by .

Well, it’s pre-match-presser time already. A chance to get back into the mixer and make up some points in the table after a pretty disappointing draw against Palace.

This time, we’re playing Aston Villa. We know the routine. They might not have Jack Grealish available, but they do have plenty to offer attack wise. Dean Smith spent the money well this summer, he’s added goals, more pace, and creativity.

We have not dealt well with Villa over the last two seasons.

There are two ways this game goes.

Villa see what Palace and Brighton did and hit us hard early, force us into defending, and see if things unravel. This current squad has the tendency to buckle under pressure of going for the jugular and at the moment, their first instinct is to defend a lead, versus having the confidence to attack it.

The second way we could approach the game is that we rip into a team that has lost their last two games. Spurs absolutely battered them for the most part. Villa were dangerous on the counter, but spurs savaged them through the middle with a very direct game over 90 minutes. They had 17 shots with 8 finding the target, not bad for a team that registered just one shot on target against Palace.

There is going to be a lot of inconsistency this season, that is the nature of taking a different direction with the types of players you bring into the mixer, but that doesn’t mean our game shouldn’t move forward. What I’d like us to start doing is hitting a higher level of performance, even when the results don’t go our way. The pattern this season is that we we play well in spurts, but don’t keep that going for entire games. This system that we’re adopting requires confidence and it needs bravery. We’re not seeing that for enough of the game at the moment. Hopefully a win against Villa can make that happen, because we certainly need a bit of momentum heading into tough games against Leicester and Leeds.

One thing that would be nice: Better refereeing decisions.

We’ve been on the end of some bad ones already this season.

Cal Chambers being slapped in the face for the Burnley goal.

Bernd Leno being pinned for the Burnley second goal.

In the week, Bukayo Saka being actually assaulted by McArthur who should have gone considering his previous. I hate the blame the refs, but in this case, Mike Dean has been taken off Premier League duties this weekend because his approach to the kick was so bad… so there’s merit in suggesting that letting brutality fly worked better for Palace than it did Arsenal.

This doesn’t help Arsenal. More broadly though, how can the same cast of characters still be in the game when they’re not even performing with the aid of video? It’s one of those ‘but that’s just the way we do things’ moments. Why? Absolutely maddening that we have so much money in the Premier League, but we still can’t get the basics right when it comes to officials.

There are stories doing the rounds that our AFCON players (Partey/Mo/Elneny/Pepe) could miss up to 8 games across December and January, due to new covid protocols.

Quite something, wouldn’t you say? It’s just Twitter rumblings for the moment, but it really is something that AFCON can land in the middle of a season and decimate teams like that. If Wenger is right about anything, it’s that we need alignment on international tournaments.

Who will we play in midfield? We don’t even have bad options! No margin for injury either. We’re calling on Patino or Wilshere if things go south for hamstrings in the month that usually happens.

Arteta took aim at the abuse Steve Bruce has faced exiting over at Newcastle. It’s such a weird subject. The club he took over was a bag of mess, he kept them up last season, the football wasn’t great, but the viciousness that some people take towards managers, players, or execs really is a sight to behold these days. Why is it propagating? Because algorithms promote extremist views on the platforms. Dickheads say things that aren’t grounded in reality and the view gains traction. Then a little bit of that view sticks. So it goes again. The default mode online is disgust these days because it’s the only way you get attention. Doesn’t matter if the view is measured or grounded in anything real. But how do you stop it?

I’m not sure you can.

We’ve just seen the deadliest pandemic of all time sweep the world. People in hospital, fighting for each breath as the lights go out slowly, and painfully. A fucking tragedy of biblical proportions…. yet scientists banged out a vaccine in double quick times… still though, there needed to be a toxic debate about it. People lost jobs for the anti-vax cause. They took horse-dewormer because of Facebook posts. They literally died for the cause. If people are willing go against science and die… what hope have you got against @SteveBruceLikesGoats hate accounts? None.

You just gotta hope the generation growing up on more joyful curated tech platforms like TikTok might have a sunnier outlook on life. If the whole world was watching #FarmYardTikTok, the world would be a better place, I can assure you.

The bigger hope I have is the childish behavior online rarely seeps into the real world (mostly). If I’m in an Arsenal pub at Christmas, no one will abuse me (bar my friends). I’ll debate Arsenal and no one will scream. We’ll go to the ground and people will be behind the players. The internet is a shit hole, not sure you’ll ever truly change that… until something better comes along.

Ok my darlings… here we go… NIGEL WINTERBURN, left back LEGEND, trophied superstar, all round good egg, dropped an interview with Johnny and I last night.

We cover some great topics:

  • He talks about what it was like breaking into the professional game
  • He goes over contract negotiations with the legendary George Graham
  • He discusses Arsene Wenger and how he implemented big ideas with BIG players
  • He also talks about who he’s excited about and what Arteta needs to do this season

Well worth you time. Nigel, thank you sir, you are a hero to everyone that reads this site!


