by .

We’re really in the thick of things right now, there’s cash in the water and MEGA agents, clubs, and players can taste it.

The latest move that seems to have caught fire with the big rumour monsters is Raphinha to Arsenal. The story follows a familiar one with Barcelona, they tap a player for months, then when it comes to payment, they plead poverty and hope no one else goes in for the name… no one goes in for player because they are fixated on moving to one place, Barca get a fat discount, the end.

Well, Leeds aren’t about that dynamic, Barcelona aren’t what they once were, and now Arsenal are at the trough with a very serious cheque and look on their face.

It all feels like stepping up to the table for Dusan Vlahovic. Commendable, but unrealistic.

I have absolutely no idea though, my gut says that it seems like quite a mad thing to do considering where we are as a club. This is the sort of move City or Chelsea make. Unless there’s a really big plan, I’m not sure that putting £60m on a right-winger is exactly what we need. We’ve just signed Vieira, Bukayo Saka is the Starboy, and Odegaard can also do bits out there.

If you are spending that much as a Europa League side, you are going to play that person every week. Do we see a world where that happens with Raphinha?

I have no idea. This has the hallmarks of Wenger needing to address a really important defensive issue, then dropping £25m on his 9th #10. Standards merchants will say you need two top-quality players in every position, and sure, I can vibe with that, but you need to address the things that broke you the season prior first. Chance creation from the right doesn’t need £60m right now.

I’ve lived in the transfer desert for 10 years before, so I’ll never look away from a top-quality 25-year-old Brazilian… but it would be a little bit at odds with the mission this summer. It would also make us a Champions League squad a year early, no doubt about that, because he really is top, top talent.

This rumour works for Leeds, it works for the player, and it might work for Arsenal who will no doubt be desperate to make sure we have as many of our targets in the building by June 28th when preseason starts. Leicester is dragging their feet, City seems to be doing the same on Jesus… the fear of seeing our cash go somewhere else might see more people pick up the phone, because there’s not a huge amount of cash going around this summer.

The Lisandro Martinez story is trying to find the next level now and United has entered the picture. Again, in moments like these, you have to ask where the story is coming from. It reads like it’s mostly a Dutch rumour right now and that could mean Ajax is a little pissed at the low fee and now they want to invite bigger clubs into the mixer. It could also be that United have a terrible mix of players in their squad and Ten Haag is a big fan of a very good player.

This is why Arsenal need to move in the shadows when they can, we’re not the biggest pig at the feeding trough, so we have to wait our turn for players.

The one thing you can be confident of is that Mikel Arteta is a very good salesman. He’ll have an extremely structured plan of how he wants the player to operate, he’ll probably have some sort of presentation ready for the agent, and he is selling a vision of competing for the league next season. United has the finances to deliver something big far quicker, they have more money than us, but really… would you trust that club with your career? It’s ruined so many names.

For me, the Arsenal brief is still very clear:

  • Left-back
  • Centre midfielder
  • Striker
  • Wide player

If we land those four players, plus the already done upgrades to our back-up keeper, and centre back… we’re cooking next season.

People keep pointing to midfield being an issue, but as it stands, I think Sambi, Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, and Tielemans gives us more than enough depth. It’s clear that there’s a new role for Odegaard coming at some point as well. I am actually very excited about Lokonga, fans wrote him off so quickly, but that kid has Vincent Kompany rummaging around in his phone book trying to contact Pep and Arteta because he loves the player so much. He has pedigree, he’s barely 22 years old, and I think he will step up when he’s given more minutes in the same way Eddie did.

There’s a video doing the rounds of Brazil expert Tim Vickery saying that Gabriel Jesus has been in an identity crisis for four years, basically, since he went to a World Cup as a striker and didn’t score any goals. I’m not too worried about this, the angle of the content was basically, ‘Arsenal should check they know what they are buying’, and I think it’s pretty clear that no club in the world is better positioned to know about Jesus than Arsenal.

This stats card kind of Men In Black’d my memory of slagging off small strikers.

When starting, he has 76 goal contributions in 99 games.

That is top tier.

We’re not trying to win the league next season, we’re trying to make top 4, those sort of numbers in our forward line are literally going to be the 10 points we need on their own.

Do I still believe in tall boys? I do. Arsenal might need to adjust that when we move to the next level, but right now, we just need more goals from the person paid to score them. I think Eddie and Jesus give far more end product than the old boys Lacazette and Auba.

Finally, before I go, I just want to leave the below graphic in place. I had some friends that said hiring a PHD level statistics person to go through Arsenal’s fixtures was a mad move. They said you can’t influence fixtures. They told me to get back in my box. One even said you can’t call out a 3% chance roll of the dice.

Well, I present the below with no comment other than: ‘I am 100% responsible for the good fixture list we have’ and you know what, you’re all going to have to eat the W with me.

Tastes good right?

But remember who put that tasty W on the table.

I did it for the community and the most beautiful thing about that tweet thread I posted had over 180,000 engagements and it was mostly carried around the world by… Spurs fans.

What is that?

You want to contribute to our Patreon because of the good work I did with the stats PHD person?

Why thank you. Below is the link to our exclusive work AND we’ve put out a transfer window special podcast. It was the most-watched show we’ve had live, which was pretty cool.

Just be warned, I’m calling in Ws on that show, so brace for impact.

Become a Patron!


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. China1

    ‘ People keep pointing to midfield being an issue, but as it stands, I think Sambi, Xhaka, Partey, Elneny, and Tielemans gives us more than enough depth.’

    Unless I’m mistaken Tielemans isn’t an arsenal player so far. And that’s why people say our midfield isn’t good enough. He’s not our player until we buy him Pedro!

  2. China1

    Lol yeah Naija

    I mean if he’s one of ours now I hope we’ve done the right thing legally by reaching a formal agreement with him and his club, done a medical and signed contracts etc!

    Otherwise we can just imagine anyone is ours and say we’re good enough

    Thank god we have Camavinga in midfield! And people are still moaning!!!

  3. Pedro

    Naija, it was asking people to imagine, like, 4 weeks into the future. It wasn’t a difficult reach. Especially for the people that spent most of last season imagining our implosion and the firing of the manager… right China?

  4. Nigel Tufnel

    The way they are talking right now, including Di Marzio… seems the deal for Jesus is already agreed.

