by .

Listen, I said before the game, this preseason game means EVERYTHING and maximum conclusions SHALL be drawn from the game and they WILL be definitive.

Arsenal. Were. Sensational.

All the rumblings around the training camp are that the new players have adapted, the culture is really starting to sing, and the team is working at a really intense level. Postive vibes are my drug of choice this summer and there’s nothing manufactured, this is all real, and it feels good.

The output of great prep showed against Chelsea. For the first time in many, many years I felt Arsenal were more than a physical match for Tuchel’s boys. We ran harder, our passing was better, there was more variety to our game. We were simply the better side. Arsenal were so good, they made Chelsea look very, very bad.

Beating your rivals 4-0 in preseason means very little to your season if you are Arsenal. But, it means a lot to a team that should have title aspirations to be this far off the pace just two weeks out. It was amusing to listen to Thomas Tuchel canvass for more players after the game by rolling the quality of the talent as well as the commitment. That sort of carry-on usually doesn’t end well. Tuchel is a great manager when things are going well, when they start to dip, he’s not emotionally equipped to handle the adversity. It’ll be interesting to see how long he lasts this season. It’ll also be fascinating to see how Chelsea handle the reality that they’ve made some bad decisions in the transfer market and now they don’t have Roman fuck you money to escape.

But f*ck Chelsea, let’s talk about Arsenal.

The starting 11 we rolled with, pending fresh injuries, will be the side we take to Selhurst Park.

Ben White slotted in a right-back, Saliba and Gabriel were centre-backs, and Zinchenko took the left-back role.

Midfield was Partey, Xhaka and Odegaard.

Our forwards were Martinelli, Jesus, and Saka.

I can’t explain how I felt watching them play, it was a vibe, a sexy feeling, it looked special. There were no real weaknesses. The defence were all comfortable on the ball, Ramsdale found his range with some outrageous passing early on, Saliba and Gabriel looked like old heads, up to the pace and power of the game, and Ben White was superb at right back and looked really happy slotting into midfield.

William Saliba looked sensational. His return to the side makes me laugh. Honestly, the carry-on last season about the doom of the loan is one of the most hilarious turns of this Arsenal fan base. We don’t need to go into the fact he’ll start centre back game one. We don’t need to talk about Arteta saying “I am really pleased to see the way he is playing, the way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he’s shown at 21, carry on doing it. We will keep developing him. He is already a top player & we have to make him even better. He looked ready to me.” No. What I want to talk about is the benefits of having a 21-year-old centre-back return to Arsenal after 4500 minutes after being coached by a tactic manager that demands crazy levels of dedication. Does anyone think 1200 minutes with us last season would have been better? We have a better player now than we did. He’s going to sign a new deal. He’ll be the youngest starting centre back in the league game one of the season. No harm done. Trust the process, as they say, and remember who catastrophized his loan last season.

The most genius move of the summer is probably going to be signing players from Manchester City. They are extremely well coached, have great character, and they know the expectations. Zinchenko was fantastic, his range of passing is so good, he’s fast, he has great delivery, and he was a massive add down the left side. His ability to build play, invert, and join the attack is going to open a new world for Arsenal this season. The guy is pure security. We now have the best left-back options in the league.

Gabriel Jesus IS a difference-maker. The player has clearly adapted well to being THE man behind the scenes. He’s a total professional, a born winner, and he’s completely changed the dynamic of our team. That one vs one he jumped on after Granit Xhaka one-touched his through ball was a miss with Lacazette. Gabriel dinks a chip over one of the best keepers in the league. Outrageous, but THAT is what quality gets you at the highest level. Interesting to see Scamacca heading to West Ham for £10m short of what we paid for a 4 time Premier League winner. I’m looking forward to watching the Italian develop, he has some talent.

