ARSENAL NESTLED IN THE PACK

by .

Well hello my DARLINGS.

It’s Monday morning and I am just going to say it: That United beating kind of fired me up? You know that feeling when you’ve seen a fight in a pub? Or you’ve just watched Mike Tyson knock someone out and you want to go out fighting? That’s how I felt yesterday. Blood was in the air and I wanted some of it on my hands.

Is that weird? Maybe.

I can’t get over it. How could they be so bad? OGS finished 2nd last season, made a Europa League Final (beaten, lol). This summer, he has all the transfers addicts saying things like:

‘THAT’S AMBITION, MY CLUB’

9 games into the season and they are having their backsides handed to them at home by Liverpool. Outrageous stuff.

Arsenal made a move on the Premier League table at the weekend. We’re now level points with the teams you’d expect us to near at this stage of the season. The only real outlier in the group is Brighton.

The only team unbeaten in 6 is… Arsenal.

Phase 3 is about to get a lot tougher. The coaching staff have a tough decision to make. Do they go all-in on Leeds and risk legginess for an early Saturday kick-off? Or do they go for youth and risk a defeat that might impact the first team?

I suspect the manager will go for… a hybrid. Leeds is not in good shape this season. They have a very lean squad and they haven’t been able to handle the Premier League. They have a very good starting 11, but if they are missing 6 odd first-teamers, they are always going to struggle.

So what will the equation be for Bielsa? I’d imagine he’ll have limited interest in this cup game. His priority is rescuing the Premier League season before it goes to the bad place. I think he rolled on 3 reserve kids at the weekend as subs. They are depleted. That could make it a bit easier for Mikel Arteta to pick a zesty youth team.

So who will play? My hope is that Folarin Balogun lands some minutes. If the club aren’t going to use Eddie in the first team squad, what is the point in wasting minutes for him in the League Cup? I’d love to see Charlie Patino, but I think it might be a bit soon for him. Though I do think he mostly missed out last time because our first team was extremely green to the league. So you never know.

We’ll also see some of the fringe players we need to keep in the mixer. Holding, Cal Chambers, Leno, and Mo Elneny will likely earn some minutes. I would like for us to put a few of our starters in some cotton wool… Smith Rowe being right up there and Lacazette also. Can’t have the risking bodies for a cup this early in the season.

William Saliba had a really good game against PSG last night making a majestic last-ditch tackle on Mbappe in the second half.  His first half was ok, but he really came into his own as the game was chased. This loan move is working out really well for him. When he makes mistakes, it’s good for us. When he has towering moments against big teams, it’s good for us. By the time he comes back to us next summer, he’ll probably be the most experienced 21-year-old centre back in the Premier League. As Clive from Arsenal Vision said yesterday, the player has 2 years on Konate. It’s hard to imagine that he’s not picking up that slot behind Ben White next season.

Matteo G also had a solid game. Could he find his way back to Arsenal? You suspect he’d like to. If he can have a season without issue, maybe there is a way back? What I still can’t fathom is why we put a guaranteed number on a transfer for a young player with a high ceiling. But there you go.

Right, short post today, I shall see you in the comments.

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356 Responses to “ARSENAL NESTLED IN THE PACK”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Jim Lahey

    I was joking in the first line.

    I am in no doubt that Arsenal are not poor and can afford to spend serious money in transfer market if the Kroenke family choose to do so.

    Since Usmanov sold his shares and Kroenke acquired 100% ownership Arsenal’s transfer
    policy appears to have changed.

  2. englandsbest

    Tom

    They are MY love letters not my gorgeous grand-daughter’s.

    But they are for the Club, not Arteta. Though managers and teams pass by, my affaire will never die.

  3. Samesong

    EB

    ‘a Club like Arsenal is bigger than the manager or the team.’

    I need to frame this from you. Would never think that the way you babble on about Arteta all the time.