    Official word always lags a few days while they finish paperwork and take photos.

  5. Nigel Tufnel

    I think we paid a slightly high price for a year left, but we got a great all around, versatile player. The stats Pedro showed are impressive in context. Fuk Tim Vickery. People on Twitter comparing it to SKY mocking Tomiyasu.

  6. salparadisenyc

    Trying to wrap my head around Raphina, with Nketiah, Martinelli and Balogun are only CF options. And thats stretching it.

    Big love for Raphina but somethings not clicking, if it was a goer it would be so big Weng abandoning CF barring whats on hand, which is the opposite of experienced.

    Other option is Arteta has been given more than anyone predicted and this club is going full Chelsea the summer they spent £200m, which I could possibly see considering wages we’ve shed, implementing a lower scale across the board. Wink wink.

    Regardless its pretty clear nobody knows a god damn thing and that in itself is gorgeous.

    The cheek of signing Viera, Lisandro Martinez and Raphina out of the gate without touching CF or Central mid would be a 10 on the banter scale considering our needs.

  7. China1

    The end of season we did implode. Tho I don’t recall saying I expected arteta to be sacked. His feet are firmly under the table

    The point is Pedro you said people are moaning about our midfield then go on to list a player who we haven’t even signed yet as evidence of why they shouldn’t moan.

    Whilst some people don’t rate Tielemans either (I do rate him), we haven’t signed him yet. Reports are our interest has cooled. We are *supposedly* throwing huge sums of cash at other positions like winger and CF which mean any pot for CM is likely to be reduced… all of the above point to a risk that we start next season with xhaka as a starter. And everyone and their uncle knows that’s not good enough.

    So after we sign Tielemans or another good CM, or if Vieira is used as an 8 and looks amazing in preseason, then we can talk about us having a good midfield. Until either of those happen people will naturally have big concerns. The same valid concerns which were raised and not addressed for all of the last 5 years no less.

    Pedro I don’t know if you’re a betting man (I’m not) but how certain are you that our starting midfield next season will include an upgrade on xhaka? If you’re extremely confident, good for you. I’m only 50% sure right now that’s going to happen. Over to the club to prove those concerns unfounded.

  8. China1

    If we DO sign for example Raphinha, Tielemans, vieira, a LB and Jesus (not my choice but anyway) then it would be an absolutely massive window.

    But That’s a 200m window and we are making bigger all in sales right now so it’s hard to believe all the above come. So if they don’t, who are we missing out on is the question. Just don’t let it be CF, CM or LB

  9. Siddeeq

    Any of Martinelli or ESR can be converted to CF, central mid is a concern but i have come to terms that Generational has decided our tactical set up involves minimum midfield play.

  10. Siddeeq

    The only reason we should sign Jesus for £ 35 m, is if we want him to turn water into wine and heal Tearknee and Yakubu(spiritually and physically)

  11. China1

    Well maybe Vieira is the curve ball. Maybe he goes in as an 8 and is a game changer for us

    If so that’s great.

    But until we see that happen it’s more logical to assume it won’t and it’s Xhaka Partey (xhakaneny or xhakakonga in reality).

    Unless Sambi has an Eddie moment this summer and comes back much more ready then that midfield remains the biggest problem in the team

  12. China1

    Btw I’m really excited for Eddie this season. I’m a believer. I just hope he gets plenty of minutes because I do think he’s going to have a great season if he’s on the pitch enough

    If he’s left on the bench 80% of the time or more then my expectations drop off. But if he has regular games he’s going to contribute a lot. He will score 15+ goals, get some assists and his general movement and pressing will be a great asset

    Good luck to him

  13. Un


    Point taken but this isn’t that, this is people coming to the blog to shit on everything and deliberately cast a negative light on everything we are trying to do. As fans we want to be positive about the sports teams or athletes who inspire us. Yes there is room for honest and objective opinions but I don’t think that’s what we are seeing here. We’re seeing guys who went against Arteta and are just shitting on everything he does to feel vindicated.
    It’s not like they express joy in the good moments. It’s constant moving of the goal posts air they just stay quiet until there’s something negative to salivate over.

  14. Un

    The problem with getting your business done this early is it puts us in a tough selling position for Pepe AMN bellerin and Torreira

    Everyone coming in will know we need to sell before summer ends and will low ball us
    Got to say though

    A summer of

    And either or both of tielemans/Raphinha would be very exciting
    When you consider how much young talent we already have and how they will all improve next year. I’m really looking forward to kicking off the new season
    Wish this poxy World Cup was in the summer though. FIFA deserve a slap for this

  15. Un

    I think it’s crazy we are going for Raphina when we already had Pepe.

    60 starts in 2 seasons for Leeds 17 goals and 9 assists

    Pepe 58 starts in 3 seasons for arsenal 28 goals and 20 assists

    The lad always scored in clusters when given a run of games. Why waste money on a wide player when we already have one who ca score goals and win games? I just don’t understand why he was picked on by Arteta.

  16. Habesha Gooner

    Good to know that people share my concerns about us doing deals that can be done later in the window.

    The fees mentioned for this Raphinha deal is € 65 to 75 mil. That is £ 55 mil to £ 63 mil. That is a huge outlay considering we still have Xhaka as a starter. I love Raphinha but he shouldn’t be the priority. Tielemans should be. And if we get Raphinha on top of that then we will do well.

    But I have got this sneaky feeling that Arteta thinks Xhaka is enough and we should just overload on attacking players. If Jesus, Viera and Raphinha all come in then we will have 2 players for every attacking position infront of Partey and Xhaka.

    I think we should wait on Raphinha and then try later in the window. Even if we don’t get him, we could get away with a cheaper player behind Saka. We can get someone very good for 30 mil. What we can’t afford is having Xhaka as the starting CM for yet another season.

  17. Wicked Willy


    Good point re the Moaners. They sound like a bunch of bitter divorcees constant complaining about how shit men are. I actually feel embarrassed to be human when I read some of their comments.

  18. Bob N16

    Un, I think the reason for not signing Raphina as we have the statistically better Pepe does not stack up. Pepe looks a square peg in a round hole, showing real signs of lacking footballing IG. Pepe is not trusted by Arteta, this is hardly going to change.

