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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!

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Mr Serge

We would have torn them apart regarding villa I meant


Samesong 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… Read more »

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.

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.


Tierney is goin’g to have his hands full today. Leon Bailey is back.


Marx that’’a A good one

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?


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.

Ernest Reed

Arteta is the perfect example that sometimes good coaches don’t necessarily make for good managers.


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… Read more »


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.

In regards to Mourinho , sorry



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.

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.

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.


Dissenter 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.… Read more »

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!


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.



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.


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?


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

Basque blagger!


Well said. That’s not excusing the mindless idiots, as unfortunately no matter what their will always be some dickheads about


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


Could the Nkunku rumors have anymore of an “only Arsenal” feel to them?



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… Read more »


I see the posters are so bored with the club even matchday, nobody can be arsed!


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


“”””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.”””””


“””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.”””



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.


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?

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… Read more »

Ernest Reed

“Looks like we aren’t a priority for TV slots anymore.”

Where else on a schedule would you put abject and drab football, Gons?

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!!!



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

Ernest Reed

LOL Gons, good point on the age!

The Bard

China1 I agree that abuse is unacceptable but Id take it all day long for £8m.


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… Read more »


New post!!



“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.


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.… Read more »