by .


The best cup competition in the world kicks off today, we have ourselves a lovely trip to the River Trent to take on the storied Nottingham Forest. Arguably one of the best club names in the game.

What do we expect from them? A big attempt at a performance. They are smack bang in the middle of the Championship, they’ve won their last 3, their players will be looking to shine brightly whilst the whole of the UK is watching on ITV a bit later.

Arsenal will be playing a very young side because there’s no choice. COVID issues, knocks, and some big games coming up will mean heavy rotation. When you have to heavily rotate, you can’t guarantee you’ll maintain performance, so we have to be prepared for the evening to be tough.

Rumours have it that Biereth, Salah, Hutchinson, and Patino will be on the bus. BIG rumours that the conductor of the 2022 hype train, Charlie Patino, could actually make his first start for the club. That would be special, he has everyone at Arsenal buzzing about his talent, and he even has his own song with the fans. I don’t think we’ve been more sure about a second coming since Jack Wilshere.

Outside that, who knows what the team will look like, but my assumption is it’s going to be all about the fringe players. Bernd Leno, Holding, Soares, Tavares at the back. Midfield will probably have to be Patino and Lokonga for the minutes. But somewhere along the line there’s going to have to be some first-teamers you’d rather keep fresh. The Smith, Odegaard, and maybe Benny Blanco spring to mind.

Personally, I’m looking for the same thing I always do during heavy rotation periods. All 11 players dropping performances like they want to be considered for the Spurs and Liverpool games. Healthy squads create the feeling that everyone could start. Unhealthy squads see these games as an imposition. As I said many times last season, players like David Luiz used to think they were above games like this, so they’d not show up. In healthy squads, they all go there to do the business.


Ainsley made his move over to Roma to play under the delightful Jose Mourinho. I don’t really have much to say on this outside, I REALLY HOPE HE DOES WELL. It never worked out for Ains, the killer blow to his career was saying no to the right-back role which could have been lucrative for him. Still, going to Rome could be good. That league lacks power, so he’ll have a leg up on the intensity. If he’s playing well, he’ll have to up his concentration. All things he’s young enough to manage.

We’ve been linked to some midfielder in Brazil. Those rumours really do nothing for me. Their league makes Italy look intense, so it’s really hard to work out which players you can bring from over there that would make it here.

Midfield is such an interesting position to recruit for. We need a body for the now, but really, only for emergency reasons. So who are they going to buy cover for? And is it cover, or someone that can challenge Xhaka and Partey next season? Or, will they look for a midfielder that does something different to the other two. Someone that is more of a specialist for certain types of games? Is Arsenal building out two squads of players that do that same things, or are they building out a chessboard of pieces that can cover off the different types of games we struggle in?

Who knows, but if Arteta is to be believed, we’ll find out in the next 3 weeks.

Right, that’s me done, have fun in the comments x



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. englandsbest


    I didn’t watch the game, but it seems Forest tried their utmost, and Arsenal didn’t.

    Now let’s imagine that Arteta told his players to try their utmost and they won, that Saka scored the winning goal but hobbled off inured and was out for the rest of the season. And Arsenal missed out on a top 6 place.

    That is why I think Arteta won’t be over-fussed by losing the game. Losing players was a bigger fear.

  2. Nigel Tufnel

    Lokonga does need an experienced player next to him. If he’s your senior midfielder… we have a problem.. Also appears a little lightweight. Gotta bulk up son.

    The Tavares sub was bad because we needed someone with energy to allow us to bring on Tierney later, there were enough subs, but we didn’t have any quality on the bench. What good are 5 subs if you don’t have anyone good to bring in.

    Thursday, Saka and Martinelli shouldn’t get near the pitch, play children if necessary. Give the week off to anybody we want to use for Spurs. It’s a big game with the rival fighting for our spot.

    Pool won’t have Mane or Salah anyway.
    Use Cedric, Taveras, Patino, Holding and Mari, Eddie.

    Should’ve recalled Reiss Nelson early to protect Saka from playing against brute teams in secondary competitions this January.

    I’d rather take down Spurs at their place than win the league cup anyway.

  3. Almuniasaynomore

    The one thing is,I suppose, if Spurs had lost, many of us would be pointing out that it gives them an advantage in the race for 4th,just as many of us didn’t want to see them out of that European competition. So if we apply that logic to ourselves there is a consolation prize.
    That is different from saying that we wanted or intended to lose today. We didn’t. And the performance was very disheartening. My problem with Arteta’s Arsenal is the level to which we remain reliant on Saka and ESR. They are two players gifted to him from the youth system. Other than that he hasn’t really addressed our attacking inadequacies. Martinelli cannot be said to have improved under him really,though his recent performances were a welcome return to his earlier promise. Odegaard has potential undoubtedly but he needs time and help. If we lose either ESR or Saka to long term injury I really think that top 4 is gone. For a club our size that is pretty worrying. And the squad builders if indeed Arteta and Edu are being recognised as such will have to take responsibility for that situation. The 50 million on Ben White could have helped relieve this situation. That was the argument many people were making. It is not an argument against Ben White but a question of how the squad building was prioritised. If yet more money is made available to Arteta and Edu to strengthen in January then they may well solve this over dependency on our rising stars. But they can consider themselves fortunate in terms of the support they have received ,very few managers at clubs of our size are shown such patience. If it works I could see other clubs looking at Arsenal and copying this approach. But I can’t help but feel the next couple of months are more crucial than many believe,everything is still very much up in the air.

  4. andy1886

    EB – Probably not wise to comment if you didn’t watch the game. Funnily enough the one player that did actually make an effort was Saka, and he was the most fouled, all of which kinda makes your theory seem a bit unlikely.

  5. Spanishdave

    Eddy this Eddy that .
    The ball comes over for him to simply head in, he jumps and shoulders it away to the corner post.
    Some hero that.
    There is so many overpaid rubbish players in our club, that’s the problem.

  6. benkind

    No matter the team we should have won today. Only patino, and lokonga can be excused. No one can see our line up and say we wouldn’t have a shot on target.

  7. raptora

    Really weird that Arteta has been blocking transfers for AMN when AMN wanted clarity if he’s going to play at all or not, he is considered something like 4th or 5th choice in CM and 3rd or 4th choice in RB for month after month.

    Then the moment he is actually needed, we let him go. To play RB in Roma. When he was about to make more minutes in January than in the first 5 months of the campaign combined.

    It’s just so weird. Like Arteta is sabotaging himself. To show how bad the situation is and be given money to spend.

  8. MD-Gunner

    Its a big fat ASS, an Arteta Shit Show that is what it is. Like I said earlier why put a LB on that you have to hook after 35 minutes because he is being hounded by Spence. Putting KT on barely improved the situation. Did he actually analyze his opposition and drew up a strategy and team selection based on that or did he just think we are Arsenal and they will fear us and we will win the game.

    Waiting for Arteta’s contract to expire and a capable manager being brought in. He just should be happy that Man Utd has the problems which will draw more media interest otherwise he will already be under more fire.

  9. Pedro

    Raptora, serious talent ID questions need to be raised if you think Arteta is wrong to want better midfield backup than AMN.

    Honestly man, even Sam A told him to give up the dream.

  10. Dissenter

    Shouldn’t Arteta have kept AMN until that midfielder’s transfer was done.
    I mean we started with Lokonga who’s rusty and Patino, who’s earning his first start for the seniors.

    It felt a bit like Brentford when Arteta seemed like he was trying to send a message.

  11. Dissenter

    Arteta :when asked about why Tavares was yanked off?
    “I just did it to try to improve the performance of the team”

    He was hoping to remind the team the performance wasn’t god but it didn’t make any difference because There was no reaction from the team and Tierney certainly didn’t offer much when he came on.

    Mikel is a fast learner, so he;s probably not going to try removing a player so early who;s was undoubtedly rusty and needed to grow into the game.
    The entire team was as bad as Tavares and nothing that Mikel tried.came off today.

  12. Pedro


    He rolled the dice. Most wanted to see Patino. Sambi was rusty.

    Play AMN who wanted out? Hardly the intuitive correct decision there.

    We were just shit today. No one player saves that game.

  13. Paul Mc Daid

    We are a joke off a club, It’s all comes from the Top, The owners don’t give a flying fuck about winning, Everybody at Arsenal is on easy street, It is a total shambles and will not change as long as Kroneke is the owners, This humoring us with a few signings here and there is not enough, We need a winning Mentality instilled on the club.

  14. Dissenter

    ‘ Play AMN who wanted out? Hardly the intuitive correct decision there’

    He’s been playing Eddie who’s refused to sign an extension despite all entreaties from the manager.

    AMN shouldn’t have been released until his replacement was in. He didn’t even play today at Roma.

    Tavares reaction wasn’t so bad. Any player happy to be subbed off in those circumstances needs to be ditched.

  15. Brian Muff

    Today’s game was just so odd.

    Every single player was completely shit, but not just having a bad day kind of shit, more like I’ve completely forgotten how to do this kind of shit. Even Saka was unrecognisable.

    And when Laca came on, he was passing to the opposition and shanking every ball like he was on acid.

    One to forget. Best to drop a shit show in this game than the one next Sunday. Fuck the cups. This season is about the EPL I think. Gaining ground. Building confidence. Ready for the seasons to come.

  16. China1

    People talking about the massive drop off between our starting 11 and our bench warmers as the reason for this result but I don’t buy that

    This team should be able to quite easily dispatch a lower league opponent. Everyone just had a shit game on the same day (not justifying it but it’s the truth)

    We’ve seen most of those players look good against good PL opposition, it’s not like one would expect this level of them. If the game was replayed tomorrow you’d still expect a comfortable arsenal win.

    We just shat the bed. It’s annoying tho because I love the cup and this was there for the taking

  17. China1

    There was a spell when we were saying Tavares looked better than Tierney early this season

    Saka is top class and on the form of his life

    Sambi has looked like he could be a starting 11 player before injuries and covid

    Eddie has done well this season when given any chances

    Etc etc etc

    That this result is indicative of these players’ level is false. The players are much better than that so no excuses

  18. MD-Gunner

    ESPN-FC put it in perspective.

    Craig B: Arsenal’s mindset was we just need to show up on the pitch and we will win the game.
    Shaka H: Arsenal’s white kit was nice, but nothing else about their game was nice.
    Craig B: Someone posted Arsenal put on the white shirts and played like the Sp*ds. OUCH

    The fact is the team & staff wasn’t mentally ready for Nottingham just like they weren’t ready for Brentford also a Championship team 1st game in the EPL game as a newly promoted team.

    The whole team reflected the arrogance of Arteta and the sooner he is replaced the better.

  19. China1


    No excuses for any of them. The players let themselves down and the manager had failed to get them up for the game

    A big L on all fronts.