  4. Tom

    “EB would sooner have Arteta than Klopp. He’s serious too.“

    Makes perfect sense too considering Klopp said the PL title within four years or a complete failure.
    EB apparently hates that sort of pressure.
    His aim for Arteta’s season four is……..……….we’ll see how this seasons ends.

    He’s taken Pedro’s lead and ran with it.

  5. China1

    I hope we have a good mix of quality and youth and find a win. I’d very much like us to go for the league cup this season.

    As low a priority as it is, we’ve no Europe so no excuse for not taking the cups both seriously. As well I’d rather come 6th and win the league cup than come 5th and win nothing. I do love me a trophy

  6. Jamie

    “His aim for Arteta’s season four is……..……….we’ll see how this seasons ends.”

    He wants to see progress with his eyes, not distractions like final league position.

  7. Dream10

    Expecting a full strength side tonight. Would like to see Eddie and Balogun start instead of Aubameyang and Lacazette. Very much doubt it though. Only change I expect is Pepe in for Saka. Interested how Lokonga does in midfield. We’ll be missing a senior CM until February.

  8. Gonsterous

    I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up but this is the weekend where we can get into the top 5
    Brighton play pool so they will drop points
    Spuds and utd face each other so one or both may drop points
    Everton play wolves

    We have to beat leicester who sit above us, and we will go into the top 5 for the first time in I don’t know how long.

    Let’s get our act together boys.

  9. Gonsterous

    This weekend is make or break time for the arteta in boys. We need 3 full points.

    Sorry for hyping myself up, it’s only bloody Tuesday. 🙂

  10. Ollie

    Gonsterous

    I completely agree, this match against Leicester has the potential to be season defining. Win and we’re right up where we need to be. Lose, and it’s a long road back…..again.

  11. englandsbest

    I take it for granted that EVERYONE here is in love with Arsenal. Otherwise, why would they be here. But you’d never guess so from the response of some.

    No, I’m not an imbecile, nor a twelve year old, and for those lovers, like myself, who paid attention, it was heart-breaking to see the object of our affection losing its identity. A process that began when the owners sold out, and encouraged by Wenger in a vain effort to make himself the Club’s identity.

    Who might halt and reverse the process? A new owner? Yes, but the will to change him by not attending matches was not there.

    A new manager, then? Yes, but not a mercenary. Not someone who would move on, unconcerned with Club identity, to the next job, as Klopp will, and Tuchel will. The new manager had to be committed, a fan, like ourselves. A guy who would resurrect the soul of Arsenal.

    Some of us thought Mikel Arteta ticked all the boxes bar managerial expereince.. Better him than a mercenary, though, some of us decided. And the signs are that we were right.

  12. China1

    The biggest mitigating circumstances since ww2 strangely enough didn’t seem to apply to our rivals

    The vast majority of teams last season finished five or take where you’d expect them to. Arsenal finished much worse and its covid’s fault tho!

  13. China1

    The only top half of the team team that majorly disappointed last year was Liverpool and they spent half a season with no CBs due to injuries. Including to the best CB in the world

  14. Sid

    “”””””Bob N16October 26, 2021 11:21:13
    Sid, your comments might be better received if you eased up on the labelling.””””””

    Noted, i just assumed its a le grove tradition
    Bedwetters, AKBs, Saliba ultras, Doomers, Emerystas etc

  15. Graham62

    englandsbest

    Unfortunately, our regression commenced as soon as we left Highbury.
    It was slow and gradual. For all the fantastic things that happened after 2006, every Arsenal fan knew that there were fundamental flaws in our structure, that unless sorted, would come back to haunt us.

    I would say that many Arsenal supporters have been drained of their love and affiliation to the club, that’s why so much negativity is lying under the surface.

    When you watch things over the years that a twelve year old could have sorted out, your trust in any form of process is put in doubt.

  16. Graham62

    Whenever I watch a replay of some of our games after 2006 on YouTube, I’m often left shaking my head in disbelief at the brittleness that existed in the team.

