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. 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

  2. Graham62

    Jesse Marsch comes across as a really great guy.
    I’m sure the Leeds players are already benefiting from his positivity.

  3. Ben D

    Great to see most of us here converging on the fact that this project is going well. Long may it continue. Sone started out skeptical whijst others took a leap of faith early. All fair, I would say. I did a yo-yo quite a bit, but I’m now fully convinced and convicted (as the religious ones would say)

    Seems quite a number on here go to home games. Would be great to see if we can meet more Le-Grovers in-person. I do home games whenever I am in London during a home game. East Stand, centre line is where I sit. Anyone sits close?

  4. Topside Northbank

    Looking at other games today hope for a WHU win or draw at least they are coming off a big win but similar rest period to us a derby so I expect a tight game either way.

    Also hoping for a Man City win……only reason we are due to play Soton 16th April they win today we have another game rearranged as the FA Cup semi’s are 16/17 April.

    Great to go into the international break top 4, still going to need at least two good results against Tottenham, WHU, Chelsea and Man Utd but really like most I’m taking it game by game.

  5. Sid

    This is the vision Freddie Lu and Mert laid out,
    its great that the team appointed after them have put in lots of time and money following their footsteps.

  6. AFC Forever


    “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.”

    100% You nailed it.

    A far cry from the time Freddie Ljungberg was telling the board the players had bad attitudes and didn’t care about the club. What a transformation under Arteta. I copped a lot of flak for backing his policy of non-negotiables but he’s been completely vindicated. Again. Compare these players togetherness to Guendouzi running around boasting about his wages or the team captain turning up late for a pre-match briefing in a NLD.. Embarrassing. This is a team now, not a group of ego’s putting themselves first and the fans appreciate that.

  7. G

    Definitely want a westham win as spurs are defo a bigger threat.. good thing is we can go into every game thinking we can get something including Chelsea

  8. Words on a blog

    Ashley Young – my abiding memory of him was when he was Man U.

    He had his mouth open gormlessly as usual and just at that moment a bird decided to drop a load of shit in his mouth.

  9. RockyRoe

    I took a hiatus from le-grove after the first few games of the season as I didn’t know where we were going. I was critical of:

    1. Spending 50 million on white
    2. Spending 30 on ramsdale
    3. Arteta having no recognizable style of play
    4. Arteta not taking the club in the right direction after 2 seasons in charge

    Man oh man, what a complete idiot I’ve been made to look!
    Ben White and ramsdale (+tomi) have been sensational, the recruitment team (huge kudos to edu, who got his fair share of abuse) nailed the last window. So much so that if we end up with a no name striker come the next window I’ll just keep my trap shut coz they seem to know their stuff.

    Arteta’s team has been a breath of fresh air last few months, I think I finally accepted I was wrong when we outplayed mancity.

    Kudos to mikel and the team and kudos to the board for having the balls to stick with the vision even when nay sayers like me where raising a storm.

    Lastly, kudos to Pedro and all the others who understood the project and backed it, you had a tough ride at the start but you had the conviction.

    I’ve been made to look the fool and I couldn’t be happier, if we get CL football playing this exciting brand of football, I’ll even be the village idiot.

  10. Bob N16


    Welcome back

    It seems like a real struggle for you to compliment Arteta. Rather than acknowledging his fundamental importance to our improvement, you attempt some mental gymnastics and prefer to imply Freddie and BFG were the real masterminds and that ‘ time and money follow(ed) their footsteps’.

    It’s a slightly jaundiced angle to take but I guess we shouldn’t be surprised!

  11. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal played well yesterday considering that we played three difficult games in six days.

    We have consolidated fourth place with a game in hand over Manchester United. I think that
    today’s match between Spurs and West Ham may determine whether either of these two are
    serious challengers for fourth place. My gut feeling is that this game could turn out to be draw, which would be good news for us.

    One question, which needs to be answered. What happens to fourth place if West Ham were
    to win the Europa Cup and qualify for Champions League? Do they replace fourth place finisher?

  12. Bob N16

    RockyRoe, great post. I was not convinced either but I am more than happy to get off my fence. Only a couple of players I slightly groan to see on the team sheet otherwise there’s a lot to love.

    Sid- any comments about RockyRoe’s post?

  13. Bob N16

    ES, five CL place allowed for one country so no problem!

    Not trying to have a go but do you accept that Arteta’s lack of rotation was the the correct decision in the last three games or do you stick by view that we should have rested a few players on Wednesday? Obviously we won yesterday but was it too tight for comfort?

  14. Time Up

    After the Newcastle owner beheaded 81 people in one day, some of them under age when they were caught posting against the Saudi government in social media. Beside, his air strikes killing the children of Yemen for 7 years

    Now, Man City’s owner was pictured hugging and strolling with Syria’s mass-murdering tyrant Bashar al-Assad, who has used chemical weapons on his own citizens.