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. azed

    Anyone remember when Pedro proclaimed it shouldn’t take more than 3 months for a manager to have his players playing to his style?

    Oh happy days.

  2. englandsbest

    Anyone optimistic about the future is a rarity – unless he happens to believe in an afterlife. Maybe we’ve been that way from the dawn of civilisation.. Self-awareness – knowing that sooner or later you’ll die – is both a blessing and a curse. So, if there’s a reason for optimism, grab it!

    Is there good reason to feel optimistic about Arsenal’s future? Absolutely. There is a sense of mission at the Club. A direction in which to aim. Like the Pilgrims Fathers setting out for the promised land. One good thing about self-awareness is to be part of something that carries on beyond your life-span – like the great cathedrals of Europe.

    Yeah, I know this is absurd hyperbole about Arsenal – but let’s stay optimistic.

  3. azed

    “Xhaka is simply not good enough, it doesn’t matter how hard usual suspects push his elevated xWhatever stats, he’s too slow and he’s still making regular rookie mistakes. Being good at one thing will never counter for being a total donut twice a game. He is the new Wenger and it’s not surprising it’s the same fanboys who love him.”

    One from the archives….. No prizes for who can guess the writer.

  4. Kris

    How can Covid19 be the deadliest pandemic of all time if it’s not even close to being the deadliest in the last 110 years?

    2.5 % of the world’s population died from the Spanish flu.
    That would be 200 million today.

  5. Mb

    When something don’t work, you rip it apart and start a fresh.

    Like Arteta did with the team – Ozil, Kola, Mustafi, Leno, Bellerin, Elneny, Holding, Chambers etc.

    It’s time for the manager!!

  6. Kris

    ivermectin is not a ‘horse dewormer’.
    It’s an antiparasitic drugs for humans AND animals. Do you get pharmacology education from facebook posts, Pedro?

    And I say this as someone who has been vaccinated.

    This kind of half-witted thinking is a major part of the problem with the discourse. today.
    Much as it/they may be misguided, there’s no need to make fun of the ignorant with your own version of ignorant arrogance.

  7. Ernest Reed

    Pedro, honest question please? When you have guests on your podcast, are they compensated or do they freely give of their time? Just asking because i am curious and honestly do not know how it really works?

  8. Ishola70

    Again the narrative seems to be focused on the players rather than Arteta.

    If the “instinct” is to sit on 1-0 leads and not generally be brave enough attacking wise surely that instinct is coming from the manager Arteta.

  9. Pedro

    Ernest, we don’t pay fees. We have started to search out advertising because the site is very expensive and I can’t ask Johnny/Matt to give up so much time for nothing.

  10. Ernest Reed

    Steve Bruce deserved a lot better than he got from both supporters and an incredibly lousy owner. Newcastle are factually a horrible team that managed to stay up last season despite having a lame duck owner and the results of neglect from said owner. Bruce, in my opinion, did an amazing job keeping them as competitive as he did.

    Hopefully Steve Bruce will want to come back and continue managing because he’s really a decent manager who always seems to get the most out of the least.

    Agreed with you on this one, Pedro.

  11. Dissenter

    The best part about Villa is their midfield, they will run us ragged, out-tacke us and out-pass us down the middle. They have a truly marvelous young attacking/central midfielder in Jacob Ram Ramsey, he’s just 20 year old and just looks pretty good.
    I don’t expect that we’ll beat Villa. I suspect there will lots of anger directed at the referee come tomorrow night.

  12. Ernest Reed

    Thank you Pedro, the insight is really appreciated. On that it’s obvious of your commitment and those of your mates to AFC. Great of Mr. Winterburn to give of his time and even greater of you and your friends to give so much.

    Best wishes and continued success, Pedro!

  13. Pedro

    Thanks Ernest, that was a Johnny favor on that one. He knows him. It really helped the podcast. Nigel had some really great takes, especially on the over-coaching piece.

  14. Pierre

    ” 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”

    Yeah what a pile of shit were Fabregas, nasri, Rosicki, Hleb ,Wilshere RVP, Adebayor, eduardo, Diaby Cliche, Song , ox, walcott , koscielny, Ramsey …the wheels definitely started to come off around that time , and as for the football ……dreadful.

    Of course the fact that Ramsey ,Eduardo and Diaby were crippled by leg breaking tackles around that time had nothing to do with not winning the league …that would be a stupid assumption to make ..

    Another stupid assumption to make would be to think that City luring away almost half of our outfield starting 11 around that time had spnething to do with the gradual decline …

  15. Eduardo

    That should be “with Jonny and me”. You only say “and I” if it would still be “I” without the second person. Mention this as you write regularly so probably care about getting it right.

  16. Ovia

    Arteta’s Arsenal is like a student that has revised to pass an exam but can’t apply the knowledge in real life situations.
    Arteta seems like a very knowledgeable man, But transmitting that knowledge isn’t his best suit.
    Eventually he will get sacked but I fear by then he will have left us without a playing style.
    I hope am proved wrong tough.

