by .

Make no mistake – that was the performance of the season from Arsenal.

We absolutely controlled every aspect of the Aston Villa game from start to finish. Stevie G didn’t know what to do, his side were totally nullified, they had no outlets despite having plenty of players that offer them.

Emi Martinez told Emi Beundia to turn down Arsenal, hahahahah!

Villa tried to convince the world they were a squad on the rise, worthy of Emile Smith Rowe, hahahaah!

Back to the game.

Defensively we were imperious. Arsenal fans often criticise Arteta for crosses into the box, well, how about Villa trying to beat White and Gabriel in the air all day without getting a sniff? It was more than that though, it was setting up perfectly so the passing lanes for Villa’s backline were dead, it was strategically pressing them at all the right moments, it was every single player showing up and being accountable for the clean sheet.

We did all of that with our second choice right-back and a keeper that has barely played all season.

Arsenal is now joint 3rd for clean sheets with Chelsea.

Attacking wise we also showed a lot of character. All those people complaining about expensive defensive signings are now seeing the error of their ways. We play out the back and it’s pure silk on my eyeballs. There are no weak links there, there’s no drama, it’s just a beautiful feature of our system. What makes it better is when the players ahead know what they are doing. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka did a great job connecting our attackers today, Bukayo Saka put on such an elite performance, no doubt giving Ashley Young nightmares in the process. It was so much fun watching Arsenal create overloads then popping perfect balls for Saka to torment his 47 year old adversary. His goal was superb, he powered his low shot through a crowd, his 10th of the season, his 5th in 5 games, who said it was a bad idea to bet on youth?

Everything about Arsenal is intelligent, committed, and high level. You can see that all those players work for each other. Always remember, this is the youngest squad in the league, they have no right to be this good, this fast.

Top 4 is really on now. We closed out March 4 points clear of United with a game in hand. We’ve turned the pressure over to Spurs and West Ham.

If you thought 70 points was the number we needed to be at, then consider this:

10 games left

16 points to 70

5 wins. 1 draw = 16 points

Our next 3 games.

  • Palace
  • Brighton
  • Southampton

If we can win those games, we are very, very, very close to hitting our target.

It also means Spurs and West Ham have finer margins to deal with if they want to take our place.

Spurs need 7 wins from 10. So do West Ham.

We need West Ham to win tomorrow.

They are in great shape in the Europa League. Beat Lyon and they will have Frankfurt or Barcelona in the next round. That game will come right when we play them. Do you think a bunch of quite old players are going to be thinking about Arsenal when they have a trip to the Camp Nou brewing? I hope not. West Ham are less likely to put on a 10 game run than Spurs.

The season is in our hands, we have the special sauce, the momentum, and everyone in the league can see it.

It’s just a joy being an Arsenal fan right now. I said at the start of the season that fan connection would be huge. It’s easy to be a supporter when things are going well, less so when things are tough. Our fans have been there through every moment this season, that faith has turbocharged the development of the kids. No player fears 22nd minute groans with misplaced passes because the fans decided to back the kids. I’ve told you before, I was getting leaks that some of the players didn’t like playing at The Emirates, I bet that’s not the case now, because that place is a damn fortress.

Arteta has done a spectacular job on that front. Making IRL tickets worth the expense.

Now, let’s pray for healthy bodies after the break, because my word, are we going to need everyone fit to help.



Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Mark S

    Big kudos to Leno. He didn’t have much to do, however when called upon he showed up. I was nervous when I saw he was starting, however he did a good job coming for a couple of balls.

    One other thing…that has been mentioned a lot already….but can you imagine what this team will be like with a better #9? I love Laca, however he just doesn’t have it right now. He does a lot of other things for the squad, however he is not a goal threat at the moment.

  2. Bob N16

    Mark, completely agree about Leno – so impressive.

    Did you see Ramsdale embracing Leno in the celebrations after the match? Lovely to see the genuine pleasure Ramsdale had for his rival for the shirt and for the save right at the end.

  3. Pedro

    Looking forward to Marko making an appearance to tell us how Mikel Arteta is the worst manager in the league.

  4. AFC Forever


    Yep. To give a controlled performance like that away from home having played Wednesday night & list narrowly, shows real progress. No sulking just on with the job. Teams may have more fire power than us but as Carragher says, they aren’t as good tactically. We have a proper team and so much more to come.

  5. DivineSherlock

    Great win ! 5 consecutive away wins for the first time since 2015 ! Big reason why we are where we are , away wins. I think our away form was one of the worst ones. Palace is gonna be tough as nails , Viera have made them tough to beat . I just hope we withdraw Saka from England squad , the boy needs a rest !

  6. bacaryisgod

    Top class performance today. Everyone did themselves proud. I’m beginning to think one of the key decisions this summer was not letting Xhaka leave to Roma as his partnership with Partey is a formidable one.

    My only concern is how converting to Islam will affect Partey with Ramadan coming up. Hopefully he’s been getting used to no food or drink between dawn and sunset. Hopefully someone will slip him this article.

    Love the team celebrations with Leno too.

  7. Bob N16

    DivineS, apart from this last week, Saka’s played 5 times in 8 weeks. His form is not indicative of someone who needs a rest, quite the opposite in fact but I hope Southgate limits his time though.

  8. Tom

    Very impressive performance indeed, especially considering the short turnaround time from the Pool game.
    Arteta outcoached Gerard completely in this one. I don’t remember Villa being so outplayed this season by anyone.

