by .

Aston Villa are proving out to be Mikel Arteta’s Bolton. They don’t beat us up, but they have beaten us the last three times we’ve played them. Tonight, at home, I am not expecting anything different.

My expectations for this game are absolutely on the floor.

That is very negative, but you know what, my feelings count and that’s how they are today.

Biggest worry is getting overrun in midfield again. We haven’t found our rhythm with Thomas Partey and a partner yet. Lokonga always looks impressive when he comes on but he’s very young. Mo Elneny isn’t a sexy option. Martin Odegaard really isn’t quite the 8 at the moment.

So who knows?

The big question for this evening: Which Arsenal will show up… and for how long? We’re averaging about 20 good minutes per game. Our issue at the moment is confidence. We can be frightened into playing a different game. In golf, when you are given a new swing instruction, it’s great when it works. But a couple of bad shots and you get caught between the new instruction and falling back on what’s comfortable. That’s where the team is right now. Sadly, the only remedy for that is repetition.

Against Palace, we were great at the start, and we were great at the end. We need to find greatness for at least 70 minutes tonight if we’re going to take anything from the game.

The good thing about playing Villa is they will come to party. They’ll run at us, there will be big openings at the back, if we can break their press, we’ll create chances.

What can Arteta do to inspire a bit more courage in the players? What tactical offerings do we have planned? How do we make sure Villa will have gone a month without a win? They were taught a lesson by Spurs who just ripped them through the middle. They were taught a lesson by Wolves who barely registered a result this season despite being pretty good. We need to pile on the misery for Dean Smith. Not be the gift to struggling sides we usually are.

My hope is that we’re not going to have another day out where all our key players absolutely tank. Watching Saka, ESR, Partey, and Pepe struggle with absolute basics is not a rarity… but it is a rarity they are all shite at the same time.

What I’m really hoping for is a bit more aggression from our centre backs. We cannot allow Ollie Watkins or Danny Ings to get balls into feet like we did against Palace. We absolutely cannot be seeing Ben White back off a striker running into our box. Palace created fuck all against us and came away with two goals. That’s more of last seasons nonsense. We need to have a tighter performance this evening.

Here’s how low I’m feeling: If we’re going to get beaten, let’s at least do it with bit of style. The Goldilocks football needs to go in the bin. Not too good, not too bad… pick a lane. The purgatory is a sign of a lack of progress.

Right, sorry about that, I’m just having a day today. See you in the comments. x

597 Responses to “VILLA WILL COME TO PARTY”

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  1. Vickingz

    Arteta just doesn’t know when to sub. He subs a little better when we are losing than when we are winning. A good win which I doubt will eventually count in the end because Arteta will play just another team list come our next match

  2. Zacharse

    Crazy how well we play when we keep up pace past the 15th min and give back some of the bullshit fouls we take every game on saka

  3. Matt B

    Great win and performance, thought our fullbacks, especially Tavares, were excellent

    If that becomes our standard, we’ll be back for a shout at 6th/5th 😃

  4. Left Testicle

    He may have stumbled on a formula but you can bet your house that well see the return of Tierney and Xhaka as soon as they’re fit.

  5. Danny

    Nice win there.
    A bit worrying that Auba and Laca could only muster one shot on target between the two of them (besides the rebounded penalty) but a much needed 3 points after the Vieira match.
    7 unbeaten in all competitions.

  6. Le Sauce

    Noticeable improvement from last time out. Last few minutes a bit nervy but the result was never really I’m doubt. Good game overall

  7. G8

    Great game great performance
    Our midfield looked much stronger and we didn’t miss that fucker Xhaka
    Saka right and ESR left always produce the good if only generational could figure out.
    Auba still too weak to lead the line
    Ramsdale very impressive and Gabriel is our new Toney Adams
    Odegaard was the wrong sub imo
    Happy days well done boys

  8. Mb

    Well the Emirates crowd settled it for you all.

    He is better than you..
    He is better than youuuu..
    Aarooon ramsdale
    He is better than you.

    F*uck off Emi

  9. azed

    I don’t think we were extraordinary. I predicted 3-0 before the game started because i saw the Villa formation and knew they were in trouble.

    Immediately they switched to a back 4, they started creating chances.

    With all our first half dominance, we scored from a corner and a penalty.

    You can only beat what is in front of you so we will take it.

  10. TR7

    Hopefully the false narrative which was beginning to take shape that Arsenal were missing Xhaka’s progressive passing is busted now.

  11. gnarleygeorge9

    Gr8 effort by the players & the home fans. The young Arse are now in the one step back, two steps forward zone, & I’m happy 🙂

  12. Ishola70

    Unfortunately missed the second half except for the last 10 mins.

    Going by the comments it looked as if the team continued to be positive in the second half following on from the first.

    I wouldn’t fret too much about Villa having some chances and scoring in the last quarter. All teams have their periods in matches and it so happened that Villa’s was near the end but they had been comprehensively outplayed anyway before that.

    Arteta should stick with this team now for the time being. Looks balanced.

    Tierney, Odegaard and Pepe should now be worried about their starting places. This has many times been the case anyway with Pepe but now we add Odegaard and Tierney. At least they should be worried.

