by .

320 days ago, Mikel Arteta was looking down the barrel of a gun, with a bullet named: YOU’RE FIRED.

His team lacked creativity, energy, and drive.

He went full-on wild card to change things up, he picked a young kid called Emile Smith Rowe to start against Chelsea. We won the game. This young player stole the show. He could pass round corners, he had fire in his belly, and he could move.

Arsenal is a better side with him in it. No doubt.

Last night, Smith Rowe made his debut as a full England international.

Absolutely magic. We couldn’t be prouder of him. What an absolute superstar we have on our hands.

We also have to give huge credit to the coaches and scouts making our Hale-Enders impossible to ignore. It’s a far cry from where we were academy-wise when Wenger took over and had to top it up with overseas stars.

Every season there’s a new player coming through. There are so many good youngsters coming through now I don’t know if the next big one will be Patino, Hutchinson, Salah or Jack Jebb. No wait? The Jebster was years ago.

Young players get fans excited. We buy in on kids that just want to learn. We love their hunger, we become invested in their careers, and there’s literally nothing better than seeing one of them make it.

More please.

You know what we want less of? World Cups.

Arsene Wenger tried to gaslight the world with his biennial World Cup. He tried to sell the idea of a 6 week international break twice a season. He told us that people were telling him it was a good idea. The press leaked that the move was as good as agreed. Everything Wenger stood for as a coach, he was VERY PRO as a FIFA shill.

Then the Premier League vote happened. How many agreed with him?

All 20 PL clubs have discussed the post-2024 International Match Calendar reform process and are unanimously opposed to FIFA’s proposal for biennial men’s World Cups, along with any plans involving significantly extended international windows

Zero. How embarrassing.

I know many of you work in business and you’ll recognise this move as a rookie mistake. You have a great idea that involves other departments, you get so excited about it, you go straight to the CEO… then your idea is cratered because you didn’t bring everyone else along for the ride.

Big ideas need buy-in. They also need to be good. It’s hard selling these things in. It takes time. Wenger thought he’d shortcut it like he was back at Arsenal where by miracle, every idea he had was a great one that earned a nodding head yes.

In the real world, no one cares that you won the Premier League. You have to do the leg work. Clearly, Wenger did not do the leg work.

His idea, you would imagine, is now in the bin.

Fans don’t want it, clubs don’t want it, so let’s move on.

Next season, the Premier League has to take a break to deal with a World Cup.

Next season’s dates have been confirmed  The PL season will start on 6 August 2022 and finish on May 28 2023.

There will be a mid-season break between 14 November and 26 December to accommodate the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

What a riot. The carnage this is going to cause players and their bodies. Can you imagine how weird the season is going to be? You could be flying heading into the World Cup, have a team with a bunch of players that go far, they lose, then come back broken. It’s madness. But that is FIFA for you. They only care about the pound notes.

Jamie T, one of my favourite artists back when I was young and sexy, had a line in one of his songs.

Well done Jack, glug down that cider
You’re right she’s a slut
And you never fucking liked her

That’s how I felt when I read Matteo G take a sly pop at Arsenal fans and give his heart to Marseille.

“The Marseille fans are incomparable. At Arsenal, there’s a big stadium, but it’s totally different. The best atmosphere is here. It’s incredible to play in front of a crowd like this… it really lifts the players.”

Good to hear. Let’s hope that he can keep his behaviour in check long enough for Marseille to cough up whatever pitiful fee we have agreed for him. What a waste of good talent.

There are some stories that Martinelli isn’t happy with his playing situation. Good. He shouldn’t be. He needs to take his chances when he’s given them. Arsenal apparently will not entertain him leaving. It’s just a shame there’s no Europe to give him runs out this season.


Granit Xhaka is breaching all sorts of HR rules in training according to Ramsdale.

“He’s very dry with his humour. Real nice guy. “He’s obviously got his Swiss and Albanian heritage, so he’ll come out with a Mafia shout or something. Say you’ve annoyed him, he’ll come up to you and say ‘hey, the Mafia will get you!'”.

Yikes. Don’t fuck with Granit.

Finally, Thomas Partey did NOT go to play for Ghana and Arsenal think he might be fit for Liverpool. HUGE NEWS IF TRUE.

On that note, I’m going to leave. Listen to the podcast. Right now.




Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Tony

    Pepe up for sale for £25m? I feel he has never been played to get the best from him, but if he’s not in Arteta’s plans, then he has to go. Another £50m wasted by us and the suits/owners plus wages.