  9. Northbanker

    Mark S – my thought exactly. I know many are still lauding Lacazette for his overall contribution but personally I thought he was our weak point. Yes he harried but is that what we really want from a central striker? Also if Xhaka was more mobile, that deeper play would be less needed.

    We desperately need a lethal striker. I really hope we don’t give him a 1 year extension. Let’s get 2 new players in that postion

  10. Pedro

    ‘In nine of their last 13 Premier League games Arsenal have allowed opponents shots worth less than one expected goal. So much praise for the young forwards but today the 24 year old centre backs were immense’

  11. Thierry Martinelli

    Happy to see Leno between the sticks. And the players appreciating the travelling fans. I think I saw Xhaka giving a press guy his jersey. Saka and ESR gave theirs to fans.
    I don’t know how I should feel about Laca. He does a lot outside the box but at the expense of his role as a ST. He’s the one I expect to be throwing himself at a wingers cut back not ESR.

  12. Major_Jeneral

    May 2015 is the last time Arsenal won 5 away games on the bounce . And May 2016 is the last time Arsenal finished in the Top 4. #Resurgence

  13. Northbanker

    Man U going out of the ECL puts paid to the horrible thought that 4th place may not be enough to get back into the ECL.

    That would have been the case if Man U finished non top 4 and won ECL plus West Ham winning Europa League and also outside top 4. . This is because there is an absolute max of 5 English clubs in ECL.

    Can you imagine how sick we would have felt if we came top 4 and went into the Europa League?

  14. Freddie Ljungberg


    “Let’s get 2 new players in that postion”

    Depends on where we see Martinelli playing next season. He’s destined to end up as a striker so might just have him as second choice behind a new signing (Oshimen or Nunez please)

    We do need 2 attacking players regardless though, so if Martinelli moves inside we need another LW, would like to see Cody Gakpo come in, can play CF as well if needed.

    Get that and a CM right and I’m happy as far as signings go. No need for wholesale changes anymore.

  15. Double Double

    It’s an absolute result having a back up keeper as good as Leno, now Ramsdale is out. I don’t think any team has 2 such solid keepers as we do

  16. Major_Jeneral


    March 19, 2022 17:57:55

    “My only concern is how converting to Islam will affect Partey with Ramadan coming up. Hopefully he’s been getting used to no food or drink between dawn and sunset. Hopefully someone will slip him this article.::

    Thomas Partey will be fine he will get professional assistance from the AFC medical team and also from knowledgeable Muslim Nutritionists on how to manage his training regime while fasting. Even we that are not professional athlete that fast before or during Ramadhan have to do same.

    Some of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane best performances came during Ramadhan so do not be worried.


  17. Naija+soccer

    I mentioned here weeks ago that we are mastering the art of restricting opposing teams to low shots on target. Aston villa didnt get a shot on target till the 94th minute.

    Thats been a theme for weeks now. Even the recent losses against Man City and Liverpool, we didn’t concede many shots on target, we lost to clinical finishing and experience.

  18. AFC Forever


    We all remember the hysteria after the signings of White and Ramsdale. Largely poked and prodded by the media, the way both players were treated on here and generally was shocking. I remember some busy googling Whites height to try to prove something or other.

    Boy have they made people look stupid and rammed that criticism down their throats. Ben White looks a real bargain and he is building a great partnership with Gabriel. In possession, so composed and press resistant but defensively excellent too. The best teams have strong CB partnerships and this looks like being a top one. Add to that no goals conceded in 130 corners faced, proves we have a disciplined team and intense coaching. We shouldn’t underestimate our progress out of possession, what a change from previous years.

  19. Vintage Gun

    Good post Pedro and I agree. We were tactically superb today. Down to a man. Best performance of the season in that regard.

    Whats keeping me warm inside is the fact that I Know that what come May the players are going to be giving EVERYTHING to reach the top 4.

    Thats all I can ask for. And respect to the players and Coaches for that.

  20. Tenerife Gooner

    At the moment I am not enjoying watching Arsenal .I am a bag of nerves.84 minute I went and Watered the Garden.Then anxiety to find out the result.

  21. Tom

    Saka gets his share of full blooded tackles, but barring injuries his minutes aren’t a problem.
    The 20-21 yo Fabregas used to rack up 4k minute seasons for Arsenal when free of knocks.
    Saka’s at 2.5k at the moment.

    If the likes of Salah and Kane can be expected to play around 4k minutes this season while pushing thirty, surely Saka can be expected to break 3k minutes for the club.

  22. Nigel Tufnel


    Those people embarrassed themselves with their prognostications about Ramsdale and White.

    They couldn’t have been more wrong.. that’s why they’re so angry all the time.

    Some idiot (timesup?) on here calling for benching of Rambo for an error on Wednesday…..
    …thank God a moron like that is nowhere near the actual club.

    He can only do damage by annoying people from a keyboard.

  23. G

    So impressed with partey since the turn of the year.. though just 1-0 was a lot more comfortable then I thought it’d be

  24. karim

    Arsenal became the third team in Premier League history to score 2,000 goals as Bukayo Saka hit the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Aston Villa. The Gunners joined the Premier League’s 2,000 goals club a week after Liverpool had become its second member.

    Not bad. Guess United is number one…

  25. Nigel Tufnel

    I was here early in the season talking about how good Ben White had been.

    I pointed out that many of the haters were holding back on praise because their comments in the summer were so wrong.

    Now we all see it. Consistency, and the guy is everywhere….now the rest of the country is recognizing…. worth 50 mil and more.