    This is what we all wanted to see. A win but not only a win but one with a good overall performance coupled with it so it was a good night.

  13. Ishola70

    “Hopefully the false narrative which was beginning to take shape that Arsenal were missing Xhaka’s progressive passing is busted now.”

    Yeah but…..yeah but…….yeah but………..yeah but………..yeah but……………yeah but………..

    Yeah but it’s about “control”. Xhaka gives us that oh so important “control” lol

  14. GK

    Villa’s 3rd loss in a row. Well played by the boys ds evening. Much better pressing and midfield acumen. We need to build a good momentum and maintain consistency. We find it easier against low pressing teams who give us time on the ball. We need to be taking the game to tougher opponents who look to frustrate us on the ball. Our midfield needs to be more compact, closer and sharper. Tavares was better than Tierney of last week and happy to see Tomi end his run of shitty performances.

  15. Ishola70

    Leicester will be an altogether different test.

    They are very much a front footed side this season and will take the game to us.

    But after tonight the players should take lots of confidence from that and hopefully Arteta doesn’t tinker with the side and we see the same starting XI as tonight.

  16. Habesha Gooner

    I am really surprised and happy with the good performance. The result is good. But I wanted a performance. I didn’t want three points that we got like Burnley away. 2nd win of the season with a good performance. Next up is Leicester. I hope we don’t go back to the crappy performances we were dishing out. A win on Friday also makes the weekend matches fun. Watching everyone try to win when we have our job done is a good feeling. I am still Arteta out but I enjoy a win with a good performance no matter who the manager is.

  17. GK

    And happy to see Emi go home empty handed and concede 3. You could see he hated conceding against Arsenal and the fans pelted him with that

  18. Davi

    I think we won the fight early on and showed we weren’t going to be bullied, I think that was pretty important – Laca was brilliant in that, was just slightly concerned he’d go too far but he kept it in bounds

  19. Danny

    Ishola – hopefully Arteta doesn’t tinker with the side and we see the same starting XI as tonight.
    I guess it all depends on who he plays against Leeds.

  20. Chris

    Great game tonight, the type of largely sustained quality performance we have been looking for.

    I don’t think the spirit and togetherness of this team can be questioned, and we have some strong characters in the side who will only get better and more influential with experience.

    Great to finally hand out an L to Villa also. It was a top atmosphere in the ground tonight, that obviously helps.

  21. Habesha Gooner

    Gabriel was immense tonight. He bullied Watkins. ESR is so silky he reminds me of Rosicky. He is going to be a top player. No doubt about it now. Sambi was also impressive in midfield. He showed preseason Sambi today. Partey was good too. White actually showed for the first time why he has been brought in. Ramsdale is becoming my favorite. What a character. Most of our players played well tonight and that is what should be happening at least every two games. Not 2 out of 8.

  22. Ishola70


    |”I guess it all depends on who he plays against Leeds.”

    All out for the League Cup eh.

    What kind of teams have Leeds put out so far in the competition?

    Regardless the EPL should always take seniority of importance over a League Cup tie.

    And Arteta has some good options now anyway. He can start Tierney, Odegaard and Pepe in the Leeds match who shouldn’t start against Leicester and mix and match from there.

  23. TheLegendaryDB10

    My take from my coming back from the game is that we played well overall.

    We were pressing when we had to (on the first 70 mins) and scored 3 excellent goals.

    Bar the last 20 mins (and even then) we did extremely well throughout.

    Really, really happy with the win..

    And the Emirates was absolutely rocking!!!

    Long may this continue!

  24. Nigel Tufnel

    To the amateur scouts….

    who were giving us detailed reports about how bad Ramsdale is…. have you honestly watched his distribution and passing. It’s very, very good.

    Southgate watching our boys.

  25. Nigel Tufnel

    If you are Southgate, who looked better today…. Mings or Ben White?

    And yes, Whites passing is special.

    Too bad England doesn’t have any defenders as good as our Gabriel. We had better lock him down with a monster buyout clause.

  26. Tee

    He may have stumbled on a formula but you can bet your house that well see the return of Tierney and Xhaka as soon as they’re fit.”
    Why shouldn’t Tierney be back if fit? He owns the left back spot for now and so be it. Only an idiot would bench Tierney for Tavares because of this game.

    Some games are tailored made for Tavares and some for Tierney.

    Kudos to Arteta for this performance and well-deserved 3pts

  27. Pierre

    That performance tonight was better than the tottenham game as our intensity didn’t drop off.

    Tavares was the difference with his pace and energy down the left.
    If it was a managerial decision to play him ahead of Tierney then it was an inspired decision…if Tierney was injured then the injury was a blessing in disguise fo Arteta

    Smith Rowe loved having a full back who overlapped for fun down the left as it created space for him to do the business.

    Lakonga was awesome and Ben white made some telling blocks.

    A really enjoyable watch and gives hope for the future, if only we could play with such aggression on and off the ball every week …

  28. Pierre

    Credit to Arteta for his team selection tonight, he hasn’t often got it right but tonight the team was set up to play on the front foot and he never allowed them to take their foot of the gas.

