by .

Arsenal vs Manchester City is coming tomorrow.

Mikel Arteta will not be present because he has COVID, but rest assured, the man will be going overdrive to ensure he’s delivering all the strategy meetings and making sure there are no excuses for the players.

This game is the hardest we’ll play all year, City are immense, there is no better-coached team in world football right now.

… but Arsenal cannot let them happen to us again.

We have to show up tomorrow. If we’re going to lose, I don’t want it to be a City gimme. I’d like constructive failure if there has to be a failure at all.

What I’d really like is a point or more.

Everything has to roll our way for that to happen.

City concede about 6.7 shots per game. That means we need to take our chances because they control the space better than anyone.

City average 19 shots per game. We have to be ruthlessly efficient in defence and make sure those 19 shots are speculative.

We also have to have a bit of luck, you simply don’t beat City without all three of those things going your way.

… but why not?

Leicester beat Liverpool earlier in the week and they’ve been awful all season. They nearly made a game of it against City pulling back 3 goals after going 4 down. There is no reason we can’t make a go of it if the belief is there.

There’s a bit of a worry that Tomiyasu wasn’t pictured in training, I know last week they were expecting him back. So fingers crossed on that one, I’d rather Ben White as right-back than rolling the dice on Cedric or Chambers.

Outside that, we’re rolling with a full team. Everyone is in great form right now, so I have no idea who he’ll select, all we can be sure of is there will be a plan constructed by an inside that might give us a chance.

Short post today.

It’s New Years Eve and I want to thank you all for reading.

We had our best ever month with The Arsenal Opinion. We had more listens this year than we did the three previous years combined.

We had our best year for website traffic and repeat visitors.

We gave you 301 stories.

There were 152,000 comments on the blog.

Our top 9 countries by traffic looked a little different. I see you India, climbing into the Champions League spots.

  1. England
  2. America
  3. Nigeria
  4. India
  5. Ireland
  6. Australia
  7. South Africa
  8. Kenya
  9. Sweden

We started live streaming this year and we have a Youtube page. We made 34 videos and people watch them… like, really watch them 20,000 hours of time.. It’s tiny in comparison to the big channels, but it’s still cool, and we are only just starting.

… and most importantly, we end the year with Arsenal in the top 4.

Without doubt, this last year has been one of the hardest I’ve ever had to write for, and I’ve taken on some pretty meaty topics over the years. There’s been a lot of character assassination, a lot of pretty aggressive commentary because of my views, and it’s been very stressful. 14 years of writing doesn’t make you immune to it.

… but we’ve come out the other side. It might be harder being team positive, but people seem to prefer it. I get more traffic on all channels after a win, than a loss. That’s a big change. More people visit my Twitter page monthly than the blog by about double (people prefer to search and read than admit they follow). So the pivot is doing ok.

Arsenal is top 4. People are saying this is one of the most exciting projects in world football. We have a squad of players everyone loves. The fans are rocking in The Emirates.

What more could you ask for? I mean, bar all the good bits continue at a faster clip.

Arsenal might be back people, for once, the hope is well placed.

So here’s to everyone having a great send off this evening, here’s to your health and wellbeing, and here’s to us all having a spectacular 2022.

I love you all, thank you for keeping me going, see you in the comments. xxx

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Last tr4phy in 2021


Sorry Bankz

1st Tr4phy of 2022 for me!


1st…..yoooo! Happy new year Le grove readers




Nice one groovey!
1 second was the difference.

Happy new year y’all.
Hopefully 2022 will be a much better year for Arsenal as a club and for y’all Legrovers.
Do have a nice one.

Tomorrow’s game will be a tough one.
Can we beat this city side?
Most likely no so I’d gladly take a point right now and right here.


Signing off the year with 1st!


You live in Australia groovey?





India….it’s just gone midnight here. (45 mins ago)

Happy New Year everybody!


Only one x, Pedro?

That’s not going to get the porn clicks to drive your numbers is it?


Oh okay.
Nice one groovey.
Kind regards in 2022 to you and your folks.
The battle for the Tr4phy spot continues in full force in 2022.
You’d come to accept that the tr4phy spot is my throne.


I start this year as I mean to go on, Bankz. 🙂

Happy New Year to you and yours!

georgia boy

Happy new year Pedro and all others, cheers to our success in 2022


Happy New Year to all of us Gooners,3 points or at least a point tomorrow and it will top off a great recovery from the Everton debacle.
Thanks Pedro for all of your hard work,better days are coming,looks like Chelsea are going to have some unhappy players and Conte has started to bang the drum about signings.

NJ Gooner

Happy new year to Pedro and all.

