by .

I would normally do a riposte article to the xG counter-argument that went off yesterday… but there wasn’t need for one, I think most people seemed pretty fine with the reality of our messy data this season.

There were two common comebacks.

‘You just don’t like data that doesn’t align with the project’

MOST IMPORTANT METRIC: 5th in the league.

‘Stop manipulating data to suit your agenda’

MOST CLEAN METRIC I HAVE: 5th in the league.

You can get angry that I put some context on the xG, but the most important metric right now is that we are 5th in the league. If you’re using data to delegitimize a young team doing really well under tough circumstances, may I show you a delightful bin you can get in.

Some other interesting metrics.

We’re averagely conceding 12.77 attempts at our goal per game with the new defence, with 4.2 shots per game on target. Skewed quite heavily by bad days at Brighton and Liverpool away. Plenty of work to do there, Chelsea and Liverpool are conceding 9.7… City, and incredible 6.3. But, not bad considering the newness of the defence.

To be honest, I actually thought the most interesting splicing on data was the table since the new team started.

5th for goals scored.

3rd best defensive record.

Joint 2nd for points accrued.

That is quite spectacular when you consider:

1) It was basically 6 new players.

2) They were all under the age of 24.

3) The mood around the club was absolutely grim.


Our attack really needs to kick up a gear. There’s no denying that.

There are two ways that is going to happen.

1.Auba is going to click with the system and start getting into the right positions. Arteta can gamble on the 2018-19 superstar coming back to his best. He’s said a few times that the goals will come. How long will he hold out? Things are so bad, he’s even missing penalties this season.

2.Arteta is going to try something different.

The Liverpool game showed the way for other teams. Lacazette dropping deep has been a huge part of our resurgence over the the last 3 months. His 95th minute goal saved a point against Palace and after that, we never looked back. He set the tone for aggression, his confidence and experienced allowed for him to seamlessly link defence to attack, and he made a difference.

Liverpool sussed that at the weekend and we didn’t really have an answer.

Is it time for something different?

We haven’t seen much of Martin Odegaard this season, the form of an older head playing for his future has been too much for the Norwegian. He’s not a sulker though and he is more than capable of opening up teams on his best days. Could he be used to make us a bit less predictable in build up play over the next month?

Nico has been sat on the bench, for good reason, but it’s hard to deny that on his day, he also offers us something we’re lacking: Final ball and finishing. He always delivers good numbers, even if he is generally very inconsistent and infuriating. He was nothing at the start of last season, then he came back into contention hard. He’s also not a sulker, he works hard, can we roll the dice on him again?

Gabriel Martinelli has been poor this season. He’s been given chances. He hasn’t taken them. But we know there’s a player there. Every young player goes through a slump. It’s about time he came out of his. What can he offer to our attack? He’s a relentless presser of the ball, even though we haven’t seen much of that in the last 6 months. Can he find that spark? Can he work with this team? Can he be the tip of our spear we lack?

There are two other options.

Eddie, who I thought was exceptional during the preseason games, but hasn’t been given much in the way of love. He’s not a fan of Arteta, I’m pretty sure he’s signaled he won’t do a deal, so the club might be resigned to losing him in January. Could we use his newfound confidence? Would it be worth a go?

Folarin Balogun has been in rip-roaring form in the U23s. His attitude has been so good. The horror show against Brentford cannot be laid squarely at his feet, he had no prep for that game either. Is there something he could do? Does he have the power? Is there an ESR moment for him?

December is the month for heroes. Last season, Smith Rowe broke the first team and never looked back. He did it against Chelsea. He showed the doubters what he was all about and now he’s an England player.

Who wants to be a hero this month? December is going to need the full squad. We play Newcastle (H) on Saturday, then we’re up against United (A) on the Thursday, followed by Everton (A) on then Monday. There will be minutes going around. Who will get them? Who will make a statement with them? How will this young squad deal with a 3 game week?

First, we have to deal with Eddie Howe taking to the dugout for the first time in his second game. He has a helluva job to do there. He has Steve Bruce players which don’t map to his system at all. The one thing they have going in their favor is that all of those players want to be there for the dazzling riches that are coming their way. It’s a big game for us. Will we be on our knees feeling sorry for ourselves like teams of the past? Or do we have the minerals to deal with disappointment?

We shall see…

We’re recording a podcast this afternoon, stay tuned to your phone for that when it drops, because it’ll be a damn cracker let me tell you.

BUT, before you listen to that, may I invite you to jump in on our latest after the Liverpool game. Matt and Pedro chatting the Liverpool game. We hope you enjoy it. x



226 Responses to “IS IT MARTINELLI TIME?”

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  1. Johng

    Good measured article after Liverpool loss and people being disappointed at the metrics and where we are right now. We are not on the same level as the 3 teams who have won the league recently but that’s not to say with this young team we can’t get there at some point especially if we can sort out the attack. I personally do have hopes for the future.

  2. englandsbest

    I think waiting any longer for Auba to come good is not good. Any one of Nketiah, Martinelli, Balogan would prove more effective in occupying the opposing defence, even if not scoring. Having Auba on the bench is better strategy, and a successful late entry against leggy defenders might even bring back his goal-scoring form.

  3. LoveSausage

    It’s definitely Martinelli time.

    Auba has been absolutely useless. Pundits keep highlighting his pressing but if that’s going to be his only contribution then we might as well give Martinelli a shot. He’s younger and I have no doubt that he can press better than Auba. And considering that he’s the only striker with a future at the club (not counting Balogun due to inexperience), he should get 2-3 games to try and find his shooting boots.

