LEAGUE TASK GAINS CLARITY + STRIKER REALITIES + TURBOCHARGED LONGTERM PLAN

by .

Well, the mood today is feeling pretty sexy, no?

West Ham United did a few things that really pleased me:

  1. They changed out 6 players for Chelsea, preserving legs for Europa. That means their sole focus is that tournament. There’s no way they go with a decent team against us, just no way.
  2. They lost. Arsenal are now 8 points clear having played one game less. They aren’t fighting for Champions League or Europa via the Premier League this season.
  3. Craig Dawson, their only centre back, was sent off. West Ham can either rush injured players back, or they’re going to have to accept a very rough afternoon against Arsenal.

This is the Premier League, nothing is ever guaranteed, just look at Everton giving Liverpool problems today… but as things stand, we couldn’t ask for a better set of ingredients heading into that pivotal away game next week.

How about Spurs? 10 days ago, people were falling back on basic bitch analysis saying that Antonio Conte was a proper manager, Arsenal shouldn’t have fucked around with a rookie that makes mistakes, and we were doomed. Well, the manager that apparently doesn’t make mistakes has conjured up a miraculous 0 shots on target against Brentford and Brighton, with a fit Harry K and Son, accumulating just 1 point in the process. Where are the ‘ARTETA MAKES MISTAKES’ merchants? WHERE ARE YOU? If Conte is making mistakes, can we maybe accept that all managers make mistakes?

To make matters even MORE delicious, French media is running stories that Conte has dropped his pants and presented himself to PSG last week. He hates it a Spurs, we know that because we watch his pressers and listen to him. He was a disaster hire even if they do get 4th. It always ends in destruction with him. He’s tasted Clover Club like establishments all around the world, now he’s being asked to eat a cold hamburgers from McDonald’s at Spurs. That’s not him.

So who is ready to have a very serious conversation with me? Antonio Conte is only where he is with Spurs because of Harry Kane. If Harry is man-marked, Conte has nothing. Outside that, he has been the luckiest manager in the league this season. The only people who truly believe Conte is performing miracles are those that don’t spend any time watching Spurs play. They were absolutely battered by Brentford yesterday, it was embarrassing, I can’t believe they didn’t lose.

There are 5 games to go, nothing is wrapped up, there are still twists and turns to come… but we are back in the driving seat with the opportunity to MAYBE go into the Spurs game not needing to win the game.

I would hand the 3 points to Spurs for their Leicester game, though Brendan is capable of springing an unexpected tactical masterclass. But would I put money on Spurs turning over Liverpool at Anfield? I wouldn’t.

Things aren’t going to be simple for Arsenal. Bukayo Saka, the man with 16 g/a this season, which is better than Salah, and one short of KDB, is rumoured to be out for two games. That’s not great news for Arsenal, but we could absorb the loss if Pepe shows up and wants to prove a point like everyone else in the squad has. We could also work something out between Gabi, ESR and Odegaard.

The long and short is we have to find a way, like we have done all season, because we have done the hard work beating United and Chelsea. Don’t fuck it on West Ham and Leeds United.

THE DEFENCE OF TAVARES

Listen, the young lad is a reincarnation of Emanuel Eboue. Explosive, clearly talented, but mega CHAOS. You had it all against United. A goal, a penalty give-away, some powerful runs, some good passes, some shocking decisions, customary row Z shots. He’s not at the level we need right now… but he’s young, and 95% of you, myself included, bitched when Arteta put Xhaka in his place. This is our punishment. This is Arteta performing the ‘if you, the fans, know so much, then here it is.’

It’s important to support Tavares. Arteta had it right. We all sit there, fat, overweight, shit at sport… insisting we’d make better decisions against United in a MUST WIN game. It’s easy to be an armchair player. Tavares has to suffer to get better, and as a result, so do we. Slandering a kid online is shitty behavior, we are better than that, and we have been SO wrong on other players. Granit, BIG MO, League One Eddie, to name but a few. They are all part of the unit taking us to the promised land, so hold back the mean tweets, and be grateful they are all trying their best, because it could be enough this season.

I did a podcast with Johnny earlier and we landed on the mistake of not signing a striker in January. I can’t tell you how much I disagree with that take. The striker we needed was the England U21 record goalscorer who did the job against Chelsea. If he’d been given all the games from January, you’d have at least 8 goals.

Remember these points when thinking about January:

Point 1: We went hard for the most expensive striker available in January and lost out based on dodgy agent fees. The player wanted Arsenal, but he was pushed by his agent, now he’s rumoured to be unhappy about the horrible Allegri system he’s struggling in.

Learning here: We had the money, the intent, and we went for it.

Point 2: Some think we should have signed any old backup striker just to give us a body. Again, this sort of point is basically a brand statement, not a sporting statement. Fans just wanted it to seem like we were doing something but if you buy an average backup in the short-term, you pay in the long-term. No player moves for a bad deal in Jan, so you are tying someone in for 3 years. That potentially blocks a kid, it lowers the standards at the training ground, and it can cause friction when that average backup isn’t getting minutes. There will also be better back-ups in the summer. Which striker moved in Jan that you thought was a miss? Weghorst… 29 years old, a poverty Giroud, 2 goals in 15 games? Fuck that.

Learning here: A body for body’s sake gets you Pablo Mari. You pay for that in the end. We are a CL dreaming club. Shitty backups aren’t the way forward. Second learning, who signed a banger of a striker in Jan that we missed out on? Ashley Barnes? Any other names?

‘BUT THERE MUST HAVE BEEN SOMEONE’ doesn’t rub for me. We had £60m available. If there was a player that could have made us better, he’d be at Arsenal right now.

Point 3: It is better to delay signing a banger of a striker a year than sign someone that doesn’t fit the profile you need to go right to the top. Wenger did exactly that once, he crippled us by waiting for… Chamakh. Right idea, wrong execution. We are looking for a very specific type of player, there are probably only 5 or 6 that fit the bill, these players are at clubs competing for things. We have delayed the purchase because we get one shot at this. Stan K won’t keep spending money we don’t have. This striker is the most consequential striker signing we’ll make this decade. It will define us, shape our success, and orient where our spending goes in the future. Next season, you will look back on our lack of movement in January and thank the GODS of football we didn’t do something stupid because we will be a different beast next season.

Learning here: Just because you can buy someone, doesn’t mean you should. Fans live in the moment, window to window, football clubs have to be bigger than that and look at the long game. Arsenal has finally learned to be smart.

THE SHORT TERM BIG PICTURE: We are in control of 4th, with 5 games to go, with the youngest manager in the league, with the youngest squad in the league, without having had access to an elite striker all season, with 3 of our best players out injured, with the worst goal scoring record in the top 7.

Add an elite striker and a blockbuster midfielder to this squad and do nothing else… we are a top 4 team next year.

Bukayo Saka is already pushing KDB and Salah for numbers.

Martin Odegaard has created the most chances in the league since November.

Thomas Partey is one of the best midfielders in the league.

Our defence will be so much better next season.

Arteta will get sharper tactically, he’ll hopefully rotate the squad better, and he will just improve.

Bill Saliba is going to be at Arsenal next season, don’t panic, he’ll sign a new deal, he’ll give us better options when our key defenders are flapping.