Our midfield looked really tidy as well, Martin Odegaard looks like a man now, he’s zipping around the pitch with purpose, and now he has top-level runners to aim his passes to. It makes such a difference. Thomas Partey looks fit, he’s sharp on the ball, and he is basically irreplaceable in this team. We need to keep him fit. Also, Granit Xhaka gets a lot of pelters, but in a more advanced position, he thrived. He landed an assist and was responsible for the Saka goal after his striker forced a parry from Mendy. People really need to stop making out him being in our starting 11 is some grave danger. It isn’t.

Gabriel Martinelli also showed up. I do love that everyone begs to see young players get games, then they get them, have a dry spell, then all the weirdos come out against the player. Martinelli is top talent, he showed it yesterday on and off the ball, and he was part of a sumptuous Odegaard goal when he fed the Norwegian in for a one vs one that was scored. I love the power he’s added to his game and I like that he’s developing into a creator. Matt and I debated on the podcast what sort of a scorer he’d be… Thierry, Robin, or Anelka like?

There was even a moment for Sambi in the second half, Cedric picked out his back post run, the Belgian headed low and across goal. Do I love badge kissing? Yes. He peeled off, took his shirt off and kissed it in front of the fan. That felt great.

So, a clean sheet (SHUT OUT USA USA USA), a massive win against a top 3 rival, confidence through the roof, no injuries.

Let’s also take a moment for the American fans. 64,000 showed up, paid for a ticket, and made BIG noise all game. I salute you all for sitting in the heat of Florida. You are a credit to the fanbase. The passion for football in the country is outrageous. I can’t wait for the World Cup to be here in 2026, it’ll be wild, and it should ALWAYS go to countries that love the game.

Back to Arsenal.

The hard work is starting to pay off. This time last year, we’d just lost to Chelsea in preseason, and Thomas Partey had gone off injured. We had no signings. Edu was BBQing like a madman. Things were about to get very messy.

This year, we’ve done our business early, there are no massive holes in our squad, everyone knows what the expectations are, and there is an expectation that we’re heading towards greatness.

Everyone knows the system, everyone wants to be a part of it, people at the club are feeling the specialness you are feeling.

I hope there’s no debate that we’re one of the best coached teams in the league now. Just look at the movement off the ball, how we press as a unit, how the combinations are working in the final third, how we have multiple ways out of defence, and how fast that ball is zipping around the pitch. This is Arteta’s year, this squad is his, I can’t wait to see where we take the season.

We’re competing for top 3 this year and at the end of the season, we’ll hopefully be closer to City and Liverpool. The prime of a footballers career is 26-31. Average age of our squad is 23.5. Another year’s worth of good, bad, and ugly experiences will see us jump a level.

My hopes? Less bumpiness. New problems. Better football. More goals. Tighter defence. Same support from an invigorated fan base.

I’m excited. We’re going to have a fun season. This journey we’re on is going to be awesome, so take a moment to enjoy it, football is the best when the hope you feel is grounded in something real.

Finally, we’re going to be working with the awesome creators at Art Of Football this season. They make elite football clobber for the type of fan that wants to look at football without looking ridiculous.

Here’s the first shirt.

This is a limited run, once they’re gone, that’s it. If you want to buy one. Jump on this LINK and type LG10 on purchase to get a 10% discount. I want to look like this cool cat. So I’m gonna get one.

FINALLY: Check out our latest ON THE WHISTLE PODCAST with Pedro and Matt from THE AOP.


P.S. Sign up to our Patreon. We are gonna be putting lots of fun things there this season. Come join the Thomas Partey.

Become a Patron!


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Un

    A midfield of partey xakha and Odegaard is starting to look stronger and stronger with white and zinchenko dropping in to add more ball players there
    The defence looks great with big billy in there. I really expect him to be huge. White and Zinchenko looked quality and Gabriel will hopefully cut out the errors with Saliba and Zinchenko either side of him
    Be interesting to see what Arteta does when Tomiyasu comes back.