  4. Mr Serge

    wht time is the podcaast on Pete ?

    I am going to the game on saturday we need to slap them up 4 nil at least they are in dissaray and i want them relegated don’t want that dirty Saudi money being spent next season

  5. shad


    Took the words out of my mouth. Against Liverpool, we pretty much were playing with 10 men. Auba doesn’t hold the ball nor does he have the guile to create a chance out of nothing or even hold the ball up long enough to enable our midfield and defence to push forward.

    For all of Nuno’s mistakes, I’m glad he didn’t stop trying. In any other game where players showed for each other, he’d make the passes and we’d be carving open teams from his left to central drives.

  6. Leedsgunner

    When we tank, people say… the table doesn’t lie… etc.

    It is then completely disingenuous then to ignore the table when we do well, just because one wishes to ignore the successes of the manager and the team.

    Look at the table… and support the team!

  7. shad

    Martinelli definitely needs to come into the fray. I’d also start bleeding Patino and giving Odegaard more minutes even as we look for a Partey partner. Flog Elneny and the other makeweights.

  8. shad

    I think Balogun also deserves minutes esp if we are say 2 nil up in the 2nd half. It’s one thing to expect him to lead the line from nothing and another to build his confidence slowly as he acclimatizes to the premier level.

  9. Chris

    “ Quite amusing that people like Chris are talking about mindless propaganda like the xG table is the truth.”

    Just catching up with yesterday’s post, but Pedro! You got the wrong ‘Kris’! That wasn’t me! 🙂

    I posted the other day something along the lines of what you wrote in your main post, although you obviously went into far more detail! Xg + context + eye test pretty much covers it, footy is far too gloriously crazy for exact data sourcing practices to be applied to it, without taking in all the inherently unpredictable variables that go hand in hand with the game.

    Hope you don’t mind but wanted to defend my honour!

  10. Danny

    We all saw what Martinelli was capable of before his injury but sadly we’ve also seen him since. Just like Bellerin and e.g. Pires, Diaby, some players just never get back to how they were pre-injury.

  11. Spudnik

    I don’t think Auba’s gonna suddenly turn it on. It’s been too long now. Martinelli was all kinds of exciting when he first arrived, but he too is also without any decent form for quite awhile now. Can Balogun step up to the senior plate and take on the responsibility? There’s a lot of hope riding on that outcome. Eddie looks like he’s on his way out.
    Maybe it’s time to give Pepe a run at CF. He likes to hold up play and he scores goals. Or stick with Auba and maybe he gets a hattrick against Newcastle, but, there’s a lot of hope on that as well.

  12. Thank you and goodnight

    Martinelli has barely been given a chance this season. 12 odd games and he’s been lucky to play 180 minutes this season . When you consider how many chances Willian was given. He’s putting Martinelli on with 5 min to go, what the fuck us he supposed to do in that time.

  13. Nelson

    A youngster depends on the coach to set up an environment to succeed. Look what happened to Saka and ESR last game. Each time when Martinelli was subbed in, he was fighting alone on the left wing. I wonder what they do on the training pitch. They should build up some chemistry and practice some play to move the ball forward. MC is expert doing this. Every player moves into position to receive a pass.

  14. Graham62

    When exactly has Martinelli been given chances this season?

    Can someone please supply the relevant data.

    Many thanks.

  15. Graham62

    Balogun is also a strange one.
    Last season in the Europa he looked good, but apart from the Brentford debacle, when have we seen him.

  16. Graham62

    I also feel sorry for Eddie and can understand his decision.

    Personally, I feel he’s been mismanaged.
    Same with AMN.

    Where’s the trust and belief from the manager. Both these players have, imo, been poorly treated by Arteta.

    Aubameyang or Eddie?

    Who would you trust most asked on what you e seen over these past few months?


  17. Nelson

    I like how Pep and Klopp develop their youngsters. Each time, they start only one youngster to play with the regulars. They didn’t change the formation. A youngster can integrate much faster that way. You don’t start Martinelli and Balogun at the same time and the team was confused with the new setup..

  18. Kroenkephobe

    The point is, can anyone actually see our manager dropping Aubameyang and trying something else? He’s not exactly Mr Flexible is he – he can’t even arch those starchy little sculpted eyebrows of his.

    The only auspices under which Martinelli or Pepe might replace Auba would be an unspecified illness of injury. That way, no one loses face which is a sign of how egos still dominate. Remember all those little colds and viruses that the bug-eyed waster Ozil used to get before away trips to Burnley etc.

  19. HNiz

    Long time appreciator of the blog here, but this whole xG-bashing has left a sour taste. Firstly, I want to say I’m optimistic, and hope Arteta is the man to lead the club back to its former glory (I have my reservations too, but at least we’re not United).

    Even so, I don’t agree with what you’ve said. You say xG lacks the sample size, and yet you use 5th after 12 games as a measure of performance. Surely looking at the results alone is misleading. This position could be luck, ease of games or a number of other factors.

    So with that in mind, you quote shots and shots on target. Yet, the whole point of xG is that it tells you the quality of the shot. Sure. Arsenal may have not conceded that many shots, but that figure alone does not tell you the quality – which I imagine the likes of Liverpool and Manchester city have significantly outperformed.

    Ultimately our general xG is poor at the moment, but I certainly hope for an improvement!

