EMILE SMITH ROWE, ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL. LOVELY.

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.

AUBA SCORED A PENALTY FOR GABON.

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.

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149 Responses to “EMILE SMITH ROWE, ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL. LOVELY.”

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  1. Jdawg

    Sorry I was reading the article and the opening that stats Wenger didn’t bring these Hale Ender’s through isn’t true. I loved smith-rowe when he banged goals in, in the league cup and Europa League under Wenger who gave him his debut. I was gutted when Wenger loaned him out albeit it was needed.

    Wenger gave debuts to (correct me if Im wrong). To our current first team Hale enders

    Saka
    Smith-rowe
    Nelson
    Nketiah
    Iwobi (I know he was sold in Emerys time)
    AMN

  2. Jdawg

    So Arteta can’t take the glory here sorry. They were prepped by coaches over than him in the academy through to under 23s. They were ready to bang when he came in. Emery has to take some credit too

  3. englandsbest

    I still cannot believe the Qatar WC Cup will take place. It was the daftest and most corrupt decision that even FIFA ever made. Would the Qatarians care if it were cancelled. Not the people who live and work there. You could probably count the football fans on two hands. Would the players mind? Are you kidding! They must dread the possibility of six weeks stuck out there. Would the FAs be upset. Not a bit. They’ll be worried about getting their teams together.

    Any country in Europe or Latin America would be preferable. And easy to organize. There is still hope.

    Wenger’s nutty idea of a biennial WC is further evidence of his egocentricity. And if FIFA persist, the likely outcome is European leagues run by the Clubs.

  4. Globalgunner

    World cup is a world tournament. The clue is in the name. Any country that is capable should host it. I believe FIFA should even rotate it amongst the continental federations. If 1 country cant host it then share the tourney amongst neighbours. Enough of this Eurocentric WC bias. England always want to host it in the forlorn hope that they might accidentally win it. It will take 20 years to go round the federations. the biennial thing is just FIFA looking at its coffers and getting desperate

    Wenger is just FIFA`s silly face. It was never his idea

  5. Positive pete

    My boy “ Tyler Adams” ripping it up for good ol USA .Really,really hope our rumoured interest in him this jan trans window is true.An absolute gem & beast of a player.Can play DM & RB .Has a release clause at Leipzig.so is attainable.& apparently Leipzig interested in Eddie? So part swap opportunity? Who knows.

  6. englandsbest

    I like transfers of exceptional players to Asenal at top dollar. Eve more I like trasnfers of exceptional players that come cheap. But most of all I love exceptional players who come through the ranks. Which is why I’d hate to see Eddie leave

  7. Northbanker

    I don’t personally mind the WC being a biennial one but it would have to be accompanied by the scraping of all the regional tournaments with that being the sole trophy

    As that involved loads of bureaucrats voting out their own pride and joy it won’t happen

    What can’t be allows to happen is a tournament every summer and even worse half way through the season

    We also need to reduce the number of pointless international breaks during the season- clubs need to stand up to FIFA and UEFA and make it clear to them that without their cooperation they have nothing

  8. David

    Granit is a flat track bully who takes his corporate dark arts game into the locker room and onto the training pitch. Like your irritating colleague, he never calls in sick, he turns up to work on time and brown-noses all the right ppl to keep climbing, capitalising on the post-Wenger turmoil to become captain.

    Is he actually good at his job?
    Fans who say he is also are more enamoured by his swagger, his soundbites and even his haircut.

    He’s really the last bastion of the rot that needs to go more so than any of his predecessors.

    I hope the guy never comes back after he leaves. Not even as a paying fan.

  9. IAT-Robbie

    Let’s be real here. Since his return from injury, has Martinelli actually been given any decent playing time?

    20/21:
    Premier League – 589 minutes [2G/1A]
    Europa League – 108 minutes [0G/0A]
    League Cup – 48 minutes [0G/1A]
    FA Cup – 57 minutes [0G/0A]

    21/22:
    Premier League – 160 minutes [0G/0A]
    League Cup – 180 minutes [0G/1A]

    Those minutes are equivalent to 12.6 full matches in about 9 months of football. I wouldn’t exactly call this good development of a youth player. Especially knowing how much game-time went to Willian. It’s like expecting a miner to find gold with only a butter knife. This is where someone like ∀ɹʇǝʇɐ pales in comparison to someone like Klopp/Tuchel/Rodgers in terms of youth development in my opinion.

