STATEMENT DRAW AGAINST LIVERPOOL WITH 10 MEN, WHAT A SCENE!

by .

Late to the party today because I’m traveling back home, BUT MY WORD did I enjoy 10 man Arsenal making Jurgen Klopp has his false test army look distinctly average against a 10 men Arsenal.

Make no mistake about it, the German rockstar coach had the game from the previous week moved under dubious circumstances because 1) He’s under pressure after tanking the league again, he really needs an insurance trophy 2) He knows that Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal is very much on the rise.

We saw a coaching masterclass from our manager again. The biggest proof points we were looking for in 2022 were based around how well we could do against City and Liverpool. Well, we’re two games in and I think you’d find very few Arsenal fans that don’t have those two performances in their top 2 of the season.

There was a familiar theme across both. Granit Xhaka. He had hand in the result not going full tilt our way again. Against Liverpool, he was put in a shitty position by the defence, he knew Jota was lurking behind him and he tried to clear the ball ungracefully and landed a karate kick to the Portuguese chest. The ref said it was a clear goalscoring opportunity, I’m not sure many would disagree with the foul, but it was a red. There’s a Xhaka tax. Micheal Oliver was desperate to flash red against a player there’s never going to be any recourse over. If it was Fabinho, it’s a yellow based on a lack of intent. The night before, when Rudiger took down Hojberg under a similar set of criteria, there was no red card. It’s rough that refs hate Xhaka, but that’s how it is, and it’s costing us.

There are so many good parts to his game, but it’s getting hard to ignore that these sort of things now tend to exclusively happen to him. Not good when you are the leader of the team.

10 men was made slightly worse by the fact Arteta had opted for safety with ESR and Tomi, benching them so they’d be ready for Sunday. We also lacked Martin Odegaard, who was hit by the COVID outbreak. It really was a nightmare moment we’ve not had the tools to escape in the past.

Well, last night is when the coaching seemed to click. Arteta’s in-game management was impeccable. Chambers came on early for Cedric, which I think turned out to be a godsend. When the match went south, he brought on Rob Holding and tightened the ship. Dropping Gabi and Saka into the midfield with Lokonga left as the only recognized central midfielder.

My word, did the team show up. 

Liverpool didn’t have a shot on target. That is quite simply spectacular defending. It’s all the ingredients of JDP coming together at once to control the space against one of the most aggressive attacking forces in world football.

NOT ONE SHOT ON TARGET. I honestly couldn’t believe it.

Ben White was quite simply sensational. He’s had his ups and downs this season, but overall, he’s been impressive. The reality is Gabriel has tended to shine a little brighter than him, there was talk of him being the second defender on our podcast, well, last night I think we put that idea to bed. He led with extreme sharpness, fantastic leadership, and full-on aggression all game. He was masterful, he gives a shit about clean sheets, just look at that amazing picture of him cheering the Liverpool miss. Would I trust him in a nightclub with my girlfriend? No way. But that’s not what today is about. Benny Blanco, without doubt, looks like he’s worth every penny of the £55m we paid for him. Also… anyone dredging up all the slander from other clubs fans? Konate? Varane? Are we talking about their fees being a waste now?

Alex Lacazette, for me, has been on of our players of the season. I just cannot believe how well he’s adapted his game to the cause. The man is a powerhouse leader on the pitch. There’s no doubt he’s twice the captain his predecessor was. He doesn’t give up, he leaves everything on the pitch, and his all-round game is just a joy to watch.

Let’s also talk about the midfield. Saka, Lokonga and Martinelli adapting at speed to new positions and doing a fantastic job. No one is bigger than the team, everyone is pulling in the same direction, and all our players seem to bounce back from poor performances very fast.

Our defence put in a stellar performance. Cal Chambers showed up when we needed it from him, Rob Holding put to bed the horror show of Forest, KT drove the team with his relentless work rate, and Gabriel just did Gabriel things. Mad that Ramsdale probably had his worst game in an Arsenal shirt and still kept a clean sheet. 

It was also a nice touch that Arteta trusted Nuno in a massive moment to come on and shake out the grubbiness of the weekend.

So some concluding thoughts:

This is a young side learning on the job. They are experiencing new things every week. Every week, they are getting stronger. That performance was special, just remember, United went down to 10 men against Liverpool and lost 5-0 at Old Trafford. We made them look ordinary and bereft of ideas. We did the same against City.

Arteta’s mark on this team is becoming more apparent by the week. He knows how to make the fans feel pride in their team, just listen to him talk about everyone wanting to join The Arsenal. Clearly, he knows how to motivate his players, so put the talk of man management in the bin, because we just played 60 minutes with 10 men and every player left it all on the pitch. The ideas he has about where the game is going are the right ones. It might take time for them to lead to a title challenge, but we’re now causing problems for the very best in world football.

This is all happening with the youngest team in the league. There are going to be games like Forest, that’s what happens. The key is not to get too down on those games, and not think we’re winning the league after games like last night (I know it was the cup, but we do get exciting).

The plan from the start of the season is that we’ll be contending the title in two seasons’ time. Top 4 is for next season. The fact that we’re doing bits against Liverpool with 10 men tells you we might be a little ahead of schedule, but don’t lose your mind of pump expectations too hard, because we have a light squad and things can change fast in football. It’s not good getting a big result like last night, then getting pumped on the return leg… which is entirely possible.

The key takeaway from yesterday is this team has bouncbackability. Ben White said ‘that’s football, it is what it is’ when asked about Forest. He’s right. There’s a lot of character and it’s only going to get stronger.

Final thought on the game is the fans. We’re creating a fortress of noise at home, and we outsang the Liverpool fans at their own gaff yesterday. Arteta has brought back pride to Arsenal fans, he’s purchased and developed players that get us off our seats, and he’s made us want to sing again. I think it’s a fantastic development and credit to all the lunatics that went up there and did us proud. This is the most exciting project in world football at the moment and the fans are a huge part of why it’s so much fun.