Our inexperienced players are all developing Arsenal Winning IP as they fight nerves, physical drain, and emotional wreckage. They will come back different men next season.

Here’s the cut of it… if we do get top 4, the confidence in our very small camp will be absolutely off the charts going into next season. There is a chance for us to compete for 3rd next season, those players will believe they have a right to eat at the big boy’s table.

This season will be a success however we finish, Europa was the target, no one in Arsenal leadership gives a shit if Arsenal fans changed the target. Anything above that is MASSIVE and ahead of schedule.

If we hit our stretch goal, it will be so, so, so special and it will turbocharge our plans.

So let’s take a moment to enjoy that United victory, then regroup and focus on that West Ham game.

It. Is. Huge.

Now listen to our podcast and marvel at how funny Johnny is. Also, we wanted to thank you again for listening, we had our best week ever for podcast listens, and we also got our first deal to do read-through ads. We know we’re not Arseblog or Arsenal Vision, but it was cool regardless, it means we’re showing up on media agency listener tools. So thank you. We are going to do a Patreon package next season that’s a mix of editorial and extra podcast content.

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175 Responses to “LEAGUE TASK GAINS CLARITY + STRIKER REALITIES + TURBOCHARGED LONGTERM PLAN”

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  1. Dissenter

    Matt
    “ I really hope Everton can pick up some results before we play them on the last game. Would be great if they didn’t need anything from that game to stay”I was thinking along the same lines too
    Even a bad team is due a good result with the type of hustle they showed today.Either, they sink so low that they are already out by the lag game because their schedule is hellish (which is more likely)
    or
    They’ve already qualified by the last game (unlikely because the bastards at Burnley are built for this life)I suspect that Everton will be relegated by the penultimate game so they come to the Emirates like uncooked hotdogs.

  2. Jake

    Congrats on the pod recognition.

    Do enjoy and respect the passion in your defence of no signing, and also MA’S mistakes but I do find it hard to believe that there wasn’t a player on another team’s bench that would have jumped at the chance of a 6 month loan especially if his wages went up by £30k a week for the contract.
    Otherwise, targets might not change for the board but opportunities that arise need to be considered and striven for, and MA is going to have to learn and if he doesn’t needs to be accountable for that. Not saying with his job, but with his power/control. If he doesn’t rotate then he should have the decision taken away from him or at least the threat of the decision.. only problem is needs someone better/stronger than Edu above him looking down.

  3. Nigel Tufnel

    Pedro you’re right about a few things..

    Saka is becoming increasingly more composed month by month. Great natural talent, and good coaching and system… Same with ESR.

    Even Xhaka and ElNeny are playing better than ever before, and it’s not a coincidence… system and manager challenging them. They’re also enjoying football much more, you can see it.

    Making the stretch goal or not, we have the right manager for the rebuild and it will be a good summer.

  4. Pedro

    Jake, a lot of people are involved in buying players… so if no one was signed, it’ll be with approval from Josh.

    This new lot sign players, so if they didn’t find one, it’s because one wasn’t there.

    Their decision is looking sharp as we speak…

  5. Killroy-TM

    Just consulted the crystal ball we will have secured 4th before going into the Everton game, then as a kind gesture we play all our youngsters in a totally unrecognizable starting 11 and rescue Everton from relegation. As Sid says I am telling you for free :D-):

  6. Zacharse

    re:Conte being lucky. if ANYONE watched the spurs villa game a few weeks ago you couldnt possibly disagree. spurs won4-0 which has to be the the luckiest final score of the season, if ever in the time ive been watching the PL, and that game was my fav non-arsenal game i’ve watched all season. how villa failed to score in that first half is one of those mysteries that hot take opinion fetishists simply cannot process so it’s like it never happened. but it did, watch that 1st half if you think im full of shit, villa were insane.

    as for jan, CM was where my thinking was at, but after the last twogames w mo in the lineup, i stand corrected. sambi still needs a season or two and a lucky break

  7. Leedsgunner

    Hindsight is perfect… but I applaud the club for not panic buying in January.

    Panic buy now, means you end up selling the same players as deadwood later, more often than not.

    However it DOES mean that this summer we have to spend big and spend well and smart.

    For what’s it’s worth I would love to bring in players like Youri Tieleman, Gabriel Jesus and Max Aarons or Tariq Lamptey all under 26 but with plenty of first team appearances… but should be reasonably priced.

    If we have to spend very big on two players in addition let’s do that and bring in Darwin Nunez and Ryan Gravenberch. If we do, the whole place will be rocking.

    Keep in mind that we will have the chance also to promote talented youngsters like Ballard Balogun and Saliba coming back from loans as well as those who have made the bench repeatedly this season. Mostly I’m thinking of youngsters like Hutchinson, Swanson, Patino, Azeez and Flores.

    If we buy and sell well, and promote from within intelligently we should have the squad to complement and compete on multiple fronts.

  8. Pedro

    Killroy,

    You were extremely excited about Arsenal losing because that would mean the positive fans on here would be buried.

    You said positive fans were the darkside of the force after Palace.

    You called Arteta incompetent, a man masquerading as a manager.

    You called the club mediocrity personified.

    You mocked the youth of the squad.

    And you said this:

    ‘Pedro as many others already posted, you are pushing an agenda and this is no longer an Arsenal blog but an Arteta blog and I join them as I am no longer interested in your excuses for a failing manager.’

    Think you should put your shitty crystal ball away and apologize.

  9. Pedro

    Leeds, there was no hindsight involved… they made a strategic decision that would have held true if we’d finished 7th or 3rd.

    Don’t waste money you don’t have.

    We will spend big in the summer because we tried to spend big in Jan.

  10. Felix

    As one who enjoys your offerings both in audio or text, congratulations on the new heights and long may it continue.

    I’m with Jake on the January signing thing. It assumes that deals in January or any short term deals can only be bad, restrictive in the short term and unproductive. That is not true. You paint a worst case picture scenario and assume that that is the only possible outcome.

    First, the standard set by a productive Laca between November and April wasn’t high. He wasn’t producing at peak Ian Wright. He was merely facilitating the functioning of the team. The idea that we could not get a seasoned pro on a bench somewhere to fill this gap for 6 month is hard to swallow. Twice when we’ve been hard pressed for a loan, we managed to fish out Ceballos and Odegaard. They worked out at different levels but they did contribute helping to fill a gap that was needed.

    Granted, it turns out that Nketia is actually quite capable, but it’s the managers reluctance to use him that led us to believe that he was incapable. It’s one area of Arteta’s that needs improvement. A happy surprise it has been.

    The problem of identification of such target’s is one for the scouting department. I can think of one possibility though. A swap for Luke De Yong with PEA would have solved the issue. A loan fee for such a CF (not necessarily De Yong) with a salary of 50k a week and a loan fee of 2 million wouldn’t cost us more than 4m for 6 months. This would come with a guarantee of UCL football with all it’s riches.

    This was and remains an unnecessary risk to have taken. I love Artata and where the club is. I think they are on the right track. But on this, I respectfully disagree.

    Ps. We have become rather good in our recruitment for long term. Is our short term recruitment still run by Ivan Gazidis and his roller deck of shady contacts that we remain afraid of such a deal when clearly needed? Cannot the same team do an equally superb job on a short term need? I believe they can.

