by .

Arsenal continued their solid run of results with a win against Leeds at home. That has taken our unbeaten record to 8 in all competitions. Not the be sniffed at.

The club struggled with a non-covid bug going around before the game. Pablo Mari and Benjamin White had clearly been sharing cheeseburger, the Spaniard missed the game entirely, White had to come off as a sub after a storming performance.

I’d call the League Cup starting 11 a serious team. It was a blend of fringe players and first-teamers. The objective clearly was to win the game and progress.

My overall view of the game is that we saw a vindication of the summer moves. There are certain players that stepped in tonight that can’t do the things that the new first-teamers can. Concentration, bravery on the ball, and movement was lacking in certain moments.

Nicolas Pepe had another night to forget. His pattern is to frustrate with the basics, then make a contribution to the result. His header to Cal Chambers broke the deadlock. It’s a real struggle for the Ivorian. He’s clearly very talented, can do things others can’t, has worked on his defensive game… but he’s can’t pull the package everything together into a consistent flow. Still, he’s working hard, there’s always hope.

Martinelli also disappointed. He’s lost his zest. The bang-bang player we loved has gone into his shell. Confidence is low. He’s a far cry from the player Klopp called a GOD OF MEN. He’s young though. It’ll click at some point. Every player goes through it. Part of it will likely be that he’s having to reimagine his game to suit the needs of the team.

Eddie was really good again. His link-up play was great, his touch was really sharp, and his goal was good. A little lucky after he scuffed his shot, but it went in. Arsenal are keen to tie him to a new deal, but I’m not sure the player will have any of it. Which is a bit of a shame because I suspect he’ll go on to score a lot of goals wherever he goes next.

Benny Blanco was a standout for me. Cries of ‘HE WASN’T WORTH THE MONEY’ are looking like they were very much formulated in a vacuum of ‘I HAVE NOT SEEN HIM PLAY.’ Still, if you’re an Arsenal fan, the best type of humble pie to eat is on a saucy centre back that has extremely unique skills. It’s like having Aaron Ramsey in defence. If you press him, he can power 50 yards past you. If you sit back he can find people from distance, consistently. It makes him a tactical nightmare. Against his old club, he was a nuisance all evening. You can see confidence is starting to seep into his game and players around him are starting to understand how to work with him.

Couple of other notable points.

Bernd Leno was superb. He kept us in the game in the first half with some very clever saves. That’s how an ex number 1 needs to roll. Like a total pro. I also loved that he dropped a daisy-cutter through the middle like Ramsdale. He’s been working on that move now he knows what gets rewarded in the new system.

I also thought Bob Holding was good. He’s not a sulker, he puts it all on the line, and did you notice he went on a mazy run like Ben White? Very fun. Good competition improves everyone. It’s great to finally have some.

So we progress to the quarter-finals of the first cup of the season. Two games to get to Wembley (I think?). That’s a nice reward if you can do it. Competition gets harder now as teams begin to take things a little more seriously.

The big one is Leicester at the weekend. Hopefully, we’ll have a full squad of players to choose from. I can’t wait.



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Ben

    Holding went on “a mazy run”. Try 4!!

    I thought he looked better than White in every way today – passing, intercepting, heading, dribbling. It’s probably because Leeds pressed White more attentively than Holding, allowing him space and time on the ball, but worth noting anyway.

    But agreed – White is starting to look a real player and most importantly, a great partner with Gabriel.

  2. Captain Tierney

    Great to see much improved in-possession play from Holding and Nketiah.

    Nketiah seems like a much improved player than last year. He has filled out physically, does not get bullied, improved his back to goal play a lot. Thats a lot of improvement over the course of 5-6 months.

    Hope we can tie him down to a long term contract. Unless he sees a first team opportunity though, he wont sign.
    Clearly not ready to start above Auba and Laca but looks like he can be a useful player who can get us a good 25-30 million after a year on loan.

    Martinelli another who has worked and improved his technique and ball retention. Though it has a had a negative impact on his gung-ho style of play it will only do him good in the long run.

  3. DivineSherlock


    The question was never the player , it was the price . Glad to see it worked out well for Arsenal and Ben White. The expectation is because he is our most expensive defender ever, so he has that to live up to .

  4. Pierre

    Very little passing ( pissing about ) along the back line and keeper the last 2 games which is refreshing to see..

    Ben white did do his best impression of Franz Beckenbauer last night…most impressive.

    AMN did himself no harm last night, he is slowly showing that he can play the midfield role and having such speed in the middle of the pitch means his recovery pace is 2nd to none.

    The defence , despite many changes, never looked like conceding once we got our noses in front, which is a good sign.
    Pepe was poor and Martinelli only slightly better..
    Is Martinelli suffering through a lack of confidence or is he just not as good as most on here thought …probably a bit of both

    I have always had my doubts about him and thought .many were fooled into thinking he was better than he really is due to a superb start….and i was slaughtered on here for saying exactly that.
    What i will say is i think Martinelli and Arteta is not a good mix , whereas Emery and Martinelli were a good mix.
    Martinelli is a bit of a free spirit but i think his brain is being overloaded with tactical information and he is now not playing off the cuff as he was when he first arrived..I have always said that martinellli’s movement and finishing in the box was of a high level but he seems to have lost that instinct in front of goal…maybe it is the fear of being caught out of position and is afraid to try something different .