    If we were to sign Raphina, I would wonder about the futures of our young, forward players who would be pushed down the pecking order. I also would worry about our squad strengthening in other crucial areas, unless of course KSE are going gangbusters and spending money like a petro state or a Russian oligarch which I’d hardly complain about!

    Jesus feels much more of a priority as does Tielemans and Martinez but far from me to insist upon the order we sign players, assuming money is no object.

    If Arsenal sign Raphina I’d be happy but would want to wait to see who else we’d bring in before getting too optimistic.

  19. Habesha Gooner

    Exactly my point. We shouldn’t neglect any of the CM, CF and LB positions. That is the bare minimum. Even if this viera kid is a top player we shouldn’t be going in to the season with an inexperienced attacking midfielder as our CM solution in to next season.

    Raphinha, and Viera should be luxury signings. Like a cherry on top kind of signings.

    Tielemans, Jesus and Lisandro Martinez (or whatever left back we are targeting) should be the main priorities. Although if we get these three players plus the above two, I won’t complain at all. But I don’t want us tearing our hair out in the middle of the season when one of our CMs will eventually will let us down.

  20. Pierre

    Un/wicked willy
    When a manager like Arteta has a history of poor decision making then it is understandable that there is an element of scepticism..

    Moaning about moaners is Nigel Tufnell’s department and in all honesty he’s a bit of a prick.
    Zacharse and Raulishuss run him close, I’m not sure being categorised with these 3 is something i would want …each to their own i suppose.

  21. Mr Serge

    Moaning about moaners is an oxymoron and means you are moaning lol

    Leave them to it. It takes all sorts to make a great blog. Now being a dick and moaning is frowned upon,

  22. Davey

    Raphinha is a wierd one if true- maybe the golden boy Saka ain’t signing and were about to cash in- just saying

  23. Habesha Gooner

    Besides players signed for huge fees rarely work out anyway. Raphinha is quality. I was on board when the fee was closer to €55 mil euros. But € 75 mil euros can get us Tielemans and Doku. And there might even be some change from it. And we would still be dangerous.

    Saka, Doku with Tielemans in CM sounds much better than Saka, Raphinha with Xhaka behind them.

  24. Un


    He was awful because he was hung out to dry but his G/A to starts ratio was still very productive why spend £50m on a player who gives you less than what you have currently? I just think it makes little sense
    Wenger would take Pepe and make him lethal

  25. Pierre

    The thing is, we are all assuming that Arteta isn’t happy with xhaka and will sell him .
    Xhaka was probably first name on the team sheet last season so why would he want to let him go..

    Partey is the key to our season , he is a class above the rest , the team performs better with him in it, the results are better and for me is a top level midfielder when he’s 100% fit.
    With him in the side , we don’t need 2 holding mids as Partey has shown that he can command that area by himself..

    One would like to think that with Partey fit , Arteta will play Vieira and smith rowe/ Odegaard either side instead of pushing xhaka higher as he did last season.

    This would leave us with Saka, Martinelli, possibly jesus , Eddie and one other …Gnabry hopefully.up top.

  26. raptora

    Habesha is so incredibly married to the idea of Tielemans 😀

    Reminds me of me about Dumfries and Anguissa last summer and of Samesong about Brereton Diaz and Djed Spence.

    But with double the conviction!

  27. Un

    Givepepe 36 starts per season and his numbers are higher
    He scores goals from nothing
    Arteta has wasted him as he’s still offering over 2 goal contributions for every 3 starts

  28. Habesha Gooner

    Pepe and Raphinha aren’t comparable players. Leeds basically survived relegation on the last day. He still produced in that team. If he is in our team you will see a more consistent and a more threatening forward. And he won’t slow down or break the play every two minutes.

    The interest from other teams is justification enough on Raphinha. Teams know Pepe is for sale and no team has come in for him yet.

    I am not against signing him. He is absolute quality. If Saka was rested, we wouldn’t skip a beat with Raphinha.

    I am just concerned a 50 mil out lay means we won’t upgrade on Xhaka. If Partey is injured again, our holding midfielders will still be Xhaka, Elneny and Sambi next season too. Spending that on Raphinha while that shit show happens would be a major mistake.

    And it will probably be the reason we will fail if we do fail.

    Get a good CM, a CF, a LB and I will be happy with Raphinha even at 60 mil. We would be a team getting closer to the top teams in quality and depth.

  29. Habesha Gooner

    😂😂😂 I just think he is quality for the price he will go for. I wanted Bruno Guimaraes in January and this wouldn’t even be a discussion.

    Anyway, I don’t mind if we are getting a good CM. I just can’t see Xhaka starting for another season.

  30. Un


    I’ve always enjoyed the views throughout my time frequenting these comments but lately we seem to differ to a fair degree in our opinions.
    I’m not referring to you when I point out people who only want to shit on the club. But we both know that there are more than a few posters here who gloat and cheer if we lose so long as it follows their agenda
    You’re too observant not to notice this.

  31. Kalle

    When Josh told us to be excited, is these what he meant? Tielemans, Jesus, Raphinha, Martinez, Viera plus the prospects of Saliba(LANS), and Marquinhos; that’s some excitement right there! But the reality is that this are the same people who bought a defender that’s not world class fee when totally not needed and fail to sign or loan anyone in January when two bodies was the barest requirement. Bottom line, anything can happen! This is Arsenal and we don’t ever do things like everyone does and we neither do the obvious or sensible. It’s indeed exciting.

  32. Un


    He was the main man at Leeds and given license to play his game
    The team was geared towards letting him play his way.
    It’s the opposite wirh pepe yet he still produces even though he’s reduced to cameos with no Acton at all for weeks at a time, his confidence shot and playing for a coach who asks him to play a game that reduces his impact.

    As I said, wenger would have him rampant. Let him loose and use the other wing and midfield to balance him out
    For most of his career he had no 10 to olay with and no overlapping fullback and was often malted by 2-3 players, cutting off his route yet he still produced
    Sorry I just think he’s been treated like shit and it’s very unfair

    Yes his touch can be off and he’s a little timid but he’s alas that needs belief
    Look at Eddie after a run and the backing of the coach.

  33. Pierre

    ” why spend £50m on a player who gives you less than what you have currently? I just think it makes little sense”

    Exactly, whoever we bring in has to improve the side, this was always my argument regarding Odegaard, good player but plays the same as our previous no.10, especially when we have Smith rowe who hit the ground running 18 months ago in the no.10 position and is now just a peripheral figure similar to pepe due to the arrival of Odegaard..

