by .

Results have been a bit of a mixed bag for us since Friday, but still positive. Arsenal will be 3 points off top 4, regardless of how the rest of Sunday’s games go (United getting pummelled, so we’re on the same points as them).

That’s where we need to be on January 1st. Why does that date matter? Because my suspicion is that by then, our players will have bedded into the club, performances will be of a higher level because the cognitive style of the system will have matured, and we don’t have any Europe to contend with, so we’ll be fresher.

Post-Christmas last season was very good for us. If we’d been within spitting distance of top 4 by January, we’d have been in the top 4 at the end of the season. It wasn’t to be.

The big difference this season is that at about this time last year, we were about to go on a massive dip in form. We weren’t creating chances, we weren’t dining off low-margins games, and the mood at the training ground was spoiled by dickheads we eventually shipped out.

This season feels a little bit different.

We’ve had an absolutely horrendous dip and it appears we’ve moved on from it. Unbeaten in 7 games.

The football has been up and down but there are some consistent threads.

Generally, we’ve started well this season. It’s been high impact from the off. We were good against Chelsea for the opening 20. We asked questions of City until we collapsed. Every game we’ve started with a rocket up our backsides.

We’re creating chances now. We’re 5th in the table for shots per game. 14.6 so far. That’s including our disastrous Chelsea and City games. To contextualise the progress, last season we were averaging 12.1 shots p/g which had us in 11th. The season before 10.7, which had us in 15th. Our current clip of shots would have us equal with Chelsea for the whole of last season. So it’s good progress and chunky progress. If you are asking whether this new team can create with that data, you aren’t paying attention.

We still need to score more goals. Chelsea had a lower shot output against Norwich than we did… but they scored 7 goals without a striker. We need to find a more clinical edge. Goals can’t just be on the shoulders of Auba and Lacazette. We need Saka, Partey, ESR and our full-backs to chip in.

Defensively, there’s still some work to do. We’re giving up a lot of shots over the average of all our games. Part of that has been driven by our bad start, part of that is we haven’t shown a consistent ability to control games. We let Palace and Brighton have at us because we didn’t have the bravery to play through them. We also have a LOT of new players in our team, so it’ll take time to find our feet there. The first half against Villa was our best outing defensively. We hoovered up first and second balls. We attacked their outlets. We pressed with smarts. We used off the ball movement really well. That’s the standard, we have to do it more often.

The biggest improvement since the break is basically having one absolute banger of a performance. The Goldilocks football was going to grate fans if it didn’t improve. The club needed to show that all this new specificity we signed in the summer was going to amount to some sexy football. We saw a half of it against Spurs, then we saw 80% of a banger against Villa.

James over at The Athletic crystalised where are quite nicely.

Fans are waiting for the football to bang. Like it’ll be one moment and we’ll never look back. That’s not going to happen, it’ll be a slow fizz into consistency. Matt from the podcast teed it up nicely. At the moment, we’re 1 good performance in 3. Next move is 1 good performance every 2 games. Then we try to move to the Chelsea, City, Liverpool levels of hitting high standards in every game.

Not having to deal with Europe should help us get there faster.

I do find it odd that people come on here after a win and accuse me of crowing. We’re all Arsenal fans, if you don’t feel a win is yours as well as mine, what are you doing? I’m just an opinion, why would you battle me to the detriment of your support for the club?

I’ve said the same things all season… this will be up and down. Palace isn’t the last bad performance. Villa won’t be the last big performance. What people need to do is to move away from catastrophising every mistake or result that doesn’t go our way. It’s not helpful to anyone.

We have the ingredients for a good season:

1. The 6 players we signed this summer are all getting rave reviews for talent, specificity, and character

2. The football is getting better slowly but surely

3. Arteta is learning from mistakes. Someone accused him of tinkering yesterday like that was an insult. If you watched Brighton and Palace and didn’t appreciate the manager had to tinker with the system, then I can’t help you. Football isn’t a simple game in 2021, it’s a science.

4. Our big names are showing up for the club. Auba is BACK. 7 goals in 9 this season. Lacazette was a difference-maker yesterday. Gabriel is showing that he has no ceiling. Thomas Partey is FIT and apparently firing. If the seniors aren’t good this season, we’ll fail. I love that they are stepping up to the plate.

5. The fans in the stadium are creating the best atmosphere in YEARS. You love to hear it. It sounds like fun. Long may that support continue. It’s special.

Something that isn’t so cool…

There’s a bit of a thing going on in the Arsenal community where fans are starting to go after people they deem as for-profit catastrophisers. The trend is to spot a ‘personality’ that makes content, then video yourself doing something classless to them. There’s a horrible video of Ty, who I don’t know, being abused by fans who won’t let him exit the building.

I know that certain creators rile people. That guy that screams in his car is not my favourite, but it’s his right to scream in the car, it’s others right to enjoy his car shrieking activities, and if by chance his screaming earns him enough to buy a new car, good for him… I salute that he found a market.

No one speaks for you online. If you think AFTV embarrasses the club, fine… but I tell you what is more embarrassing. Boxing a man into the stadium so he can’t get out when he’s on his own. That’s cowardly. That makes Arsenal fans look bad. We can’t be applauding that. I hope we move on from it.