    I have alway believed that Eddie has a better alround game, and was also slaughtered for saying that, and i think now we are seeing that .

    As yet Eddie hasn’t even made a premier league squad for Arsenal this season , which for me is weird as it’s clear for all to see that he is ready for first team football

  5. Tom

    Benny Blanco had a standout performance against the world beating Leeds sitting in 17 place on seven points, while Saliba made the team of the week on the back of a monster game against the farmers’ league leaders , PSG , on 28 points.

  6. Bob N16

    Tom , pissing on chips…

    Holding, for all his qualities, is too slow to be a top class CB. I think we could decent money for him and he could be replaced in the squad by Ballard. TT is another able to play CB (as could KT in a three). Hopefully Saliba will be in the mix.

    Holding deserves to be playing at his age and and level of experience, being a back up is a waste.

  7. Rich

    We might be able to keep Eddie, but we’d likely need to promise him he’d be an internal replacement for Lacazette next summer, and loan him out at the end of January, promise him the No9 next season

    Balogun also needs a loan to League 1 or the Championship, he needs to play, there’s absolutely no value in him staying at Arsenal

    An 18 month loan would be the best solution, then we can see his progress, and hopefully he’d be an internal replacement for Aubameyang in 2023

  8. Rich

    Martinelli is 20, he’ll be fine

    Look at the step forward Nketiah’s taken recently, we’ve not seen much of him, but physically he looks stronger, and he’s playing with real purpose

    Smith Rowe went from saving Huddersfield from relegation, to taking the Arsenal No10 inside 12 months, he’s taken a big step forward this season, but his current form will be difficult to sustain, he’ll likely have a little dip at some point, it’s the same for most young players

    20yr olds producing consistently are the rare exception, not the general rule, what were Aubameyang, Lacazette, Alexis, Gnabry, Grealish doing at 20?

    Martinelli won’t get as many minutes as he needs this season, but he’ll still get some, as long as we’re back minimum Europa League next season, then he’ll be fine

  9. englandsbest

    Great stuff from the second-stringers. Eddie was awesome, a one-man show upfront who kept his audience (the Leeds defence) fully occupied. A cert, surely, for the next game. Auba on the bench to come on rarin’ to go 65th minute.

    Holding, too, has become an A1 player. Always rated the guy.

  10. DigitalBob

    Good result to keep the momentum going. I was surprised to see Kola starting as it seems Tierney will be fit for the weekend so Tavares could have started last night’s game.

    In any case he didn’t really put a foot wrong, but we know what he brings to the table so……

    Mo Elneny is another one we won’t learn anything new about but for rotation/fitness purposes if Sambi couldn’t do the full 90 then the league cup is fine for Mo to start in but really should be the limit of his appearances.

    AMN ironing out the mistakes and putting in a solid midfield performance was very good to see. I think we need to persist with him in the middle this season, gaining experience and learning the role while ironing out those mistakes will certainly help.

    Martinelli just needs to play more, unfortunately in a similar way to Pepe when he has a bad game he looks really bad/limited, but the potential is still there he just needs more pitch time.

  11. Rich

    Small sample size, but White is starting to look the part after a few initial teething issues

    He’s quick, reads the game well, can ping a ball with both feet, he’s starting to look like a real player

    He was the best player on the pitch yesterday, and good on Friday as well

    Holding also had a decent game, I’d much rather Holding as understudy to Gabriel than Mari, hopefully Arteta’s OCD doesn’t kick in if it comes to that

  12. englandsbest

    My belief (hope) is that Eddie will stay. His agent angling for a bigger wage. If picked, he will terrorise the Leicester City defence with non-stop harassment.

    The impatient on here keep on doubting Arteta. Where is the turning point? they ask. I guess if Arsenal beat Leicester City away they’ll take it as a clear sign that Arteta has rounded the corner. If so, they should take a deep breath and repeat after me, ‘Mikel is the Man’.

  13. Savage

    Seems clear to me that Arteta has changed his game plan from a City-style possession based system to a fast gung-ho counterattack.

    It’s both a credit to him that he was able to rework things, but also a discredit to him that he started out with the wrong plan. Then again, being flexible is a good problem.

  14. Savage

    All 3 front players had the same problem of selfish play, trying to put their name in headlights. At least ESR is the one player who provides connectivity.

  15. Bradybunch

    How encouraging is it to see so many of our fringe players stepping in ,having played so few minutes ,and still able to impress with how much they’ve improved, physically, tactically and mentally. How does that happen. ? Just asking.

  16. Rich


    I’ve been keen to give Arteta more time, and had some sympathies with both Emery + Arteta, I don’t think our main issues over the last few years have been poor coaching + poor tactics

    That might have played some part, but we’ve had much bigger structural issues

    I expect a few ups + downs, but winning 1 game against Leicester will mean nothing, if we then go and get turned over at home against Watford, particularly with 3 out of the next 4 being tricky away games, where we’ll almost certainly drop points

    I’d give Arteta until the end of the season, but if we’re not within spitting distance of 4th, don’t secure minimum Europa League, and don’t see a better style of football emerging, then his position becomes untenable

    I’m confident we’re on the right path now, there’s a much better balance to our squad than there’s been for a while, and the players look committed

    But over the course of 38 games, we need to see plenty of top performances, and 5th should really be our level