    Partey is the one Arteta signing that has made a difference, Tomiyasu i like but also looks injury prone, Ramsdale no thanks, Ben White is decent enough , Gabriel too inconsistent, lakonga i like but I’m not sure Arteta feels the same, Tavares has been treated harshly in my opinion and is now regarded as the new dross along with Pepe , cedric, Mari , torreira, Guendouzi, mavropanos, bellerin, AMN, although one or 2 may have already left the club.

    So i think it’s fair to say that our transfer dealings have been shambolic and despite spending 500 mil since wenger ledt, the squad is threadbare and if it wasn’t for our young guns there would be lityke to be excited about.

    Let’s hope that Vieira hits the ground running or he could be another one who disappears into obscurity.

  34. Bigper

    Someone like raphinha as well as jesus is a necessity. Last season martinelli, nketiah, smith Rowe and saka got just over a combined 30 league goals I think. We need to add another 30 to even compete for top 4 again. Even dumb and dumber edu and arteta know this

  35. Un

    Give white Ramsdale Odegaard and Lakonga their second year in a side geared more towards attacking football and let’s see what they can do
    You’ve always been sensible when it comes to young players on what they need to flourish so I know youlll beware that all of them can improve and many will this coming season

  36. Un

    Spending £50m on Raphina doesn’t seem smart to me.
    We have 6 players who can play wide if we sign Jesus


    Oh and Marquinhos
    That’s 7
    Why do we need to spend £50m right now on another?

  37. Pierre

    “I’ve always enjoyed the views throughout my time frequenting these comments but lately we seem to differ to a fair degree in our opinions”

    I don’t think we differ that much other than Ramsdale and Odegaard and only time will tell if they are a success, I’ll be more than hapoy to be proved wrong on them..

    I may be wrong but I’m sure that if you had a choice it would be Martinez over Ramsdale and smith rowe over Odegaard.

  38. Wicked Willy


    I’ve made one comment. I was content happy to leave it there, because I choose not to fixate on the negative, but seeing as you’ve now prompted it, i’ll add just a little more clarification and then I hope to devote my energies to something more positive and affirming.

    As Un said, making a few constructive comments is totally fair enough. But what we’re alluding to isn’t that. It is more akin to a stuck record that keeps going round and round and round. It’s basis is not rational, it’s emotional. it might pretend to be rational by drawing on certain ‘facts’, but what you find is the constant fixation on certain metrics, certain lines of thinking, or indeed certain players.

    It is seeking validation from others, or it is simply a way to avoid, distract or vent discontent on others. It is often looking to paint situations as black and white, and it rarely has an appreciation of context. It actually reminds me of the way that people with psychosis must cling to the psychological safety of having a inviolable position that cannot be questioned. By the way, that isn’t meant as a dig, I see this behaviour in society a lot, and to some extent we’re all swimming in the sea of that societal conditioning that leads to such subconscious identifications.

    I may not agree with what some of the other guys say. Indeed I’m actually facsinated that on some topics, Wenger Eagle and I are are completely aligned, and on others we are somewhat or completely opposed. And yet, it feels like we’re here in a spirit of idea exchange. We’re not here to prove we are right and you are wrong. We’re here to contribute ideas whilst broadening our horizons of how we can better understand the quixotic nature of our team, and indeed football as a whole. We are here to feel that sense of tribe and community. One where there is flex, where difference is valued, but where ultimately unity is found even within the difference. We are here for VICTORY THROUGH HARMONY.

    We therefore find it odd that people who have flocked around the banner of a club whose foundational pillar is that statement, seem to actually get some kind of kick out of disharmony. Who seem to almost salivate when our team fails, because it validates their narrative about what’s wrong, whereas I suspect me and some of the others you have mentioned actually take delight in being proved wrong if it means our team has won.

    The difference is also hallmarked in the levels of patience shown. The haters/moaners tend to insist that the things they want must happen NOW. The ones who tend to have a more balanced view, are open to things playing out in a more natural, flowing way.

    There is also often a substantial difference in tone. Not always of course. You actually seem to speak quite eruditely on your subject of choice and I really appreciate your use of language, but the tone of some of the posters is just grating.

    There’s also a marked difference in orientation I find. The ‘moaners’ tend to fixate on the past. The things that did or didn’t happen. They seem to want some kind of retribution for the mistakes made, rather than accepting that nobody is perfect, not even close. OK, early wenger was near perfect. Klopp in his first 5 years was near perfect, but taking exceptions and then beating up on others for not being that good seems to me to be a bit unresonable. Those who seem more balanced and calm tend to be more oriented towards the future. All of our energy is invested in either appreciating today, or taking an open minded view about how tomorrow can be better than today.

    And before the charge of apathy is lobbed my way for ‘accepting mediocrity’. Let’s be clear, I’m as ambitious as Arteta is for where this club can go. I simply accept the present reality and wish to build in a sustainable way from here. Accepting it is a multi-year process that takes time to bear fruit.

    There is also this curious phenomena whereby different standards are applied depending on which team it is. For example, 33 year old Perisic has a good season in Italy and it is hailed as a master move. 32 year old Willian has a good season for Chelsea (player of the year), and Arteta is a fool and if he repeated it, there would be pitchforks out. And yes, I don’t mind using an example which fell absolutely flat on its face, because I don’t feel insecure about my position.

    And that’s my final observation. Most of these comments are coming from a place of fear. There is a level of catastrophisation that is grim quite frankly. If i’m going to invest my energy in participating in a community, I want to somehow feel elevated by the insights gleaned. I want to feel elevated by the banter. That’s actually what i love about Pedro, is his relelntless Posititivity, based on (mostly) well reasoned arguments. What I feel less inspired by are these constant fear driven narratives being regurgitated time after time. It feels like unhappy people trying to bring everyone down to their level so they can feel better about themselves and life. It is like the aforementioned divorcees who seek to find unity through commiseration, and through opposition to some perceived enemy.

    But that’s not what our football club is about. Our motto is the DNA that should unite us, inspire us, and carry us not only through the good times, but the bad ones as well. Victory Through Harmony doesn’t mean we always have to agree. It simply means we achieve harmony through respect, and openess to new ideas. When people wittingly or unwittingly shit on that, it feels like they are shitting on the essence of the club we love.

    Anyway, enough said. That wasn’t meant to be such a diatribe, but that’s what’s flowed out in response to your prompt. I hope that helps clarify the feelings of those of us on the board who would like to see the discourse rise above the petty commentaries.

    Best Wishes


  39. Pierre

    ” Last season martinelli, nketiah, smith Rowe and saka got just over a combined 30 league goals I think”

    Maybe if the likes of Eddie and smith rowe had played more it would be closer to 50 goals.
    Martinelli and saka will always get their fair share of goals but yes , bringibg in someone like jesus will definitely improve our offensive play .

  40. InsideRight


    Yes it’s been like this for a long time now. One could argue it has equally been a venue of drooling sycophancy, desperate brown nosing, ad hominem attacks and utterly delusional fantasy in the comments. You can add on the downright pathetic accusations of someone being a closet Spuds fan because they dare to point out where they are doing things we should have been doing. Often it’s not just moaning that makes this place a miserable read.

    Why people can’t just respect views even where they are diametrically opposed, or scroll past and ignore what they don’t like? There’s no need for personal attacks and abuse.

  41. Siddeeq

    I would like to see the GA when there are good attackers in the team like ESR and Auba, opposing teams tend to be cautious when they know the forwards are a threat.

    We lost games because of the absence of good attackers Not because of the absence of Yakubu

  42. Raulishuss

    Absolutely nothing wrong with having quality players. Webber had cazorla but still bought ozil. It was the same with Pires, hleb, rosicky fab nasri arshavin etc. We also need game chargers from the bench especially attacking ones. Not getting a midfielder is going to be foolish but we need quality attacking options too. Jota outscored marti and esr and he was heavily rotated too. Even with esr at 10 we weren’t scoring that much goals. We went from having ozil sanchez giroud wally pdolski caz etc who were highly productive to having saka with 12 goals as our highest scorer

  43. InsideRight

    A lot of folks are talking about the need for a CM. In my view we need to be getting another DM because it’s clear Partey is prone to injury and needs proper cover. Plus having a DM enables us to flex the line up to give a better screen for the defence.

    Without that additional cover in the deep lying position, it feels like the team could be a bit top heavy with lots of attacking options and possible variations, but a significant weakness behind them. Even a CM with a strong DM bias would be a help.

  44. Raulishuss


    We lost games because the ball wasn’t be progressed to our attackers. Partey is one of the best at finding angles,dribbling and progressing the ball at speed. In form nobody is as good as him in the epl imo so yes we missed him.

  45. Samesong

    “A lot of folks are talking about the need for a CM. In my view we need to be getting another DM because it’s clear Partey is prone to injury and needs proper cover. Plus having a DM enables us to flex the line up to give a better screen for the defence.”

    Inside Paulinha Sporting was the man but I think Wolves or Fulham are going for him now. Proper DM

  46. Habesha Gooner

    But it isn’t just Arteta that benched him. Emery also thought the same. Even Ljungberg benched him with his short stint. He is made for a counter attacking team geared towards him. He struggles in a low block. Wenger could have gotten more out of him sure but not everyone is Wenger.

    Raphinha can play on any team though. And Leeds aren’t geared towards him. Bamford was available for a long time. Harrison was playing on the left too. Bielsa played a high press with everyone.

  47. Pierre

    Thanks for the response, will just say that i have been crusified on le grove for defending Arsenal, namely Wenger, Ozil , Eddie but have stuck to the courage of my convictions despite the abuse i received…water off a ducks back for me.

    Sometimes , these days i encourage a reaction by slipping in wenger, Ozil, Odegaard or Ramsdale into the conversation as it livens things up a little..

    Will also point out that pedro was anything but positive towards Wenger and that’s what brought me to this blog as i was Sometimes a lone voice in defending wenger, so when Pedro ignores the negatives of Arteta, and there are many, then i think it’s fair to compare wenger to Arteta after the hard time pedro gave him.

    I like your comments but don’t worry about le groaners.

  48. Siddeeq

    Whether a DM or CM depends on the
    1. tactical set up Generational intends to use.
    2. We get a DM and Xhakalson is the CM the team will still be in problems
    3. We get a quality CM get rid of Xhakalson. Elneny can fill in as DM

  49. Wicked Willy

    Nice one Pierre!

    Love the term Le Groaners 🙂

    I’ve only been on this board for a season or so, so don’t have those things colouring my view. And fair play for sticking to your guns on certain things, and I agree we should call Pedro out when something feels really way out, as he benefits as a communicator when done right. And fair play on Eddie, I thought he had a rocking pre-seaoson, but then looked out of his depth and disinterested until his April turnaround. It is a great lesson in giving young players time, and of course, lets see if its a flash in the pan or a sustained upward trajectory.

    Anyway, hopefulyl we won’t have to worry about ozil references when the team bags 80 goals next season 😉

  50. Pierre

    Arteta needs to have the team ready for the new season, even without covid our preparation last season was shambolic .

    We have the perfect opportunity with a favourable fixture list to hit the ground running which will take the pressure off the players and manager..

  51. Wicked Willy

    Agreed. I do want a RW who can give saka the rest he needs to be able parachute in for the 3rd/4th game of the season.

    Otherwise, really want Jesus and Tielemans in the starting XI and as fully integrated as can be.

    The rest I think we can be more patient with.

  52. Bob N16

    WW, really enjoyed reading your post. It’s always great to read something that reflects one’s own views but is written in such an erudite way that feels beyond my own capabilities.
    In other words you’ve written about how I feel in a way that makes it even clearer to me!

    Just been listening to James McNicholas on an Arsecast who thinks Tielemans is still a possibility but if we sign Martinez, having already signed Viera, it’s possible that by having a TT type player at RB it would give us more freedom to play a number 8 like Viera alongside Partey in the middle. Xhaka was playing further forward at times last season which Viera would be more suited to and Martinez can ping the ball with his left foot as well as tuck in to midfield if need be.

  53. englandsbest


    I recall when you and me were lone voices on here begging Arteta to play Eddie. Well, eventually he did – though not because of our pleas. We can only guess at why he didn’t play him sooner and oftener – there may be underlying reasons of which we are unaware. Therefore no triumphalism.

    What we should look for now is that Eddie is the ace goalscorer we believe him to be.

  54. Pierre

    Maybe Arteta should analyse which players make good substitutes and which players are poor and utilise them accordingly.

    Offensively , Eddie showed very little as a substitute, smith rowe came on and made an impact..
    Martinelli had some good moments as substitute , whereas pepe struggled a lot of the time..

    Put the players on who will make a difference instead of continually putting a player like Eddie on who made no impact.

  55. Positive pete

    Great piece Willy .Sums up the thoughts on this blog by many of us.You may not have been aware of this group of individuals with their obsessive hatred of Arteta & endless negativity but they are known as the infamous “ Bedwetters” .whereas those of a more positive persuasion are labelled as “ fanboys” lol!This has been going on since Artetas appointment & truth be told won’t be resolved until he’s either won the EPL/ Champions league or sacked.

  56. Un

    Inside right

    I enjoy opposing views but what I’m seeing is people deliberately choosing a negative slant despite any positive outcome or performance and even gloating and cheering if we lose
    I’m sorry but that’s not airing your view, that’s being deliberately being an antagonistic wanker and trying t upset arsenal fans on an arsenal blog after a disappointing loss

  57. Un


    Yes I prefer ESR over Odegaard, no question but with Ramsdale/Martinez I’m less sure. Ramsdale is still only 23 but that Martinez of his final season was the best keeper we’ve had since prime David Seaman in my opinion. His command of his area was Seaman-esque

  58. Un

    Go back to the Xmas/jan period of 2020/21
    Pepe got a run of 3-4 games and was brilliant in a run of high scoring wins culminating in a loss/draw at wolves when he scored and was hooked off as we had a man sent off (unfairly, think it was xakha) and he was not seen again for months
    He was our best player in Arteta’s first win against untied and our cup final win vs chelsea
    He can play in this system but he needed confidence and a little help on that side of the pitch
    With no over lap and no 10 to connect to him, he was totally isolated and it’s no wonder he couldn’t affect as well as he should
    Anyway, my opinion on this won’t change, I feel he was unfairly singled out. Not like he’s a show off gobby fucker either, he’s a shy quiet boy and I feel sorry for him

  59. AL

    But it isn’t just Arteta that benched him. Emery also thought the same. Even Ljungberg benched him with his short stint. He is made for a counter attacking team geared towards him. He struggles in a low block.

    Pepe had an empty net, a backtracking defender to beat and the whole half of the field v Leeds. He got dispossessed.

  60. Cheney10

    Just seen that Broja is going for 30M… 20 years old, 9 goals in 38 appearances… For all those online, who decry Eddie’s new contract, this is evidence that we have just signed a 30+M asset that could be sold for a major profit… Good business short and long-term (if he doesn’t hit the heights), not something we have been able to say about Arsenal in the past (Ramsey, Van Persie, Sanchez, Gnabry etc)

  61. InsideRight


    People are entitled to be negative and it is only exacerbated by the over-the-top hysteria of people demanding everyone should be positive and that if they are not then they’re Spuds fans.

    Gloating and cheering if we lose isn’t something I like to see and I would never do it. But when I’ve seen it, it’s happened because – rightly or wrongly – those people see it as vindication of their concerns. I don’t defend it, but there it is. It’s no different from the hardcore suck ups with their exaggerated commentary, name calling and abuse targeted at individuals when a performance or result seems to vindicate their viewpoint.

    I have pointed out on a number of occasions my frustration at Arteta’s in-game management limitations, and his refusal or inability to change things mid game when they are clearly not working. I’ve had stick for it. I predicted what would happen after the January transfer window and got stick for that. Are my observations and views “shitting on Arsenal”, do they make me less of a fan, or are they a loyal fan getting fed up of something fixable that I feel is holding Arsenal back?

  62. Dissenter

    Chelsea are going to observe the unusually high fees that strikers are being quoted in the market and hold out for 40-45 million, at the very least.
    No way Broja is being sold for £30 mil.

  63. Un

    Inside right

    There is no justification for cheering against your own club and yes, they are entitled to do so but I’m perfectly entitled to criticise it as I see fit.

  64. englandsbest


    The question is: does Arteta agree with us?

    If the rumoured pursuit of Gabriel J and Raphina is true, it seems he DOES see Eddie as our ace goal scorer.

  65. Samesong

    Un naa nai

    Calling out people. That has to be the funniest take on le grove
    You have changed your moniker more than my bedsheets.
    Unfortunately I can’t take your views serious about other posters.

    It’s just a matter of time before you slip up again.

  66. Redbearer

    Will – Totally agree with your Victory through harmony analysis. We all need to believe in the project and also must remember that Arteta (and Edu) is still learning the trade. He’ll learn from his mistakes and hopefully make up for it with some big wins, major successes

  67. Un

    Inside right
    Le grove is certainly no echo chamber 😂
    The very idea is laughable
    You’re comparing apples and oranges here
    I’ve been critical of Arteta many times but I still support him and the team, I never cheer or show joy in arsenal losing and I don’t slate every positive action the manager and the club makes to justify my bias

  68. Samesong

    “Do you behave like such a bitch in real life or only on the web? Shall we stick to football?”

    Touched a nerve did I? Happy to stick to football as long as the you keep your racial undertones to yourself.

  69. Tom

    “There is also this curious phenomena whereby different standards are applied depending on which team it is. For example, 33 year old Perisic has a good season in Italy and it is hailed as a master move. 32 year old Willian has a good season for Chelsea (player of the year), and Arteta is a fool and if he repeated it, there would be pitchforks”

    WW, first off no one said Perisic to Tottenham was a ”master move ”lol, so unless you’re taking a piss, which obviously you are not, then why the exaggeration?
    And if Pedro hadn’t made it such a big deal writing about it, I suspect not a single poster would’ve commented on it.
    But he did, because as Andy said Pedro is fucking obsessed with all things Conte and Tottenham.

    What Perisic is , however, a logical addition to a squad with CL involvement in mind.
    He can play wingback and anywhere across the front three. And if he gives them even a 1000 minutes in all competitions, and thus relieving Kane from doing another 4000 minute stint in a WC year, then he would’ve done his job and made Pedro sleep easier at night not having to worry about Kane breaking down.

    Another thing you’re ignoring is Arsenal wage bill was already bloated as hell and Willian on 200kpw just added to it.
    Tottenham ,on the other hand, don’t have that problem do they.

