by .

The post-match reaction from Gooners seems to be pretty unified: A frustrating game we threw away.

Mike McDonald had the most incisive piece of analysis: The team that made the most mistakes lost.

The goals we conceded were all unforced errors.

  • Ben White with a shocking clearance
  • Nuno and ESR making a mess of a 10-yard pass
  • Odegaard sliding in on Fred in the penalty area

Mistakes kill momentum, they kill confidence, and they fu*k up your position in the table. Our players need to learn from them and they need to make sure they don’t become part of the package like they were last season.

The biggest issue we have this season outside the striker problem is how poor we’ve been once we’ve taken a lead. Our comfort blanket is to sit deep. Our players have very little confidence or know-how when it comes to going a goal up. That’s an experience thing and we’ll get better at it. It’ll click at some point, it takes a collective boldness to make it happen, but with good players, it comes.

The usual suspect think this is part of the game plan, but they’re wrong. The players say that Arteta wants us to push forward, the manager says he demands the team pushes forward, and you can see him waving his arms frantically on the touchline encouraging the players to get forward. Sitting deep and ceding possession is not part of our approach, it’s a bug in the system we need to code out.

So how do we start to manage games a bit better? Our experienced players need to step up for starters. We have the youngest team in the league, they have limited feel for each other, they need support. At the moment, would you say that Partey is stepping up? He’s been our least impressive midfielder this season. Lokonga has outshone him. Elneny outshone him. Let’s be honest here, who would you rather see as our starting midfield pairing when everyone is fit? Probably Xhaka and Sambi as things stand. Partey needs to find his best form and fast.

I will say, a lot of people were wondering why Sambi was dropped for United, I suspect there must have been something in his data pointing towards the potential of an injury. No way Mo is rolled out for his first game against United if Sambi is fit.

Back to it…

We need to see the players take a little bit more ownership of controlling games. We know they are all good enough to play a high line. The players are much more impressive when they are chasing a goal or level. They need to bottle that. This team is 10 games old, logic would suggest that they are going to improve as the season rolls on. The danger Arteta has to manage for? December is a tight month. There’s not a lot of time on the training pitch. If we don’t beat Everton, we’re in a bit of a mess when we need it the least.

The other issue the players will be watching for is the Auba problem. Is he above being dropped for poor performances? He shouldn’t be. Everyone at Arsenal knows the issue here isn’t the person, it’s the player. The system has outgrown his ability. If you want to succeed with a Juego De Posicion, you can’t have a striker in there that can receive the ball into feet or run the line. We talk about the lack of chances in the system without acknowledging the painful reality that Auba is part of that problem. If your striker can’t hold the ball up or turn with it with his back to goal, your attacking system is not going to create to its optimum levels. Just think back 5 years ago, Olivier Giroud had his speed limitations, but his ability to stitch play together allowed Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey and Cazorla to thrive from an attacking perspective. He could play one-touch, he could hold the ball up, he would bully defenders. His weakness was pace, which made it easy to squeeze up on us, but there are strikers within our reach now that have everything he does PLUS pace.

The Times is reporting our interest in lowly Everton’s Dominic Calvert Lewin. He’s a rough diamond. He looked like peak-Inzaghi at times under Carlo. What does he have? Speed. Power. Elite air game. He’s a gooner. He bullies defenders. We’re clearly looking to the future. We’d have Tammy A in our line-up if we’d been able to move on one of our strikers this summer.

It’s also interesting that we’re looking at Dejan Kulusevski, the Swede with Macedonian heritage (parents) is powerful, he has great control in tight spaces, his range of passing is very good, and he has red hair. His stats point towards a player that keeps the ball moving forward. Apparently, he’s ranked #1 in the league for one-touch passing accuracy, and he’s good for key passes.

He’s only 21, so he fits our profile, and when you look at his defensive stats, you see again, we’re looking for players that can do it at both ends. He ranks in the highest percentiles for pressures and tackles… and get this, he’s also in the 67th percentile for aerial clearances. Small thing, but having 6ft 1 attackers that can help from setpieces at both ends gives us additional weaponry. Remember Giroud from corners?

There’s also Ianis Stoica, the young Romanian, who is being linked with a move. Can do everything Lacazette can but with power and pace.

Basically, it’s clear that our attacking options are going to get a big reset over the next year.

But what can we do NOW?

Our options are slim. Eddie Nkeitiah is apparently training well. Say what you will about his output for Arsenal, he’d run the line better than Auba and Lacazette.

