by .

Thomas Partey is FIT for the Liverpool game. That’s massive news.  We need all our best soldiers ready for the fight in Liverpool. The Ghanaian midfielder also avoided a long trip to Africa, so he should be very fresh. With him in the side, you feel you have a chance. Let’s be frank, this season, he’s felt like the £45m signing we bought last season. It’s always amazing when people savage our 8th placed finish last season, they forget that our star signing wasn’t available 50% of the season. You think there’s a chance if he’d started the whole season, we’d have picked up an extra 6 points? I do. He’s so much more than a defensive midfielder. He gives us control, power, and vision from deep. Maybe his shooting will start delivering this season?

The major questions we’re all pondering is: Which Liverpool will show up?

  • The demolition crew that dismantled United in brutal fashion.
  • The slightly meek soft-boys that showed up for the West Ham game.

The league is better this year pound for pound. My concern at the start of the season was that we’d see the top 3 race away from the pack. That hasn’t happened yet. It’s close at the top. Last year, it was also close, but it had red herrings flying too close to the sun (Spurs). This year, it’ll be very interesting to see if the smaller clubs can keep up the pace.

I’d never post a calendar-year points total graphic to insinuate that Arsenal are doing pretty well overall.


Seeing tables like the above really does make a mockery of the SACK ARTETA narrative that was polluting the airwaves after three games this season.

What the fans are lusting for is a bigger performance against a team like Liverpool. There are only two teams I feel we give too much respect to. City and Liverpool. We gave City things to think about for about 20mins at home before the wheels came off. But I want to see a whole 90 of that.

There’s no point in going gung-ho to prove a point. But, I also don’t want to see Apocolypse Now scenes after three minutes against Liverpool. We are good at defending. Arsenal are tough to play against. It’d be really nice to see that translate against a team that boasts the intensity and ferocity of Klopp’s Liverpool.

This game is roll of the dice. Expectations are pretty low. Wouldn’t it be great if we could surprise a few? I’d take a point whilst keeping our unbeaten run in tact.

I’m not sure how the starting 11 will go. The big worry right now is Auba, he had an injury scare, but he seemed to be happy celebrating with his team after their game. Issue is, you can’t just play Laca up front on his own. So then you need to consider Eddie, who seems to be done with Arsenal Football Club. It’s going to be tough not having Auba from an edge perspective, he’s the one you’d want limited chances to fall to. So we’ll see where that lands.

Midfield will also be interesting. Sambi Lokonga surely gets the nod. But, this does feel like a man-marking masterclass opp for the in-form Ainsley.

Smith Rowe and Saka are absolute musts for me.

What will the surprise be? What will the tactical nuances look like? I’m sure there will be something. It’ll be exciting.

Finally, NBC signed a MEGA deal with the Premier League for $2billion. They are going to run all the matches over here. Their coverage is absolutely awesome in my opinion, so it’s great to see they will continue as a partner. I just wish they didn’t make it so tough with their average app they make you subscribe to. I also wish they’d just let me buy all the games in one place. But… they pay a lot to be annoying, so whatever.

… also, just a quick note. I am going to dive in on the advertising game. I’ve taken on the cost of this site on my own, but now it’s getting a bit of hand, and I want to pay my valuable contributors if I can. Servers are $200, podcasting is $40, Adobe is $20, Mailchimp is $20, buying sexy outfits for the show is $1000 a month. The partner I’m working with knows experience is my prime motivator, I don’t need ads that fuck with the flow, so rest assured, there will never be pop-ups. Thank you in advance for accepting this annoyance.

That’s me done. The whole gang will be there for a Sunday OTW podcast. Tune into that. Also, grab the Perry G interview while you can. It’s fantastic and thank you for all the nice comments on it.




Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Sly

    Tomorrow’s game will answer a lot of questions about Arteta’s mettle
    We have a team that can deliver a reasonable performance if well coached

  2. englandsbest


    I am one of those who advocate a develop and sell strategy. Because it’s the only policy that can keep the Club self-sustaining and at the same time, elite, competing for and winning major trophies and titles. That policy has always been the beating heart of the Club.

    That does not preclude a necessary transgression from time time, like the splurge on Bergkamp and Platt. But in the golden years of GG and Wenger/Dein the policy worked very well. The truth is that Arsenal are well-suited for that strategy, probably more than any other PL club.

    It’s also true that we did not so much develop players as buy them, and sell them at a profit later. Now with the ‘young and vigorous’ strategy, there is more emphasis on development , alongside bringing in youngsters that other clubs have developed.