  17. Davi

    Eddie has always worked hard and used his body well – now there’s more of it so he can be quite effective in the build-up – and he has general talent as a footballer, but what I want to see from him is finishing 1v1 chances. I wouldn’t count the one yesterday as it came from defensive mistakes that he took advantage of skillfully, but it’s not the same as the chances where he has time to think. Over the past couple of seasons it’s looked to me like that was his major flaw as a striker. People say he’s a natural goalscorer, but natural goalscorers finish those types of chances first and foremost. Still want to see it because I am a fan of his, just think that’s the missing piece of the puzzle for him

  18. Bradybunch

    I was most impressed with AMN last night. His mentality and positional awareness have come on leaps. Big Sam may we’ll have had some influence there, but it’s not been This clear til last night’s performance, so it’s an ongoing growth I hope. His role in defending the Leeds attempted assaults from our offensive corners was excellent, sweeping and quickly recycling long clearances,, shadowing and slowing up controlled breaks. He’s a very good defender to boot.

  19. Nelson

    Martinelli needs better coaching and support. On the pitch, he is always fighting alone. Kola is of no help at all. Why he kept moving sideways with the ball? The coaching stuff should advise him to go upfield and then cut back.

  20. The Bard

    As you say Pedro lots of positives. I’m an AMN fan but he seems to be a bit of a dipstick. He likes to showboat his casual cool persona instead of just concentrating on his job. He is a superb athlete. If he can bring all of it together he is our defensive midfielder. Despite playing well I’m not sold on Eddie. To be a successful prem striker you have to be super super talented. In my opinion Eddie is good but not that good.

  21. Pierre

    I agree with your doubts about Eddie in certain situations .
    I don’t think he is a great striker of a football and that may be the area that stops him becoming a top level striker like Harry Kane for instance, who has a power from a short backlift.
    I’m sure Eddie is working on that side of his game but maybe it is a skill that you are born with and practice can only get you so far.

    Yes , Martinelli is receiving the ball too deep , similar to Pepe .
    These are players who’s game comes to life in and around the penalty area , receiving the ball on the half way line or thereabouts does them no favours..

    A 4-3-3 system would suit pepe and Martinelli when they play as it allows them to play in the final third.

  22. G

    ” BTW, have you seen Eddie come close to the miss of the season. Thank god for shins, eh? ”

    BTW have you seen Eddie first 2 touches before he nearly missed, quality eh ?

  23. Danny

    I simply cannot believe that player would get worse between the ages of 18 and 20.
    Martinelli suffered a very bad injury which might mean he’ll never get back to the level he was before, e.g. same as Bellerin.

  24. Kroenkephobe

    What a fucking terrible drive home – 5 hours, a good chunk of which was spent leaving Londinium. Samuel Johnson hit on something with his witticism about being tired of life if you’re tired of London. About the only negative of the entire day which was almost perfect as far as the N7 bit went.

    Crowd inside was loud, young, multicultural and included lots of girls and women. Sorry EB but one of things I’ve always loved about our club is the inclusion and diversity. Really good atmosphere and everyone stuck with the team despite not looki g terribly threatening in the first half. Leeds pretty toothless in Arsenal’s defensive third.

    I agree with what others have said about strong performances and the team was a good blend. Bernie showed some skill and mental toughness. Big ups for our teutonic keeper. Shout out too to Cedric who gave it his all. Pepe’s next game needs to be on the left and Martinelli just needs more time.

    Top day.

  25. Rich

    The vast majority of young players have ups + downs, it’s really not unusual

    Saka is currently having a little dip in form, I’d be amazed if Smith Rowe kept this level of performance up over the whole season

    Rashford 22/23 was the youngest player to score 10 goals in the PL last season

    Up until the last few weeks of the season when Greenwood had a goal burst, Saka had scored 5 PL goals, which was more than all the other teenagers in the league combined

  26. Kroenkephobe

    The conclusion I drew from the experience was that I need to go to more Arsenal games and spend less time on here pontificating about our awful arm-waving histrionic manager. 😊

  27. Northbanker

    In the end a good win last night. White, AMN , Leno, Eddie and Bobby H all deservedly mentioned in despatches. Actually I’d like to do a special shout out for Cedric. I haven’t been his biggest fan but he was superb last night. He won so many tackles and put himself in the right place so often I lost count.

  28. Rich


    I’d have no issue whatsoever if we gave Eddie a new contract, and offered him the No9 shirt next season

    I love him, he always gives 100%, he can sniff out a goal, and is only going to improve with his type of work ethic + commitment

    I always preferred Wenger’s mantra:

    “We don’t buy superstars, we make them”

    Nketiah has added power + purpose to his game, convince him to stay, create the space, and lets give him the opportunity

  29. Northbanker

    Really so disappointed with Pepe. I keep reading we need to adjust to let him play further up the pitch. Frankly this just avoids the issue – Pepe isn’t good enough. His first touch is consistently dreadful and that is the major problem. At points he is pushing the ball so far away from him there is no prospect of retention let alone launch a stinging attack. Unless that can somehow be coached in him then i can’t see it getting any better. He is a limited player and imo always will be. We need to get rid of asap.

