by .

I don’t think it is an understatement to say that this is one of the most important games of the last 5 years.

This is bigger than a Europa League final. This is more important than an FA Cup. This game represents bragging rights for the next year and it is probably the most consequential game we’ll have from a future-facing perspective in a long time.

For Spurs, this game is mission-critical. If they lose, things might unravel fast. Antonio Conte could exit, a new manager will need funds to rebuild, that will likely mean major sales and a lot of short-term pain.

For Arsenal, we’re in good shape however the season ends, but really, you want Arsenal to be kicking on with 3 games to go. The upside is tremendous. The confidence of taking something from a beastly away game will be immeasurable, and our extremely young squad will be able to fast-track the learning experience in the toughest competition in the world next season.

Let’s be real though, this game won’t be easy, we could be sending out a starting 11 that is missing 4 key player in Ben White, Bukayo Saka, and Kieran Tierney. That is some serious spine missing from our squad and the fact no one is really talking about how damaging that could be shows you how far we’ve come. I’m expecting us to be very competitive tonight with Tomi at left back, Big Mo in midfield, Eddie up front, and The Smith, Odegaard, and Martinelli supporting.

The psychology of the game is tantalizing.

Every Arsenal fan I speak to is predicting doom.

Every Spurs fan that contacts me is predicting doom.

We are all a bag is nerves and fear.

We are a joke.

I have no predictions.

My strategy would be to sit deep, counter the Harry Kane midfield problem, make them come at us.

The worst thing that can happen is an early goal for them.

The longer the game goes, the more openings we’ll get, this is a test of patience… and nerves. Spurs has more experience than us.

So we’ll see where we go!




892 Responses to “ARSENAL GO TO WAR”

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  1. China1

    Mate I’m just saying down the other end of the pitch neither of those are going to get given against Spurs. Soft.

  2. Steveyg87

    More than convincing victory to the Spuds in the end so Im not really bummed. No shame in being beat by a superior team. Fact of the matter is the 2 best players on the pitch won them that guy while on our side, the fringe players cost us. Holding and Cedric both overwhelmed by the occasion. I thought Saka and Odegaard were anonymous, especially Odegaard who let the game drift him by. Anybody laughing now that they signed Emerson Royal? Thats my rant over. 2 games we should be winning on the horizon so lets hope there are lessons to be learnt from last night.

  3. Habesha Gooner

    I am still fuming. Son is a cunt, I don’t care how many times he smiles and everyone thinks he is great. Dude is a dirty cheat. Quality player but a massive cheat. Serves him right that he will be staying at spurs the rest of his career.

    We need to regroup and take this away from spurs. Let them enjoy that win they didn’t deserve. In the end it will mean nothing if we smash both Newcastle and Everton. Newcastle in their last home game on a Monday under the lights isn’t great considering we have flopped in these type of matches. But we need to deliver this time. I am sure we can beat Everton at home as we always do. And they will be safe by then too. But we have to beat Newcastle first.

  4. DivineSherlock


    I know I know but we have a very good record away to bottom ranked teams and mid table so far . The spurs result in isolation was always going to be hard . I believe we will finih the job at Newcastle.

  5. China1

    Winning our last two games is absolutely not a huge ask

    The problem is whether or not the team will have the confidence to show up given the pressure. That’s a big worry and we can only hope. The fans at the games need to be bouncing and positive. Can’t let the team feed off any nervous energy. However on edge we feel, can’t let that spoil over into the team. They need all the help they can get.

  6. China1

    I’m also worried that refs are going to fuck us again as we all know Spurs are the darling team and only arsenal fans want us to make top 4. The players need to be very very careful because any minor or borderline decisions in the next two games are going to go against us

  7. Tony

    Bad day at the office yesterday conducted by Arteta’s selection of Cedric at RB who Son targeted relentlessly.

    Haven’t read above but I’m sure all the points have been raised asking why?

    Just need 2 from 2 for the 6 points and not for a second think Spuds will drop points from their remaining games.

    Question is can Arteta deliver?

  8. Awa

    Disappointing result, but if you look at the bigger picture, we are still ok, need to win the last 2 to make top 4 (and realistically if we can’t handle the pressure of having to beat Newcastle and Everton, we probably don’t deserve top 4)

    I think the game was won and lost on maturity and experience, both from our players and our manager.
    – Spurs handled the pressure well when we came at them in the first 20 mins or so
    – when they came at us thereafter we lost our cool, and spurs used that to their advantage to elicit a response from the ref (they played the dark arts well, and ultimately proved the difference)

    – arteta hopefully learned a lesson today, in keeping your eye on the prize. Today the goal should have been a draw or nabbing a win at best given our position in the table. I think we let the occasion get the better of us (which will happen with young sides). we should have set up aiming for a clean sheet (5 at the back), knowing spurs had to attack us. A boring 0-0 draw would have actually been a good result.
    Instead we set up with an extremely high line and all out attack and tried to blitz them in the first twenty. Ultimately this put the backline under a fair bit of pressure, and in hindsight played well for spurs given they are such a strong counter attacking side.

    Disappointing day but hopefully our inexperienced team and manager learned a lot and wont repeat the mistake the next time this type of high pressure situation rolls around

  9. The Bard

    Well and truly thrashed. The fact that didn’t turn up for a fight is worrying.
    The bottom line is that yesterday wasn’t the real problem. The fact we lost 3 games on the bounce earlier against poor teams did for us. Looking forward to seeing how the club spin it. Expect more bs about the term project and we have the youngest team ever nonsense.

  10. Markymark

    China1 – I’ve been on here some time back to say that Clattenburg stitched up Tottenham at Stamford Bridge with Potch as their manager in fact he more or less said he let Spurs get wound up. This is in my book is referring by agenda and is effectively bent . Cost Spurs the title challenge.
    So therefore I feel you , me and others are perfectly entitled to question Tierney last night.
    Tierney has attempted the same thing on us. I’d love to hear what he said to Son, when Son was complaining.. Words of sympathy no doubt . Don’t worry lad etc etc
    Tierney would use any opportunity to turn this Spurs way .
    It’s easy for some to slate off Holding but when you’ve got someone rolling and screaming on every touch and an intent referee it’s a disaster in the making .
    I’d just say that Arteta needs to think of game management . A switch of wings if White was really risky would have been sensible.
    I think we will get a result at Newcastle

  11. Markymark

    Bard we couldn’t fight that’s the problem. We were doing well up to the penalty and sending off. Spuds were then clattering us with zero comeback . Tierney was bent last night

  12. Graham62

    Holding deserved to go because he should have been booked sooner.
    Son had him in his pocket.
    Holding was stupid.

  13. Terraloon


    Newcastle have lost 5 of their last 9. They do wins and losses, no draws. Come on arsenal. Hit the fuckers and get those 3 points

    It’s their home form that is more the issue and they have won 5 of the last 6 the other was against Liverpool who they lost 1-0

    Of course it’s still in Arsenals own hands but Newcastle have some quite decent players and the likes of Trippier and Wilson now back from injury gives then a decent starting 11 with decent options off the bench whereas Arsenal will be down to bare bones with youngsters as options.