Arsenal are in trouble for the Spurs game if it goes ahead, which I suspect it might. We have COVID in the club and injury concerns. We literally have no midfield. It’s romantic to think Jack could slip in, but it could also be disastrous. We don’t have time to loan someone in and pray they can adapt to the fiercest derby in the world. We’re either getting creative by bringing Saka into midifield / moving Ben White forward… or we’re rolling the dice on Patino, which I think might be a bit mean. I’m not sure any of those ideas is ideal.

Let’s see where we go with that.

There was no On The Whistle last night, we’ll be back at the weekend. I’m traveling, Johnny is in Dubai with Salt Bae, and Matt is too shy to do it on his own.

Have fun in the comments. Isn’t it great to be an Arsenal fan again?

323 Responses to “STATEMENT DRAW AGAINST LIVERPOOL WITH 10 MEN, WHAT A SCENE!”

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  1. Bankz

    As much as I want to blame Xhaka for being rash yesterday, the fact we held Liverpool (even though they played without Mane and Salah) to a draw at Anfield is highly commendable.
    Hopefully we have the guts to go all the way and knock them out at the emirates in the return leg.

    What are our chances against spurs in the NLD?

  2. Jim+Furnell

    Eleven outfield players, 7 defenders, two midfield players (and that’s with Charlie) two strikers, fuck em’ it;s the Arsenal, make em’ play – that will be the attitude. if it was the scousers it would be off in a heartbeat.

  3. Zacharse

    in the spirit of being humble i am not a huge lacazette fan, but wothout him on the pitch yesterday that result and display does not happen, he shoulda been made captain a year ago it seems

  4. Topside Northbank

    Fingers crossed we get ESR, Tomiyasu back for Sunday.

    Talk of moving White to CM, not for me not the game to be breaking up his partnership with Gabriel.

    Weaken a strength to fill a hole for a game not for me. Kane will be up to his usual trick of trying to buy cheap free kicks/pens we need our best CB pair together.

    Great backs to the wall stuff last night Xhaka is a liability never far away from a pen/red card, it’s killing us stime and again. It all makes the AMN loan more baffling, we could of at least left it until the end of January.

  5. NJ Gooner

    I am proud of our team today – haven’t said that often lately. And I appreciate Pedro’s unvarnished enthusiasm.

    But in the big picture we have to acknowledge that this was a third-rate Liverpool playing a second-team Arsenal. No Mane nor Salah, who surely wouldn’t have missed that extraordinary scuff my Minamino at the end. Still, it was a great mental test and the lads passed. Onward and upward (with a few bumps in the road).

    I was sitting having a beer in Vienna today and a man walked passed me wearing an Arsenal hat. I decided to take it as a good omen in case we have to play on Sunday. We shouldn’t, but we probably will.

    Bon voyage Pedro on your trip to NY. I hope that you took your long undies because it will be a low of 9F on Sunday!

  6. China1

    ‘There are so many good parts to his game’

    Lol Pedro. Then why did you write a whole blog post called ‘arteta dies on xhaka hill’

    Sounds like he’s become ten times the player in the last handful of months if he now has ‘so many good parts’ to his game. Can we stop skirting round the elephant in the room just because arteta likes him already

  7. NJ Gooner

    One more thing: I thought that Chambers made a great play for a spot in Sunday’s team. Right back if Tomo is unavailable, wing back if he is, or defensive midfield if necessary. It was a great statement that he came in from the cold and put up such a strong performance.

  8. GAZZA

    Agree Lacazette was brilliant last night just a shame his impact tends to wear off after 70 mins as he is then basically knackered from the effort he has put in

  9. Graham

    One of many things I like about Ramsdale is that he is not just very good but lucky

    At least three times last night he made a mistake that could have lead directly to a goal – or remember that hospital pass to Xhaxa in the NLD that ended up in an Auba goal at the other end

    And his confidence is such that even if he did make an error that cost a goal I am convinced he would just dust himself down and carry on – unlike say Richard Wright who I still remember almost disintegrating in front of my eyes against Charlton.

  10. Tom

    White was immense, Saka not far behind.
    Xhaka was, well, Xhaka.

    Pool without Salah and Mane are a mid table club.
    Klopp “tanking the league “on fourth biggest wage bill and 7-8 biggest net spend over last five years.

    Arsenal expected to fight for Europa places on third biggest net spent last five years and fifth largest wage bill ………go figure.

    Great team effort in a competition I don’t really care about but if you have to play it, might as well put in a shift and the boys did that and then some.

  11. Taylor Swift

    I do wish Grove posters were not so prone to hysteria. Holding / Chambers / Sambi have gone from rubbish, which they are not, to demi-Godsz which they are not. It just seems very playgroundy.

    When in England. I live in Brighton, so do follow them. Looking forward to tonight’s M23 derby.. I have been lucky enough to go to a couple and the hatred is palpable.

  12. Tom

    White was immense, Saka not far behind.
    Xhaka was, well, Xhaka.

    Pool without Salah and Mane are a mid table club.
    Klopp “tanking the league “on fourth biggest wage bill and 7-8 biggest net spend over last five years.

    Arsenal expected to fight for Europa places on third biggest net spent last five years and fifth largest wage bill ………go figure.

    Great team effort in a competition I don’t really care about but if you have to play it, might as well put in a shift and the boys did that and then some.

  13. Topside Northbank

    Not just Sunday but for the rest of the season play Chambers RB over Cedric who simply is physically weak defensively, Chambers lack of pace a massive issue but at least a presence in both boxes at set pieces.

