AFC VS SPURS OFF. RICHARD GARLICK WORKING PROTOCOL MAGIC?

by .

It’s a TWO post kind of day.

Arsenal managed to convince the Premier League to have the Spurs game postponed.

This is a monstrous piece of work from Arsenal leadership, truly, a very powerful move.

One of the elements that I think confuses everyone is that we’re all looking at the one or two COVID cases and wondering how you can have a game canceled based on such low numbers.

Well, the Arsenal case wouldn’t go down like that.

I thought we looked naive calling out injuries and AFCON in the presser, but that was absolutely part of the mixer.

The Premier League has to look at actual cases. They have to consider players coming back from COVID being unfit (remember Gabriel last season?). Then they will look at the amount of games played by players that haven’t had much time off. Arsenal will then no doubt be flagging the names we have on the verge of injury.

Arsenal had one midfielder by the end of the Liverpool game. We’re on our 4th choice right back. Granit Xhaka is out for 3 games. Our squad is threadbare right now, you can’t deny it.

Then look at the players who have taken the load. Tomiyasu has a niggly injury, that could turn into a serious one if he’d played tomorrow. ESR is also carrying a knock, that could turn into a 3-month problem. Lose those two players, there’s no Liverpool and Burnley games. That impacts the Premier League because the calendar has to shift again.

In times like these, you have to look at people like Richard Garlick and wonder how big his role was in this. He was part of the team that pulled together the Premier League protocols for returning the training after a COVID outbreak. That’s a lawyer type on the frontline of the rules, if anyone was going to get this game canceled, it was him.

So onto the selfish bits: This is huge for Arsenal.

It means we can have a rattle at Liverpool this Thursday. We’ll have most of our players back in contention for the Burnley game at home next Sunday. Then we have 17 days off to prepare for our Phase 6 assault on the league.

By then, we should have signed a couple of players, everyone will have rested, there will be no Europe, and we’ll have a fully fit side to play Spurs in a game that could decide the Top 4 race. Is it annoying that Son will be back? Yes. But I really don’t think going away to Spurs with no midfield was a recipe for a high probability win.

So all in all, this is a good day for Arsenal. Given the context of our season, it’s a fair one. We dropped 9 points at the start of the season because no one understood how badly COVID rocks preparation. We had 9 players out for Brentford. I think moving one game is acceptable considering the massive advantages afforded to everyone else.

It’s also very amusing that the full force of the media + the Sky Sports Punditry mafia couldn’t shape a decision you knew they had an interest in shaping. You can pretend the media isn’t a bias affair, but everyone has eyes, and we can all see how different clubs get different treatment. Look at how Klopp evaded any real criticism for the fale/positives. Look at the way Sky talks to Rangnick because they smell blood. Look at how uninterested G Nev in COVID postponements when it works for his team.

Anyway, a superb result for Arsenal. Well done to everyone involved.

… we might even do a podcast a bit later to talk about it.

273 Responses to “AFC VS SPURS OFF. RICHARD GARLICK WORKING PROTOCOL MAGIC?”

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  1. Unoni

    TomJanuary 15, 2022 20:03:26
    Emery came one point short of top four playing a mid of Guenduzi- the headless chicken, and Torreira- the sobbing midget.
    What a coach!

    Tom
    Ramsey came in and made that midfield his own for that late run
    He was carried by Wenger’s squad. Had he used Ramsey ozil Santi and Jack for the season he’d have achieved top 4

  2. Unoni

    This is how an Arsenal fan talks and thinks.
    We don’t have to be 100% correct or prophetic, we just need to want it to be that way.

    👏

  3. Nigel Tufnel

    I’m not analyzing the table or even games in hand now. We’re just halfway through the season.

    We have a lot more good performances to come than United or the Spuds.

    They will end up fighting to stay ahead of Wolves.

    I’m telling you this for fun!

  4. InsideRight

    Hilarious seeing people looking at Guendouzi through their footballing beer goggles.

    He had a few good performances. Most of his matches saw him running at single speed all around the midfield, leaving gaps and creating space for the opposition. He was indecisive and often caught in possession. Too often he gave hospital passes to teammates around him, who got smashed as a result. He was petulant and got needless bookings. There was plenty of talk about him being disruptive behind the scenes.

    French football is not the same as the Prem. Pepe looked a world beater there, came to us and we know how that’s panned out for us. Let’s just have a bit of realism about Guendouzi instead of the hyperbole and rose tinted specs nonsense.

  5. Tom

    The covid game postponement bingo has taken over from ref watch as the no one sideshow in the PL
    Tuchel, Klopp, and Pep all trying hard to paint themselves the most unlucky club in this department………..fans joining in for good measure too.
    Tottenham issuing an official statement surely takes the cake……

  6. Raulishuss

    Jamie

    pepe was the highest or second highest goal and assist guy in france too. Guen played for us and he wasn’t progressing anything maybe his hair. Guen also got a call up when with us and didn’t make it off the bench like he has recently.

  7. Unoni

    Jamie
    Wengers squad who only had the benefit of Lacazette for 3 Months then Aubameyang for 4 months.
    Emery had them both for a full season after they’d had time to settle into the league
    Major difference.

  8. Tom

    “Tom
    Ramsey came in and made that midfield his own for that late run
    He was carried by Wenger’s squad. Had he used Ramsey ozil Santi and Jack for the season he’d have achieved top 4”

    Hmm…….wasn’t Ramsey injured for the last five games or so that season?
    It would’ve been hard to make the midfield his own in the run in from the inside of the physio’s room

  9. Unoni

    Tom
    He was injured in Napoli I think but had his best season for arsenal as an actual midfielder. (His 20 goal season wasn’t really as a midfielder)

  10. Tom

    “This is how an Arsenal fan talks and thinks.
    We don’t have to be 100% correct or prophetic, we just need to want it to be that way.”

    It certainly seems the way Pedro runs things these days and many following suite.
    Exhibit A: Klopp is tanking the league he should be winning or at least challenging for with a league’s 4th biggest wage bill and 12th biggest net spend over the last five years.

    Meanwhile Arteta’s Arsenal on the 5th biggest wage bill and 3rd biggest net spend over five years should challenge for Europe and anything more is just a bonus.

  11. Tee

    “Meanwhile Arteta’s Arsenal on the 5th biggest wage bill and 3rd biggest net spend over five years should challenge for Europe and anything more is just a bonus.”

    Yeah, Arteta’s Arsenal over five years

  12. Almuniasaynomore

    Tom,
    There’s a growing intolerance everywhere,as far as I can see,to healthy debate. People seem to take opposing views as personal affront, a challenge to crush all those who think differently to them. The anonymity of the Internet is enabling this anger to be expressed nastily at times. I love talking to people with different views,perspectives and experiences and there are many on this blog who I think enjoy this also. But there are also many who seem to think that being an Arsenal fan means you have to reflect a very limited set of views and values that they themselves define. It’s a pity. There was a time when supporting Arsenal meant you were an Arsenal fan. This means you wanted what was best for Arsenal. And you were entitled to your own definition of that. I’m going to stick with that perspective. If you’re reading this then you are the resistance……….

  13. Br0wnie

    I do wish we could have got him in his prime. One of those guys you hate to play against but would gladly have him on your team. Shit disturbed to the nth degree but strong, talented #9

  14. Br0wnie

    I agree Almuniasaynomore. I think social media and the internet in general has a lot to do with lack of tolerance and also a lack of critical thinking. People are bombarded with information which support their views and this promotes confirmation bias. There’s a declining appetite for sensible, honest debate or to make the effort to explore a contrary viewpoint. No desire to find common ground or compromise, just the need to be right. The US political rift between Dems and Repubs is good example of this.

  15. Habesha Gooner

    Tom
    I am not Arteta’s biggest fan. I am just warming up to him this season. He is getting better. And we as a team are getting better too. And this whole outrage against Arsenal asking for posteponment with in the rules and a set precedent is aimed at getting us to play kids in a crucial match. They want to get good results while we are weak. And even if we have an issue with Arteta, that should concern us as arsenal fans. Tin pot Tottenham, Shambles Man United fans and Liverpool fans who want a Carabao cup final are the ones who are crying loudly. No one else has seemed to give a shit. Not even Westham fans. So we need to get behind our club.

  16. Nigel Tufnel

    Tom,

    It’s a game. It’s not life and death. If you can’t enjoy some good times and be hopeful, why bother with it?

    …. when things are good you have to find the negative, like the wage bill, net spend, (you act like it’s your money) a bad performance from 1 player from years ago. A mistake Arteta made 2 months back,, etc…What a way to go through life.

    Some of us want to enjoy what may be a really entertaining and exciting period for our club.

    Reasons:
    Saka, Martinelli, ,Ødegaard, Tomiyasu, Tierney, White, Gabriel, Ramsdale… maybe some new signings and with owners committing some funds.

    The Arteta pressing, the passing, the youthful spirit.

    I read your comments and half the time I wonder why you even bother because you’re just a drag.

    Then Almunia cries….. nobody likes being angry and negative anymore…… intolerance. Waaaah….

    Debate is great. Constant misery is not so fun.

  17. Pedro

    Tom, it is really weird to see the lengths you’ll go to when defending other clubs.

    I run this as an Arsenal fan blog. We have 150k+ comments a year. The conversation is obviously quite diverse and let’s be honest, my type of opinion has been the minority view on here most of the last 2 years.

  18. Almuniasaynomore

    Brownie,
    Yeah,I don’t want to get too Orwellian here but your point on critical thinking is key. An independent population,not easily swayed by mass media would be anathema to modern governments. Easier to create a culture where divide and conquer is the only play.
    Life is far more complex. Don’t know if you have seen the new Di Caprio film ” Don’t look up” but it’s worryingly accurate in it’s satire. And not just of America but the western world as I know it. Appearance hasn’t beaten reality, it’s murdered it.

  19. Pedro

    Br0wnie,

    Two things on that.