    What’s your beef anyway

  20. Gonsterous

    Don’t too bothered by dropping out. Looks like the city loss had a bigger impact than we thought. Mike needs to get the boys back to their motivated self for the PL run in.

    We can’t have another collapse. 4th place this season will be more than enough. The league cup would be nice but no need to go all in for that.

    We are still building and will see such set backs. Hope it gets ironed out soon though.

    On a side note, now that AMN has left, who is coming in ? Any ideas anyone?

  21. izzo

    This is my problem with Arteta. He has reduced games for ESR which is in the short term the correct decision but Saka gets no rest??? Just roll the dice again in the carabao cup and play the under 23s leave the starting 11 and bench out of it. These results happen when he has a team full of all the demotivated fringe players that should be looking for new clubs.

  22. Tony

    Losing was not an issue for me, but the way we lost and the poor performances particularly White and Holding at the back and especially Arteta.

    Let’s look at the real issue that Pedro is trolling over: our midfield!

    The MF should have been sorted out in the summer TW, but Arteta knew best spending £50+m on White who looked anything but a £20m player yesterday. Lakonga needs a loan, as does Tavares who should play with the under 23s for the rest of the season first, Patino needs loans.

    Some here and me complained bitterly post Xmas- all season – that Arteta didn’t blood Hale Enders midfielders and strikers last season, so assess them at PL level. Now it panic stations and baptisms by fire.

    Way to go Arteta!

    I said yesterday I didn’t want Patino feeding to the wolves and he was. He is at least a year off a starter’s birth. He should have been a 2nd half sub.

    We bought a reasonable defender in White although prone to mistakes and poor aerially, as he has been for a few goals this season. Probably will turn out a dependable buy, in the long run, but not what we needed: we needed a 24yo experienced, high ceiling MF in the summer TW.

    Arteta is now hell bent on buying a striker, as his priority, but yesterday proved we can’t defend with our MF, let alone create chances, and badly need 2CMs because Partey is injury prone.

    0 shots on target is what you get when our MF is bereft of any real experience where the Forrest manager had produced the right tactics to outwit our rancid, BS manager who after the game was disappointed with the players, and not how he sent them out to play with his tactics they clearly didn’t buy into because they didn’t understand.

    That’s the only number/stat Arteta should be looking at this morning.

    Eddie blew any chance of being kept at the club. He has had numerous games to prove what he can do. He had 3 good chances Martinelli would have converted. He has to be sold now, sorry Pierre, but he looked like a non league player at times yesterday.

    It doesn’t matter how people here feel AMN is , but he is miles better than Lakonga and currently light years better than Tavares/Patino who is a back up LB not a LWB he has no cue how to play ay the PL level.

    Arteta said he’s very, very light in MF.

    No shit Sherlock exactly when did he work that one out or did Albert have to tell him?

    All week I’ve been stating in various ways our MF is screwed until the AFCON is finished where hopefully we have no injuries. We have no experienced MF players!

    The most experienced is Xhaka – so let that sink in.

    We were beck to the players not understanding what Arteta wanted and with the way we played nor did Arteta.

    A team deosn’t pretty much play City at their own game and punching holes in their defense at will, to lose Partey, Pepe and Elneny (2 non starters) and Arteta shits the bed in that way.

    Spare me the Xhaka excuse card, as he would have be lost in a game/pace at which Forrest countered. White and Holding barely kept up with Forrests’ runners.

    The one thing we should have learnt from that game is Spence should be our RB cover – he looks PL ready to me with blistering pace, as Martinelli found out.

    I haven’t read the comments, but the excuses are bound to fly as Pedro is failing badly at.

    We had 9 players missing – boo hoo! Forrest had 4 of their best missing and are a Championship side.

    We had to play inexperienced kids! Eh why? We could and should have brought Azzes back to play instead of Patino. Did Patino show some consistent brilliances in training to warrant a start?

    Our most ‘bestest’ MF; Xhaka wasn’t playing? Just as well he wouldn’t have lasted long on the pitch.

    NO excuses cover that shit show we had to endure and I really feel for the traveling fans.

    Arteta and Edu need to go. They are no way going to take us to the promised land based on the last 2 games’ lack of parallels from the 2 games, summed top as a ‘Roller Coaster’ team.

    Top 4 looks decidedly a mammoth task where, if we fail, Bob, it won’t be injuries, it will be Arteta and Edu’s combined poor assembly of our squad.

    No excuses, Bob, or anyone here if we don’t progress this season attaining 4th.

    The only people to blame for finishing 5th downwards is Arteta and Edu. They have the money to buy players we need, but buy anything but, barring Ramsdale and Tomi; they were our outstanding buys of the summer TW.

    White should have been a Bisouma buy, but Guimares would have been the better buy.

    We are a 3rd of the way though the TW, haemorrhaging in out porous midfield, and all we read about is the dream team are begging Vlahovic to join us who is playing hardball.

    I was really hoping to continue to play the way we did against City. I knew it wouldn’t be as good, but to play the way we did, you could be excused for thinking that players weren’t giving their all for Arteta.

    Yesterday we looked as bad a Manure and Arteta had no plans or clue to change it during the game, which was made even more obvious by throwing Kola on to help get the goal we so desperately needed.

    I wonder how some of LG feel now who were intoxicated enough from the City game to back Arteta?

    I didn’t and won’t be anytime soon. I’ll continue to back the squad under a very iffy and myopic manager.