  17. Pierre

    “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 onArsenal had plenty of cash, plenty of opportunities to compete at the top level”

    It is a stupid assumption to think that City and chelsea spending a billion each had an advantage over Arsenal, especially as we had , as terraloon says 50/60 million cash reserves ..

  18. Colney Gooner

    When I booked to take my then 12 year old grandson on the Emirates tour I asked him who he wanted to take us round and he immediately said Nigel Winterburn. I didn’t know he was one of his all time favourites and he was thrilled to have his photo taken with him and have a long chat. Yes, Nigel Winterburn, top man.

  19. Spudnik

    Pedro, loved the Nigel Winterburn interview btw. He’s a top guy. Have to say, yourself and Johnny are top fawners and all.

  20. Davi

    “Yeah what a pile of shit were Fabregas, nasri, Rosicki, Hleb ,Wilshere RVP, Adebayor, eduardo, Diaby Cliche, Song , ox, walcott , koscielny, Ramsey …the wheels definitely started to come off around that time , and as for the football ……dreadful.”

    Yes we had some good teams and some v. Good/great players, but we won very little.
    I didn’t say the wheels fell off (like we dropped off a cliff), I said they *started* to fall off once we moved away from the pace, power, technique mantra – it was a gradual decline.

    Btw, I don’t think we even transitioned to “barca-lite” until after 2008, the previous team (which contained many of those you picked out) was one of my favourites – incredibly unlucky in the 07/08 season and if they’d stayed together would have won plenty imo – but they weren’t barca-lite in style (largely played 442 until too many injuries forced a change to an awkward 451). That was the last season I really felt like we had a proper title-ready side that could compete with anyone.

  21. The Bard

    Englandsbest your post made my day. Boosterism at its best. Where do you get this ‘sense of a mission’ at the club from ? I sense we are being conned but maybe your sense is more finely tuned than mine ??

  22. Davi

    “Another stupid assumption to make would be to think that City luring away almost half of our outfield starting 11 around that time had spnething to do with the gradual decline …”
    Some of the ones they lured were either past it or sick of being in an uncompetitive side. I don’t think you can blame it on that. Not sure how much we got for nasri but if have thought we could afford his replacement given we signed him for relatively little. We got dumber in the way we operated, declined as a club

  23. redbro14

    The shrugging of shoulders. Ah Tic Tock will provide some optimistic respite to the toxicity of other social media scumbags eyeing up the profits and carrying on with just the token of reaction to stop the vitriol. Same with the crisis that we are facing with global warming, extinction of multitude of animals and plants that we have indulged in for far too long. Football has become an obscene child of all that is wrong with our world at the moment. Saudi takeover of NU is just a symptom of a world wide malaise. This is a despicable regime, authoritarian and clearly murderous. Yet, all is good in PL. Sorry for the rant, I guess looking at local issues, Arteta out, no shrugging of shoulders, this guy is vindictive, petty, a small time tyrant with no talent. Get rid. As soon as. There.

  24. redbro14

    Arteta’s Ego is larger than Arsenal. Can’t be right. Out! Plenty of talented, experienced people out there who could move us forward. Cmon, this guy is emperors new clothes! We can do SO MUCH BETTER!

  25. CG

    Zayn Ali Salman .

    4 years old, the latest recruit and we wish him and his folks well.

    Maybe project youth 5.0 with a twist?

    Give it a few weeks and A&E will be saying season 2037 will be our year.

    ps. Mertesacker, stop with the gimmicks and do your bloody job!

  26. NJ Gooner


    Congratulations on getting the man who made the name “Nigel” cool for an interview. The fact that he agreed to sit down with you is a sign of the personal progress that you have made with the blog, which may be obscure to you on a daily basis.

    Next up? Lee Dixon please. He’s always a pleasure to listen to.

    I want to go for a 4-3-1-2 formation tomorrow, with both Auba and Laca upfront, and Odegaard behind them.. ESR and (if necessary) Pepe on the wings of midfield. While the criticism of Pepe was reasonable, we should bear in mind that his defending has improved, his shot set up the first goal and his cross set up the second. Isn’t that what he there for?

    The key will be to play with the kind of speed that we saw in the last 10 minutes against Palace. Tell the players we are 2-0 down to start and maybe we will see that kind of impetus at the start of the game!

  27. redbro14

    Also disappointing……Partey and Oodegard……is it the players or Arteta’s system? A bit of both. We have good players, but our manager is not getting the best out of them. We surely have seen enough to get rid of this guy! We are The Arsenal. Not good enough! The Board….who are they? Does anybody know their names? Are they of any consequence or is it clueless Stan and his gormless son Josh? Ultimately these guys are fools, but at the end they will sell AFC for a profit, so who cares about now. Not them. We should demand better for this club.