  10. LoveSausage

    Martinelli is a really frustrating case. He’s clearly one of the most talented players we have at the club but he hasn’t impressed when given the chance lately. And there aren’t many minutes to go around.

    The Eddie case is just perplexing. It’s been clear he’s not good enough for a starting position for a while. We have room for one such young player in the squad, yet we kept both him and Balogun. Now we’ll probably lose him on a free transfer instead of pocketing 15M. This one’s been poorly managed by Edu and Arteta.

  11. Asoa

    Martineli, Balogun are basically strikers although Martineli also plays in the wings. Strikers are confidence players somewhat akin to fighter pilots. Consistent playing time is required in a somewhat set squad like all greats like Klopp , etc do . The strikers develop an understanding with their feeding players for those split second finishes. Arteta, like a few of us amateurs don’t get it. Or, maybe just catch on any straw display to fit their vendetta or personal dislike.
    Adequate playing time is necessary and not a addition of last 6-12 minutes before time to form an opinion.

  12. Raulishuss

    Are we gonna start marti over auba,laca,esr,or saka? He isn’t in a position to start over those guys yet. Esr was behind marti not long ago. We’re winning, guys ahead are performing way better anyways. Martis time will come but he needs to take his chances.

  13. LoveSausage

    Asoa,

    Yes, confidence matters. But so does winning games. We can’t use PL games to build up a young player’s confidence. The problem is that we’re out of Europe so we don’t have enough games.

  14. IAT-Robbie

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

    Given that dreadful run of league results, it indeed looked that way. But given our history and how well-favoured Arteta appears to be by the board, that probably wasn’t the “reality of the situation” (as Mikel would say).

    Arsenal FC haven’t sacked a permanent coach within their first full season in over a 100 years.
    We’ve had at least 14 full-time (out of 20) managers who have lasted more than 3 years in the job. AFC is the no.1 English club for job security if you’re a football head coach.

  15. DivineSherlock

    David

    Those were some fine words you wrote about Xhaka and I know that wasnt as harsh as you wanted to be xD
    Xhaka just like Ozil is a relic in a modern game , the role he plays has evolved so much in recent years and he cant keep up . We need an upgrade on him in 2017 let alone 2021 !

  16. DivineSherlock

    Gabriel Martinelli since saving Arteta’s bacon hasnt really been given that much playing time as compared to ESR or Saka , sometimes a bit harsh because he couldve easily played more instead of Laca and Auba who both were woefully out of form last season. This season I understand Arteta’s got a combination and doesnt want to change much , maybe in League Cup and FA cup or when AFCON happens.

  17. IAT-Robbie

    LoveSausage,

    I definitely agree that a lack of European football this season makes things harder. Though this has been an issue since at least last season when we were in the Europa League.In 2016/17, Liverpool didn’t have European football as they had finished 8th the season before. These were the minutes Klopp gave to U21 players:

    Ben Woodburn (Age 16) – 9 Matches | 4 Starts | 364 minutes
    Trent Alexander-Arnold (Age 17) – 12 Matches | 7 Starts | 594 minutes
    Ovie Ejaria (Age 18) – 8 Matches | 5 Starts | 429 minutes
    Harry Wilson (Age 19) – 1 Match | 0 Starts | 26 minutes
    Sheyi Ojo (Age 19) – 2 Matches | 1 Start | 105 minutes
    Joe Gomez (Age 19) – 3 Matches | 3 Starts | 270 minutes
    Connor Randall (Age 20) – 1 Match | 1 Start | 45 minutes
    Marko Grujić (Age 20) – 8 Matches | 2 Starts | 222 minutes
    Divock Origi (Age 21) – 43 Matches | 21 Starts | 2,095 minutes

    They finished 4th that season. Most of these U21s were from Liverpool’s academy. I think Trent and Joe (after his injury) went on to be regular starters the following season.

