by .

Arsenal has a few days to get ready for a big game against Aston Villa. There are still 9 points to play for in this phase, so a win against the team that tried to steal our best player is would be very good news… and boy, does it feel like we need a bit of good news.

Palace saw another inconsistent day at the office for Arsenal. People complain about the tactics, the mentality… I’ve read people calling the Arsenal players weak.

We’re strugging with a lack of experience at the moment, which was always going to be a challenge this season. When you watch the Palace game back, it’s hard to say that they deserved to beat us. Anything they created that was half decent came because of our mistakes. Our centre backs shouldn’t be letting balls go into feet with such ease, especially to Benteke. Our young players should be smarter about how they break up dangerous moves. The team should be building on goal advantages, not sitting back and letting life happen to us.

Thomas Partey making big mistakes is frustrating, because we expect more of him. Sambi Lokonga doing the same is just part of the deal you make when you sign fancy young players from the continent. We’re going to have to deal with that this season.

We’ve spent 10 years waiting for a coherent transfers strategy, now we have one that is youth focused, there are going to be rough moments.

So what do Arsenal need to work on over the next few days? I think we need to find some confidence. The players need to find a bag of swagger. If you take a lead with lots of good football, don’t sit back. If a team pushes up against you, play through it. We allowed Brighton to box us in and we didn’t have the guts to play out of the trap. We let Palace get back into the game and press up against us, we didn’t have the smarts to stretch them.

According to Scott Willis, there was a period in the game where we could barely string 3 passes together. That lack of control is costing us at the moment. That’s the control that Granit Xhaka gives the side that people are refusing to acknowledge. Sambi and Partey need to give us that because we can’t keep playing that way until January.

We’re also seeing the challenges you have with young players. ESR and Saka aren’t going to have the consistency of players 4 years older than them. Those two having a bad day isn’t helped when Nico has a disaster class even by his own standards.

What is Arteta going to do to rectify that? I thought this Sambi quote was interesting.

“He backed me, he backed the team. I think when we come on we have to bring this mentality that Lacazette did…I think he brought fire when he came on and that’s what we need to try to do every time somebody comes on.”

I think it’s time to see Martinelli in this side. It might be time to give Lacazette a go through the middle, he’s playing for a contract, so let’s see what he has. Whatever happens on Friday has to be a response to the lack of control we have at the moment. We need to bring some fire to the party, not a heated quilt.

The big question over Arteta is whether he can move out of this Goldilocks phase? We’re rarely completely shit. We’re rarely blow-the-doors-off brilliant. That’s not a fun place to be in.  Even when we’re negative, it’s a boring type of negative. Football is entertainment, pushing results out like a body ejecting kidney stone isn’t going to have the fans on side for long, even with young players. That Spurs game needs to be the start of something… not our one decent game of football a year we have.

Arteta needs to kick things up on Friday. Villa will come to play, they’ll press and fluster us, but we can beat them.

Let’s see what he brings to the party.

Short one today, see you in the comments.

P.S. Tune into the LIVE podcast later where Johnny will be interviewing the legendary Nigel Winterburn! CELEB THINGS PEOPLE. We’re on a rocket to the moon.


219 Responses to “WEDNESDAY ROUND-UP”

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  1. Davey

    The Dutch league is dire but have you seen Ajax record after 9 games? won 7 drawn 1 lost 1, goals for 32 goals against 2! I want the dutch fella- ARTETA OUT

  2. Shaun

    Kylie’s back door that is .Just so we are clear as I know imaginations can run wild on these forums , straight talking ,straight shooting backdooring kinda dude lol…lol sorry couldn’t help myself

  3. Jamie

    I genuinely love Sid’s content, everything except the anti-vax nonsense.

    Diet and exercise is imperative to general good health, no doubt. But there is no substitute for vaccines. They save lives, many more than allowing contagions to spread though the population, regardless of the perceived motivations of pharmaceutical companies because science, end of story.

    An annual coronavirus vaccine booster is no different to the elderly/frontline workers receiving annual flu jabs.

    Imagine the football served up being so boring I’m talking about vaccines. Tepid, thin sauce.

    As you were.

  4. DUIFG

    People laughing about ole, they battered Atlanta in the second half. Loads of chances.

    They got the result. We can’t build pressure, we don’t loon threatening. Our issues are so much deeper than partey playing into trouble .

    Again look how many men are around him when he receives the ball and the options he has. They are not good

  5. TR7

    Covid vaccination should be voluntary, it should not be forced upon the masses. It’s crazy how vaccination has been made mandatory for travel, in office premises and in most public gatherings when there’s no sincere study done on long term impacts of vaccines. As a banker I had no other option but to take both the doses but the whole thing has become a joke really. Now there’s a talk of booster doses and who knows when it will all end.

  6. Dark Hei

    Getting Covid should be voluntary too. It should not be forced upon the masses by anti-vaxxers.

    Lets just quit this talk of vaccines as there is always another side.

    If you want entertainment, just stick a figurine of Arteta with needles.

  7. Jamie

    Does anyone remember all those anti-vax protests in the 1950s when the polio vaccine was developed (and eventually eradicated polio in the UK 30 years later) because at the time there hadn’t been sufficient studies on the long-term effects of the vaccine or how many lives it ‘actually saved’?

    Asking for a friend.

  8. TR7

    Polio vaccine : large scale trials over several years

    Chinese virus vaccine : small scale trials done in haste

    We can’t compare the two.

  9. englandsbest


    Well,we could allow Covid to rage, spread, mutate, destroy and cross-fingers hope it will run out of steam. On the other hand it may mutate into a truly lethal form. Right now, vaccination is our best protection. But to be effective, EVERYONE must take the jab.

    A plague like this has been on the cards, entirely predictable. Mother Nature’s way of dealing with over-population. It’s happened before to other species..

  10. Pierre

    Just Arsenal

    “In summary then, despite the accusation that AW’s second term in office was not a success story, three fa cups, three CS trophies, seven top four finishes and seven Q/F appearances in the CL would suggest a different story.

    The problem has always been the COMPARISON with his first ten years by a minority of our own fans and the media at large.

    How we would like to boast of three Q/F CL appearances since he left, or even three lowly fourth places that was so derided by our own fans.

    So, let’s just get the FACTS right when trying to rewrite the history of our club, it’s most successful manager, Arsene Wenger.

    YES, he should have left after the 2016/17 season, when we only finished 5th, won the FA cup, Charity Shield and the miserly quarter finals of the Champions League……with, so we are told, dross, mentally frail, lazy players, no defence, along with Kroenke and Gazidis to guide us into oblivion!!!!!

    What a terrible season that was, compared to the land of milk and honey we were promised once he left. Even in his final year, we finished 6th…not 8th twice in a row!!!

    If being only one of the eight best teams in Europe for seven consecutive years was seen as “a decline”, where we are now must be seen as catastrophic!”

  11. Biggles

    A team where 8/11 who started are internationally capped (and the other three have all played internationally at junior level at least) are inexperienced?

    That’s just ridiculous. We’re not talking about bedding in Miguel Azeez here. We’re talking about a team that includes one of the world’s top ten most expensive defenders, guys that have played in Champion’s League finals, years at the Bernabeu and international team captains.

  12. TR7

    Singapore one of the most advanced countries in the world with more than 80 percent population vaccinated is seeing an unprecedented surge in Covid-19. The jury is out on efficacy of Covid vaccines.

  13. Biggles


    You are right that I’d be delighted to have made the Champion’s League knockout stages for the last few years even if it meant a humiliation by Bayern in the last 16 every time, because at least we’d have been there and performing better in the league. However you can’t deny that Arsenal under Wenger was on a downward trajectory. We can debate the cause of that, but the actual result remains the same regardless.

    The reason myself – and I think many other fans – are annoyed about the second decade of Wenger’s tenure is because as a club we didn’t build or advance. We left clear and obvious issues unresolved for years at a time (like Almunia as our number 1 keeper) and as a result of this, we went from league winners and one of the top two teams in the league to top four, to eventually being a midtable team.

    We as fans will never know the truth about how much of it was owners not backing Wenger, versus Wenger not having the ideas and tactics any more, versus just bad luck (like Wilshere never having the career we expected). But one thing that we *didn’t* try for a decade was changing the coach and sometimes it’s needed.

  14. Habesha Gooner

    I honestly didn’t think we would get two successive worse managers after Wenger. The irony is I think Emery is better than this guy. This guy is still in the job because he is a salesman. His results have been worse than Emery.

    I have been calling for ten hag for three seasons now. After all of their talent was robbed, they are now back with a bang. And with Haller of of all strikers leading the line. Haller was so shit at westham though. But now he is the leading CL scorer. That means Tenhag knows what he is doing unlike arteta. Their main players Van debeek, Ziyech, Deligt, and Dejong were sold. Can you imagine if we sold, Saka, ESR, Partey and Gabriel???
    The only remaining players experienced pros like of Tadic and Blind. Here’s and Taliafigo are there too but they weren’t at the top level yet. Anthony, Berghaus, Gravenberch and haller have basically replaced them and they are still playing exquisite football.

    I feared for us when Tottenham were linked with him. Arteta isn’t the guy, no matter how much spinning PR there is. We will fire him. It will be when. This season or the beginning of the next. PR won’t amount to performances and Results for long.

  15. Brian Muff

    I don’t feel Partey deserves the criticism he’s getting lately. He hasn’t been given a decent partner since he arrived, and he’s been run ragged ever since. People talk of him being a Rolls Royce, well currently Arteta’s racing that Rolls round a demolition Derby track hoping he can fight with all the old bangers.

    This summer we should’ve seen Xhaka moved on and then some decent Money spent on a partner for Partey and then I think we’d have seen the real Partey for once.

    Why Arteta didn’t address this area and instead chose to stick with Xhaka is a huge mark against his overall strategy.

    With a top ranking defence on last season’s data, why then spunk all funds on improving this, when it’s clearly a good enough base to build from? the money should have been spent on our poor attacking/goal scoring form.

  16. Dark Hei

    “Singapore one of the most advanced countries in the world with more than 80 percent population vaccinated is seeing an unprecedented surge in Covid-19. The jury is out on efficacy of Covid vaccines.”

    I am from SG BTW.

    When we blew the whistle way back in Feb 2020, nobody in the western world took us seriously.

    So really, don’t look here; there is nothing to see here except selective statistics.

    As I said, if you feel an urge to talk about vaccines, just stick a needle into Arteta-doll.

  17. Pierre

    “However you can’t deny that Arsenal under Wenger was on a downward trajectory. We can debate the cause of that, but the actual result remains the same regardless.”

    Man city and Chelsea’s bottomless pit of money was probably 75% of the reason we struggled to compete in the league and struggled to compete in the transfer market , though I’m not denying that Wenger struggled in his latter years in the transfer market or no money he made some poor signings

  18. Habesha Gooner

    Who wants to bet we will play the same way against villa? Tierney boming down the left with Auba on the wing. That is what he will do and Villa will predict what we will do.

    I don’t like the press conferences arteta gives nowadays. It just looks like someone selling you something. But when you open it, it is filled with crap. I can’t wait for him to be fired. Because Arsenal will keep on stagnating while he is in charge. Two years of the same pattern tells me that.

    Wenger was bad at recruiting in the last few years. If he had let someone else who had a track record recruit for him, then he would have retired on his own terms like Ferguson. He ignored the GK, DM and CB positions for years. And when finally signed Cech to play there, he then didn’t buy a striker to help Giroud. And Leicester walked away with the title. He just needed help from someone. Like David Dein helped him.

    But one thing I am sure of, we would be playing exciting football with the players we have today under him. I would even welcome him back rather than have Arteta if he didn’t have to do with anything related to recruiting.

  19. Gonsterous

    Really don’t see how youth is an excuse. It’s an excuse when it’s the final day and the pressure gets to them and they fall short. Not an excuse to play shite footie week in, week out

    Auba is 30+
    Laca is 30
    Partey is 28
    Xhaka is 29
    Pepe is 24
    White is 23 with 2 years PL experience
    Ramadale is 25 with years of PL experience
    Tierney is 24 with over 50 caps in the national team

    24,25 is not young in football anymore. That’s the age players start stepping up.

    This isn’t a bunch of 18-20 year olds. So I really don’t know how youth can be used as an excuse.

    Wenger had a younger team competing year in year out in the CL ffs

    Auba is worse off
    Pepe is worse off (double digit player, can’t seem to do anything under mikel)

    Time isn’t going to do anything for the manager. Nor is spunking another 150m in the TW.

    Look at the trajectory of the players and the team and that gives you an insight into what the manager is achieving. Fk all

  20. Tony Abs

    People get a different flu vaccine every year. Does that freak you out?
    It’s important to remember that how long the polio vax took to develop is comparable, considering advances in medical science over the past 60 years, with the anti-covid vaxes.
    We all know ‘big pharma’ are arseholes. Big anything are arseholes. But seriously, if you’re going to be anti vax for that reason go your bathroom right now and throw out every single product in there. And next time you’re at your GP for a minor problem or in ER for something worse make sure you refuse any medicine you’re offered.
    Just like with Arsenal under Arteta we’re all wanting consistency with anti vaxers.
    Sent with respect. Love your droll posts otherwise, they always crack me up!

  21. Sid

    The youth narrative is pathetic, the season we finished 5th Torr and guen in midfield was younger than what we have, Saka was younger, AMN was younger or equal in age to Tomiyasu etc

  22. Biggles


    I don’t deny that the money made a difference, it clearly did. However even in that time period, we still were one of top 8 richest clubs in the world. We could have competed far better than we actually did. The rich clubs can’t sign *all* the good players, there’s a limit to squad sizes after all.

    What we didn’t do is get good money for players we sold. We got £16m for Henry (depressing to see what the £ was worth to the € then but that’s a comment for a different blog) and only four days later, Charlton got £16.5m for Darren Bent.

    Another thing we didn’t do was speculate to accumulate. We built up a huge cash pile of £200m by 2015, but FFP never deflated the market. Instead of prices dropping, they rose. At the time, Bale at £86m was the world record transfer. Not saying we should have signed him, but we could have afforded to… twice over and still had cash. So we clearly could have signed a Falcao or Cavani to replace Podolski or Giroud… but we didn’t. And over time, prices rose so what we could get for the money dropped. We still eventually spent the money, but boy did we miss out on opportunities.

    Now I can’t blame all of that on Wenger, nor do I. The club should have brought in proper contracts people and technical directors etc and they didn’t. But part of the reason was whatever Wenger was telling them behind closed doors, there’s simply no way he couldn’t have been part of the problem.

  23. Dissenter

    ‘ Polio vaccine : large scale trials over several years Chinese virus vaccine : small scale trials done in haste’

    What about the vast mount of data from the hundreds of millions vaccinated around the world

    The Covid vaccine efficacy has been replicated in real life. No ifs, now or buts. There are many societies that wish the had the opportunity to get it.

  24. Andy

    pepe was one of the few players who offered a goal threat and he created both our goals. how exactly is that a disasterclass? seems to me he is one of the few players right now (esr and saka being the others) willing to take a chance and make something happen consistently.

  25. GoonerDave

    Some of you are astonishingly stupid. Being anti vaccine is not the same as being against vaccine mandates. A vaccine mandate is the bureaucratic equivalent of being held down while a substance is injected into your veins. And if it goes wrong, you have no recourse or grounds to claim compensation.
    If genuine discussion had been allowed, there would be far more people happy to take the vaccine. Instead, all opposition was banned, deleted and ridiculed. Qualified doctors and virologists were silenced by twitter, you tube et al for raising legitimate concerns. This breeds major suspicion and doubt.
    Shill for big pharma if you wish, but history will show this as a grotesque violation of human rights and contrary to the Geneva convention.

  26. Gonsterous

    Give arteta a bottomless pit of money, and he’ll still fail to have an identity to his football.

    His mentor pep spent billions to get it right, so I’m not so sure about the apprentice.
    How much did pep spend on the city defense again?

  27. andy1886

    Quite frankly even if MA can eventually get it right after spending billions a la Pep I find that style of football sterile and boring so why would I want to watch that?

    Managers that copy others never succeed. Take ‘Barca Lite’ for example, never got close to working.

    Great managers find their own solution and set trends, not follow them. Any mug can try that. Remind me who Wenger, Ferguson, early Mourinho or Klopp copied?

  28. Habesha Gooner

    Pep actually improved Cruyff’s total football. There is nothing wrong with copying an idea, if you can implement it right and develop it.

    Arteta though isn’t doing any of it. Pep doesn’t play Zonal football no matter what everyone thinks. He still creates Triangles and passing lanes to attack the opposition. There is also a method to his pressing.

    Arteta on the other hand isn’t pressing, rather creating a low block everytime we have to defend. He also can’t create passing triangles. He just instructs his players in a zone he assigns them and rarely do they move out of that zone.

    I don’t see one thing similar to Pep’s football except for playing out from the back and that too has different strategies to it. Man city move the ball fast as soon as they break the press. We on the other hand don’t because we have players stuck in the zones rather than creating runs and disturbances.

    Just because he studied under Pep doesn’t mean he is doing the same thing. What he is doing is some boring stuff, fine margins football that will never be exciting.

  29. Davey

    Pepe is shite 72 m wasted, but wait he created both goals- a shot that was lamely parried by the keeper to Auba’s feet and a late desperate last minute cross that was knocked down from a header then White’s saved shot fell to Lacca. Why do people defend him he was utter dross like they all were but he is dross consistantly and is our record signing FFS!

  30. Davi

    Davey – I’m desperate for Pepe to do well because I think there’s a real player hidden away in there (simulate to gervinho), however, can’t argue with what you said. The point is, if Martinelli was playing Pepe’s position, he may have contributed more, either directly or indirectly (for example by simply not giving the ball away so often or showing things down unnecessarily), which may have led to the same result or better

  31. Davi

    “Great managers find their own solution and set trends, not follow them. Any mug can try that. Remind me who Wenger, Ferguson, early Mourinho or Klopp copied?”
    So true. Actually the wheels started falling off for Wenger when he decided Barcelona-style football was the way forward, and moved away from his pace, power, technique mantra

  32. Davey

    Davi- Agreed and I wanted him to succeed so much as I thought he was going to get us down the pitch quicker, he has sublime skills but is not suited to English football and his decision making is poor. I would not want to be a full back with him in front of me and would only play him on the left or not at all. I understand people saying he is not being coached well but for 72m nobody can deny we have a dud.

  33. Terraloon


    “Man city and Chelsea’s bottomless pit of money was probably 75% of the reason we struggled to compete in the league and struggled to compete in the transfer market , though I’m not denying that Wenger struggled in his latter years in the transfer market or no money he made some poor signings”

    What went wrong was the fact that for one reason or the other the Arsenal board were led by the nose I suspect by AW into looking at the balance sheet as a trophy.
    The sad sad point is far too many supporters likewise rubbed their hands with glee when the cash reserves hit £50 million, hit £60 million to such a degree it clouded what was going on

    Arsenal had plenty of cash, plenty of opportunities to compete at the top level but no the line spun about fallow years about not being able to compete was absolute tosh and was sold to the supporters brilliantly

    When I read most football blogs and yes in that I include Le Grove and Untold the reason for the decline is always down to someone or something else. From Chelsea and Man City having funds to VAR and the refs with an agenda it’s always someone else’s fault.

    Arsenal had money but choose not to spend big until they had too and then the moment was gone. All those reserves and then some blown

    AW talked about missing out on players like Mata and Hazard but the money was there the club didn’t want to spend the sort of money that Chelsea spent or in the case of Hazard Arsenal weren’t CL winners. It’s all so lazy to point fingers in others direction

    As for Man City. How much did they spend of players from Arsenal?

    The decline sits on the shoulders of the powers that be at Arsenal and irrespective of the claim that project youth is the only way I wouldn’t trust management of the players or come to that money to the current management teams nor come to that a classic pee up in a brewery.

  34. Davey

    Arteta pressie on we know how to beat Villa- complete over technical bollocks, I will tell you how we beat Villa- score more than them- sick of this shit he is coming out with bring back Don Howe at least he said it straight!

  35. CG


    ”””””’Arteta pressie on we know how to beat Villa- complete over technical bollocks,””””

    The Basque Blagger in full flow today……..he just can’t help himself.