    Set pieces modern football account for a large percentage of goals scored or conceded.

    I would even take Tavares playing right back over Cedric who at leasr is able to get up and down the line and not be brushed off the ball, Cedric a disaster of a signing.

  14. AFC Forever

    Pedro

    Nicely written mate.

    Last night at Anfield, our young players stood toe to toe and restricted a strong Covid40 team to a solitary shot on target. With just ten players. For 70 minutes. Few teams do that at Anfield with 11 blokes on the pitch.

    The attitude of the players matches what we demand. They showed real heart and discipline to deliver on the tactics of the manager; the players are learning and growing. They are young, so they make mistakes but we allow them that. We get it (well most do). The traveling fans were immense, they deserve huge respect for the way they backed our boys, that’s a long journey and they contributed to that result. It’s the same support at the Emirates, the fans can see what is happening and support the team. That transfers itself onto the pitch because the players feed off it. It’s been a long time overdue.

    Thankfully we have moved on from the frustrations of previous years and now leave the moaning and pram emptying to the keyboard warriors who infect social media, like an escaped virus from a foreign lab. Ben White at the end screaming his delight to the players at the clean sheet, his voice louder than the tattoos that cover his body. We love to see that. Benjamin White is a class act, so calming. We’re a class act. I’m loving this attitude.

    Watching Klopp at the end was a bonus – a face like a slapped arse as it dawned on him that the Xhaka sending off was just another false positive to add to the forty before.

  15. Pedro

    China, tough to marry ‘he’s totally shit’ to ‘was part of the midfield that controlled City’

    He’s a good player. He’s also a liability. Arteta isn’t dying on any hill.

  16. Mulerise14

    Yes it is great to be a fan again….but I don’t agree top 4 is for next season,as we are now, am not being bias we are the fourth best team in d league,only just behind cheski(whom are in for a whole lot of surprise when we meet again, hopefully at the final first).
    I will not put manu or spuds b4 us….so why not make tr8phy the tr4phy it really is?Let’s help ourselves in the transfer market and go bang…… this season is the one we enter the big boys league again.so Pedro say it out,you will not be crucified if don’t make d top 4, but it gotta be the GOAL,this season

  17. NORG

    Pedro – there is a job for you at No 10. The current occupant needs your rhetorical style to get him out of the brown stuff.

  18. Topside Northbank

    Last night was a fantastic effort, Liverpool imo complacent played the ball slowly side to side in front of us and we dealth with it well.

    The big miss for them Salah, Mane a very good player but not having the best of seasons Salah for Minamino and Keita/Thiago for Milner and that’s their strongest line up.

    Klopp wanted and secretly expected the first leg to go the way a lot of our recent visit’s have gone 3/4 or 5 goals and the second leg he can play a weakened starting 11 with insurance on the bench. That he didn’t take off Milner earlier and play with more width certainly helped us.

  19. Topside Northbank

    ACON only 8 teams will exit the group stages so we won’t be getting anyone back too quickly.

    The PL break after the Burnley game we should start getting players back and we don’t play again until Wolves 8th February.

    Get through the next week through to a final and 4pts minimum from the two PL games and we should be in good shape for a real crack at 4th.

  20. Topside Northbank

    ACON only 8 teams will exit the group stages so we won’t be getting anyone back too quickly.

    The PL break after the Burnley game we should start getting players back and we don’t play again until Wolves 8th February.

    Get through the next week through to a final and 4pts minimum from the two PL games and we should be in good shape for a real crack at 4th.

  21. AFC Forever

    Pedro

    Let’s be fair here. Xhaka is a very good, international player with limitations. He’s reliable, strong, recycles and passes well while working hard for the team – we shouldn’t forget the run he made to try to cover Jota and prevent a goal. He’s rated by many managers, including Mourinho, not just Arteta.

    Unfortunately, his lack of pace means he gets exposed in one on one situations, so he makes daft fouls. Referees know that so he is treated more harshly than other players who make many more fouls. It’s this unconscious bias that PGMOL can’t seem to address. McArthur on Saka, Kane on Robertson, the professional foul by Evans at Leicester, etc., nobody can argue they weren’t worse and yet those players didn’t receive red card’s, & VAR weren’t interested. Does anyone really think Xhaka would have got away with those three? Of course not.

    I’m not sure a yellow would have been overturned at Anfield but nonetheless, it was a typical Xhaka moment. A lack of pace, a head gone moment and PGMOL unconscious bias (reputation) conspired against him. I’m not defending Xhaka but stating the blindingly obvious and the reason he needs to be replaced. He is a red card waiting to happen. Unfortunately, our current squad needs him.

  22. AFC Forever

    Pedro

    “He’s a good player. He’s also a liability. Arteta isn’t dying on any hill.”

    100% accurate, as per my comment above.

  23. Pedro

    Also NORG, no idea if you were popping at me for spin, but the reality is… everything I’ve been saying has come true. So it wasn’t spin, it was accurate rhetoric.

  24. Unoni

    Zach

    He was my choice for a captain with Tierney as understudy beat back when xakha was stripped. He was my choice for striker way back when auba was kicking goals for fun
    He’s still the host complete and selfless forward we have at the club and he gives up on his own goal pursuit to elevate the young players and give them the atrium to
    Change games
    It’s a thankless role but he rolls his sleeves up and outs in a shift every single time
    Glad he’s now getting the recognition he deserves
    Auba is a turnip and hopefully fucks off to juventus this month.

  25. Muppetman

    Pedro can you get rid of the widget on mobile devices? It’s horrible and the “hoe is Arteta handling his job as head coach?” Keeps coming up.

  26. Leedsgunner

    Xhaka might as well be broken. With that red card he has shown great disrespect to his team, the medical team who got him fit. For what purpose?