    The key is to sell the best layers at the right moment, one where they can be replaced by a player of equal ability coming through. A matter of judgement from the manager.

  3. Welsh Corgi Cardigan

    By all means, work with adds. Im so grateful for allt the content you give us, blog, pod, twitter and ofc you should have an income and not expenses for the work you do.

  4. Mulerise14

    Wow….. Englandsbest that’s almost a poem…I can relate, this team of ours one cannot but love them for’s position on the gaffer becomes secondary,few months back the mood would have been gloomy, but we are daring to hope that maybe just maybe we are on our to being the Arsenal of old….

  5. Northbanker

    EB – yep but I think we can tweak it to turn ourselves into a financial powerhouse again. Key is top 4 positioning (to get the very best talent) and consistent selective buying strategically and nurturing. Game time however is also vital – the counteracting forces are visible lack of time for players like Martinelli. Actually I don’t think it is the case with Saliba who is getting plenty of game time.

  6. Pedro

    Sly, teeing up tomorrow like some sort of definitive test is a really narrow view. Why is Liverpool defining of anything? It’s not. If we get something, amazing. If we don’t, they are one of the best sides on the planet.

  7. Tee

    “People under estimating Tierney is a real surprise to me.”

    It shouldn’t surprise you except if you are new to le-grove which you aren’t

  8. SurferX

    If you want to monetise anything, look at twitch. Your already creating the content, take a look at the subscription model- i bet there is a big chuck of your audience that would happily give up the free monthly amazon prime gaming sub that they dont know they have 😉

  9. Goobergooner

    Hey guys, been a while. Hope everyone’s well.

    Pedro, I’m fully supportive of the ads. You definitely deserve to have your time and commitment rewarded in ways other than traffic haha. Your whole use of the social networks is great. If you can give us the ads without being super obtrusive then sweet.

    Any chance of finding ads that are also funny? Just to take the edge off them. I have no idea how any of those marketing/advertising processes work but I’m sure your expertise would be able to work something out.

    Cheers mate

  10. gnarleygeorge9

    So here we are, on the eve of what is arguably the most important Arsenal fixture since 17 May 2006. IMHO this is the fixture that will define The Arsenal going forward.

    After a record breaking time period of clean sheets leading up to the final, Arsene Wenger picked a team for the final on name, not form. He dropped Flamini for Cole, & the rest is history.

    So when Arteta picks his starting line up for the Bindippers, for me Nuno Tavares starts & Kieran Tierney warms the bench. Ofcourse Tierney may still not be fully fit, who knows, the point is, going forward with a youth policy, it is imperative to select on form/merit, not name. Arsene Wenger blue it on 17 May 2006 before a ball was kicked.

  11. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Peter fully understand doing the ads..

    Just please no full screen ones with hidden close buttons..

    If Eddie is closed should we give him s chance ?

  12. Nigel Tufnel

    Irishgooner had to make a comment basically criticizing Gabriel, of all people. This guy is early on his way to being a world class cb.

    He’ll probably deny it was a dig, then why in the world would you take the time to comment how well his and Parteys clubs did without them?

    Who cares?

    Why waste a minute posting something that’s only intention is to make Gabriel and Partey seem less important, or less excellent buys for our club.

    Just felt like saying it?

    This is not an Atletico Madrid blog.

  13. Nigel Tufnel

    Iat Bamford had to find some esoteric stats to try and make more anti Arsenal points. The guy never changes.

    Anything to drag the Arsenal. The amount of effort put in, to do it, is just sad.

  14. Spudnik

    Pedro, it’s well cool that you’ve asked your readers about advertising on your blog. Like most people here, I’m happy with that as long as it’s not pop ups and I sincerely hope the ads help.

  15. IAT-Robbie

    Esoteric! Interesting. A new world learnt for the day. Thanks

    I’ll try to keep my alternative personality in order next time.

  16. China1

    The ramsdale stats back up what has been very much confirmed by the eye test

    Type —-Pl ranking
    G.conceded – 1st
    Clean sheets – 3rd
    Save % – 2nd
    XGagaijst prevented – 2nd
    Catches – 5th

    Interestingly he’s not only smashing the stats out the lark but on the eye test he’s ping even better. The quality of some of those saves has been unreal and perhaps most important of all has been the very very obvious boost he gives to the team. He gets them fired up, he gives them confidence. Some of his long balls have been unreal as well – slicing 40 yard kicks in to feet at pace.