At least I made the bench.

Praying that 2022 brings everyone health, wealth and happiness – and the time to enjoy them all.



Happy New Year… Peds and all Le Grovers… Been a crazy roller coaster of a year.. to be honest.

I’m hoping we can all sit back and enjoy the rest of this one.. However it goes, it is always fun to read and get the opinions of fellow Gooners worldwide.

Have a safe celebration y’all. And Let’s beat City!!!!

David Millar

Thank you Pedro for all your hard work on Le Grove this year!


Pedro, you have been on the ball all year. Long may this continue.

You sound hale and healthy – long may that continue.

Meanwhile, a happy hogmanay.

Time Up

“a lot of pretty aggressive commentary because of my views, and it’s been very stressful. 14 years of writing doesn’t make you immune to it.”

Habesha Gooner

Happy new year. And a big appreciation for the blog pedro. Eventhough we don’t agree all the time, I live the platform to connect and debate with Arsenal fans.

I hope we get a present tomorrow for the new year. My money is on Saka to deliver it if we are getting one.

Time Up

Guilty as charged.

HNY all

Habesha Gooner

I love *

Time Up


If not tomorrow than when.

Win tomorrow and I’ll be dreaming again, lose with a fight the dream will go on.

We’ve to show no fear or respect.

Time Up

If we’re looking as reported at that championship striker at Villa Watkins, we’re really in deep shit.

Villa will ask for north of 50/60 mil for an average running machine player.

Is it worth it???.


Arsenal did start the better in the reverse fixture until that cheaply conceded header from Gundogan clipped our wings.
Arteta was furious after that play too.
If we can bring the same intensity again but cut out the giveaways we might have a chance
Big ask, but not impossible.


Happy new year Pedro and everyone.


Heard Foden apparently has Covid, good news for us tomorrow.


Blwyddyn Newydd Dda from all Welsh Gunners x

Vintage Gun

Blwcsfgnftmmg vffdszvhn.km bxxf to you too Swkmoon


All the best to you and yours Pedro and all of grocers everywhere.



Grocers lol. Le Grovers!!!!


Pedro, Happy New Year mate and congratulations on your audience participation. No need to splice those tables eh??LOL. I came across Le Grove just before Unai was handed the reigns from a link in the Daily Mail (Urgh). I thought the idea that you put forward of Arteta taking over was very interesting. I couldn’t see the evidence of how he might be the ‘saucy’ one and when challenged to provide any, you failed to do so and I got binned for being a dick. Yet, here we are in more interesting times than we could have imagined. 4th v… Read more »


Thanks Pedro & Happy New Year for your eternal optimism on our teams future prospects which has get me onside just for the last year…


Happy New Year to all Le Grovers. 2022, let’s be ‘avin’ you …


Happy New Year boys. May 2022 be The Year for us. COYG!!


Happy new year and my best wishes to the finest group of Gooners on the net. Thanks to you all.

May 2022 be memorable for all the right reasons!


Oh, 2-1 to the Arsenal tomorrow.

Nkute Hogan

Happy new year Le Grover’s… A win to start the year would be great

Ben D

Happy New Year everyone. May 2022 be good to all of us, our loved ones and Arsenal Football Club ..


Happy New Year Le Grove. I hope y’all have a great one, especially if our Arsenal goals are met.


Happy new year Le Grove !

Happy New Year to Pedro and all on Le Grove


Happy New Year, Pedro, and all at Le-Grove – may the best of your past be the worst of your future, especially The Arsenal.


Today is a day of outcomes for us: Win and we lay a marker for at least 4th place Draw and we’ll see progress continue to keeping 4th Lose – providing it’s by the odd goal in a hard fought contest, we will be disappointed, but will have gained valuable experience for playing other top 3 clubs gaining collective belief we can win. Worst case scenario we lose as we did at City and questions will be asked and rightly so. We have the team and are in a good place with confidence and belief for at least a draw:… Read more »

David Smith

Thanks very much Pedro for all the work you put in for this site, during good times and bad. I strongly sense your overall backing of Arteta will prove to be very much the right choice , things seem to be going in that direction, though as you say, there will be bumps along the way . We have to live with those, but love the way the club are going with these young players, the whole club seem to be learning, but learning fast and in a good way, and all the way up to the Kroenkes they deserve… Read more »


Much love for the LeGroove-Community. Thanks for the awesome posts and pods. Stay healthy. Cheers from Germany. COYG


As good as City are , I feel confident in a strange way. Hopefully I don’t get slapped with a hard dose of reality within the first 10 minutes of the game. All I ask for is we don’t pay City too much respect and stay in our comfort zone of back passes with a lack of real purpose going forward.


Happy to new year to all.

Not expecting much from the game but I’m hoping for a positive result


A very Happy New Year to all of you guys and Pedro . Its been a hell of a year and Le Grove has helped me immensely whenever the shit has kicked in , usually by way of ranting . I am bullish about our chances , think we’ll nick this 1-0 .


Happy New Year Pedro and thanks to you and everyone who contributes to the site for another great year. This is the first comment I’ve left even though I’ve been reading for around 10 years. Sorry to hear it’s been a tough year, please disregard the haters and keep doing what you do, it’s been a joy and a pleasure to read the blog over all this time and, for what it’s worth, i think you are usually spot on.



Congrats on 2021 and yes this site has been growing immensely. Chuffed to see your success and expansion – thanks for entertaining me through a alright-ish but shit-speckled 2021 and all these years.


Starring the year on a winning note is a non negotiable


Heres hoping the PGMOL want to keep the title race going…


A lesson in life Pedro that when you take the opposing view and for 23 months it’s the opposite of the majority here even if there are those who are stuck in middle ground. I am far from saying you deserved all you got, but you stoked fires and fanned flames when it suited your Arteta agenda and duck for cover crying foul most of the time. It also gave you license to troll with impunity stating faux injury and injustice. It’s the way you roll, Pedro, where we keep coming back for more salvos lobbed both ways over 2021.… Read more »


Happy New Year is an empty wish. No body can ensure the next 365 days will be happy. Everyone gets sad sometimes. Sure, you can spend a day being happy. May be a week. But a year is too long.

“Survive a new year”


Kayode Babs

Nice post, happy New year to all , may Arsenal continue to put smile on our faces always. This year Top 4 is ours to grab!

Taylor Swift

One could say its the apprentice against the master, I prefer David v Goliath


Pedro, I think you need to do a post on how Arsenal will improve from here. Yes, the quality of the first team is good and we are credibly now competing for top 4. But where to from here, if we want to credibly compete for the titles. I feel there are three major elements in that analysis. First being, improving the obvious weak spots ie central midfield and striker. Partey, Xhaka, Auba, laca, aren’t title challenging candidates. Second point is, rather then being too invested in players who are performing and who we like, but looking out still to… Read more »


kidnapping Xhaka this morning and not releasing him until 15.00 may give us a chance.


Either that NORG or a sprinkling of crystal meths on his Frosties and then watch him go and go and go and basically keep ongoing for 36 hours or so.

Could be a win win for the guy when he finally stops.


That said if Xhaka is selected and plays a blinder by some miracle; he really would become Captain Invincible here. If he scores the winner in the dying seconds of added time we can expect Josh to summon the statue makers. Now wouldn’t that be something? Joking aside, in a strangely weird way today’s game feels like a cup final in its anticipation. For it’s barometer day for where we are now and how far we’ve come in equal doses. Let’s hope Arsenal is a word that leaves a nasty taste in Pep’s throat at the final whistle as we… Read more »


Happy New Year all.

Cheers to the amazing work you do Pedro, you’re the real MVP!



Option 1 with the crystal meths would be good. Watching Xhaka playing whilst under the influence would be like watching an old Charlie Chaplin film.

Omozuafo Frank

Happy New year to you all. The match will be a very tough one but with determination and hard work we can win the match.

Le Sauce

Happy New year Le Grove. For the first time in a long time, I feel 2022 is going to be massive for the Arsenal, I also wish everyone on here a better year than the last. Stay stay and spread love not Covid 🥂

Up 4 grabs now

Good morning all and happy new year le grovers..

Would love a win, would take a draw.
Just as long as we turn up today and no brain farts from xhaka..
I can take a small loss as long as it isn’t gifts from us or being meek and mild. Go out swinging and anything can happen.

These aren’t the games that decide top four, but they will show if we have turned a corner and aren’t just flat track bullies.
But we can’t fear them. Play to win, not play not to lose.


Happy new year all

Pedro China didn’t make the top 10 for traffic after all my spamming??? UR STATS ARE A LIE!!!

Come on arsenal. I know we are absolutely not favourites tonight but a win would be immense. Pretty fucking please do city. Pleeeease


Actually funnily enough I have a vpn on half the time I come here so the hits I bring are just as likely to count as American, British or German as they are Chinese 😁


Thanks for the blog Pedro

Blog of love. Most of the time 😀

Up 4 grabs now

China, I’m happy I made top seven holding up the flag for South Africa as an exiled northbanker Brit

Up 4 grabs now

Blog of love, except on date night when it’s blog of lube!