There’s also the potential of Gabriel Martinelli through the middle. I still feel that’s a bit of a lightweight option right now. He’s a top talent, but he needs that Wenger education out on the wing before we can think about him inside. We’d all love to see Balogun given another go, but I’m just not sure we’re at the stage where we need to be taking risks like that. We’re in the mix for top 4 this season whether we like to admit it or not. A 90 minutes like the Brentford offering and we’ll not come away with what we need. I think he needs a solid loan at a club where he’ll be guaranteed minutes.

A few were scoffing at Boro, but for me, that idea feels very interesting. Chris Wilder has been there for about a month, we know he’s a progressive coach that moved Sheff U a long way, they are mid-table. I have no idea what Ben Knapper’s model is for loan moves, but one would suspect he is painfully aware of what happens when you get them wrong. Eddie is a prime example here. Fortuna Dusseldorf nearly had a deal for him, Leeds came in with a fee, the player ended up going there and not getting any minutes. If he went to Germany, that wouldn’t have been the case, and he’d probably be further along in his career now.

The perfect loan is a bit of a Goldilocks formula.

If the club is chasing promotion, the stakes might be too high to let a young player flump around in the starting 11.

If the club is rock bottom, the stakes and emotion around the camp might be too high to let a kid slum it with the bigger boys.

You need a club that is in transition, safe enough to give young players time, and you probably want a coach that wants to make a statement about kicking up the technical level of a team.

I wouldn’t be against Boro’, it’s a tough place to be a pro, but if you do well, the fans love you. That or a move to a solid German club would be good for him. Emile cut his teeth at Huddersfield, Ben White at Leeds and Newport, Harry Kane went to Leyton Orient and Milwall… you don’t need a trendy loan move for it to be successful.

Finally, I’m writing this as West Ham put in ANOTHER huge performance against a top team. David Moyes really has been absolutely magnificent since he arrived. I’m not sure Chelsea are at the level of Liverpool or City this season. I’m looking forward to seeing how Tuchel deals with adversity. It also shows the importance of us grabbing those 3 points on offer on Monday. We need to keep pace with West Ham this month. They are top 4 contenders, no doubt. I don’t know why people keep using West Ham to pick holes at the club, a reminder, we win on Monday and we are 1 point behind them… also, West Ham are GOOD. One of the oldest squads in the league against the youngest. We’re in good shape. Loads to improve on, but we’ll get there.

I’m also watching Wolves put in a really good performance against Liverpool. They’ve been superb this season, their table position doesn’t reflect some of their performances, we are in for a TOUGH game on the 27th.

Right, jump on our podcast. People raving about the Matt Kandela performance, he started the game with a two-footed challenge on me and the crowd went wild.

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Time will tell what will happen but my argument is based on Arteta’s inability to install a confidence and mindset into our players where they can play with freedom and discipline.

After two years and bucketloads of excuses, we should and could have done far more.



You stated that you were delighted to see the back off Xhaka when it looked odds on he was leaving for Roma.

Then Arteta announces he is a key player for the side and then all of a sudden Xhaka is a good player for the side.

If Arteta wants his team to be more physical which the signings of Tomiyasu and Tavares signify then he could yet ease Xhaka out over time.


Pedro, you’re telling me when White misplaced his clearance you jumped in your seat and said oh shit!

No way you did. It was a situation nine times out of ten teams deal with without conceding.


And your reply symbolises everything that is wrong with Arsenal Pedro.
His signing was a huge downgrade, as most Arsenal fans would acknowledge.


Pedro, no deflection on my part perhaps unwillingness on your part to correctly view reality. I am in full agreement with the following assessment because it sums up best what Arteta has done with Arsenal and please do you not deflect by finding fault either with the numbers or the person who put that data together. It is the first sensible explanation of what causes the Arsenal Hurt, a manager that causes an Arsenal earthquake and not in a good way, that is entirely on Arteta and you will eventually also come to that conclusion. “Arsenal’s match-to-match performance (as measured… Read more »


Pedro, White’s back pass at Burnley was ten times worse and you shrugged it off, blaming tall grass.

Of course Arteta will point out individual mistakes, just as the lackadaisical defending that followed.
Look at the Jota goal in the Liverpool game and tell me what was Partey doing on the play.
Sure it was a horrible mistake by Nuno but then you defend with all you’ve got, especially when you take home £200kpw.


