by .

Thought I’d go a little hard at the title this morning just to crystalise some of that sweet, sweet victimhood we’ve all been feeling of later with regards to the referees.

Since Arteta took over at Arsenal in 2019, we have averaged a red card every 65.4 fouls. The bleakest in the Premier League. We’re getting the worst kind of punishment almost 50% more frequently than the second biggest victim behind us, Bournemouth (and they haven’t played a lot of Prem games over the past 2 years).

Burnley, renowned for being absolute brutes, have received one red card since Boxing Day 2019.

Can you remember many really bad fouls by Arsenal? I can’t. I can however remember plenty from Burnley players. I can also remember horror tackles from Kane, from Mane, and there are plenty of big moments that go unpunished elsewhere.

Why are Arsenal treated like this?

Do the refs have this statistics to showcase their odd bias against Arsenal?

Is anyone willing to explain the data anomaly beyond ‘that’s just the way it goes’?

We’ve committed the 2nd least fouls since Arteta took over, yet we’ve been given the most red cards.

Manchester City have to commit almost double the fouls to pick up a red card.

Who is accountable for this?

The same people that don’t have to answer to anyone over the shocking fact that a Black or Asian ref hasn’t run a Premier League game in 10 years.

What is PGMOL doing to address literally any major issue? Nothing. Because the people in charge are so inept, so protected, so comfortable, they can’t even get the decisions right when they have the benefit of VAR.

Are you really begging me for MORE numbers that suit my agenda?

Ok, Arsenal has the lowest wage bill for about a decade. It’s down to £87m.

That is quite outrageous and should give you a bit of realism when you are trying to quantify just how good our season has been so far.

Wages correlate to league position, usually. Though that idea has been blown up a bit by how bad United has been and how good teams like Brighton and Leicester have performed. Our wage bill has been a bit of an anomaly because we’ve been giving average players superstar money (Arteta part of that issue, no doubt). Those ‘superstars’ played under Emery but they spent most of their time this season benched or loaned out.

Where do we stand now?

Out the damn picture… that’s where.

We’re barely Europa League right now.

Point here? Our wage bill is that low because young players don’t get paid mega money. Why? Because their output isn’t the same as mega experienced players like KDB and Salah. So when people say age doesn’t matter… do remind them, it does. It really does. Saka, ESR, and Odegaard and doing great things, but they are babies compared to what the biggest clubs have at their disposal now. The fact that we expect them to deliver to BIG club level shows how good they’ve been and how much we love them… but don’t take it for granted.

A lot of people were up in my mentions yesterday telling me that IT WILL BE FAILURE if we don’t make the Champions League this season. William Gallas is agreeing today (who the fuck cares what he has to say?).

My push is on framing. It will be an outrageous success if we make it this season, it won’t be a ‘we need to talk’ failure. Talk about the opportunity, don’t catastrophize the yet-to-be-missed stretch goal.

The people pushing that are the folk desperate to tee up a reason to be a ‘standards’ bore on the internet.

Some folk pulled me on this pivot: ‘but what about Wenger, you pushed for him to be gone for getting top 4?’

It feels like a snappy retort, but let’s be real here, Wenger was here 22 seasons. He went from Premier League Champion to Top 4 merchant when there were only 4 big teams in the league. There comes a point when you have to use your Champions League advantage to make a move on the league or qualify beyond the last 16 (we failed to do that once in our final 7 seasons in the comp. In 19 attempts, we only went past R16 stage 6 times). Arsenal stagnated. Top 4 became the goal but there was no ambition beyond that. Standards slipped. The culture disappeared. No one’s job was under threat. We eventually slid into expensive oblivion and it’ll take 5 years to exit it.

What we’re doing now is different. We are year one of a rebuild. The average age is 24 compared to Liverpool and City at 27. When our squad is that old, we will be competing for major honors, until then you have to live in reality, this project is doing things the hard way, so there will be bumps.

Arsenal are at the start of their cycle, 5 of our starters were bought in the summer have just 19 matches of game time under their belts. The story should be ‘fuck, these young players AND young manager are doing really well’ versus the painfully shocking version that I keep reading of ‘we’re only doing well because everyone else is shit.’

Now, for anyone parroting that line… please, look no further than Antonio Conte for evidence of why that is a nonsense.

One of the most successful managers of all time, complaining AGAIN that the level of the Premier League is really high and Spurs fans need to be realistic. Specifically, he calls out Arsenal and West Ham as a problem, but he goes one step further… he cites Brighton and Wolves.

Why is he doing that?

  1. Because the Premier League has never been richer
  2. It has never had so many top, top managers participating
  3. It has never had the strength in depth at every club like it does now
  4. It has never been more competitive

Remember all those people calling time on our season because Conte had landed at Spurs? Well, those people are now pivoting to ‘everyone is shit so if we don’t make it, it’s because Arteta isn’t right for the club.’


