by .

The Arsenal Presser went live.

‘Isn’t it funny that in football, you can have a bad month and everything is bad, then you have a good month and everything is good’

To the world of journalists, no, this is not funny. It is not an oddity. It is football and it’s a wasted question.

What Arsenal needs from the next 4 games is 10 points from 12.

We have a HUGE game against Palace followed by a HUGE game against Villa on the Friday.

Why are we playing 5 days apart? Very weird.

The only slight injury news is that Gabriel Martinelli is injured, which is a shame, because he scored in the closed-door game. There were questions about the Brazilians future.

“Well because of the amount of players that we have in that position first of all,”

“He had some games that he played. He started against Brentford and he started against Chelsea as well and he started another game.”

I find the whining about Martinelli a bit odd. He’s been poor this season. When you don’t take your chances, you’ll be moved the bench. He’s young, he’s in a rut, but I’ve no doubt he’ll be back with run at some point soon. I certainly don’t know where the loan talk came from. Fitness is a bit of a constant with him, so let’s hope he can get on top of that this season.

His injury leaves Arteta with little room to truly shake up the attack… outside Lacazette. I don’t like that he’s out the door next June, but I do like that he’s playing for his next big contract. He looks trim, he was solid when he came on last week, so we might see him against Palace.

The bind Arteta is in is that with Martinelli out, he basically has to figure out a way to make an attack of broken pieces work. We don’t have a Tammy or DCL. So what’s the plan?

I expect our back 5 will remain the same. It’s nice to have a stable defence this season. They’ll keep getting better as the season goes on. I like that the defending is sound as it stands. The part that will get exciting is how they combine with the midfield and attack. Palace won’t be as disciplined with their pressing, but I do expect them to rattle out midfield early on and test our resolve. Partey and Sambi have to show, they have to break the press, and everyone needs to battle through the fear. If we can do that, we’ll have a good day.

Thierry Henry showed his cards in the media.

“I don’t know if things are going in the right direction. I watched the Brighton game. Did you watch it?

“I was more than happy when we beat Tottenham as we were on a good run but I was waiting to see a performance, away from home, against a team that passes the ball.

“And, instead, we suffered.

Thierry is and always will be a god. But I do think his motives are quite transparent. He was in the stands for the Spurs game because he thought there was going to be a symbolic point to be made. There wasn’t. I’m sure he loved the game regardless, but coming out with bland commentary one game later is a touch transparent.

Which part of the direction doesn’t he like? The young players we signed? The manager? The club investing more than any other in the Premier League this summer?

More worrying for me is that Daniel Ek might be thinking about installing Thierry Henry as manager if he joins.

What would Thierry bring to the direction? What would he blame if he were knocked out of a cup?

‘a 3-1 home defeat to second-tier Metz in the Coupe de France. In response to being knocked out of the cup, Henry wanted to demote several players to the reserves, not an easy decision to make given his side’s injury woes, but one he was set on taking nonetheless, citing the need for “hungry” players.’

Would he bring Wengerball back to the carpet?

‘his team desperately lacked identity under his management. Henry had a vivacious style as a player – and Monaco had played with a similar devil-may-care attitude during their best spell under Jardim – but Henry undermined that approach by playing negative formations with too many central midfielders.’

Would he have more gravitas in the dressing room? We all saw him make that player tuck his chair in at a press conference?

‘It is not only Henry’s haughty attitude towards the players on a personal level that has damned him. Reports from the club’s training centre also highlighted a seeming lack of professionalism on his part while taking training. Henry was even caught on camera telling the opposition right-back that his “grandmother’s a whore,” which seems quite at odds with the culture of respect he seemed to be demanding while chastising his own player.’

I only highlight these issues, because Thierry has faced very similar sets of problems at the clubs he coached at, and he’s not been able to make things work. If he’s angling for the job, what is he bringing to the table that would be different?

Each to their own, but there are better ways to rattle KSE.

Finally, it was awesome to see Arsenal continue their PR push this week. Their partnership with STATSPORT saw them bring podcasters, Youtubers, and bloggers down to the training ground to talk about the future of performance. These small things that the club have started to do feel fresher, they put the message in the fans hands, and it takes the sting out of some of the venom that’s been spewed over the last 3 months. Good work.

Right, I’m BACK in NYC, so I’m out to eat my weight in pizza, bagels, burger and donuts.

See you at fat camp next week.

P.S. For those of you that liked that Bad Day rule. Here’s a little bit more context from the coach that shared it with me.

There are many reasons I want to know if they are having a bad day.  In case he wanted a bit deeper in my philosophy dealing with the players and if it helps him guide any decisions in the business world.

  1. Obviously human level first. Bad days are different for everyone, depending. Sometimes it’s a bad day so much they need to not be there. Death, someone got in a bad accident etc.
  2. The expectation is to still perform.  Knowing that training can be intense it helps me know where they are at mentally etc.
  3. Most important is they have a high level for their teams when they join them for training(usually with me 20-45 minutes).  Everyone has bad days but people/teammates rely on that individual so to be selfless is important.
  4. Sports is can/should be a release.  If for some reason it’s not that day or can’t be then I need to know. That usually means it something more than just a break-up, bad grade, an argument with parents etc. I want their level and their own expectations.  They set their expectations but not every day we can be 100%, we are human.  So it’s always better for me to know where they are at mentally so they cannot let themselves or their teammates down.
  5. To reiterate- it’s human first then player.  To maximize the player I must maximize the human development side.   I would much rather a player be productive and use the time with me in a positive way then coming in and doing the opposite.



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. CG


    ””””’If you can’t see the difference, then I don’t know what to tell you?….””””””

    I am sure you will try.

    Look at that league Table- that don’t waffle- that says 13th as of today.

    Management is not just about stockpiling young players at huge expense. (Anyone can do that)

  2. Rich


    Nice deflection tactic

    5th-6th was about our level in 2018/19, had Emery not tried to compete on 2 fronts, I suspect he’d have edged us into the top 4

    Which would have been seen as a decent season overall

    We then lost Koscielny, and replaced him with Luiz, replacing one ageing centre back past his best, in exchange for another

    We lost Monreal who was one of our most consistent players, and replaced him with Tierney, who was injured, had no pre-season, which left just Kolasinac, which weakened us in the immediate

    We replaced Mkhitaryan with Pepe, which was arguably a sideways step at best, you could see within his first few games that Pepe was incredibly raw, even though most were excited by the signing when it happened

    We replaced Iwobi with Saka, this was the right move, but there’s always on offset blooding a 17/18yr old, even the very best of them, particularly in a struggling team

    We signed Saliba which was is a decent medium term punt, and I still think this is the case

    We loaned him out, so no movement there, but it’s an investment that can still pay big

    We signed Martinelli and let go of Welbeck, good move, but we again lost experience in the dressing room

    We signed Ceballos on loan for Ramsey, which was a downgrade in experience, and a slight downgrade in quality

    People said we won the transfer window, just because we spent £140 million

    When in reality, we’d actually gone backwards in the immediate, this isn’t me saying this in hindsight, I debated with Pedro and many others that we were heading for a 7th-8th place finish, and would struggle

    I was told repeatedly anything less than 3rd with this squad, was abject failure

    I haven’t been surprised we’ve struggled the last couple of seasons, but I’m as upbeat as I’ve been in a long time about Arsenal

    Managers come and go, but I like the current direction of travel, there’s a much better balance to our squad, and we’ve got some exciting young players with massive potential

  3. Emiratesstroller

    I have not posted for some time in part because I was sick and tired of the personalised attacks by certain individuals against those like myself who are in the more positive camp.

    Sadly what has happened on Friday highlights precisely why a degree of civility is important even if you disagree with someone’s point of view.

    Arsenal’s priority this season should be not only to improve as a team, but if possible to qualify for Europe.

    Personally I don’t think that we will qualify for Champions League. The first three positions
    are already settled as far as I am concerned and then it becomes a lottery for the fourth position.

    Arsenal have a fairly young squad with only a small number of mature/experienced players
    most of who by this summer will be on the way out of club. Leno, Kolasinac, Elneny and Lacazette will be leaving. So the only players left aged 28+ will be Partey, Xhaka and possibly Aubameyang.

    My view as I expressed before is that the team will have good and bad days this season. There are still positions in the team/squad which need to be strengthened.