    1) Sports commentary always favors strong opinion. No one wants to come to a blog or a newspaper article that plays it balanced. That’s very dull.
    2) Social media algo’s rewards extremes. You can be extremely wrong, but still get the follows.

    That said, I actually think the tide is shifting. People might be moving on from the extremist phase. The best accounts I follow on Twitter have great opinion that doesn’t live in the ridiculous. I think the kids coming through on football seem a lot kind than when I started on it. I also think the carry-on this summer has taught people that the loudest most obnoxious voices usally don’t know what they are talking about.

    Fans in the ground are kinder to the team, that’s translating online. I like it.

  20. gnarleygeorge9

    When you want to halt a pack of zombies/vampires, you use Garlick. Garlick is the sworn enemy of the blood sucker. The Arse know their herbal medicines 🙂

  21. Rich

    Liverpool are at the end of a cycle, they’re still a good team who’ll be dangerous in the cups, but Klopp needs to build again, they’re a long way off the standards of 2-3 seasons back, it’s no big deal, providing he’s backed, Fergie did this multiple times, and Klopp is a top coach…

    Liverpool are right to be reluctant to give Salah a new mega contract, he’s 30 in the summer, and when players who are all about dynamism + athleticism dip physically, they usually fall straight off the edge of a cliff

    Look at Ozil + Alexis from 2015/16 – 2018/19

    Willian in his last season at Chelsea, to his first season at Arsenal, and the drop in output from Aubameyang…

    Harry Kane looks like he either needs a change of scenery, or that he’s in decline

    Salah is the best player in the league, but how long is his current output sustainable?

    Mane, Firmino, Henderson, Milner, Thiago, Ox, Origi

    They’ve got some exciting young talent, but that won’t be an overnight fix

    Klopp needs to build a new team over the next 12-24 months

    Arsenal are at the beginning of a new cycle, we’ve put the foundations in place, we just need to secure our talent, clear out the deadwood, and get our next 3-4 signings right

    We’re a team on the way up, Liverpool are a team that’s declining, change/transition is often painful and takes time

    We’re a few astute decisions away from overtaking Liverpool over the next 12-18 months

  22. gnarleygeorge9

    Here you go, just consulted the herbal medicine dictionary, copyright 1962:

    “When you need to halt a Lilywhite Vampire, you should use Garlick, preferably the Richard variety”.

  23. Tom

    “Tom, it is really weird to see the lengths you’ll go to when defending other clubs.”

    Pedro, I don’t think that’s what I’m doing here. Not even close.
    I’m merely inserting some realty into this hyper tribal environment you’ve been cultivating here of late.
    I sure as shit would not be wasting time discussing the amount of charisma the likes of Klopp or Guardiola may or may not have, but pointing out Liverpool probably shouldn’t even be in the title conversation when wages and transfer spend is taken under consideration is hardly defending Klopp or Liverpool.

    Don’t get me wrong…….., nothing against tribalism, banter or even trolling other clubs, but even trolling needs to be grounded in some sort of reality (Leicester title contenders after we beat them last season? Please, that was embarrassing by anyone’s standards).

    I do like your writing style and humor so not all bad😉

  24. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich,
    Liverpool are coming to a crux alright. I’m not so sure that Klopp will hang around for another cycle,but maybe that’s wishful thinking. They’ve been very good( lucky?) at selling players. Torres, talk about falling off a cliff. Coutihno also. City got good value for Rahem Steeling but Liverpool weren’t exactly screwed. I think they should sell Salah if a big bid comes in,though obviously only to a club outside the prem( unless they are privy to some torres- like, falling off a cliff stats, in which case they should flog him to Chelsea for the laugh!) The big difference between ourselves and Liverpool is that they need youth whereas we need to buy some experienced players to act as a foil to our young guns. But they are more expensive in terms of fees and wages. And as a fanbase we’ve all been scarred by ozil, willian, auba, losing alexis,Ramsey on frees.We actually are becoming unwilling to see big players on big wages come through the doors. Yet we need them to guide and protect the young lads. It’s a difficult balancing act now that Arteta has to complete.

  25. Br0wnie

    Almuniasaynomore don’t get me started on DiCaprio and global warming. Celebrities with zero scientific background have an alarming influence on public and media opinion. I’ll.post a link to a documentary entitled Global Warning a friend of mine shot over a three-year period recently. It’s not meant to deny global warming but to moderate the extreme view that we are primarily responsible for it. You may agree or disagree with the film but watching it does make you ask questions..Here is the link http://globalwarningfilm.com/

  26. Tom

    Rich, Liverpool are more short on real quality than at an end of a cycle.
    You take Salah and Mane out of their line up and they are a mid table club scrapping for Europa league places.
    Ox, Minamino, Henderson mid …..any takers for that trio of midfielders they rolled with in the league cup at Anfield ?
    Probably not.