    I’m tired of Xhaka and his ridiculous antics. Sending off today. Penalty versus Man City…

    Where is the discipline from Arteta to Xhaka?

    Or does he get a bye, with a shrug

  27. Pedro

    Leeds, that wasn’t disrespect. It was football. Rudiger did the same and got away with it. Kane did worse against Liverpool and got away with it. Refs hate him. That was harsh by any standard. Certainly not disrespect.

  28. Danny

    NOT ONE SHOT ON TARGET. I honestly couldn’t believe it.
    ————-
    Yes Pedro, we had no shots on target against N.Forest and again yesterday, 2 full 90 minutes of fuck all!

  29. NORG

    Pedro – harmless fun – I do enjoy your posts and have done for years but do not always agree with everything you write . When Geoff was still at the keyboard we would know Geoff would be writing the post if Wenger had a bad result – I imagine he was probably eating the keyboard at the same time as typing.

    By the way Boris is at the head of the queue for your services closely followed by Andrew.

    Now back to saving the planet.

  30. Pedro

    Danny, I feel like you can’t find joy in anything and at this point, your views are so off-key and out of touch, you must be trolling?

  31. Leedsgunner

    Pedro

    It’s suddenly not very easy to post comments very hit and miss… I’m using an iPhone. When you tap post comment… it zooms in instead.

  32. Trilbilly

    We’ve been told how the elite teams eek out that extra 1% from dieticians, psychologists, set piece experts but what’s the point when xhaka undoes all that hard work in 20% of the games he plays in with red cards, suspensions from 5th yellows, penalties, mistakes leading to goals. Maybe the Xhaka tax isn’t worth paying?
    We now play Spurs on Sunday who have had an extra days rest after exhausting ourselves for 80mins defending.
    Midfield was already tight but now we’re an extra man down, it just isn’t funny anymore.

  33. IAT-Robbie

    “and landed a karate kick to the Portuguese chest”

    😂😂😂 Anyone would be forgiven for thinking this was MMA commentary.

    “pray they can adapt to the fiercest derby in the world”

    NLD is up there but I think that title goes to Al Ahly v Zamalek or Boca Juniors v River Plate. Those derbies have actually killed people and caused serious property damage. I think football authorities had to move one Copa Libertadores final between the Argentine sides because of the violence.

  34. bacaryisgod

    No Pedro, you can’t put Arteta’s man management in the bin because it’s not that simple. He’s showing great improvement in that area, but he’s also overseen some miserable displays too, including thr Forest game when you proclaimed ‘Arsenal enter dangerous territory after F.A Cup disaster’.

    Most of us know what Arteta is. He’s clearly a good thinker who has shown he’s capable of motivating his players. Beating City and Chelsea in the 2020 F.A Cup proved that also. But his immaturity and ego have also hurt him on several occasions. The question is whether he can harness all his positives (which after this summer should also include scouting) and learn from his mistakes. Let’s hope he can.

  35. AFC Forever

    “Danny, I feel like you can’t find joy in anything and at this point, your views are so off-key and out of touch, you must be trolling?”

    Yep he is. Again. He’s also wrong because we had one shot on target; the Saka one that he probably would have buried with a better first touch.

  36. Danny

    Pedro
    If you prefer everybody here not say anything negative then fine, it’s your site but I believe that’s not what you want, you do want serious discussions about Arsenal. I just stated a fact, no trolling, just stating what it is and for me it’s not good enough.

  37. Danny

    the Saka one that he probably would have buried with a better first touch.
    ————–
    Wasn’t really a shot, a chance, an opportunity yes but he completely miscontrolled it like Ode against Man C.

  38. Pedro

    Bacary, it’s a young team. Look at what he’s doing holistically.

    Attracting top talent
    Tying talent down to longterm deals
    Getting everyone to put it on the line

    Bad games happen.

    Arteta is a good man manager.

  39. Vintage Gun

    “Agree with all that AFC. He needs to be changed at some point. Not sure when we’ll do that.”

    This summer i reckon. I thought he was unlucky in his red card as replays showed that his eyes were always on the ball. But once he connected with Jota’s chest he had to go.
    All managers select him because hes a hardworking honest pro that understands tactical plans very well. The problem for him is that the football in this country is too fast for him due to his lack of pace, mobility and agility.

    Italy would be fine for him.

  40. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ like the players you mention ad infinitum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welbeck, Mkhi, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo/Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he made us tick in midfield.

    Of course you can’t point to any metrics in support of all the creativity your favourite players brought to the team because save a purple patch from Ramsey, the rest were average.

    Really great having you back here. Again.

  41. Danny

    Maybe to play The Scum now without Son and after their exit from the Milk Cup would be preferable to say a month from now.

  42. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ like the players you mention ad infinitum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welbeck, Mkhi, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo/Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he made us tick in midfield.

    Of course you can’t point to any metrics in support of all the creativity your favourite players brought to the team because save a purple patch from Ramsey, because they were bang average (except Santi).

    Really great having you back here. Again.

  43. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ like the players you mention ad infinitum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welbeck, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo/Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he made us tick in midfield.

    Of course you can’t point to any metrics in support of all the creativity your favourite players brought to the team because, save a purple patch from Ramsey, they were bang average (except Santi).

    Really great having you back here. Again.

  44. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ like the players you mention ad infinitum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welbeck, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo and Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he made us tick in midfield.

    Of course you can’t point to any metrics in support of all the creativity your favourite players brought to the team because, save a purple patch from Ramsey, they were bang average (except Santi).

    Really great having you back here for the 12th time.

  45. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ like the players you mention ad infinitum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welbeck, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo/Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he made us tick in midfield.

    Really great having you back here. Again.

  46. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ as if the players you mention ad nauseum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welbeck, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo/Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he made us tick in midfield.