    The defence has improved in recent games. We have conceded just one goal in last four EPL
    Matches, which is a positive. Having a settled defence is a major factor. The possible return
    of Saliba should strengthen it further, because I am still unconvinced with our squad options.

    Midfield is improving and hopefully Patino will become a useful addition by the end of the
    season. However, I still think that we need to recruit a top class central midfielder for the
    engine room.

    The major weakness is our attack. We have got some talented forwards, but unfortunately they are not delivering consistency in the goalscoring department. The sad fact is that we
    have failed to score in 4 EPL games and have only managed to score more than one goal in
    in the game against Spurs. That is a very poor performance level.

    So the priority in the next two transfer windows must be to recruit at least one forward who
    is not only a regular goalscorer, but a game changer.

  4. Chris

    Just seen the Salah goal yesterday, he has to be one of the in form players in the world right now and is getting better with age. The goal against City, and this one against Watford, absolutely wonderful goals.

    Liverpool are for real again, they will take some stopping.

  5. Rich


    If we win tomorrow night, then we’ll be within a couple of points of 4th

    Most sensible people on here have said that 5th, spitting distance of 4th, would be a decent season, and a good platform to build from with a young team

    You hate context and call it waffle, because you’re an absolute simpleton without much going on between your ears

    You call legitimate reasons “excuses”

    You have no idea how cycles of success is build

    You’re like a petulant child who wants success, and if you don’t get it right now. Then you’re going throw a temper tantrum that the most bratty 6 year child would sit in awe of…..

  6. Chris

    “ Managers come and go, but I like the current direction of travel, there’s a much better balance to our squad, and we’ve got some exciting young players with massive potentia”

    This is it for me too Rich. I like what we have done in the transfer window in terms of the direction and long term thinking. I am sure we will continue this in the next few windows too and it’s exciting to think of the kind of squad we could end up with by strengthening the midfield further, freshening up our strikers and further emergence of our academy prospects.

    Unfortunately the big doubt in my mind is Arteta himself. I am just not convinced he is going to take us where we want to go. I feel the way are playing now is the way he intends us to play, and aside from an explosive 30 minutes against Spurs, we have been a little lacklustre in our attacking threat.

    I would be far more positive overall about our future if we had an attacking coach who is proven in working well with youngsters in charge.

  7. CG


    ”””’You hate context and call it waffle, because you’re an absolute simpleton without much going on between your ears”””””’

    I maybe a simpleton- but this simpleton still knows waffle when they see it.

    You could waffle for England- that’s my opinion.

    the league table still says 13th even with all these young players.

  8. Chris

    Links with Calvert-Lewin and Watkins have to be taken with a pinch of salt, there is now way their respective clubs let them go easily and it would be for sky high fees.

    This type of profile of attacker is exactly what we need though. Mobile, strong in the air and the ability to press from the front the whole game. The trouble is Auba is our captain and is unlikely to be dropped. Lacazette appears to be biding his time for a Bosman and lacks the physicality now despite his other qualities. I would like to see Nketiah given a sustained run in the team but this just seems unlikely for whatever reason.

    Unless the club is planing to go big with the majority of its funds next summer, for a player such as DCL, then we need to be smart and pick up the type of striker we need, as described above, before the likes of Villa and Leicester snap them up. In other words, shop where they do.

  9. Emiratesstroller


    We are playing with Saka and Smith-Rowe who are both attack minded players and Aubameyang has been for a very long time our standout goalscorer.

    Pepe has been at the club for 3 season and does score some brilliant goals, but you can hardly describe him as prolific. Lacazette is no longer a starting eleven player.

    So it is difficult to see how Arteta is to blame for the current situation. Our current options
    are very limited.

  10. Davi

    “I have not posted for some time in part because I was sick and tired of the personalised attacks by certain individuals against those like myself who are in the more positive camp”
    ES, not looking to pick on you or start something here, but this kind of highlights one of the reasons people don’t get along – the personal attacks and general negativity go both ways, but you were only offended when it went against your “side” (it seems). I’m not saying you are a perpetrator here, but I think it’s devolved into sides largely because people are often so dismissive of eachothers views. Some people just want to hear their own views and nothing else.
    It’s kind of how things are in the world as a whole right now.