If we don’t make it this season, it’s because getting top 4 these days is really, really hard for a squad with limited experience. You don’t have to believe me, but you really do have to listen to Conte. He took the job thinking Harry Kane and Son would be enough, now he’s back in the dugout, he knows how tough things are going to be and he’s trying desperately to temper the expectations of fans who thought he was a cheat code back to the elite. He doesn’t need money, he genuinely thought he’d be able to work a miracle at Spurs, now he’s trying preserve his rep because he fears that won’t happen.

Top 4 is well and truly on, we’re in the mixer, but you can’t discount the clubs that are in the mixer with Arsenal. United still has a chance, Spurs are still good enough and experienced enough to go on a run, I wouldn’t rule out West Ham either, Wolves are also close.

The Premier League ain’t what it used to be. You can’t just hire Jose Mourinho or one of the other rockstars and think there will be instant success. It’s too hard for that these days. I suspect when Klopp leaves Liverpool, they will dip. I suspect when Pep leaves City, they will find it tough. Chelsea hired a rockstar and they are nowhere near the Premier League this season, they could well be pulled into the top 4 race if they are not careful.

That Arsenal are where they are after that start is all about how good this team is. We have kept the best clean sheet record in the league, we’re really, really tough to beat, we’re getting better at scoring goals, and we have been very consistent for a whole year.

Matt Kandela, elite voice on The Arsenal Opinion Podcast said ‘Have we moved from Trust the Process to Trust the Progress?’… I would say YES.

It’s looking good, but remember, this team is young, this league is hard, and we’re still going to need an awful lot of luck to hit our targets this year.

Enough propaganda for you? I hope so. See you tomorrow. x

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Using your sole measurement, then, yes, moving from 8th to 4th is a sign of progress. My point being, of course, that final position should NOT be the sole measurement. Evidently a point beyond your comprehension.


This Jamie guy makes a lot of sense for a “retard”.


“Taken to its logical extreme and, say, Arsenal reach, second spot, then coming 3rd or 4th is a mark of failure. Right?”

Argumentum ad ignorantiam. This is the level we’re dealing with.

A better example that has actually been proven out is Emery actually fluffing his lines finishing 5th, 1 point back from 4th, or Wenger bending over in 2016 and finishing 2nd, 10 points behind Leicester.

Both failures with adequate context. Redefine them both as success if it helps keep the sheets dry.

“Evidently a point beyond your comprehension.”

I can’t even.


Emery blew a nailed on top 4 and finished 5th. The next season he was out.

I don’t think many Arsenal fans would have been impressed with a vision that said “We will aim for a top 6 finish in the next three years, and if we are close to a top 4 finish at that time we don’t mind if we lose out because it’s not in the plan until year 4.”


You could argue that Aubameyang blew the top 4 for Emery and us that season. Slot in that pen against the Spuds and we would have been 2 points clear of them with 1 game left (IIRC). Arteta the genius has come nowhere close since. How long before the “process” kicks in

NW9 Gunner

Liverpool match on 16th march


“TeeDefine hate.”

Hate can be defined as your usual and daily repetitive regurgitation against the manager.



Like I said, logic seldom works with the entrenched anti-arteta brigade.


eb –

You googled the Latin, tell me the truth.

Southern Slide Tackle



“You could argue that Aubameyang blew the top 4 for Emery and us that season. Slot in that pen against the Spuds and we would have been 2 points clear of them with 1 game left (IIRC). Arteta the genius has come nowhere close since. How long before the “process” kicks in” Usual line of the black and white thinker. Why can’t you be sincere for once in your life by telling us if the pictures you just painted are what they really are in terms of what really transpired. Arteta took charge mid of a miserable season, steadied the… Read more »

Southern Slide Tackle

Thanks Pedro! I agree on all fronts. Keep pounding this injustice by the refs. Unacceptable for this to have any part of the worlds greatest league. I heard someone argue that the league likes it because it brings controversy and that brings attention. Nonsense. The sport itself, if left alone, will take care of that. Time to expose the bastards behind the farce!


Besides, it’s aubamayang they blew the top 4 for Emery but now it’s Arteta who is to be blamed for all the negatives, really?

Tell us more about his preferece to win the Europa (eventually beaten blue black) to making top 4 as one of the reason he faltered


The statistics don’t lie.
Interesting to look at the stats going as far back as 1996.
Pierre always harped on about injustices against Arsenal.
Maybe he’s right.
I wonder what percentage of yellow/red cards were given because of retaliation by Arsenal players?
No protection from the refs leads to you taking your frustrations out on the opposition.
Is Saka protected?
Of course he isn’t.


From Arteta’s presser – on Thierry Henry saying our season would be a failure if we fail to finish in the top four… “I don’t know, I didn’t read what he said. Everybody is free to say whatever they want and that’s why somebody allows someone to write an opinion. Tomorrow our aim is to play as good as we can and win the match, that’s the target.” Arteta could’ve answered that five different ways without creating any controversy or putting additional pressure on his squad and himself, but chose to deflect instead. That’s why these pre match pressers are… Read more »


Graham 62
The statistics don’t lie.