    Partey to me is still the difference… another great buy that’s raising the team’s level. My motm today.

    It’s not just about spending money .. but the players that the manager selects for purchase.

    Starting with Gabriel, Partey, then White, Ramsdale, Tomiyasu….
    Credit to Arteta.

  26. GAZZA

    Went to my first away game of the season & was very impressed with the first half performance & our 2nd half 1-0 preservation attitude.. Partey MOTM

    Only negative was the tame output of Eddie & Pepe when they came on…

  27. Sakablyat

    It’s been so long since we’ve been 4th so please remind me, do we have to play a two leg qualifier?

  28. Pierre

    Today’s performance dispelled any doubts .about our mentality and ability to bounce back from a defeat.

    I had my doubts, but the first ten minutes of today’s game showed how confident the players are in their own ability.

    I’ll be more than happy with 1-0 victories until the end of the season

  29. Nigel Tufnel

    Tom I’m not gonna be ashamed for having been right.

    I don’t remember anything about you, sorry, but it’s the best feeling in the world that I supported Ramsdale, White on faith, and was able to enjoy their playing right from the start of the season. So many good performances.

    I decided on Arteta after the first Spurs game this season.

    Anyone who understands what’s happening on the pitch would’ve seen it, and I doubt that includes you.

    We had a regular clown a couple weeks ago.. saying Arteta should be sacked if we don’t get top 4. This is the mentality of some haters here.

  30. Tom

    “Anyone who understands what’s happening on the pitch would’ve seen it, and I doubt that includes you.”

    Nigel, some of us weren’t blessed with acute perceptive brilliance like that of yours, so we just stumble along at a slower pace.
    It must be hard for a genius to understand, I imagine, but you need to make allowances for the lesser brains like mine.

  31. Bob N16

    But Nigel T, as Tom says you’re constantly posting your righteous anger. Why not let it go? You were right in your early support of the Arteta project, take a bow and move on.

    You always seem on attack mode.

  32. kjelli

    Special sauce, ok, but it is easy to mess it up.. don’t forgets but I guess Arteta won’t let that happen,
    he is driving this young team forward with the help of a few veterans Xhaka and Partey. Leno
    did well today as did the defence, great weekend for us !!

  33. Dissenter

    I don’t understand the need for sine to weaponize a good moment for Arsenal
    Let’s enjoy these moments and stop all the unnecessary vituperations

    There are no ‘haters’ here< just people who come to disagree about a club we all LOVE

    To those who believed in Arteta before the rest of us got on board. We salute you
    Just stop the puerile behaviors, there’s enough real hatred in the world. Let’s not bring it here.

  34. LoveSausage

    Gabriel and White put in the most dominant defensive performance I’ve seen from an Arsenal CB pair in years. Long may it continue.

    Big Thomas was a majestic beast. An absolute tank of a midfielder.

    As some have pointed out, Laca is becoming a problem. I respect the guy and everything he gives. But it’s increasingly looking like we’re squeezing the last drops of juice out of that particular orange. I hope we don’t give him a contract extension for sentimental reasons.

  35. Dissenter

    Ben White has established himself, along with Gabriel. No sane manage will break up that partnership now.
    Saliba will have to come in with lots of hard work and a prayer because of the high standard Ben White has established You have to look hard to with a magnifying glass to be able to criticize Ben White; that’s how good he’s been.

    There’s even a case to be made now that, do we really need three super talented young central defenders. Aren’t we better off with this current partnership, along with Holding and a veteran; like James Tarkowski [who’s available on a Bosman]

    Yes, I won’t be surprised if Edu earns his money and decides to sell Saliba because he’s good money right now.

  36. LoveSausage

    It would be insane to sell Saliba. If anything, we need to add one more solid CB. We only have the PL to worry about now. Next season it will be the league, (hopefully) the CL, and two domestic cups. More than enough minutes for everyone.

  37. Thorough

    I don’t know what’s wrong with people and going after other fans for having an opinion.
    Ffs Ive never heard of Ramsdale before we bought him. I absolutely didn’t want Odegard after his loan because I didn’t see what I expected from a top 4 playmaker: dribbling, shooting, defence-splitting passes. I definitely wanted Arteta to use White’s money for Gravenberg or someone else that could partner Partey better.
    Skepticism is human nature damn it. They’re turning out fine, Ramsdale especially and that’s great for all Arsenal fans not just those who think others shouldn’t criticise a signing baselessly.

  38. Habesha Gooner

    YEAH. COYG. I am a little late but I had to get a few drinks after that win. Fuck that cunt Ashley young. Saka owns him. We are the arsenal and we are coming back to our rightful place.

  39. Rich


    Arteta doesn’t appear to be the sentimental type.

    I wouldn’t be against giving Laca a 1yr extension, much will depend on where we finish, what our options are in the market, and how Balogun gets on at Middlesbrough

    There’s a serious lack of top centre forwards, Calvert Lewin, Watkins or Toney, would be expensive and quite underwhelming, if we were going to punt on one, I’d choose Toney.

    Isak has struggled this season for Real Sociedad, Jonathan David would be a work in progress.

    Haaland + Mbappe would likely be out of our league.

    Lewandowski might leave Bayern, but he’s 34 in August, I just don’t see us doing that, far too risky.

    Then we’re looking at Joao Felix who’d be difficult, but would be my pick if we could pull it off.

    Gnabry has been linked with a return, who we could move centrally, Gakpo from PSV

    Nkunku could maybe play that false 9 role.