  29. Tee

    “I don’t think we were extraordinary. I predicted 3-0 before the game started because i saw the Villa formation and knew they were in trouble.Immediately they switched to a back 4, they started creating chances.”

    Oh! Really? You saw their formation and knew they were in trouble? Lolz.

    Octopus has spoken.

    Their chances has nothing to do with formation change. You should know that a team winning with such margine will likely appy the handbrake while the one loosing will likely be looking for means of erazing the zero in the scoreline.

  30. Mr Serge

    Great performance great win great night
    We need to keep this team fit happy days
    The youngsters and lacca were immense coyg

  31. Ishola70


    “Some games are tailored made for Tavares and some for Tierney.”

    Tells us how that works out.

    Both of them would be in the side for their attacking abilities rather than them being good defensively.

    So they are not that different to what is hoped they bring to the side.

    After tonight Tavares should be given a run of at least another EPL match and if he tails off so be it and Tierney returns after that.

  32. Tee

    “Hopefully the false narrative which was beginning to take shape that Arsenal were missing Xhaka’s progressive passing is busted now.”

    We miss him. You can’t tell me you expect lokonga to play all the matches at his age. Saka was an everpresent in midfield against spurs.

    Besides, Arteta said before the match that the absence of xhaka changed his game plan. This doesn’t mean he is the best in the league but he still has a role to play till we find a better player.

    If you are using this match as a barometer against xhaka then I ask you how many matches have we won after his injury?

    Like I say d earlier, the earlier ge is gone the better but for now he is still important and no amount of toxicity can erase it

  33. Ishola70

    Oh we so missed Xhaka’s “control” tonight.

    You know that “control” that sees us build up slowly from deep positions.

    Yep sorely missed tonight.

  34. englandsbest

    For those who doubt, what we saw tonight was a trailer of what is to come. A process still in development phase, the players learning their roles, the full feature will in due course appear.
    A blockbuster!

  35. MidwestGun

    if Tierney was injured then the injury
    Tierney has an ankle injury .. not sure how serious though. Tavares was very good I agree. Loko, Tavares, ESR and Saka … all played very direct today. TT did as well. Villa’s 3-4-3 was pretty bad…. too That helped. Hopefully Arteta has stumbled onto something.. and this is not a blip.

  36. Tee

    “To the amateur scouts….who were giving us detailed reports about how bad Ramsdale is…. have you honestly watched his distribution and passing. It’s very, very good”

    Lolz. They have lost their horrible voices

  37. Tee

    “Tells us how that works out.Both of them would be in the side for their attacking abilities rather than them being good defensively.”

    It’s visible to the blind that Tierney is defensively better than Tavares

    Except you are back to your picking the flavour of the moment to make sense.

  38. Vintage Gun

    Exciting match, Win lose or draw i hope we play front foot football more often moving forwards.
    The buzz i get from it is immense. .

    Well done the fans also. Loud, supportive and pressured the ref. Good stuff Gooners.

    Best mate’s a Villan and after beating us home/away last season plus “stealing” the two Emi’s from in the last two years gave him a weird superiority complex coming to our ground tonight.

    Well my friend…

    Get back in your box, And fuck off out of our sight you jumped up SLAGS!!!

  39. Tee

    “Tavares is more raw than KT if KT stays fit he walks in the team they issue is he is rarely properly fit”

    Please, tell them.

    Besides injury, Tierney has been one of our best players in the team but here we are reading otherwise.

  40. Leedsgunner

    Well done to Edu for bringing in Tavares, an excellent deputy for Kieran Tierney. Hopefully this spell out gives KT a breather that he needs.

    He’s looking jaded for a while now.

  41. Ishola70


    Tierney has never shown that he is an accomplised defensive player.

    You and I both know that Tierney is in the side is for his attacking capabilities rather than defensive ones.

    In fact that is the case for many fullbacks now in the game. The time when fullbacks were rated for their overall balance as a player both attacking wise and defensively have gone. Now it’s all about attacking with them.

    And Tavares happens to be quite a forceful attacking fullback.

  42. Mr Serge

    Vintage GunOctober 22, 2021 23:16:10
    Exciting match, Win lose or draw i hope we play front foot football more often moving forwards.
    The buzz i get from it is immense. .Well done the fans also. Loud, supportive and pressured the ref. Good stuff Gooners.Best mate’s a Villan and after beating us home/away last season plus “stealing” the two Emi’s from in the last two years gave him a weird superiority complex coming to our ground tonight.Well my friend…Get back in your box, And fuck off out of our sight you jumped up SLAGS

    My best mate is also a villain he bet me they would finish above us last year and I took his £50 this year it’s £100 I will have that too thanks
    He also has a superior complex lol shit on the villa shit on the villla

  43. Pierre

    “If you are using this match as a barometer against xhaka then I ask you how many matches have we won after his injury?”

    What i will say is that we have won more than we have lost without Xhaka.

    And i would suggest you are going down the wrong road using results as a barometer for Xhaka.