    Amnesty International said both Assad and the UAE are guilty of“human rights violations and war crimes.*

    Is the UK government going to give them the Chelsea owner treatments or wait until their relationship with the US or UK breaks down and then sanction them!.

  15. Chris

    Bravo SurferX re your earlier post. I agree and know where you are coming from when you say this feels like a proper Arsenal side.

    We will likely never see a better quality of football played then under the peak Wenger era but this side isn’t that anyway (although they can play some sublime stuff don’t get me wrong). They are more an early George Graham team with the academy influence and a real steely resilience and strong characters throughout the squad (again early GG teams were also exciting to watch judging by what my dad would tell me and VHS season reviews!)

    In a way I prefer this because when we wanted to rebuild the team it was important to retain perhaps some influence of fantastic football under AW but do it with a bit less flakiness and not the infamous ‘soft underbelly’. This team appears to have resolve and character in spades and looking at the celebrations of the team and fans when we win these days, you know something special is truly brewing. It may have taken a while, but these things can do and despite airing frustrations when Arteta looked to have lost it some time ago, when he was appointed a lot of us spoke of seeing where we were at the end of 21-22. Well right now it is all looking rosy in the garden and perhaps now we can say we have our Arsenal back?

    Arteta and the team and everyone else behind the scenes deserve huge credit.

  16. Emiratesstroller

    Bob N16

    I expressed previously my opinion.

    I would have rotated my squad for the Liverpool game.

    As I posted previously the two critical games were against Leicester and Aston Villa. Realistically we needed 6 points from those games.

    Anyway we won both games and that is what matters.

  17. Nelson

    When a team is mature, not only you play with more confidence. You also run less because you know the position of your teammates well and you know what they will do. That help a lot.

  18. Nelson

    Also our starting 11 needs to build up experience against both strong teams and teams with low block. Now that they can play MC and the Pool equal, they can take on the Spuds and Chelsea with confidence.

  19. Sid

    Thanks Bob N16, missed you too.

    The reason you need me to comment on Rockyroes post is you hate contradiction. If i point to contradiction and pervese incentives ( where the solution causes more problems than it solves) your mind thinks Sid is an enemy of progress.

  20. Sid

    “”””Is the UK government going to give them the Chelsea owner treatments or wait until their relationship with the US or UK breaks down and then sanction them””””

    Your answer is right there, im telling you for free!

  21. Bob N16

    Sorry Sid, 12.40 – ‘contradictions and perverse incentives’ if you can be bothered can you elaborate on this statement as I don’t understand it.

    When I pointed out Rockyroe’s post where he’d acknowledged that he was wrong about how he’d judged Arteta and the path Arsenal were taking, I thought that you might it might have some resonance with you.

  22. Rich


    If we want to be in a position to influence geopolitics, then we can’t completely alienate other countries.

    It’s better to sit on information and gather intelligence, than to waste leverage when we don’t really need it.

    Russian owned assets on British soil are leverage

    Russian owned banks + businesses on British soil are leverage

    Oligarchs and their families living on Western Soil are leverage

    We can only ban countries from our payment systems, if they’re using them to begin with.

    We can only confiscate their money, if we know where they keep it, and have a paper trail to follow.

    Jumping into these situations like a bull in a china shop, is likely to cause more harm than good, wasting leverage when we don’t need it, is pointless.

    If we weren’t in a position to apply crippling economic sanctions, then the only other option we’d have, would be going to war.

    If we want to apply pressure on Saudi Arabia on cultural change, then we need to be in a position to do that

    Football is the most watched sport, and the PL the most watched league, the eyes of the world are now on Saudi Arabia, their oil won’t last forever

    Cultural change will never happen overnight, that’s not the way that things work, what we do is move them to a different position on human rights issues, one step at a time

    We can’t do that if we don’t have any influence over them, and we’ve completely alienated them.

    Keep our friends close, but our enemies even closer.

  23. Dissenter

    I watched a clip of that post match interview Ashley Young garage after yesterday’s game
    In fairness to him, the interviewer teed him up, by asking about how Arsenal celebrated

    Sports ‘journalists’ are always trying to create news, rather than just report the news.

  24. Sid

    @Rich, my father told me, you live with pigs, you smell like pigs.

    He also told me, there was a man walking naked and his longstuff kept swinging up, down, up down. A hyena followed him thinking it would fall off……

  25. Frost

    So that’s Agbonlahor, Young, & Neves coming out to say they don’t like the way we celebrated our wins.

    Lol now I’m actually enjoying our celebrations even more.

    Here’s hoping all 11 players do Cartwheels when we win against Palace.