    If people thought Son was a menace then St Maximum is built of the same elk and with the size the height throughout their team set plays are going to be a nightmare

  14. GAZZA

    We were never going to get anything last night despite Holding & Cedric errors as everything went against us.. move on and win the next 2 games hopefully and this nightmare result will be long forgotten.

  15. Pierre

    Referees without a doubt can make their life very easy by giving the big decisions to the home team and of course blowing for a foul everytime a HOME player falls over , whilst ignoring similar incidents when the away player goes down..50/50 decisions to the home team will always keep the home crowd onside..

    For me, you can always tell when the ref is a homer by the way the home crowd react to his performance.
    Last night , not at any time was there derision aimed at the ref by the home crowd , why…..because they were perfectly satisfied with the job Tierney had done on Arsenal..

    The most important decision by the ref on the night was awarding the penalty, it was a 100% gamechanger so of course the tottenham fans were estatic as they were as surprised as anyone that Tierney pointed to the spot.

    Imagine Martinelli jumping for the ball in the area at the other end and getting a nudge in similar circumstances.
    Can anyone defending the penalty award truly believe that Arsenal would have been awarded a penalty ….never.

    Tottenham played clever after the pen and red card by making sure they milked every challenge and of course Tierney would oblige as he kept the home fans happy..

  16. EdTheREd

    We can sugarcoat it all we want, or blame the refs all we want, but the truth is, ONCE AGAIN when presented with an opportunity, we turn into serious bottlers.

    On more concerning note, three years under Arteta’s rule and we’re still none the wiser as to what our style of play is.

  17. Markymark

    EdTheRed- I’m not getting the bottling ? Bottling is b
    losing to lower placed clubs when you need points. We’ve been pretty good in that regard.
    Arsenal drawing or losing to Everton at home would indicate that. Same if Spuds somehow draw or lose with Burnley.
    A game changing penalty , thunderous spud challenges ignored. Son screaming and rolling . 2 nil down with 10 men ending 3-0. Is probably about right.
    I notice Hackett has commented he didn’t think Tierney was the right choice prior to the match .
    We move on .

  18. Killroy-TM

    We will see what kind of manager Arteta is, as some of us don’t already know, but it is his job to get a demoralized team up for a massive game in Newcastle and if you think the crowd in the toilet bowl was loud and noisy and may have influenced refs decisions, it will be equally loud and noisy at Tyneside.

    Many of us have been saying it for months, Arteta & Edu will be judged on May 22nd about their business in the January TW. What decent backup was there for the fullbacks?.Yeah, right nothing to write home about.

    It is infuriating that us amateurs here can see the problems and those that rake in the millions are duds. Hope they work on the training ground on their discipline.

  19. Samesong


    Agreed people are just thinking that Newcastle are going to lie down.
    Their players are going to want to prove something against us. In pressure moments can we keep our heads? last two games.

  20. Leftside

    In January our midfield options were down to the barebone though literally. So we’d likely have struggled if we played them at that time regardless of Son.

    Yesterday, for the first 20minutes we were largely in control, without being too menacing but Holding’s inability to manage the occasion and his temperament dealt our chances in this match a hammer blow. He owes his teammates and Arteta a big apology because he knows better. Cedric also knows better. They are the reason that we lost this game. We can blame the ref but that does nothing, the ref could have been ineffectual had we actually maintained our disciplines and heads.

  21. Foxy

    One positive is I don’t think Burnley is a guaranteed win for Spurs. They are getting better results and fighting for survival

  22. DivineSherlock


    My guess is you dont watch Arsenal play , only then can you make such a statement .

    Last night just showed us that Xhaka is not at that level , in a high octane match we need someone to take control of the midfield , take possession and control the game . Missed Partey yesterday and Tielemans wouldve been perfect for games like that .

  23. Leftside

    and as I said before, and the other Left said too – people are either half full or empty. Legrove has a lot of gloom and doom merchants, fearful of every team. I would hope that Gabriel is okay enough, and if he is, I would play him with White, Tomi at RB and bring in Tavares and let the Newcastle game take care of itself. They’re not the pushovers they once were, but we have more than enough to go there and get a result.

    The same with Everton at home, if we don’t do it then we have ourselves to blame.

  24. Killroy-TM

    Arsenal can be very spursy at times, when needing a result, they seem to have it under control only in final minutes to see slipping it away. Don’t you remember how many times we dropped points in the last minutes. We should have not lost at Old Trafford and we should have gotten points from CP, BHA and Southampton, but we didn’t Arteta bottled it.

  25. S23

    I dont usually subscribe to the bent refs theory,but we have had some strange decisions go against us this season,the Martinelli 2 yellows,last nights bump by Cedric.
    I think our immaturity as a team showed up,when Lloris dropped the ball,a more experienced Odegaard would have felt him at his back and gone to ground.
    However,as someone has said if we dont beat Newcastle and Everton we shouldnt be in the champions league.
    2 one nil victories,with a Rob Holding header against Everton,should do the trick.
    Hold on Gooners

  26. Leftside

    If the players and Mikel have the same defeatist mentality as some fans since last night, then we may as well pack up for our summer holidays now. Thankfully, whilst somewhat naïve and inexperienced I do believe we make up for that with our team mentality. We’ve been adverse results this season a few times and been counted out and come back before, we can do it again.

    I hope we do.

  27. Le Sauce

    Immediately I saw the lineup I knew it was gonna be a long night. Arteta pulled a Guardiola in attacking and pressing Tottenham high, I don’t really blame him I just think he wanted to wrap up top four yesterday. What I had an issue with is the personnel, Cedric is never gonna be good enough to mark a quality winger, we’re all crying out about the soft pen but what of the blatant pen that was denied Man u when Sancho had Cedric crawling like a baby. Tomiyasu should have handled Son and Cedric handle the Kulu kid at Lb. Holding messed up big time and I think it was on Artetas instructions, he kept man handling and chasing after Son when he should have just kept his head. We all know the referees never give Arsenal players benefit of doubt so the red card albeit soft was always on the cards with the way he played. The big test is on Monday and if Gabriel is out then we’ll see a backline of White and Tomiyasu with the dreaded fullback combo of Cedric and Tavares, with the key duel being Saint-Maxim vs Cedric

  28. Le Sauce

    I really don’t care much about Yesterdays result, a top four finish which directly means St Totteringhams day would see us have the last laugh. We just need to pull a miracle on the dreaded Monday night football away at Newcastle with our seriously depleted squad then we’ll see what happens on the last day

  29. Emiratesstroller

    I don’t want to comment about what occurred during the game, but the consequences highlight the inadequacies of our squad, which contains only 18 registered outfield players.

    In January we offloaded five first team players and since then we have suffered several critical injuries including both first team full backs and Partey. There is no question that critical injuries impacted on our defeat last night and probably other losses.