    With xhaka..
    Played 4
    .won 1
    Lost 3

    Without xhaka
    Played 3
    Won 1
    Lost 3

  44. Leedsgunner

    I’m not Xhaka’s biggest fan but I don’t see the need to run a player down for no reason at all.

    Why can’t we just enjoy the win for its own sake?

  45. Mr Serge

    If was the best game we have played this season the pressing and desire was great at least 6 standout players and project youth is exciting
    The opposite to the dire palace game and this will happen due to the inexperience. Happy to wait and see what happens but the new signings bring a lot to the table, plus ESR and saka are real talents.
    Lokonga will also be superb in a couple of seasons.
    I can understand why martinelli does not play as much he has to displace auba and lacca our two most experienced players

  46. Mr Serge

    The atmosphere was great Pedro lots of singing especially to EMI he was even getting booed a lot at the end all in jest fans were up for it all night. The crowd is buying into the team for sure and we love ramsdale the kid communicates a lot

    Don’t feel we were under any pressure at any point even when they scored that bullet shot

    Gabriel and white seem a good partnership

  47. Mr Serge

    Mike Dean taken off referee duty this weekend proves what a twat of s ref he is
    Hope he never refs us pawson was far better

  48. Pedro

    Serge, that’s great to hear. Very jealous you got to go. Also, spot on about consistency. This is how it’ll be this season. We need more games like that to keep the faith alive.

  49. LoveSausage

    I don’t get people on here shitting on Tierney. He was (with Saka and ESR) the reason why we didn’t get involved in the relegation fight last season. He has a poor start to the season and the muppets are out with their “I’ve always said he’s average” commentary. Toxic BS.

  50. Mr Serge

    Love sausage with you on that I called out the person that said KT is poor he needs fitness to be consistent he is one of the first on the team sheet for me

  51. LoveSausage


    Form comes and goes. But people forget that he’s one of the few natural leaders in this team. And I’m not talking about Xhaka-style leadership where a player makes a big deal out of yelling and pointing. True leading by example, always putting in maximum effort. The man deserves respect. Tavares has earned himself another start but KT will be back.

  52. China1

    Game was too late for me. Score line was good. Seems everyone agrees the performance was Avery good too

    Smith Rowe seems to be getting the stand out praise

  53. Leedsgunner

    “ I don’t get people on here shitting on Tierney. He was (with Saka and ESR) the reason why we didn’t get involved in the relegation fight last season. He has a poor start to the season and the muppets are out with their “I’ve always said he’s average” commentary. Toxic BS.“

    Nothing to get, some of our fan base love waiting for our players to fail do they can appear superior and knowledgeable in criticising them.

    Tierney has nothing to prove to anyone, his record speaks for itself.

    When fit and firing he is the first name on team sheet for club and country.

    I for one, am very pleased he plays for us than against us.

    Kieran Tierney I salute you! Get better soon!

  54. Leedsgunner


    That was my point about Tavares being an able deputy. He stepped up and made us better. Actual proper competition.

  55. Leedsgunner

    I hope we see our fringe players and U23s players when we face Leeds.

    If I was the manager I would give Pepe Balogun and Martinelli a full game…

    There’s loads of U23 players I want to see some given a game time…

    Charlie Patino, Kido Taylor Hart, Omari Hutchinson and Karl Hein… just off the top of my head.

  56. LoveSausage

    Interesting games on Sunday. Brighton and United will surely lose. If West Ham and Spuds draw, we’ll have a good opportunity to pick up some ground in the table next week.

  57. Leedsgunner

    Get Per Mertesacker signed on to new extension before our rivals start sniffing.

    He’s doing an excellent job as head of our academy.

  58. Sly

    With this kind of performance we can beat Leicester
    Re watching the game
    Great dynamic midfield performance, lokonga needs to stay with partey in the middle and not be pushed back to cover the left. He was immense. With lokonga playing like this who needs xhaka
    Loved the pressing and high energy
    Laca is playing for his next contract

  59. China1

    What we’re seeing now in the table is exactly why I think it’s bad form to set low expectations and targets for the season

    People always go into a season imagining all the other big clubs will have good seasons. In reality that is very very rarely the case. It’s normally a one-two horse league. A decent also ran for third, then a big jump to 4th, 5th 6th etc

    Even after a really shit opening few games and a couple of dubious results since, we are still mathematically very much right behind top 4. As well Spurs I don’t see being a problem this season. Man Utd have not yet convinced. The others should not be getting top 4. This was how wenger used to do it. He banked on arsenal being just passable and other big teams having a shit season which almost always proved to be enough

    Setting expectations even lower than that is not acceptable imo

  60. China1

    Man people are so rude.

    People here have a habit of overreacting like crazy when they see my dog (it’s only a fucking golden retriever on a tightly held lead, hardly a Rottweiler…)

    Whenever I am waiting for the lift and the doors open – if anyone is already in there they always do this BS freak out and mash the door close button to try and leave before I can walk in.

    If people will be polite enough to just say sorry I’m scared of dogs can I go first? Or whatever I’d be like sure for ahead, but that mashing of that button without saying a word pisses me off every time. Next time some cunt does this to me I’m going to hold the open door button and make sure the dog gets nice and close to them on the way in.