    Signing one top striker seems difficult enough, and if we sign 2, that would be the end of Balogun at Arsenal

    Keeping Laca for another season with a reduced role, might not be the worst idea.

  40. Habesha Gooner

    I am arteta IN now. Dude has a vision. I couldn’t see it when we barely could string five passes together in attack. We were awful. But he has turned it around since December. And I trust him to find the right striker to make us a fixed team in the top 4. Fair play pedro. You saw it before we did. Apologies.

  41. Mr Serge

    Is any numpty on here moaning about whites height anymore, is anyone saying he is a waste of money,? Or defence is magnificent best I have seen us in 7 years at least maybe 8 good times are coming back and I love it,

  42. AFC Forever

    We have to remember the team has been together less than a season. The improvement is remarkable and down to time on the training ground and top coaching. Arteta is going to become one hell of a coach.. He will improve as the players do which bodes well. However the key to where we end up lies with recruitment. Comparing us to other teams, we lack the clinical finishing and ability of a top striker to win you a game on his own. Our goals tend to be products of good team play, rather than individual brilliance. Goals are shared around. Add a top, top goal scorer and we go up another level. This is where 4th place has the potential to advance our plans it’s massive from a recruitment perspective. It opens up another level of player. And the owners will feel even more vindicated about Arteta and whatever he said to them, so may release additional funds. We have to tie Arteta up as well, that’s very important. Let’s hope Spurs drop points tomorrow & keep the pressure on.

  43. Nigel Tufnel


    Interesting question about Saliba, I’ve been trying to imagine how he’ll get enough minutes to be happy. Maybe some time at rb, I hear he’s played there a fair amount?

    Holding is almost a perfect backup because maybe he’s content to take a back seat to help the team win.


    I was not early on Arteta. So I had to admit myself that I was skeptical a little bit long. Just very happy to support the project most of this season.

    The specific people I criticize here are the ones who are super negative on the target of the day..

    Often it’s Xhaka, he’s just not as bad as depicted here,, and works super hard….

    and then it was Cedric I defended against almost everybody here, including Pedro….. solid backup player… better than Bellerin. ….Our best crosser, not expensive.

    He can give us one more season as backup, then maybe Norton Cuffy can push through.

    But even today, mugs calling for a benching of Ramsdale. It never ends.

  44. LoveSausage


    Buying a top CF will be difficult and expensive for sure. But I think a lot of people make it sound as harder than it is just because the CF quality is so low in the PL. we probably won’t be able to get the equivalent of a Vlahovic but there’s a handful of players out in the European leagues that are significantly more talented than the likes of DCL, Watkins and Toney. Let’s face it, these three are bang average and would cost 50M.

    To me, the two PL players that are a bit interesting are Rashford and Richarlison. They’ve both underperformed seriously this season but could potentially be rehabilitated in the right environment. Would be risky for sure but maybe worth a punt if we can buy an in form striker and then get one of these two for a decent price.

  45. Habesha Gooner

    Mr Serge
    Fair play. But not just me. A lot of us. I didn’t see how he was going to turn it around. But I don’t care how, I am just glad he did. This is the first time in 5 years I am having fun watching Arsenal play. And long may it continue.

  46. Ken

    The irony of Nigel Superfanny coming on here blog policing angrily about other posters being “angry all the time”.
    It used to be slightly annoying but now it’s starting to become bizarrely entertaining in a side show kind of way. I say have at it Nigel, give us both barrells..

  47. Rich

    AFC Forever

    Agree, our ability to progress, and how far we can go, will depend as much on the quality of our recruitment as it will anything else.

    I’ve generally become opposed to big name players, on extortionate wages, with massive egos.

    Give me players aged 22-25, with 2-3 seasons of experience behind them, who have a good attitude, and a burning desire for success.

  48. Leftside

    Yes, its great right now. I hope we end up in the CL spots at the end of the season. Going to all the games have been a pleasure, the commitment and attitude of the team cannot be faulted.

  49. AFC Forever


    Yes exactly. If we have learned anything it’s that younger players are generally hungrier and care more. You get huge benefits with experienced players but there is also the risk they are satisfied with lucrative contracts. Arteta had a big job on his hands with the problems he inherited and we can’t ever go back there again. Tactically we are a match for anyone I truly believe that. So if we can continue to recruit hungry players prepared to listen and learn, I would prefer that. We have to build fir continued improvement and success not a quick fix. There’s no doubt we are a far more attractive destination than we have been for many years, add a 4th place finish to that and the doors open wider.

  50. Bob N16

    I understand your positioning Nigel, just wonder how you keep up the attack dog mode all the time!

    If we can get CL qualification I feel confident funds will be made available to get quality upgrades, just hope Edu and his team already have their targets identified.

    Agree with you Rich, talent is a given but attitude is almost as important. Our path looks extremely promising and it shouldn’t be difficult to attract ambitious players who are willing to work hard and to assimilate into our way of playing. Hope we can get players in early so there can be a meaningful pre season and we can start impressively.

    Exciting times.

  51. AFC Forever

    Is John Terry taking the piss?

    ‘ I want to see the clubs history & heritage protected as we go into a new era…”

    What history? What heritage?

    No apology for sucking up to the Russian Criminal either but no surprise because this is a bloke who shagged a team mates wife!!!

    I hope Chelsea crash and burn.

  52. sarge

    It’s good to be back. It seems a long time since we had so much vested in landing 3 points. Top 4 IS looking good – that win puts us on track for 71/2 points I reckon.

    That said, I didn’t particularly enjoy the last 15, felt for all our domination Villa we’re going to nick a draw at the death. Would have preferred a boring 0-2.

    As others have said I thought Partey was MOTM – outstanding again. And generally we seem so good now at controlling things and getting ourselves into decent positions around their box.

    The one thing that stands out as needing to be better is what we do when we get into those positions – not just Laca, but collectively we seem to make the wrong decision with our final ball.

    Hopefully once we have a No 9 with more presence and have had chance to work on those final third situations, we’ll be winning games like today’s by more than a single goal.

  53. Berg10kamp

    As I said before, I haven’t felt this comfortable playing non top 4 teams in a long time. It’s like I know we will win regardless of how we play, and thats the confidence that is currently oozing through the team. Boys need to have a good rest and come back firing for the next 5 game phase.

  54. Rambinho

    Oh do fuck off dissenter with that bullshit. Your opinions are weak as piss and change with the wind.

    This site was a cesspit of negativity where it’ was more common place for so called fans to constantly shit on the players, manager and the club itself . It’s a far better place now where you can tell there are actual supporters on here that finally dilute the bedwetting dickheads.

    With some of the hot takes on here it’s quite evident that some have never kicked a ball on their entire life but go on like they are Herbert chapman reincarnated.

  55. Dissenter

    The interesting thing is that we are beat g these non top-4 teams without having better players than many of them. It’s simply the togetherness and execution of a detailed tactical approach set up by Arteta.

    Did we have better players than Villa today? I think not, it’s Arteta’s organization that’s bearing fruit.

    We wont be out of depth plying Liverpool or city if we we can attract 1-2 top class players with a CL qualification.

  56. Dissenter

    What do people think of James Tarkowski as a Bosman signing

    I think he’s perfect to complement the back-4. This is probably one of my galaxy moments but he’ll come cheap and will play like his life depends on it because we gave him that chance.

  57. Rich


    That’s a really good point, the start of this season was a train wreck, we can’t afford to give up 9 points like that again.

    There were reasons for that slow start, and why we couldn’t get players out, and get the ones we wanted earlier

    The problem we’ve had is too many players, every time we buy a player without selling one, we further decrease our selling position.

    Hopefully we can start clearing the deck early of excess, tie down our talent, and make a few astute adjustments who can get a whole pre-season

    Think Martinelli is nailed on for the No14 shirt next season if he commits

    If we’d beaten Chelsea at home in the second game, we’d now be sitting a point ahead of them.

  58. Habesha Gooner

    We do have better players than Villa. They have more experienced players but certainly not better. Odegaard, ESR, Saka, shit on all their attacking players. Thomas partey is certainly better than all of their midfield players and spurs’s Hoijberg 😂. Xhaka, Cedric, Lacazette and Leno the players that wouldn’t start over theirs. It is is time to stop under rating our players.

  59. Berg10kamp

    Uhhh dissenter. I beg to differ on that option mate. We most certainly have better players than villa. Our LB, both CB, RW, LW, CAM and DM were better than theirs. I could argue that our CF was also better and even our RB and Xhaka. I didnt honestly see one Villa player today that I would want in the squad bar Martinez who made a brilliant save and showed his quality. I would however take Ramsey as he fits our profile and would make a good signing for us.

  60. Dissenter

    I can’t understand for the life of me what you see in Joao Felix
    I’m watching him play Rayo right now. This lad will be butter in the sun in the premier league
    Why did he cost 100 million+?

  61. Habesha Gooner

    You do like a cheap deal don’t you 😂. I wouldn’t touch Tarkowski with a 10 foot pole. He is a midtable player at best. If we don’t integrate saliba back in to the squad, then we should sell him and buy another that can play for us. And it’s not tarkowski. He is as shit as hoijberg.

  62. Habesha Gooner

    Darwin Nunez feels like the best fit for me. Dude has been banging the goals in. He is 22, Uruguayan and he is 1.87 m. Aerial threat, can play with his feet. We could certainly do worse than him. He can finish too. Knocked ajax out with a header the other day.

  63. Dissenter

    On a side note, who’s going to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine when this is all over.

    All these dumb bombs are intentionally destroying thier infrastructure

  64. Bob N16

    Rich, I think our bargaining position for attracting players is much better now we have a team that looks like it’s going places. Most of the players we are getting rid of are already on loan and the only high earner remaining who we probably want to upgrade is Laca who’s contract is up.

    We need to ensure our top young players are paid commensurate to their ability but our wages are now much more realistic to value. Thankfully Partey is justifying his wages. Although we won’t get much of a transfer for Xhaka his wages are considerable, if you add the money we’ll get for Torreira, Guendouzi and AMN then our net spend doesn’t have to be excessive.

  65. Venga, Dani

    Guys well be in Europe next year hopefully CL. There will be an extra 6-15 games. Frankly we need competition for spaces too so I want Saliba pushing Beni Blanco. I dont want our season in the toilet over one CB injury. Look at City with Stones, Laporte, Diaz, Pool with Van Dijk, Matip, and Konate. We need more depth

  66. Rich


    He’s got real quality, his high technical quality would blend in well with Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Saka + Martinelli

    He’s got the ability to drop deep in the first phase of play, which is vital to how we setup.

    He fits into the category of player I’d like us to target, he went for a lot of money to Atletico, it’s not really worked there for him, he’s got a manager who plays a style that doesn’t really suit him, and doesn’t appear to trust him.

    He’s 22, has a decent amount of experience, speaks fluent English, and is unlikely to enter his peak for another 2-3 years.