  18. Northbanker

    Raulihuss

    I agree but only to a point

    Aruba’s contribution overall v Watford was pretty dreadful despite people praising him for tracking back more regularly

    Well yes he does but frankly it is the final touch that matters most with your main striker and an awareness of what is going on around him. He blew 3 goals last week for different reasons and yet MA still kept him on instead of giving Gab a proper run out

    It is those decisions that frustrate me as we need to give players of huge potential proper game time and that includes a decent amount of time if coming off the bench. If the main striker is stinking up the place then it should be a no brainer

  19. IAT-Robbie

    That Guendouzi quote is almost two months old. I’m surprised it’s only just being covered now. Mistranslation or not, Douzi is right. The OM fans are incomparable to Gooners at the Emirates. They are a lot crazier than we are as a fanbase. It has its upsides (nervy opposition) and downsides (suspended matches).

  20. Rich

    If you sack a manager, but the manager isn’t the problem, then the same problem still persists, and all you’ve done is play an expensive game of musical chairs

    A new manager then needs to identify the problems, something the outgoing manager was already fully aware of, give the same failing senior staff a chance to fail , which just eats up more time.

    This is counterproductive, sometimes a change is needed, things need freshening up, staff are failing, and need moving on.

    But you need to clearly identify what the actual issues are, I was never convinced by the argument that either Emery or Arteta were our biggest issues, when analysing our squad

    The question was always, who’s best qualified to clean up the mess? And implement a new strategy to help turn the ship around?

    My biggest concerns were always around the area of recruitment, with the signings of Cedric, Runarsson, Willian + Mari, managers come + go, but if we got our recruitment + squad planning horribly wrong, then a new manager would just pick up the mess left by the previous administration

    Even if Arteta doesn’t make it, he’ll leave behind quite the collection of exciting young players, a much better balanced squad, and healthier situation to the one he inherited almost 2 years ago

    This is a squad on the way up, we just need to keep it together, build cohesion, and recruit smartly, and we’ll be well placed towards a having a sustained period of being competitive

  21. Kroenkephobe

    IAT
    Sorry to introduce a bit of a red herring but how did you pull off that trick where you typed our favourite friend’s name upside down? Either you’re a technical whizz or a poltergeist kicks in at the mention of his name and spins it 180 degrees 👺

    PS So the Guen quote is from the 16th century in footballing terms eh? Interesting – the words ‘agenda’ and ‘ulterior’ come to mind.

  22. Pedro

    Rich,

    100%.

    Whatever happens this season, the next coach coming in has a nice bag of tools to work with. I just hope if that happens we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and take the Spurs/United approach of bringing in a group of managers with differing philosophies or no philosophies at all.

    The last part of the rebuild is going to be interesting. It’s clear our forward line needs a rebuild. Pepe is probably done at Arsenal and we’ll have to be thinking about what our strikers are going to look like. Balogun and Martinelli might be in there… but there’s a big splash coming from somewhere.

    It’ll also be interesting to see whether we let Lacazette go in Jan if there’s an offer. He’s been so integral to our play, might be worth keeping him around.

  23. LoveSausage

    IAT,

    Klopp pulled off a miracle that season for sure.

    I think the problem for us is that Gabi would need to displace ESR, who’s been the standout player this season. I don’t think he’s ever shown enough in #9 to get minutes there.

  24. Pedro

    Jdawg, you don’t have to apportion all the glory to anyone. But you can stay focused on the story at hand: ESR banged when Arteta brought him in. Now he’s an England international 11 months later.

  25. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    We should definitely keep Laca. Realistically, we’ll only get peanuts f we sell him in January. He’s so important to us right now that it’s probably worth that t letting him run down the contract because it will increase our chances of a 4th place finish.

  26. MidwestGun

    Tyler Adams was a beast last night versus Mexico… If we could get him to the Emirates .. It would be an amazing transfer. He is the anti-Xhaka. As good as he was though Weston Mckennie was even better.. and scored a goal. Doubt we can pry him away from Juventus though.

    Anyways.. US owns Mexico now .. 3 in a row. First time since 1937.

    So really excited about ESR turning into a World renown player … but with that responsibility comes reliance on conditioning and mental strength. And also to know when to say I need a break. I always felt like Alexis Sanchez at the height of his power let his country burn him out by playing every single minute of every game. Even in meaningles friendlies. He just coudln’t say no to them.

