by .

Thank you to all the folk that dropped nice comments and messages after the mental health post yesterday. I implemented the Bad Day rule for my team today, I hope you did too!

Onto Arsenal news…

We’re being linked with: Chambo.

The player is out in the cold at Liverpool, he hasn’t really banged, he’s 28 years old and seems to be whipping up a bit of attention.

Can’t see it.

He doesn’t fit with the profile we’re looking for at Arsenal. He’d be expensive. He’s not the most robust of players. I’m not sure he fits for what we’re in need of at the moment.

I suspect the next two big moves for Arsenal will be the Xhaka replacement and more importantly: The Lacazette replacement.

Big pennies will likely go on those two roles because we need a heightened amount of specificity.

Thomas Partey actually scored a goal on international duty by hitting the target with a real shot.

This is bad news.

It’s permission for him to shoot on site.

It’s an invite to bully smaller boys into letting him take freekicks.

It’s Kolo Toure long rangers, it’s David Luiz standing over the ball, it’s John Jensen in row Z.

Bad times. All because of the international break.

Weird that this is the only international break of the season when basically everyone new creating journo takes a holiday. Good for them, but I really have next to nothing to write about. I’m running on fumes. It’s going to be even harder this week because our next game is on a Monday.

My big question for the next period is how Arteta reacts if we’re still not getting a turn out of Auba after the break. Does he revert back to Lacazette, who is rumoured to be attracting interest from Inter? Or does he try Eddie, who hasn’t signed a deal? I can’t see him opting for Balogun, who despite doing bits for the U23s, really looks like he needs a move.

It’s amazing how unbalanced we can look in attack, it’s also a real shame that Auba’s form tanked so soon after he signed a new deal. What a mess this rebuild is.

I watched the Schumacher documentary on Netflix this week.  It really changed my perception of the man if I’m honest. You should take it in. There was an amusing parallel with modern football in there. When the German moved to Ferrari to help them reinvent themselves as a competitive F1 team, it took longer than expected, and in his last season, there were calls to move him on. Eventually, it clicked and the rest is history. Just goes to show that patience really is a tough thing to offer anyone at the highest level of sport, even in racing, with one of the greatest racers of all time.

Right, that’s me past the 400-word count.

Listen to me and Johnny talk about Arsenal, racism, mental health, bad hashtags, and the future of our season. I uploaded the wrong file yesterday, so refresh your feed before you listen so you get the edited file, not just the dump of me and Johnny talking about plastic bags.


158 Responses to “MONDAY ROUND-UP”

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  1. underrated Coq

    Sounds great in theory but ‘Bad day’ may set a very dangerous precedent on loss of human productivity and capacity.

    Why? Because a large percent of Working class aren’t in a job due to passion, they are in it to make a living. Any excuse to take days off will be made a meal of and it’ll be just too easy to trash the ‘insensitive managers/bosses’ that don’t comply.

  2. Chris

    I like this article. Articulates my feelings on the NUFC takeover and the futility of a successful opposition to the greed in the game.

    If we all keep turning up to the stadiums every week after this then there probably isn’t anything that will stop us despite moral objections to what is happening. We are all lost to football.

    By the way great article yesterday Pedro concerning mental health. Any exposure for this subject is helpful and I mentioned the ‘Bad Day’ idea to my boss today and she intends to brief our team in it tomorrow.

  3. dave

    I’d like to see Balogun given more game time. Yes he looked out of his depth in the opener, but that was a tough game for the whole team. More team minutes (say 30 minutes every second game) could do the world for his confidence and would give him needed PL exposure. I feel that a lot of people are writing him off too early as being ‘not ready’ without giving him many chances at all.

  4. underrated Coq

    Case in point: My Organization introduced Unlimited PTO and you know who’s made the most of it? The Entry level employees.

    Becoming lazier by the day while the midlevel and senior level employees are forced to smile and do the work for the lazy brats.

    And where is the exact Science that says off-time has a positive impact on everyone?

  5. Matt B

    For anyone in the UK (and those who can get iplayer), Paul Merson: Football, Gambling & Me is on BBC1 tonight at 9.00PM

  6. Northbanker

    Ox would be a disaster – if he isn’t good enough for Pool then he isn’t good enough anymore for us . If we’re serious about getting back to the top then we need to think like that

    Plus we have better players already in that position

    Plus we need a serious continuous devotion to finding and developing young elite talent. Let’s not waste the foundations of last Summer – it needs to be a constant process and yardstick. We shouldn’t be signing 28 year olds under any circumstances

  7. TeeCee

    Chamberlain? That has to be a bit journo link who knows that Arteta loves a winger so he’s adding 2+2 and coming up with 17.
    I don’t think Chamberlain has anything to offer, nothing. He’s Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey or Abou Diaby , a crock on a big pay day.
    Sounds like a good signing for the Geordies though!!

  8. NJ Gooner

    Interlulls are like the silly season on the UK news in August. Nothing’s going on so journos can create speculative stuff, like the Ox story. Fills the back pages.

    I recall a great data-driven story on Le Grove about prospective forwards a few months back. Correa for 17 mil was the best option according to the data. DCL was actually the worst of the group selected, although some (including Pedro) expressed their enthusiasm.

    Pedro, if you are “running own fumes” then could we discuss who would be viable (availability, our needs and the fee) as a new forward? I don’t have an immediate answer but would like to know what others think – and why.

  9. englandsbest

    Glad to see a mention of F1, Pedro, the only major sport where a Brit is numero uno. Sir Lewis to be (or is he already one?)

    The allusion to Farrari is apt, a re-invention is taking place at the Emirates. A task Arteta was set (or set himself). It’s not just about the team. There was so much wrong with the Club, from top to bottom. Which is why I sigh, when I hear people cry two years have gone by.

    From where Arteta started, two years is no time at all. Even the new Newcastle with all the money in the world, with money enough to buy the best players, with enough to hire the world’s best manager will take longer to create a top flight team that is operational.

    Areteta has only recently come close to the personnel he needs to make the team click. A lean mean machine. But the signs are there for all to see, the direction is clear.

  10. Pedro

    underrated Coq, do you need a scientific paper to prove that taking time away from work is a good thing?

    Are your juniors taking the piss, or are their leaders too scared to take what is theirs?

    Nothing lazy about taking vacation. That’s a very archaic view.

  11. Rich

    Wenger once said, that’s there’s a very small group of players who are that good, they can choose any club they want, and still be a success

    But for the vast majority of players, it’s about choosing the right club

    Be interesting to see what profile of striker Arteta goes for, if he’s still around next summer

    Renewing Aubameyang was a weird move, and one I was opposed too

    I’m not convinced of him out wide, I’d prefer a technician, and for a player who’s all about athleticism, he was likely going to dip physically into his 30s

    We can extract some value out of him down the middle, but his all-round game is average

    Many Arsenal fans have gone full circle, gone from wanting a more mobile alternative to the underrated Giroud, to now wanting more of a focal point to the pace and movement of Aubameyang

    Aubameyang’s performance against Brighton was horrendous, I’ve got a slight preference for Lacazette over Aubameyang, but wouldn’t be against giving Martinelli or Nketiah a run of games down the middle

  12. MidwestGun

    Hmmm Well Im also a no to OX. I would like to see us make a move in January for a striker possibly with Laca leaving. I do think we should play Lacazette on the road when we need a grafter to do the dirty work. It would also help build a little value there so we get something out of the deal.

    As for replacement for Xhaka..I think this should be a high priority now.. There is no guarantee he will come back in 3 months fit and firing, and we all know his limitations before the injury. If Juventus is serious about letting Weston Mckennie go… then hell yes.. He is exactly what we need as a defensive mid… All action with some scoring ability, has a great ability to read the game as well. Young but experienced. The negatives about his off the pitch attitudes is a bit over rated.. He likes to have parties and girls up to his room on international break.. yep he is a young millionaire imagine that. He hasn’t done anything Giroud used to do on a daily basis. No selfies of himself in Sonic the Hedgehog underwear either.

  13. Tom

    “Aubameyang’s performance against Brighton was horrendous, I’ve got a slight preference for Lacazette over Aubameyang, but wouldn’t be against giving Martinelli or Nketiah a run of games down the middle“

    Hardly surprising Auba was bad in a game entire midfield was overrun and long balls were doomed in shit weather. Not that he’s a good outlet for those under ideal conditions mind you.

    Singling out any player in a game no one played well is hardly fair, Rich.
    The manager should get more blame than anyone when that happens.

  14. Rich


    The pressing was non existent, I can deal with players having an off day, but a lack of effort is something else

    Aubameyang was idling around the pitch, looked disinterested

    He’s our captain and one of our senior players, we know he can put a shift in, but he needs to do it with more consistency, try and play himself into a bit of form

    Would you like to see any changes for Palace?

  15. englandsbest

    I’d be much happier to see Laca stay and Auba go in Jan, for a number of reasons. First and foremost because if Auba goes, it would open the door for Eddie, Martinelli & co, whereas if Auba stays nothing changes. Also a Club in need of a striker (I’m thinking, say, Newcastle) would pay a decent fee for him. Plus we’d save on his crazy salary enough for Arteta tio go out and buy whoever he needs.

    And I like Laca anyway. I hope Arteta gives him a year’s extension.

  16. Tom

    Rich. Pressing is a ten men job.
    Alexis used to run around like a madman chasing shadows, with defenders passing the ball around him with ease.

    Would you single out any Brighton player for their excellent pressing vs Arsenal?

    I don’t have a line up preferences for Palace.
    I’m still waiting to see consistent performance over 90 minutes regardless who’s playing.
    Although admittedly after the interlull timing might not be best for that.

  17. Rich


    Aubameyang is a senior player, he should be leading the press from the front, not standing off, and allowing Brighton to play through us at will

    I’d like to see this

    ..….White Gabriel
    Tomi.Partey Tierney
    Odegaard Smith Rowe

    Have Tierney playing deeper, Lacazette dropping in as a false 9, and have Saka + Martinelli attacking the space he leaves in behind

    2 big home games, we’ve got a tough run of fixtures after the next international break, we need to start clocking some points

  18. LoveSausage

    This Ox story sounds like BS from some journo trying to stir the pot. My reservations about the current regime aside, they do seem to have a philosophy when it comes to recruiting. And Ox ain’t it.

    Our next #9 will be critical. I really hope we don’t end up wasting a ton of money (aka the English premium) on an average player just because he has PL experience. There are deals to be had in France, Germany and Italy.

    In the meantime, I’d prefer to see Laca in the starting 11.

  19. Tom

    “Aubameyang is a senior player, he should be leading the press from the front, not standing off, and allowing Brighton to play through us at will“

    Rich, if Auba wasn’t pressing against Arteta’s wishes than he should’ve been subbed out earlier than he was.
    It is really that simple.

  20. Northbanker

    LS – I agree that Laca is a better option. Auba has had enough chances. But I’d also like to see Martinelli making more appearances even as a sub. In the longer run he can be better than any external signing even if he has lost his way a little

  21. LoveSausage


    Martinelli is a curious case. Such an obvious talent but he hasn’t covered himself in glory when he’s gotten minutes lately. We need to find a way to phase him in as a sub regularly until he finds his form.

    As for the starting place, I’d be willing to take a longer term perspective if we JD a player with growth potential there. But the only realistic starters are Auba, Laca and Eddie. None of them are long term solutions. And in that case, only results matter IMO. Laca at least has a skillset for the sort of football we’re playing right now.

  22. Dissenter

    Maybe we would have gone for Oxlade in the summer of 2020 when project geriatric was in motion.

    That would never happen now , thanks be to Jah

  23. Dissenter

    I hope Auba continues to churn out decent performances and score goals

    Hope we have no cause to play Laca and Eddie. This practice of players willy nilly running out their contracts to leave the club with zich has to stop.

    I would play Martinelli ahead of Laca and Eddie to just to prove a point.

  24. Pierre

    Tom, you are flogging a dead horse defending Aubameyang’s performance v Brighton..

    His first touch was appalling, in fact his first touch was so bad that he never managed a 2nd touch.

  25. Dissenter

    ESR will get tougher games with the Arsenal U20s playing five-a- side than playing for England U21s against Andorra U-21s.

    The London Borough of Islington has 3.5x the population of Andorra. How is Andorra even able to field an U-21 side? Just shows how shitty some international football has become.

    ESR ought to be resting, instead he’s meaningless games.

  26. Tom

    Pierre, I’m not.
    Just making a point that if a manager keeps a player in a game for 72 minutes when he’s not doing the basics like pressing ( apparently against his wishes), than both have failed to do their job.
    Especially, when as you mentioned his all around game was awful on the day.

  27. Pedro

    Tom, Auba wasn’t great, but let’s be real honest, the biggest problem was the midfield and how scared they were of the press. Not sure making a statement sub with Auba was necessarily that simple.

  28. China1

    Re some companies having unlimited annual leave

    Our team at work is already being trashed by the testing team seemingly all cycling through annual leave and sick leave every other day. If they had the right to take even more leave I’m not sure they’d ever come back

  29. China1

    I think one of the problems with why depression is so rife is because the school system doesn’t really have any aspects that prepare us for the real world.

    Kids spend thousands of hours learning academic subjects but don’t learn life skills about how to be resilient, how to be adaptable, to expect that there will be really shitty times in your life and how to cope with them, about what many of the biggest triggers are for issues like depression (like social media, lack of exercise, diet, sleep etc), so many things

    It’s good that we learn about the battle of Hastings but if you don’t learn any of the skills above it’s worth less than zero to your future.

  30. Tony

    A resounding no for the Ox. He’s been a bit part player for the Bin Dippers with injuries and lack of form.

    He’ll be the same for us. Nice guy by all accounts but not for me.

  31. China1

    I also believe the human race has evolved beyond its comfort zone

    This is the same species that was gathering berries and hunting wild boar just a few thousand years ago (still do in some places) and we are now flooded with information about the world and all of its ills. It’s not enough to catch a fish and take it home to your family. The world is on its death bed. Climate change is going to kill you and your children if YOU don’t do something about it. Pollution is going to wipe out all the sea life if YOU don’t stop using plastics. People are being abused in many countries unless YOU do something about it. Children are starving in Africa unless YOU donate some money Etc etc. no pressure.

    When I was a student in the UK I was extremely switched on to all these issues and this kinda shit really weighed on me. I had to come to a realization that it’s good to care and it’s good to do your bit when you can, it not to let the ills of the world totally consume you otherwise the weight of the world will kill you. You’re still just a hunter gatherer, wearing a suit won’t change that

  32. The Bard

    The Ox story is just made by the press, even Arsenal aren’t that stupid.
    Agree with general feeling about Auba. It will be interesting to see whether Arteta has the cojones to get rid of him in Jan.

  33. Pierre

    It was said, and i agreed with, that Ozil should drop out of the side for certain away games when we had low possession, liverpool and city were the prime examples.

    We are now at the point where , due the the increased physicality being allowed by the match day officials (normally from the home team), players like Aubameyang and dare i say Odegaard could become redundant away from home as they shy away from any physicality.

    The team suffer due to their inability to compete for the ball and neither are brave enough on or off the ball to warrant a place in the side unless we see a change in the way referees officiate the game ….which may happen.

    It is no coincidence that due to a lack of supporters in the ground during covid , the away teams won more games than the home teams for the first team ever.

    Basically it meant .that the referees could control the game and give what they see, instead of being influenced by the home crowd .
    You only have to look at liverpool’s dramatic drop in home form for confirmation of this…

    I believe that many managers of premier league clubs may have to make selection decisions due to the physicality of the home team as it is becoming more and more evident that protection for the away teams by the referees is becoming non existent…

    Fortunately, we have a couple of home games coming up which will allow Aubamayang and Odegaard to be an influence on the game as the Emirates crowd will demand action from the ref for any over physical tackles from the opposition…

    If Arteta wants the team to seriously compete away from home , his team selection will need to take into account that we need players who are brave on the ball and brave off the ball …

  34. Sid

    Auba having an appalling first touch is Not News,

    Diet Pep using him instead of a player with proper 1st touch is the problem.

    Or set the team to give Auba early through balls, you dont hear Leicester fans complain Vardy has an appalling 1st touch.