Pep Guardiola is the Messi of football managers. Incredibly successful in “the most competitive league” in the world playing the most fluid football ever. The patterns and angles created by his team are simply amazing.


Happy Nee YearPedro and all Le Grovers

Now that we sit in 4th place the next stage needs to be to consolidate that position and feel like a permanent member of that club. The very role that Wenger was so lambasted for!

A result today would be a huge step forwards in shaking off the gremlins


Happy to see Kenya there. Looks like my fellow countrymen also like this blog…


TR7 – maybe but he’s never had to manage a club on limited resources – Barca, Bayern , City – all had the very best players available

Yes he hasn’t messed up but with the budgets and squad he has inherited at each club you would have to be pretty shite to mess it up and not win major trophies


Happy New Year 2022 to all Grovers and Gooners!!!

Really looking forward to today!!! Going to the ground but am hating right now having to get up so early!

Why do we have these 12:30 KO other than to satisfy TV channels/ rights owners greed?

Enough moaning!!

It’s nice and sunny outside and it feels like the kind of day for an upset!

Indian Gooner

I have never posted a comment before, so why the hell not do it now? It is great to see India (like our arsenal these days) in top 4! I have been reading you since 2014 or so. Keep up the immense work so that others like me (greedy fans) may gobble it up in big sweet morsels 🙂 My very best for the new year to all here!

Just Another Customer

I just want us to show heart in playing against top 6 and just play at what we best at.

Just Another Customer

2 more bongs btw


Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for all your hard work In ‘21 Pedro even though we didn’t always agree.

Early kick off on New Year’s Day, not ideal by a long chalk. Hopefully the travel may impact City somewhat and a good performance will see us take a point or three.

Will be interesting to see what the crowd is like today, we need all the support we can get. Will be doing my best to add to the volume and fingers crossed for a famous victory.


Agree Northbanker, Pep has always had the best players and the biggest budget wherever he’s worked. Granted that he’s good in that scenario but the jury is out as to his abilities at a smaller club with lesser resources.

And to be honest I’m not a huge fan of his style of football. Just my opinion but it’s like watching a 90 minute 5-a-side game, okay for a short time but soon gets rather boring.


We have all agreed that United have players that have been expensively assembled though not in the league of City but yet nothing to show PSG has the same thing yet when they meet any meaningful team they wobble Pep may have working with quality players but a lot of managers will have those players and even the money and may not even achieve half of what he has Conte hit the league with Chelsea,he came back for them,Klopp hit it with Liverpool,he came back and hit it and he’s going again almost solo I pray we can get at… Read more »


Agreed, Pep’s teams are robotic Against Brentford the way they shut down the game at 1-0, using minimum amount of energy, was like watching paint dry But it’s effective, and likely the reason they win the title, the way they win the ball back, and rotationally foul to get back into position is brilliant, but it continually takes any momentum out of the game They’re an experienced team, full of top class talent, who’ve been together a long time, and know exactly what they’re doing Pep is clearly an exceptional coach, but certainly worked under favourable circumstances everywhere he’s been… Read more »


Excited for the game. Hoping for a win but won’t be devastated if we lose. Arteta and the boys have played well and deserve a pass if they fail to beat the best team in the league.


Happy New year to you and all and your time deprived families fellow Arsenal and le-grove fanatics 😅

It is great to start the new year with a big game and to be excited and not (only) stressed or worried about the line-up.

P. S. Pedro how far down the list of countries was Iceland?? Just asking for a friend


Happy New Year, fellas!
Stay healthy and best wishes to everyone!

Luteo Guenreira

Happy New Year everybody! Many blessings to all of you and your loved ones. Pedro thanks as always for the content and the space, I may not participate in the discussion as often anymore but not ashamed to admit that as long as Le Grove is around, I’ll likely not go long between visits. Agreeing or disagreeing with your opinions aside, some people just want to be cunts on the Internet so try not to mind them too much. You’re doing a great job and you can count me as among the grateful. Now let’s get this win against City… Read more »

Luteo Guenreira

Hope Tets not being there to yell at the referee and scream instructions from the touchline doesn’t affect the squad too much.

Time Up

Toni back unchanged side.

Time Up

Tomiyesu *


Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester City: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Lacazette.


Gotta target Ake at LB


……..White Gabriel
Tomiyasu …….Tierney
…….Partey Xhaka
Saka Odegaard Martinelli

………Dias Laporte
…….Rodri Bernardo
Mahrez De Bruyne Sterling


Subs: Leno, Holding, Cedric, Tavares, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Lokonga, Smith Rowe


Battle of the metrosexual senors, get your lube on!


No Eddie on the bench today.. No CF to speak of (unless you think Nico is one)

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