  11. Leedsgunner

    Spurs are the footballing equivalent of Emperor’s New Clothes- they like to shout and boast a lot but when you dare to look behind the curtain they haven’t got a thing.

    Kane and Son, when they are on form, rescue them and make them look better than they really are.

  12. Pedro

    Felix, I’m not saying that January deals can’t be productive… but the theory being pushed is there were deals to be done that we didn’t do.

    If there were deals to be done, we’d have done them. This recruitment team move hard and fast. If they didn’t move, it’s because there was nothing attractive.

  13. Pedro

    Felix, also, thanks for listening to the pod! That’s a lot of your time we take up, we truly appreciate it

  14. Killroy-TM

    Arteta Makes Mistakes merchant here.
    “Bill Saliba is going to be at Arsenal next season, don’t panic, he’ll sign a new deal.”
    He is an Arsenal player next season no doubt. but your statement is it a reflection of YOUR crystal ball or do you have a hotline to his agent? One thing is for sure for Saliba there is one more important thing then playing for Arsenal and that is being in the French WC squad in November/December in Qatar. If we guarantee that he will be a starter until the WC he might agree to extend the contract. Since his call up the power of negotiation has even more shifted to him and his agent. That is one of the mistakes him not playing for us this season.

    It took Arsenal going into chaos mode after 3 straight losses to come up with a starting 11 and a formation that gives us the joy we have now. Didn’t have to be like that. Almost feels like the spaghetti method, throw it against the wall and see what sticks. We could have played them earlier but it is not too late which is a good thing.

    As far as strikers is concerned. The CF we need has to be athletic, to hold up play, lethal when in front of goal, tall to head in the ball and fast to get behind the defense on a counter attack. Eddie doesn’t tick all the boxes for me. However for me Osimhen fits the ticket, since Nunez is chased by 7 other top clubs.

    Sorry every now and then my crystal ball has hick ups after all he is an Arsenal Crystal Ball and just trying to mirror the team he predicts for.

  15. Pedro

    Killroy, I don’t need to crystal ball.

    You had the solve for Arsenal losses, but Conte can’t get a shot on target against Brentford and Brighton and said the league is really, really hard.

    Arteta isn’t throwing anything at the wall, he’s in control of 4th with 5 games to go, he knows what he’s doing and your commentary the last month shows you don’t have a clue about the bigger picture or how the game works.

    Maybe just apologize, because you have been one of the most toxic people on here, and you’ve been badly wrong.

  16. Killroy-TM

    Just read your comment and my explanation for Arteta not being the manager that I would like to see at Arsenal is because I don’t see him to take the club to challenge for the title. No problem for an apology to be offered by me, but shall we wait until May 22nd for that it because it will be clearer then?

  17. Pedro

    Killroy,

    You should apologise for treating fans that supported the club badly and you should retract your awful takes that were wrong.

    ‘He can’t win the title’ is the worst retroactive pívot I’ve read on here.

    Come back at the end of may by all means.

  18. Nigel Tufnel

    Lol at least you didn’t call him any bad names.

    No matter how much we succeed, he’ll be on here with panicky posts about Saka leaving,, and trying to stir up controversy in our team by using Saliba. He did that through all our best patches this season.

    It never ends because that’s who he is,

  19. Sly

    I think arteta did the right thing playing Tavares
    He’s raw, a defensive liability but I think he’ll grow with good coaching. He and Sambi showed more potential when tierney and xhaka were out earlier in the season. It was right to criticize arteta for having left squad players in the cold.
    It’s also right to praise him for the good work he’s been doing

  20. raptora

    Osimhen also fits the ticket in being injury prone. 39 games missed for Napoli in 2 seasons. Anyone with the appetite to buy him, should investigate on whether he’s a crock or just unlucky.

  21. Dissenter

    Why din;’t Peo;le get this simple fact
    Osimhen is not that good
    Have people actually watched him besides looking at the YouTube montages

    His finishing is worse than Giroud’s
    His link ups play isn’t that good
    He;’s doing well in Italy for the same reasons Lukaku excelled there- big strikers typically prosper in Serie A but premier league defenses are good at nullifying them.,

    Can’t believe fans that dissed Giroud are now salivating at lesser players from a different era.

  22. Nelson

    I am not surprised no one talked about we didn’t have CM in Jan and we didn’t sign nobody. As a result, we got eliminated in the FA cup competition.

  23. Dissenter

    Giroud”s 23 Serie A matches this season, playing a total of 1518 minutes. average of 0.47

    Osimhen’s 23 Serie A matches this season, playing a total of 1713 minutes. average of 0.63

    Giroud is on his last legs at 35 year old and yet he’s doing as well as the striker people keep putting up as an option for the Arsenal.

  24. Mr Serge

    Kilroy the same guy that told people on here not to communicate with me and a few others because we were positive and we were a stain on the club, the guy that grouped me with certain other posters on here again because I had a different take than him is on here spouting about being guaranteed top 4 by the time Everton visit us,

    Wow Christ has risen indeed miracles have happened

  25. Leedsgunner

    Osimhen makes me suspicious.

    Napoli is notoriously difficult to negotiate with and the mere fact that they are talking to us makes me think “Why are they even open to letting him go? Why aren’t Juventus therefore interested?”

    Especially for the price Napoli will want, I think we could do better.

    Nunez for me feels like a safer bet.

  26. DivineSherlock

    Why are we sleeping on James Ward Prowse ? He is so good , PL ready CM . Great FKs , can play passes from the deep , would be valuable against team that employ deep blocks .

  27. Tony

    “Nigel, I never call people bad names, no one does that on this site.”

    No you only troll your dissenting posters, Pedro.

    Also, not when Don want-to-be Zacharse is posting, no you’d pretty much be correct., Pedro. He has to be the recent most expletive ridden swear jar fills poster here.

    If he knew what he was talking about you could overlook the vulgarity with adjectives he uses every other word, if he only made good points that make sense.

    Anyway, back to where we are now, which as you know Pedro was my preseason prediction, I couldn’t be happier as my post-match post alluded to. My only gripe was that Maguire wasn’t on the field as his terrorized expressions of anguish almost match those of legendary Phil Jones at Manure.

  28. SAGG

    Im with Pedro striker conclusions. I even believed there are only 2 or 3 (nor 5 or 6)options only, cause Vlahovic isnt available now.

    WH and Leeds are massive because if we get 4 points from there, Saka and Partey will be ready for Spurs. So we will be stronger for the final 3.games if we avoid more injuries.

    Hope we keep similars setups but back 5 seems more solid because reduce Tavares defensive duties.

    Xhaka situation is worrisome because another yellow means a 2 match ban, and we cannot afford to dont have him in the starting 11.

  29. Dark Hei

    “I am not surprised no one talked about we didn’t have CM in Jan and we didn’t sign nobody. As a result, we got eliminated in the FA cup competition.”

    That would be making 2 mistakes instead of just 1.

  30. Dark Hei

    “My only gripe was that Maguire wasn’t on the field as his terrorized expressions of anguish almost match those of legendary Phil Jones at Manure.”