Ishola70 That’s the nature of the league, it’s competitive Arteta inherited a mess, Emery was hung out to dry in the summer of 2019, we were a club in decline, then like most clubs, we’ve had issues cleaning house due to a decimated market, and the amount of overpaid dross we couldn’t shift In pre-season 2020, we had 36 players on our books, including players out on loan, that we couldn’t shift permanently, which has obviously made bringing more players in difficult during Arteta’s first 18 months. The squad is now evolving in the right way, even though there’s plenty… Read more »



“If he’d played with Partey in midfield all last season, we’d have finished top 4. No doubt.”

lol this is the player who arrived at Arsenal and then we stopped quailifying for CL and then Europa League.

Big call Pedro.

Hard to see a player who can’t operate in central midfield and who has to go deep so much as this important player.

He would have left Partey in the lurch over time just like he has with his other midfield partners.

Can’t hack the central areas. Never good.

Champagne Charlie

The fragile egos expose themselves when Xhaka gets a mention on Le Grove. He’s a much better player than Elneny, AMN, and Lokonga in his current state. That, again, isn’t controversial to anyone with a lick of sense, yet somehow it’s twisted beyond all recognition on here because incel 1 and 2 need to get it out their system that Xhaka isn’t the complete midfielder. Thanks for that update, nobody has ever claimed him to be. I’ll remind everyone that the same people scoffing at Xhaka now were the ones telling all who’d listen in the summer that Ruben Neves… Read more »


“Tom, absolutely I said oh shit. Gifting United possession on a counterattack is the worst thing that could have happened. Surprised you think that was just run of the mill and ok.“

Pedro it’s hardly a counterattack when your entire team is back defending in numbers and goal side.
Arsenal had 10 players in the box to United’s 6 when Fernandes takes his shot.


Rich “But for me, Arteta has to finish minimum 6th, get us into the Europa, and be in the conversation for 4th, otherwise his position would surely become untenable, because he was backed last summer” Agreed though top six would do for now. This is how lenient we are being with Arteta. But some others want to give Arteta a free pass forever it seems. Do as he pleases, finishes in the league outside the top six doesn’t matter to them. All in the name of Arteta and the rebuild. As said before though I’m more hopeful this season in… Read more »



Xhaka has always been a top 1% at yelling and pointing. Doesn’t make him a leader or a good player. We had to adjust our entire approach to games to compensate for his weaknesses. Hence, no playing through the middle and relying on KR’s cutbacks.

A lot of the things many here like about the team right now (e.g. Juno’s introduction) are only made possible by Xhaka not being on the pitch.


“you can’t be taken seriously saying things like ‘Xhaka can’t operate in central midfield’”

How many years have you been watching Xhaka now?

Where does Xhaka like to operate central or deeper positions?

Xhaka struggles off the ball in bang central midfield areas. It’s not just about on the ball when we talk about supposed good central midfield players.

Champagne Charlie

“But some others want to give Arteta a free pass forever it seems. Do as he pleases, finishes in the league outside the top six doesn’t matter to them. All in the name of Arteta and the rebuild.“

Do name and shame these people, because when I read the comments on here I don’t ever see such blind affection for Arteta.


Damn autocorrect. That’s supposed to say KT and Nuno.


“Tom, it’s cool, if you think that pass was fine, then we’ll leave it at that.“

I don’t think it was. But it wasn’t a disaster under the circumstances, either.


I don’t call an FA Cup that has been comprehensively devalued, breaking the trophy drought. We led the PL right up until the end of January, but then went on to lose 5-1 at Anfield, 6-0 at Chelsea, and 3-0 at Goodison Park with our captain scoring an own goal. So we sacrificed the PL, but beat a championship side after extra-time at Wembley to keep Wenger in a job, and you’re heaping praise on Arteta for this? It was this perceived lack of ambition that drove RvP out the summer after Arteta signed, clearly he wasn’t impressed either. He… Read more »


The silence from some is suggestive of giving free passes.

You can break this silence Charlie by stating here now that Arsenal would be best served to part ways with Arteta if he finishes outside the top six again.

Not a hard take considering it’s about 50/50 to 60/40 I would say in Arteta’s favour in being able to get in the top six this season.


Xhaka isn’t perfect, he’s far from it, he’s guaranteed to brain fart at least twice a season,

Last season the idiotic sending off at Burnley when we were just getting on top, and the technical mistake a few yards from goal in the return fixture, probably cost us 6 vital points

But when the alternatives are Elneny, Niles, and Sambi in the early stages of his Arsenal career

Then Xhaka is still our best available bet in midfield, Xhaka + Partey is currently our best midfielder pairing for me

Champagne Charlie

“We had to adjust our entire approach to games to compensate for his weaknesses. Hence, no playing through the middle and relying on KR’s cutbacks.“ Do unpack that statement for me, would genuinely love to see the attempted explanation for how Xhaka makes us LESS creative. Who should start ahead of him? I’d like to know how they change things to where we become capable of playing through the middle. Our problems last season were that KT had no understudy, so Xhaka was asked to play LB for an important stretch of football. He obliged, did the best he could,… Read more »


I like Wilson of Newcastle, he could do a decent job for us
And yes we are 4 points of top 4 at the moment, but with the passive way we have been playing and lack of goals I think that margin will get bigger and the usual suspects would move ahead of us


Pedro doesn’t answer the questions regarding Xhaka. We all know Xhaka is by nature a deep lying midfield player and his struggles off the ball higher up in central midfield can be damaging. That’s why Arteta has protected him so much in this regard and why Xhaka likes to drop deep away from opposing player traffic. So the claim that he can’t fully operate in a central midfield position on a consistent regular basis is not so off the cuff is it. How many times how you seen Xhaka bypassed by opposing players when he finds himself higher up the… Read more »


When is Xhaka coming back ? Just asking


I’m talking about leading the PL until the end of January 2014, a full two and a half years after the 8-2, the year we sacrificed the PL so we could end the trophy drought with a vanity cup for Wenger.
I would have celebrated it more if it hadn’t been used as a PR exercise to keep Wenger on.


CC, Our approach in possession was to pull GX into LB position and have KT push up. This was to compensate for GX’s lack of pace and avoid having him receive balls while under pressure. That in turn made us very predictable because we were one player short in the middle. Instead, every attack was KT bombing down the line and cutting back. I feel like this is public knowledge by now. Ceballos was absolute dog shit and we shouldn’t even talk about Elneny. But this season, Sambi has been better than anyone expected. He’s raw but he gives us… Read more »


Pedro, you pulled this line too many times when you are at an end.

“You are so utterly desperate to see Arsenal fail, even when we’re doing well. Why are you on an Arsenal blog behaving like this?”

We will see in 2022 where the Arteta team will end up.

Champagne Charlie

“The silence from some is suggestive of giving free passes.“ No Ishola, that’s your warped view on others shining through as per. You desperately try and corner posters into binary arguments and it’s incredibly dull stuff, just like those who claim it should be ‘top 4 or sacked’. Look at you right now trying to argue with Pedro that Xhaka can’t operate as a central midfielder. He’s played at the top level going on a decade, and was in the Euro Championships team of the tournament in the summer dropping a masterclass against France in the knockouts. But, but… you… Read more »


Last season I got some pushback for writing that the win at United was nit more than three points.
Then we went on a massive precipitous decline that gave Pedro nightmares while United went on an unbeaten run that got them to 2nd place.

It’s how we react to the loss on Thursday that matters.


Not saying Xhaka is Pirlo, because he’s not. He’s not even Ruben Neves (whom I like)….but does every central midfield player have to be able to cover ALL the ground through the middle of the pitch?? Is there not room for some variance in role?? Some, what is the word…specificity?? Football would be boring if every central midfield player was Vieira incarnate.

If he wasn’t such a clown, I’d happily have Xhaka stay at Arsenal. It isn’t as much an issue of skill, as it is his mental lapses. For me anyhow.


Tuchel was pretty serene in his pitch side interview after his loss to Westham.
Individual mistakes was the reason and not much else needed to be said afterwards.


He plays a deep midfield role for Switzerland as well silly.

Likes to station himself deep and come into central areas on occasions.

Anyone who is seriously suggesting that Xhaka operates centrally both on and off the ball consistently throughout matches is full of bullshit.



You keep moving the goal posts, after our first 3 games, it was after Brighton away it was all going to come tumbling down

Then it was after Watford, because there was no way we’d get 9-10 points from that run of fixtures…

Now it’s the end of the season

Statistically we’ll make a management change at some point due to poor results, all clubs do, but you keep moving the goalposts, every game you sensationalise

If we don’t get this result, or that result, then the roof is going to come caving in…..