  11. Chris

    Emirates Stroller

    Saka and ESR are fantastic young players who have a massive future with us, but they are far from the finished articles admittedly. When you out these players together with a Golden Boot winner in Aubameyang and add a creator like Odegaard, I few we should still be presenting far more of an attacking threat than we currently do.

    I do feel what we lack is a tricky, quick footed winger with explosive pace, who has the ability to take on and beat players which can create space for our other attackers, open up avenues on the pitch and create big doubts in opposition defenders minds when they run at them. We have lacked a player like that for a long time. Obviously these don’t grow on trees, but I hope that is what we are in the market for.

    Pepe is not this player. He is a nuisance player who can create the odd bit of havoc and score the odd screamers, but overall his performance for us has been largely disappointing. I don’t think he suits our style of game.

    Arteta is ultimately responsible for our lack of attacking threat because he is the coach and it’s his job to get whatever players he has playing a tune. He had been in the job long enough to have created a style of play. When have ever consistently seen a strong attacking mindset from his teams? Think about how we used to bang the door down in our epic Wenger teams, always a huge threat going forward and creating chances.

    Let’s hope to see further development of our play tomorrow night, much more of what we saw in the Spurs game influencing our attack I hope.

  12. Sid

    “””RichOctober 17, 2021 11:53:14
    SidNice deflection tactic”””””

    I learned from the best, I learned from you
    Oh baby, now, I learned from you
    I learned from the best
    I learned from you

  13. Terraloon

    Sat here drinking my coffee gave me time to spend a few minutes looking at the stats of the season to date

    Yep you can only beat what’s in front of you and the defeat of Spurs was glorious but Arsenal are joint second worse scorers in the league. Equal with Burnley and above Norwich two teams that were beaten by the odd goal but two teams that should be put away with ease

    Think about that for a second. Three wins. Two against the bottom two and a win in a derby where as we all know anything can happen and let’s be honest Spurs we’re terrible just as they were against Palace and indeed Chelsea

    Was the point against Brighton a show of improvement? I know that it was hella ask against Chelsea and City but excluding the Spurs game none of the teams that re likely to end up in the positions 5-8 have been faced yet and for me the Palace game is going to be an interesting challenge because they aren’t like many of the teams that will finish in the bottom half because they have some decent individuals who if they play well and all at the same time have the ability to hurt teams.
    What has been interesting in this Saturdays fixtures is just how difficult it has been for players that have been away on international duty to be mentally and indeed physically prepared to perform at the top of their ability and add to that the fact that Arsenal play again within 96 hours I wonder how many of the likes of Saka, Tierney, Partey, PEA, and Oedegaard will be able to perform or indeed be selected for the two PL games.

  14. Bob N16

    Fair enough Terraloon, agree that we’ve not got much evidence yet to suggest we might be ‘best of the rest’ behind the present top 3 who look like they’ll create a considerable gap between them and the rest.

    That being said, for various reasons, we probably should wait for say 12 games or so before coming to any sort of conclusions about our chances this season. I’d like to think our overall projection is upward but it would not surprise me if we tanked the next four games and Arteta was all but out.

    So in a nutshell, reasons to be optimistic , reasons to be pessimistic- that’s where we are! Clear as mud!

  15. Terraloon


    So in a nutshell, reasons to be optimistic , reasons to be pessimistic- that’s where we are! Clear as mud!

    It is but for me far too many are getting carried away talking about top 4 or even top 6. There are glimpses but other than the Spurs result there hasn’t been more than one goal in any PL game and whilst the defence is critical the fact that say Burnley or indeed Norwich weren’t killed off is for me a major concern

    As I say the Palace game will be more of a challenge because they have players that can hurt you and bully you and have far more flair than Burnley, Norwich or indeed Brentford and Brighton.

  16. Gonsterous

    Looking forward to the everton west ham game.
    Looking at the table, points wise, we are not so bad. A win tomorrow and we will jump to 7th or 8th.

    The bad thing is getting only 10 points from the possible 21, which doesn’t look good and we can’t afford to drop more points if we want to climb up the table or finish high up the table (top 6)

    If by December we are still higher than 10th then the points won’t matter anymore because we won’t pick up enough to mount a challenge for the top 6.