    So in short, if you need any future clarification on anything Tottenham, just check with me, for obvious reason.
    Best regards, Tottenham Tom.

  70. Un


    Just getting minutes isn’t enough
    Spurs have CL and league games next season
    If Perisic fails to adapt, which he’s likely to, then it’s good for us

    For the record, I consider the Willian move to be the single worst in my time watching arsenal, even ozil and auba worked out better and they were both highly detrimental.

  71. Tom

    Posters winging about other posters is the weirdest fucking thing I’ve ever seen on internet.
    There is a handful of posters I skip on the regular on both sides of the Arteta divide because obviously I’m not twelve years old

    Pedro bitching about certain posters is his god given right because it is his blog.
    Posters bitching about other posters………now, that’s another story entirely.

  72. Davey

    This is from BBC journo regarding the new Vieira

    He has featured across all positions in midfield, but mainly operated from the right flank, cutting infield. He is incisive in the attacking third and will provide fierce competition for Martin Odegaard

    Just what we need 34m on competition for Odegaard, we will be stacked with lovely footballers with no physicality should be fun!

  73. Un

    Posters bitching about posters bitching about other posters being miserable is a new low though, so congrats tottenham Tom. You’re todays barrel scrapings

  74. Tom

    Un, why would Perisic fail to adapt to the CL pace?
    That’s all he needs to give them to be a reasonably successful signing on a free.
    Anything else is a bonus.

  75. Thorough

    Our scouting is tosh. If we spend circa 60 mil on Raphinha and Man UNITED gets Antony for 40 mil I’ll be gutted.
    My absolute dream signings for the summer were Gravenberg and Antony. Sadly both of them are about to be sold for a combined fee of 60 to 65million.We need to do better pound or pound in the transfer market.

  76. Tom

    “For the record, I consider the Willian move to be the single worst in my time watching arsenal, even ozil and auba worked out better and they were both highly detrimental.”

    Un, if you run the numbers then you might find Pepe will be the worst Arsenal transfer of all time.

  77. Un


    He would fail because he is too old and slow, coming from a sow league and is essentially useless, just as William (and Lichtensteiner) was for us and becomes unplayable.

  78. Samesong

    Un, if you run the numbers then you might find Pepe will be the worst Arsenal transfer of all time.

    What about Sanogo?

  79. Un

    Pepe provides 28 goals and 20 assists in 58 starts with a MOTM display in an FA cup win over London rivals Chelsea.
    Nah I’ll go with Willian thanks (who cost us £15m in wages for 1 season of shite btw. Plus whatever sign on fee they gave him)

  80. Tom

    Lichsteiner was a one trick pony galloping down the touch line lumping in crosses.
    Perisic is a highly technical, versatile player who doesn’t have to rely on speed alone.

  81. RP7

    The dumbest thing here is when posters criticize other posters for “shitting on our own players”, “not giving our players a chance” etc etc.

    Newsflash: the players are not reading this blog. I mean, most of them are barely literate, but even when they do read a sentence or two, I guarantee you it’s not posts on Le Grove.
    So the only one getting hurt is you, and if you’re getting hurt by what some anonymous guy wrote online about a football player who’s neither your friend nor your relation, you might need a psychologist or a pair of balls.

    Speaking of balls. Now that Abramovich’s balls will no longer be emptied into the lovely miss Granovskaia, we should try to snap her up.
    OTOH, she’d been working under Abramovich since she finished college, so he might just reuse he somewhere else. Worth a (cum)shot, though.

  82. Tom

    Un, over 100m in fees and wages says Pepe without a doubt the worst Arsenal transfer to date.
    Recouping 25m of it will be a miracle.

  83. Tom

    Samesong, Sanogo was Wenger’s – look, I’m a fucking genius – move, especially vs Bayern , but in terms of money it was nothing.

  84. RP7

    agreed on Perisic vs Lichts. Perisic is at least a decent signing.

    Pepe can only thrive is he’s a regular starter + plays in a team with a faster style than Arsenal.
    Has to be both, and it’s not gonna happen under Arteta, so he’s a goner more than a gooner right now.

  85. andy1886

    There’s a possibility that MA sees Vieira as the #10/second striker and Odegaard playing deeper in which case he may feel that we don’t need a new CM. That’s Ode and Partey against lesser opposition and Xhaka and Partey where we’ll have less of the ball. Or Xhaka and Ode when TP breaks down.

    Can’t say that I agree with that but just thinking about what the plan might be.

  86. Bob N16

    Un 11.41

    this could go on ad infinitum, posters complaining about moaners, who complain about moaners who complain about moaners……

    Tom, the wage bill at Spuds is on the rise from a comparatively low level but the cost of their debt is happily enormous as I’m sure you know. I think both them and us are desperate to get and stay at the top table and that doesn’t come cheap. I suspect ENIC will look to sell before long as their debt is enormous.

  87. Bob N16


    I’m also mentally preparing for the Swiss pointy one being in an Arsenal shirt next season. Just hoping he becomes a Holding-type player, being brought on for the last 10 mins for pragmatic reasons(answers on a postcard)!

  88. Spanishdave

    Aftertaste will not buy a player that threatens Xhakas position in the team.
    He’s first on the team sheet even when he comes back from injury.
    Party is a crock he cannot hack it in the Premiership. We will not move forward until we have a better dynamic in midfield.
    Arteta has a blind spot so I cannot see us seriously getting into the top four

  89. andy1886

    Nice one Raptora, but would you want to see Gunnersaurus punching out some kid he took a dislike to?

    I’m going to say that it’s 70:30 that Xhaka stays in the hope that he’ll prove me wrong and join Newcastle for £50m.

  90. Tom

    Manchester City – £355m
    Chelsea – £343m
    Manchester United – £323m
    Liverpool – £314m
    Arsenal – £244m
    Tottenham Hotspur – £205m

    Arsenal are a Europa league club on CL wages.
    Tottenham are in the CL with a considerably lower wage bill.

    Three posters in total that I’m aware of have said Perisic was decent /good signing on a free and not a master stroke.
    The fact this has even become a sticking point on Arsenal blog is kinda bemusing.

    Also, not for nothing but the other two Italian Conte imports , Kulusevski and Betancourt have done very well, so in a way Conte’s gambling on Perisic with house money, literally and figuratively.