Mr Serge

I remember west ham hounding the board to sack Moyes and where up in arms when they brought him back in I bet they are all happy right now



There’s plenty of variance in the MF role. But it’s hard to ignore that all of them require a certain level of mobility. Being able to cover a lot of ground gives you optionality and unpredictability. I’d say that’s especially the case if you have a tendency to give up a lot of possession like we do.


…and hey, I’m not a anti-Xhaka by any stretch, Ishola will confirm that. I’m just cognizant that his unsuitableness to the English domestic game one of the many key reasons why we’ve been mediocre in the past 5 seasons. The fact that he’s still at the club annoys me greatly. The fact that he’s probably the best midfielder we have, despite spending £45 million transfer and a £250k/weekly wages on world class Partey vexes me a lot. It’s amazing that many acknowledge that Xhaka has to come back and hold Partey’s hands to help him cross the road. They=re have… Read more »


Me Serge
Do you recall that game where the fans stormed the directors box at the London stadium?

Football is a crazy sport that often defies the best commentary.


As LoveSausage alluded to we have seen Arsenal minus Xhaka over these last few months move the ball more quickly and with more purpose. Not as much dawdling on the ball. The ball is reaching the front areas quicker even if there is this lack of creativity and nous in the last third on too many occasions with only Smith Rowe looking to be the answer in this regard. Some fans still dream that we can dominate by having “control” We are not good enough to think we can win games consistently by “control” This team can win games consistently… Read more »


Let’s not forget that many people had Sambi as their MOTM in his last appearance. He’s young and he’ll make mistakes. But it would be harsh to bench him because of some supposed effect GX might have on Partey. The solution has to be that Partey is coached back to a level he’s supposed to be at. And if he can’t get there, then maybe we should play a Sambi-GX midfield. As much as I hate the idea of still relying on GX, he’s probably the right choice in that scenario. Which says more about the general state of our… Read more »



About moving goalposts is Rich coming from you, since this blog has pre Christmas, Post Christmas tables and other results where Arsenal is going to artificially look a lot better since the Arteta Fan boys ignore all of their worst games.

Just think of me learning from the best spin doctors.


Xhaka is NOT the answer.

If he is, we definitely have bigger problems than we realise.

No to Xhaka.

I never want to see him wear our shirt again. Better to blood our U23s midfielders like Tim Akinola or Patino rather than going back to Xhaka. He is the past, they are the future.

Champagne Charlie

“Our approach in possession was to pull GX into LB position and have KT push up. This was to compensate for GX’s lack of pace and avoid having him receive balls while under pressure.“ Don’t agree with that at all. How does moving a player into the last line of defence protect the team from his lack of pace that would otherwise be safeguarded in midfield with defenders behind him? Xhaka came deep left because it sucked teams into pressing him, opened up the angle, and created space in midfield for him to progress the ball to Partey or Odegaard… Read more »


MD Gunner When have I moved the goalposts? I wasn’t surprised we struggled the last few seasons, and delivered successive 8th place finishes, I could spot the rot setting in a long way off I debated with Pedro and many others that we regressed in the summer of 2019, in spite of spending £140million, and that we’d struggle, I didn’t think Emery’s first season was the disaster some made it out to be either I’ve been accused of being both pro Emery + Arteta, but I’ve been indifferent towards both, I just didn’t think poor coaching + tactics were our… Read more »


Those pesky goalposts!


How did we stoop so low and allowed a fckng novice to learn his trade with us? And give him seemingly a blind support,? I’m struggling to make sense of this obsession with assistant coaches to famous football managers. Is Zeljko Buvac available? Wasn’t he the ‘actuall brains’ behind Klopp’s success?



Discipline AND Freedom. Arem’t they antonyms?

But I get what you mean. Instilling discipline curbs freedom – until it becomes second nature, instinctive, like Liverpool or City. The Arsenal team haven’t evolved that far yet – but they are getting there. And because they are young, when they do, they will be a team that will last longer.

Mr Serge

Diss I remember them storming the directors box
Just goes to show if the coach has the players that suit his system then they go places west ham have the players that work for Moyes.
Has MA got the players ? I think he has 9 of them and needs a cm and ST still

Mr Serge

Also Moyes did well at Everton I bet they wish they still had him lol


Vinicius Jr what a player this kid is.

Yep Sal… Next Mega star from Brazil is my guess. However he is gonna need a rockstar one word Brazilian name. Vinny doesn’t do it for me.. Vinjay.. VJ… Junior …. soemthing.. I don’t know it’s a work in Progress.

Did you see Jovic assisted and scored one too.. Loan move to Arsenal probably off now. 🙁

Champagne Charlie

Jovic named man of the match today for Real Madrid.

Featured in 73 mins La Liga football all season before today, and then comes on after an early injury to Benz to grab a goal and assist.

If I speak…


4 points off 4th: True. 4 points off 11th: also true. The table goes up and it goes down.


Spudnik, we’re 5th. 4 points from 4th right now. Doesn’t matter if what’s below us, does it? Certainly didn’t matter to anyone last season that we were 7 points from Liverpool and 6 points off Chelsea. TABLE IS THE TABLE when I’m trying to shape a positive view on Arsenal… now we’re higher, it’s about what’s behind? Come on… CC, it’s so amusing how fans turn their noses up at talent. Bernado, Sterling, Mahrez, Stones, Jorginho… Loan moves is even more amusing, like people think we’re going to get access to a player that is banging it out the park.… Read more »

Champagne Charlie


Really is something to see fans spit feathers at talent that isn’t the pinnacle of their aspirations.

The ‘wow’ transfers are absolutely not the rule, they are the exception all managers/clubs hope with every signed cheque in the transfer market. If our summer didn’t just prove that fact.


Pedro, trying to shape a positive opinion about Arsenal is absolutely fair and if there is one thing you’ve been consistent about, it’s your commitment to the glass is half full perspective you have of Arsenal. With respect, I do have to admit that I do try to wind you up sometimes by pointing out we’re 4 off 4th but also 4 off 11th. And just to add some salt, 12 from top and 13 from bottom, but that’s all out of a sense of mischievousness than any real poisonous trolling. Le Grove is my only connect with Arsenal and… Read more »

Champagne Charlie


Totally agree, have long advocated we see more talent from lesser sides and leagues. Personally feel there’s some merit to a player eager to step up and prove himself vs the sometimes more indulgent talents already established at very good clubs.

You can win a number of ways in the market, our gang of recruits proves as much. Relegated clubs, shite Italian sides, tin pot clubs on the coast, overlooked youngsters at the elites. Nice to see us scan the market more and long may that continue…..namely this Jan for starters.


I don’t think 2011 Pedro would have been excited by the signing of Arteta, whose ‘best’ playing days were already behind him. He captained us to an FA Cup victory in his third season, after they threw the title away from being top at the end of January. He captained the flat-track bullies whose lack of bravery was routinely exposed against our so-called ‘rivals’, whilst celebrating over exuberantly when beating minnows, or celebrating a fourth place finish as though we had actually won the CL. He also captained Arsenal in some of their worst results in the clubs history. And… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Love sausage,

Lots had. Sambi as motm last week. And a couple weeks back Ainsley was close to it according to some.

So what does Arteta do?
Play Elneny.
Just inexplicable.


Our defense is good and we are good – but we are only able to do jeckyll and Hyde it seems

We’re either pretty good or get smashed


El neny is miles off the pace but I assume Arteta was thinking back to him having his best ever game next to partey as we beat Utd last season and hoped for a repeat.

Obviously wrong decision and it should’ve been AMN this time but I assume that was his thinking


I’ve supported Arsenal since the late 60’s, Pedro, and what I do know about Arsenal’s history is that either side of WWII, Arsenal had two very contrasting philosophies.
My hope has always been that they might reignite the spirit of the 1930’s, Arsenal’s only period of dominance, and a time none of us remember.
Is it wrong to want Arsenal to be that club?
I’ve lived through Liverpool and United’s dominance, had to endure Chelsea winning two CL.
Liverpool made it look easy, because football really isn’t that complicated.
I apologise if you think I’m a buzz-kill.


Dont think id of said this at the start of the season, but AFCON looks a blessing at the moment. Losing two of the undroppables of Auba & Partey, plus limited Mo, forces other people to step in-and hopefully step up. And, even if they dont, at least we’ll find out whether they can.


Charlie and Pedro skipping down the Xhaka yellow brick road.

Let’s see what happens when Arteta brings back the clod hopper the Roma wanted to only pay £10m form. No other clubs interested in the PL or Europe.

So Arteta gives him a contract extension.

Pure comedy gold masking your trolling.

See where we are on Feb 27. All will be revealed then by our table position.

Until then enjoy your trolling, but next up is Everton; a game we can’t afford to lose.