  30. Marx

    Theres three matches in November plus thw Leicester one. Win those and we are certainly resembling a team destined for success anything less and we are back to mediocrity. Pepe is so disappointing i cant even understand what he does in training, the glaring deficiencies have been there for two full seasons now! His position when receiving the ball is thw worst ive seen from a pro, its disgusting. The jury is still out on White who is still struggling against better opposition. Liverpool awau should be the best test imo

  31. Pierre

    “Nketiah has added power + purpose to his game, convince him to stay, create the space, and lets give him the opportunity”


  32. Davi

    Pierre – I don’t think it’s a shooting power issue with Eddie (agree a large part of that is natural), I think it’s psychological. When he has too much time to think, he usually misses. It might just be a matter of time but I do think it’s held him back because he’s good at the instinctive stuff

  33. Pedro

    Going to be tough to keep Eddie unless we offer him the Lacazette shirt. Think we want a DCL type player.

    Also hard to offer Eddie a deal when we promised Folarin minutes and a career

  34. AFC Forever


    I know you are a massive Eddie fan. Good for you, we all have our favourites.

    My favourite player from history was Cazorla, because. I played that position. Technically he is probably the best two footed baller I’ve seen live. Could receive under pressure, go either way, beat players and was so elegant on the ball. What I wouldn’t give to see another Santi. Doubt I ever will.

  35. AFC Forever


    Players know the score. There is no guarantee. The best player gets the shirt, it’s as simple as that. It’s not a sentimental or contractual obligation to select Balogun over Eddie. They have to fight for it. A promise is just that. A word. It is about time we started behaving that way. It seems obvious to me from what I have seen and heard from the player, that Arteta demands they work hard and show desire. That is a long way from where we used to be.

  36. Rich


    We need better squad planning

    Renew Eddie, then send him out on loan at the end of January when Aubameyang + Pepe are back from theAfrican cup

    Let him use a 15-20 game run in the Championship as a finishing school, similar to Smith Rowe at Huddersfield

    Then bring him back to take the No9 shirt, and Lacazette’s minutes next season

    Aubameyang will be 33, and at 1 game a week stage

    Send Balogun out to League 1 in January to pick up 15-20 games, then send him to the Championship for 40 games next season

    In the summer of 2023, we can then look at either using Balogun as an internal replacement for Aubameyang, or sell a more established Balogun, and enter the market

  37. AFC Forever


    I don’t disagree mate. The ages of Laca and Auba are relevant. I’m a massive Lacazette fan as you know. I just love that desire and commitment, he leads by example. Players feed off him. At training he must be such an example for the younger lads. Wish he had scored that goal he made for himself with his tenacity. Sometimes people expect too much from younger players, forgetting they are novices learning their trade. That’s why the loan system is so important, it doesn’t mean we’re getting rid of players, we’re simply giving them game time and looking for improvement and higher levels of consistency.

  38. Pedro

    Rich. Eddie doesn’t want a loan deal. You can’t force players to sign deals and you can’t force them to make decisions on loan deals.

    Think we lose him unless he starts taking Auba and Lacazette mins

  39. Downundergunner

    Good results, average person by the boys..
    AMN is nowhere near good enough to be playing centrally in the midfield, aside from pace he lacks all the attributes.. no strength, passing is very limited, vision is poor, he should just be competing with tomiyasu for the right back position and Cedric needs to be shipped off to a land far far away

  40. Mulerise14

    When Tets went to battle for Ramsdale….I didn’t understand why he wanted to die on that hill…. but now,it is clear.
    Same with White,he is looking for specificity, but as the manager of this club of ours,he owes us duty of care not depreciate our resources.
    A trio of White,Gabriel and Saliba would fix our CB, probably for the next decade….so it can’t be a good thing if we loose Saliba service . how much can we generate from his sale? A few quids on the £27m?Tets must convince him to stay.

  41. Bradybunch

    These theories on Flo and Eddie don’t hold water to me. If The manager wasn’t prepared to promise EMI a start, he sure as hell ain’t promised Flo he’s ahead of Eddie. I can buy that he’s bigger him up as being potentially better than Eddie, who wouldn’t expect that.
    I do buy the work hard or fuck off theory. Seems to be getting some results, for the moment. Long may we prosper.

  42. Ollie

    If Saliba keeps up his performance level, we’ll either keep him or sell him for a very nice profit. Big if though, takes about 2 mistakes from CB’s for their stock to plummet.

  43. Buckagh

    JamieOctober 27, 2021 09:50:51
    Poor Pierre doesn’t get the respect he deserves from strangers on the internet

    Pierre takes himself too serious imo

  44. Rich

    Pedro, I’m not suggesting we force anyone to do anything, God’s gift to mankind was freewill

    I’m suggesting we dangle a carrot in front of Nketiah, offer him a path to the No9 shirt next season, and create the space for him to play regular minutes

    On the premise he commits to the project, and goes out for half a season to gain more experience at the end of January

    Seems like a really good opportunity for him, it’s then up to him whether he takes it or not

    Nketiah has something about him, he’s got the hunters gene, and he works like a dog, there’s the makings of a really good striker there

    I’ve come to the conclusion that getting the right type of characters, with the right type of hunger + professionalism, is the first thing we need to get right

    Nketiah ticks a lot of boxes, he’s relentless, he made his own luck last night, and it’s not the first time he’s scored a goal like that, sit him down in a room, and map out his path to become Nketiah 9

  45. Mark

    Was at the Leeds game last night. Pepe was poor too loose in possession. But will take the win.