Finally, there’s a story doing the rounds that we’re going to sell Dino and Matteo for £11m. How do deals like that happen? What have we done to protect ourselves against Marseille and Stuttgart flipping those players like Atalanta flipped Romero? Why would you tie two high ceiling players to a shit fee? We are awful at selling, but these two deals just stink to me. I don’t want Matteo back, but I also don’t want him floating away for nothing when he’s getting called up the French national team.

Right, that’s me done. See you in the comments.




Jump to comment form ↓

  1. curse

    lmao!! Christian trying to get himself sent off so he doesn’t have to endure any more embarrassment on home turf.

    decent weekend

  2. Sly

    Good post Pedro
    Here’s hoping we can ‘bang’ against Manu when we meet
    You are taking T’s post out of context though
    Fans are team centric and all I’m sure want to see us excel
    Arteta’s tenure has been painful to say the least
    He bears huge/ major responsibility for that I’m sure you agree. There are some very tender green shoots and we can maintain an intelligent, courageous Villa approach it will unify the fan base
    Crowing refers to you arteta centric mantra and triumphalism

  3. Foxy

    Leicester look like they are coming into form just in time for the Arsenal game. Going to be a tough visit but we should go in confident, just hope Arteta keeps the same team. West Ham looking like they are probably going to be our other main rival for top 6 unless they burn out trying for the Europa, which Leicester could also do with luck.

  4. The Bard

    I think its taking a while for the club to adjust to our midtable position and its taking fans longer. I agree there will be ups and downs. The real project is how to hang onto our young players. The smart move is make any move almost impossible. Dont for one moment think they are totally committed to the project .Money talks. Give them long contracts and huge wages. It’s a risk but not as much of a risk as leaving them vulnerable to being picked off by other bigger clubs

  5. Chris

    Salah is the best in the world right now surely. Liverpool have a great chance to win any game they play if he is in the team, reminds me a bit of how Henry was for us in his pomp.

  6. Emiratesstroller

    The top three positions in the EPL are frankly out of reach and Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City are a class above the rest of the League.

    However, I see absolutely no reason why we cannot compete for 4-5th places in the League.

    Man Utd may have on paper a better and more experienced squad than us but on the evidence of this week’s performance they are a very weak and poor team. We have absolutely nothing to fear there.

  7. curse

    was just thinking the same thing, conte makes the most sense but will also be the wrong choice. happy days lol


  8. Pedro

    ‘He bears huge/ major responsibility for that I’m sure you agree’

    Ahhh… not really sure he bears responsibility for the shocking way the club has been run for over a decade.

  9. Habesha Gooner

    I always want United to bomb. But I wanted their misery under OLE to continue. A bit more respectable loss would have been better. This will get him sacked for sure. He has been hanging on for his life the past couple of months. I think they will go for conte. Which will basically mean top 4 will be sealed off for us for this season. United have a really good squad. They are just waiting for the right manager. I guess we will have to settle for 5th if arteta can even do that.

  10. Pedro

    I cannot believe what I just watched… that was a TOTAL destruction.

    How can so much elite talent be so fucking bad?

  11. Sly

    Sure thing habeesha
    Any coach who makes Henderson, Milner etc look elite has my vote
    Looks like OT were applauding him on his way out

  12. Sly

    He bears huge/ major responsibility for that I’m sure you agree’Ahhh… not really sure he bears responsibility for the shocking way the club has been run for over a decade.
    🤣🤣 can’t fault your unbridled support for tets Pedro

  13. bacaryisgod


    Not sure it’s a new story about Dino and Matteo.

    Matteo’s was reported as an option to buy but he has probably already hit the required clauses to turn that option into an obligation. Including this years loan fee it will result in a 10m transfer fee.

    Dino’s is even lower. It’s an obligation to buy that will result in a 3-3.5m transfer fee including this year’s loan fee.

    So we’re looking at somewhere in the region of 13.5m for both of them.

  14. Habesha Gooner

    There are few managers that can reach Klopp’s or Pep’s level. I don’t even think Conte can beat them over a full season. That is why I want us to fire arteta. You can’t be gambling on a rookie that hasn’t figured it out yet against these sort of managers. We will be left behind. I really want ten hag. I think he has the potential to compete with these two.

  15. Radio Raheem

    I’m not wanting to pin this all on Ronaldo but I did say on here manure will be worse off with him but he’ll bang in goals for fun.

    You either know football or you don’t.

  16. TR7

    Yeah I said the same. Ronaldo is not like Messi who raises the game of the entire team with his all round play and that’s why I never put him in the same category as Messi. OGS was doing a decent job until he was pressurised by United fans and their hierarchy to go for Ronaldo. Chiellini and Bonnucci referred to the same problem at Juventus when CR7 was there. Not entirely Ronaldo’s fault as RR says but CR7 signing was going to weaken United and it truly has.

  17. TR7

    “I think they will go for conte. Which will basically mean top 4 will be sealed off for us for this season.”