    Now we are faced with the prospect of having not a single match fit centre back for the game on Monday.

    That should be the real debate and not the questions about the referee’s decisions. There was
    in my book absolutely no issue about Holding’s two yellow cards and consequential red card.

  30. Samesong


    I’m that doom and gloom merchant if your’e referring to me. I was confident of not losing to spurs. Had no nerves until I saw what unfolded last night. In my opinion it’s the effect that a sending off and injuries have on team. Saka didn’t look fit. Gabriel looked like he picked an injury Holding sent off. Plus the fact we played the whole game with 10 men presents other challenges. Would be very confident going into the last two games usually but the circumstances have changed.

  31. EdTheREd

    OK folks, I’ll leave you here blaming the ref or pretending we have a style of play. Sooner or later though, you’ll have to face the reality, We’re idolizing the guy who’s struggling to get us into CL in his third season at the club.

    We’ve also lost more games this season than Palace. In fact, we’ve lost 1/3 of all games we’ve played this season. Call it progress, but it’s not good enough.

    No one’s afraid of Newcastle and Everton, but NEW has a decent home record this calendar year, and Everton’s becoming Arteta’s bogey side (4 defeats in 5 games)…and if we’re forced to play next game with back4 of Cedric-Tomi-White-Tavares, God help us.

    Perhaps we should all take comfort in the knowledge that Amazon Documentary target had been reached.

    Our best hope for Top4 is Burnley.

  32. China1

    That crap performance and defeat vs Brighton is coming back to haunt us now. If we’d won that game we’d still be 4 points clear with 2 games to play. Frustrating

  33. Berg10kamp

    This game seemed very scripted, none of our players were themselves. What the hell was holding doing since the game started? Why wasn’t a defender marking kane at the back post? Ridiculous

  34. Terraloon


    I don’t want to comment about what occurred during the game, but the consequences highlight the inadequacies of our squad, which contains only 18 registered outfield players.In January we offloaded five first team players and since then we have suffered several critical injuries including both first team full backs and Partey. There is no question that critical injuries impacted on our defeat last night and probably other losses.

    Sorry but unless my memory is failing me immediately post the January window closing you were suggesting the schedule and indeed the demands of the remaining games in your opinion meant that the squad depth and size were fit for purpose. I made the point that once Arsenal suffered the average number of PL absences through injury it wouldn’t be and all evidence now suggests that squad depth will be an issue.

    Ok the likes of Chambers wouldn’t be first choice but if White is the only CD available he would be an option because the other option seems to be Xhaka or Tomi combination but if that happens you significantly weaken other areas.

    Saka seems to be running on empty, ESR seems to not even be under consideration, Nketiah is a gamble,

    If Arsenal had a fully fit squad it would be an issue but far too many players are either absent,injured or suspended and that is the issue and it was always inevitable that would be the issue

  35. Leftside


    Respectfully – if I was solely referring to you I would have just typed your name. There is too much fear mongering going on generally, we have two games remaining. If we win those games we will be in the Champions League. Those games are against midtable sides who won’t just roll over for us, but that shouldn’t matter as we have enough quality to beat those sides and if we cannot beat these sides – then we shouldn’t even bother with CL football. Spurs are a bang average side (in my opinion) but have two difference makers up top and they made the difference yesterday. Newcastle are no more dangerous than a West Ham for instance and we recently went there with the same personnel we’ll have at best and we rode our luck at times, but still defended well enough and took our chances to win the game. My point is we shouldn’t fear them.

    Everton have been dreadful this season, they may end up preserving their Prem status but that is down to their home form. I think Leicester midweek if I’m correct was the 2nd game they won away from home all season. Even if they need a win against us, as I said yesterday, we also need to win. They, again are a side we should not fear. We’re good enough to beat them.

    Hopefully, Gabriel’s injury isn’t too bad, and Saka can play as well and then I would put Tavarez back in the side and have Tomi in at RB. People have little confidence in Tavarez but he’s young with upside and at least useful going forward. Cedric is a calamity all around and shouldn’t even be here.

  36. Leftside

    The mass hysteria is annoying, you have people who I’ve never seen on here coming to gloat at the defeat and take shots at Pedro, you had Un saying people were happy with the result which is just an emotional, frustrated reaction to what happened. We can still get in the CL – its up to us. So lets go for it and if we fall short, and people want to complain, then go for it.

  37. Leedsgunner

    I normally say we played badly, we lost move on. However last night the referee was really really poor.

    Personally I think the referees’ union was trying to “repay” us for the mistakes they made in the United game… especially with the supposed handball.

    Plus the second yellow to Holding was the softest yellow I’ve ever seen. There was no intent, rather Son made contact with Holding’s elbow and made the most of it… effectively inviting the referee to send Holding off.

    No matter.

    We’re still a point ahead. We win our matches we stay there… and this game will be forgotten.

    Spurs are still Spurs

  38. Valentin

    Disappointing result, but not the end of the world. The good news is that Arsenal has still its destiny in their hand. Win the remaining games and Arsenal finishes 4th.

    Without disputing the merit of the penalty and sending off, the defeat started with two decisions made by Arteta before the game.

    He overhyped the game and put the team in a state of frenzy if things did not go our way. He should have done the exact opposite. Tell the team that the game was a chance to get top 4 on the night but that otherwise we still have another chance. The team would have been more relax and not so much under pressure to win that game.

    the second mistake that cames from that desire to win that game instead of not losing it was tactical. Arteta big victory against better team has always been when we defend deep, and play on the counter attack.

    Inexplicably against Spurs, Arteta started with a back 4 but instructed Holding to follow Son into the midfield which would create space in the defense line that Kane or any onrushing midfielder could exploit. It also exposes not only Holding lack of pace, but also Xhaka.

    IMHO, a 3-1-3-2-1 system would have been the right call. A back 3 means that we always have a spare man when Son and Kane attack.
    The lone deep screening midfielder in front of the back 3 would then be able to follow Son or Kane whenever they dropped deeper. So we never have the case of Son or Kane having a free run at the defense after a 1-2 deep in midfield.

    It also means that instead of having inadequate full backs defending rashly in the penalty box, we have wingbacks who can commit fouls further up the field.

    Arteta has shown that he can’t build a cohesive attacking system. He relies on the attacking players to create their own chance, hence Arsenal is near the bottom in term of chance created. Relying on Nkethia to put pressure on the opposition and score from a mistake should not be our primary tactic.

  39. Samesong


    Good post. I don’t fear these teams. I fear our mentality more when the pressure is on. I guess we take it one game at a time now, So the geordies first. Teams do like to go the extra mile against us though.

  40. Matt

    I cannot believe that anyone can honestly complain about Holding getting sent off. The first yellow in isolation was soft, but it had been coming and was more for a cumulation of fouls, which we all know happens. The second could have been a straight red as he clearly lifted his arm away from his body.

    Absolute brain dead thinking and as good as he has been since he has come back into the team, that was unforgiveable.