    The front 3 look like hey are going to terrorise defences this season and I can’t wait to see how we look with ESR and Vieira adding their own brand of creative juices to the cocktail.

    Jesus, Zinchenko and Saliba in the side have us stepping up onto a different level already and I think Martinelli white and Odegaard are going t have big seasons too.
    Saka is already Saka

  2. Un

    He’s already playing at elite levels
    If he can add another 10%-20% to his numbers this year he’s be one of the best senior forwards in the world

  3. Jonko

    Not a big fan of judging things by comps but holy moly the Tielemens comp agasint Derby doing rounds on Twitter is absolutely bloody fantastic. Seems much fitter, quicker and those balls. Job interview?

  4. Emiratesstroller

    Interesting statement from Edu about Arsenal’s outgoing transfer policy.

    He stated both Ozil and Aubameyang were killing the club by taking huge wages and underperforming.

    He went onto say that when he took over 80% of players in the squad were aged 26+ and
    many like Mustafi, Kolasinac and Socratis were in the same category.

    Most players are on large wage at the age of 26+ and if they are underperforming it is better
    to offload them and pay them off ,because they are unsaleable.

    Obviously it is difficult to explain that policy to the owners and senior management, but it
    is only way to shed such players off payroll.

    So a lot of posters who are disappointed by such policy can expect other players on the books this summer to follow a similar path. Messrs Leno, Bellerin, Mari and Torreira are
    all fitting that profile albeit on lower wages than Ozil and Aubameyang.

  5. englandsbest

    Well, there you are: the TRUTH from Edu

    The force is not Edu or Arteta or Edu/Arteta, it’s ARSENAL the Club. And the aim? To WIN titles and Trophies, not come 2nd,3rd or 4th.

    Exactly – a return to the elite.

    And the sooner the whiners on here wise up, the better.

  6. Mr Serge

    Art of football dude looks absolutely ridiculous in those pyjamas he is sporting lol am I missing what ridiculous looks like or am I old hahahahaa

  7. Dark Hei


    Well we are in a better situation.

    Bellerin, Torreria and you can put a case for Leno, certainly weren’t under performing last season.

    Mari is likely not on high wages.

    We are down to PePe, but even he hasn’t hit the tank yet (relatively speaking). Likely Pe Pe is going to be a good asset if a buyer can get fair value out of him (and if the coach wants him specifically).

    Not Pe Pe faults that Emery didn’t call for his profile in the first place.

  8. DivineSherlock

    That Edu interview is a very great read . Insightful . It looks like the club realised the bad influence of Raul Sanlehi and sacked him , albeit not so quickly . Edu has done well without him and with a clear vision and beneficial to the club .

  9. Chrispy

    You’re ‘older’ Serge like me, I guess. Pedro wont have it though. Age/style is a mindset i’m told. So is not looking like a twat, maybe?

  10. Un

    How many players in the squad have those characteristics today?’ Edu says. ‘Now, as part of the plan, we create value in our players because I don’t want to face that situation many times more. Now, if someone wants, say, Gabriel — OK, come here. No problem.

    ‘If we sell Bukayo Saka — that’s not going to happen but it’s just an example — we as a club have to prepare his replacement straight away. Someone has to be in the squad or we have to manage the market well.’

    😂 😂
    Wouldn’t be too happy if I was Gabriel

  11. Bill

    Oh dear, I’ve just seen the post and wondered if the Art of Football ad was a joke when I read “for the type of fan that wants took at football without looking ridiculous”

    Peds, love your writing but your taste in ‘fashionable’ clothing leads me to wonder whether you heard the laughter and saw the pointing.

    Mate, wearing that is a pretty surefire way to pick up a blue light trip to A&E 🤣🤣🤣

  12. Arsnil

    Pedro you wrote and I quote

    “No. What I want to talk about is the benefits of having a 21-year-old centre-back return to Arsenal after 4500 minutes after being coached by a tactic manager that demands crazy levels of dedication. Does anyone think 1200 minutes with us last season would have been better? We have a better player now than we did.”