    My all time favourite game was the 2009 gem at Anfield. Arshavin scored 4 but look at the bloody defending.

    Comical!!

    It was obvious to us all.

  17. Graham62

    My son in 2009 was fifteen. We were watching the game on TV.

    I remember him getting up and walking out after Liverpool made it 4-4.

    Oh yes, the memories!

  18. China1

    Moving to the ems was the biggest catalyst for our demise but there were certainly lots of very obvious stepping stones on the way

    Losing out on an Alonso cesc pairing because we wanted to save 3m on what was already a cheap price is up there.

    As was turning down cesc’s return (as wenger has literally admitted) only to teach youngsters a lesson that the grass isn’t always greener. An irrelevant and pointless lesson that proved to also be inaccurate lol

  19. Thank you and goodnight

    Arteta can stay at our club for next 20 years and the closest he’ll get to winning the title will be on football manager on PlayStation. I never thought I’d be pining for Emery as he was awful, but Arteta makes him look like peak fergie/Wenger 🤣

  20. Janky

    I get what EB’s saying. You have to get past the Arteta over Klopp part, which is by far the craziest thing I’ve read on these pages ever…ever ever…but the point isn’t about Arteta over Klopp as much as it is about a romanticized view of football.

    That thing, caretaking of clubs, managers that bleed Arsenal or Chelsea or Liverpool, that’s dead and done. Gone the way of the buffalo. The love only lives occasionally in the hearts of the players…you see glimmers of it in Saka and the Smith, why we fucking love those kids…and fans like ourselves, everything else is money or ego first. Klopp loves football, you can see this, he has passion for it and for the players he is managing, and this creates an energy that is compelling and undeniable. I’d take him in a heartbeat though he would, no doubt, move on in time as he will from pool.

    Mike will certainly move on as well. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t see him sticking around like Wenger or Fergie, even if by some stroke of magic he turned out a fraction of their managerial talent. The only reason at this point he’d stick around long term is because no other big club would have him. It’s 2021, covid is alive and that romantic club stuff is dead, wishing for it via Arteta or anyone else is futility.

  21. Ernest Reed

    “Klopp has proven himself a great manager, and maybe Tuchel too, but I’d sooner have Arteta than either.”

    Just when i think you cant get any more absurd in your thinking EB, you pull this dandy out of your hat.

    Dont know if you are just a football romantic at heart, but those days are over and winning is everything in todays world of professional sport. Ask yourself which individuals on your list are proven winners and you wont and cant make any winning argument for Arteta’s inclusion on any list.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but know full well that you open yourself up for questioning and doubt with things like this. Usually an opinion is founded in common sense, but….there is little in your argument to be found, other than a bygone romantic view of life itself.

  22. underrated Coq

    Englandsbestsheep,

    Mercenaries?

    Its a job. Like every other. People leave their jobs if they get a better one or if they are fired.

    The Second one being more likely in Arteta’s case.

  23. englandsbest

    Graham62

    Yup, there were a few gems lying in the gutter, along with all the rotting litter.

    The decline was gradual but for those who paid attention it was always there. At first the blame seemed to lie entirely with an absentee owner who WASN’T paying attention. And there was the carrot dangled by Wenger and Gazidis – once austerity ended we’d match Bayern M.

    But the main cause was Wenger’s ego, not Stan’s meanness. He should have said up front, Arsenal cant compete AND pay off for the stadium. It’s the owner’s debt, not the Club’s. Instead he used up the seed corn stored by years of success, selling off our best players, enticing others to stay by overpaying them. And when austerity ended, he wasted the money on players like Ozil (ego) and Mustafi (poor judgement).

    Fortunately all that is over. We have an owner who has become aware of his obligation and a manager whose stated aim is a return to the elite and a club which is recovering its identity.

