by .


It’s a huge day for our shared agenda.

Spurs go to Anfield.

Liverpool needs to keep their title fight alive.

Spurs need to take at least a point to keep Thursday spicy and open.

The Premier League this season does not give a fuck about what you think will happen, it works to its own beat, so don’t write of Antonio Conte. He’s a lucky manager, Spurs have been lucky all season, they could easily walk away with 3 points from 1 shot all game, such is the qualidee of Son and Harry Kane.

Then tomorrow, we have to fight for our lives and bring home the 3 points, no question.

The biggest threat Leeds pose is twofold:

  1. They will fly at us regardless of the personnel
  2. They have so few players to choose from it’ll be hard to predict their line-up or tactics

There are also annoying narratives that favor them: they haven’t beaten a top 6 side all season. That’s usually a sign to the footballing gods to work something our way.

Am I thinking about Mark Viduka? Am I thinking about Harry Kewel scoring and running to the corner flag? Am I thinking about David O’leary ruining the Arsenal party of yesteryear? Maybe.

My Uncle, total geezer, major Leeds away day fans, reckons they’ll get slapped. He has zero faith that his team can do anything and he’s not playing games. Says they don’t have the quality to do what they did to us in the past.

Leeds lack top playerrs, they have very little experience, and their defence lives for giving up spaces. They are a club that is pretty incapable of delivering a deep-block for 90minutes. My uncle is adamant that Leeds are going to go down this season.

Mikel Arteta needs to have the team super focused. I’m quite confident we’ll create lots of openings because we tend to do that in most games. In front of our home fans, in the sunshine, with an electric atmosphere, it’ll be very hard for Leeds.

I’d love Eddie to head into his log cabin, chop up some wood, and put a mile-high stack of chips on his shoulder. Leeds treated him badly. He was moved there, he should have gone to Dusseldorf, his career suffered when he sat on the bench. A hat trick would be NICE.

I’m not sure how Arteta will line-up, I’d love to see ESR back in the starting 11, his form has been a bit up and down, he’s clearly not fully fit, but now would be a great time to make a case for the Thursday game.

NO INJURIES is mainly where I am on secondary hopes and dreams.

What is even more tantalizing is that Chelsea dropped 2 points from a winning position against Wolves. They were dreadful again, Thomas Tuchel is overseeing a car crash by Chelsea standards, so a win at Leeds could very much open up the idea of a 3rd place finish.

Also, United losing, AGAIN. Remember how many people thought Ralf Rangnick was the silver bullet they needed and that it was curtains for our challenge?

Tomorrow is a big, big chance to attack a higher position.

It’s a HUGE chance to change how we approach Thursday. If we beat Leeds, Spurs HAS to come and play against us because a point won’t be enough.

This is exactly what we wanted at the start of the season. For our games to matter heading into the final throes of the season.

Before we go, I do want to quickly reference some cheques I’ve been cashing. Remember when we went on an exceptional run of wins after we lost the opening three? And people started throwing around the xG table as a reason to be terrified? I do.

I penned an article about the weaponisation of xG. People went at me about it. DATA IS OUR GOD NOW, PEDRO. But, turns out, my new turn as a data non-believer has led me down a righteous path.

Now I’m cashing cheques, people are all like, ‘oh no, we were just having a rational conversation about xG’… no, we weren’t.

Here’s what was missing from being concerned that we were 5th, but playing like 16th.

There was no context in the xG for the covid outbreak

No context for a newly assembled young team dealing with the top 3 teams so early

No context for game state: xG stated that we lost against Spurs and LCFC. If you watched those games, you’ll have remembered we battered them early, then sat back

There was also a lack of understanding about how young teams perform in general, and teams under Arteta had developed (season prior, post December, we went on a tear).

  • Arteta has a very specific playing style
  • His ideas are complex
  • He relies on automatism that come with time
  • Top young players get better

People couldn’t get that info from xG, but it was clear to anyone paying attention post-December was going to be a lot better, which is why the xG pearl-clutching was bollocks pushed by people who wanted to throw shade at the progress.

xG is a guide, not a god.

Points on the table are more valuable than theory points on an xG table.

Most people cannot be trusted with free data.

Arsenal wouldn’t have spent time fretting over that xG table because they knew what was going on.

We move.

See you in the comments, pray to the gods of gegenpressing, and hope lady luck isn’t in cahoots with Unai Conte this evening.





Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Goobergooner

    Crimson, you need to do a bit of self reflection after your North Korea comments out of nowhere and then going on to call someone else a fruit loop.

    Talk about lack of self awareness

  2. Goobergooner

    Also Kelvin.

    Hope you’re ok mate. This is a great community on here and we are all here for a chat.

    Has been great compassion shown on here and it’s a real plus for everyone on here.

    Keep up the good work le Grove!

  3. Rich


    Partey’s muscle injuries are a big concern, he was very good before he went to AFCON, and before his injury, his best form in an Arsenal shirt

    But any type of offer around the £20-£25 million, and we should let him go.

    Tierney + Tomiyasu have had a few injury issues, and we don’t want to end up in a cycle like when Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky+ Diaby we’re perpetually taking turns to get injured

    Partey + Xhaka is a good midfield pairing, having 2 midfielders with over 900 career games between them, gives us security

    But I’d definitely jump at the chance to ditch Partey and his wages, having such an important player missing big chunks of the season is a recipe for failure, he’s 29 this summer, last chance this summer to possible cash in, and go in a different direction

  4. Goobergooner

    In the case partey leaves we will need a guaranteed starter and someone else to challenge xhaka properly, where we ease him in. Tough ask considering we love to leave gaps in the squad

  5. Goobergooner

    Just because we will need the security of xhaka, can’t see us bringing in a new starting midfield combo.

    Would be brilliant though so I’ll hold my breath

  6. Emiratesstroller


    I would certainly not offload Partey this summer, but we need to recruit a central midfielder who can rotate with both Partey and Xhaka. That will be needed when we play 50+ games a

    The same situation is applicable with centre back, full back and wing positions. Our current
    options if they get injured, lose form or need a rest are not realistically good enough.

  7. China1

    I’m now confident about the Spurs game. I don’t think we’re losing and I think we’re more likely getting all 3 points

    My predictions never come true, so bet big on a Spurs win. Sorry guys

  8. China1

    Partey doesn’t need offloading he just needs protecting

    We know he’s good. We know he’s injury prone. It’s important that next season we don’t expect him to play every match just because he’s available. As long as he’s wrapped in cotton wool during the hectics periods of the season he’ll be fine and we’ll be better for it