    It’s a bit like the Odegaard signing, we wouldn’t be signing him based on what he’s done so far, we’d be signing him based on his potential, which for me is massive,

    Sometimes talented players just need to feel at home and feel loved, they need a good fit to their style of play, and the trust of their coaches + players.

    Wenger once said “There’s a tiny amount of players who are just that good, it doesn’t matter where they go, they’ll be a success, but for the vast majority of players, it’s about choosing the right club”

    If we signed Joao Felix I’d expect some inconsistencies while he adjusted to the physicality of the league, but that’s not uncommon, but I’d also expect the club to back him rough any teething problems, and for him to develop into an elite centre forward.

  67. Spudnik

    I was worried about today’s game, but that was an impressive response to Wednesday. Top 4 is in our hands barring injuries.

  68. HerbsArmy

    At least we put one scouser in his place.
    After Wednesdays disappointment, credit has to go to Arteta for this response, a great 3 points.
    At this point we all know the weak areas that need an upgrade, but a lot of the new found strengths are nullifying these, to do league doubles over Leicester and Villa is impressive, and not something many of us would have predicted a few months ago.
    1-0 to The Arsenal!

  69. Bertie Mee

    Lacazette has scored four goals two of them penalties. We will need two strikers and Balogun if we are in Europe . Laca shouldn’t be one of them. . He’s not getting any better next season. It would be a poor decision .
    I think we need pace and hold-up play . That looks like Osimhen and Nunes with another central midfielder as well . That won’t be cheap so so few continental sides have any money

  70. Rich

    Would love a West Ham win tomorrow, a draw wouldn’t be bad for us either.

    Hopefully West Ham aren’t too leggy after Thursday.

  71. Ray+in+LA

    There are several posters smugly and even angrily crowing about how they were always supporters of Arteta and how stupid others were not to agree

    While this is a very special period, there were moments when supporting Arteta was less obvious than it is now

    Arteta himself said that something ‘clicked’ for him and the team in the break after our first three losses

    So, yes it is easier to support Arteta and the project now, but the earlier scepticism was not entirely unfounded

    I would be delighted if we continue this trajectory 🙂

  72. Matt

    Just watching match of the day. Realised that the free kick that our goal came from was given away by Ashley young.

    Makes it even sweeter. 😄

  73. Rich

    Southgate on Ben White’s recall:

    “It is easy to picture how he would slot into the way we would like to play.
    “He’s asked to progress the ball and play under pressure from the back & has that ability, because of his speed, to be able to defend high up the pitch.”

    “Very often in our games, we’re going to be in control of matches and we’re going to have to deal with quick transitions.
    So he’s got a lot of those attributes, I think he’s playing a big club where there is pressure to perform and that was a good experience as well.”

    “We liked what he did in the summer. He was a bit unfortunate not to be in the squad in the early part of the season, we felt it was good to let him settle in at Arsenal and adjust to things.”
    He’s got used to the way that they want to play and is having a very good season.”

  74. Pedro

    Rich, you gotta love it… best centre back in England.

    Ray, just to defend some people… this place was a literal hell hole for about a year with people taking what they thought was vengeance on the treatment of Emery.

    If believers want to crow a bit, let them have their moment.

    Reality is, who gives a shit, if arsenal are winning, we’re all winning.

  75. Leedsgunner

    Great win. Three points. Clean sheet.

    Almost all good, except for the news of Aaron Ramsdale’s injury.

    I do hope it is a short spell in the sidelines… but in Leno we do have a perfect back up!

    Thank goodness that we don’t have to rely on Runarsson!

  76. Leedsgunner

    In other news, an ex Gunner Luke Ayling was immense in helping Leeds beat Wolves… and guess what THEY CELEBRATED! An immense 3-2 comeback after going 2-0 down.

    P.S. Ashley Young doing a “Reuben Neves” and complaining that we celebrated too much.

    As if they wouldn’t if they had scored with that free kick deep into injury time…

    What utter sad spoilsports!

  77. Rich


    The fun police are the worst.

    I kind of get it though, when I seen Jota + Firmino celebrating the other day, I wanted to put my foot straight through the tv screen, particularly when I seen the Spurs result, it just added salt into the wounds.

    They’re not bitter about our celebrations, they’re angry that they lost, and we’re celebrating instead of them.

    I love that our players celebrate wins, I loved that after a loss they look mortified, it shows they care, and if we can press the buttons of all the right people during our celebrations, then that’s just the Cherry on top

  78. AFC Forever


    I always smile at the hypocrites when complaining about our young players celebrating. It’s jealousy. Odegaard said he has never been to a club with the togetherness Arsenal has throughout the squad. Watching Ramsdale & Lens celebrating with s great to see. Arsenal have never been liked so the haters are just going to have to start getting used to being pissed off.

  79. Ernest Reed

    “Emi Martinez told Emi Beundia to turn down Arsenal, hahahahah!”

    Grow up, you continually demonstrate a lack of any professionalism with your posts. Rise above with the maturity that your age demands Pedro.

  80. Nelson

    I see that our starting 11 has been developed to become a well oiled machine. Our team play today outclassed the Villa’s in their backyard. Our performance is consistent for both home and away games.. Let’s hope that we can keep our starting 11 healthy for the remaining 10 games. I can see that the team wouldn’t suffer much only with these 4 backups; Leno, Cedric, Holding and ESR. ( I prefer Martinelli as our starting LW.).