    I think you’re wrong there. Saliba should have been with us last year and played his 4500 minutes with us as our starting centre half. He was good enough and ready enough to do this. White and Gabriel are both good defenders but he is on another level altogether. He was loaned out to France where he was the best defender in their league. We were denied a top top talent for at least a year and you could argue longer. He was treated shabbily but fair play to him, he proved his worth while on sabbatical and thank the lords that our management have finally seen sense. This lad is on VVD levels.

  13. Graham62


    It’s positivity all round. .
    Your new born has certainly helped on that score and irrespective of our differing opinions on Arsenal related matters in recent times, I sincerely pass on my best wishes and congratulations to you and your wife.

    By the way, I want Arteta to get it right this season.

    No excuses.

  14. Positive pete

    The outfit is reminiscent of the clobber a certain “Bellend “fashionista would have as their attire.Nuff said.😂looks like a carrot cruncher from Norfolk lol!

  15. Bob N16

    I echo your words Graham, I want Arteta to get it right this season, no excuses accept maybe a disastrous series of unavoidable injuries to key players!

  16. curse

    nice one Pedro,

    I too remember all the knicker twisting going on regarding Saliba, even now, still…
    Kinda surreal how normal everyday folk somehow seem to know how to manage a multi million pound asset in elite sport.
    I wasn’t worried back then and things have turned out how I thought they should.
    Its been a long time coming but I trust this club again because of Arteta and Edu. At first it was hope but now there is enough evidence to show that we’re on the right path. An elite path, going from one of the worst run clubs to being in the conversation with city and pool on and off the pitch, and leading the pack still in sexy kits (white collars need white socks, just saying).
    That banana shirt is a smart idea, I could get away with rocking that, with some boat shoes…😂. jokes aside, it’s cool and I prefer when people epitomize themselves as opposed to being peer pressured sheep.

    Special shout out to Marquinhos, that geezer looks ready and the Anglo-Samba vibes is getting me super gassed!

    Up the Arse.

  17. Positive pete

    On a more serious note.Once again the Melo links don’t seem to be disappearing.Surely,surely not him before Tielemans or savic p.god.Apparently it’s rumoured Leicester have a transfer embargo under ffp & HAVE to sell before they can buy.hence no deals so far.Are Arsenal making them sweat to minimise transfer.?

  18. Samesong

    It’s the hat that really looks ridiculous. You’d almost get away with the shirt although you’d have to suffer some banter

    Someone would wear that hat at a Wireless festival no doubt.

  19. Habesha Gooner

    That all outfit looks like something Bellerin or DCL would wear. I wouldn’t wear it. I know people love the Bruised Banana kit but that is where it ends with me and anything yellow. The whole black shorts, long white socks with trainers combo isn’t working for me either. Everyone would roast me if I showed up anywhere like that.

    Anyway on to football, the Saliba debate is never ending. Arteta has made mistakes. Giving game time for Mustafi when he is a shit CB when a young prodigy was available to you was a mistake. The loans might not be a mistake as long as he signs a new deal. He has gotten better. He wouldn’t have played much considering we didn’t have European football last season. And him trying to play the Holding (close out games) role is beneath his abilities. But this loan will only be right if he signs a new deal. It would be a mistake to develop a young player for others to come and take him when he is ready.

    Jesus is just as I expected. People really underrated him. We were debating who would be the better target between Jesus and Rashford FFS. There was also a lot of debates about the 45 mil fee because he was in his last year. But they didn’t understand that a player is worth what someone is willing to pay for him regardless of a year left on his contract. And a lot of teams wanted Jesus.

    Some have gone overboard with the praise now though. He isn’t the clinical finisher people think he is. He is going to miss some great chances. He isn’t an elite finisher. But he is a very good finisher. Much better than Lacazette who was stinking out the place. But what will happen is pur productivity will be much better because Jesus is a threat in behind, when he comes short and when he presses.