  61. China1

    Honestly as well retrievers are well established as having one of the gentlest personalities of any dog breed. They were literally engineered to be gentle as they were bred to pick up the carcasses of birds on the hunt and carefully bring them back to owners without piercing the skin with their teeth.

  62. curse

    colney gooner called it.

    what a game, youngest squad in the prem? crazy to think what this team could be after a season under its belt and a summer window.

  63. curse

    oh and after Martinez’ comments, hearing the crowd boo him then watching him literally have a mental break down after the penalty was Michelin star icing.

  64. Pedro

    China1, this is spectacular commentary. So you relentlessly telling us how Arteta is shit, the project is doomed, and we should rethink the Emery tenure was all good motivation for the team who you knew could be mathematically in it after a few games? Your high standards and chatter were actually for the good of the team?

    Retrievers are nice dogs, no doubt.

  65. Gonsterous

    3-1 bosh, get in!

    So when I expect us to win, we either lose or draw and when I don’t expect a performance, we win.
    Nice to know these things.

  66. China1

    Not sure what your point is Pedro, my points are consistent.

    We are mathematically near top 4 because top 4 is not some mystical level that requires immense quality to achieve – wenger demonstrated time and again that you can blah it by simply having a passable season and hoping for a couple of the other big teams to have a bad year. That scenario plays out *almost* every season. So far this season there’s no indication that Chelsea city and liverpool are going to shit the bed. That leaves Spurs, arsenal, utd and arguably Leicester remaining. Others are unlikely to last the length up there.

    Spurs are not very good this season. Their squad is unremarkable, as is their manager. They have no stand out aspects except a few quality players – their best of which wants to leave and is having a bad year.

    Utd have started the season very up and down. Unless they stabilize they don’t look scary despite having a really good squad.

    Leicester have started the season badly.

    So where do we fit into this? Just being solid based on the level of the players we have would likely leave us in strong contention for 4th unless Spurs or Utd turn the corner in a big way.

    So again, this brings us back to Arteta. With this squad and given the teams around us, we should not have any excuses for not competing for top 4 unless Spurs or Utd have a massive improvement and kick on far beyond what we can match.

    That’s why I’m saying arteta, edu and co setting no clear targets for the season is BS and deflecting. Lowering expectations is unacceptable. Getting top 4 is tough but entirely doable. And if we do not compete for it seriously (unless as I said Utd or Spurs turn a massive corner) then that will be another failing from arteta and he should then be sacked.

    So who is being inconsistent with the analysis Pedro? Me considering the above, or you who spends all day telling us Arteta is the real deal and how much better the squad is this season whilst on the other hand frantically lowering expectations because you don’t have genuine confidence that we will deliver?

  67. China1

    Also I’ve never said the project is doomed not sure what that even means. There’s a decent squad in there which needs a few key changes (CM and up front). I’m not even sure what the project is so don’t know how I can call it doomed.

    I’ve criticized arteta yeah, because last season was absolutely dismal and this season has been hit and miss.

  68. China1

    My targets for arsenal now are about the same as they were for Emery in his first season. Which is why I wanted him gone after 1 season when he very narrowly failed to meet them.

    Now considering this squad is *miles* better than what Emery had and we don’t even have European distractions, I really don’t see how setting the *same* targets for arteta is unrealistic – unless ofc you don’t have genuine confidence in artetas ability as a manager.

  69. Pedro

    China, so if we’re good enough for top 4, then maybe you should be a bit more supportive of the project?

    After each bad result. You pop at me, refer back to the greatness of Emery, then ask about standards… instead of saying, ‘the season is a long one, maybe wetting the bed after 4 games is wrong, because I know we are good enough and the form will come.’ < which is what you think, apparently.

  70. Pedro

    I am also LOVING your use of language regarding our table position.

    ‘Mathematically close to top 4’

    One point off top 4 in actuality my friend.

  71. China1

    Pedro we both know that isn’t true tho

    I called for Emery to be sacked for what I have consistently described as failure after just one season. The only defense I have ever made of Emery is that he should be treated with the same fairness and respect you wish to be afforded to arteta – a manager who did much worse than Emery ever did last season.

    And I do support the club to do well this season. I voice concerns that we might under achieve *again* because arteta has found it very difficult to consistently extract results and performances out of his team since the beginning of last season up until now.

    And please please don’t use the ‘if the players are good enough for 4th stop complaining and support the team’ line when you ran an entire anti Emery campaign about him under achieving.

    You have to be consistent if you’re going to criticize me for that Pedro. You can’t run a campaign against Emery based on high standards and then tell posters they shouldn’t do the same for arteta literally just because you like the guy. We’ve said this so many times. We all know you didn’t afford the same treatment to Emery so criticizing others for having standards arteta needs to meet simply doesn’t wash with anyone here who has been on for any length of time

  72. Pedro

    ‘Pedro have some self respect man it’s 3 games into the season and you’ve already decided it’s going to be the post-Christmas table all over again.’

    So amusing you were saying this after 3 games, now you are talking about being mathematically close to top 4, and that you always knew we could be there.

    Beautiful work, at least you are happy.