  27. Br0wnie

    Pedro my diatribe was directed more towards the general public, biased opinions and failure to think critically.. I have college aged kids and I can see how the algorithms are constantly bombarding them with propaganda and sensationalism. They are both smart kids and we’ve taught them to never take anything at face value but it’s a battle for them to obtain unbiased information in order to form an educated opinion. Sorry to hijack the blog with off topic jibber jabber.

  28. Pedro

    Tom, sorry mate, but reality in football isn’t

    ‘Oh Mr Klopp, 4th is ok because of the wage bill’

    That’s just you trying to find a metric to minimise the totally different job Arteta is undertaking.

    Reality is Arsenal and Liverpool are nothing alike. If you want to be the voice of reason, you’ll have to do better than that.

  29. Nigel Tufnel

    The truth is that I actually respect how Liverpool built the current team.

    Astute, inexpensive signings for Brenda, then kicked him out the door when Klopp became available. I was wishing Wenger would step aside for him.

    Pool made a couple great sales, and when they needed the push over the edge, they dropped 2 loads on a keeper and Virgil.

    The reason they have guys like Ox, Milner still filling out the squad, is because they did it all in a reasonable spending budget. Chelsea, City, just throw money around to have 2 great players at each position. That’s why I don’t have respect for them, and don’t want to hear about tired or limited squads. Tuchel crying is a joke, with the deepest squad in Europe.

    Great for their fans, but bad for football at all levels. I hope we’ll follow the Liverpool model. I’m pretty sure that’s what Josh is thinking.

  30. Tom

    “But there are also many who seem to think that being an Arsenal fan means you have to reflect a very limited set of views and values that they themselves define”

    Almuniasaynomore you mean Nigel?

  31. LoveSausage

    I gotta say our next 6 games or so look tasty. But f we can hit form, we could put some real distance behind us and Spuds. Their next 5 games could easily see them lose 3 and draw one.

  32. LoveSausage

    Nigel,

    Not sure Liverpool have a model to speak of. They have an amazing manager and they’ve brought in a group of world class players. However, they’ve avoided making the hard decisions and seem committed to squeezing every drop of juice out of the current squad instead of phasing new players in. That rebuild job is going to be nasty for whoever is managing them in 3 years.

  33. Almuniasaynomore

    Brownie,
    That’s all we can do, teach our kids to think for themselves and to challenge what is presented to them as fact, well done to you if you’ve managed to do it. I’m trying but it’s not easy.
    Di Caprio and global warming is typical of the celebrity culture that’s so dominant now. Even in football,you see former players being hailed as having insight because of their onfield successes but their physical talents rarely guarantee intellectual prowess in retirement. Their influence is great but the quality of their perspectives is often lacking. Arsenal fans have had to suffer this recently with the two plonkers Neville and Carragher. Wenger Eagle was giving out about Micah Richards lack of real analytical nous,my own bugbear is Sheare feigning intellectual prowess. But that’s the world we live in and at least it’s only football. But when they start becoming political……..

  34. Tom

    Pedro, first off…….apples to apples ….. show me where I said Arteta needs to make top four let alone challenge for the league.
    I didn’t.
    Second, transfer spend and wages are just about the only two things that over a period of 3-5 years can illustrate accurately how the club performs in relation to its league position. Everything else is just someone’s opinion.

    Klopp has been over performing massively against three bigger spenders whether you like it or not, and when he leaves in 2024 there will be a line of clubs vying for his services a mile long.

  35. Rich

    Almunia

    I think we’re building towards a title tilt in 2023/24, it looks like the business plan from the outside in….

    As much as I’d love us to go for a Frenkie De Jong, Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, they would be expensive both in terms of fees + wages, exciting, but expensive, and would potentially blow up our wage structure…

    Both Tielemans + Douglas Luiz are down to their last 12 months this summer

    They’ll be 24 + 25, both settled into the PL, both know the language, both about to enter into their prime, these would be astute moves, particularly if we can get Torreira, Guendouzi, Niles, Xhaka all off the books

    We need to tie down Saka, Martinelli, Saliba, Patino

    Saliba is having a successful loan, he’ll come back as one of the most experienced 21yr old centre backs in Europe, hopefully a big upgrade of Mari/Holding

    I said last summer that KSE would back us for £200-£250 million providing we could get the players out, and pretty much everyone laughed at me….

    Had we managed to clear the deck, I suspected they’d have backed Arteta for more business, and may even again this month, and I think they certainly will this summer

    KSE had the opportunity to cash out, and didn’t, that means they have to put it right on the pitch, they need to create a new generation of Gooners across the globe, we’re not picking up any new fans with the dross we’ve dished up over the last few years

    We’ve still got so much excess to clean up:

    Guendouzi, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Torreira, Niles, Nelson, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Runarsson, Elneny, Mari, Chambers, Leno,, Elneny, Nketiah

    I suspect we’d be open to offers for most of these 17 players, some are out of contract, but clearing out all of them is easier said than done

    But if we could, we could replace these 17 players, with just 5 players:

    Ramsdale, New Keeper, Okonkwo
    Tomiyasu, Cedric
    Tierney, Tavares
    White, Saliba
    Gabriel, Holding
    Partey, New midfielder
    Sambi, New midfielder
    Odegaard, Patino
    Saka, Pepe replacement
    Martinelli, Smith Rowe
    New Striker, Balogun

    We desperately need to get our recruitment right, and clear out the deadwood, but providing we do that, I think we’re heading in the right direction, much of our improvements should be internal, and we have a few youngsters with incredibly high ceilings

  36. Tom

    “Tom, sorry mate, but reality in football isn’t‘ Oh Mr Klopp, 4th is ok because of the wage bill’”

    Pedro, that’s probably why Klopp never said fourth is like a trophy and when hired he gave himself 4 seasons to actually win the league and not just to challenge for it.