  36. Chris

    I would suggest Arteta doesn’t yet know how to beat Villa considering we have lost 3 out of 3 without scoring in our games against them under his stewardship!

  37. Nelson

    :He just instructs his players in a zone he assigns them and rarely do they move out of that zone. :

    Now I understand why Martinelli was left alone fighting against two defenders and all our other players were watching in their zone. You don’t send someone out there and don’t give him support.

  38. Chris

    On Friday a lot will depend on how Villa react to their defeat against Wolves. Will losing in that manner knock them for six or will it be a case of them being a wounded animal on the defensive?

    They have had some good results and bad results this season, very much mixed form. Lost the last two and struggling for any consistency.

    With our own inconsistencies I think we will see another score draw.

  39. Davey

    I think Villa will beat us as they did last season at the Emirates, pace and power on the break will do us and our massive pitch will just highlight our lack of physicality.

  40. Dissenter

    “As a banker I had no other option but to take both the doses but the whole thing has become a joke really.”

    Your anti-vax commentary comes across as gravely hypocritical and borderline dangerous.
    So you’ve taken both shots in real life but then you’re engaging in amplifying propaganda on the internet.

    Why didn’t you walk your talk, I’m assuming no one put a gun to you head to take the shots?

  41. Ernest Reed

    ““As a banker I had no other option but to take both the doses but the whole thing has become a joke really.”

    Im going to call this out as BS. Every financial institution abides by federally mandated requirements but equally remain respectful of those that cannot be vaccinated for valid reasons. Extra precautions are put in place that include wearing masks at all times whilst on the premises, submitting to regular testing (paid for by said institution), as appropriate exceptions

    Those like you TR7, infuriate me with your holier than thou stance when it comes to Covid. Its a deadly pandemic that discriminates against no one. Vaccinations are a proven deterrent that gives a person a very real chance at surviving.

    Please do everyone a huge favour and keep your uneducated yap shut on this subject, you are part of the problem and nowhere near being part of the solution.

    And just who am I? Someone who has felt the absolute wrath of Covid on myself in both getting infected and fighting for my life and also losing someone very close to me who sadly never had a chance because vaccines were not available at the time.

    In short, grow up and act like the mature adult you are supposed to be and less the petulant ignoramus that you are. The world can be a better place if people would just smarten up long enough to save themselves from themselves.

  42. Davi

    I got the vaccine and agree it’s better for you in terms of reducing risk of serious illness and death, plus it seems likely that it reduces spread.

    However, I don’t believe people should be required to put something in their body of they don’t want to. Nor should they be forced to be silent on the topic if they disagree, even if they’re wrong. We’ve got to have some principles – every time there’s a crisis people sacrifice their principles and we pay for it in the long run. Iraq war and increased surveillance..

  43. CG


    ””””This annoys me! Mavro wasn’t even given a chance to show what he could do for us. Coming off of a good loan, and we still give him away for under £2m. ”””””’

    Absolutely infuriates me, this type of indulgent management.

    Mav and Saliba in tandem…..

    Both physically imposing, both natural defenders and both very combative and already at the club.

    I’d rather them partnered tomorrow to compete against Watkins and Ings.

    (Give George Graham these types and he will turn them into another legendary back 4.)

    Yet , Arteta would rather ignore them and spent £50 million on White because he supposedly can pass the ball through the lines better.

    Absolutely bonkers.

  44. TR7


    Propaganda ? I wrote two posts on vaccines and all I said was they shouldn’t be forced on people. Only the ones willing to take shots should be administered Covid-19.

    98 percent of the world population had enough immunity to deal with Chinese virus without any vaccine. Why should they be forced to take vaccines ?


    I know about your personal loss and may you get the strength to bear the pain of the loss but with due respect you misunderstood my post. All I am saying is people should have a choice with regard to taking Covid shots.

    P.S : Dissenter, nobody put a gun on my head but within an organization there are numerous ways to exert pressure.

  45. Rocky

    “Shill for big pharma if you wish, but history will show this as a grotesque violation of human rights and contrary to the Geneva convention.”

    Horseshit of the highest order. And I’ll bet you London to a brick not one of you will be so vocal in admitting you were wrong all along.