    Were people not saying top 4 was sealed off when United signed CR7 ? Conte is a top top manager but in football things don’t work out like that – get a certain manager or player and everything is sorted straight away. That said I really wish Conte doesn’t take over at United.

  18. Gooner_grower

    “CR7 signing was going to weaken United and it truly has.”

    Not sure I can agree with this. Give him a decent system under a good manager, he will surely fire. Let’s see what happens if United change managers.

  19. Sly

    I agree Habesha
    I think the potential upside with keeping arteta is very small compared to the potential downside
    I really can’t see him taking this club anywhere
    Ten Hag is a great shout and very doable imo
    Managers like pep/Klopp keep evolving and folks like arteta read their old manuals and perpetually flop
    Question though is if managers like Tom Franck and potter can produce collective performances from mediocre players why are we hanging onto an OGS lite level coach
    Utterly mindless

  20. Gooner_grower

    “I really can’t see him taking this club anywhere”

    Even Gunnerblog backs Arteta now. Do you think you know better than both Gunnerblog and Pedro?

  21. Ovia

    Crazy times for united. A squad as good as theirs is suppose to be challenging for the premiership.
    However I think it’s very laughable to pin united woes on Ronaldo as this united team has lacked identity under OGS. For most of OGS tenure united have been a counter attacking team which in my opinion Ronaldo is the perfect player to get you goals in their system..
    Still shocked OGS haven’t bought a Good CDM as I felt that was the only position lacking from last season.

  22. Radio Raheem

    Tough choice on what to watch.

    Inter v Juve or Marseille v PSG?

    Marseille always good to watch for their rabid fans 😂

  23. Tom

    I don’t think Ronaldo has weakened United. I’m not a fan of his but have to say I’ve been impressed by his professionalism and approach to his game as he’s gotten older.

    United’s problem has always been the manager. Going behind in games against lesser quality opponents on the regular and throwing more talented players on to rescue the game while the other team hunkers down to protect what they have, is not a sustainable strategy against very good teams.

    United have led for just over a 117 minutes in games this PL season. Less than Burnley.
    Ole is as average as they come. I’m shocked he has been afforded this much time without winning anything at a club that prides itself on winning trophies.

    At least Arteta won something before the board backed him when he started to struggle.

  24. Sly

    I would absolutely love to be proven wrong and would savor that humble pie
    Gunnerblog sits firmly on the fence

  25. Topside Northbank

    Ole managed Molde and sacked by Cardiff.

    They have a lot of very good players but a jigsaw he can’t put together.

    Moyes wasn’t given enough time at Utd after Ferguson,, Ole still believing he will turn it around his luck has run out.

  26. Topside Northbank

    We were very good friday night, ESR on the half turn is a great sight to see, Ramsdale I will admit so far he is proving me wrong, vocal, distribution once again very good off hand and feet.

    Made a very important save early 2nd half with his legs.

  27. China1

    It’s as I said the other day, to come top 4 we don’t have to be amazing if the teams around us aren’t.

    This Spurs team is the worst it’s been for several years. We have a better squad than them and their manager is poor too. No excuse for finishing below them.

    Man Utd have a good squad but are having an awful season so far. They will have to turn the corner in a big way to be a team worth fearing. Unless they change manager I don’t see it happening but could be wrong.

    Leicester and the others aren’t looking scary this season.

    So as I said, arsenal should be unhappy with coming outside top 4 this season unless Man U turn that corner in a major way

  28. Gommit

    Am I the only one thinking that United was lucky not to have 3 red cards before Pogba was sent off? I am sure that Xhaka would have received red card for kicking Jones after the whistle was blown same if he would have copied Fernandes, who was with two feet off the ground when he got his yellow and I think that Maguire was the last man when he got his yellow.. Amazing how this MU teams get away with things we would never get away with. Great to see them lose like this though

  29. China1

    Liverpool are really something this season

    salah is out of this world good.

    Konate looks like a great buy as well. Just what they needed after being ravaged with CB injuries last year

  30. Topside Northbank

    Outside the big three, the 4th spot is very open for a lot of teams…..yes including us as it stands 1/4 season in.

    Leicester away be a good barometer,

    Leeds Tuesday I would still go with a very strong team 3/4 changes from Friday maximum.

    We have no European football, Martinelli, Pepe start rotate one CB and a FB.

    Leeds have injury concerns and the bigger picture for them PL points,

  31. Habesha Gooner

    I completely agree. I don’t like hoping that a manager will come good when the evidence so far has been contrary. I see Ten Hag producing the kind of football that we played under peak Wenger. Even if we don’t get results, which no one is entitled to get, we would enjoy the football.

    I really hope I am wrong about Arteta and we succeed in to the kind of team that we could enjoy. But my eyes tell me otherwise. I am in to evidence than trying to find microscopic hope based theories.

    Anyway. Saliba making a goal saving tackle on Mbappe.