    That doesn’t diminish the fact he’s been outspent by Pep 2:1 , and his wage bill is closer to ours than City’s.

  37. Br0wnie

    Rich the Mavrapanos situation is a mess alright. It looks like Arsenal have given up their rights to him and will receive in the neighbourhood of $2 from him if Stuttgart sell him at his market value of $18 mil. One that got away. The guy has had to 2 great seasons in Germany and deserved to fight for a position at CB. I’ve watched both he and Saliba this season and Mavrapanos is physically more intimidating, has speed and handles the ball well. I’d take him in an alley brawl over Saliba any day 🙂

  38. Pedro

    Tom, hasn’t helped our cause, has it? Has our net spend over 10 years won us excessive trophies? No.

    Klopp has had investment, he took Liverpool to the top, now he’s underperforming. He dropped 30 points last year and everyone made excuses. This season, he’s faking COVID tests to win the league cup because he’s tanked the league again.

    Not good enough, doesn’t matter who is queuing for his signature, not many bigger than Liverpool right now.

  39. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich,
    Agree with most of that,but with both midfielders will need to be experienced and preferably the striker also,so there’s no avoiding those big fees and wages really, if a title challenge in two years is a realistic target that is. These players will cause trouble for the wage structure no doubt but they are needed if the club are realistically trying to take on the city ‘s and chavs. Are the Kroenkes really going to see it through or will a return to champs lge be enough for them? Can Arteta handle the type of ego that the older players with high opinions of themselves inevitably have? I wouldn’t have the same confidence as you do but I admire your optimism,much of which has proven to be insightful during the last few seasons. But there is hope again for all gooners in the shape of the players you’ve named,no doubt about that.

  40. Matt B

    Tom: You could post the exact same comments you post here on any number of blogs focused on Leicester or Liverpool and no one would ever guess you’re an Arsenal fan.

  41. izzo

    I said it many times Sancho is a tubby overrated overhyped player. Was on easy street at Dortmund. Puts on an England shirt and is shit and comes back to the PL and even shitter.

  42. Pedro

    Tom, bigger point, you’re on an Arsenal blog and you’ll aggressively defend the honour of Klopp and Brenda, but will totally gloss over anything good that’s going on at Arsenal.

    Very odd.

  43. Pedro

    Tom, except Klopp did say that.

    Manager Jürgen Klopp whether he considered finishing in the Top Four equivalent to winning a trophy. His response: “yeah, basically.”

    “Yes, I would say. It is the most difficult league to qualify for the Champions League because in no other league you have that wide quality, teams around that are unbelievable so, yes, I could subscribe to that. Always in a season, maybe a very spectacular season, three or four clubs can challenge until the end. Usually close to the end there is only one or two teams left in this battle so the rest of the top teams fight for the Champions League. It depends on your point of view if it is really good or the minimum you should get and it would be a real success if we do it and disappointing if we can’t reach it. That is how it is but that is because of the season. We really put ourselves in a position where it makes sense to go for it and when you want to have it, then you would be disappointed if you can’t have it.”

  44. Pedro

    That last quote was 2017.

    This was Klopp on 4th last season.

    “Massive, absolutely massive. It will be one of the biggest achievements, ever. I know how that sounds but it’s the truth. Everybody here sees it like that. If you are going to write a book about a season and you want to be depressed afterwards, you would probably take this season.”

  45. salparadisenyc

    If Spurs had 4x players at AFCON, just loaned out 2x first teamer’s with host of injuries and a solo covid case looking to move fixture this space would go nuclear, so fair enough.

  46. Tom

    Pedro, let’s leave Pool out of it then and concentrate on Arsenal.
    You’re telling me that two years down the road if/when Arteta fails to win the pL title in his fifth season you will not mention the fact he might’ve been outspent by a bunch of other clubs in the process?

    Because if that’s what you’re saying then I’m having hard time believing it.

  47. Rich

    Almunia

    Recruitment is my biggest concern, Athletic reporting that Edu backed up by scouts/data wanted Emerson who went to Spurs

    Arteta was adamant he want Tomiyasu, Arteta also dug his heels in for both White + Ramsdale

    All clubs make mistakes, but we need to identify players aged 22-25 who have a good amount of experience, and are on the cusp of crossing over into top class + consistent performers

    Douglas Luiz + Youri Tielemans both tick plenty of boxes, and with just 12 months on their deals, wouldn’t cost the earth

    We also need to look into the character + professionalism of the players, I’ve come to the conclusion that the first thing we need to do is litter the dressing room with consummate professionals

    Give me a committed squad of players, over a more talent but disinterested squad, every day of the week…..