    Just seen the following and am not happy about it.

    People saying that a loan was the best thing, he has 3yrs left on his contract etc. Totally ignored the actual situation ie How Saliba was made to feel.
    Which has resulted in the above reports in the press. There’s very little chance we will ever see Saliba in an Arsenal shirt.
    Those who think it is no big deal, just watch when you see him tearing it up for another club, and remember, he wasn’t good enough for arsenal.
    Absolutely ridiculous and was not based of footballing reasons. Another top talent out of the door. Why is that?

  46. Rich

    AFC Forever

    I like Lacazette’s work ethic, and it sounds like he’s become a leader within the squad, my concern is his stamina, he’s gassed out at around 70 minutes on a consistent basis, he’s also the old 30yr old I’ve ever seen

    I’d be reluctant to renew his deal, and I certainly wouldn’t give him anything more than a 12 month extension, when older players dip physically, they usually fall straight of the edge of the cliff

    If we lose both Laca + Eddie, then we’ll have to enter the market, my preference would be to keep Eddie though, who offers a similar type of relentless work-rate

  47. Bob N16

    Mark, at least with Saliba we should get a sizeable fee if he really doesn’t want to return – the Metro isn’t the most trustworthy of sources in any case!

  48. Mark

    Bob the writing has been on the wall s long time before the metro article. Quite a few of us pointed out that this would be the case after he was shipped out on loan again without getting a chance pre-season! Still not ready to play, whilst we roll with Kola ( who played last night ) Mari and holding.
    It’s hardly rocket science that he feels if we don’t rate him he’ll go play for someone else. Understandable after how he’s been treated.
    When people pointed it out they were shut down and told he’s our players blah blah blah. Imagine couldn’t get 1 minute of game time with our defence but tearing it up in France against Neymar, Mbappe and co.
    But it’s okay. Cos Mikel said he wasn’t ready.

    The way arsenal sell, that sizeable fee you mentioned will probably be less than what we paid. But it’s not about the money, you don’t piss around top talent, especially when it’s better than most of what you have now.

    Sackable offence in my book.

  49. Rich


    Think you’re being a little bit dramatic, let’s see how things unfold before getting our panties in a twist

    Ben White can play the inverted right back role, it’s the role he predominantly played for Brighton last season

    Tomiyasu can pay across the back line

    If we create space for Saliba, give him opportunities, slap a not fit sale sign on him, and a better contract under his nose

    Then anything’s possible, this story originated as an exclusive in the Sun, so I wouldn’t give too much credence to the report..,

  50. David.D

    Totally agree Mark.
    Really pissed off with the Saliba situation if its true he doesn’t want to come back.
    Not good enough to play for Arsenal??
    And he is tearing it up against Messi and Mbappe and looking comfortable with it.
    Yet we consistently play the likes of Kolasinac.
    Arteta has taken a dislike to him and shipped him out.
    Because of Arteta’s fucking ego we could lose out on a generational defensive talent.
    Fucking unforgivable.
    Fucking clowns we are sometimes.
    Arteta put his fucking personal pride before whats best for the club.

  51. TT

    There is absolutely nothing to proof that Saliba has fallen out with Arteta. And anyone quoting Metro as their source of information should be sectioned.

    However I agree that his loan and non loan were badly handled by the club, but that’s more on Edu than anyone else.

    Whether he will cut it in the EPL remains to be seen but he definitely has potential.

  52. David.D

    Only way this could be turned around is an Edu charm offensive but that might not even be enough for Saliba if Arteta is still the manager next summer.

  53. Thank you and goodnight


    I don’t know mate. I’d honestly be surprised if he hasn’t fallen out with Arteta. Let’s be real he has been treated shockingly. If we do sell him I hope it’s for a hell of a lot more money than we bought him for. If Ben White is worth 50 million surely he has to be close to that valuation?

  54. Zacharse

    BacaryisGodOctober 27, 2021 15:32:21
    Rich‘God’s gift to mankind was freewill’Nice line if you believe in both God and free will. Unfortunately, I don’t

    Well bravo regardless for exercising these gifts in the shadow of belief lol

  55. englandsbest

    Right now it seems to me more likely that Eddie will get Auba’s shirt than Laca’s. There’s no mileage in getting rid of Laca, whereas there might be a helluva lot in disposing of Auba. A near-perfect buy for say, NUFC in Jan, a player that pretty much guarantees the goals to keep the Club in PL. £50 mill is cheap for them.

  56. Rich

    Saliba hasn’t been treated shockingly, there’s endless examples of players going out on multiple loans, before going back to their parent club and being successful

    He was supposed to go out last October, but a club pulled the plug at the last minute, and we ran out of time

    He then went out at the beginning of Jan, and had a successful loan with Nice

    We’ve got him out early this summer, he’s having a really productive loan at Marseille, and is now captain of the French under 21 as a result

    He’s 20, he’s playing consistently, and he’s developing, which was the whole point in loaning him out to begin with

    What were Maguire + Van Dijk doing at 20?