  81. Leedsgunner

    West Ham v. Spurs

    I suppose we should want a draw? Or I have to admit I love it every time when Spurs lose…

  82. Kegunner

    Concentration levels are the key for the last 10 fixtures. Coaching staff should ensure the boys are up to it every moment of the game.Massive learning from all players.

    Love it that Arteta says we need 90 goals per season maybe he brings in clinical striking talent. The togetherness of the team is already riling opposition. Maybe they want to join in the Arsenal party but are to proud to say in public.

  83. Sid

    Xavi: “In England, if you do a couple of things right and play a few good games, people talk about you being a legend. The media overreacts a lot and overrates a lot of the players.”

    The same applies for managers.

  84. Steveyg87

    Its still a way to go and qualifying for CL will directly who we bring in. Its a given that we need a RVP like striker. Predator in the box and can at least hold the ball up a bit. I will say it again, Lewandowski is not an unrealistic target if we qualify. Big city, beautiful stadium, we are playing good football. We are ticking boxes. My other target would be Podence. I thought over the 2 legs we played against Wolves he was causing us endless problems. Would be ideal replacement for Pepe

  85. Steveyg87

    “I suppose we should want a draw? Or I have to admit I love it every time when Spurs lose…“

    Hoping for a West Ham win, Spurs are looking like they ca. Seriously challenge us for that fourth spot

  86. Samesong

    Call me arrogant but we should be aiming for 3rd now. Chelsea draw a couple of games and we win our games it’s possible.

  87. DivineSherlock


    A lot needs to happen for us to get to 3rd . A win over Chelsea , Other teams taking points off Chelsea . Meanwhile 4th is in our hands , just need to keep our cool like yesterday , be top professionals.

  88. Chrispy

    I’d take a draw in todays game. If Spurs are in touching distance of us by the time we play them, it will be so sweet when we beat them at their place.

  89. Pierre

    Ben white i like , but occasionally he does have a tendency to switch off.
    Against Villa White was superb , i believe that Arteta must have had a word with him about the importance of staying focused for 90 minutes after he had a couple of poor positional moments v liverpool that in part contributed to liverpool’s 2 goals.
    If he had been more switched on for both goals they could have been prevented , though of course neither goal would i put him solely culpable for..

    Giving Partey the freedom of the central midfield is a masterstroke by Arteta, partey is one player that needs to stay fit as for me he is irreplaceable in the team at the moment.

    Smith Rowe’s performance yesterday showed why Arteta has to find a place for him in the starting line up, he is simply too good to be sitting on the bench…

    Would it upset the balance of the side to play Smith Rowe in Xhaka’s more advanced position to allow Martinelli to come back in, i don’t think it would.

    What it would give us is the more attacking threat that Arteta has been calling for,.
    Smith Rowe could play that role with his eyes shut , he has football intelligence, he has a good engine, superb technique , can read the game well and is a player who takes care of the ball, he very rarely gives the ball away..

    The one area Xhaka is stronger is defending set pieces.but i don’t believe that is a good enough reason to play him ahead of smith rowe..

    Although Odegaard and xhaka appeared to have quiet and ineffective games , i thought they were an important part of a very good team performance yesterday.
    A pass completion of 96.7 % and 95% in a tough away fixture is one of the reasons we managed the game so well….

    Lacazette in 78 minutes on the pitch completed 10 passes, against liverpool he completed 13 passes..
    Although i am not saying for one minute that Eddie played well when he came on(he didn’t), in his 12 or so minutes on the pitch he completed 8 passes ( 2 short of Lacazette),

    This tells me that Lacazette sruggled to find space , sruggled to lose his marker and struggled to link the play.
    Lukaku was roundly criticised last week for only having 7 touches for chelsea.
    Interestingly, Aubamayang with Barcelona has seen his pass completion rise considerably from when he was at Arsenal.

    Of course it isn’t vital that the striker has a high pass completion , especially if they are putting the ball in the back of the net…Lacazette does neither …7 assists is respectable.

    Lacazette is often considered to be a good link player, i would say outside the box he is of little use but he does some good work with his back to the goal in and around the opposition box

    I look at Balogun as a similar player to Lacazette, good with his back to goal but with more power and pace , hopefully he will develop into a top level striker

  90. Tony

    Happy with the 3 points and we have time to prepare for Palace.

    Paddy in his first season at Palace and Arteta 31 odd months into his project should make for a great game I still expect us to win.

    I feel game weariness played a big part in the 2nd half where Pepe and Eddie should seek some introspection after such poor showings for both players.

  91. Habesha Gooner

    Spurs are the biggest worry for me because of their strikers. If they decide to go on a scoring run then it will be difficult. But we can’t lose the NLD. They have very easy games left. Norwich, Burnley, Brentford, Brighton, Leicester and Newcastle. All these teams would either be safe, relegated or have nothing to play for. Burnley the potential banana skin but I think they will win a lot of these games. What they have to worry about is Liverpool, Westham , Arsenal and may be villa away. We just need to keep winning. 5 more wins and they will have to be perfect to beat us to 4th.

  92. Jim+Furnell

    Great result and excellent individual performances, Partey, Gabriel, White, and Cedric. Saka showed us what we know and ESR slipped back into the starting 11 with ease. However I think the game showed as much about where we still need to improve as much how good we can be. That we need a goalscoring CF has been made clear, love Laca to bits but a clinical finisher would have had that game over by half time. We need more end product from the chances we create, and we’ll get there. We also have limited strength in depth and Eddie did little to put himself in the shop window, he was farcical, as was the lovable Pepe. The process is ongoing but the second half yesterday was a grind, it should have been a stroll. Still too many errors. Top four is still a hard graft away. It’s a good job the teams around us can serve up a shit show with ease.