    Ha ha

  31. Steg

    Great result again – but my word the defence was all over the place. What a weird game footy is. Losing to Palace, Brighton then Southampton but doing over Chelsea then United. Go figure. Hot take for me is that Arteta is learning from his mistakes it seems. Sticking with Tavares (will do wonders for his self belief) playing Eddie (not sticking to his favourites) giving Sambi a break (he’s not quite at the races yet) – I think that everybody on here has a reason to be pro or anti Arteta. Both his actions and results support both narratives. I remain unconvinced but having Arsenal where they are with 5 games to go – fair play. Worth another season on the rollercoaster

  32. afm for afc

    firstly this is a ‘private’ site. the author can say what he wants. we don’t like, we don’t tune in. those who think it’s their birthright to go into other people’s ‘homes’ and go way over the top, cross the lines, be disrespectful and abusive towards the host need to examine their dicks in full public view. that is if they even have one. there can be no substitute for civility, good manners and respect.

    i can, and do appreciate the difference of opinions he have here. we gather here because we care for the football team/club we support. some more passionate than others. we offer our takes, we put forward our views. we criticise, oppose, debate and disagree. don’t humiliate, slander, abuse and shame.

    i was in the artetaout train, especially last season when nothing seems to be going right. i had my own opinion on why and how. however the club did not go along those lines. instead they persisted with him and gave him time to shape the team the way he had planned to. clearly it has shown positive results. the proof is all there to be seen although some will produce random and manufactured statistics to prove otherwise. i have since got off the train at an earlier station ever since i was convinced that the players are now far better coached this season to play his way, understand the system he’s trying to implement and the policy in using youth and getting rid of dead wood/old horses. fair play to arteta. may he be super successful with our club. and fair play to the host for being firmly in the arteta train all these while. we all want the team to succeed. therefore we opine. just dont abuse those who criticise, one way or the other.

  33. Topside Northbank

    SAGG etc

    With Xhaka and a potential ban for yellow cards I checked pretty sure you have to get the 10 yellows by game 32 for that 2 match ban to kick in?

    I may be wrong not sure if that is the games played by the player or actual match week?

  34. Madhu

    Listened to podcast Pedro. A hit more analysis on hoe we conceeded the first goal would have been good. There were two defenders and one gk who were nearer to Ronaldo yet conspired to conceed.
    Regarding Jan TW , I agree with you on striker and the we also know that we put all eggs in Vlahovic. So complains there. I also agree with u that it’s the man mangement aspect of Arteta that had me worrying. The ability to get the best out of SQUAD and not first 12 and the smootheing on some of his treatment of youngs players were the real worry for me. I glad in the last few weeks Arteta has shown that he can learn. Great win and the trajectory looks much healthier than a week before.

  35. Madhu

    Following on from the last post in Jan TW I would have liked a CM to be coming in. I was afraid of Partey injuries and Xhakas petulance. While xhaka has been great , I also knew that the fan base dodnt even consider Mo as an option and neither did Arteta. It’s fair to say that Arteta has stumbled upon MO and that has given us stability in the short run. Say what you will I always loved Mo because he is consummate professional, no ego and very comfortable with understanding his place under the sun. I will always have such a person in my squad, b cause i know when it’s crisis he will put himself on line.

  36. Mysticleaves

    Great win for the guys. My schedule has been terrible. I got of to watch the game but paid for it later lol. Only good thing coming out from that brave but ultimately stupid adventure was that we won. Boy was my heart in my mouth though! And for once, we got lucky with VAR. Or maybe for 2 games in a row (Saka insurance goal against Chelsea).

    It’s almost impossible to believe that we are fighting for 4th with the kind of record we have. Either the EPL is getting so competitive, or the big teams are struggling real bad this season.

    If we can benefit from the chaos and make 4th, awesome! Cos next year will be much harder. I believed that with our squad (compared to our competition) and the fact we didn’t have any Europe, we were strong contenders for 4th. We can still get there and it will be credit to the team. COYG

  37. bacaryisgod

    Not sure why people have to apologize for takes on this site. Everyone screws up and everyone is also allowed to adjust their viewpoint based on current circumstances. After all, Pedro was trashing Saliba rejecting a loan to a British club as a sign of his weak mentality at the beginning of the season. Looks like it worked out pretty well for everyone involved. No-one is asking for an apology on that take.

  38. bacaryisgod

    Madhu

    That’s an odd comment on Arteta not thinking he would have any use for Mo. After all, he kept him as one of his four CMs and he could have shipped him out. He kept him for the reasons you like him. He’s a great professional and can be counted on to a job when needed.

    It’s easy to forget when talking about squad rotation and the need for some players to get more playing time that we had a really light schedule and so to play your best players once a week for Premier League games (give or take the odd 2 EPL games a week) should not have been a problem. It was probably the main reason we went on the run that gave us the chance for Top 4 in the first place.

    Early cup exits and no European football prevented squad players from getting more playing time. The injury issues with Partey and Tierney were more a result of the International Break and Pedro was right in pointing out that this was the time to have given both of them a few extra days to recover based on their injury history.

  39. Madhu

    Bacary the reason I mention is that Arteta hasn’t shown any propensity to rotate the squad. Giving minutes in between to Mo would have made it easier to think he was part of the plan. But having not played at all from Dec is an indication of something. Thats where squad rotation would help.

  40. kjelli

    A great weekend for AFC fans, I was screaming at my tv the whole game, swearing at Tavares as if
    he heard me !!?? Granit Xhaka ?? I always rated him.. Spent the Sunday watching vid of Jack
    Henry Francis.. He is Mo Elneny with no reverse gear, if he gets promoted and Wijnaldum
    comes this summer we are ready to rock and roll

  41. The Bard

    I agree with most of the post except your take on the Jan tansfer issue. If we didn’t sign Vlad because of a few million on a dodgy agent then we’re stupid beyond belief. Strikers are gold dust and always come with add ons. If you want one you have to suck up the bits and pieces. Do you think it will be any easier in the summer with Bayern and Man U in the frame.

  42. BacaryisGod

    Madhu

    Fair enough but I think Arteta was on a lose-lose there. If he had disrupted a line-up that was on a good run then everyone would be screaming at him for galaxy braining things. Mo might not have played for us but he had a really good run from Egypt which probably explains his relative sharpness.

  43. Pierre

    Saka out, Martinelli in ….pretty simple .
    Tomiyasu right back .

    We are now getting into a an Eboue situation with Tavares , in that the over reaction from the crowd to a misplace pass or 2 is becoming ridiculous.

    Tavares is not the first player to jump with an arm up in the penalty area and he won’t be the last .
    People forget that he helped to make and then score the first goal.
    It’s a credit to him that he came through his dodgy spell yesterday and a credit to Arteta for sticking with him..

    The media frenzy against Tavares which was probably instigated by Arteta after bringing him off(unfairly) at half time for the 2nd time this season has created a no win situation for him and he will eventually be dropped and sold off for less than we paid for him.

    I am not saying tavares is the answer to our left back problems, far from it , but things could have been handled differently.

    Pity AMN is not around, would have solved a lot of problems .

  44. BacaryisGod

    The Bard

    Have no idea where Pedro’s info came from that Vlahovic wanted Arsenal over Juventus. All the reporting was that Vlahovic wanted Juve but they wanted to wait for the summer and Arsenal’s firm interest forced Juve into buying him in January.