    Ben White went from Newport, Peterborough, Leeds, Brighton, then Arsenal, and he never cried about having to take 3 loans to get to a higher level

    Harry Kane took 4 loans, Chalobah has had 3 loans on his path to the Chelsea first team

    It’s really not a big deal, I the cold light of day, if Saliba feels like he’s progressed significantly from his season at Marseille, it’s put him in line for a senior French call up, a nice pay rise, and ready to compete in the best league in the world

    Then I’m sure he’ll be looking at his loans as a fantastic learning experience, that’s been hugely beneficial

  57. zacharse

    if anybody realistically thinks Saliba’s ‘falling out’ w Arteta would prevent him from returning
    if we make top 4, i have a few bridges whose buyers have recently backed out of these amazing one of a kind deals and I’d be willing to discuss a sale, even to a foreigner…

    Basically if we have a season that gets our squad gelled and settled, consistently playing fiery footy and maybe win something/make CL etc- i think Willy S probably won’t have too many issues about coming back to play

  58. TT


    Yea how they approached the loans was bad. But I take all this articles with a huge pinch of salt.
    He is a young player that at the moment is doing well and has huge potential. Whether he becomes world class is yet to be seen. We have seen this many times before where they don’t meet expectations.

    There is something about him though that makes me optimistic. He has the mental strength to go all the way and that’s why I’m so skeptical of this falling out stories. He is an intelligent young man that knows the club did fuck up but I don’t think he takes it personally.

  59. Tom

    Leave it to Rich to trot out the old trusted what was so and so doing at x year old to make a specific point when in fact all individuals are different.

    Saliba considers himself a level above, always has.
    Wether you think it’s a good thing or not, he was deeply hurt having been dismissed by Arteta based on two and a half games, especially after the circumstances he’d been through.
    The fact he spoke about that to the French press says a lot.

    Who watched Ben White play his first two Arsenal games and thought he was ready?
    His Brentford performance was nothing short of shocking.

    Saliba will do as he’s told by Arsenal if they recall him next season, but he’s not another Holding waiting in the wings for a cup game to get some minutes and pulling for the team with a smile on his face.

  60. Tom

    “He is an intelligent young man that knows the club did fuck up but I don’t think he takes it personally.“

    Isn’t Arteta intelligent as well?
    He seems to take everything personally, when it’s in his actual job description not to.

  61. Rich


    All individuals are different, but 20yr old centre backs performing consistently at the top level over the past 30 years, have certainly been the very rare exception, rather than the general rule

  62. Pedro

    Zach, don’t fall for it! These diversionary tactics are so, so boring.

    Benny Blanco has shown why he’s a £50m player. William Saliba has shown exactly why he’s on loan building muscle and experience. We’re going to win when he comes back next season. Two seasons and he’ll be truly competing with Ben White. Then our back 4 will maybe be Ballard, White, Gabriel and Saliba… all extremely young for CBs.

    Love how this squad is shaping up.

  63. Thank you and goodnight

    @ Tom

    In Saliba’s defence I’d be pissed off to see Mari and holding ahead of me as well. I’d love to see him breakthrough at Arsenal, but if he doesn’t as long as we get top dollar for him.
    Also I’d like to praise AMN for last nights performance, his best yet in an Arsenal shirt. I’m not going to argue if he has a career at Arsenal or not just giving credit where’s it due.

  64. James wood.

    So you would have the chance of GUEN AND SALIBA
    coming back to the Arsenal willingly if ARTETA was
    not at the club.
    How does that sit with the price these players could
    possibly be worth in a couple of seasons.
    Guen has broken all the rules yes.
    SALIBA found it necessary to speak out ? Two top players at the club or Arteta.?..

  65. Rich


    You admit that none of our defenders could perform consistently at the top level

    But you think we should sack the manager for failing to get them performing consistently at the top level

    You’re tying yourself up in knots here

  66. Tom

    Rich, never said Arteta should be sacked.
    Pointing out his poor record and flawed decision making on occasion to counterbalance the generational rhetoric isn’t the same as calling for his dismissal.

  67. Thank you and goodnight

    I personally think it’s a poor decision not to at least give him a proper chance. He’s been talked up in France since he was 16/17 and he’s impressed last 3 years. I remember VVD at Celtic and it was clear to most people he was a top talent even then. I really think Saliba can be out very own VVD

  68. Jamie

    I thought he should’ve been sacked after Emery bummed him out of the EL, and I’m not even remotely embarrassed to admit it.

    Our summer spend followed by the start we had to our season didn’t change my mind. Backing him to the hilt from day one while glossing over his subsequent poor decisions isn’t brave, it’s reckless.

    All that said, I genuinely hope he’s figured some shit out and we’ve actually turned a corner this time. If he manages to get us back into Europe next season, we’re on the right path (albeit moving slowly) and he gets another crack next season.

    6th place finish or bust. None of this “yeah, but I’ve seen progress even though we’ve finished 8th again” garbage. If Arteta improves, the data has changed and he stays. Pretty simple.

    Elite level anything is unforgiving and relentless. And there are always KPIs to meet, and at Arsenal the standard is higher than 8th.

  69. Thank you and goodnight


    Well said. As you’ve said credit where it’s due for last 2 games, but we need to maintain it all season before I’m Arteta in. Sorry but again that’s my opinion. As you’ve also said 6th is the bare minimum we should be expecting

  70. Thank you and goodnight

    But I’ll reiterate it again. Massively happy with the last 2 performances, he’s got them playing well. Can always improve but credit where it’s due to Arteta and the team. Now if he can just stop waving his arms around like a windmill on the touch line I’ll like him even more 😀

  71. Thank you and goodnight


    Cheers. Quite sad how it still bothers people so many years on. Couldn’t give a fuck about someone’s sexuality, we’re all the same. Far more interested in if they’re a good person rather than who’s hole (M/F )they put there ding a ling in

  72. Pierre

    My argument regarding the Saliba situation is ok he missed going out on loan at the start of last season, but that being the case then surely he could have played in the Europa cup and league cup games so that Arteta could assess him.