    A great weekend for rugby with the Autumn internationals.

    Serious Kudos to Ireland for beating the Kiwis who put ups a huge defensive effrort against the Irish onslaught.

    Great win for England who were also up against some do or die defending master class from the Aussis, but their penalty count were their undoing.

    As I don’t watch club level rugby there were a lot of new faces given games to claim future starting spots. If now for the Wallabies Herculean defensive effort we would have won 62/15 and not 32/15.

    Good to feel optimistic about England Rugby and our improving football yet to be tested by the top 6 teams since our NLD. The Bin dippers with give us answers at the weekend to how far we’ve improved.

  2. IAT-Robbie

    Poor Kola. Two international breaks with dangerous and reckless challenges. Looking at the pictures, it looks like the same ankle that bore the brunt of Jules Kounde’s challenge in the France v Bosnia game 2 months ago. This tackle by the Finnish player is almost identical too. Very unlucky dude. Hopefully it’s not too serious.

  3. Nigel Tufnel

    I think Pepe improved last season, mainly in the fact that he added hard work and tracking back that Arteta was demanding.

    Was looking far better when moved to the left and came inside more. Much more direct. Even scored with his right leg a couple times, shocking everyone. On the wide right, hugging the touchline, he is a waste and hurts our attack more than he helps, even though his left leg can be magical.
    Someone said it here… he slows down our game too much, so it’s better if he leaves, I guess.

    Main thing is, I never want to see Saka on the left again, especially with Tierney. ….He is a totally different animal on the right…not sure why, but has more confidence, better passer even.

    Still has to work on calmness and composure when shooting.

  4. Nigel Tufnel

    Ben White vs Watford:

    Most touches 101
    Most Passes 81
    Most Blocks 3
    Most Clearances 6
    Most Interceptions 2 (high up the pitch)
    Made the play that ended in ESR goal and 3 points.

    From a centre back?

    Loads of clean sheets and defensive performances.

    Geniuses here:

    50 million!!!

    I’m not convinced!! I want to talk about Brentford game still!!!

    He’s not VvD!

    He’s not tall so can’t be worth it!

    This player is special for his position. Was it Arteta who envisioned the possibilities in his system? Then I guess he deserves credit.

    Don’t worry, one error that costs points and the legrove knives will be out fast.

  5. Tony

    Nigel agreed Pepe was far effective on the Left and Saka on the right to effect magic with ESR.

    Pepe needs freedom to make it up on the spot rather than be drilled to play a certain way. The left offered Pepe more freedom to express himself something more akin for Wenger not Arteta.

    What’s strange is now we’re playing ‘Express yourself’ 1 and 2 touch football that’s enjoyable to watch and has us kicking thin air and leaning one way or another with the player with the ball etc.

    It’s happy football.

    Saka needs to be in areas where ESR goes; they’ll terrify defenders in the future as they gell further. Pepe is and probably always will be a maverick capable of 15+ goals a season if given freedom to play his way.

    Lesser mid table teams can be built around him where he’ll thrive.

    Pepe was a player that needed an experienced manager to get the best from him. Poor guy had 3 managers with us.

    Probably the right player for us playing a different system; however, if he’s not going to fit into the process further for us, then he has to go to recoup funds.

    Probably could have sold him for more to Newcastle if we hadn’t had a price quoted in the nationals.

    On that note we won’t get more than £10m for Xhaka and probably never would have, so why not sell him when we were offered the reduced £10m price by Jose feigning our indignation at being robbed by Jose this time off the pitch oh when will it ever end?

    I thought Xhaka and his reported love of using the word ‘Mafia’ would have been a perfect pick for most Italian clubs. Would be perfect for a horse head size, severing pissing contest, over some pop star Xhaka wanted given a record contract.

    Wouldn’t expect Xhaka to come up with something original myself, but hey he does get the odd surprise goal so all things are possible.

  6. Moray

    That’s a lesson to Kola, I’m afraid. A footballer’s career is only one bad tackle away from a premature end.

    I hope for his case it’s not too serious and he can come back, but his decision to see out his contract with us this season may well look like a foolish one, taking short term riches in place of a long term contract and all of the security that entails.

    On the plus side, I guess Arsenal can now claim on insurance for his 100k p/w lost wages…

  7. Tony

    No worries Ozil will hire mercenary Kola as a personal bodyguard as he saved his friend once before.