  93. Bob N16

    As has been said, just hope our first 11 is available for most of the remaining games. If they are then I think we’ll be fine. Our consistency is now good with most of our players getting a steady 7/8 out of 10 with one or two players standing out.

    ESR should be given the opportunity to play instead of Xhaka or Laca depending on the opponent. If it were Xhaka, Tierney could be asked to play a little more defensively and if Laca, Martinelli could interchange with him. ESR is such a skilful player that his ability to retain position with a perfect first touch should allow him to flourish in either position.

    Imagine asking the opposition manager who they would prefer to see ESR or Laca, ESR or Xhaka.

    Probably won’t happen though and to be fair we’re doing alright!

  94. Invincibles

    Surfer X – must admit I wished we could have come up with our own song and not just stolen Chelski’s Tommy Tuchel chant and had to downgrade the last line (from winning the Champions League to being in it). Makes us look like wannabes of Oligarch FC.

    I would have preferred more of a note to our own heritage with a dig at Chelsea.

    “Mike Arteta’s magic
    He wears a magic hat
    And when he saw the fourth placed trophy
    He said I’m having that – as it’s now a very real thing despite the concept being universally derided when Wenger introduced it – just like footballers eating healthily and the idea that Chelsea were practicing financial doping”

    Ok that last line does not scan very well but I am sure it can be worked on.

  95. Graham62

    So Ashley Young, one of the biggest cheats to ever step onto a football field, said that Arsenal players over celebrated.

    Excuse me but #### off!

    I think these players have gone through enough over these past few years to justify celebrating the way they do.

    The fans were fantastic yesterday and I must admit it’s great to see the interaction between players and supporters which is something that I’ve not seen at our club for many many years.

    Just to highlight to Mr Young, maybe you should question your own on field actions over the years and think of retirement because no one at Arsenal gives a Castlemaine xxxx what you think.

  96. Gonsterous

    White was good but Gabriel was immense. True leader and he should be captain before Tierney.

    Laca and Eddie will leave in the summer so we need 2 top class strikers and another world class midfielder that can relegate xhakq to the bench.

    With European football next season, we will need a bigger squad with better team rotation. Its important that we keep leno because we will then need another top GK as back up to ramsdale.

  97. Nelson

    Yesterday Pepe seemed to forget how to play football. He made mistake after mistake. He could cost us the match. Eddie didn’t do much. Still he didn’t make any mistake.

  98. SurferX

    Sure- I agree.

    But, my point was that was the fans unequivically backing the manager. Which is great to see- but also does act as a counter-point to some of the bs and negativity that has been posted about the direction of travel on here over the past couple of years.

    Arsenal needed a reboot after the Wenger-demise years and Emery. He wasnt first choice for many- which is fine and in the past- its all opinions and conjecture until you have evidence to see whats working and what doesnt. And, after a few misteps its now working- that much must be clear.

    The only other point is 4th place isnt a trophy. Its an essential step on the journey towards a destination- PL title and CL. Without top 4, its hugely unlikely you’ll ever get to those places- and if you do it will be an unsustainable freak occurence (aka Leicester). There were 4 objectives for me when we appointed Mikel;

    1. Clear out the deadwood & reboot club to to bottom
    2. Back into Europe/CL
    3. Challenge for title
    4. Win PL
    5. Win CL

    1 Has taken longer that I hoped- but we have just about broken the back of the poor decisions made at the end of the Wenger era, and those taken post-Gazadis. At the start of the season, 5th was my target- 4th the stretch goal. Its clear that from where we sit today, it should be considered a failure of sorts if we do not grab 4th. However, whether we/he succeeds or fails- the goals remain the same.

    So the direction of travel is still good- then the fans (I believe) will rightly continue to back him. This is the most ‘Arsenal’ team I can remember since 1988/89 but in terms of the togetherness within the club, the resilience the team shows, and the influence of players coming through from the academy. That I wasnt expecting- and it feels fucking great.

  99. Goobergooner


    You don’t actually think villa are 1-2 players from being competitive at the very top do you?!?! (Well apart from the managers affect on the team)

    “Did we have better players than Villa today? I think not, it’s Arteta’s organization that’s bearing fruit.We wont be out of depth plying Liverpool or city if we we can attract 1-2 top class players with a CL qualification.”

  100. Foxy

    It is not just a top CF we need but Pepe’s shocking cameo illustrated our need for some experienced utility players like Milner to held grind out results next season.

  101. Foxy

    With Cedric being more an attacking FB than Tomi he appears to be helping Saka be more dangerous as Cedric overlapping will create space and more options.

    To compensate Tierney is playing deeper i.e a reverse of when Tomi plays . Main benefits are we now attack better down the right, no more aimless Tierney crosses and hopefully less muscle injuries for him

  102. englandsbest

    Always gives me a kick to see Spurs lose, even against Man U or Liverpool or Chelsea, but I think a draw against WHU would suit us better. A single point would mean Arsenal gained two on both. And neither would taake comfort from that, not in their struggle to overtake us.

  103. Frost

    What Wolves & Villa fail to understand is that our celebrations have nothing to do with them.

    There’s a bond, something, going on at Arsenal that is transcendent & transformational – team, fans, manager – we can feel it. They can’t.

    All about arsenal. Who cares about young in 2022? Please.