by .

Well GOOD morning to you all.

It is a MONSTER week for the club.

We have a Cup Final of sorts and the prize on offer is the Champions League.

Arsenal will want to win that game, create a moment in Spurs house, and finish out the season with a rum and coke in hand.

The Premier League Gods will have other ideas because football is NEVER simple.

The mission for me would be to avoid losing.

I don’t mean play a negative game, I mean don’t do anything ridiculous. The pressure is all on Spurs, they have to take risks, Conte has to go armed with the kind of game that saw them befuddled by Brighton, Burnley and Brentford. It is going to causing some sleepless nights.

We have lots of options at our disposal. I suspect part of the plan will be to stop Harry Kane dropping into midfield and controlling the game. I’m not sure anyone at the club is more suited to that than Ben White. The question then becomes how we set up. Do we play 3 at the back and have White as the extra defender? Or does Arteta opt for something more familiar and give Mo Elneny the job of tracking those deep runs?

It’s overly simplistic to say, but we just have to be wise to what Spurs like to do:

  • Play on the break
  • Get Son into space when he’s running at defenders
  • Lump it to Harry Kane

There’s not a lot of depth beyond that.

The problem? Spurs don’t need more than 3 good chances to score 2 goals. Their 3rd top goal scorer goes by the name of Own Goal, so they don’t even need their main men to do the business. They scored with their first real attempt against Liverpool despite getting battered for the whole game. The difference here is Liverpool were chasing that game and we don’t need to do that.

A point means we need to win one game from our final two.

That is a delicious position to be in.

As for how we’ve done this season overall, this xG table makes for decent reading.

Not that xG matters more than points, but you know if we were underperforming the table, the knives would be out. We’re basically where we should be, which is very decent considering 50% of our starting 11 was new this year and they are all extremely young.

Special mentions for Brentford, who have been superb this season, let’s hope Thomas Frank continues the good work next year.

Also, shout out to Leicester and the Arsenal fans that said Patson Daka and Soumare were game changers and Brendan Rodgers had made them a more attractive proposition than Arsenal. Get. In. The. Bin.

We’re at the stage of the season when transfer rumours start hotting up.

The big man Haaland has gone to Manchester City. I do wish fans would stop saying dumb things like ‘he’s cheap’ because he’s absolutely not.

£30m to the dad
£40m to the agent
£68m to the club
£26m to the player every season

That’s a grotesque deal that speaks to the weakness of the Premier League to control money in the league, it’s also why we have the greatest spectacle on the planet. The Premier League dances with the devil and always go back to their place after for illicit drugs and other henious activities.

We’re not in City’s league for money, but now the obvious rumor is that we’re going to pinch Gabriel Jesus. The dynamics of what we can do this summer will change if we make top 4. The Brazilian forward makes more sense if we’re in the Champions League. I still find it unlikely he’s our main option this summer.

I’ve said countless times before, you don’t load up on players that can pick out long balls from 60 yards to put a short target man as your lynchpin. We’re in for Youri Tielemans as well, another player that specialises in finding strikers with precision crosses from deep.

That said, if all the tall options go elsewhere, Gabriel Jesus wouldn’t be a bad signing.

There are also other factors… we might sign up Eddie Nketiah to a new deal. West Ham are potential suitors for him, but again, he’s not getting a free run at their first team. He’ll rotate with a bully boy striker. I don’t think he’s as suited to them as he is to us, but we’ll see. There has no doubt been a trust erosion at Arsenal for Eddie, he’s taking a risk believing Arteta for another season, so who knows.

Back to Tielemans, it’s amusing to read him being written off so aggressively again. Part of the problem is a large chunk of the fans think you can only be a good midfielder in the Premier League if you are Yves Bissouma. Liverpool’s issues last season were, according to a chunk of analysts, largely focused around the failure of Thiago and his lack of speed and power. How has that played out this season?

How has our midfield done this season with Granit Xhaka as a mainstay? It’s on course for more wins than 2nd placed United had last season. How often have we been overrun? Tielemans was hot shit two seasons ago, he’s playing in a Leicester side that has gone off the rails, he is absolutely talented enough to take our midfield up another level. I also doubt we’ll be spending anywhere near £40m for a player with 1 year left on their deal. Leicester need to move him this summer and they need to spend the money fast.

Don’t sleep on Sambi Lokonga either. We Arsenal fans are so quick to call time on players. We’re all praising the discovery of Eddie, then in the next breath, we’re writing Sambi off as a failure. The only reason the Belgian hasn’t played more games is because we haven’t had Europe. If Vincent Kompany is pumping a player, you’d best believe the talent is there. He’s very young and he will blossom at some point.