  35. Pierre

    Will add that the highly technical teams like city and chelsea are able to compete better against the more physical sides away from home due to their ability to retain possession

  36. Up 4 grabs now


    Pedro had a couple of days out of the loop and missed the last post about mental health, just read it now.
    Top man, something different in the inter-lull, and an important subject that rarely gets talked about concerning men.
    its good to have something different to discuss now and again.

    Onto Arsenal, the ox, no thanks, as other have said, injury prone and inconsistent.
    the best thing we did was flog him to the bin-dippers for 35 million.

    we’ll be bringing Ramsay and song back next!

    i hope Arteta has analysed the Brighton game to death to see where he went wrong. if not Vieira could well spring a surprise on him on Monday might.

    realistically we need 12 points from the next four games to set ourselves up for united and the bin-dippers.
    go into those games with 12 points and id fancy getting a win at united.
    unfortunately its the bin-dippers first, where im not holding out much hope.

  37. Up 4 grabs now


    with a better Defence now, we can afford to sit back and invite certain teams on, to then hit them on the break, This will get the best out of Auba, like you say its works for Leicester with Vardy.
    in other games we use a different striker, and play a different way, horses for courses

    It depends if Arteta can mix it up or not.
    theirs sticking to your guns and theirs being plain stubborn.

    Theirs more than one way to win a game.

  38. TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

    Is that the Ferrari that has a tendency to cheat ? They installed a sensor to increase oil/fuel burn flow and placed it in the car downstream from the FIA’s sensor. Ferrari gained overall pace in the car that no one could work out. Took the FIA way too long to find it, fine Ferrari off the books and kept it quite. Low and behold Ferrari pace tailed off significantly in the 2020 season. Red bull are no better, the Man City of the F1 track with their intelligent use of subsidiaries to apportion their overspend…

  39. Ishola70

    “Will add that the highly technical teams like city and chelsea are able to compete better against the more physical sides away from home due to their ability to retain possession”

    Chelsea will finish no higher than third by the end of the season even with Lukaku on board. Man City and Liverpool will finish ahead of them.

    What is Liverpool’s secret then?

  40. Ishola70

    As we know it’s not about retaining possession for possession’s sake.

    It’s the manner in which you retain possession.

    Man City are comfortable and fluid in retaining possession.

    Arsenal many times are not fluid in retaining possession and it doesn’t seem comfortable or natural to the team.

    You either need good players all across the team or coaching to the highest level that elevates players and the team.

  41. Ishola70

    The Spanish national team are comfortable retaining possession.

    They have great control in their possession.

    Again unlike Arsenal at this point.

    And so on.

  42. CG

    Re: PEA

    As Mbappe and Benzema showed the other day, the game is still about the quality of your center forwards in their win against Spain.

    Spain more smooth and silky.
    Disjointed World Champions France still win.

    PEA is shot. You could name at least x 15 better center forwards than him in the prem and probably x2 of them play for Arsenal.

    Sheer folly and a chronic lack of managerial know how from Arteta to sign him on a 3 year contract( and William).Thats why we simply cant score enough goals.

    Arsenal Goals.

    5 goals from 7 this year.
    55 goals from 38 last year.

    Wenger 54 goals in his last 19 home games.

  43. CG


    “”””What is Liverpool’s secret then?””””

    J. Klopp
    When he goes, its over for them.
    And they can have as many scientists as they like on the payroll.

    Its the UAE v Saudi Arabia era now.

  44. englandsbest


    Players are protected (against violence on the pitch) far more now than they have ever been.

    It’s also perfectly true that players (like Ozil) would do better with no physical contact at all. Is that what we want?

  45. englandsbest

    Football is, and has always been, a game where it’s fair play to get away with whatever you can. And long may it remain so. A bit like life itself, I’d say. Hence, it’s appeal, perhaps. But. like life. there is room for – no, a necessity for – principles.

  46. Pierre

    “It’s also perfectly true that players (like Ozil) would do better with no physical contact at all. Is that what we want?”

    Dumb comment.

    Ozil was very good against the lesser more physical teams when we had lots of possession as he had the technique and intelligence to have an influence on the game.

    He struggled more against teams that dominated possession..

    I won’t attempt to explain my point to you regarding the increased physicality in the premier league this season, but ultimately I will be proved right in my observations.

  47. englandsbest


    Strange, I seem to recall Ozil being ‘shrugged’ off the ball often and easily.

    Nor do I see increased physicality in PL this season, certainly not in comparison with the Leeds and Stoke sides of old.

  48. Nelson

    “This will get the best out of Auba, like you say its works for Leicester with Vardy.”

    Vardy is a fighter. Auba is a prince. He only feels like playing once in awhile.

  49. Ishola70

    As Tom said earlier pressing is done in packs of no less than two and the Alexis Sanchez example was a good one.

    Arsenal either have a team press plan that is shown on the pitch or they don’t. Against Brighton no plan at all was evident. More the old story of retreating back to defend deep and giving the opposition the majority of possession. That is a team instruction that comes from Arteta.

    Aubameyang pressing on his own in the CF position whe the rest of the team was in deep defending mode yet again would have been worthless.

  50. Ishola70

    We have always known Aubameyang is not an all round striker.

    Not news.

    What is funny though is those that overlook Arteta’s part in this. How he sets the team up and his approach to matches. This can all affect individual players.

    Quite predictable though that we would get scape goating of players before Arteta.

    Whatever happens though Aubameyang has got to be replaced sooner rather than later because he is not getting any younger.

    Arsenal’s main striker signing whenever it occurs probably next summer is going to be very interesting.