    Anyways… issues for later down the road. That bribery driven madness to let Qatar host the World Cup gets worse and worse all the time.. The World Cup was never designed to take place in the middle of the Club seasons.. it’s stupid.

  27. MidwestGun

    Peds yes… Defensive midfield… as the deepest midfielder in a 4-3-3 with Mckennie and Musah on eiter side.. He broke up everything Mexico could throw at him and they even tried to rough house him.. turned into a fight. But he avoided yellow cards.

  28. MidwestGun

    Not sure how much Leipzig want for Adams …but I would say if we can get him for Odegaard type money 35 mill or less.. It would be worth it. He is only 22 as well.

  29. MidwestGun

    Peds yep.. it was an instant classico….. Mexico outplayed US in the first half but failed to score and US dominated the, second half.. Mexico got frustrated and started to rough house . with questionable tackling and even poked one of the US players in the eye behind the refs back. A fight ensued and yellow cards everywhere. Pulisic came on as a sub with 15 mins to go and his first touch was a header into the back of the net and then Weston Mckennie put them away when they got caught out tryng to push for a goal. Average age of Mexican squad is over 32 … US squad is like 23 .. they remind me a lot of Arsenal in that regard. Made for an interesting matchup.

  30. MidwestGun

    40 mill? hmmm thats steep but might still be worth it. Mckennies release clause is 70 mill I think.. And Adams is just as good if not better defensively and passing skills.

  31. LoveSausage

    The anti-Arsenal bias in the media is off the charts. Just look at how they’re making a meal out of Balogun basically saying that a loan move in January would be good for his development. Pathetic.

  32. Pedro

    Midwest, Liverpool are there for the taking as much as they can be.

    Our new setpiece specialism might come in handy.

    I just hope we don’t pay them too much respect… or get slaughtered like United did.

  33. Janky

    Martinelli, when you say that “he’s not leaving,” does this include loans? The kid needs minutes.

    I just don’t see the door opening for him this season and he’s too talented to rot on the bench.

  34. Rich

    Pedro, if we try and play Liverpool in an all out open game, then it’s highly likely we’ll come off much worst

    Arteta far more often than not, has shown pragmatism in these types of games, Arteta being more George Graham than Arsene Wenger, is a really good analogy

    Liverpool are a mature team, with top players who can hurt us, we just need to stay in the game , I’d be surprised if Liverpool didn’t have at least two thirds of the ball

    11 vs 11, the only realistic way we currently win at Anfield, is a backs to the wall, smash + grab

  35. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Yeah, it’s about the least controversial thing a player in his situation can say. Just shows he cares about his development. But here we go with the “Arsenal on red alert after Balogun’s transfer bomb” bullshit…

  36. Pedro

    Rich, I think what I’m saying is I’d prefer a Mourinho classic limited possession game, than one that feels like we’ve been battered.

    We certainly can’t go and play football against them. No chance.

  37. Rich

    LS

    This is the way our media works across the spectrum, it’s all about clickbait, sensationalism, viewing figures, advertising revenue, subscriptions, target demographics

  38. Rich

    Pedro, agree, the pressures all on Liverpool to win, it’s a free hit for us away at Anfield

    Mane got injured on international duty, Firmino is out

    All we need now is Van Dijk, Salah, Trent, and Fabinho to pick up injuries

  39. LoveSausage

    Rich,

    I’d just love to see them spread it around a bit. He basically said “I’ve developed as much as I can playing youth football and now I’d like a loan, thanks”. And the media is manufacturing controversy as if it were Pogba telling United he wants to leave for the Nth time.

  40. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Josh would have to pretty naive to stick his neck out like that if he isn’t planning to continue investing aggressively. Makes me think they have a surprise lined up for us in the January TW.

  41. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Yeah, it’s hard to do big deals in Jan.

    How much would we get for Laca in Jan? 3-5M tops? We might as well carry his salary until the end of the season. If we could do that and bring in a proper striker in January we’d be giving ourselves time for the new guy to bed in without risking what’s working right now. If it were my money, I’d feel it would be worth it. Kind of like paying for insurance.

  42. Pedro

    LoveSausage, we’d need to be buying from a deeply distressed club… or we’d be making a panic move.