  41. Emiratesstroller


    You are wrong I have raised several times my concern that our squad of outfield players is
    too small and pinpointed also in last two months that we had just 15 fit outfield players.

  42. Cape Maker

    That Ref couldnt fucking qait to target someone to be sent off.

    The penalty is never a penalty.

    In all big games that matters to Arsenal the refs fucks us up.

    Coincidence? I dont Fucking think so they all hate us

  43. Terraloon

    Left side

    Newcastle are no more dangerous than a West Ham for instance and we recently went there with the same personnel we’ll have at best and we rode our luck at times, but still defended well enough and took our chances to win the game. My point is we shouldn’t fear them.

    They really are more dangerous that WHU.

    WHU were significantly weakened due to injuries and rotation and ironically Arsenals two goals were scored by Holding and Gabriel.

    Look I get the need for positivity but dismissing the challenge that Newcastle will present is just simply naive

  44. Leftside


    Thanks man. I get what your saying, I actually think we have a good mentality at least this season. We’re able to pull results out when it’s unexpected and when we need it. We’ve dropped points mostly in games people would “expect” us to win.

    Had yesterday been 11 v 11, with a referee that wasn’t over zealous to be one of the main talking points (although we gave him the opportunity to make such decisions) and we lost like that, the damage may be more lasting. Spurs were 1-0 up without a shot on target from a pen, then played against 10 men for most of the game. I think those mitigating circumstances can rally up us to go out and perform till the end of the season.

  45. Leftside


    You can’t pick and choose from what I said to get your point across. I’ve said repeatedly it is not an easy game, but it isn’t a game we should fear and one that we can win.

    West Ham, inexplicably went with a strong lineup against us they were missing Dawson but that was about it, thats not a significantly weakened lineup.

  46. TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

    The scum with cunte’s dark arts turned us over. The 2 players we should of stuck to like glue scored. I’m pissed yes but we can still have the last laugh. The squad is running on fumes we can see that. But we can do the job on a bottom half team and one that hopefully will be safe from relegation. 4th is still in our hands with two games to go. No-one envisioned that this season. I hope we do it.

  47. T

    I think that last night was the perfect example why tomiyasu and white were bought in.

    at the emirates they kept kane and son really quiet. we won.

    at the lane son and kane pushed bobs and cedrics faces to the mud and we lost.

    anyone who said that those signing didnt move the needle were utterly fools and shows that the rebuild must continue in the summer regardless of whether we finish 4th or 5th.

    as for people talking about saka and odegaard being anonymous.. i can only say – go ahead and try to be an influential midfielder when your defenders are pushed around behind you and you get no support. for what its worth i think that martinelly, odegaard and saka were absolutely superb again and without them we would have been absolutely spanked after bobs dismissal.

  48. James wood.

    I cannot believe the NOUS of posters on here who thought
    BOX HEADS challenge on Son was legit.
    Holding letting the side down in such an important game is unforgivable.
    The squad has not been strong enough and not bringing players
    In was a massive mistake by everyone involved.
    The whole set up at the club is floored and has been for a long time.
    One can only hope we turn up against NEW/ EVE -but Spurs last two fixtures look easier than ours.

  49. Mr Serge

    We effectively had 3 of our back 4 out yesterday as too y had to play left back and our best cm out Cedric is shit holding is decent against weaker opposition we are still 3 players short plus we have 4 out

    You have to take these circumstances into consideration

    Would we have lost with Tommy white Gabriel KT and partey playing ?

  50. Mr Serge

    We effectively had 3 of our back 4 out yesterday as too y had to play left back and our best cm out Cedric is shit holding is decent against weaker opposition we are still 3 players short plus we have 4 out

    You have to take these circumstances into consideration

    Would we have lost with Tommy white Gabriel KT and partey playing ?

    I am not so sure

  51. Matt

    Mr Serge

    What is the point of that observation. White, Tierney and Partey didn’t play and we lost. Every team could ask a similar question after every loss.

  52. Nelson

    “Tierney has attempted the same thing on us. I’d love to hear what he said to Son, when Son was complaining.. Words of sympathy no doubt . Don’t worry lad etc etc”

    I remember Son smiled after listening to what Tierney told him. I had a bad feeling. And Arteta still asked Holding to follow Son closely. The RED card was unavoidable.

  53. Terraloon


    My memory is correct

    Here’s what you said in January 17th

    EmiratesstrollerJanuary 17, 2022 11:01:49
    Looking at our fixture schedule beyond this week it is hardly demanding for

    .Apart from recruiting perhaps on loan a central midfield replacement for AMN I don’t see
    the necessity of recruiting this month additional players UNLESS it is someone who is
    likely to be a starting X1 player for next season.Once this week’s fixtures have been completed our fixture list should be manageable with
    our current squad resources once AFCON players return and others out with Covid and
    injury return.

  54. Northbanker

    I was there last night – totally devastated

    We lined up at the start as if fielding a 2-3-5 formation. Why? Why did we need to go for the win and lose our discipline

    Especially with our defence looking vulnerable in loss of key players

  55. DigitalBob

    A result like that really is a bitter pill to swallow. For the first 10 minutes we were the better team, and I was impressed with the manor in which we started. Arteta in my opinion is a defensive manager so I like most expected more or less a back 5, so for him to play such an attacking line up may seem wrong to some but I actually like the bravery in the mistake, if that makes any sense at all.

    Maybe Tomi on the right and Tavares on the left but again when a guy like Tavares gives you anything between a 2-10 maybe it was too risky and to be fair Tomi on the left and Cedric on the right worked well in the last game.

    In regard to the decisions, yep, a soft pen but VAR isn’t going to overturn it because it’s not a clear an obvious error, he does nudge him. Do we get unfairly treated when it comes to these types of decisions yes absolutely.

    The two yellows by Holding were a result of stupidity by the player multiple times in a short space of time. He got away with the first one, but the 4th official saw it and no doubt the ref was signalled that Holding got away with one. So what does our boy Holdinho do? Continue with the type of physicality we all know is going to lead to a booking and another. He’s a senior player and should know better.

    So yesterday was down to individual mistakes from the players rather than anything Arteta did wrong. Where do we go from here? Tough to say as it really depends on who’s fit for Monday night. We have to win and I think we will if we start that game in the same fashion as this one.

  56. Terraloon

    Left side

    Fair enough re the challenge that Newcastle will present but they really are mor3 of a threat and sorry but WHU we’re weakened by more than just missing Dawson. They had Noble in their starting lineup as opposed to Soucek and also missing was Antonio.

    Newcastle will have the likes of St Maximum, Wood, Wilson and Tierney who are all big threats

  57. Emiratesstroller


    Yes I justified the departure of Aubameyang and Kolasinac who were no longer playing in
    the first team.

    However, my post on 17th was before we offloaded 6 players [I forgot Balogun].

    I did not expect us to offload both Chambers and Mari as well.