    To not play Saliba in the cup games says to me that there was something else going on unrelated to Saliba’s football ability..

  73. LoveSausage

    Pepe is a lost cause. Plenty of people seem to argue that we just adjusted our tactics by doing ABC he’d bang. Thing is, he’s not good enough for us to adjust every to his needs. And he’s old enough that he won’t learn those basics that are missing. Frankly, we need to cut our losses. And they’ll be big. I can’t see us recouping even half of what he cost us.

  74. Pedro

    Jamie, part of elite level sport is understanding context. Context of Brentford was firstly 9 players out, then later… that Brentford are actually pretty decent. Not sure there was much to say on European Cup finalists. Now we’re seeing what the plan was, what having fit players offers us, and what a bit of time with 6 new players is doing for everyone.

  75. LoveSausage


    How many people get preemptively cancelled by your nasty rants? I can’t imagine LGBTQ Gooners want to participate in discussions when they’re being called mentally ill or worse by ignorant keyboard warriors.

  76. Chris

    Credit to Leno for a professional performance when he could easily have been sulking. Looked like he had been keeping sharp and improving his distribution.

    Seems as if he will be a reliable and solid back up until he moves on next summer.

  77. Rich

    People should be free to have opposition to same sex relationships

    What they can’t do is harass anyone, tell anyone else how to live their lives, or treat people differently, because they don’t like their lifestyle choice

    If you don’t like same sex relationships, that’s fair enough, just don’t enter a relationship with someone who’s the same sex as you

    Freedoms should always work both ways, people should be allowed to have opinions we disagree with

    Shutting down someone’s else’s opinion, doesn’t change their opinions, it just pushes them to the fringes, and makes their opinions more extreme

    Shutting down opinions we don’t like, just confirms intellectual bankruptcy, if we want to change the world, then win the battle of ideas with better arguments

  78. Pedro

    Rich, on this blog, I’d prefer to push people to the fringes who have grim views.

    Football is about inclusivity, homophobia is rife in the game, I won’t have it on here.

  79. Tom

    Pedro, kinda hard to take your elite sport understanding expertise seriously when you’ve successfully dodged every attempt to even remotely quantify Arteta’s minimum goal requirements to justify keeping him on.

    Basically your position has been hoping for the best ……… buuut anything will do.

  80. Sid

    “”” I’d prefer to push people to the fringes who have grim views””””

    I cant resist saying,’ you should start with yourself’, whatever the consequence of doing so brings.

  81. Bob N16

    Rich, tolerance is about recognising being different is okay however it’s semantics to suggest that it works both ways when suggesting it’s an acceptable point of view to suggest someone is a lessor person because of their cultural, sexual or racial background – that position is not acceptable in a decent society.

  82. Sid

    Tom has had a crush on me from day one, i wont add on that because the owner of the blog will push me to the ‘fringes’

  83. Pierre

    “The only real contribution made by Nketiah was his goal, which was a fairly scruffy affair.’

    Oh dear …did you watch the game or the goal…….serious question.

  84. Northbanker

    I see we’re struggling on football conversation – is that because Sid is active? Tends to change the dialogue somewhat

  85. CG


    ””””To not play Saliba in the cup games says to me that there was something else going on unrelated to Saliba’s football ability..””’

    100% guaranteed its personal.

    What sane manager prefers Mari or Chambers over Saliba?? Seriously??

    And you think Mari is keeping clean sheets against Mpbbabe?

    Facts are ,Arsenal have a negative goal difference and sit in 10th after a quarter of the season – they needed Saliba NOW, not next season or the season after.

    Arsenal supporters always fretting about next season.

    This season is the one that counts.

    its a very Arsenal thing: ‘ next season syndrome’

    Must have caught it off Spurs and they caught it in 1962!

  86. Ernest Reed

    No issue whatsoever if anyone chooses to make their personal life known to others. On that it also would be very fair to say that in doing so one leaves themselves fully exposed to the pros and cons associated. This seems to be the lost component of involving others in ones life, it stops being private the second you make it public. Human nature being what it is, you will likely have to accept that there is going to be good and bad reactions, but equally know that you are the architect of your own situation by going public.

    Just putting out the obvious observation.

  87. Tom

    “Tom has had a crush on me from day one, “
    Sid I believe our first interaction was me telling you and CG to get a room and blow each other…….so hardly a sign of having a crush.
    Unless of course I’m watching from next the room through a fake mirror.

  88. Ernest Reed

    “that position is not acceptable in a decent society.”

    Totally agree Bob, it took immense courage for this individual to “come out”, knowing that for the most part he would be accepted and supported by many but equally, likely to still encounter those who remain ignorantly intolerant of anything perceived as not normal in their view.

  89. Jamie

    Pedro –

    I get it. Context for sure.