Some enjoyable games yesterday for the neutrals. Wolves so unlucky against the Bib Dippers and West Ham beating the Chavs.

Both West Ham wand Wolves will be good tests to see how we are developing, in the also ran pack.


Surfer X: Xhaka stepping in is good news?


I think so, yes- but only for his leadership. And not the red-card heads gone type, but i think we are missing a leader and hes the best weve got. Put another way, id rather see him & sambi with AMN thrown in than partey and eleny tigether ever again. Partey is a good player, but his form has been shocking snd playing mo next to him compounds the issue. And id rather see martinelli & bala given a go than auba & eddie (hes off, we shouldnt be wasting the mins on him- and he is as limiting up… Read more »

Champagne Charlie


Can always play your game, which is to predict a failure with every move made and then act like a sage when the inevitable finally strikes given the odds.

With Arsenal it’s always the next game, or this game, or that game that’s the real teller…..until it’s won and then it wasn’t, because it’s the next one. Same with Xhaka, rinse repeat.

Arbitrary Feb 27th date is the reveal all special, eeny, meeny, miny, moe’d that one into relevance.


We really need a 25 goal striker in this team, especially when you take out pepe who scored 10 in the PL last season

Laca and auba can’t find the back of the net. Only concern is if we can find a good striker in the Jan window
Recent history suggests we will go for a loan option but not many good strikers going to be sent on loan in Jan.


I will remain hopeful that everything you are telling us comes to fruition, Pedro, and try to refrain from too much negativity on your excellent forum.


Pedro On the striker situation, at the start of the season i would of agreed with you about martinelli. But watching the newcastle game- i had one thought- Vardy. I see so many similarities in their game- the pace, movement, finishing, pressing. Put him up front with emr, odgaard & saka behind and i think that could be our best way forward. But, to do that we need to get them decent ball. Teams are now putting three people round partey. Sambi has stepped up- but is ckearly not going to play every game. Mo cripples our vertical progression- that… Read more »


It’s the hope that kills us, Pedro.


Yep pedro. Listen, a striker would be great in jsn- but the quality of what we need i dont think will be available. Our Young strikers are already here in those two.. we need someone more in the 24 bracket with goid experience behind him.

For 5 weeks, well probably be without auba. Thats a forced opportunity for me, in the same way boxing day was last year. Arteta needs to seize it- if they do well, brilliant. If they dont, we know exactly what we need to do in the summer. Its a win win.


I should add, id be pissed if we went with eddie- i disagree with your assessment of him- i dont see a high enough ceiling, and hes not particulary strong at anything. Id only be extending his contract to sell him, and id certainly not be playing him while he runs down his contract while you have those two behind him.


Pedro, thanks for your kind words. We all get to be eejits from time to time, and lord knows I deserved my banning from here a while back. I really regret my behaviour towards you then. I do get the fact that policing this blog must be exhausting to say the least. In a former life, I was a journalist and from time to time I had to moderate the daily poll on the website. The pollsters quickly knew when I was moderating because I was an utter disciplinarian. If it wasn’t fit to publish on the letters to the… Read more »


No sage, Charlie, and I always post my thoughts before games and live by them right or wrong. If I’m wrong I hold my hands up. I’ve always said Xhaka is a ponderous liability from first seeing him and I’ve always maintained my not wanting Arteta but gave him a fair chance. Very quickly I formed the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Arteta was the wrong coach for us and the jury was out on Edu for me. 24 months later the much heralded progress has merely been a lift up from the depths we had fallen, such depths were… Read more »


Pedro, that is absolutely insane. I’m just……I don’t even know what to say about that. I’m really shocked mate. The fact he got a mate….How does that work? ‘Can you glass this guy cos he corrected my punctuation. Yeah sure bruv??????????????????????


Martinelli has been great these last two games. Against United I really enjoyed how he harassed their defenders when he was pressing. You could see that it hurts to play against him. Much has been made of Aruba’s and Ode’s pressing and I do appreciate the work rate. But the running aside, they rarely manage to put the defenders under real pressure. I hope the kid gets a shot now – he’s earned it. I’m not convinced Jovic has the speed we need but I still think it could be a good punt. If we can’t get a top target… Read more »


Lovesausage, Martinell’s revival is exciting. I can’t wait till he shows he’s ready to step in



He’s been surprisingly sharp considering his lack of minutes. I hope he gets more now. Ideally as CF but he can play across the front three so also a good backup for Saka now that he looks a bit out of form.