    That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have come to Arsenal but that his preference was to remain in Italy. He’s been there for 4 years already and there was a guarantee of Champions League football with Juventus that Arsenal couldn’t provide.

  45. Habesha Gooner

    I am glad it is working out for us. But the narrative of there being no deals to be done is crap. They clearly knew there were shortages in the squad. If not they wouldn’t have gone in for Vlahovic and Arthur. Loans were available.

    I am sure we could have gambled on someone like Luka Jovic for a 6 months loan. There were some deals to be made for a loan at CM too. Nketiah is showing something these past two games. But Arteta wasn’t thinking about him when he went in to the 2nd half of the season. He thought Lacazette was the answer.

    Even counting on Elneny to perform at this level is a shocking decision on the top 4 race. He is a poor player. And thank God our opposition are weak teams. If United or Spurs were decent teams, those decisions would have cost us.

    What you can give arteta credit for is getting the best out of these fringe players. It is a gamble that has worked out so far. But let’s not make it seem like it was a neccessary gamble we needed to take. We could have done something in January that would have helped us become comfortable by now. Temporary deals are neccessary when you are short.

  46. Zacharse

    nice one tony
    tell me where im wrong and i’ll stand corrected. all i’ve fought against on here is phonies like you.
    just like ive been doing since arteta took over and regardless of results, luck, and the pgmol -i’ve been happy to see some fight and style instilled into our club after a dismal decade and i won’t tolerate. weak minded fools trashing the reasons i support and continue to come here without a fight. obviously something youve never had to do

  47. BacaryisGod

    Pierre

    Agree with your Nuno comments and it was refreshing to see him and Arteta warmly embrace after the game. As for AMN, it’s a shame his mind was stuck on playing as a central midfielder. He said he was happy playing anywhere but it was clear he was anxious to play in midfield.

  48. Habesha Gooner

    Bacary
    Yeah. But Ceballos is a loan that didn’t work out. I am glad Elneny is playing okay but I am sure we could have found better on loan in January. Heck I would even have kept AMN if we didn’t bring in anyone. AMN played some fantastic games in midfield when Partey was out. We gambled on top 4 when it was our best chance to finish there in ages. It is a gamble we didn’t need to take.

  49. Le Sauce

    You guys are a funny bunch. You think Origi in his prime years will leave being a backup striker in one of the best PL sides ever to come and be a back up striker at Arsenal. Go easy on the kush, same way some are saying Gabriel Jesus will leave city to be a backup at Arsenal

  50. Le Sauce

    Even Nketiah who is yet to prove zilch doesn’t wanna be a backup striker here. Our backup is most likely gonna be Balogun if Nketiah leaves, we have to admit we’ve not gotten to the stage where Origi/Jesus leaves Liverpool/City to be our backup strikers

  51. Samesong

    If Nketiah leaves on a free, would you guys take Divock Origi as a back up to the main striker we sign?

    He’s not coming to Arsenal to be back up though. He would want first team football. I would rather see Martinelli as the back up option and Gabriel on the left

  52. China1

    I’m not jumping on the Nuno hating train, I think people have gone overboard

    He started the season, played a handful of games and looked better than Tierney.

    He had a couple of poor games, then He played fuck all football for ages

    He has come back, played a few games and been very hit and miss (good hits and horrible misses)

    He’s a young player in his first season in the worlds toughest league. He’s played against some of the biggest teams in the world. He’s had his manager drop him like a stone for months at a time. It’s not really surprising that he doesn’t walk into the team and look like a worldie given all of that

    The Eboue comparisons are fair but also quite interesting. Eboue looked like the next elite RB when he joined and was not a banter player until his later years after Sagna replaced him and he lost his confidence. But there are lessons to be learnt there. We don’t need to bag on him for a few really bad games. Arteta should put his arm around him, congratulate him on the shit he’s doing right and guide him about what he isn’t. I think nuno is showing great character right now to be in the firing line and take it on the chin and keep fighting back. He has useful attributes too. If he really doesn’t improve in defense he still might be a useful squad option on the wing next season.

    But anyone who is already writing him off given all the extenuating circumstances above is being incredibly harsh imo.

    He scares me defensively but I’d still start him against west ham. That’s just me

  53. China1

    Also I think Nuno is offensively way better than Tierney

    Tierney has become too artetarised and is constantly getting the ball. Stopping still bolt up right. Turn around. Pass back to the Cb. Even when there are more offensive players available to pass to. He also has been putting in way too many gorm crosses ala Cedric. Those pointless floaty gorm ones that are never in a million years leading to a goal

    Nuno is defensively very worrying lately. Offensively he’s a firecracker tho and despite mixed end product he is a huge handful for defenders and means they have to be cautious of counter attacks down that side

  54. Raulishuss

    Because you want to be seen as defending tavares(I agree the over the top reaction is just so arsenal fans and boring) doesn’t mean you have to downplay KT importance. KT is a better and more balanced footballer than nuno both defensively and offensively. Nuno is not even refined even offensively but he has God’s given extraordinary physical attribute. Arteta will train him to be a good player I’m certain

  55. englandsbest

    Shame about Saka absence. How Arteta may deal with that is interesting. Asking Pepe to fulfil the same role is unrealistic. Better perhaps to move Eddie wide right and play Pepe centrally.

  56. AFC Forever

    Saka being out will mean Martinelli can come in.

    Don’t forget though, our right side has just been massively strengthened by the return of Tomi. That means whoever plays there will have better support from an athletic player who can overlap. Losing Saka is a blow but the return of Tomi is a massive boost. It also means we can perhaps risk Pepe if we’re chasing a game, who without the ball is pretty poor. Tomi coming into the side also provides us with the option to switch Cedric to left back, if Tavares is struggling with confidence.

    So losing Saka may be a blow but that’s negated by having Tomi back imo.

  57. Habesha Gooner

    Le sauce
    He isn’t a backup at Liverpool. He is behind Jota and Firminho. And now Mane too has reinvented himself as Center Forward. So that means he is 3rd choice at best and 4th choice at worst.

    He isn’t a Winger either. And he has Mane, Diaz, Salah, Eliott and Minamino infront of him.

    I am not even sure he is backup quality for us. That was why I was asking the question.

  58. Habesha Gooner

    And Origi would get games at Arsenal if Eddie left and he was the backup. At the very least he would get games in Fa cups, League cups and games in the premier league if we get to the Champions league and we need to rotate. If not in the Europa league.

    He has been linked with AC Milan. I don’t think he will start over Ibra or Giroud either. Any top team he goes to he is going to be a backup because he isn’t starter quality. Otherwise he would go to midtable teams to play regularly.

  59. bradybunch

    Hands up , I was ready to can Nuno on Saturday night, it had been a long afternoon….
    I noticed on motd how Matic was hold ESR down with two hands , and Nuno was trying to jump between them , so his leading arm had to be raised.
    He’s still a worry mind , but maybe not unsalvageable.
    I’m also with bacary on the lack of rotation.
    Even during the good run , how many games were we comfortable enough to bring off our best players early? Eddie for tiring CF, and Bob H to go full low block. It worked , and set up a platform to look to this end of season carnival COYG

  60. Danny

    Martin Odegaard has created the most chances in the league since November.
    —————
    I don’t get that, he has 4 assists out of 31 games this season so either what he creates is complete shit or whoever he’s passed it to doesn’t score, I’ll go with the former. 99% of the time all he seems to do is pass to Saka!