Big Mo has probably signed a new deal with the club. Now, last season, there’s no way you’d have me clapping this one. But, football opinions need to be fluid because information changes. Mo has slipped into the side, done an incredibly specific job to a massively high standard, and we’ve won 4 games in the bounce. What we are seeing with him is not same old, same old. This is a player that has worked on his tactical discipline, someone that has internalized the coaching, and added more threads to his game. He’s a very good squad player, with an exceptional attitude, and he’s improved. Why would you not keep him around?

Laczette is different. The player has been a pure leader for Arsenal this season. When he dropped into the side, Arsenal got better, and scored more goals. But there’s not getting around what he doesn’t have. 1. Power and pace. 2. Goals. He’s declining and no amount of practice is going to change that at his age.

P.S. Johnny and Man Like Matt Kandela are going LIVE with a preview of the Spurs game at 7:45pm UK time. TUNE IT IS LIVE RIGHT NOW x


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Habesha Gooner

    We need the champions league. If we get it, we will only get stronger. That means there is a very big chance of finishing in the top 4 again next season. That way we can cherry pick top players the summer after this one to go for trophies. If we get it tonight, I could see us signing Jesus, Tielemans, Hickey, Turner and maybe one of Raphinha or Moussa Diaby. We can also incorporate Saliba. Those 6 players make our starting 11 and squad very strong. So after this summer we will only upgrade positions the starting 11 depending on who is performing at a lower level. We don’t have a champions league level squad players yet though. But we can if we win tonight and sign those quality players.

  2. WengerEagle


    Whatever about Savic, would you throw the kitchen sink at FDJ for 80m over Tielemans? Because I would in a heartbeat.

    It is his 25th Birthday today (!) 🤣

    In all seriousness though the guy is an elite CM baller and as good as you will find around Europe, if the guy pushing the Utd story who is quite a credible Barca ITK says that Barca are in crisis financially and need the money.

    If we secure CL then we stand as good a chance as Utd for getting him imo, without it next to no chance.

  3. Rambinho


    ‘Fully agreed. Just boot it away and play low block. Spuds did that to the Pool. We’ll let them taste the same medicine.’

    This isn’t the way to control a game and keep the pressure of the defence. You can’t possibly hope to do that for 90 mins. This is Tottenham not 1970 Brazil.

  4. WengerEagle

    But yes, you would imagine that everyone from PSG, Bayern, Man City, Chelsea, United and Liverpool would be seriously interested.

    So it’s a pipe dream.

  5. WengerEagle

    Raphinha you would have imagine would be cheaper than Diaby as Leeds will be relegated and Leverkusen have secured CL football already.

    He is very good but he is a RW, Saka is our guy there so Raphinha would have to play LW which I am not sure he would be nearly as effective in.

    I would sooner sign a right-footed LF to play opposite of Saka.

    Guedes, Julian Brandt, Gouri and Danjuma are all very good options for this.

  6. Tenerife Gooner

    The Older I get ,the worse the nerves.Got a bad feeling for tonight.I usually watch in my backroom,thinking of going down to Los Cristianos to watch it.Problem with that ,bound to be Tottingham Fans there .I am stressed already.

  7. englandsbest

    Balogue’s assessment of Arteta is worth reading, For many of us – including me – it corresponds with what we thought him to be – honest, straightforward, driven, clever. And it might settle the doubts of those still sitting on the fence.

  8. Rich


    When I said that Barcelona might dump FDJ this summer due to his wages, you were very dismissive of my claims, but he might be now set to join a club in the Europa League, or Europa Conference….

  9. Colin Bray

    ***Guys I have a very important question, my flight has been delayed from NY and it means I’m in the city for the game today …. What bar do I need to be in ? To see this momentous occasion of the top 4 trophy coming back home, thanks in advance for anyone who can help!

  10. Tonga

    TR7 – he would replace Martinelli. In game where Martinelli’s speed and dribbling on counter could be key, hardly a travesty to keep him on the bench.
    Saka is a doubt so maybe there is a reshuffle, but Saka at 90% probably starts over ESR

  11. Rambinho


    ‘Jamie O’ Hara is so annoying, almost up there with Evra for me.’

    At least evra was a proper player and won things. That spud cunt Ohara is the worst ‘pundit’ going. What the disgrace is that’s he’s actually paid for it.

  12. EdTheREd

    Martinelli doesn’t score (enough) goals, ESR does. It’s a no brainer. ESR should be first name on team sheet tonight.
    Also people bigging up Savic are taking the piss, surely.

  13. Positive pete

    W eagle.With you on the FDJ .Why not if we get CL? Was a big fan of Arsenal when younger & admirer of Bergkamp ( is he dating DB daughter?)he envisaged himself playing for Arsenal then Barca.As for winger.That is going to be Gakpo.I’m certain.
    Expect incomings this summer to be:Gakpo,Turner,Hickey,Jesus,Saliba ,Tielemans.
    If Cl a top top star as the cherry surprise.