  24. The Bard

    We missed our opportunity during the last 10 years of Wenger’s reign. We settled for average and a full house every week when we should have sacked him and brought in a top manager. We lost ambition and drive. We morphed from a proper football club to a plc. Whether we will ever get back in the mix is a debatable issue. I have no problem with Pedros positivity, its what a blog is about.

  25. Thank you and goodnight

    Arteta will never return us to the elite. Almost 2 years in , 200 million spent and we’re still as far away from returning to the elite as we were the day he took over. If we’ve been playing decent football and not getting the results it wouldn’t be as bad as watching the utter shite he’s produced for at least 18 months.

  26. Tony

    Jim peak trolling imbecile I’d plump for just to be sure.. ES and EB have similar senior moments I’ve noticed.

    You have to feel for them.

  27. englandsbest

    What puzzles me is that many on here treat Arsenal as if it were a business, and nothing more. That makes no sense at all to me. It’s like going to a restaurant whose food you hate.

    I

  28. Guns of SF

    The Emirates was supposedly, give their loan with the contingent that Wenger keep his job. So I have read somewhere.
    How true how knows.

    However, Wenger was a great coach until success found his head. Dein saying he has the job for life was a big mistake, etc.

    I believe AW cared, maybe too much instead of being more balanced. The team balance sheet became is personal balance sheet.

    His kingdom overall.

    For all his negatives, there are also positives as well.
    Its a bitter sweet feeling talking about him

  29. Janky

    Man EB, new meds or off old ones?

    Being a fan is hard. Loving a club is like torture. Your sphere of concern is large, your sphere of control insignificant. Frustration ensues.

    We theorize and hypothesize about the how’s and why’s with little information to support our speculation.

    Part of why some of us feel convinced Arteta is a dead man walking and why some similarly informed fans think he is messiah. I can point at the table, I think that’s factual, Pete is constantly pointing at other stuff. Likely neither of us is spot on.

    Funny thing is, doesn’t matter what I think or want. I can only count on Stan not wanting to crater the club’s value…further. That is the only true motivation here. Hoping for that other, obligations and elite and identity hoopla, gonna have you sitting next to Pierre trying to stay clear of the sock.

    No offense Pierre. I really enjoy reading your posts on a vast majority of things Arsenal. Even if Ozil went full wanker at the end.

    Onto Leeds! I want to see some carnage!

  30. Gonsterous

    Arteta over klopp!!
    Arteta over klopp!
    Arteta over Klopp!!

    Let’s get this chant going in the Emirates.

    Sure we may look deluded but it’s got a nice ring to it!

  31. Markymark

    Think the bit about owner being aware of his responsibility (England’s best) is open to debate and maybe sorely tested if Stan gets hammered for costs in the court cases running in the States.
    In regard to Arteta I’m keeping a very open mind . I try to avoid lurching from one view to another . See Jonny saying he’d rather take Benitez and one week later Toffee’s get slaughtered by Watford.
    The comments about pushing the performance from
    1/3 to 1/2 and then to continuing high levels of consistency are what we need evidence of. If Arteta finishes strongly then he provides that and really you have to have some sort of Wenger boy issue to be anti. If by end of season we are still a 1 in 3 club it’s probably time to call on his time and replace. Don’t even think you’d need a major player shake up. IMO the squad is now almost there

  32. Rich

    KSE were unlikely to invest in their asset, only to make the share price higher, and more expensive to buy out other shareholders

    KSE we’re happy with Wenger delivering 20 consecutive top 4 finishes, turning profits every year, and making them north of £1 billion profit in their 14 year association with Arsenal, they didn’t care if we were winning or not….

