I just don’t think our squad has been up to much

    I wasn’t surprised that when we introduced Smith Rowe + Odegaard, and Partey returned from injury, that the football and results improved last season

    I wasn’t surprised we lost to Chelsea in the second game, missing half our first team, and with new players settling

    Or that we got spanked away to City, a team we’ve taken 2 points off since Dec 2015, not when you analyse the 2 starting elevens, and both benches

    Chelsea got lucky, and played us at a good time, because with close to a first choice, we can certainly give them a game at the Emirates

    They might have edged it anyway, because they’re a very good team, but the game would have been more fine margins with a stronger Arsenal starting 11

    Completely agree on transitioning, White, Tomiyasu, Partey, Sambi, Odegaard

    Have all been signed with the intention of moving the ball through the lines, Smith Rowe Is the oil in the engine, he injects pace into our pace, his passing, movement and technique. is sublime

    Providing we stay away from an injury pile up, we’ll do ok this season, the football will improve, and we’ll score more goals than we have over the last 2 seasons

    5th would be a good platform to build from, from there it’ll come down to the quality of our recruitment, and our ability to hold onto the Crown Jewels

  29. Tee

    “But Leno , Torreria , Guendouzi they all looked good for a while as well , so keep calm and stay excited for the matches . Lets not polarise the fan base here.”

    Leno for me is still a good goalkeeper, Torreira was good till Emery deployed him as a 10 while Guen wasn’t all that for me.

  30. AFC Forever

    Rich

    “Emery’s first season was overall nowhere near the disaster some made it out to be, and I wasn’t surprised we’ve finished 8th in back to back seasons. I’ve been accused of being both a Emery + Arteta apologist, but I just don’t think our squad has been up to much”

    Always my view. I’ve been a big critic of the balance in the squad. People forget neither Emery nor Arteta came into a squad like Chelsea have but they were expected to make a few tweaks and off you go. Never going to happen.

    Balance is key, so too the ability to build partnerships in key areas of the pitch. I get frustrated by people who put everything on the manager, whoever that is, as if he just has to pick an eleven. It’s ridiculous nonsense. I often cite the amazing job Klopp did and the 30 plus players he had to change as an example of what a manager has to do sometimes to implement a particular strategy. No amount of training could turn Bendtner into Henry.

    The fallout at the start of the season was pathetic. All the plans for Brentford were out of the window as soon as we lost so many players. The same with City and Chelsea fans making out it was a catastrophe because it suited the narrative. Driven by the media of course who successfully ‘enable’ the people they target.

    For me, it was always about the squad not being good enough. If you have a keeper and defensive unit that can’t play with the ball, it is what it is. It’s going to take time for these new lads to integrate and develop as a team but if you have the right players for the system you employ you have half a chance. If you have the wrong players you have no chance. It’s that simple.

  31. InsideRight

    The Athletic is reporting Jack Henry-Francis has signed his first professional contract with the club. Congratulations to Jack.

    It’s always good to see another double-barrelled surname rolling off the Hale End production line :))

  32. AFC Forever

    Great question on the Radio the other day. Who are your clubs 10 most exciting players of all time, the players who got you off your seat?

    1. Henry
    2. Cazorla
    3. Ozil
    4. Brady
    5. Bergkamp
    6. Armstrong
    7. Van Persie
    8. Cesc
    9. Robbie P
    10. Ian Wright

  33. Emiratesstroller

    AFC Arsenal

    Emery is not a bad coach/manager as he has proven in Spain.

    However, he was the wrong appointment for Arsenal not least because of his poor communication skills.

    Arsenal is a Cosmopolitan Club with players coming from divers countries and backgrounds. Having a Manager who had a poor grasp of English was going to be a problem as he turned out to be.

  34. AFC Forever

    Rich

    I love the fact you have added Smith Rowe and Saka…!!! Hopefully, over time we can add a few others.

  35. AFC Forever

    Emirates Stroller

    “Arsenal is a Cosmopolitan Club with players coming from divers countries and backgrounds. Having a Manager who had a poor grasp of English was going to be a problem as he turned out to be”

    Totally agree. I couldn’t understand him half the time, I have no idea how anyone could for whom English isn’t their first language. Very nice guy but it was a big job and the language was a problem.

  36. China1

    #SalibaFanClub awwww yea!

    As for Ben white. People will be happy with his signing if he plays like a 50m player most of the time (or looks like he is going to in the near future). He hasn’t vindicated his price tag in a couple of games but if he plays like he did against Spurs as his typical level he will do

  37. Rich

    AFC Forever

    I couldn’t not add them, they’ve been a breath of fresh air

    Saka’s potential is unreal, already performing at a high level, but we even scratched the surface of his overall potential

    We’ll need to manage him, but he has the potential to become one of the worlds best players over the next few seasons

    Smith Rowe just gets better and better, he’s a player who can get fans out of their seat

    He injects pace and movement into our game, and his first touch is exquisite

    I’d fear where we’d be without them, pulling these two out of our academy inside 14 months, has been a god send

  38. Spudnik

    I’m not sure it will be that straight forward for Saliba to come ‘back’ to Arsenal. He’ll have 2 years on his contract so at some point Arsenal are gonna want to extend him or risk losing him on a free. Why would he extend particularly if Ben White is England and Gabriel is the new Sol? He’s currently 1st team and loved, would cash do it?

  39. raptora

    AFC: “I often cite the amazing job Klopp did and the 30 plus players he had to change as an example of what a manager has to do sometimes to implement a particular strategy.”

    You might want to change the citation as Klopp managed to add 15 points in his first full season to Liverpool’s average of the previous 2 seasons – from 60 and 62 points to 76 pts and a 4th place.

    In the Summer of 2016 he sold Benteke, Ibe, Allen and co to get the likes of Mane, Wijnaldum and Matip on a transfer window PROFIT of £5m. And won them +15 pts in the process.

    He achieved total transformation in the space of a season earning his bosses money from transfers. You could see that his project is going places. As the game and results were a proof of that.

    It’s a bad example because Klopp achieved things with average footballers:
    Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Karius, Klavan, Henderson, Leiva, Origi.

    Arteta couldn’t do it. He placed 8th and 8th with 61 pts. This is not the improvement you get from a good manager.

  40. China1

    Gabriel was 25m but certainly has not looked like it for the vast majority of his time with us. He did have an off period briefly in the middle of last season but on balance he looked the stand out CB since he joined. If he is kicking on this season he will be massive for us

    If white can be as good in his own way that will be awesome. Also if saliba really does live up to the hype and against all odds stays with us next season we could be really blessed at the back.

    If saliba is the real deal one idea would be to revert to a back 3 with all of them even tho personally I really dislike formations with 3 at the back

  41. AFC Forever

    Rich

    Can’t disagree.

    Saka and ESR are really humble lads too, so it’s easy to take to them. Hard to believe how young they are! The Saka interview after the NLD was something else, what a lovely lad he is. Talking about how he and ESR had been wondering what it would be like to score in a NLD and saying he is just like the fans. I also liked the Ramsdale interview with David Seaman standing next to him. These lads are not like the Guendouzis’. these are down-to-earth, ordinary guys with a humility that suggests they will listen to good advice.

    Fans are pretty consistent in their support for young players. We’ve got the best core of youngsters I can ever remember, the academy has done wonders and the signings have been really good. Saka, ESR, Odegaard, Ramsdale, White, Tierney, Lokonga, Tomiyasu, Martinelli, Nketiah, Patino, Balogun, Tavares – that’s an impressive group. Apologies to any I have missed.

  42. Kroenkephobe

    Pedro
    Genuine thanks for steering me to those other sites. I used to post regularly on the Gooner as ‘Arseneknewbest’ (towards the end of his reign obviously! ) but once he went, the name became redundant! I’ll give the other sites a try too, in sadness, after concluding the current narrative on this site is no longer for me.

    My other half also gave me the idea of using whatsapp to see if some of you want to keep lines open with like-minded Arsenal – rather than Arteta – fans. It may or may not work. So in honour of my friend just across the Irish Sea, I’m going to set up a WhatsApp group called, ‘Arteta say no more’. Should be easy enough for you all to remember, (and easy to forget if you’re England’sbest).

    At the very least it might be fun/anaesthetising thing to use in and around games. Ill try and set it up later today and certainly well before the legomeister leads the lads put against the seagulls. Come on you rip roaring reds!

  43. raptora

    Arteta refused to sell Xhaka and Maitland-Niles, offered contracts to Xhaka, Mustafi, brought Mari and Soares, Runarsson, sold Martinez, paid money to get rid of/let them wind down their contracts of Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Sokratis, sent the likes of Saliba, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guen, Mavro, Kolasinac.

    My point is that he made a LOT of decisions. They all influenced us in one way or another. His job is to make sure that we end up better in the table. We didn’t. We finished 8th again. His judgement as a whole on how he saw the team was bad as he didn’t achieve a better performance without the players he wanted gone and with the players he wanted in.

    It’s a failure and incomparable to Klopp who figured out precisely what’s needed in his first Summer at Liverpool.

  44. Tom

    Ben White has had an average start to his Arsenal career and nothing exemplifies it more than people eagerly pointing out that he’s won some headers.

    His defending on Brentford’s Mbeumo on 30 minutes was shocking.
    His back pass to Ramsdale at Burnley under no pressure was a poor option and execution.
    His lazy flick of the leg at Kane for what should been a pen for Tottenham, and failure to mark him from a corner for a near miss are just a handful of examples of how not to defend.
    With less luck he could be topping the errors leading to goals charts.
    For a player heralded as the next VVD he needs to pick it up and fast.

    Odegaard has been the best Arsenal signing this summer and it’s absolutely baffling how little recognition he gets for his quality, and that’s even before you consider he only cost $10m more than everyone’s favorite ,Tierney who’s a poor defender and a pretty average crosser of the ball.
    But maybe the home crowd’s reaction to Xhaka’s completely pointless, gut busting run to close down Lloris explains best why Tierney is so highly rated.

  45. InsideRight

    “Who are your clubs 10 most exciting players of all time, the players who got you off your seat?”

    For me these are the players that got me bouncing at Highbury and out of my seat at the Emirates….

    1. Bergkamp
    2. Henry
    3. Pires
    4. Van Persie
    5. Brady
    6. Rocastle
    7. Wright
    8. Limpar
    9. Anelka
    10. Rix

  46. Raulishuss

    Seriously rap you should just give up. The extent you’ll go to discredit ur club and defend anythn outside it is hilarious. You’re so anti arsenal or is it arteta? Either it’s making you sound so miserable.

  47. bacaryisgod

    Hey Pedro

    Just to be clear, the word project still annoys me even though I said at the time it was probably unfair to get irritatated by it. It just reminded me of AVB when he kept droning on about ‘the project’ when he was at Chelsea and then Spurs. Arteta has fewer accomplishments than AVB did when he took the Chelsea job but he’s more grounded in British football and culture and that certainly helps.

    Another word I get irrationally annoyed by is ‘bang’ as in ‘getting ready to bang’. Can’t explain it but it just aggravates me. Sorry.

  48. englandsbest

    kroenkephobe

    We’ll miss you. How about staying on as ‘kroenkephobesaynomore’ if you want to be fairminded about Arteta? And then chnge your nameto ‘kroenkephobesaiditall’ if you turn out to be right about him.

  49. Rich

    Odegaard is a game changer, brilliant footballer, who moves the needle at Arsenal

    His ceiling is massive, can’t believe we got him for £30-£35 million

    Can’t understand why some don’t like him, or didn’t want him back, absolutely baffling

  50. Raulishuss

    look at how shameless you are tom. You literally threw your toy outta the pran and was one of the ones who said he wasn’t moving the needle but because you’re edgy about ben white been praised youre using ode to deflect. Why are you so desperate to be right? Afraid you already look stupid for concluding too soon about someone you hadn’t seen play because you were too lazy to hate properly

  51. Upstate Gooner

    Kroenkephobe
    7amkickoff is one of the best Arsenal blogs I’ve come across. Tim (blog owner) doesn’t post as often as Pedro does but the quality is top notch. He also talks about other various topics so it’s not just Arsenal all the time. The posters are also an interesting mix. Give it a try.

  52. Leedsgunner

    The talk is that Koeman is on the chopping block… anybody from there we could tempt away in the subsequent period of uncertainty?

    Before he was sold to RB Leipzig I would have loved to have brought in Iliax Moriba but they grabbed him on a great deal.

    What about Puig, any La Liga watchers here want to comment?

  53. SurferX

    “Who are your clubs 10 most exciting players of all time, the players who got you off your seat?”

    1. Henry
    2. Bergkamp
    3. WWW
    4. Bobby
    5. Rocky
    6. Overmars
    7. Merse
    8. Cesc
    9. Limpar
    10 Santi

    RVP would be in there.. but she said no, so no.

  54. AFC Forever

    Surfer X

    Nice one. Santi seems to be on everyone’s lists, what a player! I left Overmars off because he only had one season. Perhaps we should have found room for Reyes RIP.

  55. Tom

    I’m not sure I follow, Raulishuss.
    Maybe if you skipped the dramatics the stupid me could have an easier time responding to your half coherent ramblings.

  56. raptora

    Raul,
    Lol, I’m fuming at how good other clubs and managers are doing compared to Arsenal because I’m anti-Arsenal? Lol!

    Truth is that Klopp got Liverpool at the exact same situation Arteta got Arsenal.

    Leaky defence – Mignolet, Clyne, Sakho, Toure, Skrtel, Moreno
    An average midfield – Henderson, Joe Allen, Lallana, Lucas Leiva, Can, Milner
    A good attacking potential – Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke, Origi, Sturridge, Ibe

    A lot of average players brought for sizeable money – 42m Benteke, 28m Lallana, 23m Lovren, 23m Markovic, 17m Allen, 17m Sakho, 16m Clyne.
    Exciting youth potential knocking on the front door – Gomez, Trent

    I can literally compare the Liverpool’s players that Klopp inherited, to the Arsenal players that Arteta inherited, side by side and it will decently close to a mirror image.

    Klopp made a plan on what to do and then he went to work.

    Klopp reached 76 pts in his first full season, Arteta got 61 pts.

    That is some top quality managerial business. He managed a 4th place with many average players. You can punch above your weight. Yes, you can.

  57. AFC Forever

    Zacharse

    “bout time guen got threatened w a big slap”

    Yep, horrible bloke. Imagine him around Saka, ESR and the rest – no thanks.

  58. zacharse

    years ago I lived at the far end of a block in SF where the main transgender bar/karaoke club was, DIVAS.
    i’d regularly be awakened btwn 3-5am by a group of latina trans folk dancing in the middle of post st. w all car doors open and a car radio blasting.
    The hookers would regularly sit on my stoop and after 3 years of me saying hi their response was always ‘wanna party’ and never ‘hi how are you sorry i’m on your doorstep again high as fuck on oxy.’

    Guendozi has the soul of a San Francisco latina transgender hooker

  59. raptora

    AFC: “Yep, horrible bloke. Imagine him around Saka, ESR and the rest – no thanks.”

    He’s around Mbappe, Benzema, Griezmann, Rabiot, Pogba, Varane and the rest. Hideous stuff.

  60. zacharse

    raptora

    yea france really proved themselves this summer. what a coach they have. he’s clearly visionary to call up guen. i’m sure it’ll work out well and pogba and mbappe will want him back

  61. Leedsgunner

    Guendouzi is a stupid kid, given too much money too fast and told he’s all this and all that when he hasn’t really done anything.

    Oh well, pretty soon he won’t be our mess, when he looks back I suspect he’s regret his actions… if grows up that is.

  62. AFC Forever

    Leeds

    When you compare Guendouzi to Saka and ESR, for example, the contrast is frightening. I’m not sure it’s the money, I think he just has an arrogant, cocky character flaw. You do not want him anywhere near our players and I’m sure they don’t want him either.

  63. Rich

    Guendouzi is 22, he’s got a decent amount of experience

    We were all young once, he’ll mature

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up at a top PL club in 2-3 years time

    At which point he’ll still only be 24/25, and have his best days still ahead of him

  64. AFC Forever

    Anyone see the Harry Kane interview:

    Interviewer: Harry that was an awful performance to lose 3-1 in the North London Derby, you must be gutted?

    Harry: Yeah, I was buzzing after the game to be honest. I’ve got a release clause in my contract that if Spurs are relegated I can leave. Why do you think I set up the third goal for Arsenal, it was a great ball for Saka.

    Interviewer: Do you think Nuno could get sacked?

    Kane: No I don’t think that would be fair, yeah that wouldn’t be fair. You know why should he get to leave? What about me, I’ve been stuck here for years and he should get to leave after 6 games; why should he be rewarded? Yeah, he should get to stay here and suffer like the rest of us. Yeah obviously.”

    Interviewer: And Harry what did you think about the Spurs fans leaving halfway through the game?

    Kane: Yeah well obviously, like, I think the Spurs fans are bad. To walk out on their team is really bad. And that’s why I tried to leave for Man City, their fans would never walk out of the stadium halfway through a game. Yeah, because they wouldn’t turn up in the first place.

    Interviewer. Harry this really could be a disaster of a season

    Kane: Look it’s not all doom and gloom, we did win the league after three games so we’ve got to be positive about that. To sum it up Nuno hope, Nuno trophies and Nuno job for Nuno tomorrow…..

  65. SurferX

    @AFC Forever
    You’re right about Overmars of course.. but what a season it was! He was electric.. everytime he got the ball it looked like something was going to happen. Reyes never quite fulfilled it did he- and the boy defintely had talent. That would be a good list too.. the greatest talents that never quite made it. eg we had 6 months of sublime AA- until the takeaways caught up with him.

    @Samesong
    Rocky was never in doubt. I think he is a player that fits into any Arsenal team, in any era.He could run, pass, tackle, shoot, dribble, and fight. In fact- thats my main memory- his fight. He’d go to war for you if he needed to- even with all the talent he had. Its what the younger generation of Arsenal fans dont get- you watch players like Ozil just melt and you remember what used to be.

    Such a shame, definitely missed.

  66. Leedsgunner

    Rocky would have been an inspirational coach working with our youth players or as a part of the back room staff.

    What a fighter he was.

    I loved the little tribute to Rocky they did when they launched the shirt last season, did anyone catch that?

  67. AFC Forever

    Raulishuss, you can’t have RVP twice mate! Kanu was a good shout.

    Surfer X that Overmars season was ridiculous. As you say, they couldn’t live with his pace it seemed everytime he got the ball he scored.

    Leeds, yes I feel bad leaving Rocky out. I saw that tribute with the shirt, it was a lovely touch. So very sad. RIP.

    I watched something on Reyes the other day. I really hope that nasty Man Utd team, especially the Nevilles, feel ashamed of how they treated him in that 50th game, shocking. RIP.

  68. Graham62

    Reyes was such a talent. That beautiful left foot strike against Chelski in the Cup in 2004 will long be remembered, as will the assault on him by the MU scum( the Neville brothers) at OT.

    That game was a travesty.

  69. AFC Forever

    SurferX

    Yep different game in those eras. Those pitches were awful, look at them now how can you not play on these? I have so many memories of games that were like warfare in mud, some of the games at the Baseball Ground were unbelievable. But I will never forget that dirty Leeds team, elbows everywhere – todays snowflakes wouldn’t last five minutes. I’m not sure if it was Atheletic Bilbao but there was a European game where there was almost no attempt to play the ball, just kicking lumps out of each other.

  70. Graham62

    If my memory serves me right MU should have got at least two red cards that day.

    Who was the referee again?

    Oh yeah, Mike frigging Riley.

  71. AFC Forever

    Graham62

    “as will the assault on him by the MU scum ( the Neville brothers) at OT. That game was a travesty”

    Reyes was targetted from the first minute. The Nevilles went for him, they didn’t care because they knew Riley was on their side. That game was bent.

    In fact, they re-refereed that game, might have been Keith Hackett. They decided Ferdinand was a red card when he took Freddie out when clean through and Nistelrooy was a red on Cole, when he raked his studs down his shin. Gary Neville would have been booked with that first assault on Reyes calves, stopping the rest. he confirmed the Rooney penalty was a dive. Keith Hackett said he couldn’t explain Mike Rileys many mistakes throughout that game he was baffled – what was stranger is Riley was promoted to the head of PGMOL. I don’t know how he was nobbled but he’s done alright since.

  72. Bob N16

    Brady
    Rocastle
    Merson
    Limpar
    Bergkamp
    Overmars
    Vieira
    Henry
    Pires
    ESR (early days but..)

    Subs: Rosicky, Van Persie, Saka, Fabregas

  73. TheLegendaryDB10

    My top 10 would be:

    DB10
    Henry (joint 1st)
    Cazorla
    Rosicky (it’s a shame we never saw more of him, loved his directness.)
    Pires
    Cesc
    RvP
    JW
    Freddie (I don’t why but I always loved it when he scored)
    Alexis

  74. Thorough

    My best 10 since I began watching Arsenal:
    1. Bergkamp
    2. Cazorla
    3. Arshavin
    4. Rosicky
    5. Alexander Hleb
    6. Robbie Pires
    7. Henry
    8. Kanu
    9. Ljunberg
    10. Jose Antonio Reyes

  75. Havyn

    Graham62

    I agree with you. It was a corrupt setup with Alex Ferguson as the conductor. Riley’s promotion was a thank you gesture by the corrupt group.

    This corrupt system was responsible for at least 10 of Man U titles. Still, we have referees like Dean involved.

  76. AFC Forever

    Brilliant suggestions…!

    We’ll have to try to agree on the LeGrove 10.

    Those of us older ones have put in players like Brady and Rix but it’s a bit unfair on the younger Grovers. So I will take Brady and Armstrong out and add Rocky and Anelka. I can’t take Sanchez out, there was a period when he was unbelievable.

    Blooody hell, we’ve been blessed with some ballers……..!!

  77. Dream10

    Henry
    Vieira
    Bergkamp
    RVP
    Pires
    Fabregas
    Ozil
    Alexis
    Hleb
    Aubameyang

    Can’t.wait to add ESR to the list above. Love a right footer on the left

  78. bacaryisgod

    The Exciting List was a good idea. Now how about a Top 10 Exiting List? These are the players you think should be permanently leaving the club next..

    1. Kolasinac
    2. Runarsson
    3. Torreira
    4. Bellerin
    5. Torreira
    6. Mari
    7. Chambers
    8. Nelson
    9. Leno
    10. Holding

    *For the purpose of this list, Guendouzi and Mavrapanos are essentially gone. The conditions that the Guendouzi loan becomes permanent are reportedly so easily achievable that he’s almost certainly not our player any more. Looks like Stuttgart would be insane not to activate the 3m clause to buy him at the end of the season. Only relegation might affect their decision.

    *Bellerin and Torreira are both decent players but their races have been run at Arsenal and there’s no way back for them. Otherwise, they would not be so high on the list.

  79. Dream10

    Sorry take my guy Hleb out. Forgot about Anelka. There was a time where R9 was only under 23 player who was better than him. Anelka was really a phenom. A better finisher than Henry

  80. Dream10

    bacaryisgod

    Still think it is a mistake at not keeping Mavropanos at the football club. Would not be surprised if he is at Dortmund next season. If he can stay healthy, I think he is better than Gabriel and White

  81. Vintage Gun

    Glad to see Cazorla getting so much love on peoples top 10 lists. Absolutely loved his style and character. Always wanted him and Isco from that Malaga team and was buzzing when we signed him.

    Hope he can come back in a coaching capacity sometime soon. Would be great for our young squad.

  82. AFC Forever

    Havyn

    That 50th game was when the suspicions became facts. I challenge anyone to watch that youtube video and say otherwise. No question Riley had been got at, intimidated or offered ‘something’. Fixed.

    Fergie had real power. Graham Poll said referees knew that if they upset Fergie he would create such a noise that they would get taken off Man Utd games. That would mean missing many high perofile games because Man Utd tended to play more of them. According to poll, as soon as a referee arrived at OT they would be subjected to harassment & intimidation which he reported but nothing was done. They used to joke about Riley awarding MU more penalties than any other referee. Riley was one of the weakest referees, yet he became head of PGMOL – funny that.

  83. Vintage Gun

    “That 50th game was when the suspicions became facts.”

    Yep, for me also. Was almost in tears of rage after witnessing that match

  84. AFC Forever

    Vintage, yes surprised there was never a formal investigation. Even Andy Gray couldn’t believe it in the commentary. Our players should have walked off the pitch and created a real problem for the FA and PGMOL.

  85. Habesha Gooner

    My top 10 list who got me off my seat in order would be
    1. Henry
    2. Bergkamp
    3. Pires
    4. Fabregas
    5. Santi
    6. Ljungberg
    7. Viera

    8 9 10 can be any one from the cunt section, Van Persie, Nasri, Alexis

    Or the injured most of the time but would have been legends section Rosicky, Diaby
    Or the likes of Hleb or Arshavin, Ozil who didn’t stay long in enough or on the basis of consistent form but still were sublime in moments.

    I only saw Arsenal properly post 2000 so those are the players that come to mind.

  86. Dream10

    My best offensive individual players for Arsenal in the PL era are Henry, RVP, and probably Ian Wright. The quality of the team around them didn’t matter as much. Any one of those in today’s team and we would have a great chance of comfortably finishing 3rd after City and Liverpool. Individual ability to consistently make the difference every week and affect the result.

  87. Raulishuss

    Loved watching diaby,vela and vermaelen too. Koss was a boss too. Dream10 you think mavro is that good? Watch him and get back to me. You’re looking at his stat a bit too much. He’s terrible with the ball and needs to work on positioning

  88. AFC Forever

    Bacaryisgod

    “Agree on Alexis. Other than TH14, not sure over a 2 year period there was any Arsenal player more thrilling and uplifting than him”

    Cheers. Yes, he was almost unplayable for a period. Scored almost a goal every other game (80 in 166 games). Man Utd broke him, 5 goals in 45 games, that is a ridiculous drop.

  89. Dream10

    Raulishuss

    Mavropanos physical skill set is very good for a CB. You’re right that his on the ball ability was a weakness. Have not watched him this season, so let’s see. But, Gabriel is a bit average when he has to mark space and not a physical target. White is limited in duels. I would be happy if they both develop into top players

  90. Chris

    Is it harsh to say Overmars had one season? Yeah the double season was obviously his finest hour but he still played for us for another couple of years. I know his heart wasn’t in it anymore toward the end of his last season with us though. Apparently the old guard read him the riot act after he wasn’t tracking back when we lost to Coventry.

    I’ll defend him as growing up he was one of my favourite players and as a kid I was so sad when he left. I always think about the home game against Leeds where he looked almost unstoppable and scored two. It’s where his fork took off after a little slump after his fast start in the autumn of 97.

    Here’s a question, which run of blistering form that helped take us to the title do you like best, Overmars 98 or Freddie 02?

  91. Tom

    Fergie was a brilliant manager but his relationship with PGMO refs and the media’s takes on his conduct especially at OT was a complete joke.
    Having refs personal numbers and speaking to them outside of official channels should’ve been reason enough to raise stink about the leagues bias.
    “Fergie time” is still being referred to by media with almost nostalgic admiration as something special when for me it was a red nosed despot berating the match and the fourth official pointing frantically to his watch and asking for more time when behind , or demanding the final whistle when ahead.

    Wenger was cheated by United and the League and I wish the club had taken a stronger stand against it at the time.

    I don’t hold grudges much but seeing his geriatric ass still pumping his wrists at United’s extra time winners brings back bad memories for me , and one of the reasons Arsenal / Man U is still the biggest match of the season.

  92. Raulishuss

    Dream10. He isn’t as impossing but he’ll grow into his body. I think your statement earlier about him been better than gab and white was just baseless and unfair. He isn’t doing anything ballard on loan isn’t doing and aside pace i think ballard is better

  93. Rich

    Zacharse

    We need Ole to do just enough not to get fired, at least until we go to Old Trafford at the end of November

    United vs Everton draw would be a good result for us, but if Richarlison + Calvert Lewin are still out

    Then it should be a easy United win

  94. raptora

    Alexis is the last player we had that had a real go at being the best player in the EPL. Absolutely carried our sorry asses for couple of years. Top class player. After everything said and done, I don’t feel an ounce of hate towards him. He played his best football here. Probs to Wenger for unleashing that powerhouse of electric football.