  17. Nigel Tufnel

    China1 …..
    Gabriel is actually first name on the team sheet for me. Among a few good choices too.

    Clowns here are busy talking about how well his former club is doing without him.

    I just don’t understand the motivation to come to an Arsenal blog and make points like that, if you really like the club.

  18. China1

    I think Tavares has been a great signing but his stats are also very impressive too – more so than I expected

    Type ——- arsenal rank
    Duels won 1st
    Aerial duels won 2nd
    Take ons attempted 2nd
    Touches 3rd
    Crosses attempted 3rd

    These are not the kind of numbers you expect to see from a bargain basement, young backup player who hasn’t even been a starter for a few games this season.

    He, Tomi and Lokonga are like peak wenger signings, they really are. Completely left field

  19. IAT-Robbie

    China 1.

    Agreed. Gabriel has been the most impressive of our recent signings. I was genuinely worried when he got benched last season. Glad to see he’s won his spot back. Most complete defender at the club IMO.

  20. Goobergooner

    On to the big match up, most of my mates here in Aus are liverpudlians and were calling me out, until a hammers mate chimed in haha.

    I have some positivity at least for a point if we can stay focused for 90, but I’m not expecting a win away. I’d like to just show heart and desire for 90 and at least give them something to thing about. Also great that partey is fit, hopefully it’s not a repeat of the spurs game last season.
    It’s going to be great to watch regardless. And 430am on a Sunday from Melbourne isn’t a horrible time to have to get up haha.

    I’m glad Arteta has given himself a bit more slack, because the squad is coming together as a very likeable, professional yet very talented young bunch of players.

    I was very harsh on tets, but he has earned a little more leeway from me at least over this last little run.

    This is a proper test for the new look squad though, so let’s continue to see progress against top quality opposition.

    Come on you gunners!!

  21. China1

    Gabriel is the most dominant CB we’ve had in the last decade. We’ve had players who are technically as good like koscielny, but no one who has the ability to reliably just say this space belongs to me and anything and anyone coming into it is going to get fucked

    I do think he needs more time and for a CB he’s really young – but he has what he needs to become a world class, Sol Campbell level CB. Ability wise but also he’s got the athletic profile as well. Something we’ve never once had since Sol left

  22. China1

    The recent signings are also laying to rest any notion that we can’t compete with Leicester, Dortmund, Spurs etc for premium quality players on the cheap and under the radar

    Peak wenger signings will ALWAYS be available and in every position on the pitch. The problem is we just became absolutely shite at finding them.

    That’s why I’ve no interest in seeing us throw money at big name signings – I just want us to focus on quality and value – and it is out there. It’s always out there

  23. Nigel Tufnel

    From Tom..

    “I suppose when Harry Kane hangs up his boots having broken England’s national team top scoring records, while banging in a dozen or more against San Marino and Andora , our Nigel here will defend his record against Kane haters.”

    Answer is no to that. What you and Iat-Bamford and Kroenkephobe never seem to understand…

    We are Arsenal fans, we’re supposed to be slightly biased looking at stats of our own players, managers, etc.

    Not blind faith, just normal fandom.
    Equally we are supposed to hate Harry Kane and lots of other rivals.

    How do you still not understand that??

  24. China1

    My favourite quality of Gabriel’s is he’s amazing at going straight through the back of a player with a heavy step in challenge and bizarrely do it cleanly without giving away a free kick

    Those kinds of challenges are fodder for giving away cheap free kicks but he has this availing to go straight through his man without committing a foul

    As well for a striker it’s very disconcerting when a defender keeps going straight through you and comes out with the ball. You always assume the threat of a step in tackle comes from the front and sides and your back is safe. Knowing that you can’t see behind you and at any moment you can get your ass handed to you from behind without getting a free kick unsettles players and forces them to make quicker decisions and lay off the ball sooner which is often not in their best interest. It’s a mental win for the defender to have a CF be unsettled.

    White is actually really good at that too. It’s one of the coolest skills for a CB as you set up camp on the oppositions head and a large part of competitive sport is won and lost in your head

  25. China1

    Have you seen that interview where Henry talks with Harry Kane from a few years back?