    Since the beginning of March I have expressed concern about the lightness of our squad.

    I think that we will be hard pressed to have 13 fit players turning out for Monday’s game against Newcastle.

  58. Pierre

    I don’t rate Newcastle, they are a team of individuals who against a good team will struggle.

    Chris Wood is slow and cumbersome as is joelinton , maximum is all tricks but little end product , their only decent players are guimares and willock and the team rarely pass to willock , selvey never passes to him, murphy or Almiron have pace but little football intelligence, so for me all we have to do is control the game , play with intelligence and our quality should win us the game.

    People are talking as though tottenham beating Burnley is a foregone conclusion, Burnley are more than capable of putting in a performance to cause tottenham problems , the worry is that the pgmol are under orders for the race for 4th place to go to the wire so we may see a similar refereeing performance in favour of tottenham when they take on Burnley.

  59. Terraloon


    Joel Linton has been a revelation since moving into midfield, Wood is very decent in the air, St Maximum is areal handball when running at a defence, Wilson is a decent finisher and now fit, Tierney is now fit
    Look I am not saying that a win isn’t likely for Arsenal but they at this point in time present a formidable opponent in a “ must win “ game.

  60. Leftside


    Noble came in but wasn’t too bad, and whilst Soucek and Antonio didn’t start the game they still ended the match with more than enough time to affect the game. Newcastle have some handy players, no doubt about it but we also have handy players that they need to worry about. You know my main worry is the fact that Spurs play Burnley on the Sunday and if they win – the pressure could really be on by the time we kick off on Monday night, and as Black Snake adds – we haven’t won on Monday night all season!!

    I would be working with the players mental in the next few days if I were Arteta and the coaching staff. I know it is somewhat or maybe largely immaterial but I would be pointing out that we haven’t lost away or at all to Newcastle since 2018, and their last win before that against us was when Andy Carroll downed us at the Emirates with that annoying header in 2010. Anything to get us going at a time when minds may be fragile could help..

  61. Leftside

    Burnley will go and do to Spurs what we should have done, be compact, defend well and see if Spurs can break them down, that is typically when Spurs huff and puff and that is Burnley’s only chance of frustrating them in my opinion, and then hopefully nicking something at the other end.

  62. Gbat

    The penalty was incredibly soft. The referee couldn’t give it quick enough. However I believe the Holding second yellow was correct. He clearly steps into Son and tries to leave a bit on him. Incredibly stupid from a player who’s just not at the level required. He also has a big hand in the penalty by losing Son and letting the ball go over his head. I’ll be surprised if he’s at the club next season

  63. Jonko

    The soft pen ruined everything. If that wasn’t awarded the Holding incident wouldn’t have happened. The players were clearly frustrated. I’m not a fan of Arteta by any means but this game is all on the ref.

  64. Ben D

    Its the morning after and it still hurts real bad. That was a game we could have won looking at how we played the early minutes. Marginal decisions went against us and we lost.

    Its quite sad to read some on here saying ‘we didn’t put up a fight’. Really? Even with 10 men, we tried to play some football, so much so that there we several moments after the sending off when Spurs had everyone behind the ball deep in their own half, including Kane and Son!

    We have 2 games to play, and if we play the way we are capable of playing, we will win them and get into the Champions league.

    Someone tell me a move like that by Van Dijk is given as a penalty or yellow. It will be described as ‘using his body to ease the attacker off the ball’ and ‘standing his ground and Son bouncing off him’! But it is what it is.

    Upwards and onwards!!!!

  65. Brian Muff

    It’s a shame Nkeitiah wasn’t standing at the post for Kane’s goal. Not only would he have been in the right place to stop the goal, but he might have been able to kick Harry Kane in the face into the bargain. Damn shame.

  66. Terraloon

    Left side

    The mentality side of thing is a major issue going into the last two games it’s where experience is such a big factor

    Burnley as so many quite rightly point out aren’t mugs but that mentality and confidence will be a major positive for Spurs but I personally would much rather be playing them as opposed to Newcastle away.

    As for the last game again Norwich is an easier proposition on paper compared to a n Everton team who almost certainly will still be looking over their shoulders

  67. Brian Muff

    I think we should delete all the rage and leave up Ben D’s post. That’s all that needs to be said really.

    It’s daft raging on the manager, the January recruitment…if you concede a soft early pen and then lose a man, you’ve been completely hamstrung and your game’s ruined. In many ways we did well to not concede any more goals – the pundits were salivating at the possibility of an absolute tonking. Didn’t happen.

  68. englandsbest

    Bad ref decisions aside, the odds are we would have lost the game anyway. The moment I saw Cedric in the team, it was pretty much all over. Conte, a shrewd operator, knew he was no match for Son. The guy ran rings round him. And Holding’s uncustomary behaviour was down to his efforts to help, to protect, Cedric. A different story if it had been Tierney. Or Ben White in a back 3 if he had been fit enough.

    Arteta’s choice of personnel for the last two games is severely limited. It will be a hard task to win both. Our best hope is that Spurs don’t either. If we miss out it will be through lack of vital players. But, for me, in any case, the Europa is a better option, we’ll go further, do better, may even win the competition.

  69. Mysticleaves

    I think we did all we could yesterday given the way Arteta set us up and the way we conceded the penalty and second yellow (correct decisions imo). It was always going to be difficult at the toilet but a little pragmatism would have made life more difficult for spurs. When they have to control the game they are clueless. Arteta should have known this and should have adapted to the opposition.

    I still think we can finish the job at Newcastle and Everton (or just maybe desperately want us to) and get UCL. The players should take this on the chin and recover asap.

    No time to blame the manager right now or call for sack. He’s already here for 3 more years. So I can as well wish the team well

  70. Edu me a favour

    “””””Anybody laughing now that they signed Emerson Royal””””

    Yes because he’s fucking shit


  71. Mysticleaves

    And Son would give a game to any RB in the EPL. He has 20 goals anyways, all non penalty goals. He’s as good as he’s cony. Cedric had come into the team and held his own for a long time so the trashing he’s getting now after one game where he was out thought by a better player is unwarranted to be honest

  72. Samesong

    I would say this the youngsters haven’t let us down all season. It’s the experience ones that have on occasion.

    We go again.

  73. Samesong

    If we miss out it will be through lack of vital players. But, for me, in any case, the Europa is a better option, we’ll go further, do better, may even win the competition.

    Let’s not throw in the towel already CL will more money and attract better players.

  74. Kegunner

    We need experienced players at an elite physical, skill and intelligence level. No compromise on the fundamentals.

  75. G

    ‘’ Lolz. Looks a bit silly now doesn’t it…awarding a contract to the manager.‘’

    Er no is the answer to that

  76. Dark Hei


    Yes, I am with you.

    You can’t expect the back up to be as good as the first choice given that we don’t even have Europa League this season.

    It is quite the BS.