  23. Nigel Tufnel

    I’ve been backing Arteta for a while. When we continue to play well I’ll continue to enjoy it.
    These things will happen, and the negative hater guys will get off w@nking over the misery.
    You guys will miss out on the good times, which far outnumber days like today.

  24. MD-Gunner

    At the moment Arsenal’s mindset for teams below them is, we just need to show up on the pitch and we will win the game. The fact is the team & staff wasn’t mentally ready for Nottingham just like they weren’t ready for Brentford also a Championship team 1st game in the EPL game as a newly promoted team.

    The whole team reflected the arrogance of Arteta and the sooner he is replaced the better.

  25. Tony

    “I’ve been backing Arteta for a while”

    That’s where you lost me, Nigel.

    Did you expect applause? Are we to be in wonder of your insight into Arteta’s future?

    Maybe you should change your Monika to ‘Mystic Tuffers’.

    What you deem to be haters are just being factual on what they witnessed last night.

    What is your starry prediction to the Bin Dipper’s game, oh brown nosed, wise one.

  26. DivineSherlock

    Is it even a surprise knowing Xhaka’s stand on Vaccines that he had another infection . Twice ! since september . And we risk our whole season on him .

  27. Sid

    Saka has been raised on soul food ( fufu, gbegiri, amala), theres No chance of him breaking down like Wilshere whos diet was fish and chips.

  28. Unoni

    What you deem to be haters are just being factual on what they witnessed last night. What is your starry prediction to the Bin Dipper’s game, oh brown nosed, wise one.

    Tony is on the piss

  29. Sid

    Someone explain why athletes with asymptomatic covid19 cant play,
    when athletes with common cold have played sports without a problem

  30. China1

    Sid because asymptomatic doesn’t mean not contagious

    In the dressing room with your team mates, being close when you celebrate a goal etc, any unrelated and innocuous cough or sneeze etc is still able to spread it. Don’t need to feel like shit to do that either. I noticed I sneeze a few times a day for no reason other than my nose gets easily irritated. If I had covid I would definitely have given it to a number of people even if I didn’t have symptoms

  31. S Asoa

    About ANM looks like that boat has sailed largely because of earlier Arteta man management. He has to keep his word. But ANM is not the solution to the midfield, we need better and with bigger attention limit. So maybe we hope we get the better person, and notfuck up improving defense, by buying another defender in case Saliba wants to come back and show what we missed and how we fucked up.

    Lots of ” fucks” in there. Oops

  32. Emiratesstroller

    There are no excuses for yesterday’s result and performance, which was insipid.

    It should not be forgotten that five starting eleven regulars in recent games played for the
    bulk of the match ie White, Tierney, Odegaard, Martinelli and Saka and none exactly excelled.

    The only player on the pitch who could not be faulted for his performance was Leno who made two decent saves and was not to blame for the goal.

    I am not going to blame Patino for his performance, because frankly he got virtually no
    support from the rest of team, but is clearly not ready to start games at this level.

    Lokonga and Tavares were very poor yesterday. Lokonga did not look match fit after injury
    and Covid.

    Soares and Holding are at best Championship League standard and need to be offloaded and

    Nketiah was given a chance to demonstrate his potential, but once again fluffed his lines. He
    is not going to make the grade at Arsenal.

  33. S Asoa

    All the way with you Tony

    “Losing was not an issue for me, but the way we lost and the poor performances particularly White and Holding at the back and especially Arteta. ”

    Only hope your long explanatory did not flow down the ducks in the Blog backs

  34. Tony

    S Asoa I’m working on the abridged version of writing, just not quite there yet.

    Problem is the shorter versions would only be understood by those who understand football and management principles.

    You think I’d be better off doing bullet points?

  35. Tony

    Steg, does coming 2nd work for you when you had the tools to do the job and money to buy new tools?

    It doesn’t for me.

    30 months is enough time to achieve 4th.

    How long are you happy to wait, Steg?

  36. Steg

    Tony –

    1. I don’t think he had the tools for the job when he took over. Too much deadwood in the squad, still is in reality
    2. its not 30 months though is it. started in Dec 2019 so 24 months
    3. I’ll wait till the end of this season and think that with the money spent now and the surgery done on the squad, 5th or 6th is the minimum requirement. I’d possibly throw him a 6 month bone if we finished 7th, got into Europe AND won the League cup.

  37. Johnno

    If one works on the sad assumption that the club only got the purchase of KT Partey Gabriel and Martinelli and the promotion of Saka and ESR correct for the 4 years before Boxing Day 2000 – and that everything that wenger did for his last year or so and everything that Emery and early arteta did re players was dismal – then it all makes sense.

    We had a totally shite squad come last august. We added 4 good players to the 8 good ones that we had and we now have 12 good players. We did have Auba as well but he’s an embarrassment of a pro and has rightfully been binned. One is nothing without standards.

    So that’s that. Hopefully we will add 2-3 decent players in January but otherwise the brass truth is that we could come fourth If we keep the dozen in a cryo chamber and pump them full of horse placenta. Otherwise we are fucked this season.

    Does give hope that we will improve in windows ahead though.

  38. Sid

    Against a championship side soares and tavares at fb , lokonga and Patino at Midfield should be enough for atleast free flowing football.

  39. Tony

    ‘Does give hope that we will improve in windows ahead though’

    Many of us have been doing that since 2008.

    I mean 30 months and we get 5th? Emery did that in his first season.

    Granted he was punching above his weight, but that’s what managers do to put up their best fight.