    Ramsdale + Odegaard, Tomiyasu are players on the cusp, Ben White is potentially another

    Sambi, Tavares, are likely season 2-3 players, and that’s if they ever make it, both relatively low level punts in terms of fees + wages,

    Gabriel should keep improving, he’s added stature + leadership this season, he’s really promising, Saka won’t stop scoring now, and Martinelli + Smith Rowe have both taken steps forward

    We’re apparently trying for Vlahovic £60 million, if he’s our top target, hopefully we get it over the line, and he’s a player who’s trajectory continues the way it’s going, adding a 20+ goal target man could potentially see this team kick on again…

  48. Bertie Mee

    Arthur started for Juve, made a goal and was then injured and removed after thirty minutes . That might be a nail in that coffin

  49. salparadisenyc

    Pedro

    “Sal, Conte had a preseason in Dec so fuck him”

    Well that clearly goes without saying.

    For me i’d like to of seen club roll dice and go with fixture. Arsenal just dripping in the us vs them mentality, extended from Liverpool on Thursday. Thats the type of thing that has potential big carry over in all kinds of positive ways. Obviously not the safe approach and Arsenal playing the dark art game is a nice refresher to former times. AND in the end who knows state of our actual XI after that outing at Anfield. But taking Spurs this depleted, like 2x sub options and Blanco likely holding the mid is just too god damn good to pass up for me.

  50. Tom

    Pedro, Klopp quote from last season was in context.
    I know you wouldn’t see as such because you’ve spent all of last season denying they had an injury clusterfuck of a season.

  51. Habesha Gooner

    Sal
    The issue is not just about Covid. The rules state that any team that plays this season can request a posteponment if that club doesn’t have 13 outfield players and a goal keeper of enough senior experience. Covid, injuries and unavailability are seen equally to ensure player safety.

    https://www.premierleague.com/news/2426753#:~:text=Where%20a%20club%20cannot%20field,the%20match%20will%20be%20postponed.

    Man United, Wolves, Liverpool and a lot of teams have used this 13 player + 1 goalkeeper criteria to get their matches postponed. The premier league opened the door to this. If they had said you have to have 13 players regardless of injuries and unavailability then you should play, then teams could play with youth teams. Clubs would only be apply posteponment only due to covid. But these are the rules that have been taken advantage of by our rivals. They had enough players but they said they had too many covid cases eventhough they had enough players to play. So I wouldn’t have been crying if spurs had requested it. What is a shambles of a decision is the rules they brought in this season. Clubs should have read it and rejected it before the season started. Now consistency must be applied.

  52. Tom

    “Tom: You could post the exact same comments you post here on any number of blogs focused on Leicester or Liverpool and no one would ever guess you’re an Arsenal fan.“

    It isn’t high on my list how other posters perceive my musings on here Matt B.

  53. salparadisenyc

    Habesha

    Hope you’ve been well mate.

    I get the the parameters around reschedule, not really point. Which is fuck them as Pedro said but fucking them sooner is my preferred course of action. Depleted at that.

  54. Nigel Tufnel

    Love sausage,
    That’s exactly how I see Liverpool at this stage. Before Klopp they were just hanging around, Suarez and Brenda got them challenging more, then Klopp, a generational manager, was the turbo boost.
    Now, in their model at this stage it’s difficult to prolong it past a few great years without spending silly money like Chelsea and City. I actually expect Liverpool to be the the one to fall out of the top 3 for that reason, making room for Arsenal to challenge for more than just top 4. (But it could be Chelsea with their manager merry go round).

    Then the day klopp leaves, all the magic will be gone and they can be midtable again.

    Any Liverpool fan looking forward to Gerrard or any other manager, is going to be sorely disappointed, for a long time.

  55. izzo

    Thank fuck Arthur Melo is injured and not coming. Only Melo I ever wanted was Filipe Melo. LMAO!!!
    On a serious note if we’re not bringing in Guimaraes and Vlahovic then don’t think we’re signing anyone this window. Partey and co will be back before you know it.

  56. Zacharse

    i read here melo got injured today, but what’s the criticism of him? I only know what i’ve read, but ya know, anyone could have criticized santi as being too small before he came

  57. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich,
    Yeah,character is one of the top considerations for me also. That’s why I always wanted Rice,always struck me as having a great attitude. That said,historically a lot of great teams have a couple of nasty characters in there. We don’t really have any,though Gabriel and White do show grit. Maybe it’s an outdated concept but I have to admit I yearn for a Souness,Keane,Vieira type player. Trouble is ,like I said earlier, these guys come with egos. But there are the Henderson, Kante,Matic types also who seem to be very effective without the histrionics. Very interesting to see where we go alright. Tielemans seems ideal to me. I don’t like Luiz but I have only seen him three or four times. I have never seen Vlahovic live so I can’t comment, but it looks like a new striker is definitely going to be required so fingers crossed we get it right

  58. salparadisenyc

    Guns thats a harsh assessment of Arthur, dudes quality but Bruno has more in tank for me and will make that his space in Brazilian side.