  77. G

    When son and holding on the floor Son clearly elbows holding.. not sure if this was even mentioned after the game..
    Up until the penalty we were under no pressure at all

  78. EdTheREd

    englandsbestMay 13, 2022 10:17:46
    But, for me, in any case, the Europa is a better option, we’ll go further, do better, may even win the competition.

    Please explain how’s Tottenham in CL better option for us.

  79. David Smith

    just looking again, Holding was very naïve, as was Arteta if Holding was under orders.
    Tottenham are a team vastly favoured by the media and establishment, referees will be aware of that , you pay, perhaps disproportionately if you do that sort of thing at their place as would be the case at the likes of Anfield in a way an opponent might not if he clattered Saka at the Emirates or elsewhere as we are now aware.
    But the penalty is beyond me, Son was off balance before ours went near him. A series in the dodgy pens they have been given against us over the years, perhaps not surprising with a protected team with at least 2 serial divers who the media never pick up on.
    We still have a very decent chance of top four, but if we fail, Arteta needs to learn from it, injuries to key players, cards and suspensions for Arsenal Arsenal, who’d have ever thought it.

  80. Batistuta

    Very poor result but not a suprising one. All the ref blaming also a bit stale, seems to be the go to every time.

    Reckon if we can pick ourselves up at Newcastle then we’ve secured 4th.

    One can also see why we need shot of quite a lot of the average players we’ve managed to stockpile

  81. InsideRight

    What annoyed me most about last night is that Arteta seemingly learned nothing from the way Brighton and Brentford set up and approached their games against Spuds.

    In the 180 minutes of those two games, Spuds were reduced to 14 shots with 0 on target. Pedro was even on here mocking and baiting those who said Conte was a decent manager.

    Yet, apart from the first 7 minutes, Arsenal didn’t even turn up last night. Why the fuck can Thomas Frank and Graham Potter out-think and outplay Spuds, but Arteta gets handed his arse in humiliating fashion?

    How long can the club afford to bankroll hundreds of millions in the transfer market while gifting Arteta his on the job training at over £5m per year?

  82. Robert Pires

    If we’re in the Europa next season, it means:
    – we won’t win it as Arteta has demonstrated his weaknesses in Europe even against teams with worse individuals (Olympiacos, Villareal)
    – rotation will mean we get 63-67 points in the league, so no CL in the near future
    – Spurs will get stronger as the CL will help them attract better players, and funds will be better
    – despite what Pedro said, United with Ten Hag could overtake even in his first season

    And all Tets had to do was play 3-4-2-1
    But that would have meant no Odegaard, and Arteta seems to be lost without him or Xhaka.

  83. EdTheREd

    This was very much like Man City away game this season, we looked ok for an opening few minutes, then we crumbled, and Holding and Cedric had a shockers.

  84. China1

    Europa is better than CL for us?

    More games. Less money. Less prestige. Cannot be used as well to attract elite talent. No guarantees of winning it.

    Beyond that it’s much better for us than the CL I suppose!

  85. China1

    I really would much prefer Tomi at rb

    He’s a quality RB. You need your best players in their best positions. The drop off from Tomi to Cedric is massive and always has been. Cedric is just a passable squad player for emergencies, not the guy you want marking Son.

    Would’ve been much better to roll the dice on our LB than roll it on our RB.

  86. Samesong

    Shoot me but i would of rather had Tavares on left then Tomi last night. He matches up physically with Kula.

  87. David Smith

    I dont think Arteta trusted the players he has to play a deep block a la Brighton and co, that wasnt near our first choice defence.
    Those teams specialise in defending, we do not, and havent for well over 2 decades.

  88. gnarleygeorge9

    “And all Tets had to do was play 3-4-2-1”

    Really! Speaking from PL experience are you sunshine 🤨

  89. Dissenter

    The referee blaming is disappointing, but I expect no less from Pedro and some of the other posters.
    I wasn’t expecting anything other than a loss last night because we labored very hard to beat a 10-man Leeds at hone. The writing was on the wall., I suppose

    We can’t limp to the end of the season. We have to dig out something from inside and go to st James park pumped up. If we win on Monday then the capitulation if last night is forgiven.

  90. Dissenter

    This summer, we have to seek real competition for some of the regular starters.
    I’ve never rated Partey as much as many, we need someone who’s as good as he is to rotate with Partey.
    Odegaard goes missing too often too
    Saka is just tired, the lad doesn’t need to play as often as he does.

    This summer should be about back-ups but same-caliber signings to rotate with starters.

  91. Dissenter

    Also this sour grapes and acceptance of mediocrity need to stop

    How can the EL be better than the CL?
    That’s plain rubbish loser talk

    If we fail to qualify for the CL, after being r points ahead of spurs with 3 games left to play, then it will be a massive catastrophic wilting under pressure.
    It will be in the same territory as the late collapse under Emery and be considered in the same breath as Brendan Rodgers collapse at Leicester.

    Let’s no kid ourselves, the context of the collapse will define this season.

  92. Ishola70

    Cochrane stated it best on the podcast.

    Arsenal have to go to Newcastle and show from the off that the win is much more important to us than it is for them. Impose yourselves on them early. No cagey see how the game pans out stuff. If Arsenal impose on Newcastle early and show the real hunger then in most cases the team that doesn’t need the win as much wilts.

    Arteta is over-achieving this season with this squad and team in terms of league position and we all know this is as much to do with failures of others as much as it has to do with how good Arsenal have been themselves. Arteta showing a certain level of consistency has been enough to find ourselves in this position nearing the end of the season.

    At this stage we shouldn’t be finishing ahead of Spurs in the league. They do have a better overall side than ours so that is failure on their part and we know the disaster that has been Man United this season.

    If Arsenal do qualify for the CL then we need a few top grade players coming in or if not that bloody clever signings next season just to show that we are serious now that we find ourselves back in the top competition and not for it to be just a fleeting appearance in the CL for just one season before falling back again next season to previous levels below CL qualification. There will be the line that this is a young side and they can collectively get better as one but I wouldn’t necessarily buy that. We need upgrades next season as a signal to the rest.

    If Arteta does manage to qualify Arsenal for the CL then he has defied all the odds simply because he has managed to do it with Xhaka in the side and that is a huge feat.

  93. Graham62


    I agree.

    What exactly is our style of play?

    No one seems to know.

    I include our players and, yes, even Arteta in this.

    What’s the stats in our big games?


  94. Dissenter

    The schedule FA ours spurs a lot. They got lucky – I don’t blame this on the PGMOL or anyone else.
    They get to play ahead of us for the next round. They play Burnley at home on Sunday and we get to head up north on Monday night.
    We have to face our demons on Monday; every stereotype that’s been cast for us will stare us in the face.

    Let’s stop feeling sorry for ourselves and stop the finger pointing at refs
    Fess us, face the music and let’s go.
    We have to beat Newcastle, it’s that simple;

  95. EdTheREd


    If you can’t see how Tottenham making CL this season would affect Arsenal, then there isn’t much more I can do to make the implications clearer to you, I’m afraid.

  96. Graham62


    You are 100% correct.