  26. Dissenter

    Palace did a good job last summer [and the summer before]
    They bought some of the best young talent in the championship and it’s paying off.
    They have a group of Eze, Rak-Sakyi, Mitchell, Conor Gallagher, Marc Guéhi, Nya Kirby, Nathan Ferguson and Michael Olise,

    Gallagher will go back to Chelsea to languish on the bench but Palace will be okay

  27. Zacharse

    barca v real today… any question about real stomping them? may watch this. lewandowski’s gotta be headed to madrid next season, no way haaland goes to la liga…

  28. Zacharse

    diving the test will be next year i think. a lot of older players in that squad, as well theyve made some great purchases, the attack is quite solid no? and guehi. doubt theyb keep the chelsea lad next season though and that will be a big loss

  29. TR7

    Kane and Son combination is quite something. West Ham are giving a lot of space and time to Spurs to play their own game, looks like easy 3 points for them. I expected more resistance from West Ham.

  30. Terraloon


    One question, which needs to be answered. What happens to fourth place if West Ham were
    to win the Europa Cup and qualify for Champions League? Do they replace fourth place finisher?

    If a team outside the top 4 wins the CL then the 4th placed team drops Ito the EL

    If a team outside the top 4 wins the EL as Bob says England gets 5 CL places

    If there are indeed 5 English teams in the CL and say Palace win the FA Cup or Leicester win the EL conference then then there won’t in all likelihood be any EL places by virtue of a league position the 5th place team ( unless UEFA increase the maximum number of English teams allowed to participate from 7 to 8) would go into the EL Conference

    Confused ?

  31. Terraloon

    Gallagher will go back to Chelsea to languish on the bench but Palace will be okay

    Don’t think that will happen. Pretty convinced they will sell either Jorginho and or Kante. Both are still decent players but getting to the latter stages of their careers and both have value.

    Gheui will almost certainly be sold this season but the problem any buyer has that Chelsea were said to have a 25% sell on clause as well as a buy back option

  32. Pierre

    I made the point a few days ago that Arteta wanting Arsenal to score 90 + goals a season is a tall order when you consider that he thought Aubamayang/willock were surplus to requirements, and kept Lacazette ( 2 goals from open play) and plays xhaka ( no goals in 16 months) in a more advanced position, plus he has benched our top scorer fot the last 3 months (and no he hasn’t been injured)..

    I will be interested to see how Arteta addresses this area as it is obviously a concern for him to highlight the discrepancy compared to the top clubs .

    Obviously Odegaard is a nailed on starter although for me he is a little up and down when it comes to influencing games .
    It’s like he will have a couple of top notch performances and fans rave about him, and then he’ll have 5 or 6 games where he reverts back to xhaka safety first mode.

    I am looking at this from Arteta’s perspective not mine.
    This season winning by the odd goal is fine if we achieve champions league football, but Arteta will know that no risk football will only get the team so far and he will have to address the situation , our defence is pretty solid, the next part of the equation is to find a way of scoring another 30 goals a season …i think Arteta can do it

    Xhaka is a non starter in a team that want to score 90 goals a season , same for Lacazette.
    The big question for me is will Arteta continue with Odegaard as his playmaker knowing that he is not really a goalscorer as he is a poor striker of a moving ball , his assists are also low but he is regularly involved in our goals from a deeper position..

    Maybe if Arteta was to bring in a 10 to 15 goals a season midfielder then Odegaard playing high won’t be an issue for him if he does want that 90 goals a season total.

    Talking of attacking midfielders who influence games, that Kulusevski of Tottenham has 7 goal contributions in 7 , maybe we can nick him in the summer from under Tottenham’s noses.

  33. MidwestGun

    Your a bizarre dude Pierre…. Your criticism of Odegaard is the exact same criticism people had of Ozil… Disappears and doesn’t influence games enough,, doesn’t score enough goals and fans raving about him despite no statistics. And you called them obsessives and now your doing the same thing… obsessing over Odegaard playing through the middle .

    It will be fine.. Odegaard is young and will get better and better. Odegaard contributes in other ways such as pressing and stamina throughout the whole match. And his shooting is not as bad as you think.

  34. Rich


    Smith Rowe has been carrying a knock, he was carrying an issue in yesterday’s game, and Arteta praised him for still getting through the 90 minutes.

    He’s been sick, he’s had COVID, he wasn’t in full training consistently for a while.

    Yesterday Arteta said there were players playing through injuries, he’s spoken about why Smith Rowe has been out of the team and lacked consistency on multiple occasions.

    Why do you think Arteta is lying when he’s been asked about this in his press conferences?

    Why do you think you know better than Arteta when it comes to the fitness of his players?

    Do you think his medical team are lying to him?

    Is this a giant conspiracy?

    Are you naturally dim, and slow of learning?

    Do you just like making dramas where there aren’t any?

    I suspect it’s the latter….

    But I’d love to know why you think Smith Rowe hasn’t been caring an ongoing injury, but the club are feeding the narrative that he is?

    I’d love to know why reporters close to the club reported this, if it wasn’t true?

    Here’s Arteta post game interview yesterday where he confirms it, and not for the first time: