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It’s Christmas Eve for Arsenal fans worldwide – but for once, Santa has already delivered in full, and we’re happy.

The rest of the Premier League – they’re still in Tesco’s trying to work out if a Spice Girls Best Of album will cut it.

Manchester City bidding £100m for Paquets – feels weird.

Liverpool bidding £110m for Caicedo, only to find out he’s not interested.

Spurs losing Harry Kane to Bayern after Sky Sports News duped their fanbase into thinking he was staying.

Newcastle still short.

United still short and heading into a scandal as they flap over the Mason Greenwood redemption.

Arsenal? We are set. Arteta made Arsenal a destination club. Edu and Richard Garlick made sure everyone signed new deals so we’re no perceived as the most stable club in the league. All our targets only had one club in mind which made it easy for us to get our deals done early.

What’s not to love?

As we watch Spurs flap like seagull in a Cheetos bag – it’s pertinent to remember that we are where we are because Arsenal were finally honest about who they were as a club.

Spurs tried to be big boy winners that signed big boy winner managers.

Arsenal accepted they could only be big boys if they puts steroids into their strengths.

We had a top coach. A top academy. Top analysts and scouts. An elite fan base. Outrageous facilities. Prestige history.

Once Arteta realised older players didn’t give a shit about his ideas – the whole club doubled down on young talent, 21-24, buckets of experience, hungry to be winners at the highest level.

Arteta knew if he could turn the first batch of transfers into elite players – the rest of Europe would pay attention.

Then Arteta added better players in his 2nd big transfer window and challenged Manchester City with the youngest team in the Premier League that didn’t get relegated.

Now we are a destination club. All the best players want to be at Arsenal. We get the targets we want with minimal fuss.

Arsenal, without doubt, are the most exciting project in world football.

This summer has been a masterclass in planning and an absolute dream when it comes to execution. We landed all our primary targets, we added depth, technical capabilities, and most importantly – we are now ridiculously unpredictable.

This Premier League season now feels like it’s ready to bang. There will no doubt be pain along the way, but watching KDB hobble off after 23 minutes leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, City might suffer a little bit more than Arsenal. A broke key player, down after one game, feels reminiscent of the season that followed the Liverpool quadruple bit. Still early days, but a little puff of hopium never hurt anyone, right?

First four games are going to be pivotal. Nottingham Forest has been very bland during preseason and they haven’t won a lot of games.  It’s going to be carnage for Matt Turner tomorrow. His first game back at Arsenal and the players all know his weaknesses. He’s poor under pressure with the ball at his feet and he tends to look petrified under pressure. No doubt there will be a little plan of how to take advantage of him playing his first-ever game for Forest.

My hope for tomorrow is that we come flying out the traps like raptors chasing a motorbike. We need to make a statement to the rest of the league against a team that’ll be in the bottom 6 this season. I want to see us pull them apart like we did Barcelona. Aggressive play, relentless pressing, and clinical in front of goal. I honestly can’t be having ‘they’re better than you think’ chats after.

The forward line will probably be the same as the one we saw at Wembley. Kai Havertz wasn’t signed as a #9, but he did a good job against City, and his height will be very useful against Forest.

The midfield kind of picks itself and so does the back 5.

There can be no excuses. Arteta needs a trophy this season and he has all the pieces he wanted. The opening day of the season needs to be special. The momentum of our start last season gave the team so much in terms of solidifying connections. The best ingredient for bonding players is to win lots of games. 10 points feels like the target for this set of games – but I’m telling you, if we can get 12, what a tone we’ll have set for the rest of the league.

Arteta seems very calm, which is great. Just thinking back to two seasons ago when we started the season without doing all our business then we had a bout of covid. How times have changed! The only interesting thing that came out of the presser was that he was unphased by Peter Schmeical’s critique about his Raya signing, he said, ‘ask the fullbacks what they think about competition.’ I make him right. I just hope this really is a battle for the #1 jersey – because let’s be honest, there’s a 95% chance the decision has already been made and Aaron Ramsdale will be on the bench by the end of September. I cannot imagine he’s taking this signing too well. Raya is better with the ball and he has a far superior save percentage. Bad times – but that is elite-level sport for you.

The final weeks of the transfer window will be interesting. Arsenal are waiting to pounce. Could be a midfielder, but suspect it’ll be a right-winger if we can land one. I know you all love Reiss Nelson, but I can’t have it that our solve for a Saka injury over 10 games is going to be him. Sure, could be Trossard, could be Havertz… but we spent the whole of last summer trying to spend £60m on Raphina. Doubt that idea is dead. So let’s see what happens there.

It’s been a mad 24 hrs of transfers and gossip – so get this Rival Watch podcast in your ears if you want to chat about it.

Oh, I forgot to invite you to the first On The Whistle of the season. It’ll be me, Johnny and Matt. It will be FUN.

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Once again Arteta 2nd half in game management is poor

Mr Serge

We usually lose our first game of the season so to get 3 points is at least a good thing


Nottingham forest couldn’t press us high up in the first half but started doing it in the second half and Arteta helped by taking our pacy attackers out but left havertz to do what? To press?, well he didn’t, to control long balls?, well there wasn’t much of it once forest started pushing us into our own half. His election may not have cost us point today but it’s cost us what we’d have been if he got his back four pairing correctly


Had the performance dropped after he subbed in four by the 60th minutes, I wouldn’t mind.
It will the price of involving the squad in a game that was almost won.

Arteta has a large squad, he needs to deploy them more often.

AFC Forever

Too many Arteta Out obsessives ruining this blog. Think they know everything but in fact don’t know anything. Always slagging off players and signings along with the manager. Sh1t fans. I feel sorry for Pedro & the proper fans on here who have to put up with all this unknowledgable shit and desire to piss on our club and players. This blog I hasn’t moved on from the WOB days, it’s people with the same passion fur hating managers because they think they are better. I would absolutely hate to be a ‘fan’ like that , it must be joyless.… Read more »

Mikel Coneteta

3 new players started today, 2 in the very heart of everything we do. Naive to think we aren’t going to be a slow burn out the gate.

Gabriel Jesus was a huge miss though, he’s world class whereas Eddie is PL-class. The difference is staggeringly big.


GoH He’s a decent player but these shitty theatrical dives are embarrassing.. I am 100% with you here considering that I hate that kind of thing to (my family is from a rugby background). But when you see Kane do it on a daily basis, I am not surprised to see Saka do the same thing to get some ref leeway. He hardly had any last season so he is trying to figure out how to get some this season. Blame PGMOL corruption for his attempts at the dark arts. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather he be honest… Read more »


Quality 1st half
Poor 2nd half
Very worried about Timber.
All in all a bit deflated, even though we got the points.

If Arteta’s plan is to run Saka into the ground again while everyone else gets a rest, then forget about it.


Mikel ConetetaAugust 12, 2023 14:42:03
UnWhere are you looking


Ideally Croatia or Greece. My favourite tow european countries
But Croatia is over priced so Greece and Spain
Looming for something I can do up ideally
Around the £60-£100k mark then get it refurbished

Why? You got any tips?


I won’t mind Awoniyi as a striker, big, strong, pacy, good in the air, can bully defenders, excellent hold up

Positive pete

Forest more than happy to come & park the Bus & odd breakaway or set piece.And didn’t change that approach for the entire 90 mins.Determined not to get thrashed.Fair enough.Thats down to us(Think we had something like 90% possession.) is 2- 0 in the prem is no longer a decent cushion.It’s 3+ reqd.With added on time at the Refs discretion it’s even more needed.
We looked disjointed.Hopefully that will be remedied soon.

AFC Forever

Mikel Coneteta “3 new players started today, 2 in the very heart of everything we do. Naive to think we aren’t going to be a slow burn out the gate.” I said that last week. I despair at the lack of football knowledge shown on here by some of the regulars. They think it’s all so easy, deluded by ignorance. The team played well. Rice was quality he will be incredible once the team develops. Really tough breaking down a low block, we did that well in the first half. . Second half we had the handbrake on and allowed… Read more »



What do you think about the game and player performances?

AFC Forever

*Love watching him live

Mikel Coneteta


Totally agree. Simply takes time to learn the patterns of your teammates and build some chemistry, doesn’t matter how comfy or talented you even are it just takes some reps!

Good win in the books day 1.


Great AFC. If that’s what you saw, say it and allows others say what they saw. It’s a blog of opinions. You are making excuses for the team with 3 new boys starting and there was no need for that. Dissenter already pointed out that a while ago. We can easily bring our new guys up to speed and won’t miss a bit. Haverts will never be as good as Trossard or ESR for example. Why do we have to start him by all means ?

Mikel Coneteta

15 shots
8 corners
79% possession
700 passes
90% pass completion

It was total control and dominance made sterile by a lack of cohesion and chemistry early season. We conceded from a transition and made it something it never needed to be. 6 weeks from now we’re 4-0 up at half time.

Absolutely not the disasterclass some were claiming.

AFC Forever

Mysticleaves Thought the lads did well against a disciplined low block I’m not sure some people understand how difficult it is to play against teams that do that well. Rice impressed and once we integrate the new players, which will take time, we’ll have better tempo & rhythm. We dropped quality in 2nd half. It’s only the first game of the season. Most important thing is to get the three points. Arteta, his coaches & players will review the game and work on the improvements needed. . Also, sort out the e tickets, my wife got in but it took… Read more »

Positive pete

AFC .low block ,the new polite way of calling “ parking the bus”.Which I much prefer as a description.Parking the bus.Describes the negativity involved.


1 game, 1 win.

I see no need to criticize the performance. No team ever played well every game of the season to win the league.


2 of 3 of our buys are square pigs in round holes. Why do we have to force start them from the beginning? It’s obviously going to take time for them to know how we play. We have Jogi and Partey in the 6 and Trosaard and ESR in the left 8 channel. No pressure to start the new boys.

AFC Forever


“ Absolutely not the disasterclass some were claiming.”

They don’t know what they are watching. Also, their agenda makes it impossible for them to see things rationally. Idiots.