    Hopefully Auba continues to develop his game and some of those misses start to drop for him.

  43. LoveSausage

    I’m still holding out an illogical hope that we’ll get Vlahovic. He looks like the best of Giroud and Laca. Perfect signing for the 4-3-3 system Arteta really wants, plus allows you play on the counter against better opposition.

  44. LoveSausage

    Rich,

    I agree with you but I’d still argue that buying a young player for big money is different than spending it on a peak (or post peak) Ronaldo/Griezmann/etc. A lot of the disfunction comes from the massive salary you have to put a player like that on, the fact that they are bigger than the club, and that they have incentives to run contracts down. That’s not the case with a younger player.

  45. Samesong

    To beat Liverpool we would have to have a first half like we did against spurs. Everyone has to be on their game.

    As much as Liverpool are a great team it’s only take a defeat for them to wobble a bit and I think we are playing them at the right time.

    A big problem for me is Auba in this game. The ball does not stick with him and he is not intelligent enough to win those little fouls. to take the pressure of the midfield and defence. Playing against their back four you need to be smart. as their backline will want to be always play high up the pitch.

    We can’t expect to defend all game neither so Tets got alit to think about.

  46. Pedro

    Rich,

    I’d like our big money to go on premium youngsters.

    Like Hazard to Chelsea or Salah to Liverpool.

    No one is going to miss buying Haaland next summer.

    I suspect the club is hoping to become competitor to Dortmund for the big names they move for

  47. englandsbest

    The problem for Martinelli is Auba – and for Eddie and for Balogan. With him gone, all three would get their minutes.

    And the way things are going now, Arsenal can beat any PL team – inc Liverpool

  48. Northbanker

    Pedro

    Totally agree – big money signings rarely work out – maybe it’s the expectation factor – Maybe complacency – maybe a few other things

    So premium young player with everything still to prove is the way to go

    Ideallly spend 20 – 35m though not 50 – 75

  49. Northbanker

    Auba is finished – we’re looking at the dying flames of a falling star

    At some point Arteta will come to terms with that

  50. Northbanker

    Yes I’d agree with that although Sterling is over 24 so for me I wliild stick with the strategy

    Anyone else question whether Partey was really injured or whether it was a ruse to avoid going to save him for Liverpool and avoid the internationals

  51. Leedsgunner

    I know Tyler Adams seems to be the flavour of the month at the moment…

    Genuinely, I want to know, especially from our American contributors, what marks him out? Why do you like him?

    Given his versatility in the DM position and RB I understand that he has a lot going in his favour but don’t we already have a player like him in AMN?

    Why is Tyler Adams worth spending the £30m – £40m RB Leipzig is going to be asking for him? Like I said – a genuine question – and not a point to raise a fight.

    If already have a player like Adams shouldn’t we be spending that money on getting a world class attacker in the 20-25 range?

  52. China1

    This World Cup idea is barely even wengers. Fifa have clearly told him to propose something to make the World Cup more frequent so they can make more money and this was as good as he managed (rubbish idea).

    Wenger has shown throughout his career he’ll just parrot whatever his paymasters want irrespective of it it’s in the best interest of himself or football. He basically admitted it lately that he was too loyal to the ‘project’ at arsenal after dean left and suffered for it. Seems he didn’t learn anything from that experience when he’s out here pushing plans for a World Cup that go against everything he said he stood for as arsenal manager.

    Does he really need the money that badly?

  53. China1

    Pedro you can think injuries and suspensions to other players for why ESR got a chance to save Artetas bacon last Christmas!

  54. Pedro

    Leeds, we need to replaced Mo Elneny and Xhaka at some point, £35m for someone with his level of athleticism, aggression, and tactical astuteness would make for a interesting addition.

    Suspect we’ll invest in a winger or a striker first.

  55. Pedro

    Northbanker, I meant when he left for City. Not now. I hope we don’t go in for him. He doesn’t really fit the strategy.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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…

  62. Tony

    Moray
    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.

  63. 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

  64. Terraloon

    Moray

    “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.”

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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)

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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

  73. Pierre

    China
    ” 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.

  74. 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.

  75. Northbanker

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

  76. 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.

  77. Graham62

    Pierre

    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.

  78. 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

  79. 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.