  32. Habesha Gooner

    Sancho is finding it difficult against premier league defenders. The premier league is a different beast. Rarely does a 21 year old from another league make instantaneous impact. Wengereagle was convinced he would bang as soon as he stepped on to the pitch though. He will find it difficult in the future too because he doesn’t defend a lot. He isn’t blessed with electric speed either. He is very good technically though and he is very intelligent. He will be part of a good team at United in the future. But he won’t be the superstar they expected him to be like Mbappe or Haaland.

  33. LoveSausage

    I’m very happy we’re taking more shots. The low margins dross we were being served was sucking all joy out of watching football. In the next 4-5 games I’m hoping to see the right players taking more of the shots. The shooting stats are a bit deceiving. Partey needs to stop blasting from distance. Even Sambi seems to be emulating him lately. The positive interpretation is that we’re at least getting into shooting positions. But we’ll only convert more once Saka and ESR start firing.

  34. LoveSausage

    United is a dumpster fire atm. I can see them dumping Ole and bringing in Conte. But he won’t have an immediate impact. You can’t play Italian-style football with dross like Maguire, Lindelof and Wan-Bissaka. Conte will need a new back 4 that has brains and discipline. So I still think we should have a decent shot at top 4 this season if Arteta can produce some consistency.

  35. Pierre

    Guendouzi is no longer a headless chicken on a football pitch.
    He has a great understanding and awareness of the game and positionally is very good.
    He keeps it nice and simple if the game is tight, but when it opens up is prepared to carry the ball into the opposition half…he is a leader on the pitch..

    It is criminal to think that Arteta prefers xhaka to Guendouzi and that we are basically giving him away…

  36. Nelson

    The collapse of Manure will open up the forth spot. It will be a fight between West Ham United, Manure, Leicester City, Spuds and Arsenal. I expect BHA and Everton will drop out. It is going to go down to the wire. We don’t have European commitment. If we could add another good CM in January, I could see that we have a good chance to win it.

  37. Nelson

    Who would have thought that losing Raphaël Varane really hurt Manure’s defense. But Ole will play Maguire anyway. He can’t defend in his current form.

  38. China1

    Or are we back to pretending the first 3 performances of the season didn’t happen and we only remember when xhaka has an occasional good game?

  39. zacharse

    hope odegaard is watching figo videos. if he bulked up i could see him being able to do a lot more trickery at that level. he also just needs a consistent run of games, yea he was here last season but his gmae time was up and down. i expect he’s one that will surprise us all in a year or two. trying to think of another player who bulked up a bit and then was able to really take his game up a real level…
    anyway, the kid is class just needs more settling, he hasn’t had the easiest career so far. expecting a big increase in output w extended settling

  40. China1

    I hope Oke doesn’t get fired. As long as he keeps having these false dawn rebirths he gets to hang in there.

    Probably the best thing that can happen is for them to be good and win their next game. Maybe even the next two. That would take the sting out of the pressure on him. Then a couple of bad results in a row and he’s back in the firing line.

    Better that than him being sacked today or losing the next game and getting sacked and them potentially getting a new manager bounce

  41. Dream10

    Massive performance by Saliba against PSG tonight. Man of the match. Not only does have talent, he has the presence. Marseille is a difficult club to play for. In terms of atmosphere, crazy supporters and coverage, only big Serie A clubs, Real/Barça, Benfica/Porto, Turkish big clubs match it. Think it is way more difficult for a young player to perform in those environments. Way more difficult than the Utd/Liverpool PL pundits hype up. Those clubs are unforgiving.

    Lokonga has struggled so far imo. I think it is more do with his talent than a young player adjusting. Don’t think he is cut for out for this level. Seems like a good kid though. Wish him the best.

  42. Dark Hei

    “Even Gunnerblog backs Arteta now. Do you think you know better than both Gunnerblog and Pedro?”

    7am do not back Arteta.

    Neither do I. Me want my victories and entertainment to go with it. Wenger has conditioned me to caviar football.

  43. zacharse

    “Lokonga has struggled so far imo. I think it is more do with his talent than a young player adjusting. Don’t think he is cut for out for this level. Seems like a good kid though. Wish him the best.”

    we got a spud troll

  44. Pedro

    Pierre, like Mesut, Matteo is a toxic character. Doesn’t matter how talented he is… he soiled himself at Arsenal and will likely do the same at Marseille.

  45. Tony

    “How can so much elite talent be so fucking bad?”

    If you need to ask that question Pedro, then you really need help.

    Simple, it’s the manager, as it’s been for us over the last 24 months.

    Now Arteta says the ‘Bang’ is coming , so I hope it’s a sonic boom and not a soggy banger that fails to make any sound except ‘phuttt’ on a wet 5th of November.

    Excellent day for us yesterday.

    The Leicester game vs Brentford was as tight as games get. Both teams deserved the win; a great game for the neutrals.

    Then 5:0 the Dippiers scoring for fun and Manure left on the canvas out for the count in the first half.

    Obviously, we want Ole to stay just as other club’s fans want Arteta to stay with us.

    Moyes has the Hammers playing as a tight unit and being difficult to beat on their small pitch while allowing Spuds to have the majority of possession. Another tight game, but the Spuds looked as uninspiring against the Hammers as they did against us.

    So, Manure and Spuds doing us a favour losing points where we look good to beat Manure on yesterday’s showing.