  61. Pierre

    Danny
    “. 99% of the time all he seems to do is pass to Saka!”

    A 5 yard pass to saka 30 yards from goal that leads to saka cutting inside and having a shot is regarded as a chance created..

    Big chance created or key passes will normally give one a good idea of how creative a player is .

    Odegaard ( according to whoscored ) has an average of 2.2 key passes per game in his career

    Debruyne 2.9

    Ozil 2.9

    David silva 2.3

    Eriksen 2.3

    Maddison ..2 2

    So it’s clear to see that Debruyne and Ozil are the ELITE when it come to creativity.

    Odegaard is not doing bad in all honesty but has a long way to go before he reaches ELITE level, to do that you need to be a special type of player..

  62. Chris

    The thing about Nuno is his unpredictability, which can work for and against us.

    Tierney still has a good attacking side to his game, go back not so long ago to see him scoring crackers for us and also at Celtic. It may be tactical instruction where he isn’t doing it so much now. Of course his fitness record is a concern.

    It does pose some questions about what we may wish to do at left back long term. Ultimately we have two guys there who are still young, one has undoubted quality but has injury woes, the other shows glimpses of being the next Afonso Davies before reverting to an Andre Santos.

    Either way I don’t think it’s an area we should focus on this summer before we take care of the ST and CM.

  63. Danny

    Pierre
    —–
    Thanks, good reply.

    Including last season – 2 assists in 14 makes a total of 6 in 45 plus he gave away 2 penalties this season in matches that we lost – Man U and C.Palace.

  64. Chris

    The Spurs fans at my workplace shrugging their shoulders over Conte, not too bothered if he goes, they want Poch back.

    Not sure that would work out for them the way they think either.

  65. China1

    Who said I’m downplaying KT to big up Tavares? What possible benefit would I get from that?

    KT is a better defender and he used to be very good going forwards when he joined. But some of his performances this season have been very underwhelming. He has lost 50% or more of his spark offensively as has started looking pretty bland on the ball, taking very few risks and not playing very smart when he does get high up the pitch

    I’ve been disappointed with him this season. Hes still a very good player but if we’re honest he hasn’t been that great this season. The ability and attitude is all there tho, arteta needs to help him return to his previous form

  66. Tom

    Pierre, I wonder whether KDB’s City supporting cast and likewise that of Ozil at Real Madrid had anything to do with their superior chance created numbers…….what do you think?

  67. bradybunch

    Danny . Apart from feeding Pierre’s Ozil hunger, he’s gone Pierre, time to move on, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say?
    If it’s we’d better without Odegaard , then that’s crazy talk , but feel free to say it.
    60 m Maddison or 30m Odegaard. And he works like a dog too, and not the pampered pooch Ozil breed either

  68. bradybunch

    Pierre “ A 5 yard pass to saka 30 yards from goal that leads to saka cutting inside and having a shot is regarded as a chance created..”
    Stats can be misleading , but not so much as supposed informed anecdotes. I am under the impression that generally , you are better than this

  69. Un

    Great post laced with positive vibes
    It’s lovely to see after a decade of misery
    Even more lovely to see the doom patrol being made to eat their words only to move the goal posts and make out we should be winning the league under Arteta

    For me it was always all about top 4
    Emery failed and he had to go
    Arteta looks set to re-achieve that status and for me, that’s all I can ask for. It’s where I expect arsenal to be
    5 games left and we are in prime position
    Let’s hope Pepe can pick up the right wing and show us what he can do a la Eddie xakha and Elneny

  70. Danny

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say?
    ———-
    Basically I keep reading here how great Ødegaard is e.g. the most chances in the league since November but I’m not impressed at all. Arteta spent the whole summer chasing after him and what have we got in return? 4 assists plus 2 penalties conceded. Yes he scored against Brighton but we all know it was more of a Welbeck own goal.
    I believe he can improve, he’s an incredbly skillfull player but he’s been a disappointment.

  71. Edu me a favour

    “”””” I don’t get that, he has 4 assists out of 31 games this season so either what he creates is complete shit or whoever he’s passed it to doesn’t score, I’ll go with the former. 99% of the time all he seems to do is pass to Saka!””””

    How can you go with the former when we’ve all just watched laca fail to score from open play since god knows when ?

  72. Tom

    “ A 5 yard pass to saka 30 yards from goal that leads to saka cutting inside and having a shot is regarded as a chance created..”

    I must’ve missed that one……but I do recall a five yard flick to Nketiah he should’ve buried and another to Saka for the pen vs United.

  73. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal will now qualify for either the Champions League or Europa Cup next season.

    So it is essential that we have a full squad of 24-25 players and are fit for purpose in coping
    with the demands of 2 matches per week and can handle players who are injured, ill or losing form.

    Our current squad is frankly not fit for purpose next season and well short of the required
    numbers.

    First I am going to assume that Leno is leaving and is replaced by Turner as has been previously discussed. So we will have a full complement of goalkeepers.

    Next we need four Centre Backs. Currently we have got three on the books, but we can assume that Saliba could return as our fourth option and that will save us money.

    The full back situation needs to be reviewed. The club needs 4 competent full backs. I remain
    unconvinced about both Soares and Tavares defensive attributes at the top level. My view
    is that we need to buy a full back preferably one who is two footed and defensively more
    solid.

    The midfield is currently short of resources. Our current options who I assume will be at
    club next season are Partey, Xhaka and Lokonga in CMF/DMF positions. We need another
    quality player in this department to be able to rotate with the first two.

    Our attacking midfield options are Odegaard and Smith-Rowe. I cannot see Arsenal buying
    an additional midfield player. My instinct is that Arsenal will promote from the U23s a
    home grown player which could be either Hutchinson or Azeez both of whom have been
    sitting on bench recently as third option.

    Saka and Martinelli are selected as wingers. If Pepe leaves then we will need to recruit a top class specialist winger . Smith-Rowe can also be used on left wing if required
    but is ideally better suited playing in centre.

    This brings us to the current major weakness in our team, which is the Centre Forward
    position. If both Lacazette and Nketiah leave then we need two replacements. That is going
    to require major investment costing the club perhaps £100 million +.

    So my view is that Arsenal will need to buy first string striker and central midfielder plus
    squad goalkeeper, full back, winger and centre forward.

    That is SIX players needed in transfer market plus Saliba and one youth player as well.

  74. Leedsgunner

    China1

    Agree with you on Tavares’ sentiments @0935. We are so over reactive sometimes on players it’s silly. Give the player time and opportunity before we dismiss anyone.

  75. China1

    I forget who the opposition were but the last time I saw Tierney play (5 weeks ago or whatever) I was literally shouting at my screen in frustration

    Get on the ball. Run forwards. Stop dead still. Turn around. Pass back to the CB. Rinse and repeat. This is a huge pet hate of mine. He needs to get back to the barn storming runs and getting in behind for cutbacks

  76. Tom

    Ozil had 52 assists for RM in the two seasons leading up to his Arsenal transfer, and here are some of his teammates:
    Ronaldo, Higuain, Benzema, Di Maria, Xabi Alonso, Kaka, Modric, Marcelo, Ramos……

    Odegaard has Saka and ESR ……..oh yeah, Laca too.