  20. Pedro

    Kroenke, the criticism last year was he never had the same starting 11.

    Now he’s rolled with a consistent 11 for 9 games, you are saying he’s inflexible.

    Which is it?

  21. Pedro

    Nelson, the team was confused by the setup because 24 hrs before the game, we had a covid outbreak. The issue was so bad, the players didn’t travel together and the results of the tests weren’t known until the afternoon before the game.


    Arsenal integrate more young players than any club at the moment. Not sure we’re having an issue there. If someone isn’t playing, it’s because there’s a better option in the side.

  22. Pedro

    Leeds, agree.

    Though I do think the table can lie (or mislead). Brighton weren’t 16th bad last season, you knew the pattern was they’d blow at some point.

    xG is a great tool to find a deeper story if there’s one to be had.

    We aren’t attacking well this season, we know that. But I don’t think there’s a ‘this is a false position’ vibe going around like there was under Emery.

  23. Aaron

    Need to create chances, how is Martinelli going to get service in a packed box?

    Not our midfield.

    Play with static players, with slow build up, into a set defense is a recipe for no margins.

    Need goals, won’t get them this year.

    538 has us ending the season 6th, is that progress?

    I do not think we will even end up in that position.

    Not in my world, but hey let’s give the most boring coach I have watched lately, another 38 games and Europe to figure out our scoring problems.

    watch manure pick up Pott and make a move.

  24. Pedro

    ‘Play with static player’ oh my word. Your histrionics are painful reading. Referencing a prediction table like it’s gospel as well.

  25. Ollie

    I think the issue is we need a striker who has the ability to make the ball stick when it is played into him. At the moment, the only person capable of that is Lacazette. The ball bounces off Auba, Martinelli and Nketiah. That’s why none of those three are the solution. Matinelli needs to play on the wing because he isn’t good in the crowded centre. He’d also need Laca as a focal point in the attack for him.

  26. Kroenkephobe

    Now he’s rolled with a consistent 11 for 9 games, you are saying he’s inflexible.

    What? The point I’m trying to make is about Auba. Of course consistency is welcome but that’s a rather different issue than sticking with a player when he’s clearly not at his best and is starting to lose his powers. He seems scared or at best reluctant to substitute or drop his captain which his baffling given how little Auba provides a lot of the time. Auba did well against Spurs and in other little cameos, but he’s not enjoyed stellar form since the FA cup run in 19/20.

    Arteta also needs to find and appoint a good captain which may help Auba rediscover some form (and reduce the likelihood of Tets acting like an utter twat on the touchline).

  27. Ollie

    I agree that Auba is well past his best. Unfortunately, by dropping him, another problem is created. An unhappy £350kp/w player nowhere near the team ring any bells?

    Ultimately, Pedro has said it himself, we need to find a striker with the qualities of both Auba and Laca (good luck to the guys in charge of that!).

  28. Karsa

    Auba will play against Newcastle. He has an excellent record against them. If he fails again, however, someone else should get a turn, preferabley Martinelli after 60 minutes.

  29. Ernest Reed

    “MOST IMPORTANT METRIC: 5th in the league.”

    Thats quite funny Pedro. Seems to me that when i brought up the standings last season you poo-pooed me then and stated that the xG was where it was at and the standings were essentially a false barometer of progress (the these arent the droids you are looking for Jedi mind trick). What happened, xG suddenly no longer applies??

    Seems to me that double standards may be at play here my good man?

  30. Aaron


    Yeah, like Vegas betting odds are always way off.

    Look at a few sites, most have us finishing 6th too.

    Problem identified to hindering our chances at top 4….Scoringgggg.

    Seriously Pedro, not picking a fight, do you watch other sports?

    If so, watch the GS Warriors in the NBA and get back to me. Their motion offense is a site to behold. Or watch any great NFL offensive coordinators use a motion offense to get the 1X1 match ups needed to maximize time and space.

    Just talking about the way coaches utilize off the ball movement to create gaps, so a player can actually do something with the ball instead of going o $h*te you are passing to me moments.

    AFC look like our offense is parked in quicksand.

    We have players who are fearful of making a bad pass in the final third, and often are so predictable in our build up making us easy to defend against, 100 + games in and I do not really see anything much different.

    Arteta wants to create automaticity in his playing, yet his structures are so rigid that his players are hindered in expressing themselves other than

    The only two players who are on the same wave length, are Saka and ESR, and he refuses to play them on the same side.

  31. zacharse

    to be fair it isnt really a double standard to not live in the past, to understand why the table looks like it does. someone harping about the table a year ago had every right to be bummed out, but there were mitigating factors, which seems to be the real issue the anti mikel side can’t wrap their heads around.

    if you see support and optimism for your club as having a double standard, maybe look for an answer outside this blog and football in general

  32. zacharse

    comparing the warriors to arsenal right now is hilarious.
    i live in oakland and i went to the games 15 years ago WHERE A YOUNG TEAM GOT BUILT, that ethic was there a few seasons before curry arrived. like when we upset the 1 seed mavs

  33. Emiratesstroller


    Arsenal are focussing this season on the EPL and when you are unbeaten and playing reasonably well that limits the number of changes you are going to make to the team.

    The defence has been unchanged apart from the left back position where Tavares replaced
    Tierney when he was injured. I expect Tierney to come back this weekend..

    Partey is an automatic selection when fit and Xhaka until he got injured would have been
    considered his automatic partner with Lokonga coming in as substitute for either player.

    Three positions in our attack are more or less unchanged with Smith-Rowe, Saka and Aubameyang are automatic starters. Lacazette has replaced recently Odegaard
    in the starting lineup.

    So the reality is that Arsenal have made very few changes to the starting lineup except
    when there has been an injury. The one exception has been Lacazette replacing Odegaard.

    The opportunity for other players in squad to play in team are limited to injuries, coming off
    bench and loss of form.

    That is always going to be a problem and scope for dissatisfaction so long as we are out of

    Players like Leno, Soares, Chambers, Holding and Mari will get very little gametime this season.

    There will be more opportunities in midfield with Xhaka out with long term injury and Partey’s impending departure in New Year for Africa Cup. So Lokonga and Maitland-Niles
    will get some gametime.

    The attack remains a problem, because neither Aubameyang nor Lacazette are scoring
    enough goals. Unfortunately the other goalscoring options of Pepe, Martinelli and Nketiah
    have not shown enough form to merit promotion.

    I pose a question do you take a risk starting with these three players who have yet to show consistent goalscoring potential at EPL level?

  34. Guns of Hackney

    Can we address the elephant in the room. We lose to the teams that are better than us. There are more than four teams better than us. Ergo, we will never qualify for the CL. I’d assume that qual for the CL is paramount for the rebuild. Winning eighth place, a Makita Tournament and the odd Runners up in the caraboo cup won’t cut it.

    Not sure where the breakthrough is. Know what I mean?

  35. Goobergooner


    “you see support and optimism for your club as having a double standard, maybe look for an answer outside this blog and football in general”


    So it’s ok to take digs at the arsenal manager when it’s not Arteta?!?!

  36. MD-Gunner

    Looks like there will be a repeat discussion here regarding Auba after being benched and no scoring of goals in the same fashion when there was no creativity and Ozil was either unused or not in the squad. Who will be Pierre for Auba and K’Phobe for anti Auba?

    It is obvious that the playing into the last 3rd and the finishing in front of goal has not really improved since last season and because of the table position Arteta is too afraid to experiment. So far it looks like the passing is back to the giant U that it was last season.

  37. Guns of Hackney

    GOH called Lacazette and Auba as fucking rubbish over three years ago.

    Highlight reel players. No class. Powderpuff stats boosted by terrible teams.

    Look at Messi now. Complete and utter trash.

  38. Aaron


    Not comparing an apples to a lemon:-)

    Just observing how of coaches do things to improve their teams and make them exciting to watch.

    And Kerr and co. went from basically last to 1st in less than 2 seasons, with a few trades, and without Klay and Wiseman yet. Have been watching them since the Al Attles days.

    Watch a Leeds game and get back to me. They have been doing it for 2 years now and with players who are not as talented as the kids we have!

  39. Ernest Reed

    “if you see support and optimism for your club as having a double standard, maybe look for an answer outside this blog and football in general”

    Sorry Zach but i have to call you out on that statement. Supporters are supporters, they have their ups and downs and this blog is King for welcoming all supporters whether you like it or not.

    And as for the Bedwetters claims that some love pumping, goes both ways with those on the opposite end coming off as Constipated Old Bitties

  40. Arsnil

    There are lies, damend lies and statistics. In keeping with earlier games against Man City and Chelsea, when we are pressured we are not very good.
    We always try to play out from the back but if you come against a more physical imposing side who hunt you down in packs then this is what is going to happen. You will be rushed into stupisd mistakes and cough up ball.
    We do not have a plan B of going long and holding up ball further up the field. We just don’t have that type of player. We cannot go long and bypass the press. Until we do this will keep on happening against the best teams in the league. They all possess good hard working players who at this moment in time are also much more physical powerful than we are.

  41. MidwestGun

    Ok.. so im gonna take a left field… flyer.. I think we need one of Lokonga or AMN to be our hero in December. That will help our attack in itself. But if you rmaking me pick an attacker. Then ok.. Martinelli.. However, I still don’t think Marti is a like for like substitute for Auba.. so if thats how we use him it will fail, in my opinion. I still think he is better coming from outside to in and with enough space to dribble.. Somewhat like we are using ESR now. I think if we move ESR more central and Let Marti take ESR role on the left then he could be a hero. That means we still need a hold up striker though in the center of the attack. So I believe it’s more complicated fixing the attack then just giving one certain player a run of games. is my point.

  42. Graham62

    There’s a justification for everything on here when it comes to Arteta.


    What’s the feeling in respect to Arteta’s handling of Nketiah, Martinelli, Balogun, AMN, Pepe and a few others?

    Do his actions fill you with confidence?

    Oh that’s right, we have to trust in the process.


  43. MidwestGun

    Eddie- I believe if memory serves Arteta was the one to give Eddie a bunch of games when Arteta first got here right when he took over and it made a bunch of people mad. Eddie didn’t really take the bull by the horns that first season. Now he wants out.

    Marti- As I said above it’s complicated.

    Balogun… Had a chance … I think he will get more. It’s a big step doubt.

    AMN_ we should play him more, in my opinion.

    Pepe- Slows our attack down.. and we tend to lose when he plays.

    I dont think they way Teta handled them and whether it inspires confidence is really a relevant question to be honest. Because if we played all of them every match would we be better? Doubtful … in my opinion.

  44. Pedro

    Midwest, there is always a collection of people that create victims out of players that aren’t in the first team.

    AMN over Sambi? Not sure about that
    Martinelli over… anyone? Not sure about that.
    Eddie, without signing a new deal? What’s the point in developing him for his next club.

    People whining on about trusting a process that has us in 5th with a team of new players really is sight to behold.

  45. MidwestGun

    Yep.. it’s not a straight forward decision. If we do A then B will happen. Its not an excuse it’s just the way it is. There is no team out there that develops every single prospect on the team all at the same time. Pulisic is an amazing player in my opinion and he can’t even break into the Chelsea starting lineup. It’s not a starightforward I have talent so I should play thing. The manager is trying to win games is the bottom line..

    I just don’t believe Arteta is deliberately trying to lose to prove an ego point or because he hates the youth or whatver it is they are trying to say.. I guess. If I did think Arteta was throwing games because he hates Martinelli that to me would seem kind of crazy. I dont think Arteta is crazy.

  46. LoveSausage


    Speaking as someone who doesn’t trust the process, I’d still say that Martinelli is the only one in that group of players who should have been treated better. Balogun should have gone on loan in the summer but it seems like he’ll go in January so no big harm done.

    AMN was behaving like a massive muppet up until the end of the TW. as soon as his behavior improved, the chances came.

    Pepe deserves to be benched. And so does Nketiah. No sane manager would give him minutes since he’s leaving.

  47. Pierre

    What I would like to see JUST ONCE is an offensive 4 of saka on the right , Martinelli on the left, Smith rowe in the hole and Eddie up top…and Newcastle would be the perfect game for Arteta to try something different.

    Of course, It won’t happen but how nice would it be to see it JUST ONCE, what is there to lose.

  48. Berg10kamp

    Think we should take a chance on pepe as striker, how bad could he possibly be? He has pace, skill, finishing and has increased his work rate. He is also more of an aerial threat than Auba and can play with his back to goal. In my opinion we wasting him on the wing, playing him ST may end up saving us a lot of money and saving face if he turns out to be great.

  49. Dissenter

    love sausage
    “And so does Nketiah. No sane manager would give him minutes since he’s leaving.”

    ah, yes
    Eddie was offered a contract extension, he declined
    Eddie refused to move to Palace in the summer and preferred to run down his contract
    I wouldn’t play him if I was Arteta.

  50. Pierre

    “Eddie, without signing a new deal? What’s the point in developing him for his next club.”

    We’ve already developed him for his next club

  51. MidwestGun

    I also .. am on record as saying I thought the Club should have let Arteta go at the end of last season. However, they did not and backed him in the last transfer window in a big way.. and gave him this season to prove himself. So far he has in my opinion. I still think we need a couple more players though this Januaury .. the list of above players for me doesnt solve our issues fast enough, if ever.

  52. Dissenter

    “We’ve already developed him for his next club”

    Same way other clubs develop their players for us
    We will still get something for Eddie by tribunal because he’s an academy product leaving before the age of 24 years and was offered a contract.

  53. Pierre

    “Eddie was offered a contract extension, he declined
    Eddie refused to move to Palace in the summer and preferred to run down his contract”

    Players all over the world are running down their contracts and are still selected to play , there is a long lists of them , Lacazette is one…

    If our attack was firing and scoring goals it wouldn’t be an issue , but unfortunately the opposite is happening and has been happening for too long .

  54. LoveSausage


    Agreed. We’re in a pretty crappy situation as far as the strikers go. Only two players have a future at the club but they’re not ready to carry the team. And unfortunately, we create very few chances in open play so we need someone who can carry us.

    I hope the club goes all out for Vlahovic in January. Even if he prefers Juventus, I’d like to see us have a proper go at him. But Arteta should also adjust the tactics. I see people shitting all over Ode but to me, he’s an underutilized asset. He’s just not suited for playing on the break. As soon as we play possession football, he’s a different player. The West Ham game last season comes to mind.

  55. LoveSausage


    IMO, Eddie should only get minutes as a last resort. Martinelli has a future at the club so he should have priority. If he’s given a few games and still not performing, then you’re left with 3 players who will all be gone soon. And if Eddie can score a few on his way out, fine.

  56. Ernest Reed

    “Think we should take a chance on pepe as striker, how bad could he possibly be? ”

    Thats just so wrong on so many fronts. You have genuine striker options sitting on the bench and yet you think Pepe somehow should be given a run? Not a hold up Striker for absolute certain. Pretty much guaranteed to be muscled off the ball at will. I just dont see Pepe as an option for much these days.

  57. MidwestGun

    Havent seen enough of Vlahovic. to say… I like Isak.. I like that striker at Real Madrid Jovic. Anyhow, I think we have options that could improve us.. whether we get it done in January or not is another thing. And I would like to fix our midfield pivot.. I keep dreaming about Tyler Adams in an Arsenal Shirt. Hahaha Sadly, that probably means I think about Arsenal a little too much to be healthy.

  58. Graham62

    Eddie has visibly beefed up these past few months.
    He looks stronger, faster and hungrier.
    I’ve a feeling he’ll be an asset for any team.

  59. LoveSausage


    Vlahovic is a beast. For the crowd that likes calendar year tables, he’s scored most league goals in Europe this year. Not bad for a 21-year-old in a midtable club, in a league that’s notoriously defensive.

    Isak is a good player too, would surely make us better.

    Wouldn’t say no to Adams either but I’d be disappointed if we spent on a MF in January. Solving the attack should be top priority.