    Should up our aspirations for a CL birth. 4th spot is up for grabs and always has been.

    In other news, Overmars is having talks with Newcastle to be their DoF and bring Ten Hag with him to replace Bruce.

    Considering it’s who I wanted for us at the beginning of the season as did others it will be interesting to see how the perform if they take up the Magpies positions.

    You can’t see how someone can be a fan if they criticize the club and players?

    You post the blatantly obvious, and then make your criteria as to what constitutes to be an Arsenal fan.

    Priceless ES. Like you never talk trash about our players, such as Guendouzi, Wilcox et al.

    Bob just kidding with you yesterday. I understand your stance.

    Tomorrow Leeds. Can’t wait for an almost midweek game.

  46. Pedro

    Tony, the problem of the last 24 months has been that fans have failed the grasp the gravity of the job.

    OGS is regressing with a hugely expensive squad. No plan, structure or vision… we are progressing across the metrics listed in the blog, with a plan, vision and structure.

  47. Tony

    The fans (most of them) have understood the gravity of the job and was why we wanted a manager with experience.

    Let’s see how Newcastle do with experience and how quickly they can climb the tables over this and next season. If Newcastle are at the same stage as us at the end of their 2nd season, then there is a tangible gauge that will confirm what you say.

    I’ve no idea how it will pan out with the Magpies, but it’ll be interesting how they develop as a club and on the pitch.

    All I know for now is I want consistency from our beating Villa and in the manor of our play in that game and better.

    Hopefully, not much to ask for, Pedro.

    I doubt the Geordies and Saudis will have the same patience as KSE and Arteta’s supporters.

    Time will tell, Pedro.

  48. Pedro

    ‘Let’s see how the richest club in the world do with their new manager’ isn’t really a fair gauge of whether the path is correct with Arsenal.

  49. Sid

    I will blame Klopp if man u finish above us, fucker had to beat man u 5-0 and get OGS fired when 2-0 was enough to get the job and let OGS keep his job.

  50. Sid

    Guen was never a headless chicken, he was just trying to cover the gaps left be players like Ozil, Bell, Auba and Kola across the field

  51. Tom

    “Tony, the problem of the last 24 months has been that fans have failed the grasp the gravity of the job.“

    24 months?
    Remind us , Pedro, who was it that said after the Pepe Saliba window that top three was on the menu?

    Talk about failure of grasping realit.

  52. Tom

    Too bad Klopp went into player preservation mode at 5 nil………it would’ve been so sweet to watch the red nose squirm in his expensive seat even more than he already was.

    Wenger’s side lost to Fergie’s 8:2 but that was a line up full of second stringers like Traore, Jenkinson, Djourou, Coquelin, and young Walcott and Ramsey.

    This Liverpool trashing is much, much worse.

    Got a kick out of British pundits saying Ole just needs a better number two on his staff, someone who’s been there and can get his massage across better….you know, kinda like someone who can actually manage.

  53. Tony

    I think the fair barometer, Pedro, will be to see how they spend say half a billion as we have in the last few TWS.

    Sure, after half a billion it isn’t fair unless KSE decides he wants to really challenge the top 3 for top honours.

    The Magpies at least can be judged against our similar player expenditure over say 5 TWs.

    Should we take into the account that the Magpies squad is currently mostly relegation fodder compared to what Emery had and then Arteta had, Pedro?

    What’s the barometer you want to make a balanced judgement between us and The Saudis?

    Key word there Pedro is ‘Balanced’

  54. Sid

    This team is too tame we need high testosterone guys like Sampaoli, Guen
    We need find out the Spurs player that dusted his broom with a managers daughter and sign him ASAP.

  55. Terraloon


    OGS is regressing with a hugely expensive squad. No plan, structure or vision… we are progressing across the metrics listed in the blog, with a plan, vision and structure.

    There is no doubt that with the money spent Utd should be in a far far better place than they are at this time .

    From the lack of technical ability that clearly is lacking in OGS skill set to the clear squad in balance and of course recruitment ( Ronaldo) based on commercial matters as opposed to squad requirements things are clearly not in a good place but and here’s the big but in a blink of an eye a new manager would be able to rearrange the deckchairs and almost certainly results would improve against most teams but not against the top three namely City, Liverpool &Chelsea.
    Neville yesterday kept talking about how Man Utd had been exposed against everyone that had played this season but save Leicester and now of course Liverpool the results have to a degree masked performances.
    The league table suggests that save one of them imploding three of the four CL places are already determined and from what I am seeing all three of those clubs have the squads and of course resources to either improve or indeed consolidate without the need for wholesale changes. Evolution for them not revolution
    So it’s that mini league below that clearly has to be Arsenals focus.
    WHU have almost certainly already qualified for the next stage of the EU so can now rest players. I thought they would struggle but at this time Moyes seems to have them playing compact and successful football. They will be in the mix.
    Rogers over at Leicester seems to be getting his squad back into the groove they will present quite a challenge
    So back to Man Utd. One way or another they will improve. The players they have are just too good. Unfortunately the hammering they took yesterday will be the catalyst for change be it all or a combination of a managerial change, a tactical change, and or team selection changes.

    My suggestion is don’t write Man U off just yet

  56. Sid

    Great people of Bern, Switzerland protesting against the vaccine passports.
    Empire think workers are farm animals for production and can be injected through coercion.

  57. Emiratesstroller


    There is a huge difference between “constructive criticism” when it is merited and what some posters do even when the team plays well.

    Stick to selling your daily life story when you post on here, because when it comes to sports
    matters including management you are frankly clueless.

  58. Pierre

    “… he (Guendouzi)soiled himself at Arsenal and will likely do the same at Marseille.”

    Surely , even you can see that selling Guendouzi for peanuts is poor management.

    Let’s hope that in the end it all comes good for this management as there is a possibility that if it does go tits up for them ( a possibility), they will leave the club in a far worse place than they found it and will have cost the club hundreds of millions through poor decision making..

    Talking about Guendouzi, Saliba,AMN , Lacazette, Nketiah, Torreira, Ozil, Ben White , Willian , Xhaka, Martinez …it’s like the list is endless….Mavropanos, Mhkitaryan , cedric , Mari..

  59. Shaun

    “Matteo’s was reported as an option to buy but he has probably already hit the required clauses to turn that option into an obligation. Including this years loan fee it will result in a 10m transfer fee.Dino’s is even lower. It’s an obligation to buy that will result in a 3-3.5m transfer fee including this year’s loan fee.So we’re looking at somewhere in the region of 13.5m for both of them.”

    that’s criminal waste ,unbelievably bad management of Arsenal assets

  60. Shaun

    Like many have seen Mavropanos and Saliba are both decent and to be honest Mavropanos looks the more first team ready and is a beast who is not only defending but scoring as well .Honestly I don’t understand the 50 mil for White who looks alright and looks to be better than holding but why Mavropanos gets no chance at all and then sold for nothing is a huge mistake

  61. Emiratesstroller


    I am sorry but I agree with Pedro and not you when it comes to Guendouzi.

    The player has been toxic at every club he has played in including by all accounts at Marseille. Rumours have been circulating that he has already fallen out with several players in their squad.

    Football is a team game and you cannot afford to have a “bad egg” in the squad even if he is
    a great footballer. Bluntly Guendouzi on the evidence of what I have seen does not fall into
    that category where some clubs might make allowances for his conduct.

    Arsenal have made a decision to offload him and that is the end of the story. The transfer
    fee is a side issue, but there was not exactly a queue of clubs for his signature.

    When it comes to Saliba lets wait and see what materialises at end of this season. I concede
    there that the club did not handle well his time at Arsenal.

    I do not believe that any of the other players you list had or will have a long term future at
    club apart from perhaps White. Lacazette is a decent player, but he is 30 years old and it would be a mistake to give him a new contract. The others are very mediocre players who did not or will not make the grade at the club.

  62. Pierre

    400 mil spent since Wenger left and what has that given us.

    Goalkeepers..bought Leno and Ramsdale and sold Martinez who for me is a better keeper…so no improvement.

    Right back….bought cedric, Tomiyasu ….sold Bellerin and rarely uses AMN …….is Tomiyasu better than AMN, maybe ….slight improvement.

    Left back…we have Tierney /tavares…before monreal / kolasinac …
    For me the better full back….no improvement.

    Centre backs we have gabriel,/ white / mari/ chambers/holding …..before we had koscielny/holding/mustafi / chambers …..improvement

    Centre mid …now we have xhaka/partey/elneny/lakonga ….before we had Ramsey/xhaka/ Elneny /wilshere ….improvement only marginal if any as xhaka is still first choice.
    I could have added Cazorla but that would have tilted the balance in favour of no improvement.

    Offensive we have no new signings that are starters, unless you include Odegaard replacing Ozil and one would have to be stretching the truth if you was to say that Odegaard is an improvement on Ozil.

    So to recap…for 400 mil spent , the improvement is marginal compared to when wenger left, but there is massive potential for improvement, mainly due to our academy players and to a lesser extent the emergence of lakonga, Tomiyasu and Tavares .
    Add gabriel, White and Odegaard to the equation and then it is down to our manager to help these players reach their full potential.

    So far we haven’t seen to much evidence of players reaching their full potential under Arteta , the opposite in fact when you look at Guendouzi, AMN , Nketiah, Nelson , Martinelli etc .

  63. Emiratesstroller

    Bob N16

    I don’t pretend to be an expert on football. My game was rugby, which I played to a decent standard. However, I have supported and attended games at Arsenal since the mid 1950s
    so I think that I have a reasonable insight in what has been going on since that time.

    As I have posted before there have been some good and bad periods at the club.

    I do think that when it comes to developing a sports programme including a football club I
    think that I have probably a better idea than most who post on here.

    Firstly two members of my family including my daughter were international athletes. She
    represented Britain in an Olympic Sport competing at World Cup and World Championships
    winning medals. Had she continued in the sport she would almost have certainly competed in 2012 Olympics.

    Second I managed a club also in an Olympic Sport for 14 years. It employed four Olympians
    as professional coaches as well as producing international athletes. I also established and
    organised for 7 years an international tournament which was one of the first to be held in
    the Copper Box on Olympic Park post 2012 Olympics.

    So whilst I may not be an expert on football I think that I have sufficient understanding on
    how to develop a top class sports programme.I am pretty sure that Tony does not have those
    credentials albeit when telling us on a daily basis his life story he appears to be an expert on
    most matters.

  64. Bob N16

    Pierre, ESR and Saka our best young players are integral to the success of the team, both now and in the future.

    Young players don’t always reach their full potential and if they do it can be on a non linear route. Opportunity is possibly the biggest issue, not taking the opportunity is of course also relevant. I’m sure you could make a list, as you have done, of those players who haven’t reached their potential at any club you’d choose to focus on.

    Guendouzi: immature and difficult – may mature into a player you’d want
    AMN: insisting he should play CM, inconsistent – not outstanding on loan – still time
    Nketiah: May well succeed elsewhere – hope his agent does well for him, recent bulking up may be significant in his improvement
    Nelson: confidence issue? Not all his fault but wasn’t convincing in the limited opportunities he was given
    Martinelli – Really hope he gets more of a chance- needs to show he deserves more minutes- bit ‘chicken and egg’ situation with him

    We all want our youngsters to fulfil their potential – having Saka and ESR as beacons of hope is reassuring.

  65. Sid

    This is great, i have missed keeping up with the Tonys, then out of the booom! another great reality show on le grove, Keeping up with the EStrollers.

  66. Dark Hei

    “Surely , even you can see that selling Guendouzi for peanuts is poor management.”

    I don’t know man.

    All I can say is that he was out in the market but there are no takers even after an entire season in which he played.

    I don’t think he is difficult to sell if someone actually wants him permanently. Maybe there is but it could be a market of great divide. Either a club has the $$ or they absolutely don’t.

    Or perhaps because we do not want term payments which is a multi season loan masquerading as a transfer.

    It is a bit like William Saliba. I am quite sure there is a market for him. But if we want a reasonable transfer fee, it will be a club that is cash rich, not just a big club. And this kind of opportunities are not that common.

    I don’t think both players aren’t in the market due to attitude etc. It is not as if they are crack heads.

  67. CG


    “”””So to recap…for 400 mil spent , the improvement is marginal compared to when wenger left, “”””

    There has been zero improvement at the club post Wenger (PW) with the exception of one department- the bullshite department.

    PW , we continually overpay for overated players , players that are simply not needed and ignore the talent that is there ( eg Saliba, Martinez ,Mav)

    Take this Odegaard.

    £30 000 000 and a Five year contract

    As Liverpool proved last week, with their incredible x13 away goals- players that slow the counter attack are obsolete in the modern game.

    Arsenal were a different side Friday in his absence.
    ESR in particular.
    And his old club aint missing him.either- Real Sociedad top in the Spanish League.

  68. Bob N16


    I haven’t and wouldn’t question your credentials!

    I have always followed rugby too (and cricket, tennis, golf etc) but nothing compares to my lifelong obsession with Arsenal(first game attended 1972 – essentially the double team). My Dad’s boss was Denis Hill Wood so I had an excellent seat until I went to the terraces from the early 80s. ST since we went all seater in 1993.

    Yourself and Tony appear to rub each other the wrong way. Unfortunately both of you seem to have got into the habit of putting each other down. I have got into similar ‘relationships’ on here and realise that responding in kind gets me nowhere!

    There are plenty of other posters to interact in a way that focusses on the subject under discussion rather than the person who is saying it.

    If I’ve had a tough day or had a couple of drinks I can still respond in an unkind way but there we go…it’s genuinely nothing personal although it might seem like it!

  69. Rich

    Bob, not sure we’ll see many youngsters on Tuesday

    Think we’ll have to give minutes to our squad

    ……..Holding Mari
    ………Elneny Sambi
    Pepe Odegaard Martinelli

    Take a strong bench in case we need a push in the last 20-30 minutes

  70. Bob N16

    You’re right Rich, it would be enough to see Martinelli tear it up but a cameo for Patino would be a highlight!

    Without European football there are a lot of players who need game time. I’d start AMN, maybe at RB with Soares at LB. KT being out means Tavares is in the first team for now.

  71. Raulishuss

    Esr replaced ozil and he’s far better. You want us to use niles,nkethia,guen,ozil etc over much better players and you support arsenal? Lol.

  72. Arsnil

    Paedro you say you don’t want Matteo back and I agree with you. Mavropanos? You want him back. I would take him back in the morning.

  73. Rich

    Tavares is such an exciting player, could both win or lose us a game at any moment

    He’s got all the raw ingredients to become a top class modern left back

    Pace + power, brilliant in the air, 2 footed, good delivery, a real competitor

    If we can improve his decision making and positioning, then £8 million will become a bargain

    Early days, but so far looks like a good low risk punt that could potentially pay big

    We’re gradually changing the athletic profile of our defenders, if we bring back Saliba next season and tie him down, we’ll have some absolute monsters at the back

    Tomiyasu has adapted well, another who’s 6ft2, very quick and powerful

  74. Graham62

    I was an ardent member of the WOB. He just had to go.
    Emery was never going to be the right fit. He was not geared for the PL.
    As for Arteta, no matter how poor a decision it was to hire him and, imo, it was a poor decision after Emery, it looks like he’s going to be staying for the foreseeable future.

    I’ve questioned Pedro massively these past few months and consequently got into trouble because of this. Arteta still has to prove himself, of course he does and I hope that he has learnt from the games against both AV and Spuds that we have the capability to play at a level that can hurt the opposition.

    It’s up to Arteta now to prove he’s up to the task.

  75. Bob N16

    With Saliba (hopefully) returning for next season, we’ll have four very capable CBs ( I include Tomyasu in that group). We should sell Holding, Chambers, Mari and Soares and get in another RB who we’d be very happy to see start.

    Can’t disagree Graham- Arteta still has to prove that he’s the best man for the job- leading this improving squad back to be the best of the rest (top three are away in the distance).

  76. Graham62

    Great shame that Liverpool eased up when Pogba got sent off yesterday.
    7 or 8 nil would have been just brilliant.
    God, I hate everything about MU.
    Don’t we all.

  77. Pierre


    “Esr replaced ozil and he’s far better. You want us to use niles,nkethia,guen,ozil etc over much better players and you support arsenal? Lol.”

    I was just making the point that 400 mil spent with little or no improvement.

    If Smith Rowe achieves half of what what Ozil achieved in his career then he will have had a very successful career…

    I love smith rowe and he and Saka have saved Arteta his and edu’s job
    Let’s hope the new signings have the same impact as those 2.

    Tavares , what a performance v villa …the question is , has he done enough to keep him in the side

  78. Bradybunch

    Pierre …400 million
    You’re better than this , marginally .
    Your comparisons pay scant respect to the forces of nature or the evolution of PL.
    Injuries ,age, intensity requirements have all moved on, yet your assessments seem to be taken in still life.
    Monreal better than KT and NT? NOW? Last time I checked we didn’t have a cryogenics lab under the Ems.
    The quality of player we’ve lost to horrendous injury or just timing out justifies paying big money for their replacements. When Mr Wenger was ousted , we were left in weaker recruiting position than we’d previously been, when we were being tight, so we’ve been paying top dollar ever since. Not to mention the fuckin crooks that came in .
    Sadly, our Acadamy didn’t produce the gems to keep us out of the market.
    Without that 400 million spend, where might we be?

  79. Shaun

    I have to say I don’t like villa and putting them in there place was very high on my list and the same goes Rodgers and Vardy but the humiliation of UTD possibly gave me even more joy on top of the spuds losing great weekend lol…………………lol

  80. Nelson

    The current Ronaldo is a box striker. He’ll need support to be effective. OGS plays Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood next to him. They are run and gun type of player. Manure needs more setup players to help Ronaldo out.

  81. englandsbest

    Right on the nail, Pedro. Arsenal are better in every department bar converting chances into goals.

    My view (oft expressed) is that the team would do better with a slugger, rather than a lurker, up front. Of course Auba is a masterful lurker – one of the best – and he still scores and it’s hard to argue with seven in nine games. But what if we had a masterful slugger up front, how many would HE score? And, equally important, how many would others score with him around?

    Like many of us, I expect the team to have gelled by Jan. So how far will we be short of a top 4 finish? IMO one masterful slugger up front. A top calibre goal scorer. Not the Salah type, we already have ESR and Saka. Someone closer to, say….

    They come expensive – selling Gendozy, etc doesn’t get us anywhere near. But selling Auba to NUFC might. They’ll be desperate for,someone guaranteed to score, a player who’ll keep them in the PL.

    Who will Arteta buy. No doubt he will surprise us all.

  82. Emiratesstroller

    Bob N16

    I have asked Tony on many occasions to stop commenting on what I post, but he persists.

    More often than not I ignore what he posts, but sadly there comes a point when my hackles are raised and I react, which I accept I should not do.

    I made a mistake in the past revealing too much information about my background which I
    regret. Over the last 12 months until today I have avoided doing so.

    I assume that your father worked for a Merchant Bank if his boss was Hill-Wood. Hill-Wood
    was also closely connected to Danny Fiszman, which is why he landed up as the largest shareholder in Arsenal.

    My father had a close relationship with Joe Mercer when he was club captain and that is
    how he secured very good seats at the club as well.

  83. Bradybunch

    Is it beyond reason to accept that they both can fill the Ozil position?
    Ozil did have a great career, an unbelievable talent, but PL was his undoing. Ode gets way more stuck in than Ozil, but still needs to up that side of his game. Worth 30 mil IMO. ESR is a different beast, I love how he plies his trade,….. but he was fragile last year, and needed a non Ozil backup 10.
    As we are seeing ESR can damage oppo from many positions. The flexibility in game management options is a strength surely

  84. Bob N16

    De Zoete and Bevan- stockbrokers which turned into BZW after the Big Bang and then eventually became Barclays.