    Wearing a full body kevlar suit, Kola would be the one dementedly jumping up, down and side to side furiously flapping his arms, in front of any approaching assailants until the Ultra Kav Magra black belts arrived armed to the teeth.

    Kola would live a pampered life for the privilege of being the counter measures part of body guarding.

  8. Markymark

    Pepe / Lingard swap it’s gotta happen! We’ll never get 25m and UTD love a winger. UTD are supposedly wanting to sell Lingard

  9. Terraloon


    “On the plus side, I guess Arsenal can now claim on insurance for his 100k p/w lost wage”

    Alas any compensation would be from Arsenals insurance.

    “Following agreements between FIFA, UEFA and the European Clubs Association (ECA), when players are injured on international duty during major tournaments, the national governing body will be required to compensate the club which the player plays for.

    This rule only applies, however, to injuries suffered in the final stages of an international football tournament.”

  10. The Bard

    Much as I’m on board with the younger players coming through its not a conveyer belt strategy. Very very few make it. Those that do have a lot of ups and downs in their early years. We are seeing that with Martinelli. It’s not a strategy that will make you a top 4 club. The bottom line is you need to spend.
    Wenger is Wenger. He still thinks he is relevant but the truth is he isnt.

  11. Northbanker

    Lingard = huge no from me. Swaps don’t work. He’s 28 and doesn’t fit the strategy. If Pepe is not going to progress we have to accept a huge disappointment and that we didn’t get the player we hoped to get and sell him for the best price we can get. I agree with prev comments his best position is LW and that is sadly because his first touch is so poor and he is so reliant on his left leg. Those traits dictate that he willl always be a second rate Prem player and will slow the game down.

    Contrast ESR who can receive the ball in a Mersonesque manner and move it forwards with barely a second elapsing. That difference between elite and ordinary defines whether we can be top 4 or not.

  12. Northbanker

    Bard – we need both but spending has to be strategic not haphazard. Martinelli hasn’t has enough game time to progress – why wasn’t Auba brought off last week for example and Gabby playing for a meaningful time? We do need a better strategy for blooding our top youngsters – Flo, Patino, Hutchinson etc. Why wasn’t Patino at least on the bench for a League Cup game (I think he was injured for last but there were prev games)

  13. Asoa

    Arteta on Elmeny
    “ He said: “What Mo transmits to the team is special. He has this energy as a person.

    “He goes in the room and he creates that atmosphere. Today I said that we needed that energy and that positive feeling that he brings all the time. I think he was tremendous.

    “Obviously I played with him so I know his qualities and who he is as a person, and what he brings to the squad. I like players that have zero ego, who play for the team, who want to contribute regardless of what it is, whether that’s one minute or 96 minutes or just by being there and giving positive feedback all the time.”
    But then Mikel he would be on the play field not the bedroom.

    Okay then. O rabo do cão metido em vão não fica são.

  14. Positive pete

    Jesse “ big girls blouse” lindgard.A huge No.The thought of him mincing around with that stupid goal celebration enough to make you puke.
    @ Leeds.Tyler Adams prob comparable to Bissouma.Spme might argue even better.Certainly younger & cheaper.Go get him EDU.Pref in Jan.

  15. The Bard

    Northbanker I don’t disagree with your comment on Martinelli. The problem with giving young strikers game time is they blow hot and cold. Think Chelsea and Tammy Abraham
    He had to go on loan a few times to get his game time before he became a reliable striker.

  16. China1

    Two funny things

    Our kiddo ESRis shutting all over 100m grealish this season for goals and assists. Poor lad only has 1 goal and two assists. Bargain

    2 – free transfer 11 available this summer is unreal.

    Lloris mbappe pogba dybala cuadrado rudiger sule azpollecueta kessie dembele insigne

    This 11 would compete for the fucking CL lol. Absolutely jokes.

    Personally I think we should be talking to Kessie in January. If we can’t sign him then but could get him signed to a free for the summer it would be awesome business. To have him Partey and Lokonga would mean we’d have 3 quality CMs, two of which are also young. Xhaka could then do one and we’d be well and truly upgraded with quality and depth in midfield.

    Seriously tho if he could be had on a free, or for cheap in Jan, that would mean our midfield is totally sorted and we could really focus our cash on managing our CF situation if we are going to buy one.

  17. China1

    Supposedly xavi at Barca wants to buy Tammy abraham.

    He is a good player but let’s be serious here he’s not a long term replacement for Suarez now is he

    I feel like Barca’s recruitment is so scattergun lol. They either buy players for a fortune based on their star name appeal or they want players who are very obviously not good enough

  18. Pierre

    ” free transfer 11 available this summer is unreal.Lloris mbappe pogba dybala cuadrado rudiger sule azpollecueta kessie dembele insigne ”

    Article on wenger in 2017

    Yet Wenger believes that plenty of managers will soon face such circumstances due to inflation in the transfer market. “In the future, you will see that more and more, players going to the end of a contract,” the Frenchman said after his side’s 2-1 Emirates Cup defeat to Sevilla. “Why? Because transfer [fees] become so high, even for normal players, no one will want to pay the amount of money that is demanded. I’m convinced that in the next 10 years it will become usual.”

    And of course he was ridiculed for making such a prophetic statement, similar to the way the obsessives ridicule him for his world cup suggestion.

  19. Jamie

    Lloris – 34 years old, £100k a week salary, average keeper
    Mbappe – £430k a week, only a couple petroclubs can afford both his wage and a transfer fee
    Pogba – £290k a week, 3 goals 3 assists in the PL last season. He’ll be 29 before the season’s over and is still incredibly inconsistent
    Dybala – £220k a week, 4 goals 3 assists in Serie A last season.
    Cuadrado – £150k a week, 2 goals, solid 10 assists, will be 34 years old in May.
    Rudiger – £100k a week, only 19 league appearances last season, turning 29 in March
    Süle – £50k a week (very reasonable), again only 20 league appearances in the Bundesliga because Pavard is a much better player
    Azpilicueta – £150k a week, good player, already 32 years old
    Kessie – ok this is a good find
    Dembele – is on crazy money, almost £300k a week, several serious knee injuries, issues with professionalism, has made a total of 30 odd appearances in la liga during 4 years at Barca.
    Insigne – £150k a week, good player for Napoli, will be 31 years old this summer.

    That’s why they’re in the last year of their contracts, because (for most of them) extending on better terms doesn’t represent value. Also, they won’t all be sold for nothing. Wenger was clueless in the end.

  20. Northbanker

    Pierre – it largely only happens because clubs mismanage their players’ contracts or because they have made very bad buys in the first place

  21. Pierre

    Palace have played Chelsea , city , arsenal , liverpool , west ham and leicester away from home, so i do expect them to be possible contenders for Europe.

    I’ve said previously their signings have been very impressive , and Vieira already has them playing to a system that suits the players..

    A few last minute goals conceded have cost them points or they would be around the champions league spots.

    I would take Vieira over Arteta tomorrow, what he is doing is nothing short of amazing in changing their style of football in a few short months, spending 60 mil in bringing in 5 players …I expect Eddie to be next on the list.

  22. Graham62


    It’s funny, many on here highlighted that Vieira was not good enough prior to his arrival at CP.
    His grounding at New York City FC and Nice may not have been spectacular but it doesn’t take an Einstein to see that he’s got what it takes to be a top manager.
    I agree with everything you say.
    Imo, he’ll soon be a sought after manager.
    You can see the Palace players love playing for him.

  23. China1

    I’m not one of those who has ever written off vieira but you can’t read too much into 8 games.

    Lots of managers get a bounce. Over achieving over 2 or 3 seasons tells a lot whereas over achieving for 8 games could just be the stars aligning and a purple patch of form.

    Emery had a huge unbeaten run and none of us think he was good enough. But has vieira made a great start? Hell yeah – and fair play to him

  24. Pedro

    Graham, it is an Arsenal blog. Not shocked that you’d rather talk about Palace than some of your views over the last three months.

    ‘There has been more than enough evidence these past few months that Arteta is not a top coach when it comes to the practicality of his role. Theoretical coaching is totally irrelevant if you can’t see the simple and obvious things that are in front of you.’

    ‘It doesn’t take an Einstein to see where the problems lie in a team environment and it doesn’t take an Einstein to read the body language of players.’

    “There’s not one person on here who can explain what Arteta is trying to do. The reason for this is that Arteta himself doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Please don’t use the words “process” and “patience” in your response.’

    ‘Most of the players have regressed under Arteta. We play a brand of football that is boring and easy to play against.’

    My face:

    ‘I don’t rate Arteta and after last night I can conclude that unless he is removed from his post we will continue to play this passive, slow, noncommittal style of football and suffer the consequences.’

    Yikes. Not sure you should be cursing a club legend with your praise.