  20. Positive pete

    Northbanker- the other concern( for want of a better word) is that Manure will turn their attention to Tielemans if they can’t get DE Jong over the line.Bit of a dilemma if we’re playing “ chicken” with Leicester to avoid a bidding war?what do you think?

  21. Matt B

    No better illustration of why it pays to be a bit more focused on the longer rather than the shorter term.

    That goes for a lot of the comments on here this past 18-months or so. Let’s not forget that, this time last year LG posters had already panned Ramsdale and Ben White and were calling for Edu to be sacked.

    It’s been clear for some time, that Arteta had a plan, but so many people on here talked and talked about how terrible it all was.

    Good to see the positivity back by many — exciting times. I think we might surprise a lot of people this season

  22. Graham62

    Matt B

    I’m sorry but I’m not in agreement.
    After nearly 32 months at the helm we still have to see what Arteta is made of.
    Yes, we can all be positive about the upcoming season but I think every Arsenal fan knows deep down that these next few months will be critical for Arteta.

    Nothings happened yet.

  23. Northbanker

    I can only imagine there must be some deliberate red herrings and yes Man U seem determined to buy a CM too although the rumour mill suggests that Tielemans has already turned them down as he wants a move to Arsenal

    No idea how much truth in that but I’d like to believe it!

  24. Thierry Martinelli

    The shirt is wearable in certain settings. But the whole combo of black shorts, white socks, sneakers & a hat just looks bad.
    Now, I don’t think we’ll get another CM/CDM now that we have Zinch to add to Xhaka, Elneny, Partey & Lokonga.

  25. The Bard

    Graham62 wise comments mate. I understand and support the positivity but we haven’t played a proper game yet. There is no doubt that Arteta is under enormous pressure. As I have posted before if he doesn’t hit the ground running early doors I doubt he’ll be there at the end of the season.

  26. Dissenter

    If we signed Melo, it would be on a conviction basis, no different from Ramsdale
    Some people would have delved into data and combed the lad’s history to decide to take the plunge. It would be because Melo has unique attributes that are beneficial towards whatever Arteta is trying to do.
    It would be similar to the Ramsdale signing.

    Edu-Arteta have earned their chops and I wouldn’t make the Ramsdale error twice.

  27. TR7

    People here don’t rate Melo and I can understand why but for me he has attributes I really look for in a midfielder – directness in play, ability to carry the ball and dribbling. I think he can become a very good midfielder if utilised well.

  28. Batistuta


    He’s failed at Barca and Juve. Edu and Arteta are not beyond goofs themselves. He barely even makes the team at Juve.

    I’d sooner take Rabiot who is out of contract next year and i don not exactly fancy him heck i’d roll the dice with AMN and El Neny and pray Partey doesn’t break down as much.

    Heck El Neny does all Arthur does and then some by adding goals too

  29. Matt B

    Graham: Something he has done though is to reinvigorate a culture that had been eroded by over-paying under-performing stars.

    It seems as though he has tried to instil a winning mentally and that he also understand the heritage of Arsenal, something Emery didn’t.

    There is also a massive sense of optimism (even you feel it mate)! And the hope we all have, doesn’t seem misplaced…

  30. Pedro

    Thanks Graham!

    It’s going to be a GREAT season for Arsenal and we’re going have a lot of fun along the way.

    I honestly can’t wait

  31. TheBayingMob

    I hope Arsenal don’t end up, after what is turning out to be a fantastic summer transfer window, being very Arsenal about it all and don’t sign depth for Partey (Tielemens) and tie up Saka and Saliba to new deals. Edu must be itching to fire the bar-bee up but we need to get this done. I understand players now have to flow out to create financial elbow room; at this stage you can’t accuse KSE of not backing MA to the hilt, but we are going to have to take some Ls on a few of these players.