  77. DigitalBob

    China1 – I think Tierney’s game improves when we get our proper striker in the summer, he was a revelation in his first season and if not for the consistent injuries is the clear squad choice for the captain’s armband. I suspect his injury record will probably see him miss out to Odegaard next season but what we get from Tierney is similar to what Liverpool get from Robertson if handled correctly.

    Nuno has way more upside than Eboue in my opinion. Both simply due to the recklessness of their play will be fan favourites but I honestly believe if Nuno is given game time, he will actually get smarter on the field, something I never felt Eboue would or could achieve.

  78. China1

    For Tierney the injuries are obviously issue n1 I agree. But I think more so than the CF, I think it’s a tactical thing

    Soares plays that style too with the constant slowing the game down and going backwards and too many high crosses. I’m sure arteta encourages this since both have been doing it, but as well players need to use a bit more initiative and see when there’s a better option on rather than keeping defaulting to the same thing

  79. Nelson

    There is rumor that Poch will be sacked soon at PSG and Conte will take over. That is very good news for us. The Spuds players must have more information than us. Now I understand why their team performance fell through the cliff the past two matches.

  80. Naija+soccer

    Pedro

    Cool post, General. I m glad that you also see the similarity between Eboue and Tavares. Crazy how some folks can’t see it. Eboue had that ability to look world class in moments then toilet class the next. Tavares has elements in his games thats huge, but in the same token he could end up playing for Norwich.

  81. Naija+soccer

    Edu do me a favor

    “How can you go with the former when we’ve all just watched laca fail to score from open play since god knows when ?”

    Exactly. You can’t have a striker who hasn’t scored in Eons despite getting chances to score, only to turn around and blame those creating his missed chances for him. Saka also should be on more than 5 assists but alas Lacazette was playing upfront.

  82. WengerEagle

    Eboue non-ironically wasn’t a bad player and I always found it strange how he seems to only be remembered for his dodgy last year or so where AW shunted him out onto the RW.

    He was part of to this day the greatest run of CL knockout clean-sheets defence that we have seen from any team. Not a single goal conceded in the last 16, QF or SF ties and that was against Real Madrid, Juventus and a brilliant Villarreal side.

    That alone should earn him much more respect than he gets and elevate him far above the Hoyte’s, Gilbert’s, Jenko’s, Lichtsteiner’s of the world.

    No he wasn’t Sagna good but who was going back nearly 20 years to Lauren?

    Eboue was also a great crosser of the ball, much better than Sagna in fact.

  83. Foxy

    I really enjoyed watching Eboue play at least in his earlier Arsenal days. I feel like many other Arsenal players of the time, Song, Rambo etc they lacked tactical discipline due to playing under late Wenger.

    My concern with Tavares is that he is not actually a kid being at 21 older than Saka, ESR etc. Maybe we are seeing why the fans at his Portuguese club didn’t apparently rate him.

  84. Habesha Gooner

    People still dissing Odegaard are either too stubborn or idiotic. Being married to the idea that he is an average player just because you thought he was shit in the past is very thick headed.

    If you think he is still an average player after seeing what he brings to this Arsenal team, then your football intelligence is crap. What shocked me was even some Man United fans rate him higher than our idiotic fans. They would have him instead of Bruno Fernandez. But according to some he is average. It is ridiculous.

  85. Tom

    “How the hell can you say valhovic is struggling at Juventus, he’s scoring almost every game”

    Paulie, every player who either turned us down or was even mentioned in the comments section as one to get is by definition struggling wherever they might be.
    Vlahovic is therefore struggling and regretting his Juve move……..and Bruno G is struggling and behind Shelvey in the pecking order at Newcastle
    .
    I hope this helps.

  86. WengerEagle

    Tavares to me looks a massive liability defensively and he causes Gabriel and White to shit themselves and extinguishes any composure that we have from the back.

    He also is average going forward, poor end product cancels out his crazy athleticism and ability to get up and down the line.

    Reminds me of Aly Cissokho.

  87. DigitalBob

    China – I’d go along with that, it very well could be a tactical decision from the manager as Tierney’s first year was full of “on the money” crossing from the left, he actually looked better than Robertson in the attacking third for a long period of time. It will also be interesting to see how Tomi performs from now till the end of the season, I don’t recall him slowing the game down at all and despite what we heard about before he signed he is a very decent attacking full back.

    In regards to the weekend, it was great to see Elneny show the level required over the last couple of games, he seems like a nice guy and just an overall highly professional experienced player.

    However, the talk of a new contract needs to stop. We can’t re-sign Elneny and Laca for sentimental purposes. Xhaka was also outstanding yesterday but we 100% need also an upgrade on him this summer.

  88. WengerEagle

    He is actually 22 Foxy and while that is still young it isn’t 18/19, agreed.

    You tend to see much more improvement from 18-22 than you do from 22-26, not sure how much in your early to mid 20s you can improve massive fundamental flaws in your game, especially off-ball.

  89. DivineSherlock

    Tavares needs to time his run going forward is all , he does have the recovery pace to track back but if he gains that awareness , he will improve a lot . Rather than Eboue I think he plays a lot like Clichy , leaving gaps all over.

  90. WengerEagle

    He only cost us £8m and is on low-wages, it was a low-risk signing to be fair.

    It hasn’t worked out and we should move him on imo and bring in a much more reliable LB to alternate with KT.

  91. Foxy

    Totally agree Wenger eagle and the idea that he could be more useful as a wide forward look bit hopeful after the way he blazed two shot wide from good positions. Zero composure at either end is not what you need out of a RB in the prem.

  92. China1

    Yes Tierney was previously excellent, no doubt about that

    We need him playing like he was last season and we’ll be golden down that side

  93. Danny

    Habesha Gooner
    April 25, 2022 12:45:16
    People still dissing Odegaard are either too stubborn or idiotic.
    ————–
    If you’re satisfied with 6 assist in 45 league games plus 2 penalties conceded in matches we lost then good for you.

  94. Naija+soccer

    WengerEagle

    No one is calling Eboue a bad player for Arsenal. He was mostly good than bad. Like you said he was part of that 06 Champions League squad that went all the way to the final. But areas of his game had chaos in them. Sometimes good for Arsenal, sometimes bad. Like Tavares.

  95. WengerEagle

    Is this Lukaku transfer the biggest flop in PL history? £100m and he has genuinely looked terrible and has scored just 5 goals in 22 apps.

    8 goals in his last 35 apps in all comps after scoring 4 in 4 to start the season.

    Would be amazed to see him and Tuchel both still at Chelsea next season, question is if the Chavs intend on holding onto Tuchel what do they do with Lukaku?

    He will be 29 and his value has taken a tanking.

  96. Goobergooner

    What a brilliant week.

    Tets and the boys doing us proud. Top 4 is ours to lose for sure.

    On another note I love to see both jorginho and Fernandes miss spot kicks. Absolute shit Kents hahaha

  97. Naija+soccer

    But unlike Eboue Tavares is still only 21 as opposed to Eboue who was something like 24 in 07/08 and 25 in 08/09. Let’s see how he develops in a couple of years.