  73. Pedro

    ‘Ramsdale is a backup keeper. How much adapting do keepers even need to do…?

    Tavares is a bench warmer

    Lokonga is a bench warmer according to edu himself as he said partey and xhaka are the go to

    Odegaard was here for 6 months already. What is he adapting to???

    White we paid 50m which is an absolute premium – one of the most expensive defenders ever and he was bought from within the PL. if it takes him several months to adapt to being an arsenal CB then what on earth were we paying 50m for? Gabriel started last season brilliantly for half the price, didn’t he? MOTM and a goal in his debut…

    So again it’s 150 odd million and I’m really really struggling to see why our starting 11 will need a long time to click. White is the only addition to our starting 11 and he’s a 50m player so….’

    5 of the starters tonight were new signings. 2 were Hale-Enders.

    ‘I knew the lads could do it, why lower expectations?’

    Tough to take your statements seriously about our top 4 assault when you thought all our signings were bench warmers.

  74. Pedro

    China, you have a pattern with your comments. Whenever something bad happens with this team, you refer back to Emery.

    What is your stance?

    Is this team of benchwarmers now top 4 material? Or are they benchwarmers and Arteta is expected to be a miracle worker?

  75. DivineSherlock

    Whoever’s decison it was to put up Lacazette alongside Douglas Luiz all game deserves praise to be honest . Douglas Luiz was nullified all night , not sure if this has been picked up . Tactical masterclass , Long it may continue. Just bad for my Fantasy team , I picked Saka over ESR . Fantastic win.

  76. Tony

    I trust that performance lifted your spirits, Pedro; it lifted everyone’s I hope.

    Arteta going back to basics with 442 could well give him breathing space, but Villa have looked woefully porous over their last 3 games including last night. Looks to me as if Grealish is a huge miss for them where their new signings have had very little playing time together, thankfully for us.

    Just shows what you can do when you keep your midfield tight and press cohesively from the front. It was a game we needed badly to reboot our confidence after Palace and Brighton.

    Wasn’t a pen for me, but I always say the luck mostly evens out at the end of a season. We deserved the pen where perhaps the ref thought similar, as it was a difficult one to call. Laca screams loudest and falls heaviest for the theatre of it.

    Good too to see us break the 30 minute mark keeping on the front foot; we smelt the fear and played to their nerves with our pressing and loading the midfield with White stepping up when needed.

    It’s a good win to take heart from the team and hoping they can kick on from here. Is that game going to be the catalyst to go on a run of wins? We’ve had them before, such as the NLD and then we retreat into handbrake Artetaball.

    Thankfully Xhaka isn’t back in training until the New Year I believe, so I live in hope the lads have seen the light and kick on from here.

    Perhaps Arteta has finally realised playing ESR and Saka together things happen as in last night’s win.

    Very happy for the lads. Now let’s have some consistency.

    Enjoy your posts, Pedro, it’s rightfully your stage amigo.

  77. Leedsgunner

    Saka was played in his strongest position, Partey was played alongside someone to whom he could act as a foil for and Lacazette ended up linking the midfield and the attack.

    Therefore our attacks didn’t get lost.

    If truth be told the score line is flattering to Aston Villa. Had Partey taken all of his chances and Auba’s disallowed goal stood we should have won the game 6-1.

  78. Leedsgunner

    Considering how Villa cheekily chased after ESR last summer with two unwelcome bids I say we return the favour by bidding for Jacob Ramsey. Their best young player… he scored a cracker.

  79. Nelson

    Was it a coincidence that the energy of our team dropped after Laca has removed himself from the match. Laca was the leader of the team in this game. His energy and his fighting spirit energized the whole team.

    I would offer Laca an one year extension with the club’s option for another year.

  80. China1

    Nice try but no, you are literally proving my point with everything you add.

    It was you trying to lower expectations, not me – thus the joke about you and the Christmas tree table you ran with last year.

    Let’s look at those comments about the players shall we?

    The comment about ramsdale, what’s your point? Keepers shouldn’t need a log time to adapt to a new team. This has also been proven accurate for ramsdale who took all of 0 matches to adapt and do well.

    Tavares is a backup. Was that wrong? How many games has he started?

    The comments on white were accurate. He is one of the most expensive CBS ever and we paid part of that premium because he’s English and a PL player so he shouldn’t need ages to adapt. That was a fair and accurate comment.

    Ode was here last season he is NOT a new signing. Please stop pushing this new signing line it’s literally nonsense

    The 2 hale Enders played last night. Yep and they’re great players who I always talk highly of. They’ve also been in the team together for a year and in Saka’s case he’s played for over two years in the first team. Love the kid. What’s your point?

    5 new signings?
    You mean 4 new signings because ode isn’t one. Ramsdale has been really good and I’ve given him full credit since he replaced Leno. White doesn’t yet look to me like a 50m player but he’s doing well and he is building a very good partnership with Gabriel which I’m happy with. Tomi has turned out an awesome signing. When have I ever said anything but superlatives about him since his debut? Lokonga I was very happy with since we got linked to him and I’ve never once been hard on him.

    So again, not sure what you’re even trying to get at. I criticized arsenal last season because with our squad we should’ve been competing for top 4 and the EL and we failed at both. We improved the squad in the summer (despite not adding an elite CM as I wanted most). Why on earth would I not have had high standards for the season? My expectations were high last season and I’ve not lowered them this season.

  81. Pedro

    China, it’s ok mate… you are now in a mini-pivot and that is fine.

    You didn’t think the new signings moved the needle, now you think we’re all mad for underestimating how good they are.

    Just wish you’d been a bit more supportive about the project at the time. It was confusing when you were saying the players weren’t that good, Arteta was shite, and Emery was hard done by… I didn’t realize that meant we should have high expectations of this team because you rated everyone.

  82. China1

    The overall state of our transfer window this summer turned out surprisingly very good

    The only part i have concerns about is I think we paid over the odds for white and ramsdale – however if both have fantastic careers with us this will be gladly disproven or forgotten. Ramsdale has already gone a serious way to justify us paying his premium and I think he’s been excellent.

    For white I made it well known in the summer I would’ve had that money on hand for an elite CM to partner partey instead. I’d have brought back Saliba and let him compete with Holding to become Gabriel’s partner. But that money has been spent now and he has done well with Gabriel so looking like they are going to be a very good combination in any case

  83. China1

    Nah you’re good at spin Pedro but not good enough to sell this one

    Like I said, why would I have criticized the team so much last season if I had low expectations for them then? I criticized them because they fell so far short of the targets I had. We spent 150m on players this summer now want me to justify why my expectations are still high?

    Try and explain that if you can…

  84. China1

    And you still have not as far as I’m aware set what position or number of points you think would be acceptable this season

    Well into the so called project, a fortune spent, lots of decent players which you are very glad to point out, a generational manager as you say.

    What are you worried about? Competing for top 4 should be a pretty reasonable ask even if ultimately we come up a little short and accept that

  85. Pedro

    China, now you’ve explained that you shit on the project because you rate it… I’ll know how to engage with you after we draw a game and you immediately bring up Emery.

    Not sure you will find many Arsenal fans quibbling over White and Ramsdale fees. Both look like incredibly astute signings with very unique skills. Was always a bit mad that Arsenal fans were worried we might have paid 15m too much for a 23 yr old centre back

  86. Pedro

    China, I’m not worried about anything. I don’t have the faith you do that we’ll make top 4 this season. We have the youngest team in the league, we’re not quite there yet. Think top 4 is for next season. It’s a stretch goal this year.

    BUT, I do expect to see you being a big advocate for players you rate as top 4 ‘now.’

  87. Pedro

    Ben White against Aston Villa:

    94% Pass Accuracy
    100% Ground Duels
    100% Aerial Duels
    2/3 Long Balls
    2 Blocked Shots
    2 Interceptions
    3 Clearances

  88. TheLegendaryDB10

    Still over the moon with our win!!

    I am so happy to have gone to see this game at the Emirates!! The atmosphere was rocking from the start. The singing was loud and we didn’t let up throughout the game which really great. I in particular loved the Ramsdale chant which was very loudly sung by the entire stadium. It really seems that we should be playing more often on Fridays!!

    What I liked is that we effectively played with confidence and we were playing a far more direct game.

    It wasn’t perfect by any means but this game looks to be another good game to have under the teams belt.

    This sets us up perfectly for the Leeds game on Tuesday as we have now some confidence to carry over into this game.

  89. Raulishuss

    White had a world class game last night. His passes were frankly ridiculous and he made some nice blocks. He’s going to absolutely be a top player. Some here can’t admit they were wrong about him but it’s obvious already

  90. andy1886

    Key to that performance was the switch to 442, we looked far more solid yet at the same time the players seemed to have licence to express themselves as an attacking force.

    Ramsdale is certainly a crowd favourite in a way that Leno never was, the German barely gets a murmur when the names of the subs are read out.

    Finally the ESR/Odegaard debate isn’t even a real debate any more, ‘The Smith’ should be the first name on the team sheet when fit. General consensus in my section was that we should have gone like for like when Laca was subbed rather than shifted formation to accommodate the Norweigen.

  91. Berg10kamp

    We will need odegaard in deep blocks cos as good as laca is against a team like villa who want to attack he cannot pick a pass like odegaard. We will need both types of players if we want to progress.

  92. Leedsgunner

    ESR not Odegaard makes this team tick. It’s not a massive surprise that our midfield looked more comfortable and composed with him as the creator.

    I hope Arteta uses Odegaard to keep ESR fresh and fit and not try to stubbornly fit Odegaard into the starting line up for the sake of it.

  93. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have a very young team and as I suggested before there are going to be “ups and downs” this season.

    Yesterday was a very good day for the club, manager and team, although they still need to learn to maintain a performance for 90 minutes +.

    There were similarities in this game to how we played against Spurs albeit we controlled the
    game for a longer period last night.

    It will be interesting to see the team which is being selected for the game against Leeds in the Carabo Cup. Will Arteta give games to Messrs Leno, Soares, Chambers, Holding, Mari,
    Elneny and Maitland-Niles?

    Personally I hope that we do not.