  51. DivineSherlock

    So now the scapegoat is Aubameyang ? Before it was Pepe . Or maybe Pepe still is now . At what point will you realize the man suffered more than anyone last year , its just matter of getting his confidence back . Its not his fault that Arsenal solely relies on his goal scoring exploits. He was scoring goals for fun .

  52. Tom

    “What is funny though is those that overlook Arteta’s part in this. How he sets the team up and his approach to matches. This can all affect individual players.Quite predictable though that we would get scape goating of players before Arteta.“

    Par for the course, Ishola

    Arsenal win the NLD and Arteta gets the plaudits, we lay an egg in a dismal performance v Brighton and it’s the players.

    Pedro tweets a negative assessment of Liverpool’s first half performance v City, or France’s performance v Belgium, but the second half changes introduced by managers turn those games around.

    Arsenal are at the very least Brighton’s level so you’d think Arteta should be able to counter Potter’s tactics in the second half with his just like Klopp and Deschamps did but no, it’s all on the players……. and the weather of course.

  53. Pedro

    Tom, rework it.

    ‘Pedro tweets negative comments about the first 45s of two of the best teams on the planet with the best players.’

    Do you think the two situations are the same?

    What did Brendan Rodgers, your absolute favourite, do to counter them when he lost at their place? You’ve rated them above us for a while. Why didn’t he have an answer?

    Ish, just banging the table and saying ‘accountability’ over and over isn’t analysis. Signing Auba to a new deal was not a shocking idea considering how electric his form was and how much the fans loved him. What about other considerations? Who had bid for him, was it enough to find another 30 goal a season striker? Who was available that could do what he was capable of? What were the other priorities?

    You oversimplify everything without offering up actual ideas yourself. This is like when you were lobbying for Arsenal to sell Xhaka for 10m. Sounds like a great table-thumping ideas, but not really workable if you don’t have the money to do better. And let’s be real ‘sign a cheaper’ keeper doesn’t look like a good counter-point 4 games into Ramsdale.

  54. Dissenter

    You oversimplify everything without offering up actual ideas yourself. This is like when you were lobbying for Arsenal to sell Xhaka for 10m. Sounds like a great table-thumping ideas, but not really workable if you don’t have the money to do better. ”

    We spent 160 million
    It’s not a question of not having enough money. It was a question of priorities. We didn’t deem replacing Xhaka high enough because Arteta is smitten with the man.

  55. Tom

    Pedro, no two situations are ever exactly the same but they are certainly similar.
    France and Belgium are certainly on par talent wise no matter how you slice it.
    So are Liverpool and City, and that’s why the Bright/Arsenal analogy works.

    The Brendan Rodgers thing you’ve got going against me is getting a bit silly now considering I never wanted him for Arsenal and don’t consider him elite.
    Stating an obvious fact someone’s getting more out of their team than the players valuation and talent level might indicate isn’t some affirmation of love lol.

  56. Nelson

    Folden has established himself as a midfielder in the England NT. I was surprised that he can play the ACM position as well as he did last game.

  57. The Bard

    Pedro I take issue with you over your Auba comment. Yes he was electric and it may be true we couldn’t have sold him. But you don’t put a 30+ yo on a mega 3 year deal. Maybe 1 with an option to renew. We effectively put him in his comfort zone. He’s done very little since. Why is that ?

  58. Pedro


    We had 160m we needed to spend elsewhere. Every position we added to was more important than Xhaka. That is not in dispute. Flogging Xhaka for 10m to sign someone for 30m would have been bad business.

  59. Nelson

    The Bard

    That’s why we have pointed out that both EDU and Arteta are lack of experience. Anyway, KSE seems to have enough money to cover the over spending. Now, let’s sign a good striker next summer.

  60. Pedro

    The Bard, tell that to PSG and United who gave deals to +34 year olds. Or Leicester who keep renewing Jamie Vardy. Or Liverpool signing Henderson again.

    You sign high performers to new deals. He is not in a comfort zone, he’s been in a crisis of confidence.

  61. Pedro

    Tom, you use Leicester to bag on Arsenal. Their manager, with all his experience, had no answer to Brighton at home. They finished 5th last season. What happened with Leicester? What happened to City when Brighton beat them last year?

    … and there is no comparison between where Arsenal are and where France and City are football wise. It’s a total non-starter comment. We have a very inexperienced team of players that are new to each other and the league. Sometimes they will come out guns blazing, other times they won’t… to point out that Liverpool can do things we can’t yet is not a serious criticism..

  62. englandsbest

    Nowadays a draw away in PL against any side is a decent result,. Particularly if the side you play is in form, ahead in the table, and the conditions are dreadful. All of which was true in the game against Brighton.

    Well done the team, well done Arteta.

  63. Nelson

    An experienced manager would have given Auba a heavy performance related contract. If he didn’t take care of himself and didn’t help the team to gain Europa football, then he should be getting only half of his current salary.

  64. Pedro

    Nelson, no mate, players don’t take performance-based contracts. They want the money. Who are these experienced Sporting Directors you know that are telling top scorers in the Premier League to take performance-related pay over their market rate?

  65. Pedro

    ‘Hey Auba, would you be up for taking half of your salary if you had a dip in form related to mental stress, your mother getting very sick, or a general crisis of confidence?’

  66. Pedro

    Nelson, has his performance dropped because he doesn’t care? Or has it dropped because he’s been going through some bad shit?

    He’s being going through some stuff is the answer.

    Your experienced TD that puts him on half salary doesn’t exist. At best we could have sold him, but there wasn’t exactly a massive market mid-pandemic.

  67. Tom

    Pedro, Leicester have the league’s 8th highest wage bill at £86m.
    Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal’s are much higher ( Arsenal £175m) yet Leicester finished above them in the table two years running, while having to replace their best players season after season.

    How much of a Brenda disciple does one have to be to admit he’s been punching above his weight there.

    And then you write this:
    “What did Brendan Rodgers, your absolute favourite, do to counter them when he lost at their place? You’ve rated them above us for a while. Why didn’t he have an answer?“

    I can only assume you didn’t watch that game, a typical game of two halves, where Brighton dominated the first and Leicester the second half, with more possession, shots on goal and passes.
    Three goals based on ref decisions went against Leicester that day and if Arsenal got that kind of return from PGMO in a single day, you probably would’ve penned two articles on Arteta’s bad luck and leagues anti-Arsenal bias.
    And I probably would’ve agreed lol.

  68. Nelson


    Your argument is incorrect. We didn’t ask him to give up half of his salary. We have doubled his salary. He is one of the major reason why we didn’t play in the European football. An experienced manager knows how to protect the club.

  69. Pedro

    Tom, what does a wage bill matter if you rate their players and their manager higher than ours?

    I did watch the game. Leicester managed 3 shots on target for the entire 90 minutes. Is that the answer you are looking for? Arsenal to dominate… but lose? Bad luck only works when it’s for Leicester? You roll out the excuses ready-made for Brendan… but will talk for two days about whether Auba should have come off 12 minutes earlier and bang the table about how people don’t want to have hard conversation about our manager that just dropped 10 points from 12.

  70. Tom

    “We have a very inexperienced team of players that are new to each other and the league. Sometimes they will come out guns blazing, other times they won’t… to point out that Liverpool can do things we can’t yet is not a serious criticism..“

    Pedro, Shouldn’t Arteta be included in the first sentence as well?
    How big a stretch might it be that he did t know how to counter Potter’s tactics ?

    You found it remarkable he couldn’t see in real time James was having a field day for Chelsea against Tierney on the left side that cost Arsenal the game.

  71. Ishola70

    What hard conversation do you want about Arteta at this stage Pedro?

    We are early into the season and have had a win over Norwich and Burnley and a great half against Spurs.

    You are 100 miles ahead of yourself here.

    We have three home games coming up in a batch of four in the EPL that could be winnable. Leicester are not in the greatest of form in the one away match.

    Any hard talk about Arteta will come around Christmas time going into the New Year.

  72. Ishola70

    Let’s be clear about Arteta again.

    It’s still very much a case that he has to prove his doubters wrong.

    Finishing 8th last season and with no european fotball for the first time in god knows how long is always going to be the case of proving doubters wrong the following season. And doubters are not going to be swayed at the end of October after just wins over Norwich and Burnley and a great half against Spurs.

    Give it going into the new year and these doubters could be swayed.

  73. Tom

    Tom, what does a wage bill matter if you rate their players and their manager higher than ours?

    Wait, wage bill doesn’t matter now?
    I suppose the transfer spend will be next, remind me who said Maddison would be like Bergkamp if we could sign him.

  74. Tom

    “Give it going into the new year and these doubters could be swayed.“

    Why? Isn’t the right position to enjoy the wins, praise good performances, complain after the bad ones, and give a final verdict at the seasons end?

    Since when having an open mind about a coach, or a manager until end of the season is a sign of lack of support some are making it to be?

  75. Ishola70


    I didn’t say until the end of the season.

    I said give it until Christmas going into the new year and then we get a better idea about Arteta.

    And by all means praise and criticise individual performances up until then because that’s what it is all about but for getting a better long lasting view of Arteta it needs time especially after his finishing place last season.

  76. Ishola70

    What is going to be interesting is the reaction to his finishing place at the end of this season.

    Of course we all hope his finishing position leaves no doubt about his improvement and the teams improvement.

    But if it isn’t cut and dried like this you are going to get plenty of arguments from posters about whether Arteta has what it takes because the bar was set low from last season for what could be perceived as improvement this term.

    And improvement means what is deemed acceptable for Arsenal rather than finishing 7th rather than 8th.

  77. Tom

    Ishola, it rarely is cut and dry but removing any metrics by some is quite telling.

    The difference in fitness, speed, and technical abilities between England players and Hungary is quite stark.

  78. Pedro

    Ish, what is interesting is the reaction to us performing much better when we got our players back in the starting 11. To winning the north London Derby. To the players people said wouldn’t move the needle… moving the needle.

    After the NLD, what were the usual suspects talking about? William Saliba.

    That’s where the interesting reaction tends to be.

  79. Dissenter

    The “usual suspects” typically talk about Saliba, Guendouzi and Emery because you tend to stir the pot in your enticing posts.

  80. Tom

    “….To the players people said wouldn’t move the needle… moving the needle.”

    Pedro, just curious, but what are you basing your opinion that the players have moved the needle on at this early stage?

  81. Pedro

    Tom, not sure there’s a world where the new signings haven’t moved the needle for talent, character, and output that suits the system.

  82. englandsbest


    You have a tendency to deliberately miss the point when you don’t have a sensible answer. I knowt it’s deliberate because you cannot be as obtuse as you sound.

  83. China1

    The team is young and inexperienced but the whole ‘they are still learning how to play with each other’ shtick doesn’t fully add up

    None of our offensive players are new. Ode was here last season. He’s not adapting to anything, he is where he is.

    Ramsdale is a keeper – doesn’t require great adaptation in that position

    That leaves white, Tomi and sometimes Lokonga who this can legitimately be said for.

    If those three Tomi settled immediately so his new arrival doesn’t really fall under this category.