  98. WengerEagle

    Naija

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand your point and the chaos factor. I just believe that Eboue at least brought positive qualities to the board offensively and he was capable of putting in solid showings defensively too even if he was error-prone.

    Clichy as somebody else said was similar. I never felt comfortable with Clichy at LB late in games and always felt like he had a mistake in him, he often did. Birmingham springs to mind immediately, even though it shouldn’t have been given as a pen it was braindead defending from Clichy to even give the Ref an opportunity to award it.

    Clichy was literally the league best LB from an athletic POV, even better than Cole and Evra. He was ab abdolite physical specimen, rapid fast along with being an ironman never getting injured and having Kante-like stamina.

    But he wasn’t even a patch on Cole especially or Evra as a defender.

  99. Naija+soccer

    I think people’s problem with Odegaard is that he can appear too calm. Unlike guys like ESR and Saka who are gung-ho, he’s more opera to their hard metal. When he receives the ball, it always feels like the game slows down a bit.

    I myself ain’t sure whether this is a good thing or a bad one but I ll keep watching.

  100. WengerEagle

    That Eboue was better than this Tavares and we still went on to upgrade on him at age 24 with Sagna and ended up letting him go in his late 20s because he never improved his game.

    We cannot afford to have Tavares in the XI if Kieran is out for large stretches and I never want to see Xhaka at LB again.

  101. Naija+soccer

    WengerEagle

    Clichy was weird to me. Wasn’t great defensively but wasnt that great offensively either, but he played for Arsenal and Manchester city so he clearly was good at something. I think Tavares offensively has a higher potential than both Eboue/Clichy.

    Defensively is where he comes short. Definitely not as good as those guys. He plays as if he should be a winger or attacking midfielder. If he can improve his defence, he would be a really good player.

  102. WengerEagle

    Saka is brilliant though, said it in the summer that he is capable of scoring 15 in the PL because he gets into so many amazing scoring positions with his dribbling/movement and he just needed to improve his composure/ball-striking in front of goal which he has done.

    In him and ESR we have x2 players that are good for 10-15 PL goals a season already at 21. I think that you need x4 of these kind of players in your squad including one of those that will score 20 PL goals to compete with the Liverpool’s and City’s in the future.

    The latter being a CF.

    Pool have Salah, Mane, Jota and Diaz now with Firmino still excellent back-up.

    City are adding goal machine Haaland to Jesus, Sterling, Foden, Mahrez, KDB.

  103. Emiratesstroller

    The real point is that both Tomiyasu and Tierney are injury prone. Can we afford to go into
    a season and play both second strings in the same starting X1.

    Arsenal have been vulnerable in last 5 games on the flanks in absence of both Tomiyasu and Tierney.

  104. Naija+soccer

    Foxy

    “I really enjoyed watching Eboue play at least in his earlier Arsenal days. I feel like many other Arsenal players of the time, Song, Rambo etc they lacked tactical discipline due to playing under late Wenger.My concern with Tavares is that he is not actually a kid being at 21 older than Saka, ESR etc. Maybe we are seeing why the fans at his Portuguese club didn’t apparently rate him.”

    Eboue was really good in his earlier days until 07/08. Even that season he started well, then at some point he started making all these errors. The errors continued almost on a weekly basis. At some point, fans got on his back and scape-goated him. He just got worse and worse from there. Never really recovered.

  105. Naija+soccer

    Emiratesroller

    “The real point is that both Tomiyasu and Tierney are injury prone. Can we afford to go into
    a season and play both second strings in the same starting X1.Arsenal have been vulnerable in last 5 games on the flanks in absence of both Tomiyasu and Tierney”

    Do you think Tomiyasu is our best defender ? Seems our defence haven’t been the same since he got injured.

  106. WengerEagle

    Naija

    That is because Sagna was brought in to the XI to play RB in 2007/08 and AW started playing a RB Eboue as an auxillary wide player, a position that was alien to him.

    It was the right decision to bring in Sagna as he was a superior RB to Eboue but that is the main reason for hos downturn in form here, he was played out of position and he was no James Milner.

  107. Naija+soccer

    Before Tomiyasu’s injury we were getting clean sheets left, right and center. Also Gabriel, White, Ramsdale all looked great. Since his injury we ve been conceding more regularly. Gabriel, White, Ramsdale haven’t looked the same.

  108. Emiratesstroller

    Naija + soccer

    We got creamed by Crystal Palace on the flanks and in last game against Man Utd Tavares
    was in my view at fault for goal because he allowed Ronaldo to blind side Gabriel and could
    have cost us a second goal through penalty.

    Tavares is defensively poor and Soares is weak in games against top class wingers such as
    Zaha and Sancho.

  109. andy1886

    If we’re honest the best thing about Clichy was that he wasn’t Ashley Cole.

    What I mean by that is that after Cole’s defection fans were desperate to big-up Clichy to show that we didn’t miss him. Probably made him out to be better than he really was, for me he always looked dodgy defensively.

  110. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    IMO, the whole discussion about buying players vs rotating the squad is framed weirdly because they are both means to the same end – to enter the business end of a season with a squad that’s stocked to compete. And we were woefully unprepared.

    I agree with your point that Arteta messed up by not rotating. I’ve been making it for a long time. But I also don’t think Johnny is wrong, esp if you assume that Arteta had good reasons to not trust some of the players being given minutes now.

    Eddie has certainly looked much more productive than I’ve given him credit for so good for him. Also, kudos to the manager for digging us out of that hole we were in. I was 100% sure the top 4 race was dead. Never been happier to be wrong.

    That said, I’m not convinced that Xhaka and Big Mo will get us to the promised land. They were both brilliant vs United but the true test will be if they can perform against teams that play a low block against us.

  111. bradybunch

    Fair comment Weagle. He may improve, but let him do that away from PL. He will be exploited from now on. Why hasn’t he had a run in PL2?
    Danny , that’s crazy bollix talk. Please stop embarrassing yourself

  112. Naija+soccer

    WengerEagle

    “Naija
    That is because Sagna was brought in to the XI to play RB in 2007/08 and AW started playing a RB Eboue as an auxillary wide player, a position that was alien to him.It was the right decision to bring in Sagna as he was a superior RB to Eboue but that is the main reason for hos downturn in form here, he was played out of position and he was no James Milner.”

    Hahaha you are right. Wenger pulled a Guardiola with Eboue except he was no James Milner like you said. This is when Wenger started incorporating his ‘square peg, round hole’ routine. Poor Eboue

    I guess I see now why you think Eboue’s situation is different from Tavares. It was certainly unfair to Eboue that chaos he created for the team us similar to what Tavares is doing now.

  113. AFC Forever

    Wow, interesting stats doing the rounds.

    It becomes more interesting if you apply some weighting to the numbers by considering the strikers each team has. The conclusion to draw from this is obvious.

    TOTAL SHOTS

    1. LFC 613
    2. MC 603
    3. AFC 511
    4. CFC 479
    5. MU 468
    11. Spuds 414

    SHOTS ON TARGET

    1. LFC 224
    2. MC 221
    3. CFC 175
    4. MU 170
    5. AFC 166
    6. Spuds 161