    Of course you can’t point to any metrics in support of all the creativity your favourite players brought to the team because, save a purple patch from Ramsey, they were bang average (except Santi).

    Really great having you back here. Again.

  47. IAT-Robbie

    “Most of us know what Arteta is. He’s clearly a good thinker who has shown he’s capable of motivating his players. Beating City and Chelsea in the 2020 F.A Cup proved that also. But his immaturity and ego have also hurt him on several occasions”

    Agreed. This is a no-brainer.

  48. Pedro

    Danny, it’s very odd to come on here with an axe to grind after a performance like that. Especially shots on target for Arsenal. Like, what are you saying?

  49. Jamie

    “We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?”

    Don, you’ve done this to death. Mentioning having the ‘creative spine ripped out of the squad’ like the players you mention ad infinitum hadn’t entered the final 18 months of their contract under Wenger’s watch.

    No one is carrying water for Emery, you say this desperately looking for backup from others here. It’s transparent and weak.

    “Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season?”

    Comparing Welb, Ramsey, Wilshere to Pirlo/Scholes is absolutely your level. Santi is the only one who comes even close to either in terms of how he crucial he was to our midfield.

    Of course you can’t point to any metrics in support of all the creativity your favourite players brought to the team because, save a purple patch from Ramsey, they were bang average (except Santi).

    Really great having you back here. Again.

  50. David Smith

    Unfortunately, even if we are down to our last 6-7 players, they will make sure the Tottenham game goes ahead, it seems for some reason, the authorities do not give us the same favours they do others.
    Perhaps Vinai , Garlick and co need to fight the powers that be the way our players fought last night

  51. Jamie

    Pedro,

    Could you create a list of the banned words please mate? Nothing worse than writing a post and having it not post, then trying to rewrite it a few times hoping it’ll finally make it through.

  52. Danny

    Pedro
    2 full 90s without a shot on target doesn’t bother you?
    Also your comments about Laca including “‘his all-round game is just a joy to watch”, I thought he was very poor last night, everytime he got the ball he gave it away or missed passed it, at one point I was counting how many mistakes he made but I gave up after 7.

  53. bacaryisgod

    Pedro

    When it comes to Arteta, you’ve lost some of your ability to think clearly. It’s fine. You have an agenda and you are pushing it aggressively. Unfortunately, when things have taken a turn for the worse, it leads you to spiral and use words like ‘dangerous territory’ and ‘disasterclass’ while calling for him to get sacked on more than once occasion. It’s all a little manic depressive.

    Not quite sure why you can’t accept the obvious statement that he’s a promising but flawed manager. .

  54. Pedro

    Bacary, you bounce between.

    ‘You’ve lost credibility backing Arteta’

    to

    ‘You actually hate him and have been a force for hate against him’

    You lane was ‘he’s shit’… my lane was the opposite.

    I will always criticise a manager when it’s deserved, but if. you are honestly looking at the narrative of this site since before Emery was hired and you are saying ‘you’ve not backed the plan’ then you have a very hard time following a very long thread of work.

  55. bacaryisgod

    Upstate Gooner

    You have to be fair about missing players. They were missing 3 quality players (Salah, Mane and Thiago) and we were missing 4 quality players (Tomi, Partey, Ode and ESR).

  56. IAT-Robbie

    Liverpool v Arsenal
    78% | Ball possession | 22%
    17 | Total shots | 3
    1 | Shots on target | 1
    10 | Shots off target | 1
    6 | Blocked shots | 1
    1 | Big chances | 1
    1 | Big chances missed | 1
    1 | Goalkeeper saves | 1
    1.1 | Expected Goals | 0.5

  57. Pedro

    Jamie, if you used the word Don, then yes, that’s banned, because that piece of shit is not on the feed at all. He’s banned 19 times, under 20 guises, I’ve even taken out his IP address. So people addressing someone as that are wrong and it annoys me.

  58. englandsbest

    Spot on, Pedro. That was a game that made every Arsenal fan swell with pride. In terms of courage, commitment, coherence, the performance of the season thus far. From any side, not just Arsenal.

    The guys on here who sneered at the forecast of a top 6 finish and a final under Arteta’s belt, are the same ones now telling us he’s a miserable failure if he doesn’t make top 4. Well, we all why. So they can make a song and dance if he comes 5th or 6th. Pathetic!

  59. AFC Forever

    An unnamed source said:-

    “Arsenal has requested that the North London Derby on Sunday is postponed. According to our information, Mikel Arteta returned back to the Emirates with a large number of Covid test kits kindly supplied by Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager. On testing the squad this morning they found they had 150 Positive tests and were left with no alternative than to isolate and request a postponement. The premier league will consider the application however as it’s Arsenal they may make an exception and make them play the game. PGMOL has appointed Mike Dean for the game with Jerrod Gillet handling VAR. Arteta has apparently been seen practicing a 9-1 formation with the tea lady and the kitman playing at center-half and Gunnersaurus in goal.”

    A fan on social media said: “I can’t believe Arteta is playing a 9-1. It’s a game we have to win and he’s showing no ambition. I can’t believe he’s playing Gunnersaurus in goal, he’s a DM, Arteta’s a bloody dinosaur, he has to go.”

  60. Pedro

    bacary, you can’t have it both ways.

    I either have no credibility because you said I was blind to Arteta

    Or I always cunted him off, so I don’t have the right to talk him up

    Let’s be real, 99% know where I’ve stood on it.

  61. bacaryisgod

    Pedro

    Your lane:

    ‘He’s the greatest. Sack him. He’s the greatest. Sack him. He’s the greatest’.

    Not your direct quotes just a summary of your positions.

  62. bacaryisgod

    Pedro

    Just don’t make it look like my direct quotes when I’m pretty sure I never said anything like ‘You actually hate him and have been a force for hate against him’

  63. bacaryisgod

    Pedro

    Please don’t make it look like my direct quotes when I’m pretty certain I’ve never said

    ‘You actually hate him and have been a force for hate against him’

  64. Pedro

    Jamie, that is 100% not Don because I can see.

    The last 5 times Don has come back, he’s been zapped within 5 days because the loser cannot control himself.

    If this person, who I’m sure is not him, fucks up, then they will be gone.

  65. Pedro

    Bacary, not sure anyone is having that narrative bar you. But we all know why, because you came on here over and over to say I had lost credibility, and now you see it rising. All those things you said I was wrong on… are right.

  66. Terraloon

    As I posted on an earlier post I wonder if the loaning of 2 players both who “ qualified “ to play in this game may well be an issue . Simply put the powers that be at Arsenal knowingly agreed to reduce the squad without replacements will be a factor.

    Add to that the pelters the league have taken for agreeing to Leicester taking into account players absent at the AFCON may well be an issue as well.

    For me a lot hinges on which days the positive COVID tests were carried our because if it’s day 6 on Saturday or even possibly Sunday then those players will be deemed fit even if they haven’t trained, don’t feel 100% or spent any time with the other players in match preparation.

    The fact that the decision hasn’t been made already sets alarm bells ringing because the numbers must be very close.

  67. Terraloon

    As I posted on an earlier post I wonder if the loaning of 2 players both who “ qualified “ to play in this game may well be an issue . Simply put the powers that be at Arsenal knowingly agreed to reduce the squad without replacements will be a factor.

    Add to that the pelters the league have taken for agreeing to Leicester taking into account players absent at the AFCON may well be an issue as well.

    For me a lot hinges on which days the positive COVID tests were carried our because if it’s day 6 on Saturday or even possibly Sunday then those players will be deemed fit even if they haven’t trained, don’t feel 100% or spent any time with the other players in match preparation.

    The fact that the decision hasn’t been made already sets alarm bells ringing because the numbers must be very close.

  68. Mr Serge

    Pedro has backed Arteta all the way only once or twice has he questioned him. We all do that at low times
    I also like what I see hopefully we hit top4 this season and proves a few right

  69. Jamie

    Sadly it’s always the same dude. Uses a proxy or a VPN when he wants to drink and unleash, has used multiple handles simultaneously in the past. Un, Un Battle Angel, Un Nai nai, D0n, Red Army, … all the same twat.

    You can tell it’s him because when he creates a new account, he posts 3,4,5 times on the bounce several times a day and loves Jack Wilshere like Pierre loves Ozil. He’s knocked the toilet chat on the head recently though, so no harm no foul. I just couldn’t figure out the banned word I was using.

    I’ll stop calling him D0n.

  70. Terraloon

    Mr Serge

    It’s a catch 22. But and a big but looking at the both Arsenal, Spurs and indeed Liverpool’s football calendar, available dates , PL matches that are already having to be rescheduled and other games that will take precedence such as the Chelsea away game that has to be fitted in, if the parts are in place to postpone the Spurs game then it’s possible that the second leg of the CC will be delayed and finding a date in the next 30 days may be a struggle

    As I posted on an earlier post I wonder if the loaning of 2 players both who “ qualified “ to play in this game may well be an issue . Simply put the powers that be at Arsenal knowingly agreed to reduce the squad without replacements will be a factor.

    Add to that the pelters the league have taken for agreeing to Leicester taking into account players absent at the AFCON may well be an issue as well.

    For me a lot hinges on which days the positive COVID tests were carried our because if it’s day 6 on Saturday or even possibly Sunday then those players will be deemed fit even if they haven’t trained, don’t feel 100% or spent any time with the other players in match preparation.

    The fact that the decision hasn’t been made already sets alarm bells ringing because the numbers must be very close.

  71. Upstate Gooner

    Jamie,
    “Could you create a list of the banned words please mate?”

    LOL… the list is probably too long for Pedro to compile. Basically, any combination of Arteta and words like “incompetent”, “useless”, “inept”, etc… Used to be a regular here, but now I’m down to maybe skimming to 2-3 posts a week because it’s getting more and more nauseating with each post that I read. Top 4 is for next season now. So we’re back to 8th is okay? Unreal stuff.

  72. Terraloon

    As I posted on an earlier post I wonder if the loaning of 2 players both who “ qualified “ to play in this game may well be an issue . Simply put the powers that be at Arsenal knowingly agreed to reduce the squad without replacements will be a factor.

    Add to that the pelters the league have taken for agreeing to Leicester taking into account players absent at the AFCON may well be an issue as well.

    For me a lot hinges on which days the positive COVID tests were carried our because if it’s day 6 on Saturday or even possibly Sunday then those players will be deemed fit even if they haven’t trained, don’t feel 100% or spent any time with the other players in match preparation.

    The fact that the decision hasn’t been made already sets alarm bells ringing because the numbers must be very close.

  73. Soham

    Serge

    Yes it could prove to be the right decision as playing against liverpool with 10 for majority of the time would really have knackered the players. Lacazette who lasts for an avg. of 70 mins might not last more than 55-60 on Sunday. Same with Martinelli and Saka. Could lead to injury as well. Ode is also out with covid hence bench wont be too strong. ESR Tomi carrying knocks as well.

    Downside of the decision could be to play them at the time whe Son is back. That guy is always a pain in the ass and tends to score against us everytime !

  74. JOEL

    Two games in a row without a shot on target.. The first because we couldn’t be bothered and the second because a player who should know better put us into an untenable position…Whilst Xhaka undoubtedly cares about Arsenal his game management just isn’t suited to the EPL….
    Whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing it wouldn’t have taken a clairvoyant to predict that a combination of AFCON,Usual Mid-Season Injuries and Xhaka’s “Red Mist” would mean that Arsenal would be disastrously weakened during a crucial part of the.Season…and we would have to bring in at least one additional midfielder as soon as the January Transfer Window opened…As usual a complete lack of planning by Edu and Arteta has left us bereft of a competitive team…There is no way that this weekend’s game will be postponed…and neither should it…Arsenal’s problems have little to do with the Pandemic and much more to do with poor planning….Why on Earth allow AMN to flit off to Rome before a suitable replacement could be found….All the momentum built up before Partey and his lesser cohorts left for The Cameroon has now been lost and by the time they come back we will have drifted back into mid table mediocrity …not to mention that we are now completely reliant upon a centre forward who is leaving at the end of the Season and we’re his injury away from having to rely on Neketiah…which would be a complete farce!…( as he’s useless…his performance against Forest perfectly illustrated this point)

  75. DivineSherlock

    Postpone the Derby ! Go into second leg fresh , smash the Burnley Boys and be happy going into the break . Masterstroke from Arteta.

  76. Topside Northbank

    For Sunday’s game to be called off I would think we must have more than Odegaard with covid.

    Even if 8/9 injuries the fact we have loaned out Balogun and AMN may well count against us.

    The bigger issue is the process for PP is not transparent.

  77. Mr Serge

    Soham yeah I agree with that but I don’t agree we should postpone the game
    They have their best 2 cb out as well and Thier best lb so they are weak too is ESR defo out ?

  78. IQ

    I like the widget, and seeing other people’s opinions. Just stop it popping up once we’ve filled in the questionnaire.

    The red card for Xhaka was given for denying a goal scoring opportunity which was totally bollocks as White had got back and Jota would have to beat him and the goalkeeper to score. Any other player for any other team and that is a yellow.

    Unfortunately for Xhaka his card is marked with the refs and they will always card him given the slightest opportunity. It make me sick that such bias can be allowed but we have no other choice but to replace him.

  79. Jamie

    Upstate –

    I called Arteta a pleb for choosing to die on the Xhaka hill like his predecessors, post made it through fine!

    p.s. EL qualification is the target for this season, imo. 4th was always a long shot, even without the European/FA Cup distractions this season. Our squad is threadbare, and we’re in a hot mess outside our top 11 to 15 players. We’d get decimated next season trying to play CL games with the same 11-15 players twice a week, and I’m not sure we can afford 2-3 top new recruits this summer without selling our dross extremely well.

  80. Mr Serge

    Spurs have son out and their two best cb and their Lb let’s have it now as they are weaker than us
    Is ESR going to make it?

  81. IQ

    I would rather Wilshere until the end of the season than Artur Melo as Wilshere has more chance of hitting the ground running than someone coming from the Italian league.

    All the reports say we won’t be signing anyone permanent so at least get someone on loan / short-term who is familiar with the premier league.

    PS . I am not Don either.

  82. AFC Forever

    It had to be postponed, a good decision by Arteta although he had little choice.

    An unnamed SKY source said:-

    “Arsenal has requested that the North London Derby on Sunday is postponed. According to our information, Mikel Arteta returned back to the Emirates with a large number of Covid test kits kindly supplied by Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager. On testing the squad this morning they found they had 150 Positive tests and were left with no alternative other than to isolate and request a postponement.”

    Mikel Arteta: “I have no choice. The tests are conclusive. However, just in case the Premier League deny my request, I have been working on an alternative plan at the training ground. Pearl Gray, our tea lady, will make a center-back pairing with Mow DeGrass, our groundsman. Mow can spread it around well and always digs deep when he has to. Gunnersaurus will be in goal; yes he’s a bit green so we are having to work hard on getting him ready and the shirts a bit tight. I will probably play a 9-1 formation.”

    Twitter reacted angrily with one Arsenal fan claiming: “I can’t believe lego head is playing a 9-1 formation. We should be going 4–2-1-4-6. We have to win this game he’s showing no ambition. Arteta Out.”

    Another said: “Gunnersaurus has over a million years experience, has good height for a ‘keeper so I’m not worried about him. We should win but if we don’t I want Lego Head out of my club.”

  83. IQ

    I would rather Wilshere until the end of the season than Artur Melo as Wilshere has more chance of hitting the ground running than someone coming from the Italian league.

    All the reports say we won’t be signing anyone permanent so at least get someone on loan / short-term who is familiar with the premier league.

    PS . I am not D O N either. (Lol it does stop you posting if you type his name)

  84. Pedro

    Upstate, it must be nauseating to know that you were so embarrassingly militant about your incorrect views.

    Very weird you woulnd’t be happily eating humble pie. How very internet of you. The shame of coming onto an Arsenal blog to admit you can’t handle the Arsenal doing well. Honestly, it’s so weak.

  85. Pierre

    Maybe the premier league will question Arsenal as to why we have players like Guendouzi, torreira and AMN on the books , and yet we are unabled to field a team against Tottenham..

    Could they say that it’s our own fault for not managing our resources better, and they would probably be right.

    What will actually happen is the game will be postponed as the league can’t be seen to punish one team(Arsenal) and allow another (Liverpool) to flout the rules..

    Personally, i think we should play against Tottenham, they are an average side who would be there for the taking, i don’t think we should play the same game as liverpool and bend the rules..

  86. Jamie

    “Lol it does stop you posting if you type his name”

    It’s the same with Bambam and his aliases too I think. Some sad fucks who need to attempt some internet wizardry to get back on a blog then keep getting bounced from for repeatedly acting like bellends.

    Not that one necessarily follows the other, but what’s Marko saying these days?

  87. Le Sauce

    Sky sports saying Spurs hierarchy are livid we requested for a postponment. We’re pulling a Klopp on those guys, hopefully the PL board doesn’t bend us over

  88. Bradybunch

    I had the same take IATR, looking more glum than smug. Petit mal.
    If we’re battle weary, and at bare bones, I’ll gladly play them another time. They’ve got a bigger backlog of games than us , and we can do without another dent to our confidence at this point. If we play them at another time , it might not be a 6/9 pointer like has been discussed .
    Id back our best XI against theirs anyway.

  89. IAT-Robbie

    “So people addressing someone as that are wrong and it annoys me”

    Pedro,
    I kind of feel the same way when I’m referred to as the “B” word.😅

  90. Terraloon

    Topside

    “Even if 8/9 injuries the fact we have loaned out Balogun and AMN may well count against us.”

    According to the Dm, yep I know, there are 12 outfield players available. No where is the actual date that Odegaard tested positive stated . If it was Tuesday or earlier then he will be tested tomorrow and if negative will be deemed as fit to play.

    But it’s as you state the two players who have been loaned out that could well tip matters because quite simply that is self inflicted.

    If I were a betting man I suspect that it will be played on Sunday if it’s not then be prepared for the CC second leg to potentially be cancelled and that then creates all sorts of bigger issues in that it has to be played by mid February and I can’t see many dates where it can be fitted in

  91. Pedro

    Jamie, last time that bore was on here he was telling us Arteta was the worst coach Arsenal have ever had.

    Mark told us the team would be buried by October.

    I mean, some truly toxic people frequented this blog during the dark times.

  92. Pedro

    IAT, I can imagine. But if you say you aren’t him, then I will take your word for it and I won’t let people call you Bamford.

  93. AFC Forever

    Let Spurs bitch, they’ve had games postponed! They know we’re missing key players so of course, they want to play. Arteta was absolutely right to apply to postpone the North London Derby.

    An unnamed SKY source said:-

    “Arsenal has requested that the North London Derby on Sunday be postponed. According to our information, Mikel Arteta returned back to the Emirates with a large number of Covid test kits kindly supplied by Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager. On testing the squad this morning they found they had 150 Positive tests and were left with no alternative other than to isolate and request a postponement.”

    Mikel Arteta: “I have no choice. The tests are conclusive. However, I don’t know the rules, they change when it is us. So, I have been working at the training ground. Pearl Gray, our tea lady, will make a center-back pairing with Mo DeGrass, our groundsman. Mow spreads it around well. keeps it short and has spades of experience. Yes, I can confirm Gunnersaurus will be in goal. My coaching team are working with him now because he is a bit green and could be in better shape. I will probably play a 9-1 formation. I am worried about Mike Dean being the referee with Jerrod Gillett being behind the VAR Result Manipulation System.”

    Twitter reacted angrily with one Arsenal fan claiming: “I can’t believe Arteta is playing a 9-1 formation. Yet again he shows no ambition. We should be going 4-1-5. We have to win this game or he has to go.”

    Another said: “Gunnersaurus has over a million years experience and is a great size for a goalkeeper. We should win this easily but if we don’t Arteta has to be sacked in the morning..”

  94. DivineSherlock

    If we are able to postpone this game , then Xhaka is done for January . If we make a deal for Arthur Melo or someone else , we might have a new pairing with Partey in Feb . Nicee.

  95. IAT-Robbie

    “Petit mal” 😂😂😂 I just found out what that means. Perfect!

    “If we’re battle weary, and at bare bones, I’ll gladly play them another time (…) it might not be a 6/9 pointer like has been discussed .I’d back our best XI against theirs anyway.”

    That’s a good point. Probably a good idea to postpone it, even if they are there for the taking. Their manager and Son is the only thing giving that squad hope.

  96. Terraloon

    Humm.

    To further stir the pot it have just read that the number of squad players that are supposedly out with “ COVID” doesn’t constitute an outbreak as defined in PL rules.

  97. AFC Forever

    “Sky sports saying Spurs hierarchy are livid we requested for a postponement. We’re pulling a Klopp on those guys, hopefully, the PL board doesn’t bend us over.”

    They are taking the piss, they had a Covid problem. Just proves they’re scared of us and know that with the players we have missing they have a chance.

  98. Upstate Gooner

    Pedro
    “Very weird you woulnd’t be happily eating humble pie. How very internet of you. The shame of coming onto an Arsenal blog to admit you can’t handle the Arsenal doing well. Honestly, it’s so weak.”

    Doing well? LOL… if by “doing well” you mean watching Xhaka trying to imitate a professional footballer out there and sabotaging our games on the weekly basis then okay, we’re doing fantastic. If by “doing well” you mean losing to Manchester United and Everton in pathetic fashion, and going out of FA Cup to Nottingham Forest without registering a single shot on target, then we’re definitely going in the right direction. Can you at least be honest with yourself and others (readers of your blog) for once? Xhaka is not the answer. Anyone, and their blind grandma can see that. How can our “genius” of a manager can’t is beyond comprehension. Yesterday was another bad day at the office, and there’s no other way sugarcoating it. Salah and Mane would’ve made a difference for Pool for sure. Minamino missing a sitter. Ramsdale getting away with murder. Sure, some good and maybe even brilliant (Saka) performances by our guys yesterday but we were just extremely lucky. I’m going to say this though, our game against City (even though it ended in a loss) was probably the best (half a) game I’ve seen us play in 2 years, if not more. However, I think that not having the little dictator running, screaming, yelling, pointing, gesticulating on the sidelines only helped the team that day. I’m afraid though that our owners have their heads so up their arses that they won’t even bother with sacking Arteta even if things go sideways come of this season (another 8th place or whatever). But hopefully they will recognize for who he is sooner rather later, which is a fraud. So we shall see who’s gonna be eating some humble pie when that happens.