Eddie Nkeitiah has put the world of Arsenal fandom in a spin; he seemed to be floating out the door in unspectacular fashion, then Lacazette landed the London Plague.
‘IT’S OVER FOR ARSENAL’
‘EDDIE IS LEAGUE ONE’
‘HE AIN’T IT’
Arsenal fans revisiting past assessments.
The solution to our striker problem has been sitting on the bench since August. Most young players can’t impress a diet of 6 minutes here and there, they need a run of games, they need the confidence trust gives them. Eddie was dining out of bins, then he was given access to the chefs’ table, now he’s gorging.
Eddie runs the channels, he wins balls back, scores goals, brings our wide players into the game, works an absolute shift, and my-oh-my, does he get under the skin of anyone he plays against.
Matt Kandela reckons he could be the new Andy Cole, I think he could be our Sylvain Wiltord.
Eddie was the difference against Leeds.
His first goal came from his hounding of the Leeds keeper. The English striker forced an error, nicked the ball, and poked home from a yard.
Indeed. It’s a feature of his game that he rumbles defenders and keepers. They don’t see him coming, realise how quick he is, nor understand that he doesn’t care about their careers.
Meslier was totally rattled. Eddie Krueger took a nightmare into the real world. He left their keeper muttering to himself.
Eddie Krueger was not finished.
Martinelli did some excellent work down the left, bullied his way into the box, cut back to Eddie who had to do all sorts to reshape his body to sweep home his second.
Two up after 10 minutes.
Eddie doing a hatchet job on a club that treated him like shit.
Wondering how his stats compare to the rest of Europe? Take a look.
Those percentiles are from the top 5 leagues. That is a very complete set of numbers for a striker people said would struggle two divisions lower in England.
His stats compare favourably to Jota, Havertz, Firmino, and Nkunku. More on what to do next a bit later.
I can’t be arsed to go too deep on the rest of the game, but in short, we battered Leeds, conceded their first attempt at our goal, and looked a bit rattled. That is a worrying pattern, our defence has been weird, Ramsdale isn’t invincible now, we need to sharpen up for Thursday.
… there are some mitigating circumstances for the shakiness tho:
Arsenal is inexperienced. What these kids are doing is ridiculous, they stand up to the pressure of the fans and experiences they’ve never had, but it’s not easy. Manchester City score two goals and they know how to go for the kill, and end games with 5. Arsenal are babies, we play with our food, and sometimes the meal escapes. We had 19 shots, 9 found the target, we were not ruthless enough. We cruised in second half then stalled when we needed to find 3rd gear.
Leeds scored and we couldn’t play out of the weirdness of knowing we were in total control but at risk of doing something very dim. We could have drawn 2-2 or won 5-1 in that final 20.
There’s also the chance that the halftime marching orders were built around preserving energy in the 2nd half. It might not have even been an instruction, unspoken perhaps, sometimes players just decide there’s something more important on the horizon. That was dangerous, it was risky, but we got away with it.
We all FELT like it was close, maybe it was, but if I told you before the game Leeds would have 3 attempts at our goal with 2 shots on targets, you’d be happy with that. January 2020, they had 19 shots, 6 on target. As fans, we’re not used to challenging for something at the end of a season, it’s jittery, and sometimes the emotion of those jitters makes us think the game was more in danger more than it was.
Still, our reality is this: We took the 3 points.
The table is looking favourable.
Spurs have to beat us.
If they lose, we’ve created a historical reference point in their house before they have.
If they draw, we’ll need to win one more game. Everton will likely be safe after Wednesday (Watford), their players won’t give a shit when they come to play Arsenal because Frank Lampard will have the company credit card out and he’ll be showing the young whippersnappers what the Ayia Napa days were all about with some BIG nights out in the North West. Newcastle, for all their positive results, have had far too much praise for beating shit teams of late. Before City, the last time they played someone good, it was Spurs, who scored five. City also scored 5. Arsenal fans who love Bruno are too keen to call them a top 4 side when they are just a Jonjo Shelvey vessel of misery.
Even if we are b****n by Sp*rs, the top 4 race is in our hands.
Pivot your thinking for a moment.
Imagine Spurs were closer to 3rd than 4th. Imagine they were coming to our house, knowing a win would end our top 4 chances and a draw wouldn’t be good enough.
How would you feel?