    4 points above Spuds with 3 games to go.
    1 point ahead with 2 games left.
    Newcastle will be our biggest game of the season.
    Then, if we win that, Everton at home would be even bigger.

  97. G

    Digital Bob.. Spot on

    Did they not mention Son Elbowing Holding when both on the ground, mate just sent me a clip..unbelievable.. I thought we would lose that before hand but the way we started it was so comfortable until the Pen.. I wouldn’t be harsh on the team, you need a bit of luck in 90 mins and we had None

  98. DigitalBob

    Dissenter – I agree regular competition for key positions will hopefully be addressed this summer. We have the makings of a very good squad and while I’m not opposed to the likes of Holding, Elneny and Cedric continuing on beyond this season the hyperbole in recent weeks about them simply not fucking up has been too much. Its vital Saliba is brought back and reintegrated as not only will he play instead of Holding but will certainly keep Ben White and Gabriel on their toes.

    Elneny and Xhaka need to be rotation options next season, I’d hope the majority of games like this their role is to simply come off the bench and keep it tight.

    Eddie in a contract year is doing what many before him have done, remember the “sign the ting Theo”saga, but has yet to prove the level of consistency needed to lead the line, its vital we bring in another top quality forward.

  99. DigitalBob

    G – Lets be honest some strikers are on Pepe’s(the Portuguese one!) level of skulduggery, Son and Sadio Mane being the two most obvious for me in the premier league. They consistently get away with elbows and little kicks and digs and then its “well he’s not that sort of player”. But away from home, hostile crowd and bias officiating, which was made clear after that penalty, senior players must keep their wits about them and composure. Bob Holding did not do this.

  100. Dissenter

    Digital Bob
    We now know fully well that Tierney and Partey are the new Diabys.

    It will be shame on us, if we emerge from t=next transfer window, fully dependent on both those players. We have to get another start-able left back and a midfielder with the same stature as Partey.
    Tavares isn’t good enough. If he can;t be trusted for a NLD, then time to stop extending a mistake signing.

  101. Dissenter

    There’s some erroneous rhinking here that if we miss out of 4th place now, we will be in line to get it next season just based on the natural progression of a young squad.
    The problem is that next season will assessed differently because of the changes in the other teams around us competing for 4th place

    I don’t think Chelsea have 3rd place locked up next season so the battle will be for 3rd and 4th
    -United are so shit now that the only way is to get better; new manager and lots of money
    -Tuchel is still at Chelsea and he’s a good manager. Also Lukaku will find some form if he’s still there.
    -Westham are going to still be around. Moyes will see to that.
    -If Conte stays at spurs, he will attract better players to them next summer. They will have a toe-in into top-4

    Also having the World Cup right in the middle of the season means that next season will be very unpredictable

  102. Nelson

    “The penalty was incredibly soft.”
    I watched the replay. That fucking Cedric wasn’t even looking at the ball. He was just too small to defend high ball. If you don’t play the ball and just play the man, that is a penalty.

  103. Ishola70

    Folks like to quote Klopp when he first came into Liverpool in comparison to Arteta and Arsenal.

    Well remember Klopp didn’t rest on his laurels when he got Liverpool to recover from when he first went there. He was very active in the transfer market even when his side was improving season to season from when he first came in there.

    Arsenal shouldn’t be feeling cosy just because they qualify for CL. They should be looking to improve on that itself just as Klopp continously looked to do so.

    And this means upgrades coming in rather than sitting on the youngest team aspect.

  104. InsideRight

    I think some people need to prepare themselves for the very real possibility that if we miss out on the CL this season, it may be that we don’t make it at all during Arteta’s extended contract period.

    Arsenal are in with a shout this season because we have overperformed and other sides have been more inconsistent than they should have been. With all the changes being made by clubs around us, next season is unlikely to see those clubs making as many mistakes as they did this season.

  105. Ishola70

    And hopefully we won’t hear this “youngest side” quote in the near future seasons because in reality it means basically fvck all.

    One of the best sides in the land is a much better better place to be.

  106. andy1886

    Too much black and white thinking on here today. Us (in particular certain players) having a bad game and the decisions going against us are not mutually exclusive.

    Yes Cedric is a poor player but it’s also true that nine time out of ten (if not more often) that would never be given as a penalty. You see defenders bumping opposition players in the box for a high ball at ever single corner. Penalties are almost never given,.

    On first view the Holding sending off look harsh but in slow motion you can see why it was given. You can also see Son playing for it, and you can say that we’ve suffered worse and got absolutely nothing (stamp on Tomi, Martinelli assaulted in the box are two just off the top of my head).

    Throw in poor team selection and strange subs and there are multiple reasons why we lost yesterday. Players, the manager and the officials all contributed. And Son is still a diving cheating little sh*t.

  107. Terraloon


    On first view the Holding sending off look harsh but in slow motion you can see why it was given. You can also see Son playing for it, and you can say that we’ve suffered worse and got absolutely nothing (stamp on Tomi, Martinelli assaulted in the box are two just off the top of my head).

    The reality was it could easily have been a red card offence, Holding got lucky because it was only a yellow. Far too many seem to think it was a straight red which with it would have come a 3 game ban instead it’s one game

  108. Jaroda

    I think there are a couple of points that need to be recognised about this Arsenal team.
    1) We have won a good number of games but these have been predominantly by slender margins. Most have gone our way but in other seasons they may not. Therefore our position in the league is overstated compared to our baseline ability.
    2) We rarely seem to be able to change the game state following the first goal. Now that’s great when we score first (we’ve won 20 out of 24 in which we’ve scored first) but dire when we don’t. Excluding the two 0-0 games, we lead and then fell behind before levelling with Palace, and we came from behind v Wolves. Three games we’ve lead first and then eventually lost are Man U and Everton away and Man City at home. The 29 other games have all gone the way of the first scorer (us winning 20 of them). We seem OK to shut up shop when we have our nose in front but is that the sign that when things aren’t working we don’t know how to change it or lack the options to do so?

  109. Ishola70

    Time to forget the Spurs match.

    It was a game to forget after they scored their second goal and Arsenal down to ten. After that the match was a non-event.

    Holding couldn’t handle Son he being very good as well as knowing all the dark arts tricks.

    People mentioning Maxim for Newcastle well he can blow hot or cold and is certainly not on the level of Son at Spurs. We hope it isn’t one of his hot days coming up.

  110. Ishola70


    I think most realise we are not a very good team. We are a competent side that has shown some good character and togetherness at this point with plenty of improvement needed to be seen to get where we are told what the long term plan is.

    This is why we need to see upgrade for this team. That’s if we are serious.

  111. China1

    I’m all for critiquing all that has gone wrong this season but top 4 is still very much on the table and there are two games left. Let’s just see how we do in these next 2 games and then we can dissect everything good and bad

  112. China1

    I’m all for critiquing all that has gone wrong this season but top 4 is still very much on the table and there are two games left. Let’s just see how we do in these next 2 games and then we can dissect everything good and bad

  113. The Bard

    The real fall out from yesterday is that top4 just got a whole lot more difficult and on yesterdays evidence the team dont yet have the cojones to tackle these games. Secondly it completely reshapes our transfer strategy.