  94. Habesha Gooner

    I liked our signings last summer. And it is starting to pay off. A good manager will have this team ticking on the regular.

    White was the one I had my doubts about because he wasn’t needed in my opinion and we were overpaying by at least 15 mil.
    He was very good last night. I don’t know if he will become world class but he can be a good player for us.

    Odegaard really needs to go back to the work rate he produced against spurs. He has shown he can lead a press when he wants to. If he is working hard then he is going to play well. But the last couple of games have been an “Ozil that doesn’t care” esque.

    ESR is special. We have unearthed an attacking midfielder of our own like Chelsea did with mount and city did with Foden. He will play at a top level as long as he keeps doing what he is doing now.

    Tavarez’s and Lokonga’s low risk signings have proved to be a gamble that is paying. 26 mil for the pair is the best spending we have done in a while.

    And finally Ramsdale, he will be England’s 1st choice by the end of this season. He is so comfortable with his passing, crosses, shot stopping. He has it all. That was a fantastic bit of business that we couldn’t see early on. He is proving to be our beat signing of the summer.

  95. Thank you and goodnight

    With Ramsdale I like the fact he’s an intelligent footballer, by that I mean when he has the ball he uses his own common sense and mix’s it up playing from the back or going long.

    First apology, I was wrong about Ramsdale, he has all the tools to go further in the game. Very good signing

  96. The Bard

    That 1st half was top draw. We played with pace and purpose. I think it made a huge difference having 2 up front instead of just Auba. ESR was outstanding. His smoothness on the ball is special.

  97. Receding Hairline

    Back to calling out posters who made deserved criticisms after a win and good performance? Literally every team in the world have a dozen good performances in them all season. The key is consistency.

    And talking about top four after 9 games really makes no sense.

    Says a lot about your faith in the project throwing I’m the towel before kickoff , against a team on a bad run of results no less, then having a go at posters because the result and performance was better than you expected..

    Great performance and three points, that’s about it. No need to over analyze it.

  98. Habesha Gooner

    A good performance last night doesn’t mean arteta is off the hook. The performances after spurs have been dire upto last night. It means every arsenal fan enjoyed it and we want to see more of that. I still don’t think this manager is good enough until he proves otherwise. And I still want him out. We could be going places with the right guy in charge.

  99. Pierre

    Tavares may have caused a selection problem for Arteta’ as it was obvious that Tavares created space for smith Rowe with his energy and willingness to overlap with pace.

    Tierny can’t make an overlap without looking shattered as he struggles to regain his position.
    Alternately , Tavares looks like he has energy to burn.

    The team’s performance last night was the one we were hoping to see against Palace and Brighton , especially after the high intensity of tje Tottenham game.

    It was obvious that Arteta has learnt from tje palace game and demanded tjat the players do not take their foot off the gas after a bright start.

    Was it a coincidence that we played with more intensity and aggression without xhaka and Odegaard, i don’t think so.
    There was very little passing sideways from the back and in midfield , the players were looking forward at all times and i have to say, Ramsdale’s passing was very good and also helped us bypass the press..

    At home , it’s easier to play with intensity and agression as the home fans are the 12th man .
    Away from home is a different story and before we all get carried away , Arteta needs to find a side and a way of playing that will get results and performances away from home.,,

    Our away form so far this season has been poor , scoring one goal in 4 games , though we have had a couple of clean sheets v Burnley and Brighton .

    Leicester, liverpool , united and Everton are our next 4 away games and this will tell us more about this present Arsenal team and the Arsenal manager than a home victory v Villa…

    Very enjoyable watch last might tjough .

  100. Davi

    I think Odegaard should be behind in the pecking order now, but when he plays it should be one of the wide midfield positions. We need fighters like Lacazette in the middle.

  101. Foxy

    Not seen the game yet but loved reading in the papers that we physically dominated Villa.

    Last time They said that was re the Invincibles. The prem even more now needs power and pace to dominate the game in particular in midfield it sound like we had that yesterday. I am sure White and Gabriel will have benefited from the Party/Lokonga double pivot in front of him and when did we last have such fast and physical fullbacks.

  102. bacaryisgod

    A quick comment of praise for the referee. He immediately stamped out the Villa roughhousing bullshit and pulled out early yellows. It makes a huge difference when an opponent has to think twice about making a foul.

  103. LoveSausage

    Our press yesterday was something else. Ode has actually been good at pressing but often he’s the only one doing it. So he ends up wasting a lot of energy without us actually winning the ball back. Yesterday with Laca there were always at least two others joining in. At times we looked like a Klopp team. And you could see Villa players making really dumb mistakes because they weren’t given time on the ball. I really hope this continues. Beats the hell out of passively sitting back and letting the opposition ping the ball around.

  104. LoveSausage

    The other thing is, we don’t actually have the players for sitting back. Whilst I do like the look of the team and the back 4, Tomi feels like the only Italian-style defensive player we have. No one else has what it takes to just soak up pressure, win duels, and make no mistakes. E.g. White was superb for 80 minutes end then he was passive for their goal and almost cost us another one. So counter press is the only way we’ll be able to make a run for top 4.