    It’s fucking hilarious

    Henry is there in London speaking a second language like it’s nothing, charisma and swagger dialed up to 10 and he’s chatting about how as a player he’d look at the angle of the keepers legs so he could ensure his shot would be unsaveable based on their balance etc. and when he asks Harry similar questions about that he’s basically like HERP DERP DERP MEEEEEH 😂😂😂😂😂

    Irrespective of Kane’s good goals record it’s like Rembrandt talking to a toddler about painting

  26. IAT-Robbie


    I don’t think big name signings are worth it these days. If I could have it my way. The recruitment policy would be U24, no more than £40 million and £125,000 p/w for every new signing for the next three seasons.

  27. Goobergooner

    Gabriel is a beast. I think his partnership with white is going to thrive with time.

    They are both very front footed ball playing CBS, as well as being able to complement each other by covering ground very quickly. Something we haven’t had in defence in a long time.

    They both the game very well. Very good at winning the ball back and playing to feet. And also we are becoming solid in the air.

    Our backline is one of our most promising in a while in my opinion.

    Forgot to mention yet again how much I love this team without xhaka close to it.

  28. China1

    Robbie yeah at the end of the day all those amazing players on cheap deals are out there. It’s on the club to dig them out and get them done.

    I’m not saying it’s easy but I am saying for most the last 7 or so years we stopped even trying. Dreadful scouting, dreadful transfer fees and honestly a lot of dreadful deals.

    How much money have we spent on transfer fees and wages for players like Pepe, xhaka, mustafi, ozil, Willian, Luiz, Kola etc etc etc? Auba and laca are both good players but I don’t think buying both was clever at all. We’ve just thrown good money after bad again and again.

    Thankfully so far Ramsdale, partey and White have very much looked the part. But prior to Partey as a rule of thumb if the player was expensive or had high wages they were a waste

  29. China1

    Yes goober

    We were told how important xhaka is every time we dropped points without him. This season this BS has surely finally been laid to rest

  30. IAT-Robbie

    A bit harsh on Harold for what I suspect is an undiagnosed nasal condition, even if it is very funny. I’d rather criticise him for being too individualistic and a blatant cheat. Can’t forget his famous tunneling move that has almost sent several defenders (incl our very own Gabriel) to the Emergency Room.

  31. Tony

    Good morning Grovers football is back and Arteta is saying top 4 is not enough.

    Brave words, but the right ones.

    For all my joking yesterday I believe we can get something from this game. I’ve been saying all week and as well as my thinking on how we can get from the game.

    Of course Arteta has stated tactics hopefully trained for the win, so it’s all down to the players to bring home the bacon as the old saying goes.

    Since the NLD I have been happy with the 442 that should have been 24 months ago.

    My beef with Arteta is he’s been a complete rank for 22 months. Now the tide is turning with Arteta playing the formation many here has talked about for well – 22 months.

    The last 2 months has shown what the squad is capable of so now we test ourselves against the best away at Anfield.

    As long as we give our all and Arteta gets the in-game management right, should we lose to the odd goal I’m ok with that, so long as we’ve taken the game to the Dippers and been in the game all evening moving the needle forward.

    It’s that simple for me. Lose by a heavy margin and Arteta will be in the firing line again because it will mean we haven’t moved improved with our transfers.

    No excuses.

    No BS

    No Agenda

    I just want us to play to our best ad see what happens.

    Brilliant day for the Autumn rugby Internationals today as well my son and I will enjoy.

    Let’s hope we’re celebrating in the morning.

  32. Nigel Tufnel

    So IAT-Bamford….

    You say,, that if you had your way, you’d basically use the policy that Arteta and Edu have used this year. (Except 10 mil over for White).

    Don’t go out on a limb there buddy.

    Stunning and brave comment Bam.

    Keep digging up those rare gem stats while you’re at it.

  33. Tony

    One concern I have is the papers are melodramatically saying Partey racing to be fit.

    To be fit for the bench I hope and not rushed back to start. Partey’s been out for a few weeks so if he hasn’t had U23 games to add fitness, he won’t be ready for the pace of the Dippers and game in general.

    The other I can’t decide on is CT vs Tavares at LB.

    Auba’s fitness and main worry is his mentality often going missing in big games of old.

    Eddie then Martinelli can fit in well with Laca.

    Pace will win the game. See how fast Matip and VVD can go backwards and they’ll make mistakes.

    Songs for after the game?




  34. Graham62

    If Arteta is brave and he allows the players the freedom to express and play on the front foot, I see a positive outcome.

    If he reverts back to defence above all else, we’ll be in trouble.

    I’m going to be brave here and say 1-1 or 2-2.