  95. Spudnik

    AFC Forever, that youtube clip has put me in a right bad mood. I watched that game in an English bar in Barcelona and have never seen any of it since. Couldn’t bear to. I never realised the extent of the injustice. I couldn’t even finish the clip.

  96. bacaryisgod

    AFC

    Not sure whether United broke him or his punishing schedule for the previous 3-4 years and his style of play broke him. It didn’t know how to take care of his body and give it rest but he also won back to back Copa Americas when he was with us. I think he burned himself out but what a fireball he was!

  97. Tom

    “Tomorrow will be our first decent challenge since City, really looking forward to this one.“

    Radio Raheem, Brighton table position is flattering a bit. Easy schedule and some luck with decisions going their way more to do with them sitting 6th than strength of performances.

    If Bissouma is still out, I think they would be nuts to risk him until fully fit and training, Arsenal should have a clear advantage.

  98. bacaryisgod

    Very true, Pierre.

    I guess last season took Auba down a lot in fan opinion but let’s not forget he was pretty brilliant until last season. 70 goals in 109 games and some of those goals were superb. Auba in full flight is a beautiful sight.

  99. AFC Forever

    Spudnik, sorry about that! Absolutely disgraceful con job.

    Pierre, Bacary yep when Ozil was on his game he was a superb baller. The way he linked with Sanchez was something else. We’ve been lucky to have so many ballers to look back on.

  100. AFC Forever

    Auba suffered a lot last season. He had some personal issues, a lot of lateness, contracted Malaria & COVID and lost form. Probably not helped by the fact that he didn’t have a crowd to play in front of because he feeds off that energy. Missed his goals big time. Great player.

  101. bacaryisgod

    Tom

    I don’t know what is to blame for the Auba slump but he did have a brutal year. He was on such tremendous form at the time of extending his deal with us that there were barely any posters complaining. It was largely praised from inside and outside the club.

    It also comes down to that old issue of retention being a lot cheaper than recruitment. His 3 year deal is estimated to be just shy of 40m. Signing a quality center forward plus 3 years of salary wasn’t going to be cheap although there would likely be a resale value.

    That summer Villa signed Watkins for 33m, Chelsea took Havertz for 71m, Man City snapped up Ferran Torres for 20.8m, Newcastle paid 20m for Callum Wilson and Wolves dropped 35m on Fabio Silva. As you can see, it’s all over the place. The way Auba was playing all the way until August in the F.A Cup final, it’s hard to blame Arteta for extending him.

  102. Zacharse

    Fair enough Rich
    But it is the early game and it is benitez. Weve all seen utd look pitiful facing less. Hope iwobi and richarlison score before they’re stretchered off.

  103. bacaryisgod

    AFC Forever

    I tend to agree that Auba feeds off live crowds but the counter argument is that he was spectacular in the F.A Cup winning run last year without them.

  104. Emiratesstroller

    The combination of the Neville brothers ended Reyes career at Arsenal. He was never the same
    player after their hatchet job.

    Riley was in my view the worst referee in the Premiership and having watched again the
    9 minutes of that game it was evident that he was in the pocket of Man Utd.

  105. G8

    NLD win was great
    Still Arteta is a shit manager
    We won the NLD at home last season and he still managed to fuck up the season
    Hope tomorrow we dont come crashing
    Up the Arsenal

  106. Dream10

    Alexis is a superb talent. He was a bit greedy, but he was so fucking exciting. I have him below comfortably Henry/RVP because in his most productive spells for the club, beginning of his first season and 16/17, we really weren’t a CL side.

    He’s not the best player of the last decade, but he might be the one I want to watch most.

  107. Nigel Tufnel

    Watching the NLD again. First half Ben White was all over Kane like a cheap suit.

    Some great passing from him too. Not typical defender passes at all. It’s like another midfielder in the build up.

    Also one sublime pass through to Auba from Gabriel. He has that ability himself sometimes. Maybe it’ll become competitive in attempting more adventurous passes.