But they don’t always tell the story.

For instance Gabriel received two yellows but only one foul

Martinelli got two yellows but again only one foul.


Tee: “Arteta took charge mid of a miserable season, steadied the sinking ship” Arteta took charge on 20th December 2019, after the 17th round was played. We were 10th, had 22 pts, 7 pts away from Top 4. We finished 8th. If that season was miserable, what about his full season in charge?! Surely we progressed, right?! In the 20/21 EPL, after the 17th round was played, we were 11th, had 23 pts, 9 pts away from Top 4. We finished 8th. He steadied us well alright. Little did I know that Arsenal managers get 5 seasons to reach a… Read more »


Graham 62


These are very interesting and to honest really don’t paint 5he picture that Pedro is trying to suggest

Nigel Tufnel

Good one by Tee,

“It’s nothing new to hate a manager but to deny the progress and positive change in attitude of this team stinks to high heaven.of agenda.”

Our players are really together. That never gets mentioned by the Arteta haters here.

I love one of the haters above claiming he doesn’t really hate Arteta.

He has no idea how obvious it is to any regular reader. Just because you don’t write that you hate him, but twist everything negative about him and his signings. Nice try doomer.


Nigel, do stop your childish name calling. It doesn’t strengthen your opinion, it undermines it.


“Like I said, logic seldom works with the entrenched anti-arteta brigade”
Englandbest please read Jamie very well I believe you will learn a thing or two.

Bob N16

Moaning minnies trying hard to be coldly unemotinal about the upturn in our fortunes, determined not to excited unless we get 4th. Even if we do they’ll moan about Arsenal fans crowing about our success.

If you had the chance to go to the match tomorrow I will guarantee you they’ll be an air of optimism and positivity, sadly lacking in some of the buzz killers on here.- always justifying their negativity ina a ‘ cloak of calm reason’.

Rant over apologies!


Bob, see you there tomorrow.

I’m not sure about optimism and positivity – more like realism and hope rather than expectation. Plenty of support for the team but fair criticism when it’s merited (example, we were commenting after ten minutes against Burnley that lobbing crosses into their box was plain dumb, and it was).



Politics is the art of talking without really saying anything.

The only time you give the media an answer to feast upon, is when you’re trying to deflect from an even bigger scandal.

You shouldn’t be surprised Arteta avoided a slagging match through the media with the clubs greatest ever player

The reporter did his best to hand Arteta a can of petrol, Arteta wisely defused the situation, rather than throw a match into the petrol can.


“The reporter did his best to hand Arteta a can of petrol, Arteta wisely defused the situation, rather than throw a match into the petrol can.“ Rich, a bit dramatic take on issue this blog has been debating for a while now wouldn’t you say? Especially when PL beat journalists get called out for being lame and such. But you’re right, all managers do this to certain extent and Arteta isn’t any different here. I certainly hope Conte’s interviews in his mother tongue are more interesting because the ones he gives in English are boring as fuck, ditto Guardiola’s. Say… Read more »



Wenger was the master at dealing with the media, and they gave him a much easier time, because they were scared he’d close shop if they went in too hard on him.

I think I’m right in saying that most press conferences have the questioned screened beforehand, so the managers know what questions are coming

Then they have media specialist brief them on how to defuse situations, and answer the questions that they know are in the post.

Like you say, these press conferences are generally pointless


Who can forget that Wenger press conference ‘why you look at me?’

Even as our situation started to worsen under him, Wenger’s press conferences towards the end were just watches, he was either lashing out at more probing questions as the press were on to him at that point like a dog with a bone, or he was coming out with the bizarre statements such as directors of football directing traffic.

Ben D

I enjoyed reading that. One of your best posts ever, well done Pedro!!!!


Fouls per yellow would be an outrageous stat too for us. Tired of seeing us getting a yellow for our first or second foul in the 10th minute while other teams get 4 or 5 free fouls only to get a yellow in the 87th minute. Absolutely shocking bias. We have to force the media to give us airtime via an online campaign because the institutional regime is just as against us.



This follows the thinking of a few people on here, that 4th could well be achieved with a points total below 70.


Do a data check on every Arsenal game from now until the end of season.
Let’s see how many poor challenges our opponents make before a card is shown and vice versa.
Let’s prove our case.


For me , i would ease Tomiyasu back into the side, no need to rush him back and run the risk of injury. Holding and Gabriel are perfect for tomorrow in the centre of our defence…solid as a rock and won’t get bullied by the physical brentford attack .. White at right back.. Personally, i would like to see Tavares get a run at left back as his partnership with smith rowe down the left earlier in the season was scintillating at times, though i doubt it will happen. No doubt it will be xhaka and partey in midfield. I’m… Read more »



Assuming there’s no late injuries or illnesses, I expect we’ll see this:

…….White Gabriel
……Partey Xhaka
Saka Odegaard Smith Rowe

I don’t see us taking any unnecessary risks with Tomiyasu, Cedric was decent at Wolves