  114. Ishola70


    If Arsenal win the next two matches then it is cause for celebration for the fans because qualifying for the CL at this stage is a very big achievement with this team and squad irrelevant of failures of others.

    The hierarchy though shouldn’t celebrate too hard. They should be sitting down and looking at attempts to “cement” the position we could find ourselves in by the end of the season. Nothing is guaranteed of course even with obvious efforts made but sitting and being content is not an option for them.

  115. Tom

    The penalty call was incredibly soft for any game let alone a NLD, and you knew it right away too because even after the first replay the commentators didn’t know what it was given for.
    A bad decision for me but down a goal you’re still in the game against their shaky defense.

    The sending off killed the game for us for sure, but if you still thinking now that Holding’s second yellow was wrong, then perhaps ice hockey should be your sport where off the puck body checks are highly appreciated.

    Had Davies done that to Saka, I would’ve wanted a straight red, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been alone in that.
    Pity Arsenal didn’t go after Davies right after he got an early yellow on 16 minutes. I felt Saka had the beating of him and could’ve got him in more trouble.

    Arteta’s comments after the game show his prickly character. There are ways to criticize refs that don’t get you in trouble and certainly don’t get you” suspended for six months” lol.
    But I do get why he didn’t want to answer any Holding related questions, since obviously he was only following Arteta’s game plan for Son.

    Still in our hands though against two very beatable sides.
    Lets do it.

  116. AFC Forever

    Sadly, we don’t have the squad to cope when losing key players. We stuttered after the losses of Partey & Tierney but then after work on the training ground picked up to win 4 on the spin including Manchester United and away at Chelsea and West Ham. So please don’t come on here with all your sly digs after your wrong takes. You know who you are, try to be a bit more mature and less self-obsessed after we lose a game.

    Losing White was a big loss. Anyone who knows anything about football is aware of the value of partnerships, especially at center-back. White reads the game well and unlike Holding is composed and doesn’t lose his head. Against Leeds, we were defensively sloppy & conceded our first goal of the season from a corner. I like Holding, he’s great back-up but nowhere near Whites level, as we saw last night. Holding losing his head when Son riled him cost us the game. Playing with 10 men for an hour in a hostile environment makes the game one-sided and ruins it as a combative battle & for the supporters.

    Holding vs Son
    I too have seen the slow-mo replay. I had no idea Son had elbowed Holding in the face but it appears a definite red. The video is doing the rounds, it’s conclusive. I don’t blame the referee for missing it, because he was behind them both but the bench saw it and that’s why Arteta was enraged. VAR ignored it too, perhaps because Holding was naive and tried to ride it like a man whereas Son play-acted and held his face. Or because they didn’t want to. Some claim Son was smart, others he cheated but either way it shouldn’t matter when you have VAR. This was clearly why Holding lost his head, he knew there had been an injustice but of course, he should have put it behind him. Easier said than done, I’ve had a few red cards in my time I regret!! We are humans, we all get caught up with emotions and make mistakes.

    Still in our hands
    We would have bitten our arms off to be offered this in August. We have to assume that we need 6 points. Newcastle away under lights won’t be easy – but it isn’t any tougher than Chelsea and West Ham away where we won.

    The injury news will make the game harder though. We cannot deny we have been unlucky losing big players at the wrong time. Partey & Tierney, then White, and now Gabriel!!! Losing Gab along with White & Holding is seriously bad; when you add Tierney to the list of first-choice players out it is the stuff of nightmares Freddie Kruger would be proud of. If Gab is out, then the pairing will probably be Tomi and Xhaka with Cedric & Tavares in. It makes the game so much tougher disrupting partnerships and rhythm. I don’t like that. Still, we know this team has courage and bounce-back-ability so I won’t be writing us off or ignoring the excellent season we have had so far. I won’t pile in on my team because I’m upset, I’m going to cheer them even louder….!!!

  117. DivineSherlock


    Had Davies done that to Saka, I would’ve wanted a straight red, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been alone in that.

    Did you not see Son elbowing Holding ? Its not so hard to say the ref was fucking biased , no wonder UEFA/FIFA doesnt allow english ref in international comps.

  118. Tom

    DS , I did see it, just like I saw Holding kick through Son ‘a back while on the ground.
    Holding was the aggressor in all of his interactions with Son, and he was clearly executing Arteta’s plan to frustrate Son by any means necessary.

    I feel some Arsenal fans are still stuck in the late Wenger era years where our players acted as choir boys and were honest to the core.
    When Arteta talked about the culture change this was part of it as well.
    We now play as dirty and play act as any club out there.
    People need to take notice.

  119. Tom

    Just to be clear, I’m not against Arsenal using dark arts to their advantage. But maybe lowering your shoulder into opponents face five yards from the ref , while on a yellow, isn’t the way to go.

  120. englandsbest

    This talk of ‘collapse’ if Arsenal don’t make it to CL is just another outburst of nonsense from the anti-arteta brigade. In fact, this has been a season of real progress, and bearing in mind the missing personnel and the youthfulness of the squad, 5th place is a remarkable achievement.

    What matters far more is that Arteta/Edu fill in the missing pieces this summer, in number and in quality. My expectation is that they will. Within reason, I don’t see money as a problem, nor CL non-qualification as an issue. Having come this far, it’s unlikely the owners will hold back.

    The players are on an upward learning curve. And with that in view, Europa is probably better place to be than CL.

  121. James wood.

    The referee spoke to Holding twice before his first yellow.
    You can’t be fairer than that.?

  122. Spanishdave

    Arteta wants to copy Man City way of playing.
    Trouble is we don’t have the quality of players to do it.
    Also when forced by other teams playing more directly Arteta does have any other plan, so the players go like rabbits in headlights.
    Our managing and endless tippy tappy is not going to get us anywhere..
    Our defense is crap

  123. DivineSherlock


    It does not matter who the agressor if you get physical or unless the ref is so biased that he sees one case as a clear yellow but not the other ? The fact that Holding didnt play act more when hit by Son’s elbow is the reason referee didnt give a card to Son , then you can see why the refs in UK are shit . Just like Spurs

  124. Samesong

    This talk of ‘collapse’ if Arsenal don’t make it to CL is just another outburst of nonsense from the anti-arteta brigade.

    Oh shut up you whiny fool. Just because in school you were the child that was told it’s the competing that counts. Doesn’t wash with everyone. We are in the driving seat now. So let’s go for it. Instead of having this 5th place is cool mentality. Assess after the season. We are in a good position. The CL is the goal until it’s out of our control.

  125. Northbanker

    At least at home you can switch the telly off

    Being there meant no escape and I still feel shell shocked

    But let’s pick ourselves up and get ready for Monday. That one will be the telly