The Conte masterclass of ‘lump it to Kane and Son’ + ‘put 11 behind the ball,’ isn’t going to be good enough for them.
They have to play.
When Spurs have to play, they struggle.
Brighton is the team most similar to Arsenal in the league outside City. They man-marked Kane, stopped him dropping deep, didn’t register a shot on target all game, and they were beaten.
Brentford battered Spurs. Spurs didn’t have it in them to play against a deep block and they had rings run around them.
They are shit. But it doesn’t matter in a NLD. All rules go out the window. It is MASSIVE.
So who knows what will happen.
We always imagine the players are going to be deeply entrenched in the emotions of the history, the fandom, the future.
We don’t want them to be.
They need to be relaxed.
When the players think about the magnitude of who they are playing, this side in particular, tends to get walloped.
Liverpool, City (home game), too much respect for Cristiano, are just 3 examples.
I don’t think our boys will do that on Thursday.
Harry Kane, though clearly the best striker in the world, is not an enigma to a group of players that have eaten dinner with him and possibly had to deal with him as a member of their team on a quiz night.
Spurs don’t have prestige like Liverpool. They’re the mob down the road. Our players know what beating them means.
This game is a toss of a coin. If we can surprise Conte, make them come at us, and attack the space for the first goal, it’ll be very exciting.
It is a HUGE win for Arsenal to be in a position this good. We are in overachievement territory right now. We have the same points that secured top 4 last season. We have the same amount of wins that 2nd place United achieved last season. There are 75 points to play for, which would be a massive top 4 haul.
Very exciting stuff.
Before I go, I think Eddie will sign a new deal, and that is the right thing for him to do.
- Only Newcastle can offer him more money than Arsenal. He wanted £90k a week-ish. He’s worth it.
- Germany is step down in prestige AND money
- Go to Newcastle, you might be fighting MBappe for a position next season.
- Go to any club in the league, bar Brighton, you are fighting other players for a start
- Palace: Edouard
- West Ham: Antonio
- Newcastle: Barnes / Some mega signing
- We have Europe, we need two strikers, he is now a worthy 2nd striker
- You only leave to go to Brighton as a stepping stone to get to an Arsenal. If you are doing it at Arsenal, and you fired them to Europe, why leave?
- DON’T BE A ZAHA. He left United, banged at Palace, took the big-money deal, then wasn’t allowed to leave, now he’s 29 and he’s wasted his best years
- One year left on his deal this summer. Could be good CL squad filler
- YOUR MATES ARE HERE
- Arteta knows he did a bad. There’s no second striker in Europe we know more about than Eddie bar Jesus. £40m for a player who, up until 2 weeks ago, had 5 goals after 1500 minutes? Please.
- We don’t have a lot of money to spend – keep your powder dry, spend that on another position
- You won’t lose on Eddie, he has shown he can do it at the highest level, if he has a bad season post-deal, there will always be another Prem club that needs an English player and £90k is easy money for any Prem team
- Eddie is 22, he has 4 in 5 starts in the EPL, he has 10 g/a… he has a better England U21 record than Tammy. Why would we let him slip the net?
It’s a no-brainer for both parties. Hopefully, Eddie’s agent, who has a bit of a rep, will do the deal.
As for the fans that blew-up all my feeds with ‘YOU HAVE GOT THIS WRONG’, when are we going to have some accountability here? The talent ID in the noisy part of the fanbase has been cataclysmically wrong this season. Time for certain people to just sit out the opinion game.
As for Agenda FC?
- We’ve seen off the xG pearl-clutchers
- We’ve seen off the ‘Arteta is cone boy’ crew with a new 3 year deal
- We’ve seen off the ‘THE FANS WILL BE BOOING BY NOVEMBER’ folk with the fans embracing Arteta HARD
- We’ve seen off the League One Eddie’s
- We’ve probably seen of the ‘PEPE NEEDS MORE GAMES’ crowd as well
- Finally, most are ready to admit… Arteta has sauce.
But now, we move into a phase of shared agenda ownership: Beating Spurs.
We all want it.
No one is any doubt it will be tough.
So let’s do something like, unite around Louis Dunford’s new anthem, and crack on with beating that lot on Thursday
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 8, 2022
But before I go, check out our podcast: And please, in the upfront, accept my apologies for the sound issues, that was on me. I’ll have it fixed for the next one.