  59. Tom

    Conte has put Tottenham in a pickle. On one hand he’s given them transfer demands……on the other, he’s hardly assured them he’d see out his contract that ends next May.

    Its going to be interesting to see whether they stick or twist.
    Personally I think they’d be nuts to rebuild the squad to his liking when he might walk any time he gets bored of the process.

  60. InsideRight

    When you read some of the comments that have been made online about Arsenal having four players at AFCON, and that being solely our fault, it’s almost as if they are saying “It’s your own fault for signing African internationals”.

    Those people are one step away from saying teams should not sign African players because AFCON will leave you short and you’ve no business being short of players. I’m sure that will go down well with CAF.

  61. Rich

    Almunia

    I’ve never seen Vlahovic either, If we get him, hopefully we’ve identified a top talent who keeps improving, it appears that we’re targeting a certain style of striker, so at least there seems to be a plan

    I like Douglas Luiz, really understated player, stylistically similar to Gilberto Silva, he’s at a good age and level of experience, quietly goes about his job efficiently + effectively without any fuss

    I think he’ll go to a top club this summer, maybe Liverpool, City, Arsenal, who could all be looking at central midfield

    If he went back to City to replace Fernandinho, as an understudy to Rodri, I wouldn’t be at all surprised

  62. Almuniasaynomore

    Rich,
    I was thinking the same way about Rice, he’ll be off soon but Wenger Eagle made a good case for him returning to Chelsea. City need to replace Fernandihno, utd,need to replace matic( and Fred ain’t cutting it), Liverpool will prob look to replace Henderson and Chelsea as I’ve said could go for Rice. So it’s a position that’s going to be difficult to fill. I really hope we sort it soon because in a shoot out against those other clubs we won’t be the biggest draw as things stand. Right,that’s it for me tonight Rich, mind yourself ,talk to you soon.

  63. Zacharse

    niners, havent watched in years dude. my first game was joe montana’s injury home to the giants in the playoffs. a bit cursed. close friend is a diehard and he’s been having fun again. this season. dude locks himself in on sunday

  64. Zacharse

    honestly, football soccer whatever is one of the only sports i spend a lot of time watching, bit of boxing, bit of tennis, baseball is what i grew up on though. i got drafted by the a’s as a 14 year old into their summer program, tore up my rotator cuff and started playing music and smoking cigs so never really went back…

  65. Negative Nigel

    Bertie.I hope that nail in the Melo coffin is at least 6”.A crab. & the old lady apparently is asking for Partey as a swap.Ha ha ha .😂what they smoking over there.These Italian clubs.Why bother.Don’t have a pot to piss in.

  66. salparadisenyc

    In the immortal words of the other Bergkamp :

    It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.

    Dariano does NOT approve.

  67. Nigel Tufnel

    I think we’re being jerked around. Leicester would take less money to avoid selling to us. They’re not stupid and they see us as a direct competitor.

    Vlahovic is wanted by Dortmund, and they’ll have the money, so can make an pre agreement for the summer. That’s why they’re pushing Haaland to make a decision fast.

    I hope our second targets are good.

    Juventus have been obnoxious to us about Melo. Serves them right if his injury causes them to pay his salary for at least another 6 months. They should’ve been thrilled to have our interest in covering his salary and maybe even an option to buy, at an agreed upon price.

    If the rumours are true… first they insisted on obligation to buy, then later wanted a swap with Partey. What are they smoking in Turin?

    You get what you deserve.

  68. salparadisenyc

    Guns

    Footie is king, followed by tennis and cycling which I competed in and still ride. Do love a Rangers game though, fucking mental the pace on ice.

    NFL feels a bit UFC which feels VERY WWF always expecting Hulk Hogan to jump out of the 10 yard line and assault the living room with Connor McGregor then asking if anyone wants a shot.

  69. Guns of SF

    Forget him
    Hacksaw Duggan
    Junkyard dog
    Rick Flair
    80s WWF was the best for sure…

    You like those cultured sports sal. Good for you!
    Never quite got into cycling. Just tour de F but then got bored.
    Never ice hockey.

  70. bacaryisgod

    Unless I’m mistaken, the winners of the Carabao Cup qualify for the Europa Conference League. Clearly a dream scenario would be for us to win the Carabao but qualify for Champions or Europa in the league and pushing Spurs out of a Europa place and back into the Europa Conference League. That would be tasty!

  71. bacaryisgod

    One other thing, unlike some others on here I just can’t see a title tilt next season. It’s only fair to see this as a 3 year plan if we look at this year as Year 1.

    Year 1: Qualify for Champions or Europa League and strengthen the squad.
    Year 2: Solidify a top 6 position (ideally top 4), do well in Europe and strengthen the squad further.
    Year 3. Compete for the title and hopefully a European trophy.