    Right now Xhaka is our main MF leader and he’s got Omicron leaving 2 kids to fill in who badly need loans until ESR’s knock clears up and Ode.

    Bad squad planning from Arteta & Edu.

    Yesterday, we had a kid (Lakonga) looking after the kid; Patino when we should have bought the MF we needed instead of White, Lakonga, Tavares. Not doubting all 3 have potential, but potential isn’t what we need now.

    Arteta is the architect of majority of his the current and past issues he’s facing with the squad.

    Can’t wait to see his solution to our current midfield plight.

  40. Berg10kamp

    Cunning plan by Mikel to ensure he gets the CM and Striker that he asked for this January.

    This is exactly it right here. FA Cup is not a priority this season as our squad is simply too thin to play this much games and Arteta kno2s we don’t have a B team that an carry the weight. He will now make his case for Jan and the summer.

  41. Tony

    Looking forward to the WC where this year’s World Cup will be held from late-November to mid-December, do we just lose players like with the Afcon?

    I assume we do, because with the Qatar World Cup being staged at the end of 2022 meaning it will cause major disruptions to the next Premier League campaign.

    So we’re going to likely lose:
    Xhaka if still here.

    May have missed some, but the manager is going to need to do some squad thinking now and for the summer. I know other clubs will be similarly affected, but what seems absurd is there is going to be a February winter break – begs the question why not at the WC time as there is a full uninterrupted summer break?

  42. Tony

    ‘This is exactly it right here. FA Cup is not a priority this season as our squad is simply too thin to play this much games’

    Why? Extremely poor squad management. Simple!

  43. Guns of SF

    Fa cup win is EL right?

    I think any cup loss is terrible. They all have value and help the fans stay happy.
    To discard any cup is just wrong…

    Of course top 4 is the goal but winning the FA cup got us EL right?

  44. Tony

    Against the Bin Dippers Thursday night 1st leg.

    Don’t worry, Guns, it’s probably another non prioritised competition fur us, right Berg10kamp?

  45. Guns of SF

    what gets me is that the EPL cannot enforce or choses not to enforce vaccines for al players.
    Am I wrong here?
    I get you can get Covid being vaccinated but the EPL needs to enforce their asset does not lose value or integrity and also of course $$$

    have all players mask up when not on the pitch, take more stringent precautions, and make sure all players are for sure vaccinated!

    The amount of players getting Covid is utterly ridiculous. These are professionals, who need to take more than the average joe precautions. It just show incompetence at the player level, and league level.

    Players are dumb they need to get educated and have someone at the club, enforce and remind them of the rules.

    Arteta has had covid 2x that we know of… he should really try and be setting a good example. Perhaps he is but I still think that ALL players ( in order to get paid and play) need to get all the jabs they can.

  46. Sid

    GSF, the reason we have a high number of players with covid is because they are tested more than the general population, (google what the inventor of the PCR test Kary Mullis has to say about it)

    masks and vaccines have nothing to do with it.

  47. Guns of SF


    really? if they are tested more, that means by deduction also if the general pop is tested more then they will also test positive? So infection rates are actually depressed and lower than what they actually are?

    That makes no sense. The players are infected and spreading and contracting COVID due to lack of mask wearing at the practices, hygeine, etc. If players are vaccinated it helps but its the other factors, – social distancing, masking, washing hands, etc…

    These are pros who are running around sweating and breathing on their teammates etc. Does EPL have a vaccine mandate for players

  48. Tony

    Thanks Invincible’s I thought about it the other day and then this morning. I hadn’t really looked much on the Internet, so thanks for the link.

  49. Terraloon

    To y

    Why? Extremely poor squad management. Simple!

    Yes poor squad management but underpinning that was poor squad and of course poor man management..

    Time after team clubs have done well up to Christmas but club after club start to fade from 1/1 on but this season 4 senior players are not going to be available for around a month. Those 4 players should have been played to exhaustion, and yes I include Aba in that.

    The fact that ESR and Tomi weren’t anywhere near the squad yesterday tells a story. Tomi it seems was fully rested and ESR from what I read could have played tells me both should probably have been on the bench.

    Till this point in time save the Brentford game Arteta pretty much has been in control of team selection. By that I mean not too much COVID or indeed lots of injuries but as has been obvious he needed to rotate far more in November and December but he didn’t and the fear now is that a couple of players are far too far into the red zone .

    But I come back to the squad and the expectation some have for the youngsters and yes they are doing well at youth and academy level but most of those under 20 whose names keep popping up all need to be sent out on loan. It’s how the major academy products are hardened up because as we see time after time those who seem to have a decent future fail miserably when the pressure is on.

    We all knew AFCON was going to impact and yes 4 have gone

  50. Bob N16


    PL stops on 12th Nov and recommences on 26th December for WC. All top teams will be equally affected.

    Were Liverpool last season guilty of bad squad building which in turn lead to them nearly missing out on CL football?

  51. Terraloon


    The amount of players getting Covid is utterly ridiculous. These are professionals, who need to take more than the average joe precautions. It just show incompetence at the player level, and league level.

    Sid does to a degree have a point but I think you seriously underestimate the COVID protocols that are in place in the PL.

    For instance before training every day the players and support staff are tested and aren’t allowed into the training facilities until the result comes through. Twice a week the PL test over 10k PL players and support staff.

    First team training facilities are separate for academy players and staff. Players can move between squads but go through almost an isolation before moving from one group to another.

    Players have lives, & of course have families who almost certainly are made up of young wives house no doubt integrate with others, go shopping etc . They more than likely have children who are at school whose families don’t have any where near the same issues.

  52. China1

    Our squad is too thin to play this many games?

    Come on not really

    We play one game a week for most of the season. We play lower league teams in the FA cup and league cup. Hardly a brutal test of squad strength. Our bench and best youth players are more than capable of putting a team like forest in their place. We should be beating them by 2-3 goals with the team we fielded yesterday

    The team played shit yesterday but we don’t need to be so reactive so as to assume after one shit game all those players are shit. It’s true that there’s a drop in most of our positions after the starting 11, but it’s not so bad that we have an excuse for struggling to beat teams like forest.

  53. Shaun

    “It’s just so weird. Like Arteta is sabotaging himself. To show how bad the situation is and be given money to spend.” why do you think that’s weird ? lego head is not about Arsenal it is about himself,
    Every time Arsenal start doling well the mask slips an the arrogance shines through but do not be fooled as Arsenal is only his training ground . Most Arsenal fans with a brain realize it will take lego head five years and at least 300-400million spend to get Arsenal challenging regularly .The AMN loan move is just dumb as fuck or in other words get me players now or your season collapses right now and don’t mention Guen or Torrea sorry for the spelling lol…………lol as I have banished those twp mofo’s for bad behaviour lol…….lol

    “Raptora, serious talent ID questions need to be raised if you think Arteta is wrong to want better midfield backup than AMN.Honestly man, even Sam A told him to give up the dream.”

    Pedro of course lego head wants better players as his midfield backups but putting you team to the sword to prove a point is very very mercenary and a bit cuntish to be honest . If Lego head lets us go into both scouse games and the spuds game with Patino and Lokonga as our midfield
    because we already know calamitous already has COVID so he is out , absolutely not a bad thing. but we maybe about to get a rodgering that will stay long in the mind as the spuds take our top 4 spot as well ……………….ahhhhhh Monday morning joy

  54. Terraloon


    “Our bench and best youth players are more than capable of putting a team like forest in their place.”

    Clearly not.

    Many of the squad players such as Holding, Mari, Soares, Nketiah, Chambers& Tavares are Championship standard and most of the youth have no idea what it’s like to play against the hardened pros that ply their trade in the second tier

  55. China1

    Saka is the perfect case in point

    If he’s tired (very possible) that lands on arteta for playing him in every game when we have had Pepe sitting on the bench all season. Is Pepe as good? Hell no. But he’s good enough to give Saka a rest sometimes when he needs one. But the club refused to play him and prefer to beast saka instead

  56. China1

    Terra be serious

    Holding and Mari kept a whole bunch of clean sheets last season in the PL. are they title winning first 11 players? No. But they’re easily PL quality.

    Tavares was being talked of as an awesome signing at the start of the season. He’s had a few consecutive bad games and now he’s a championship player. Chambers is another who is far from elite but a PL level player. Eddie has been good this season apart from yesterday

    People are judging these players levels based on the last 90 minutes and acting like we’ve never seen them play before.

    We fielded a team that should’ve beaten Forrest by 2-3 goals.

    Wenger used to be lower PL and Championship level teams in cups with random kids most of whom ended up having nothing careers. But these players are too bad to do the same? I don’t buy it

  57. Habesha Gooner

    Last night was both on Arteta and the players. They should have at least a decent motivation to play these games. Forrest wanted it much more. And that’s not okay.

    One game a week for the rest of the season means we have a big advantage when it comes to the league. But backups will not have any games for 6 months. Some of them deserve it but some are kids we needed to play to get them to be sharp. Now we really have to get top 4. And signings are neccessary for long term but after these next few games, only the starting XI will be playing for a while. It is disappointing to ho out so early when we could have gone for both trophies and a top 4 finish.

  58. The Bard

    I dont think yesterday should be a,surprise. We don’t have the depth and quality of player to ride out any of our 1st X1 going missing. While we sit 4th I suggest this is a rather inflated position. We are still a midtable side in view. Whether that means Arteta is good enough remains to be seen.

  59. Kayana

    Sid is by Far the most realistic and rational poster in this forum. Wouldn’t mind having a cold one with Sid as we discuss various global issues.

  60. Unoni


    Come on!! Championship level?
    This team was poorly balanced and played the wrong tactics to bets utilize the personnel selected.
    One of my main gripes is that we don’t shoot enough, especially when we clearly aren’t finding our way to goal with what we had out yesterday with whatever plan A was

  61. Samesong

    Forest stuck it on us from the first whistle. We were not prepared mentally or physically for yesterday’s battle with that team we put out.

  62. Sid

    Thank you Kayana, the feeling is mutual

    “It is important to note that detecting viral material by PCR does not indicate that the virus is fully intact and infectious, i.e. able to cause infection in other people. The isolation of infectious virus from positive individuals requires virus culture methods. These methods can only be conducted in laboratories with specialist containment facilities and are time consuming and complex.”

  63. Spanishdave

    Arteta is learning anything, and certainly is not a fast learner.
    The team was badly set up with too many secondary players in key positions.
    The game showed how bad the squad is. Saka had nobody to work with, Martinelli just ran around on the left like a headless chicken. We were slow moving the ball forwards and there was little movement off the ball.
    All down to the coaching staff.
    We hav’nt turned any corners yet

  64. Leedsgunner

    Let’s have not delude ourselves in thinking we had a second string out there yesterday- apart from the midfield had first string players in the defence and in the attack.

    We were 3/4 strong and we were horrible.

  65. Unoni


    Maybe plan a was to have thee backup look inept so as to gain leverage with funds in the market? I doubt it but you never know. When our system clearly suits a no9 to bounce off then why would you use Nkwtiah who offers the opposite, all while knowing his mind is on a move elsewhere.
    The fact is that this game matters very little in the grand scheme of our seasons goals though and it will be our performance vs spurs and then Burnley that I’m more concerned with.
    Was yesterday a disappointing performance? Yes. Does it show we need better squad players and squad management? Yes. Do we have the tools required to achieve a top four place this season? Yes. No doubt in my mind.

  66. Mr Serge

    I don’t get people on here that say Arteta lost on purpose to get money to buy players, he is a professional and a competitor nobody throws a game to prove a point grow up seriously

  67. Mr Serge

    KayanaJanuary 10, 2022 09:02:47
    Sid is by Far the most realistic and rational poster in this forum. Wouldn’t mind having a cold one with Sid as we discuss various global issues.

    Where the fuck have you been the last 20 years to come up with that assumption Guantanamo bay ?. FML

  68. Leedsgunner


    I can’t believe you’re stand up for Holding.

    Decent professional but he should have been head and shoulders yesterday amongst our back ups.

    He still looked like a back up.

    Holding was only brought in as a vanity project by Wenger to prove that he too could pluck a defender out of obscurity in the EFL – his answer to John Stones…

    He should have been sold when Newcastle offered £15m a few years back.

  69. Samesong

    I can’t believe you’re stand up for Holding.

    There was a moment in the game where I thought Woody the wood pecker ran past him.

  70. Mr Serge

    SidJanuary 10, 2022 10:10:20
    @Serge, cant we all just get along?

    Sid with the olive branch, well I never, of course we can I will endeavour to be nice, it’s just you got my back up in the summer when you called me a diet pep fanboy for months on end

  71. NORG

    Yesterday Arteta’s sauce was thick lumpy gravy whilst Steve Cooper served up a robust sauce that smothered the opposition. Its back to cookery school for Arteta.

  72. Mr Serge

    Leeds I do agree he is not good enough against some prem opposition but against phorest he should be dominant the whole team is at fault yesterday
    Don’t rate Eddie at all or soares and patino is not ready for 1 st team action,
    Ode saka martinelli should have done better that team yesterday should have won by 2 or 3

  73. Sid

    My apologies Serge, nothing personal, its like when Le groves supreme leader uses ‘Emerysta’

    Cant we all get along is rhetorical, everyone should feel free to air their grievance, criticize the status quo.

  74. Samesong

    Funny thing about yesterday is after they scored there looked like an Aubameyang lookalike in the Forest stands.

  75. Terraloon


    Yep Championship level.

    Far far too many are vastly over rating many of the players particularly many of those that played yesterday.

    There are several things that elevate a player from being a championship player to one who is able to perform at PL level one of which is being able to perform at that higher level consistently.

    Mari and Cedric for instance probably wouldn’t have gotten close to that Forest team yesterday and in Cook they had a CD who read the game and imposed himself.Cook can’t get near a starting berth at Bournemouth nowadays

    Tavares we were told by Benfica supporters that he was poor and if you watched his game, as opposition coaches clearly are now able to do, shows that he is too hung ho and unless you can cover his mad runs forward , he abandons his defensive responsibilities leaving the two CD having to separate and that leaves a weakness in the middle.

    Both Holding and White felt they had to bring the ball through midfield. Holding doesn’t have anything like the skills to be able to do that and White when he did so had little or no option but to hang on it for too long and they turned possession over.

    Their CF. On loan from Villa bullied both White and Holding . He was big awkward and physical.

    Patino is no where near ready for first team football. He was dominated but he gets away with it and rightfully so because he is so young.

    Eddie isn’t anywhere near close to a PL forward. He is kidding himself and even though it has been said that Palace are looking at him I suspect that performance yesterday will put any PL suitors off.

    Saka probably had to play but the reality is that he is still very young and is in real danger of being overplayed.

    The Forest right back, he played really well, is there on loan. He really wasn’t that troubled by Martinelli who needs to be played off the likes of Lacazette.

    Lookonga looked lost

    Other than Patino this is the squad and I genuinely don’t think some of them would be starters at many if any PL clubs and yep I think so many on here and indeed elsewhere are in for a shock over the next few months

  76. Unoni


    I’m not sure I rate Tavares yet myself as from what I have seen he is very gung ho, but does have skill on the ball. Ramsey was gung ho also and he too left gaping holes but I wouldn’t use positional indiscipline as a definitive example of a player being championship level
    Holding is a premier league defender but requires a run of games to reach his stride and white is an international defender.
    Mari and holding played very well together last season and contributed to several clean sheets, some against the top sides.

    Do we need better to move forward? Yes
    Are they championship level currently? No, not for me. That’s a tough too far in my opinion

  77. Unoni

    Lakonga I’m not sure on yet either. Lacks the personality to stamp his authority on matches without an older head at this stage. Paddy was dominating the best players in the world already at 22 but that’s an impossibly high bar to set.
    Things are still far better than we thought they’d be 2-3 months ago though so let’s not get too irate. I’m happy with the current trajectory, all things considered

  78. BacaryisGod


    I like the idea of YouGov polls on the site but there are a few problems with this last one.Please take this as constructive criticism from someone that has actually done significant work in this field.