Positive pete

Mikel.Indeed.They had 2 shots on target the whole match.Shows you their approach.which was purely” so long as we don’t get hammered “.


Arteta, his coaches & players will review the game and work on the improvements needed. . Also, sort out the e tickets, my wife got in but it took me another 25 mins!!!!

Amen! That’s what we ask for really. I’d much rather we are not the architect of our own problems though so early on. City are already on the march and we need to keep pace at least.

Sorry about the delay lol. At least you saw all the goals.

Positive pete

One thought.When you have the “park the Bus” teams visit.Much prefer to see the likes of Jesus( when available),Martinelli,ESR & Trossard.Guys who go straight at a defense & open them up.

James wood

Yes Eddie scored but let’s not kid our selves any good forward would have scored that goal after a lucky deflection from Martinelli.
I’m still of the same opinion Eddie really is not the player we require.

Danny S

It was an alarming set up against relegation fodder.

Mr Serge

3 points was a must 3 new starters in the team I am ok with that

The only downside is we took our foot off the gas and I would have started tross

Matt B

Didn’t see the game, but last season we thrashed Forest 6-0 at home, so this is disappointing

Arteta didn’t have to start all his 3 new players so don’t understand this excuse that it’s difficult to have cohesion playing 3 new players nonsense.

Was Partey at RB? If so, what the fuck is all that about when we got Tomi? Arteta not rotating — seems like he has a complete blank with that part of his game

Very underwhelming team selection and score line. I guess it was one you had to actually see


The setup wasn’t wrong, we were excellent in the first half.

Our issue was that we tried to stretch the pitch in the second half, but lacked attacking intent, and were too conservative in our passing,

There’s a fine line between trying to kill the game through exerting control from the back, and not trying to kill the opposition with a third goal….And I thought we struck that balance poorly.

First game, 3 points, we’ll learn from it, and next time hopefully we’ll exert more pressure and show more attacking threat.


The set up gave us nigh on 90% possession in the first half.


Well said AFC

Some unbelievable vitriol even before a ball was kicked

Yeah the second half was rocky but ffs enjoy the victory

Luteo Guenreira

A lilted performance to start the season. 3 points are what’s important but obviously need to improve.

Love the chaos after games like this. Didn’t take long for AFC Superfan to make a predictable return as head preacher of church Arsenal and try to guilt everyone into repenting.


Madhu. ‘’ Shitty performance it’s not enough if you are trying to win against city. ’’

Mate it’s the 1st game of the season, calm down we got the 3 points.. do you really think we’re not going to improve


Dominated. 3 points. Move on.

Hopefully Timber has a sprain and not done his ACL.


Leno with 9 saves. Man of the match performance. Happy for him.


Prior to the game I predicted Saka would cut inside and score with Eddie on the pitch ..always nice to get a prediction right isn’t it though I thought he would score a couple but our lack of invention 2nd half meant it was almost impossible for our front 3 to deliver anything worthwhile. Not surprised all that Eddie scored with his one real chance of the game، because that is what he does.. Pity we didn’t give our young front 3 the ammunition to really win convincingly. 2nd half our passing was too slow ، our mentality was to… Read more »


Havertz starting over Trossard was inevitable based on transfer fee and wages discrepancy.
Not sure why so many here are having such hard time understanding this dynamic.
If you’re Arteta try explaining to Kroenke why a player who’s been in the league three seasons , cost 65m, and was made Arsenal’s highest earner isn’t ready to start.

Nigel Tufnel

Just read the post, really good one. It says how a lot of us feel. Especially about how the club and Arteta/Edu are perceived now.
People who were laughing and criticisng a couple years ago…. not anymore.


I definitely don’t think Havertz was as bad as some made out. But he certainly is starting with a lot of pressure on him due to the fee he joined for


New post

Nigel Tufnel

Tom, It’s not only the fee, though that is true also. Havertz is a professional midfielder, or possibly false 9 who did it for his young years in Germany. He tracks back, tackles, and has more straight line speed than my boy Trossard. He also is a target for Ramsdale long balls. Trossard can fill in at midfield for short spells. It’s not his best use. It’s not Kai’s fault that most everyone in England thinks of him as a forward or striker because the idiots at Chelsea used him wrongly. Stop trying to make Havertz fee look like a… Read more »


What a cracking game at Newcastle.

AFC Forever

Mystic Thanks. It was a nightmare but luckily they told us the match was delayed. It seemed weird because some people were getting in, like my wife. A couple of my mates had the same problem as me. Hopefully just a glitch. Good win, Forest didn’t want to play but that’s fair enough. Did well to get the early breakthroughs, it’s so tough playing against a low block. It’s only the first game so lots to work on but that’s normal with new players. It might not be good enough for some fans but that’s more to do with them… Read more »


Havertz needs time, he will come good“

Chelsea fans said the same thing the last 2 seasons. If we get 10 goals from him it’ll be plenty.


1-0 forest. We don’t have the firepower. [@Guns of Hackney]

I know you like to wind people up, but frankly your crass prediction out of the need for shock posts is frankly head scratching. Are you really an Arsenal fan?

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