    Even that seems a little aggressive but at least more manageable than a title run next season.

  72. salparadisenyc

    GUNS

    I live close to the MSG, hardly cultured but hence Rangers.
    Not like theres a cricket ground round on 8th ave.

  73. Sid

    Pointing out unflattering detail about whats going on at Arsenal does Not equate to defending other clubs.

    Im telling you for free!

  74. Goobergooner

    Ward Prowse can absolute belt a ball. That was an absolute screamer from 40 odd yards out.

    Also Bruno Fernandes is a whinging ferret. Fuck united.
    What a proper gaff from Martinez though haha.

    I’m stoked this game is off. 330am on a Monday morning when I have to start at 530am. Don’t rate that at all 😂😂

  75. Goobergooner

    Man, how many “year 1’s” does Arteta get.

    I am loving the refreshed outlook of the club ATM. But we are in an absolute pickle in midfield due to 2 men. And if that ruins 4th place then they don’t deserve next season for me

  76. Goobergooner

    And just to say after reading people complain about fans having an opinion but not living in the UK timezone as being ‘mental’ or having problems…

    Go fuck yourselves.

    I don’t care what time it is or how many unanswered messages I type on here, I just love it is a place I can talk to like-minded people. I’m sorry I don’t live in England 🖕(that’s for Tony)

  77. Emiratesstroller

    The decision to postpone game was 100% correct in the circumstances whatever some critics
    may think. We were provided with a fixture schedule, which was unrealistic in absence of players at Afcon + Covid.

    The only justification for criticising the decision was maybe that we allowed AMN to go out
    on loan before finding a replacement, but that did not change the maths of our outfield absentees..

    Arsenal will still have one week with two games in January without Xhaka, but that will
    not be as critical as playing and losing against Spurs with our team on its knees this weekend.

    It should also not be forgotten that the EPL punished Arsenal with a heavy fine for what
    occurred in Manchester City game notwithstanding that it was caused by some refereeing
    decisions.

    The club needs now to be proactive and ensure that we recruit two new players before the
    transfer window closes so that we can play a competitive squad from February onwards.

  78. Emiratesstroller

    Also I think that the ban on Marseille buying players in next two transfer windows if upheld
    is very good news.

    First Marseille will not be able to exercise option to buy Guendouzi at what was a low transfer fee. Arsenal can now demand a higher fee.

    Second Saliba will not have the option of forcing Arsenal to sell him to Marseille which might have been likely in the summer. It will reduce his option to return to Arsenal.

  79. Pierre

    Personally, I believe that unless there was a mass outbreak of covid within a club, all games should have gone ahead .

    Arsenal had a perfectly good side that played v Brentford on the opening day of the season and the game rightfully went ahead .

    We had 22 shots at goal that day compared to 8 against.
    It was just one of those days that events conspired to go against us , their crucial 2nd goal was a clear foul on Leno and had a massive bearing on the result.

    The premier league opened up a can of worms by being too soft on clubs who applied for a postponement, what we have now is clubs (including Arsenal) using the system for their benefit ..

  80. Sid

    Covid mandates are unrealistic and unscientific Not only in football its clear for everyone to see, the earlier everyone admits this the better.

  81. Unoni

    Ward Prowse can play, no doubt but he’s very static and not that nifty in tight situations. Didn’t have a gray drop of the shoulder. He would also cost an English premium
    I think we can do better. He will be going for around £40-£45m I’d reckon. De Jong won’t be much more than that. If I was Arteta I’d spend £70m easily to bring him to the emirates. He could be this team’s bergkamp moment

  82. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    Our game against Brentford is not a good example, because it was the first game of the season and whilst clearly our team was not match fit there were not the level of injuries and tiredness that is the case today.

    The argument put forward by some against postponement might have been valid if applied
    elsewhere. That was not the case.

    Let’s be clear Arsenal are in the situation we are now in, because FOUR outfield players are
    at Afcon and that is down to FIFA and EPL.

    If these organisations are encouraging African players to come to Europe then there needs to
    be more realistic decisions made in future than playing tournaments in midseason without
    postponement of domestic games.

  83. Leedsgunner

    Brilliant news about Guendouzi and Saliba coming back. Saliba should be kept and integrated into the squad as the Mari replacement… and to provide competition to Benny Blanco and Rob Holding.

    Unfortunately, as much as Guendouzi would fit our squad in terms of age and profile, I think that ship has sailed. It’s clear that both Arteta and Guendouzi have a personality clash which would just get in the way of squad unity. Plus, I don’t think Matteo is nowhere as good as he thinks he is. Having said that, I think we were selling Matteo for far too cheap.

    Hopefully we will be able to sell him on for £20m to £30m to someone like Newcastle.

  84. IAT-Robbie

    Emirates,

    I don’t think Marseille’s transfer ban stops them from signing either Saliba or Guendouzi. If I remember Chelsea were able to sign Kovacic despite a ban because he wasn’t a “new” player and had already been registered on loan. I also remember Atletico signing a new player (Vitolo) during a ban and then loaning him out until the ban had finished.