    Leno 11m ? Let him go, he’s been a good player for us but was never able to dominate his box or adapt to playing out from the back. We don’t need five keepers.

    Pepe … this will be the biggest loss of all; if he goes back to France or to Italy he’ll rekindle some of that form I’m sure, a good technical player, looking back it feels very suss we paid 70m+ for him but let him go. It hasn’t worked, you can’t ask for premium transfer fees for players that have bombed, it’s just the way it is.

    I think if we those two out for ~30m, will that be enough? Do more need to go?

  32. Dissenter

    I’ve read lots of people saying that Leno is too good for Fulham but we forget that Edwin Van Der Saar once played for Fulham as he rehabbed his career.
    Leno needs to cut his losses and move on. We were overpaying him and his wages are adjusting to his abilities.
    He’s delaying a move to extract supposedly owed monies from Arsenal…Arsenal aren’t budging.,

  33. TheBayingMob

    I hadn’t heard that, but of course it’s another big Arsenal problem on why we have to accept lower xfer fees than we’d expect – the ludicrously high wages we put these guys on – we haven’t been in the CL for years yet we are still paying out CL wages. Who’s going to give Pepe 140k a week?

  34. Positive pete

    Samesong- From what I’ve seen of Melo.It’s Hacker all daylong.Just think he offers a lot more.& the f** k ups seem to getting less & less🤞But the aim is to totally upgrade.That means Tielemans or Savic.

  35. Bill

    I think Tielemans will happen

    Its too good a deal to not happen in an area we need to strengthen. A cit-price deal looks mouth watering.

    Shame that we couldn’t have swooped for Bissouma as welll, yes I know, I know that ship has sailed, he isn’t progressive (which i don’t agree) etc but I have difficulty letting go as he would be a wonderful back up to TP and a great defensive partner for TP when we’re up against the wall.

    I’ll have to increase my therapy sessions on this one.

    As for Leno, I’m greatly puzzled by the rumoured £8m figure. I would have thought his price would be circa £12-15m to a Premiership team.

    If I’m honest, it would be tempting to keep him as a back-uo, except our squad is so bloated.

  36. englandsbest


    Talking about excuses, you’ve been proven wrong so often when are we gonna hear some genuine ones from you?

    All that’s changed is “Arteta is awful…useless….must go, etc, etc’ has become ‘Let’s wait and see’.

    I’ll name one major error of yours back in Jan to get you started, your denial that Edu/Arteta had identified players wanted, and would pursue and buy them in summer.

  37. Dissenter

    Let’s approach the new season with some unity and excitement
    Stop being so goddam negative and divisive.
    Stand down and suck your chest back in.

  38. TR7

    Arsenal spent the most amount of minutes down a man in the Premier League last season (161)

    Spurs spent the most amount of minutes up a man in the Premier League last season (174)

  39. Pierre

    Have to say that the performance of Zinchenko v chelsea was a joy to behold..
    The 50 yard inch perfect pass to Saka was something else , the little sidestep on the left was just quality, his decision making was spot on and like jesus , he will make the players around him better.

    Last season we were a little predictable, in that a large percentage of our play went through Odegaard and Saka.
    This season we could see a change, with Zinchenko on the left the play should naturally go down his side meaning Martinelli/smith rowe / Eddie or whoever plays wide will benefit from having Zinchenko behind them.
    The question is , will Arteta stick with Xhaka or will he open up our game a little more by bringing in Vieira or smith rowe to provide à very offensive left side.

    Also it was noticeable that Odegaard was prepared to move more centrally v chelsea , his well taken goal was in a position that we rarely if ever saw from him last season, hopefully that is the sign of things to come

  40. Bob N16

    Good post Pierre,

    I would also hope that Odegaard is less predictable in his positioning. I completely agree, Zinchenko looks like one of those players who compliments the players around him. Jesus is much more of a handful for the opposition CBs.

    Partey’s absences are my only real concern, as well as the fitness of TT and KT.