by .

There has been a lot of talk about strategy and where we’re going as a club. Some can’t see it, other don’t want to, but the wheels of progress turn regardless of the noise.

Some fans struggled with the proposed strategy because it knocked their preconceived notions of what you need to do in 2022 to get back to the top in the Premier League.

There were hard pills to swallow:

  • Our squad wasn’t fit for purpose utilizing any style of football. It was old, messily assembled, it had no creative players, and the culture was rotten.
  • Arsenal were no longer a big hitters when it came to finances. Any rebuild was going to be slow and painful by the standards of most.
  • The Premier League was now the most competitive league on the planet. There are 7 teams with the finances to compete for Champions League. The two top teams weren’t just wealthy, they were extremely strategic and longterm in their thinking. Every team was now rich, there were no givens, bar beating Norwich.

The only way Arsenal could get back to the top was to be honest about the above and concoct a strategy that played to our strengths as a football club.

Those strengths were:

  • Our academy, which produces top-tier talent. When you are building, there are bad days, but fans are more forgiving of local boys, so leaning into a point of pride was a key element
  • Our coach, who is one of the best developmental coaches in Europe (though inexperienced)
  • Our club, which has elite training facilities, unrivaled fans, a massive stadium, in the city of London, and good budgets outside of the nation-state clubs. These ingredients make us perfect for players on the rise because we are an appealing place to ply your trade.

The mission is to get Arsenal competing for the league in 2 years time and to make the Champions League and be competitive.

The strategy:

  • Grow talent out of our academy
  • Sign highly technical players 21-24, with 2 seasons worth of experience, with BIG character
  • Put them with a coach on the rise

Season one was about getting the culture right and bedding our players into a highly technical system. We delivered 69 points, enough for 3rd the two prior seasons. We made it back to Europe. That was a successful season based on the objectives at the start.

This upcoming season, it’s about adding quality to the squad, and making it into the top 4.

Our transfer moves this summer are being built off this brief from Arteta:

“We want to move to a 4-3-3 but for that, you need a lot of specificity in every position but now in five or six positions, we don’t have it.”

This is basically the list of incomings we have this summer

  • Lisandro (24)
  • Tielemans (25)
  • Vieira (22)
  • Jesus (25)
  • Turner (28)
  • Saliba (21)

Say it quietly, but this squad would basically be good enough for Champions League football right now.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the above list alone is probably the best window we’d have had in 20 years. It looks very complete, it nails the fan brief at the start of the summer… but is it complete? Maybe not. The Athletic truly believes there’s a chance we could still try for Raphina this summer. I know the Mikel Arteta will be banging the drum harder than anyone to get all the bits we need, so it wouldn’t shock me.

The ‘Tielemans interest has cooled’ will likely be a negotiation tactic, we saw it with Ramsdale last summer. The player wants Arsenal, the club wants the player, and Leicester management is probably still high off last summer’s LEICESTER ARE BETTER RUN THAN ARSENAL’ chatter propagated by Arsenal fans and want to make the move difficult. The reality is they cannot afford to let him leave for nothing. I think he’ll end the summer in an Arsenal shirt. Honestly, what a top, top signing that would be.

There will obviously be some transfer movement out the door but I don’t have the same faith some do in the money we’ll receive. Hector Bellerin is being chased by a club that think they can get him on a free, there is no way we should be exiting him for nothing, I don’t care how many trees he planted. Bernd Leno is a £20m keeper and we need to be compensated as such. I wouldn’t want to exit Ainsley, but he’s a Premier League player and we need to be doing better than £5m. There’s also a chance Granit could be on the move, though I think it’d be remiss to ship out someone of his experience after another really good season. No one is talking about Bob ‘lush hair’ Holding, but it’s hard to see where he’s getting minutes next season as it stands.

Most of the focus will be on the money we’re spending. Arteta will be running around with his proposals and spreadsheets. He probably knows as well as anyone – timing is absolutely everything. You want a raise, time it right, don’t ask after a shocking 3rd quarter. You want a yes on a new project, catch your boss early on a Friday when he’s dreaming of lunchtime beers and golf. If you want £50m for a player you didn’t have budgeted, maybe ask when his hockey team is about to play in the Stanley Cup Final. If KSE is a sports organization that is showing signs of extreme competitiveness at the highest level, there is no doubt that the more his other teams win, the more likely it is that Arsenal will win. WINNING IS ADDICTIVE. I don’t know how much of this shift in mindset is down to Josh, but bar their soccer, esports (they sunk £20m into Overwatch and no one watches it), and lacrosse team… all their major clubs are doing the business.

Now think back to the summer when people were spitting feathers about Arsenal not signing a substandard striker. Does anyone have regrets about not punting £75m on Isak to show ambition? Any Weughorst fans still in the building? Did this very website not say that the best thing to do would be to wait until the summer and spend the finite resources wisely? This summer is the reason why. If that list is pulled off, it’s better than anything that could have been done in January for a far more favorable price. Let’s also be real, I love Vlahovic, but he was going for £65m, if we get Jesus for £40m, it’s probably more of a NOW signing, with a higher chance of working out.

Ok, ok, I’m trying to weasel my way out of Tall Boy Summer Propaganda there, so you can shout me down on that… but, once again, we are seeing how different the world looks through a long-term lens. That £25m saving can go towards a Lisandro vs another Nuno-Tavares-like gamble. We will be better long-term because we waited. Remember, we have finite resources and a strategy that is honest about who we are. We cannot spend big money on average players, we are not that club, we have paid a heavy price for attempting that methodology. That is why we resisted in January.

Fans will give patience if there is a reward at the end of the wait. Arsenal didn’t reward in the past, but if this is what a dry January delivers, then maybe we should Trust the Process a little more often.

The job this summer was also to find 10 more points next season.

There were three ways to do that:

1. Add cover to the fullback positions

David Ornstein dropped exciting news about Lisandro, the Ajax defender we’re chasing down for £25m this summer.

The Saliba Ultras, bored, with nothing to shriek about are trying to make this transfer about their movement and how it’s the end of William, but this is more about Tierney. The player has been earmarked since last season as a left back and the club see him as big competition for KT this season. There’s a difference in style, KT is all about power, pace, and the legendary overlap. Lisandro is more viewed as a player you start the build-up from. He’s more comfortable on the ball and a bit more like a Cancelo, if that feels too ambitious, then let’s just say he’s a defender that can do what Granit can do when we put him at left-back but with all the pacey bits as well.

If we make this move happen, there is going to be a war on the left next season, and I’d be fully expecting the player to show us something new in this Arsenal system we haven’t seen before.

  • Saliba and Ben White are interchangeable at right back.
  • Ainsley could come back into the mixer at right-back cover.

2. Add cover in midfield for Thomas Partey

Youri Tielemans coming into our midfield gives us so much flexibility. The Belgian can play deep as a defensive midfielder, he can go box to box, he can even move into a more advanced position. Long and short: He is top, top quality.

3. Add decisiveness in the final 3rd

Fabio Vieira is being billed as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe for final ball delivery. He was one of the most productive players in Europe last season despite having the lowest minutes of the big names.

I followed up with Jon and asked if he was overperforming xA. He is, but apparently, there is more than enough underlying data to suggest he is top, top class.

We’re most likely going to add Gabriel Jesus as our main striker next season. Is he short? Yes. Is he Premier-League-winning material that we don’t have? Yes. However you cut, even through the worst-case scenario grinder, he is going to be worth 18 goals and 7 assists next season. The thing I’m looking forward to with Jesus is we’re taking him from a bit-part player to superstar status. We’re making him the big dawg. That is a hell of a way to motivate a player if they are the sort of person that needs that sort of adulation.

Then add the incredible news that Eddie Nketiah has just signed a new 5 year deal and he’s taking the #14 shirt.

There’s no other way of cutting it, this move is fucking excellent news. If Arteta didn’t believe he could do a good job with Thierry Henry’s famous shirt, he wouldn’t have offered it to him. The number is symbolic to everyone, it’ll be a huge motivation for Eddie, and I think he’ll show us all he can deliver the goods needed.

We’re operating in a market right now where Richarlison, a player that has moped all season in an Everton side far better than its league position would suggest, is potentially going for £55m. A known disruptive quantity, going for mega-money, after a shocking season.

Eddie Kreuger (showing up in defenders’ nightmares) is a better player for starters and he totally fits our system. Just remember, he was our best striker last summer in preseason then Arteta buried him in the reserves. He didn’t let him back in when Auba was stinking out the place, he didn’t let him back in when Lacazette was dead on his feet not scoring, it was only the good luck of a COVID infection (ESR got his chance after the same thing) that Arteta came to his senses. Eddie could have moped like Richarlison, he could have mailed it in and waited for summer riches, but he didn’t… he did the job, scored some goals, showed Arteta what a fool he’d been… so yeah, he deserves this deal.

Just a reminder of how Eddie stacks up against the 4 top European leagues as a striker for the folk saying he lacks the qualities for the league:

Just a reminder of what his profile maps to in terms of rival talent.

To replace Eddie we would be taking a massive risk on a £35m striker if we were lucky. This is a huge deal for Arsenal and again, another reminder to the best kids in Europe, if you are good enough, you will play for The Arsenal.

The bonus part of the summer brief hasn’t been really talked about, but Matt Turner is going to be very interesting, he’s arriving from New England Revolution, the USMNT fans love him and say he’s their best keeper, and most MLS fans say he’s one of the best players in the league.

The player had this to say:

“The project they have going on there, [I want to be] an important part of the locker room, adding some experience – not a ton of Premier League experience – but national team experience, league experience and playing games in pressured environments. I’ll be an older head in the locker room, being 28.”

On his supposed weak passing:

“Definitely, the DNA of this team is possession-based and I believe that’s what they will expect from me when I get on the pitch.

“It’s the area of my game that some call a weakness but one where I’ve improved over the past few months. I’m connecting a few more passes, reading the game better and understanding the way I can hurt teams a lot better.

“We don’t play that [passing] style in New England but when I go with the national team, we do. When I have extended periods with the national team, I read the game better and make more passes.

We have no idea how good he is with the ball at his feet in the same way so many Arsenal fans called Ramsdale a hoof-merchant after Chris Wilder left Sheffield United. The most important thing here is we need a player that can push Aaron who has had a shaky 2022. One week he’s keeping a clean sheet against Italy, the next he’s conceding a bunch to Hungary. The focus of competition at Arsenal might help, especially if Arteta shows early on that he is prepared to drop Aaron if his form dips.

So, in conclusion… is there a single Arsenal fan out there that doesn’t understand what the strategy is going into this season?

I don’t think so.

If you can’t see it now, you are just not meant to understand things at a higher level, or you are trying to be an edgelord on Youtube to appease your teenage fans.

If you can see it, you’ll agree, that this is the best way for Arsenal to get to the top, because it’s sustainable, it’s exciting, and you can imagine where these players will be in two years time.

Say this quietly because I don’t want pelters, but I’d rather be bedding in these players in a Europa League environment, than a Champions League one. We’ll get practice against weaker teams, the young kids will get more minutes, and the first 3 months of the season won’t be played with young players wrestling with the physical and mental aspects of fatigue.

What I love the most about the way Arsenal are operating is they are opening the window on the fans that want to behave in a toxic way. Good news is oxygen for the fans that support the club the right way and it makes everything better. If you aren’t onboard with where we’re going, you do have to ask, what is the fu*cking point?

This is going to be a good season if all these deals can land, we can all feel it, right?

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“No-one suggests that Xhaka is a brilliant player, but he is not half as bad as you and others who slag him constantly suggest. The guy at least turns up, is seldom injured and does his best.”

You are as changeable as a British summer.

A few days back you were stating on here to sell him.

Your inconsistencies over him are very big.


Pogba 9 assists last season
Odegaard 4 assists
Xhaka 2 assists

And yet pogba is languishing at the back whilst Odegaard/xhaka are in the top 8.

All this graph actually proves is that shot creation stats are pointless unless it is for big chances created, meaning i presume that a player has created a one on one chance with the keeper..

Habesha Gooner

The strategy is right. We are going for players under 25 with a lot of potential and ability. And I hope we get all those players plus Raphinha. We would be tough to keep out and our defense would be a lot better. We have every chance of making in back to CL. But that level of investment means that Arteta has all but run out of excuses. At the end of this window, if Pepe, Leno, Bellerin, AMN, Mari, Torreira all leave and all these players come in, the every player in our squad will have been signed by… Read more »


‘I’d rather be bedding these players in the EL’

Lol the barefaced cheek of this lie lol. Get REAL mate lol


Habesha Gooner
“The strategy is right. We are going for players under 25 with a lot of potential and ability.”

You need more than just the players to get the overall strategy right.

You need a footballing philosophy and style to go along with it.

Arsenal need to improve on the actual football being played. Then we can say yes this looks very promising.

Habesha Gooner

Pierre A big chance created is also indicated by XA. Odegaard was in the 72 percentile in the expected assists chart from the top 5 leagues. But his assists number is 4 which is in the 34th percentile. That means the players he is assisting aren’t finishing off their chances. He was also in the 88th percentile for key passes, 82 percentile for passes in to the final third, 86th percentile for passes in to the penalty area, 88th percentile for progressive passes. So you ignore all that to slander Odegaard. This all points to a top attacking midfielder. If… Read more »

Habesha Gooner

Is hola
It has been my main criticism of Arteta since he took over. But I have seen flashes of a playing style last season instead of winging it. I am hoping it will develop next season too.


With Ode I’d like to know how his stats are balanced over the various games of the season

Is he putting up similar numbers across the games or is he beast if the games he plays well in and not doing much else in the others and the stats average out as good?

I suspect it’s the latter. When he’s good he’s great. When he’s not great, he’s quite average

Habesha Gooner

Total lie. Thses players would have had more motivation to play in the CL. And they would test themselves against the best. Pedro is just subtly trying to defend Arteta there.


This is another issue with taking an average of stats over the course of the season

Just look at Jesus – his goals scored over the course of the season wasn’t *that* bad until you realize half his goals came in a single match.

You can score 100 goals a season but if they all come in one game they’ve only contributed to 3 points in the season.

As always, stats get thrown around but they’re over simplifications of something complex


It wasn’t too subtle habesha mate lol As someone else said it smells just like the old ‘it’s better not to be in the EL so we have more time between games’ line that was thrown around to excuse coming 8th the year before. Which also didn’t do us any favors whatsoever and we still had a whole post dedicated to how unfair it was against us with the fixtures in a season when we had no Europe and went out of the cups early, whilst Utd also ranked their season. Absolutely everything fell into our lap to come 4th… Read more »


A ‘Big Chance’ is when the recipient would be more reasonably be expected to score than not, that is 51%+ chance of scoring. A ‘Chance’ could be a 1% of scoring. Odegaard is in the top three for ‘Chances’, but only 40th in ‘Big Chances’ (source Premier League official stats). This means that the vast majority of the chances that Odegaard creates are low quality, which explains why he has low assist numbers. Studies have shown that it’s better to create a small number of Big Chances than lots of Chances, so we need Odegaard to focus more on the… Read more »

Wicked Willy

Pierre, do you not think that having Ronaldo to finish the chances rather than Lacazette, Pogba was somewhat advantaged? Ronaldo scored exactly the amount of xG he was supposed to. Laca on the other hand only scored 47% of his xG. If you factor that in, then they’re actually equivalent, and there’s absolutely no doubt that Odegaatd is a way better presser, meaning he is more valuable to the team. Then there’s the fact that Odegaard scored 7 goals versus 1 from Pogba. Oh and then there’s the fact that Pogba’s pass completion rate into the box is 55%, whereas… Read more »


Speaking of Ozil:
“He will go more into eSports, play himself and maybe become an eSports athlete,” Dr Erkut Sogut told the Daily Telegraph.

“He’s really good, to be honest, at Fortnite and I think one day I wouldn’t be surprised if he is competing.

“He owns a team – M10 Esports – and he has players. He has a gaming house in Germany. He has football, like FIFA, and Fortnite.”

He should have left football years ago. It’s not like he’s been a professional football player in a while anyways.


I wonder who’s position Fabio Vieira will take ? Strange, don’t you think that we have spent 30 mil on a playmaker when we have supposedly a top 5 creative player in Odegaard. Where will Fabio fit in , the no.10 position, meaning Odegaard drops back . Maybe we will play 4-3-3 with Eddie/jesus up top and saka and fabio out wide , though this would again mean that Odegaard plays a deeper role which takes away the burden from him to actually create goals and he can turn into a xhaka mk 2 and happily recycle the ball from… Read more »


Nigel Tufnel

Odegaard flops in all big games. Fact. You can check. He’s only good against below the top 7 teams. Fact.


Is it a coincidence that Odegaard was 40th in Big Chances and also 40th in Assists? Saka created significantly fewer chances but was 19th for big chances and 15th for assists.

Odegaard 6 Big Chances 4 assists.
Saka 8 big chances 7 assists.

Seems pretty clear that ‘Big Chances’ is a far better indicator of success.


Wicked Willy
“Pierre, do you not think that having Ronaldo to finish the chances rather than Lacazette, Pogba was somewhat advantaged?”

Ronaldo 21 goals
Assists from pogba ….none.



Willy “I think it’s safe to say that not only is Odegaard a better player, he is also WAY better value, and he hasn’t even reached his peak.” I wasn’t judging who was the better player, i was making the loint that pogba had 8 assists but according to that graph is lacking creativity, whilst Odegaard had 4 assists but is regarded as a top creator in the league . Taking into consideration that Odegaard played more than double the games than pogba i would imagine, proves that the graph is bullshit , having Xhaka in the top ten is… Read more »


Not that I take Twitter threads as gospel (obviously) but there is a thread on Lisandro Martinez that is certainly intriguing. Seems to be a technical defender who can bring the ball forward quickly and beat a press with ease. Another CB who is <6ft though. And if he is being eyed up for left back he hasn’t played there much in his career apparently so a big jump from centre back in Dutch league to a new position in the PL. There’s lots to like about him though reading that thread. Although it would surely be the end for… Read more »



Is it not possible to have more than one creative payer in the squad?
Wenger usually had 4-5 quality creators at any time
We currently have 3 (all aged 23 and under) with vieira now coming in to make it 4
Wenger always had a wide playmaker a deep playmaker and a traditional 10 around the box

Wicked Willy

Pierre, Fair play. But it still doesn’t take away from the fact that MO had more goal contributions than PP, and I would hazard a fairly confident guess that most of the man Utd forwards have a better conversion rate than Laca! That is however unsubstantiated 🙂 Nor does it take away all of the other points that I made. When you take the analysis in the round, I don’t think there can be any debate about the overall effectiveness of MO Vs PP when measured statistically, and as previosuly stated, once value is factored in, they’re in different leagues.… Read more »


There is far too much emphasis on the “final pass” which results in an assist. Often these are
no more than short passes which any footballer in the right position can deliver.

Xhaka is not a forward, winger or attacking midfielder. So the expectation that his assists record should be better than it is is plain daft. What Xhaka is very good at doing is producing
long accurate passes. He is probably better at doing this than any other player at Arsenal.

Bob N16

I imagine, from the little I’ve admittedly seen, Viera will either come on for Saka or Odegaard. If we’re pushing for a goal, he could be an attacking option replacing a more defensive minded No8.

If you can receive the ball when you’re tightly marked and turn away with quick feet and movement, you’ll be an asset.

I have no idea how well he can defend or press.

Bob N16

Odegaard needs a decent midfield behind him to flourish. When Xhaka and less often Elneny were playing behind him, the opposition found it too easy to just focus on him to nullify his creativity. Lacazette also dropped too deep and didn’t provide Ana attacking outlet. In particular when Partey was playing, he benefitted from the greater movement and fluidity to combine extremely effectively. When it was just Saka it was far too predictable. It may sound like I’m an apologist for Odegaard but I think I’ve seen enough to know that if we get the right players around him he… Read more »


Ishola 70

I am not changeable as you suggest. I made it clear that I consider Xhaka an average player.
That applies also to Elneny as well.

Both these players could have been replaced and upgraded down the line. However, three managers have for whatever reason chosen not to do so. So perhaps they see something in
the players which we don’t see.


You can prove anything with stats so just a waste of time.
The league table is the only indicator of where you are going.
Arteta blew his chance by playing the wrong tactics and lost those three games in a row at the end of the season.
We will never get top four with him, he stifles natural talent

Freddie Ljungberg

Gabriel full season vid.

By far out best defender and the best CB we’ve had in many years, I don’t get the negativity around him from some.

Sure there’s room for improvement but he’s a baby in CB terms.
He really only needs to improve on concentration to be an absolute beast, everything else is there already.

Hope we get Lisandro signed.

Tomi Saliba Gabriel Lisandro would be a fucking wall.

Freddie Ljungberg

“🇵🇹 Fábio Vieira completed 0.81 through-balls per 90 in the Primeira League last season.

The only person who completed more in the Top 6 leagues… was Lionel Messi.”

Habesha Gooner

China To be honest he wasn’t playing that well when he first joined in the beginning of the season. He scored at Burnley but he was having poor games. And he was even dropped for Lacazette as a 10. But since he scored three in a row, from the top of my head I could point out the games he didn’t play well in. I would say Palace away, Newcastle away, Spurs away. Those are the poor performances. But there has also been top performances against city and Chelsea, Liverpool too (except that chance he missed). Next season, he will… Read more »


I find it a bit unfair to judge players on assists. For example Harvey Barnes had 10 assists off an expected assists of just 4.

I really like look of the players we’ve been linked with. It’s clear we need better squad options especially with Europe and the 5 subs. The clubs we’re trying to catch up to have plenty of options of similar quality. For example only Bernardo Silva of the so called attacking players started over 30 League games for city.


Un “Is it not possible to have more than one creative payer in the squad?” Hopefully yes, I reckon it all depends on the fitness of Partey . When he was playing he was holding the middle by himself with xhaka and Odegaard playing higher up , and it worked quite well for a period until partey was injured . We then had to revert back to 2 holding midfielders as none of the others were good enough to hold the midfield by themselves.. So yes , there is a possibility that with partey fit we can play Odegaard and… Read more »


Pedro Posting that chance creation stat from Twitter is not going to change my perception and assessment of Odegaard. Chance creation statistics can be very misleading just like shot on target stat or any other stat for that matter. Ode is a safe recycler with decent work rate, nothing less nothing more. I repeat you will come around to the view that he is not the solution to our creative issues. ESR is a far more dangerous and effective playmaker. After Xhaka, it’s Ode who I want to see demoted to a bench role. If Ode and Xhaka play majority… Read more »


Let’s hope that Matt Turner is decent as we may need him if Ramsdale continues letting in 50% of shots on target as per 2nd half of the season.


How is it defined that a player has a more than 50% chance of scoring? Who is making the decision to discern if a chance was a readily scorable one? If it’s a person then they can judge the nuance of the situation – however it’s still subjective and prone to disagreement. If it’s a computer it is incapable of understanding the nuances of the situation. A pass is played to a player on the penalty spot. Is this a goal scoring chance? Does the computer recognize that he receives the ball with his back to goal and still has… Read more »


All you need to do is to watch chance created videos of KDB and Odegaard to realise how misleading chance creation stat can be.


This is why some players could look much worse than they are in the stats and others can look inflated

Whilst the stats collection in those days was far less than these days, I can tell you with 10000% certainty that DB10 would get crushed in most of the stats by Ozil. Yet Ozil wasn’t fit to lace DB’s boots. And that’s a fact.


Bob N16June 19, 2022 10:08:32 Odegaard needs a decent midfield behind him to flourish. When Xhaka and less often Elneny were playing behind him, the opposition found it too easy to just focus on him to nullify his creativity. Lacazette also dropped too deep and didn’t provide Ana attacking outlet. BobN16 Spit on He also needs forwards who will actually run in behind to receive his passes rather than drop deep (laca) or hold your run for the 6 yard cut back (auba) The more variety, movement and technical quality tis team possesses the more the vision of players like… Read more »


2 seasons ago these statisticians had xhaka in the team of the season.

Now I don’t care how much Xhaka might have been less bad than in the old days, there’s not a football fan on the planet who watched any matches that season and thought he was *anywhere near* the team of the season

But there’s a database which mentions something or other about progressive carries or long range passing or god knows what and bang there you go. Absolutely world class. He wasn’t even the best CM at arsenal that season… and our CM was piss poor…


“Odegaard needs a decent midfield behind him to flourish. When Xhaka and less often Elneny were playing behind him, the opposition found it too easy to just focus on him to nullify his creativity.”

This is a bogus argument which is made far too frequently and repeatedly. Great players raise the level of those playing with them rather than it being the other way round. Santi Cazorla made Coquelin look much better than he was.


That midfield was something like KDB… Bruno Silva and Xhaka 😂😂😂

Spot the odd one out if you can



I love that line up.
I wouldn’t cry if vieira came in and took odegaard’s spot btw
I just think Odegaard isn’t given due credit. Yes he’s inconsistent but so is ESR
Both have the ability to be absolutely world class playmakers in their own way.
Vieira, I don’t know. I’ve only seen clips but from what I have seen he loves a slide rule pass from deep so we need runners to make the most of him


Even Bruno Fernandes is a very overrated midfielder. His numbers are great but his impact on the game is nowhere as outstanding as his numbers are.



Bergkamp became a different beast with anelka overmars pires petit Henry and all to play off
His link with Freddie for 3-4 years was immense (once they’d learned each other’s games)
This team needs more technical players to bring the best out in the ones we already have.


To have a playmaker who can see the pass inside the full back would be a dream for the likes of Eddie , saka , Martinelli and jesus. It is a pass that creates aĺl sorts of problems for the opposition and city are the masters at it. It’s all about timing and weight of pass and hopefully fabio is the one to deliver. Aubameyang’s goals dried up because we lost the one player with the ability to play the ball inside the full back , if we can bring that back into our game then Eddie has the movement… Read more »


It’s true that elite players look elite under any reasonable circumstances Put a 18 year old wilshere or a 17 year old cesc in any game last season and we’d have all been purring Not that I don’t rate ode. He is good and he was better than the season before which is promising. I like to hope there’s plenty more to come from him and I like what he’s about in general. He just needs more consistency and that’s basically it. When he can maintain his good levels in 80% of games he’ll be an excellent player. Right now… Read more »

Habesha Gooner

No one is saying Odegaard is in KDB’s level. Not a lot of players are. Odegaard isn’t only providing creativity, he is also offering control of the game. Ask Chelsea and United fans and they will tell you they rate Odegaard. We are better at controlling the games we play in since he has been here. Not only that, Xhaka has looked good because Odegaard shows up for the ball a lot. He takes up the right attacking midfield position a lot. But he is always available. People might call that recycling but I call it controlling the game. He… Read more »


Ode played far more number of games than any other attacking player except Saka. No wonder those two were voted top two by fans.


I don’t need stats to see Ode is quality and is just going to get better.. for those who think he just plays safe passes need to watch him again or if you can’t see it then give up watching him all together


It’s still hard to believe that Qatar WC – an utterly corrupt and ludicrous decision – will really happen but, barring some apocalyptic event, it will. The effect it might have on PL coming in the middle of the season is scary and unpredictable. None of us need telling how well-laid plans can be wrecked by injuries, fatigue and so on. So any forecasts of how the season will end is more than ever guesswork. Some will take this as an advance excuse for Arteta failing to make top 4. It isn’t because – setting Qatar aside – here are… Read more »



Arsenal will be in the mix for a top 4 finish next season.

However, there will be 5 other clubs competing as well in Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs as well. Newcastle will also start moving up the table providing they are able to recruit the right players.

Arsenal’s potential weakness is that it is a youthful squad and the lack of experience might
affect us particularly with a congested season and a World Cup bang in the middle.

Wicked Willy

Bob, Good analysis. We have to consider how the whole system works, not just fixate on individual components. This is why I’m ok with Jesus up top, and why adding Vieira and potentially Raphinha excites me, with Tielemans and Partey in support, and Saliba and Martinez playing progressively from the back. It all adds up to a super front fronted, press crazy team that will create a lot of dangerous transitions, and a team that has the technical capability and complimentarity to exploit them. We don’t need a 30 goal a season striker if the goals are getting shared around.… Read more »


I’d really like to bring a CM though. More on the defensive side – Anguissa, Sangare, Koopmeiners (looks too Xhakaish tbh) More on the offensive side – Milinkovic-Savic, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Carlos Soler, Matheus Nunes, Fabian Ruiz, Mikel Merino, Tielemans ofc I heard Wolves are ready smash their transfer record for Sporting’s Matheus Nunes but the player is waiting for something better. Pep said he’s one of the best players in the world. Maybe he’s waiting for us. Anyways, a lot of options in midfield, like in every position their is a risk, but in football the midfield area is almost… Read more »


On his day ode is class tho. Some of the blind passes and flicks were ozil (when he could be arsed) I also think he is actually a victim of the arteta setup because the strategy is horrible donutball which is inefficient and completely stifles our central game. Apart from playing it wide or back there was nothing central on for him to be looking at until Eddie came in Ode will have way more fun when we have an 8 who can break beyond him towards the box and CFs who are actively trying to break the lines. I’d… Read more »


I did this exercise /experiment with my son (who played collage ball at the time )after one of the games Arsenal lost in Wenger’s last season when Ozil got absolutely murdered in the media for having a supposed stinker, where I made him pause play each time Ozil got the ball and asked him to tell me where the next pass should be made. Surprise, surprise, he couldn’t point to a single mistake in Ozil’s decision making or execution even though he was all too happy to repeat medias talking points before hand. I’m a 100% certain the outcome would… Read more »


“because it’s sustainable, it’s exciting, and you can imagine where these players will be in two years time. Say this quietly because I don’t want pelters, but I’d rather be bedding in these players in a Europa League environment, than a Champions League one. ” How does saliba fit into this. Surely then you were correct. His loan to Marseille wasn’t the right move. He should have been here “year 1” acclimatizing to the league and his team mates. (I think his loan was obviously great. But I’d definitely have preferred to see him here *whether Arteta gave him an… Read more »


Well except for the fact we didn’t have Europa league of course


TR7June 19, 2022 11:00:21
Even Bruno Fernandes is a very overrated midfielder. His numbers are great but his impact on the game is nowhere as outstanding as his numbers are.

Doesn’t this contradict the assessment of Odegaard though who probes for openings?

Wicked Willy


How much is this Nunes expected to go for? He seems to be even more highly rated than Vieira and Vitunha, which is crazy!! The key questions for me are: how much? Is he suitable for our system? Is he too young for an impatient fan base (and manager)?

The romantic in me wants him and Vitinha so we can have an all-star midfield trio to support Partey and Odegaard, but the pragmatist in me feels peeps a bit older are needed.

Will check out your list in more detail.


But peds, good read indeed


It’s a bit is a misnomer to say ‘when you look past that he won’t take on his man…’ Why should that be looked past when he’s shown countless times that he’s perfectly decent at taking on his man. This is precisely part of where he needs to improve at – risk taking. He has the tools and he does use them very well, but he often prefers not to take that risk. There is no swatting away that he doesn’t take on players as often as he could as tho that’s just an acceptable given. He is a smart,… Read more »


Nice observation Tom – great post.


Tom: “Once you get over the fact Ode , like Ozil, won’t take players on and dribble past them, there’s actually very little you can attack him for in his overall game.” So when you forget that he plays in snail’s pace besides that he’s actually doing well. Okay. “If you played at any level you’d know a run dictates the pass anyways because the ball travels faster than even the quickest runner.” Like we were being told that Giroud was holding Ozil back and imagine if he had a faster player to pass to -> lo and behold both… Read more »


There’s a only a handful of players worldwide who can carry a team at a CL level.
They cost hundreds of millions in transfer fees and their wages exceed £300kpw.
Arsenal don’t have a single one.

Habesha Gooner

TR7 Playing the most games doesn’t make you the best player of the season. Odegaard was actually good in most of these games. Just like Saka. That isn’t a good argument to make. I understand the criticism that he doesn’t take more risks with his passing. But I think that is due to his confidence levels. On his 6 months loan, he was very safe. And now he has grown to take more risks and his numbers actually got better. And I am expecting it to be even higher next season with a better squad. I agree he has played… Read more »



Guess that’s your real name as your G is walking alone

Wicked Willy

Raptora – your boy Nunes looks like he’ll thrive in the PL

Tom – not yet, but both Saka and Martinelli look capable of carrying a team in the CL in due course, and I’m not discounting the possibility that Odegaard could do the same.

I sincerely hope we’re in a position next summer to buy the best of the best to supplement the great foundations we are building


To play the killer ball , you either have it or you don’t…you can’t teach it and you can’t learn it, and if you have it you need to be brave enough on the ball to use it as more often than not the killer ball fails. The window of opportunity to play the killer ball at the top level is only open for a fraction of a 2nd and then it is gone. To get the killer ball right , the player first has to recognise the opportunity, he then needs the technique to play the ball at the… Read more »


“Recycling the ball means nothing if you don’t go for the killer pass. ”

raptora, I tell you what, if you can produce clips of Arsenal players making decisive runs in the final third ignored by Ode who makes a safe five yard sideway pass instead, I’ll send you $50 per each example.

Should be easy money.


In a 4-3-3:

This could be worth exploring in a similar way to:


Then Ode will be a CM which he was for a while this season tbh. But the 3rd player will have to be very capable in attack. And it might just work well. I’m guessing that’s Arteta’s plan.

Freddie Ljungberg

Not sure why we’re not in for Nunes, 34m valuation from Sporting, would be perfect at CM for us and won’t cost that much more than Tielemans.

Portoguese and Brazilian citizenship so Edu should be all over that one you’d think.


Maybe it will be:


Sounds like a plan but then Tielemans rumours should be dead and buried.


I read that Wolves are paying £42-43m for Nunes and Sporting is supposedly gucci with that. The player is not accepting yet, he wants to go to a better club. Very understandable tbh.


Pierre, I don’t think you’ll find many, even the harshest Ode critics, calling him uncultured and unintelligent.

Freddie Ljungberg


I saw those numbers too but think that was in Euros. Read that Wolves couldn’t afford him because sporting wasn’t budging on their 34m pricetag.

either way he would be perfect next to or instead of Partey (when he’s injured)


Just read on Twitter ~

Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Vito Mannone and, quite likely, Aaron Ramsey, all available for free this summer…


If you combined Pierre and raptora’s Odegaard description you’d get a picture of an uncultured, unintelligent, slow paced sideways passer who lacks any vision for a killer ball.


Yet to find a present Arsenal player who has the football intelligence of Odegaard.

Wicked Willy

Pierre, Did you not see Odegaard at Sociedad? He was playing those passes you are talking about for fun. My feeling is there was better, more cultured running from the likes of Oyarzabal. It was some of the best slide tule passing I’ve seen, and it’s what convinced me he could help break down defences for us. It may be that Arteta’s desire for ‘control’ is leaning him towards playing more safe. It could simply be an intermediate strategy until we have technical security all over the pitch. Or it could be Odegaard just needs another year to totally master… Read more »


Long term strategy and all is great for the club. The football on the pitch has to be better next season but if we don’t get top 4 next season, we have to be shot of the manager


Arteta’s goal for this season is top four.
Conte’s goal for this season is to challenge for the title.
If Arteta misses his goal Arsenal will play in Europa again.
If Conte falls short, Tottenham will most likely make the CL again leaving the club in a better shape for the next manager than he found it.

Long term vs short term thinking.


Like the direction of the profile of players we’re signing and glad the club is backing the manager so it’s a season were there really can’t be any excuses for failure really.

Freddie Ljungberg

Arsenal with Thomas Partey starting last season: ◎ 23 Matches ◉ 56 Points ◉ 2.43 Points per game Arsenal without Thomas Partey starting last season: ◎ 15 Matches ◉ 13 Points ◉ 0.87 Points per game This is why we need someone that can both play with Partey, when we need to be more compact in midfield, against physical opponents or the top teams, and hold the midfield down by himself when Partey inevitably gets injured. Not sure Tielemans is that player, it’s 100% sure that no one at the club now is though so we need to bring someone… Read more »


“Conte’s goal for this season is to challenge for the title.”

.lol @ the above. Who is he challenging for the title? Guardiola or Klopp? With that Tottenham team?

Most he could so is to fight for top 4 again.

Freddie Ljungberg

Jorge Mendes is pocketing €5m from the Vieira transfer btw, going to be interesting to see the (lack of) outrage from Pedro on that…





I’m all for paying these super agents some dough if it gets us good and needed players


I like your line up. Perfect.
Odegaard is overrated.
Slow the game down
Take too much touches and lose the ball as a result
Often bullied off the ball
Poor shooting ability when a chance comes up

Should not be captain


These super agents can sometimes do the scouting work for our club.

If we continue to chastise this (it’s now the norm) then we could be left behind

Freddie Ljungberg


I have no problem with it either, a necessary evil sometimes to get access to the best players.

Pedro has made a big deal of it in the pasy when it suited him though, doubt he will now.


“Odegaard is overrated.
Slow the game down
Take too much touches and lose the ball as a result”

Do you people blink at all before stating these unfounded claims as facts?

Any stats to show how often he lose the ball?


Having a goal is one thing and being able to effect same is another. The fact that you dream of challenging doesn’t mean you’ll challenge.

Nobody gave Leicester any chance to win the title but they did in recent times


Odegaard flopped in all the games last season.

The Bard

Batistuta I agree with your post about long term strategies. I dont disagree with the premise that Pedro flogs but the reality is most managers are a few games from the sack. If we start badly and get mauled a few times Arteta is toast. Despite all the huff we have signed one 22 years old. I dont see that signing as a game changer.

Mr Serge

HowardJune 19, 2022 14:49:01
Odegaard flopped in all the games last season.

Have you been drinking ?



I hope our next signings are a bit more experienced, mentioned in the other postwr can’t have the whole youngest squad chatter as any kind of excuse next season. Have to balance it up properly.

Long term strategy is good in general for the club but this season has to be majorly about the results an more importantly getting back into the champions league, anything asides that should see the end of the current manager and his team, they’ve had enough time


The only managers safe from the sack are those that have won big previously and shown a level of consistency with it. Guardiola and Klopp.

Arteta is not safe from the sack despite what seems to be a protective blanket wrapped around him by some long term strategy or not.

He may be a manager though that shows just enough consistency to see him safe without ever really hitting the heights.

All depends on the real ambition of Kroenke and how satisfied the fanbase are with what entails.

Habesha Gooner

I don’t have time for people who say Odegaard hasn’t got ability to play a through ball or a killer pass. That is just a shit take. What he can be criticized for is consistency not ability. Any way we need to move on from the Odegaard topic. It has been discussed to death. Pierre needs his daily Ozil love in so he brings it up every time. I think we are going for more experienced players this summer. Tielemans, Jesus and Raphinha all are 25. Lisandro Martinez is 24. And Viera is the exception at 22 years old. Add… Read more »


And as others have noted these goals and aims for the club have been shifting quite a lot since Arteta arrived.

It’s to sedate the fanbase in the name of Arteta.

Let’s see if the man is worth this undying support in the coming seasons.


Odegaard is the new Ozil eh!

Dividing opinions like knife in bread.