  28. englandsbest

    The Bard

    Glad I’ve made your day.

    Let me re-assure you, we are not being conned – though I can understand why many think so after the Wenger-Gazidis duo.

    The mission has been stated by Arteta and confirmed by Edu, Josh, etc, etc: a return of Arsenal to the elite. And taking account of what I’ve seen – good or bad, on the pitch or off – it’s proceeding apace.

  29. CG

    Red Bro 14

    ””””’The Board….who are they””””’

    Stan Kronk,
    Josh Kronk,
    Stan Kronks attorney,
    & Lord Harris of Peckam and he is touching 80.

    Thats the Arsenal board in 2021 and thats why the have this failing manager and are signing toddlers and thinking its clever.

  30. Pedro

    Ernest, I’ve had about 12 haircuts this year… this one is simple and easy to manage. I might go back to more of a swept look, but it’s so much aggro.

  31. Thank you and goodnight

    My brothers an anti vaxxet, I find it hilarious. Every weekend they snort shit loads of coke cut with god knows what, pops an E or gets smashed on alcohol , and then has the audacity to say I’m not putting anything foreign in my body 🤣🤣🤣

  32. englandsbest

    It’s disconcerting that so many on here seriously believe they know more about how to play football, how ro win games, than Arteta. They come up with obvious solutions to what they see as failings, as if Arteta was unaware of them. And those who are sensible enough to know that if the solutions are obvious to them, then they must be obvious to him. think of him as obstinate, or egotistic.

    So if Arteta knew very well how to beat mainstream sides like, say, Palace, why didn’t he? The answer to that is obvious: the manner of victory counts most with him. He spends all week instilling a methodology that he believes will, in time, carry Arsenal to the top. Abandoning it would be a step backwards.

    Even so, I hope Arteta does the obvious tomorrow, and strengthens central midfield. I’d like to see Ben White partner Partey.

  33. Karsa


    Couldn’t agree more. I moderate a bodybuilding forum and all the anti vaxxers are preaching away whist injecting themselves with stuff mixed in bathtubs just to look ‘good’.

  34. Pedro

    TYAG, my aunt is the same (not snorting). Totally gone. Thinks the gov will take pets and there will be a mass death. Mad shit.

  35. NJ Gooner


    Perry? There is definitely an English flavor to your guests.

    I await the hallowed day when Tony Adams appears!

    Funny thing about anti-vaxxers. Some of them that I talk to seem like normal people. They walk, talk and often act like normal people. They are not all uneducated. But a new poll shows that only 48% of Republicans trust their doctors and less than a third of them trust scientists.

    We are clearly doomed!

  36. Pedro

    NJ, that is absolutely it. Anti-vaxx isn’t a class or education thing. It’s a disease. Is it the film inception that calls an idea the deadliest virus that can infect?

    We’ll mix up the nationality of our guests as we go. It’s hard to get in front of them.

  37. NJ Gooner

    What about the idea of starting Auba and Laca in a front two tomorrow with Odegaard behind them and ESR, Thierney and Pepe bombing down the wings?

  38. Terraloon


    It is a stupid assumption to think that City and chelsea spending a billion each had an advantage over Arsenal, especially as we had , as terraloon says 50/60 million cash reserves ..

    The point about the reserves was they were growing year on year.

    There was vast sums potential available to buy players . Theta £50-60 million soon became £100+ million .

    Chelsea and City didn’t quibble about that extra agents fee or that extra £5 million fee for a player they spent and during that period Arsenal had the resources or facilities to spend but they didn’t . The accounts show money went to HM Govt by way of Corporation Tax that was dead money and could easily have been avoided but no far better to show big profits

  39. Janky

    I work in a hospital and I know doctors who have refused to take it.

    Ideas don’t have to have any merit for people to believe in them.

    All the hard data in the world can’t convince these people who will then grasp at straws, the thinnest of arguments propped up with the weakest of theories, to confirm their already rigid bias.

    And rational intelligent well-meaning people at that.

    Just absolutely crazy.

  40. Habesha Gooner

    Haven’t seen the podcast yet. I will tomorrow. Good job pedro.

    Although I don’t agree at all about your opinions on Arteta, I can’t fault the effort you put in to the blog and the podcast. We wouldn’t mind a few ads to cover the cost of the servers and such. YouTube also generates cash if you get regular viewers. It’s the least you deserve for running the blog for so many years for free.

    And my wish is you seeing the light when it comes to Arteta. He isn’t the guy.

  41. Ernest Reed

    And let us not forget the ever growing list of “I could have signed” elite players that Wenger states with pride. Why didn’t he sign them? Its not like he didn’t have the funds to sign them when they were not in their “Superstar” status as he claims. Maybe it was never about the funds but rather continued lapses in judgement or more likely early buyers remorse before even buying?