  91. raptora

    Would not make sense to go through this whole redeeming Xhaka arc, with the goal vs Manure being the climax point, just to move on in the very next season. It’d be like Wenger stepping down after we had finally ended our trophy drought back in 2014 and in 2015. It don’t work like that.

  92. Un

    Tom RP7

    Can’t wait to bring this back up when 34 year old Perisic struggles to come with the pace and power of the league

    The likes of aquilani, veron, crespo, shevchenko, kezman and many others couldn’t cope with the power of the league in their prime.
    Even Lukaku is struggling to adapt
    What makes you think, at 34, Perisic will come in and prove better than these guys? It’s not super human
    specimen style CR7 or Ibra here. It’s a little guy who’s played in Italy throughout his career.

  93. Ray+in+LA

    unless we intend to sell Saka to finance this transfer window, Martinez is much more important than Raphinha — LM providing left back and midfield coverage — and a player to cover and/or team with Partey

    lack of coverage for Tierney has cost us a lot of points at the end of each of the last two seasons — sackable offence to make it three seasons in a row

    ditto lack of coverage for Partey

    Don’t see much discussion about a tall striker — has this possibility been shelved ?

  94. Un


    I know Pepe is a goner. My point is that he’s been treated unfairly and stupidly had his value tanks when he offers end product as much as anyone in our squad

  95. Tom

    “Pepe provides 28 goals and 20 assists in 58 starts with a MOTM display in an FA cup win over London rivals Chelsea.”

    Un, never underestimate the value of bias eh?

    Pepe had a good game and his disallowed upper ninety would’ve been a thing of beauty had it stood, but Auba was clearly MOTM performer vs Chelsea, with Martinez and Antony Taylor our second and third best on the day.

  96. Un

    Pepe was the best player on the day
    He ran chelsea torrid
    Auba won the game but Pepe was the best player on the pitch for that final

  97. Tom

    .”Can’t wait to bring this back up when 34 year old Perisic struggles to come with the pace and power of the league”

    Allright, I’ll play along.
    What’s your Perisic success threshold for the season in G\A totals ?

  98. Terence

    Signing Raphinha will see the end Martinelli’s career at Arsenal. It’s concerning we didn’t get Bissouma and now seem to have given up on Tillemans. Xhakha is the big weakness in our team and kills our creativity. He is the oppositions 12th man. I will have no confidence in us making any progress if Xhakha is still a first choice player next season. The “project” is flawed. We lost out on CL football because we had a weak inexperienced side that collapsed when they had to perform. The whatabouters will say we have the youngest squad in the Prem in one breath as an excuse for us not progressing and in the same breath say a team of average of 23 is going to conquer all before them. We have some very illogical fans.

  99. Tom

    Not a single media outlet from the pinko scum Guardian to right wing Telegraph had Pepe as the top rated player that day,
    Auba, and Ceballos were the highest rated across the board , Sky included.

  100. Jamie

    Happy Birthday, Pedro. Many happy returns.

    Funny coming back here and reading Un’s shit commentary. Now playing the superfan card ad nauseum when he was repeatedly calling for Arteta’s head 1.5 years ago. Good stuff.

  101. WengerEagle

    The ‘Tottenham Tom’ thing has run its course. Never fails to make me cringe reading it.

    If Rich had even an ounce of marketing savvy as well it would have been TottenTom. Pedro this is supposed to be your field of expertise?

    But in all seriousness it’s the ultimate lazy move to call a guy that has been here years and is clearly a Gooner a Spud just because you cannot refute his points with anything other than some embarrassing nickname that was dreamt up by an old Boomer geezer.

  102. Jamie

    An Un classic Feb ’21:

    “I’m sick of Arteta
    Pedro thinks he’s cleaver. He’s not. Delusions of grandeur
    Arteta is psychologically impaired. He can be the rain man of tactics til the cows come home and hell freezes over. His ego will always prevent him from reaching the top
    I’m calling time on Arteta
    Done with him
    I’ve seen enough”

    But stop moaning about Arsenal, yeah

  103. WengerEagle

    It Pedro’s birthday?

    Happy birthday to the main man. Nearing that 40 I assume? Still younger than Zlatan, that’s how you carry it.

    Have a Peroni on me lad.

  104. Jamie

    Cheers, Tom.

    I came back to read Rich’s solutions on how to combat rising global inflation. Hard to believe no one in power has suggested just dumping more inflation on top. Economics 101.

  105. Jonnygunner

    Tom and Weagle the two most consistent posters on here( Weagle by a fair margin).
    I rarely contribute,but read the comments avidly.
    Weagle- for a chap in his 20’s you’ve got a very savvy football brain…in my humble opinion.

  106. Un


    Can’t resist a little nibble can ya?

    Even Pedro gave up on Arteta after that car crash of a run. One reactive comment against the hundreds of hope filled, rose tinted, positivity laced comments ive laid down
    Must have a right busy day on going off and sifting through years of Le grove comments….

    We both know I’m referring to the constant shitting on the club and the gloating when we lose.
    Yet again, apples and oranges

  107. Un

    -Jamie’s got it for me……. Bad.
    I’m taken princess. You aren’t my type. Although 10/10 for being a little sassy pants xx

  108. andy1886

    Who could forget Pedro accepting that MA was entering the ‘death spiral’ not just once, or twice but if I recall correctly three times.

    Where were the super-positives then? On holiday? Three times??

  109. Un

    Everyone has the right to get fucked off if the coach is cutting off his own nose but to force yourself to stay stuck in that negative mindset until you feel vindicated, despite positive outcomes is just a bit sad…

  110. WengerEagle

    Appreciate the kind words Jonny and Tom. You should comment more Jonny, always enjoy your contributions.

    Hah Tom, if only.

    I wanted us to sign Joelinton as a solution to our ST woes once upon a time, at least he turned out to be a half-decent midfielder I suppose but yeah, shocking stuff. Like gambling wins everyone likes showing off their slip when they hit a winner but take the soul-crushing losses to the grave with them. It’s all banter anyway at the end of the day isn’t it? Nobody on here is a pro scout as we are constantly reminded by AFC Forever but hey, the past 6 years the club could have used some LG expertise if you ask me.

    I’m trying my best to be as open-minded about out signings this summer as I can but potentially not addressing the Xhaka mess is distressing to put it mildly.

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