    9 players out with a squad of 25 though.. New signings Blanco and Sambi played. Mari, who he signed last season, Xhaka, ESR, Pepe, Chambers, KT, Leno all started. Can’t say it was a cobbled together squad of strangers. Brentford will finish in the bottom half of the table, most likely. It was a poor result and that’s it.

    Beaten in the EL by the bum he replaced at Arsenal and who himself had more time to coach his players (1.5 seasons) than his opponent (first season in charge of Villareal and a net spend roughly the same amount as we spent on Ramsdale alone, maybe less even).

    I like the recent uptick in performances too. But it’s been recent, let’s agree on that and hope it’s just the beginning of a consistent run of form and goal-scoring.

  90. S Asoa

    and some others.
    Keeping an orientation under wraps is a tension because of the prejudice of a majority. So let us not make it difficult for the minority. Those people will have their own community, and it is unfair being bugged by them, when they are not getting bugged by the majority.
    To each one, it’s own. Although lots get bugged at the pretty lesbians, admit that is your gripe.

  91. Pedro

    Jamie, the preparation was set for a certain 11 players. The virus hit on the Friday. No one knew who had it. Tests were carried out on the whole squad on Saturday. Players couldn’t travel on the bus together. We started with a striker that had never played a minute of Premier League football. We had two debuts.

    … it was against Brentford, one of the most impressive teams of the season thus far.

    That situation, for any manager in the league, would be nightmarish.

    I was sad about the Villareal result, but he also beat United, who finished 2nd in the Premier League. So maybe he was just on it last season. Sacking a manager over a semi-final cup loss would be kind of weak. That’s certainly not ‘elite’ behaviour. So many wrap irrational up with elite when it’s the opposite.

  92. SurferX

    Was having a good debate with someone the other night. *If* we win against Leicester, the record would be;

    P10 W5 D2 L3- and we are still in the EFL Cup.

    In that time we time we would of played;
    Citeh A
    Chekski H
    Spuds H
    Leicester A
    +the other 6

    So question was- would you have taken that at the start of the season? I would of.. especially given the COVID start & late signings on top.

    The uptick in form, performance & metrics that have coincided with those results is the big plus from the start we had. But, confidence is a fragile thing.. we can’t afford to lose @Leicester.

  93. Pedro

    Jamie, also, one more thing… the uptick in BANG performances, yes, agree, they are recent. But results? Not really. We’ve been fairly consistent since last December at grinding out points, goals and a good defence.

  94. Rich

    Bob N16

    We already have the equalities act + harassment laws

    If someone has an opinion you don’t like, and you tell them to leave you alone, and they don’t listen, then that’s harassment

    Someone having an opinion you disagree with, is just someone having an opinion you disagree with

    Surely you can see the difference?

    Where does it stop?

    Do we have to conform to the idea that men can get pregnant + give birth, and that men have cervix’s?

    That giving puberty blockers to kids isn’t child abuse?

    That there’s 100 genders?

    I’m happy for people to believe any type of nonsense they want, as long as I’m free to disagree

    Even if I disagree, I don’t believe that anyone should be able to dictate to adults how they live, or discriminate against them for their choices

    But I also don’t believe we should tell people how to think

  95. Jamie

    Pedro –

    Can’t agree that Brentford is one of the most impressive teams in the league. They’re in 12th. And they’ll probably finish lower. We should’ve beaten them with the players we had on the pitch and didn’t. I feel we’ll never meet on this.

    Sad about Villarreal is an understatement! It was humiliating on the day. I think Emery should’ve been sacked after our final loss to Chelsea in his maiden season, so not in and of itself weak. Elite behaviour would’ve been dismissing Emery and replacing him that summer rather than faff around until November to pull the trigger, wasting a window, a preseason, and several months into the next season.

    I’m glad Arteta is still around, because inshallah it looks like things might finally be starting to click.

    But let’s remember, the line wasn’t ‘patience’ when Arteta was being written about as the guy who would take our coaching to the next level while Emery was floundering badly. It was all but guaranteed success with generational coaching.

    Even if it’s only just started, no complaints from me while the good times are rolling. But I can’t stop being critical when things are shit, it’s just how I roll baby.

  96. Jamie

    “the uptick in BANG performances, yes, agree, they are recent. But results? Not really. We’ve been fairly consistent since last December at grinding out points, goals and a good defence.”

    This I agree with. It wasn’t always the results, it was the performances that were poor and more often than not devoid of creativity.

  97. The Bard

    The speculation about Saliba is ridiculous. It’s all smoke and mirrors. If we sell him then we can have a debate but as far as Im aware he is on loan and playing well. That’s the end of the story.

  98. Northbanker

    Kris – no to Roberto from me

    “he’s not great in any position” – nuff said. I want us to only sign players who are truly great in a given position. Utility players are two a penny. I’m happy to keep the likes of AMN for that reason. Actually he had a great game imo last night as did Cedric

  99. Pedro

    Rich, let’s just leave it there. This isn’t about changing Sid, this is about telling him to take his grim views somewhere else if he wants to… because this is a private business, not a public space.

  100. Tom

    If someone told you before the season’s start Arsenal, after spending more than anyone, would be 10th after 9 games with a -3 goal difference having played opponents with a 9th place average league position according to five thirty eight’s soccer predictions………..would you take it?

    I doubt anyone would.
    But once it happens we get used to it and rationalize every little thing ( and big one too) to justify it.