    1. Any polling expert will tell you that if you put a photo of the subject of the poll above the question, it will likely lead to emotional shifts in the responses. That’s why you see so many unflattering g images of candidates in negative political ads. This smiling, relaxed photo of Arteta looks almost designed to make the respondent feel favourably towards him. This isn’t an anti-Arteta agenda here as I’m basically neutral towards him right now but this is bad polling on a scientific level.

    .2) Absolutely bizarre list for most important player for us right now. None of our new players like Ramsey, White and Toni are named on that list while currently irrelevant names like Holding and Pepe are. Although there’s an option for other players, it’s horrible polling in terms of getting accurate answers because people will typically look at the names options made available to them.

    3. Why on earth is the question asked about our chances winning the Premier League on the poll. Everyone Arsenal fan with half a brain knows the answer to this one. Why not ask about how we feel out Top 4 chances are this season?

    4. Finally, any credible poll wouldn’t tack on what is clearly a purely marketing question as the last polling question without declaring it as such.

  79. BacaryisGod

    As for the game yesterday, the overreaction I’m seeing isn’t about the team’s performance which was clearly dreadful but towards some of the individuals.

    Some players need to be surrounded by quality in order to shine. Holding, and Lokonga are currently two examples of this. Partey and Xhaka’s absence had a severe impact on both of them and I’m sure Holding would have done better with Tomi at RB.

    Maybe the best example of this in Arsenal’s history is Stephen Hughes who showed real moments of quality as a teenager playing with Vieira and Bergkamp but who showed his true level shortly after and never became better than a consistent lower division player for the rest of his career.

    Some players make those alongside them better and others need quality players alongside them to play well.

  80. Tony

    Just read we were offering Dustan Vlahovic £68m with £300, 000 a week for a 21 year old untested in the PL. Moot point now because he turned us down until ,the summer. Probably waiting to see if we make 4th this season.

    Unsurprisingly, nothing reported on a MF having a bid made for.

    Zacharse, I understand you’ve adopted Pedro’s Artetaitis: I haven’t & neither would I condemn Emery as a bum or a moron, which is what you called Emery.

    I supported Emery though I didn’t want him to replace Wenger. My choices we’re in keeping with most here. I supported Arteta until he sold Emi and showed his complete lack or understanding of man management and repeat mistakes made.

    Emery is king of the EL cups; yes he’s a cup manager, which CC went to decent lengths to explain with his league failings. It’s why I posted, as I almost never post in the evenings your time because of the time difference.

    I’m sorry you were offended by me posting songs occasionally when the traffic is quiet during sleep time for most of the west, which is my morning in Thailand.

    You have a penchant for running your mouth off here but with nothing to back it up. Nothing is measured about your posts recently. I have no idea how long you’ve been posting and that doesn’t matter; people are free to explain their opinions here.

    Feel free to scroll past any further music or denigrations of Arteta, if it’s merited I post here and the odd links I post with any music.

    A manager’s past is fair game for criticism or to extoll the virtues of. When often I criticize Arteta I don’t just call him a name; I normally say what should have been done right because over the last 22 months have been dire in the squad assembling/management where our MF is still in need of major surgery.

    The 30 months I mentioned is the time Arteta will have been our manager, and therefore, only 4th will be acceptable in my eyes. I’m tired of the Arteta excuses his enablers constantly put up for him.

    If you don’t like what I post from my 55 years of supporting The Arsenal, I’m happy for you to tell me why. I’ll take your thinking on board and then give you mine. If we’re still apart in our thinking, I generally agree to disagree. If I think you’re right, I’ll accept your reasoning and concede I’m wrong.

    As I’ve said there are no points for winning arguments, no prizes or any such nonsense.

  81. Tony

    ‘Were Liverpool last season guilty of bad squad building which in turn lead to them nearly missing out on CL football?’

    I’d say they were, Bob. Naturally, I don’t follow their TW plans, but they needed better in case of injuries to key defensive players. I would put that down to the owners not coming up with the necessary funds.

    Klopp doesn’t seem his happy go lucky self these days because his squad is aging up top and will be hard to replace Mane and Salah in a couple of years or sooner. I wouldn’t be surprised if next season is his last in the PL. Nothing to support such a feeling but just a gut hunch.

    If Klopp wants a level playing field to take City on, he needs the same in-depth quality squad.

    I get your meaning regarding excessive injuries or covid infections, but I’ve had enough of excuses for there last 24 months that excuse Arteta’s inexcusable behavior trying too rule by fear of the dreaded non-negotiables and incompetent selections and displaying zero understanding of in-game management; hence throwing Kola on in the dying minutes to get us a goal.

    Teams suffer the same from injuries and the pandemic. It’s unlucky, I agree, but happens in contact sports.

    Our current MF situation should have been fixed in the summer, now Arteta is scrambling as we were back to hand brake football the players hate playing by the way they lost too Forrest.

    To be fair, if I were a season ticket holder going to games with mates for the last 40 odd years as you have done, I might feel more inclined to think like you.

    Thinking about it, I wouldn’t. For 10 years Wenger showed us what we could attain under an elite manager always challenging. Sadly Wenger’s last 11 years had our hope and aspirations for a league title or CL trophy completely demoralized.

    People have lowered/tempered their expectations thinking as you do. Pedro, laughingly, told us we should do this.

    Let’s see what happens between now and May, Bob. Right now, my worry is Xhaka and our lack of quality MF.

    I haven’t and won’t; it’s not in my DNA.