  14. AFC Forever

    Colin Bray

    If you prefer to be around Gooners to soak in the atmosphere you could do no worse than the Fox on the Green in Upper Street. Arsenal territory. Easy in/out to the City. Nearest Station is the Angel. Just walk down Upper Street and it’s on the right. They have 7 or 8 large screens & a brilliant atmosphere!! Traditional Victorian pub with craft beers. Ps: You used to be able to book a table too if there are a few of you because it will get busy.

    TV without the atmosphere just isn’t the same for me in a NLD. Loads of us are going to the local club where we play or coach to watch it in the bar. Most of my mates are Hammers but they hate Spuds as much as we do!! They’ll be a couple of Spuds in there mouthing it off, but they will be getting it back believe me!!

  15. Major_Jeneral

    Guillem Balague: How Arteta has led Arsenal to brink of Champions League after six-year absence

    In April, after a run of three defeats against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton, Arteta held a team meeting around that olive tree, where he talked them through this philosophy.

    It might well be a coincidence but Arsenal have won four straight games since that meeting and are a win against Tottenham on Thursday away from qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2015-16.

  16. Danny

    It might well be a coincidence but Arsenal have won four straight games since that meeting…..
    …..and not playing Xhaka at left back again.

  17. Nelson

    “TV without the atmosphere just isn’t the same for me in a NLD”
    NLD with LG will do it for me as long as Pedro won’t turn off the internet.

  18. Spanishdave

    Spurs will taunt Xhaka, he will get a red, they will dive until, they get a penalty .
    Kane will spend more time on his arse , and Son is with Daly Thomas improving his diving skills.
    We won’t win draw at best.
    Those three games have cost us dear.

  19. WengerEagle


    I was dismissive because I genuinely didn’t believe it was possible that Barca could be that foolish to sell but here we are.

    Only Utd mentioned mind.

  20. DivineSherlock

    Pedro , where is the preview piece !? You know its a lucky charm when you do a preview of an important match !

  21. Rich


    I did try explaining to you that Barca’s wage to turnover ratio was north of 100%, they were over a billion in the red, that was insane, entirely unsustainable, and they’d need to lower their wage to turnover ratio to 55-60%

    You can’t expect me not to throw a friendly jab your way after you told me I was wrong, you told me Arsenal would have zero chance of signing him, and Barcelona would never sell him, then you go and push the FDJ to Arsenal narrative yourself,

    If the shoe was on the other foot, I’d expect nothing different…

    Nice to get you onboard…

    I’ve actually changed my opinion now, I don’t think we’d blink at paying £60 million for such a talent, and if we got CL, we’d be in with a decent chance of signing him, but it looks like we’re now moving away from those types of contracts

    If we pay FDJ £300-£350k p/w, that then becomes the going rate for our top players, then others will rightly demand parity

    Looks like we’re trying to lower our wage bill, it’s unlikely we’d upset squad harmony, nothing can create division in the workplace like people believing they’re being undervalued in comparison to their colleagues

    United on the other hand, would have no problems paying him what he’s currently earning, particularly with so many players out of contract including Pogba

    I’d be surprised if Bayern, PSG or City didn’t get involved, surely the only way United get him, is if they get a free shot at him.

  22. Mics_

    I’m cautiously optimistic. I don’t think their team is very good past their front three, who are admittedly very good. Lloris has been good again recently, but he always has a potential howler in him. Dier is trash and Romero is overrated.

    That being said they are at home and I’m sure the crowd will be up for it. I hope the lads can keep their composure, not get baited into any silly fouls. I’d obviously be ecstatic with a win, but a point would not be a bad result by any means.

  23. Mics_

    Forgot about their fullbacks, Davies and Royal probably? Is reguilon injured or something? I don’t rate royal at all, and Davies is very ordinary. I hope Saka is back to his best today. And if martinelli can carry over his form against Leeds, he should really trouble them.

  24. The Real Vieira Lynn


    sorry for the delayed response, but the time difference is always problematic…I don’t have a huge concern with White marking Kane with his back to goal, mind you Kane usually comes deep on Gabs side of the pitch, so it might play havoc with our shape, but with Kane facing goal White has a tendency to back away, instead of engaging, when faced with a 1 v. 1, which could be rather problematic…as for the whole notion of Elneny and Xhaka providing adequate defensive coverage, I would beg to differ with that assessment, especially against a formidable counter-attacking squad, as the former tends to get his angles wrong at times and the latter is basically useless whenever facing anyone with even a modicum of pace…I would rather we take the game to them by including ESR, Marts and Saka, if healthy, with Eddie up top, and force them to make some uncomfortable decisions about how many players they’re willing to commit going forward, as I think they’re actually expecting us to park the bus and treat this like a true blue squeaky bum affair

  25. Leftside

    As the day as progressed, my nerves have subsided and I’m relatively confident we can come away with something.

  26. Robert Pires

    “Haaland will join on July 1 for a total of £85.5m including agents fees and other add-ons.”

    Cheap AF at such a young age.

    At the same time, Pedro:
    “The big man Haaland has gone to Manchester City. I do wish fans would stop saying dumb things like ‘he’s cheap’ because he’s absolutely not.
    £30m to the dad
    £40m to the agent
    £68m to the club
    £26m to the player every season”

    I would not call people dumb, Pedro. You’ve been wrong on more football-related issues this past year than virtually every poster here. (not going to repeat the whole long list). Would imagine that would prompt some humility.
    I guess not.

  27. Naija+soccer

    Arteta planting an Olive tree on the Arsenal ground is interesting and quite the clever touch. For one, it’s saying “I m gonna be here for a long time”

    Also, try sacking a guy who’s got a tree on your property.

  28. Markymark

    AFC Forever
    You got me thinking of my drinking dens whilst London Based . The Lord Nelson on Old Street. Proper Hoxton and Arsenal. Plenty of good times watching games if I wasn’t attending in person.
    Then sadly Fucking Hipster ( Trustafarian scum bags ) bought it out and ruined it .
    Nowadays it’s the Spoons . Jesus my life has taken a downward curve (:
    Let’s hope we get 3 points tonight
    C’mon you rip roaring Reds!

  29. Nigel Tufnel


    I like your hopeful comment that people’s minds may change about Arteta for the better.

    The nice thing is that the reasonable skeptics have come around to the obvious positives happening at the club.

    There’s just a few strangely unhappy humans in denial because they decided to go full hate negative on the manager who took over a huge task here. They just don’t like having been wrong.

    I’ve been tempered and not taking top 4 for granted.. praying for today and the last couple games.

  30. The Real Vieira Lynn

    Oh Nigel, is it really that unlikely that Xhaka might be goaded into doing something seemingly unthinkable, especially considering that this match will likely include some rather tense moments…have you not been following the career of our oft-times bull in a china shop midfielder? hopefully cooler heads will prevail and this game will be decided by the 22 players on the pitch, but I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if a red card was to make an appearance at some point…if that were the case, depending on the who and the when, a draw might be the most obvious outcome…personally, I hope that we come with only 3 points in mind and show that were not afraid of deploying a positive game script in a game of considerable import

  31. Zacharse

    Tottenham unbeaten against us in their last 7 home games.
    i think we’re taking this one regardless of LG masochism.
    fingers crossed on saka and white

  32. G

    O hara full of shit.. I believe if we lose tonight we will still get top 4 by beating Newcastle and Everton I do worry cause we do have a young team so this is probably the biggest game they’ve played in .. would be delighted with a draw

  33. Naija+soccer

    If you were Ten Haag, the good thing about joining Man United is that, you are already bald. You don’t have to worry about losing your hair thru stress.

  34. Chris

    I’m confident because Spurs have to attack attack attack. They have been at their best when other teams foolishly over commit against them, enabling them to counter to devastating effect. As long as we keep it tight and don’t do anything stupid early on, I think we will be just fine, and as they have no choice to commit bodies forward late on, we can counter attack ourselves.

    We won the league there twice, 2 delicious meals. Winning the 4th place trophy and St.Totteringhams days there is a side dish in comparison, but it would still be a very tasty and satisfying one. Let’s do this. Enjoy the game all!!!

  35. The Real Vieira Lynn


    I’m not totally convinced that United feel that they’ve actually hit rock bottom, so there’s little doubt that ten Hag will face some considerable roadblocks when it comes to the implementation of his organizational blueprint…now he might be able to pull a Klopp and construct a 2.0 version of his footballing vision, with a considerable higher budget, but it will require some deep cuts, which will require the club’s hierarchy to sign-off on some serious Auba/Ozil-like financial decisions…personally I believe he made infinitely more sense at the Emirates, considering the differing financial models and “perceived” expectations…hopefully this won’t come back to bite us in the ass again, like when we couldn’t cut the Wenger cord before Klopp went to Pool

  36. Un

    No nelson with the lineup? He must be nervous or taking a huge shit and left his phone in the living room

  37. Un

    Someone could go down in arsenal folklore tonight
    Saka, step up son. We love you anyway. But these are the sorts of nights big players earn that love forever

  38. Un

    Spurs winning every ball
    No more slow crab shit
    Time to show your teams can go for the throat Arteta
    Release that fucking handbrake

  39. salparadisenyc

    Big Mik should turn his eye to Monday and pull a few subs, this is dusted. Huge opportunity wasted but we live to fight another day.

    Not optimistic with how this team runs hot and cold.