    The issue they have now is they have to invest, they can’t allow Arsenal to keep slipping, and other clubs vacuuming up our share of the global consumer base

    The generation of fans who fell in love with Arsenal in the decade from 1997-2008, won’t be around forever

    We need a new cycle of success, a brand of football than people are excited to watch, while keeping our values of giving young people opportunities

    Football is the most watched sport, and the PL the most watched league, with a reported market north of 4.5 billion people

    KSE would be crazy to not want a decent slice of that market

  33. Tony

    ‘What puzzles me is that many on here treat Arsenal as if it were a business, and nothing more. That makes no sense at all to me.’

    EB take a bow you’re comedy gold this evening.

  34. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have invested over £220 million on new players in the last couple of seasons and overall I believe that we have bought fairly well.

    My view is that our transfer recruitment is still incomplete. There are still a couple of positions in the starting eleven which need an upgrade most notably a DMF to replace Xhaka and a CF to replace Lacazette.

    Apart from that most of the other vacancies in squad can be recruited from U23s [Patino and
    Balogun] or low budget transfers [second string GK and RB]

    There are at least 12-14 players in current squad or out on loan who we need to offload. The
    process will I am sure start in January. Some of the players will have their contracts ended
    such as Elneny and Kolasinac. Others like Chambers, Lacazette and Nketiah will leave on
    Bosmans in Summer unless sold in January.

    This will leave 7-9 other players who will be sold. They will probably cover the cost of a couple of players.

    My view is that the bulk of Arsenal’s transfer budget will cover a new Striker. That will be
    covered by our sponsorship packages.

  35. NORG

    ‘My view is that the bulk of Arsenal’s transfer budget will cover a new Striker. That will be
    covered by our sponsorship packages’.

    The clubs current position regarding sponsorship is not a rosy one. Emirates have several clauses in their deal which relates to position in league, European games, cup runs and TV appearances (prime slots).

  36. Tom

    The difference between Klopp and Arteta is that one is an extremely charismatic, elite level manager , and the other is a rookie finding his feet.

    The only similarity between the two…………….. they’ll both move on in a relatively short time.

  37. Ernest Reed

    “What puzzles me is that many on here treat Arsenal as if it were a business, and nothing more. That makes no sense at all to me. It’s like going to a restaurant whose food you hate.”

    Huh???

    You just took absurd to a whole new level, bub.

  38. TheLegendaryDB10

    I am wondering whether we are going to replicate the front foot style that we have displayed against Villa?

    I hope we do. It would go a long way to being a bit more consistent. Slowly banish the blips.

    As much as Leeds need to keep their focus on the PL, I doubt they’ll make it easy for us but they are there for the taking.

    It’s a really good opportunity to move on in the Carabao cup.

    And this should be a good game to keep on rehearsing our 442 front foot setup and style and be prepared for the next game against Leicester.

  39. MidwestGun

    if Stan gets hammered for costs in the court cases running in the States.
    _________
    He may well.. but with appeals and slow courts here due to Covid.. It will take at least 5 or 6 years before anything would actually happen. If it dosnt get settled first. So dont get your hopes up too much on that front.

    Anyhow.. How y’all today.. I hope we play a somewhat serious lineup.. I think a Cup trophy is a possibility this season. Would be a shame to throw it away when we have not much else going on, with no European football.

  40. englandsbest

    Tom

    What else do you see in that xstal ball of yours? Mine shows a different picture: neither moving in a relatively short time

  41. englandsbest

    Ernest Reed

    Too cryptic for. you? Okay I’ll make it simpler. If a restaurant serves you a bad meal, you don’t go back. Right? Same with any business selling you any product you don’t like. Right? But not with football clubs. Right? Ergo, Arsenal is something more than just a business.

    Tony, I think you ought to read this too. might help.

  42. Karsa

    Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, Holding, White, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Nketiah

    Subs: Ramsdale, Tavares, Chambers, Lokonga, Partey, Saka, Salah-Eddine, Lacazette, Balogun

  43. bradybunch

    EB
    The analogy isn’t complex enough . A pub might be closer, specifically a favourite pub with loads of memories where a change of management and even beer wouldn’t stop you going to savour the moments