    That leaves just white and lokonga. Lokonga only plays half the time so far.

    That leaves just white as a weekly starter who is new and young and has shown evidence of needing a period of adaptation and even that adapatation has looked good for the last few games.

    Meanwhile which players have let us down this season? Auba has often been poor. Xhaka started the season horribly. Pepe pretty bad. Leno poor.

    As much as young and new players deserve a bit of leeway none of said young or new players have had any major hand in any difficulties we’ve had this season. It’s the experienced players who (again) have come up short so far. So no need to constantly apologize for the inexperienced team when their inexperience hasn’t been a primary issue for us so far

  84. bacaryisgod

    The Bard

    It’s very easy to look back and criticize the Auba deal in hindsight.

    -He did look electric in the final year of his contract.

    -He would have walked for anything less than a 3 year deal and he would have had plenty of takers.

    -The cost of replacing his contributions would have been massive. Spotrac shows his base at 240k per week for a 13m annual salary. I’m sure there are plenty of bonus provisions in there. However, because he’s probably not hit many of the targets, it reduces the financial damage.

    -Let’s say he costs the club 50m over the 3 year deal with no resale value. Now look at a solid Premier League striker like Danny Ings as a comparison. Villa paid a reported 25m for him with a 120k per week salary for 3 years. At 29 years old he also has limited resale value but is costing them.

    If Auba’s 3 year cost to Arsenal is between 39-50m, it looks like Ings is around 43m to Villa. Nothing comes cheap these days and I can fully understand the decision even with the benefit of seeing that Auba’s form has slumped.

  85. Northbanker


    I agree even though I was one of a few on here holding out that he should have been sold at the time due to his age. However I fully understood calls to re-sign him and by the end of that season he was at times carrying the tram single handedly. In the end I was actually pleased we did re-sign him as his form then made it impossible to argue with that decision

    Now it seems to be a stick to beat Arteta with. But how many on here could really have made the decision to do otherwise? Arteta has made many mistakes that were obvious at the time but I would not include Auba. Hindsight is not an argument

  86. The Bard

    My comments on the Auba situation aren’t hindsight. I have been consistent throughout. You don’t give anyone over 30 a massive 3 year contract. It’s money down the drain.
    It’s true he was scoring lot of goals but he has always been a one trick pony. He has to have another striker up front with him because if he isnt scoring he doesn’t contribute anything. I understand the maths of replacing him but long term planning is part of managent. Bill Shankly was the master of it.

  87. bacaryisgod

    Good points Northbanker. I do remember you advocating for his sale at the time.

    The Bard- you can’t really blame Arteta for poor long term planning on this one. The problem was that our young players (Martinelli, Nketiah and Balogun) were still t(and still are) too raw to depend on and Lacazette was going through some rough patches that season also.

    Where I can agree with you is that it was highly risky. Additionally, Arteta might have been developing something of a god complex by winning the F.A Cup in his first season while actually getting Mustafi to play well at the same time. The real problem was that Auba was simply breathtaking in the 2019-20 season. It was hard to imagine that the following season would be such a drop-off for him.

  88. DivineSherlock


    Compound the loss of form with multiple issues with covid/malaria , family and you can see he really lacked confidence if anything. I think fans in the stadium know this and I think this run of home games will se him back to his best now. Many on here are gonna be eating their words.

  89. NORG

    Flogging Xhaka for 10m to sign someone for 30m would have been bad business.

    Not if the new player is an improvement

  90. CG


    “””When Wenger added 5 new players, Mertesacker & co, he did Not make excuses about them learning to play with each other””””

    A. Wenger lost the infamous 8 2 at Old Trafford on the Sunday, he then bought x 5 players on the Monday and still finished in 3rd that season.

    By the time , Arsenal play their next fixture- they could find themselves in 12th or lower in the table, depending on the results.

    Simply unacceptable for a club with any ambition.
    Acceptable for KSE ‘s Arsenal

  91. CG


    “””CG Did you like the way we played against Spurs ?”””


    But I disliked the fotos after , where everyone, I mean everyone ( inc Edu) were celebrating after the win. They were celebrating as if they were FA Cup winners not 10th.( have a peek if you can)

    You will find, the home supporters are more important than the managers instrucions in derby matches.

    (Even Emery won a 4 2 against them.)

    Artetas inertia from the bench against a depleted Brighton meant all the good work against Spurs wasted anyhow.

    The man is average in all aspects of coaching and management.

    Stewart Houston had more about him.

  92. Northbanker

    AFC is a confused place at the moment – I think we bought really well last Summet and finally settled on a proper strategy, having I hoped learnt from the Willian (and as it turns out Auba) debacle. Let’s hope the Oxlade nonsense is just that . Yet I don’t have any confidence in Artetas ability as a coach.

    Great coaches will not only have a plan to get the right players into a system but they will also make proper use of existing player strengths. Artetas in- game management and his judgement on certain players has been shocking on a frequent basis. That appalling start may have been based on unfortunate factors with players missing but it doesn’t excuse the shocking preparation of the team for those games or the inability to change tactics when it plainly wasn’t working.

    I remain optimistic overall on the direction we’re now taking. However there can be no more building for the future talk. It is the Now that matters and we have to start seeing that Arteta actually makes decisions that will promote the strategy. That means decisions like for example taking Martinelli out of cold storage. We have seen he has great ability but being left permanently on the bench for almost a year has left him massively bereft of confidence. Saliba by contrast (sorry Pedro but the S word) seems to be growing as a player by getting game time in France.