  42. Dennis+the+Menace

    Fingers crossed for tomorrow. In some ways, it doesn’t matter who partners Partey in midfield if the mentality is wrong. This could go one of two ways over the coming games: the players play more bravely against a concerted press, albeit inconsistently; or they go into a downward spiral as their confidence is eroded by consistently being unable to play the system they are being set up to play. Really tough to instil this type of thing with raw talent. Maybe not the best strategic decision to try to apply it having spent only on youth. Hope Lacazette leads the line as he will try to lead from the front even if he’s not the best equipped for the system.

  43. Pedro

    Dennis, agree. They need to have a moment like they did against City at Wembley. Break the press early and put Villa on the back foot

  44. Br0wnie

    Another quality man management move has been Azeez move on loan to Portsmouth. Azeez has had nominal minutes in spite of one win in the last 10 games. We’ll done

  45. LoveSausage


    Great podcast, really enjoyed that. Nigel is a true hero.

    I thought his answer to your question about over coaching was very interesting. I do believe that over coaching was a thing during the lockdown. You could literally hear Arteta on the TV, barking orders for every other pass. But I’m not buying that it’s an issue with fans back in the stadiums.

    It’s probably a combination of extremely rigid and predictable tactics and a lack of that maturity that Nigel was talking about. We have a mostly young team. The older players lack characters. No one is going to override the tactics based on their situational assessment of the game. In an NLD it doesn’t matter because everyone is on a massive adrenaline rush. But other games are a different story.

  46. Brian Muff

    Who are you people?

    I’ve been in moderation hell for three weeks now and I’m starting to suspect that this whole forum is a conspiracy.

    I just want to participate in the conversation.

  47. McBright is Wright

    I have always maintained that the Arsenal board is a joke. They are waiting for an Arteta Miracle of some sort. Hoping he turns thing around soon. Sadly, that won’t happen. There are no miracles. What we need is muscles. Muscles to act and be proactive. One more season without Europe to me is equivalent to relegation. One more season without Europe, will be too much of a set-back. Too much to bear.

  48. Tony

    Apparently Arteta is upset the abuse football managers get. He feels sorry for Steve Bruce for the abuse he has received; however, Arteta neglects to mention the £8m Bruce is getting to help him recover from the abuse.

    Ok I get it when owners don’t support their managers but Bruce knew exactly what he was getting used to; he’s no rookie.

    Football is a results game where players and managers alike are read the riot act from supporters wanting better for their time and money.

    Arteta knows he’s a loss or 2 from similar abuse because of his belligerence as a manager and the results of 23 months.

    To be honest Arteta deserves all he gets and more for his antics and continual mistakes laden results.

    To garner respect you need to earn it first. Arteta has earnt zero respect for the last 23 months and I feel our fans have been extremely patient.

    That said the patience is running out so a must win agains Villa this evening.

  49. Tony

    As you know I have no problem to contribute to pay to read Le-Grove even though I just come for the comments and don’t bother with the podcasts, sorry Pedro I get what I need from the comments part of the site. Same as I don’t read other Arsenal blogs unless a poster send a link to Le-grove.

    What I would ask in return for payment is ‘Balance’ in your posts.

    You know I have no problem if you support Arteta that’s your prerogative; however, you can write the facts without lowering your support for the manager.

    Aggressive petulance is not something I’d pay for.

    Just be balanced Pedro in your depicting the good, the bad and the ugly of Arteta’s rule and games while continuing to support Arteta’s regime.

    It’s what I do even though I’ve wanted Arteta gone for the last 18 to 20 months simply because I wasn’t prepared to lower my expectations for a rookie manager because the owner wants to be a cheap Charlie.

    Support who you like at the club, Pedro, but at least offer balance to your readers and posters who give up many hours a week/day to post.

    They are the life blood of this blog, Pedro and have been for its duration.

    P.S. Don’t use the subscriptions to pay for a watch for Arteta unless it’s a Micky Mouse one.

  50. Sid

    “””””””PedroOctober 21, 2021 19:41:38
    TYAG, my aunt is the same (not snorting). Totally gone. Thinks the gov will take pets and there will be a mass death. Mad shit.”””””””

    Im sure she is a big Diet Pep supporter too, Lmfaooooo

  51. eddu

    An ambitious owner would have got rid of Arteta end of last season. If he is to last the whole season expect to finish no higher than 8th.

  52. Samesong

    🚨⚽️Breaking: A first team player for Tottenham Hotspur FC has been excluded from training after releasing photos to some of the squad members of him pictured in bed with a Premier league managers’ daughter.


  53. Shaun

    what the f is this shit “Like the Pilgrims Fathers setting out for the promised land.” can just see it now with old lego head dressed in a Kaftan at kings cross station saying “come on boys we are off to Newcastle lol…………………………lol” I wish

  54. Jamie

    Great pod, Pete! Love Nige!

    Game day let’s go. All 3 points desperately needed to stop the wheels from coming completely off before the start of November.

  55. Marx

    Honestly Arteta played under wenger, a man known for his love for beautiful flowing football then moved to work under pep whose approach to entertaining football is unmatched. How do you work under such brains and still come out a dud playing the most negative football in club history? 7 goals in 8 for a man that allegedly started his playing at la masia is beyond shocking how do you evwn explain this? I believe majority of fans will take draws if they see a very clear identity on the pitch. Honestly we are at a point where midtable teams are playing more entertaining, well drilled football against the big guns while arteta continues to bore fans to sleep. I believe the players are good enough, its just that they’re woeking under a clueless fela. Sad

  56. Marx

    Englandsbest: stop telling arteta what to do he probably knows better than you!

    Also englandsbest: i think arteta should play white next to partey! 😂 😂

  57. englandsbest

    Reading Arteta’s interview (Daily Mail) I wondered what he’d make of Le Grove. It’s littered with childish name-calling and derisive personal attacks. I guess none of that would surprise him and I expect that people offering advice on how to play the game (like myself) would raise a smile – or maybe a scream.

    But let’s be clear: everyone in the public eye (bar the Queen) gets that kind of treatment sooner or later. It’s called Free Speech. Try that in Moscow and you end up in jail, in Beijing, you are ‘re-educated.’. Here, it sells newspapers.

  58. Mr Serge

    I was watching a documentary last night and in 2006 we lost DB10
    Ashley Cole
    Apart from Reyes all giants for us
    The next season we lost

    In a 3 year period we lost 10 world class player
    (PV4 ) 2005
    I don’t think we have had 10 world class players since
    Tonight I go to watch us play villa and I think we will lose 15 years ago we would have form apart
    We are a shell of that club since the kronkes took over
    Sad sad times

  59. Pierre

    For me it’s pretty simple , play Eddie and watch the difference in our attack.

    If he plays well and scores goals he stays in the side , the team benefits, we win football matches and he may sign a new contract.

    The worst he can do is play as badly as Aubameyang which means there is nothing lost, he moves on to another club.

    To not even have Eddie on the bench after Arteta showered praise on him is a very strange decision.
    Understandable if the team was flying and knocking in the goals , sadly we look dreadful up front and as we have all season..

    The last time Eddie had a run of games we won 4 out of 4 ,scoring 10 goals in the process, that was 18 months ago…

    Saliba, Guendouzi, Eddie, Willock, Martinelli AMN all frozen out by Arteta and none of them culpable for our performances up until Christmas last season and for our poor start to this season .

    Arteta is treading a fine line, it could go either way in the next month or so .
    The difference this season to last is that he hasn’t got smith rowe to come in and save his job…

    I’m not sure players like Odegaard and ben white are better than we already have at the club, but i suppose Arteta has to play them until the bitter end…

  60. Ernest Reed

    You are so predictable, Englandsbest. Its blog for crying out loud, not a penal institution. Lighten up already, life’s difficult enough these days. Be woke someplace else – you’d fit perfectly in with the Untold Arsenal Brigade.

  61. Ernest Reed

    “For me it’s pretty simple , play Eddie and watch the difference in our attack.”

    Methinks that Eddie would be better off playing elsewhere instead of for Arteta, who hasn’t actually clued in on what goal scoring is.

  62. Ernest Reed

    Laughable again that Mourinho’s Roma get blasted by a minnow club for 6 goals and in typical Mourinho fashion, he tells the world he doesn’t have a good team. Isn’t it more than time that football moves on from this clown?

  63. Dissenter

    I don’t understand Areta’s public comments about his players ‘need to be braver” and go for the second goal. It smacks of inexperience in some ways.
    He’s going to set up the team tactically, pick the starters and be in the sidelines. Is that where he dictates the objectives of the games, not in some press conference .

    On that sidelines, he seems to spend all his time reducing their spontaneity telling them to get back in defensive-like positions.

  64. China1

    Dunno what to make of the Bruce point

    I mean everyone knows football is the lions den in terms of people being critical and voicing it. Anyone working in that industry goes into it with their eyes wide open. It doesn’t mean shouting abuse directly at someone is acceptable – but as well I think having a skin thick enough to take that has to be a prerequisite for a career of any meaningful length in competitive sport – especially a team game. As well they are compensated enormously for undertaking that pressure.

    It’s a bit like if someone joins the army but isn’t willing to tolerate danger. Or if someone is a fisherman but isn’t willing to tolerate rough seas. All of us face different challenges in our jobs. Some very big. But almost no one is compensated for their troubles like a football manager

  65. Thank you and goodnight


    Totally agree with you in regards to Roma. Unfortunately very few World Class managers continue into their 60’s, Alex Ferguson and jupp heynckes ( sorry for spelling), being the exception to the rule. Even our own beloved Wenger was a shadow of the manager he was in the last 8 years of his reign, especially in regards to an eye for talent. Mourinho is finished as a top class manager.

  66. Samesong


    I don’t think Arteta fancies Eddie. This is the type of situation where it will be forced on Arteta to play him. If there are injuries to Auba and Laca. Most likely see him cup competitions.

  67. Ernest Reed

    I have never understood the throwing your players under the bus tactic that Mourinho does, TYAG. What benefit is to be found in always blaming the players for your own inadequacies? You’d have to believe that whatever credit he’s accumulated over the years is pretty much emptied – you are right, he’s finished as a top tier manager.

  68. Ernest Reed

    Have to say, i miss Raptora’s comments. I know he said he was taking time off, but i had hoped it was said in temporary frustration. Take care and hope to see you back.

  69. Samesong


    I don’t understand Areta’s public comments about his players ‘need to be braver” and go for the second goal.

    I don’t have an issue with him Arteta saying this.

    I’ll tell you why. We go 1 nil up against Villa what do we do sit back again and stop playing like Auba said. There’t that middle ground of being too cautious. We need to be braver and take more risks

    Are these players not used to hearing worse in the dressing room.

    Players need to understand that this isn’t a kindergarten we are running this is Arsenal football club.

    I see a big refutation coming from you Dissenter

  70. Ernest Reed

    “I don’t understand Areta’s public comments about his players ‘need to be braver” and go for the second goal.”

    This is a contradiction from Arteta. He asks the players to be braver and then cant explain why they are not? Perhaps because they follow the lead of their manager, who himself is not a brave leader. Seems obvious, does it not!

  71. Dissenter

    Isn’t that something that should be drilled in while preparing for the game on the training field.
    What’s the essence of the public posturing in the pressers?

    He sets the team up and stands on the touch line for 90 minutes, surely he can drive them on from there.

  72. Nelson


    I think it is better Tierney stays back and plays the normal LB role as long as Xhaka is not available. Asking Lokonga to play Xhaka’s role didn’t work. Lokonga is a right footer and tends to move far left to cover Tierney. It left Partey alone in the middle to cover the CB’s. Lokonga has to play closer to Partey to form a defensive pair when we don’t have the ball.

  73. Samesong

    He sets the team up and stands on the touch line for 90 minutes, surely he can drive them on from there.

    True. Deflecting the pressure away from himself you wonder?

  74. Sid

    “I don’t understand Areta’s public comments about his players ‘need to be braver” and go for the second goal.”

    Basque blagger!

  75. China1

    TYAGN yeah at the end of the day it’s a very difficult job but the compensation is immeasurably greater than the problems with the job

    I don’t blame him for not being happy about it but this is the very definition of first world problems

  76. LoveSausage

    I don’t mind a manager criticising the team in the media, as long as he doesn’t cross the Mourinho line and starts tearing into individuals. In this specific case though, it’s a bit rich. Our tactics are the opposite of brave. We’re all about defensive positional discipline at the expense of everything else. We’re a team that tries to protect 1-0 leads even against relegation fodder. That’s a tactical choice. And I can only imagine how hard that’s been drilled into the team considering that young players usually have a tendency to be gung-ho. So he can’t really blame the players for not going for the second goal.

  77. KenganKvd

    Arsenal’s biggest problem is you don’t know what team will turn up on the day so it is hard to predict any result if we are honest which is what is causing the apathy amongst supporters the most.

    We used to know what teams we would crucify especially at home but God knows nowadays. We hate to put bets on any Arsenal result.

    Let’s hope we can turn the tide tonight with a win. Come on you Gooners

  78. Sid

    “”””From education to player recruitment and the loan market, Mertesacker has overseen a big shift in emphasis in how Hale End operates and Arsenal are beginning to reap the benefits.

    “Per is a popular guy, who is a former top footballer,” one source, who has regular dealings with Mertesacker and the Arsenal academy, told Goal.”””””

  79. Sid

    “””Mertesacker certainly has made a difference – both to the way the academy operates and the youngsters who are progressing within it. Sources suggest a harmony exists across the age groups and the coaching departments, something that perhaps has not always been the case.”””


  80. Kris

    If we don’t win today while playing attractive football, Arteta should be sacked in a matter of days.


  81. Gonsterous

    What a weird match day. Fk off with that timing. I’m not staying up till 1 am to watch the team.

    Playing once a week and we get stuck with the worst time. Looks like we aren’t a priority for TV slots anymore.

  82. Chris

    Going to give the podcast a listen on the train up to the game later. Winterburn has always struck me as a thoughtful guy with interesting opinions on football.

    Any news on Saka’s fitness?

  83. Falkenmayer's hairdresser

    Deadliest pandemic of all times.. :DD
    Tragedy of biblical proportions.. :DD
    The scientists banged out vaccine in a few months..
    Oh, yeah, Pedro.. You’re such a clown.
    There is no pandemic.. Could you please please tell me, what’s actually an RT-PCR test and how it is used? And what for? Could you please tell me, what’s the death rate of people being really sick dying FROM the virus? Do you even know the difference between being sick and being positively tested? Enlighten me. Could you please please tell me, how many times in history have we mass tested EVERY HEALTHY human being with a RT-PCR test to find a virus, which was, coincidencally, made in lab.. And then solutions to fight the “pandemic” were brought to you by the same people, that financed the creation of it in the first place and lied about it. The deadliest pandemic of all time and deadliest virus of all time.. Sure. That’s why you’re fighting it wearing a mask (eyes popped out grasping breath) ripped of your old Disney T-shirt wherever you go. To be responsible, they say
    😀 You’re fighting it getting “vaxxed”, although the substance you’re getting is not even a VACCINE. Not in law-legal, nor in medical terms. What does it matter, it has been brought up in a couple of months, when a standard vaccine needs a decade to be tested. You can still get ill, die, spread the virus. Oh, and yes, get severe damage from side effects. And yet, you’re wise..and those, who didn’t get your lovely shot at the Wallmart parking lot are dumb anti-vaxers. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll explain the word “indemnity” to me. Well, you know, Peds, I’m 42, didn’t get you’re so called vaccine, I just couldn’t, because it is not a vaccine. And you know, Peds, unlike you, I just don’t wanna be a test lab rat. Did they tell you, dear Peds, you’ re a test subject? Do you know, when do the clinical studies in Europe end for each manufacturer? I bet they forgot to and you RESPONSIBLY didn’t ask. 🙂 And you know, having a few REAL vaccines in my body for all those decades, calling me (or anybody like me) an anti-vaxxer is..kind of strange..:) But to be able to travel, to be able to live your life AS BEFORE, you just HAVE to play the game and accept the NEW NORMAL, is it right, Peds? Oh, you’re ALLOWED masters say. 😉
    I could go on and on, but what for?
    Your bunch are the enlightened ones, and all the rest a “you-name-it-word” thrash not worth having an opinion, OR a FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Unlike you, Peds, they stayed free, not bought temporary priviliges, not freedom from your masters, like you did.
    Judging by your nice little medical-enlightening post, you’re just an arrogant little prick. Too many these days. No knowledge, mouth shut wide, obedient servants of every ideology they serve you.
    Keep it up, boy..just watch..being “vaxxed” or not, just watch the world change losing the same amount of everything as us, “anti-vaxxers”.
    Maybe when you’re 42 like me, you will have to get to NY via sailboat, Greta being your deckmaster.
    History really keeps repeating itself. Go and figure out, why. In doing that, get your freedom given on birth by taking a new sensational pill..not Ivermectin though of course (generic, you know) , take Pfizermectin for a couple of hundreds of bucks. 😉

  84. Ernest Reed

    I keep saying this and its becoming less and less realized, so here goes again…

    As long as the boys put in a solid effort and give it their all over 90 minutes, then the results should be there. On that, come on boys!!!

  85. Gonsterous


    Doesn’t matter if it’s put-me-to-sleep footie or championship level, I still want to watch a game of football

    But I’m not one for giving up sleep to watch a game. I’m not 21 anymore. And thanx to electronics these days, I’m mentally tired by 9:30

  86. TheLegendaryDB10

    Going to the Villa game. Not very confident at all about it. Which is telling but more on the fact that with young teams, you will get that.

    The problem here is that confidence needs to be built in the team. And that should come from the manager. But it’s not just in having a pep talk (excuse the pun) to the team issue, it’s more of a case of allowing the team to express themselves.

    And boxing them in with this JdP nonsense is not helping the team. You just need to look at the Spuds game to see what the team can do with free flowing football combined with defensive astuteness. Thia helped Arsenal win vs the Spuds in a convincing fashion

    Keeping them boxed in is what is causing the problem and is a handbrake to our game. Now why on Earth hasn’t Arteta nor noticed that, I don’t know.

    I am sure we can do better than what we have done so far.

    Crossing my fingers (very hard) for a win!!!

    Come on The Arsenal!!!!!

  87. Ishola70


    “Now why on Earth hasn’t Arteta nor noticed that, I don’t know.”

    Of course he has noticed it. He is the main perpetrator of it.

    But he doesn’t want to admit to it and deflects onto the players.

    Considering his brand of football for the majority of time so far since he joined has had this handbrake over cautious feel to it him trying to deflect somewhat is not going to really ring true with many fans.

  88. Pierre

    If Arteta has any sense he should start with the same line as the tottenham game , the exception being xhaka of which Arteta has 3 choices as replacement…Lakonga , AMN or Elneny.. ..i would go for Elneny as he and Partey have linked pretty well previously and you know what you will get from Elneny.

    Arteta needs to pick a team to get a result (win) so he doesn’t need to be overly clever with his team selection, as previously if a couple of games haven’t gone to plan he pushes the panic button and starts chopping and changing.

    The performance is really not the priority tonight, it’s all about the 3 points..