  17. Rich

    Everton well organised, but West sham should fancy their chances here with no Mina, Richarlison or DCL

    This game needs something to spark it into life

  18. Rich

    Everton have only had over 50% possession once this season, 52% at home to Burnley

    West Ham 69% of the ball so far, but only 1 shot on target

    Benitez is more than happy to cede possession and look for a sucker punch, but without DCL or Richarlison, they’re short of players who can deliver a knockout blow

    A draw overall wouldn’t be a bad result for us, followed by a Newcastle win

  19. Ishola70

    “Everton have only had over 50% possession once this season, 52% at home to Burnley”

    That’s drab.

    Can understand somewhat conceding possession away from home but when you are continually doing it at home as well makes for a drab side. They may get some results with it though even today but you don’t get the big rewards at the end of it all by just bunkering down.

  20. Rich


    Everton 3-1 Southampton 48% possession

    Leeds 2-2 Everton 30% possession

    Brighton 0-2 Everton 34% possession

    Everton 3-1 Burnely 52% possession

    Villa 3-0 Everton 44% possession

    Everton 2-0 Norwich 46% possession

    United 1-1 Everton 28% possession

    Everton 0-0 West Ham (half time) 31% possession

    Everton will be 4th if they take something from this game, they’ll be level on points with City in third if they nick a win, not bad without their 2 best players for half the games

    Benitez has never been a possession based tactician, but he’s effective, once he gets his two main forwards back, they’ll cause a lot of teams problems playing for fine margins

    Richarlison is brilliant, he’s a nightmare to play against, has a real nasty streak

  21. Ishola70

    They won’t be making top 4 or 5 by bunkering down all the time by the end of the season.

    Is this you seeing a bit of Arteta in Benitez?

    As I write this Everton go a goal down lol

  22. Rich


    Can’t see Everton finishing top 4, likely 7th-9th, but with hopes of 5th -6th

    They’ll get their fair share of results playing this way though, particularly once their two forwards are back

    Shame that West Ham goal didn’t come earlier, games starting to get stretched a bit

  23. Ishola70


    “likely 7th-9th”

    So nothing notable then. If they try to be a bit more progressive and positive in their football from the beginning of matches they may do a bit better.

    This is the concern regarding Arteta as well although not to the extent of Benitez.

  24. Ishola70

    Good win for West Ham after their setback against Brentford at home and a deserved one against a mostly drab Evereton side.

    Brentford haven’t missed Behrama too much he’s looked overall a bit meh whenever I see him like today for West Ham.

    Gray for Everton looked good at Man United the other week but showed nothing today. Like so many players looks better with lots of space running at stretched defences. The real best players can looked good in tight situations as well.

  25. Rich


    Everton’s current level is 7th-9th

    Chelsea, City, Liverpool, currently the 3 standout teams

    United infinitely stronger squad on paper

    Arsenal, Leicester, Spurs in behind

    Everton, West Ham, Villa just behind

    The people running Everton must have known what they were getting with Benitez, it’s no state secret

    Realistically if Everton got into 5th or 6th, they’d have slightly overachieved, and that’d be considered a good season for them

  26. Ishola70

    Agreed that’s about their level but they could finish a bit lower than 9th come the end of the season if they continue with their bunkering until the end of the season.

  27. Tom

    “Geordies are pumping and they haven’t even bought any player yet.“

    Ishola, clearly motivated by prospects of getting MBS angry

  28. Ishola70


    I think the team talks now will be quite easy for Steve Bruce.

    Bruce will be saying they think I’m a useless cunt who needs to be replaced and they think the majority of you the players are useless cunts as well that need replacing.

  29. Samir

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Newcastle come in for Leno & Holding in January. Van de Beek must also be an option for them.

  30. englandsbest

    Arsenal were disappointing. We didn’t match Palace in midfield, didn’t pressurise them in central area up front. They outmatched our youngsters in the darker arts.Apart from the opening and closing flurries they controlled the game.

    It’s a mistake to be out-numbered in central midfield. It’s a mistake to play Auba. Sell Auba in Jan, give Laca an extension.