    It is the decisions with young players that will matter most and how they are deployed. So many seem to be getting mixed messages (AMN is another). If we could see this more clearly it might help to see the point of Arteta but I am far from convinced

  93. raptora

    Who’s your best friend in the squad?

    AMN: I can’t say I have a sole best friend, but I’ll shoutout of course the players that I grew up playing with Saka and Smith-Rowe, and also the french players who we’ve been together since they joined – Auba, Laca, Pepe.

  94. englandsbest


    Excellent post. Revelatory to some (including me)

    However, dealing with the ‘now’, Auba may come back as a goal-scorer, but it seems unlikely in the Arteta-style play. Whereas he might recover as top score for team that plays in a way that suits him. Come Jan, there might be sides who need him (say Newcastle, Leicester) and a decent fee might be obtained. Throw in his wages, and that’s a considerable sum or saving for the Club.

    Auba is certainly not one for the future, and a replacement must be high in Arteta’s agenda. It may be that Eddie or Martinelli fit the bill, but we’ll never know unless they play. In the meantime, Auba might be better used on the bench, a sub who, at full revs, makes a difference.

  95. Kris

    It’s irrelevant for AMN to say Ozil is the best player he’s played with.
    He’s only seen him in games and training and not on forums and blog posts.

  96. DivineSherlock


    Liverpool under Klopp have celebrated a draw against West Brom . I would cut the players some slack , they were under heavy pressure to deliver results and so was Arteta. My point being if you liked how they played against Spurs and moving forward if we play like that against all teams then would you not change your opinion ? Do you like the signings we made this season so far ?

  97. China1

    Haha Pedro I stopped being a teacher years ago

    And which part of what I said is wrong? 3 of our 5 new signings are from the defensive unit which has been really good lately.

    Ode is not a new signing – it’s ridiculous to include him. Our offensive unit has not changed one bit since last season and it’s our offense which is struggling very badly this season

    Lokonga has only started half the games this season.

    So no, I’m afraid it is schtick about them learning to play together. If Pepe, Saka, ESR, Ode, Auba, Partey, Xhaka are still working out how to play together it reflects badly on the manager. I don’t see an excuse there.

    And like I said the defense has been really good lately which is where 3/4 of our new starting 11 players play.

    So if you give this team another year of football together what will these new players learn together? Maybe the defense will get even better? That would be great. But the offense is irrelevant to this new player schtick

  98. China1

    What will greatly improve this team is for the old heads and the regular starters in the offensive unit to do better. Not that I’m blaming our young attacking players. It’s a tactical and coaching issue

  99. Sid

    Its very simple to defennd against Diet Pep tactics mark Auba, Saka and ESR
    2. Man mark the LB

    The midfielders are Not allowed to make runs into the box or play ahead of the ball.

  100. Spanishdave

    With Newcastle on unlimited money,( what happened to ffp) our glorious owner needs to sharpen up as we will just carry on to cement or mid table place.
    We will not achieve top four with our squad or manager, so what’s the plan Stan?

  101. China1

    We saw vs Spurs if you tell the players to play more freely they can look rampant offensively and still look good at the back

    But for whatever reason that offensive hand break is glued down 90% of the time.

    Even when we have games where we score multiple goals and take lots of shots, it has rarely looked that serious. It’s why I didn’t make a big fuss about our winning streak post Christmas last year. Even some of the games where we scored 3 goals it mainly just seemed that we were being a bit more clinical with our chances, but we almost never looked like a genuinely dominant team.

  102. China1

    We have the players to look great offensively just not the smarts to make it happen. Against Leeds last year we were fantastic after Christmas. Va Spurs this season we looked like prime wenger.

    I don’t think the team needs 200 matches to learn how to play that way, it mainly just needs a bit more freedom. It’s not an age thing either. Some of our greatest ever football playing squads were jammed full of kindergarten players

    We nearly won the league playing some of the finest football ever seen captained by toddler cesc, young flamini, song, denilson, diaby, rvp, ade, clichy etc etc etc

    Absolutely rampant that team was. Fabulous team

  103. S Asoa


    ” I didn’t say until the end of the season.I said give it until Christmas going into the new year and then we get a better idea about Arteta. ”
    That is for those looking for hope at the bottom os the barrel.
    Most of us already know. Arteta has demonstrated his house with a good set of players 2 years in a row – albeit the accidental FAMILY cup win

  104. CG


    “”Do you like the signings we made this season so far ?”””


    I wanted to see 2 or 3 attacking players signed , not simply more defenders stockpiled.

  105. The Bard

    Bacaryisgod I agree the Auba situation isnt just down to Arteta although he must have had some say in it. My point is the logistics just didnt make sense. I like watching Auba play and love some of the goals he has scored but his USB is problematic and high risk. If he isnt on top form he offers absolutely zilch to the team in fact he is a liability and passing 30yo he wasnt going to get any better so why put him on mega money and 3 year contract. ? There is absolutely no up side to the decision. Maybe he has another cracking season and then 2 average/useless ones on £350,000 a week. Its still a daft decision.

  106. englandsbest


    Learning is a piecemeal process. To go from ABC to Shakespeare takes a while

    Likewise, building a quality football side, or returning a Club in decline to the elite. Even with a multi-billionaire owner. And don’t give me KLopp – he started three-quarters of the way along, the foundations already there. The same with Wenger back then.

    To be specific, Arteta focused primarily on the defense issue last summer, in goal, at the back, in the midfield. And to good effect.

  107. Tom

    FYI , the word “bedwetter “ has a different meaning in football blog parlance
    – a person of high standards and integrity …….most commonly, opposite of a flipflopper