  60. Dissenter

    Laca wasn’t offered a contract extension, unlike Eddie
    Not that I want Laca to be offered an extension.

    Eddie has laid his bed, he gets to sleep in it until he leaves in the summer.

    I would prioritize Martinelli over him just because he’s still in the Arsenal project

    … and all the best to Eddie, he’s made his choice.

  61. andy1886

    “MOST IMPORTANT METRIC: 5th in the league.”

    Unless it’s Emery in which case it’s a sacking offence.

    I did like the “Since the new team started” table though, that’s a new one. Not exactly headline news that ‘Team Spends £150m and Improves’ though.

    Pedro’s full range of creative talents on display today, bravo!

  62. Pierre

    I’m not sure why pedro gets his knickers in a twist whenever he hears a few home truths about Arteta.

    We all know it’s not an easy job atm , what with chelsea,liverpool and city probably being the 3 best teams in Europe with the 3 best managers .

    For me , i think Arteta wasted 12 months by going down the experienced road , at least now he has seen sense in realising that youth and energy is the way forward.

    I just think arteta now needs to bite the bullet and admit that the experienced players are the weak links in the side and use them sparingly and allow the young players to develop and gain experience in the first team..

    Lets see if Martinell, Balogun and Eddie have what it takes , they surely can’t do any worse than what we have seen this season so far…

    We could potentially have an explosive front 4 , but unless he plays them we will never know.

  63. LoveSausage


    From your lips to God’s ears. Not putting it beyond them. Especially once his pundit buddies ramp up the propaganda, the way they did with OGS.

  64. Nelson

    Since Manure is winning, Michael Carrick may be able to keep his job for a while. Sancho seems to come alive. He looks dangerous when he cuts in from the right.

  65. Dissenter

    “What we need now is another knee-jerk move from United as they give Carrick the manager’s job on a permanent basis.”

    Actually it will save them the bother of appointing Steve Bruce as a caretaker manager

  66. IAT-Robbie

    @Graham 62

    IAT-RobbieNovember 13, 2021 13:00:37
    Let’s be real here. Since his return from injury, has Martinelli actually been given any decent playing time?

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

    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

  67. Tom

    andy1886November 23, 2021 19:42:06
    “MOST IMPORTANT METRIC: 5th in the league.”Unless it’s Emery in which case it’s a sacking offence.I did like the “Since the new team started” table though, that’s a new one. Not exactly headline news that ‘Team Spends £150m and Improves’ though.Pedro’s full range of creative talents on display today, bravo!


    When I said Pedro was wasting his talents in advertising I wasn’t sniping at him.
    His future is in PR.
    He’d own that industry.

  68. Champagne Charlie

    Pierre wants an all academy attack because that’s his fantasy come to life.

    Won’t matter against Newcastle, they have Joe Willock so we’re already up against one of the most prolific CM in the league. Be hard enough keeping him quiet, he might just make it 57 games in a row with a goal.

  69. MidwestGun

    Heres the thing though.. If Martinelli had started every game this season instead of Auba would we be better off in points and goals? Or might we be worse. And if not Auba who is he starting for.. ? Lacazette? ESR? So to me it’s a pointless discussion his minutes until we get a striker who we could pair him with. Unless as I mentioned we play him in the midfield which would mean Saka would get less time. Martinelli’s best spell came under Emery when we played him on the left wing or as a sub for Saka.

    Pierre’s suggestion we start Marti with , Eddie or Balogun is really the only suggestion to fit Martinelli in and it did not go well when we started him with Balogun that first match. Also, for now Lacazette is the ony striker we have that can link play.. so hard to drop him.

  70. Tom

    Pierre, basing your entire team building strategy on youth for a club like Arsenal is doomed to fail.
    You don’t have three years for theses youngsters to mature together because nothing stands still and the PL even less so.
    Every successful club has a mixture of players in their prime, players just coming into their prime, and a bunch of talented youngsters just starting out.

    Arteta wasted a year not because he went for experience, he wasted it because he didn’t get the right players with experience.

  71. englandsbest

    I despair when some on here call Arteta ‘inflexible’

    At most two of the current first team pick were first team pick when he came two years ago. That makes him more flexible than any other Arsenal manager that anyone of us can recall.

  72. bacaryisgod


    Why are you so frequently threatening sitegoers with the bin? You are doing it in the comments and now you’re doing it in your posts.

    Here’s the latest:

    ‘If you’re using data to delegitimize a young team doing really well under tough circumstances, may I show you a delightful bin you can get in’

    How does it feel to become what you used to criticize?

  73. bacaryisgod

    Someone should be binned for abusive and/or hateful language or constant trolling, except you just shifted the definition of trolling to a wide range of comments that don’t fit your beliefs on the club. Really disappointed in how dictatorial you’ve become. Your site, your rules but it doesn’t make it any less offensive.

  74. Graham62


    Arteta is beyond reproach as far as his disciples are concerned.

    I’m with you when it comes to the youngsters.

  75. Kroenkephobe

    Ronaldo just scoring his 14,000,000,000th CL goal

    That’s as maybe, but I don’t think he’s ever netted against the mighty Dundalk.
    😭 (a crying man with an orange face #1 emoticon to depict Ronaldo…)

  76. bacaryisgod


    The disappointment with Eddie is that he was looking so good pre-season. It wasn’t just his play but his physical development. I can understand the dilemma Arsenal face here, but with Laca leaving this summer and Auba hopefully out next summer, it would be nice if there was a place for both Nketiah and Balogun in the squad.

    Of course, it’s not an exact science. Some young players have left the club and done very little and we’ve been Gnabried on occasion too. Not blaming the club here but hoping that it won’t come back to bite us.

    As to your point about playing Nketiah if he improves the team, I think the best we can hope for is a couple of 20 minute sub appearances to show his value to this current line-up.

  77. Champagne Charlie


    You sound like a wanker. Pedro makes content that encompasses his views on Arsenal, you’re detracting his pov as if he’s done you a personal injustice by putting it on the internet for public consumption.

  78. bacaryisgod


    The podcasts have generally been good but when Johnny’s not there the balance is gone.

    As for the binning, Pedro’s removing comments and posters for saying pretty much what Football365 wrote in this recent article. I don’t happen to agree with many of the opinions in the article, but it’s a fair point of view. Pedro would say ‘I’m not having it’ and bin the poster who wrote a comment like this one below.

  79. Graham62

    Great to have you back CC.

    Protect your buddies.

    Good for you.

    “Pedro has been making content that encompasses his views” You are 100% correct, however, he has also been belittling and binning those that don’t agree with him.
    By doing that he will get what he deserves.

    Keep up the good work though, I’m sure Pedro appreciates it.

  80. Pedro

    Graham, you have to ask why you are here every day hating on Arsenal and the website? It’s really boring.

    ‘He deletes comments that disagree’

    Say two people that disagree every day.

    Why do you come here if it offends you so much?

  81. Pedro

    Scroll through the last 30 comments.

    Who do I share views with? 2 people.

    ‘It’s a cult on here’ is debased from reality. Like asking for the manager to be fired who sits in 5th.

  82. Champagne Charlie


    Nothing to do with protecting buddies.

    The bit you fail to grasp is that Pedro is well within his rights to govern what tone he deems acceptable on his platform about Arsenal. It’s not the unregulated safe space for incels that you would like it to more accurately depict.

    On the subject of bans, can you please tell me explicitly who got banned for what? Because frivolous banning hasn’t ever been a theme here; and I’d wager, just like my good pal Banford, that it’s a line of criticism being thrown out there without basis because it’s easy to act like an oppressed voice.

    I know as much because Tony dropped my name in a fabricated list of ‘silenced posters’ just days ago. Fake news comes to mind.

  83. Pedro

    Nelson, I very rarely ban people. You can read the rules. This site has a huge comment section because I make sure toxic behaviour doesn’t take hold… and that it feels like Arsenal fans chatting to each other.

  84. Goobergooner

    I love the context + eye test + xg bullshit like there was no eye test in any match previous to Norwich. And no context whatsoever for Emery.

    These posts have been so hard to stomach for the pure fact you are using the same metrics to spin the exact opposite outcome, just attached “context and eye test” in there.

    Middy was correct. Advertising isn’t your strongest suit. It’s PR. You are incredible with the way you can talk shit yet still have people nodding along

  85. Goobergooner

    But yes. If Arteta can maintain the results with those xg numbers and be in and around 5th/6th at seasons end, tets for me will have earned another shot at it.

    But after the last few seasons, he still has a lot to show me in terms of his management ability.

    5th after a good run against some average opposition (tots in disarray but that win was splendid, and lcfc aren’t poor) should be his par to be honest. Or is he just going to improve to be a flat track bully yet still get outmaneuvered by the big boys when it matters?

  86. Terraloon


    I watched that Juve V Chelsea game and the difference in quality was staggering

    Three academy players scored for them and as I said yesterday what a player James is.

    For me you see just how to blend youth with experience and Silva at 37 is still one hellava player.

    What is a worry is that Loftus and Hudson-Odoi seem to be recovering from their injuries. The strength, power and pace of Loftus is staggering. He it seems was available in close season Palace had first refusal at £25 million but it didn’t happen. He would have been a tremendous asset had Areteta signed him

  87. LoveSausage


    It’s hugely impressive how they have developed those players you mention. A year or two ago, you’d never have guessed that they would be on this level.

    Over at Juventus, you can see how quickly it can go in the other direction. Remember when Rabiot was the hot shit? Look at him now. Wouldn’t take him on a free transfer.

  88. Pedro

    Goober, please.

    Firstly, there was loads of context for Unai Emery.
    Secondly, the xG story came true.
    Thirdly, he didn’t get the new contract because of his numbers

    I am very sorry it’s hard for you to stomach the reality of data and the fact different scenarios have different conclusions.

    So weird to me how many people need this weird rigid consistency, even if it makes no sense.

  89. Terraloon


    Do you see any way that Chelsea can fit Gallagher and Gilmour in ?

    As for Juve they were made to look second rate and I am not too sure that they are but as you say Rabiot looked awful but it wasn’t just him others

  90. LoveSausage


    Hard to see those two getting a proper chance when the team is such a well oiled machine. But Chelsea are really good at loan management so I’m sure they’ll get a chance to develop.

  91. Terraloon

    Love S
    My brother is convinced that Barkley, Saul and Kante will be on their way come the summer to make way for those two. I can see the first two going but Kante I don’t know

  92. Goobergooner


    You know exactly why.

    Arteta looks to be taking us on a better trajectory than Emery I’ll give him that, but only this season.

    If our numbers aren’t sustainable like you said they weren’t under Emery, then what are you going to say? I already know it’s going to absolve a bang average Arteta if that is the case.

  93. China1

    ‘Most important metric: 5th in the league’
    ‘Cleanest metric: 5th in the league’

    Isn’t that the position Emery was in when he got sacked?

    When we came 8th last season the most important metric you had was the Christmas tree table.

    Pedro honestly speaking I would just avoid such stats because they’re far too easy to pull apart and use against you. You made that bed years ago so if you’re going to go down this route you’re going to need to lie in that bed. Easier to just focus on something else.

  94. Pierre

    “Arteta wasted a year not because he went for experience, he wasted it because he didn’t get the right players with experience.”

    As i said yesterday, I’m all for experience if the players are right.
    At present , our experience players are xhaka, Aubamayang, Elneny, cedric, Mari, Lacazette and Partey.

    Partey will probably be the only experienced player starting for Arsenal next season , which tells you everything.

    As we are now on project youth, will Arteta sign experienced players in january or the summer, highly unlikely due to previous mistakes ….willian , mari cedric and new contracts to Aubamayang, xhaka and Elneny have hindered more than helped Arteta in his quest to improve the team

    We are just about back to where we were when Wenger left , and all i hear about on le grove is how we need experience despite the poor showing of our experienced players over the last 16 months.

    Will Arsenal invest in new experienced players in the summer….highly unlikely. , so my advice to le groaners is to focus on the youth project that we are investing in and stop whining about our lack of experience.

    Will we buy an experienced goalkeeper…no

    Will we buy an experienced centre back .. highly unlikely.

    Will we buy an experienced full back …highly unlikely.

    Will we buy an experienced central midfielder to play alongside partey…highly unlikely.

    Will we buy an experienced wide player …doubtful

    Will we buy an experienced striker to replace Lacazette and Aubamayang…highly unlikely.

    With experience, it brings you high wages without guarantee of success , after william it could be a matter of once bitten twice shy.

    It all points to more young players coming in or being promoted from the academy…

  95. Pedro

    My word I have the misery crew on board today.

    ‘Isn’t this the same as Emery’

    China, no. How clear could I be on this? How obvious is it to look at?

    Br0wnie… would be nice, but no chance. Gotta pray Milan take Pepe off our hands!

    Pierre, you are totally right on one thing: project youth all the way.

    We are not where we were when Wenger left at all. Thankfully.

  96. China1

    Pierre the experienced players did nothing vs liverpool as has been a recurring theme for years now. Meanwhile in most or all of our best wins against top teams in the last few years the kids did play well

    Saka martinelli and esr not only saved artetas job but did a number on Chelsea

  97. China1

    By all means tell us we’re better because we can see that with our own eyes. Liverpool aside there is progress.

    But the moment you say 5th matters most and xG doesn’t count it becomes like a parody

  98. Pedro

    China, it is spectacular how you can be wrong so consistently.

    ‘what about Emery’

    My word. Always the same with you.

    Also, for the record, I didn’t say xG didn’t matter. I just said the people interpreting it are shite with data.

  99. PhD2020

    PedroNovember 24, 2021 01:22:48
    China, it is spectacular how you can be wrong so consistently.‘what about Emery’My word. Always the same with you.Also, for the record, I didn’t say xG didn’t matter.

    I just said the people interpreting it are shite with data.


    Just wondering are you a qualified statistician?Or a qualified data statistician/data scientist?

    Just asking by the way.

  100. Pedro

    PHD, my early career was in consultancy analyzing supply chain data, then I moved into advertising with a strong data component working in performance marketing for 4 years.

    Yes, I’m qualified in data and it earned me my living in my early career.

  101. PhD2020

    PedroNovember 24, 2021 01:51:22
    PHD, my early career was in consultancy analyzing supply chain data, then I moved into advertising with a strong data component working in performance marketing for 4 years.Yes, I’m qualified in data and it earned me my living in my early career.


    Much kudos to you..And I appreciate your career to date and the passion and resolve you show for writing this blog.

    Without taking away your industrial experience in consultancy and advertising-which accounts for a lot,no doubt.

    But my question still remains-are you a qualified statistician?

    Again,just asking.

  102. Leedsgunner

    For those belittling Pedro for not backing Emery when he was stalling around 5th, may I suggest a measure of introspection is needed.

    Emery needed to go after he lost the UEFA Europa League Final to Chelsea (no, let me rephrase that he was humiliated by Chelsea). For whatever reason, only known to the board, Emery was kept on until the following December.

    He needed to go because he had no plan and no vision. The players looked like they were going through the motions. We looked like we were treading water.

    Was he treated unfairly? Maybe. Could the board backed him and showed him patience… sure. Plus, it could be argued that Arteta should have been fired when he lost to Emery last season in the Europa semi finals… but the board didn’t.

    Still doesn’t change the fact, under Emery, we looked like an abandoned ship without a captain.

    What has Arteta given us?

    An identity.

    Yes, he has made plenty of mistakes but at least now we have a vision we can understand. The momentum has shifted back in our favour. It looks like he is learning from the mistakes. We are again, a ship with a captain- who goes where he wants to go.

    In the end, I think it all worked for the best.

    Emery is clearly happier in Spain and we are in the fight again… and I’m excited to see where this new project youth leads us. More importantly it looks like the players, his players back him.

    Emery, never seemed to convince his players fully to back his vision…

  103. Pedro


    It’s 2021 my friend, ‘statistician’ is quite a dated label, and incredibly broad.

    I was an analyst.

    What do you mean by statistician?


    Exactly right…

    xG + Context (your comment) + eye test (lucky / awful football)