LOW BLOCK MUSCLE MEMORY (LONG READ)

by .

It does feel like a majority of Gooners are finally coming around to the idea that the weekend draw (reaction so bad I listed it as a loss yesterday by accident) wasn’t due to a shocking performance, but on the balance of play, down to two problems.

  • We made two very dim defensive errors that received the ultimate punishment
  • We didn’t perform to xG – which means the quality of our chances merited 3 goals and we only scored 2.

This tweet thread from @Bielsista summed up our first three games quite nicely.

This new unpredictable system we’re playing is delivering more possession, more xG, more shots, but less goals, and one more goal conceded compared to the opening 3 games last season.

Performance ALWAYS catches up with expected performance. Overperforming like United has been is lovely in the short term, but for me, when you’re trialing a new system, it’s great that the underlying numbers point to it working (and it failing because of a fluke) – because our players are really good and it will bang. So in short, you might hate the system, but it’s doing its job, and the solves for course correcting it are simple.

I do want to double down on some details I think are missing from the conversation.

Now, I have no clarity on the plans of Gabi M. He might be out the door by the time I wake up – but I suspect it’s too late in the window for a move like that, though I can guarantee longterm, he’ll be out.

So why is Arteta benching someone he played every game last season?

Low Blocks.

Mikel Arteta said in February that Arsenal had faced 16 blow blocks.

“We have faced 16 low blocks this season and we have won a lot of those games. Then it’s about efficiency. When they block everything and the ball doesn’t go in the net, it’s great (for them). If you win 2-0, then you attacked the low block really well. Against Aston Villa it will have to be a really high level to beat them.”

That was match day 24 – 66% of games up until that point Arteta deemed we’d faced a form of low block. To double down on that, he recently said that we actually faced more low blocks than Manchester City last season. That has been a problem for us. Clearly, we’ve mostly beaten them, but when we don’t, everyone says we’ve been sussed. This season, we’ve faced Forest who played a deep-deep block, followed by Palace and Fulham who just played normal deep blocks.

The new system we’ve been trialing has been a tactic in unleashing more ball-playing players by taking out bodies we haven’t really needed against weaker opposition.

The complicating factor has been losing Jurrien Timber – a true unlock in this system. Thomas Partey is playing right-back because he’s unreal in possession – but he’s only there because Timber is out and Tomiyasu can’t match him on the ball. Kiwior started at the weekend for two reasons – Zinchenko is making his way back to fitness, and Kiwior has been excellent in training. The reality of Zinchenko is he’s injury-prone, so giving Kiwior minutes against weak teams gives him the chance to feel out the Premier League for real – versus waiting until February when it really means something and he has to come in against City.

You can hate the system, but if you think the game was lost because Thomas Partey was getting skinned for 90, you’re wrong. If you think Kiwior was getting brutalised on the left, you’d also be wrong. Were they as good as Timber and Zini? No. But they offered more to the game than Tomi and Tierney would have. A subjective opinion, but one shared by the coaching staff.

It’s also worth noting that Saliba has played on the right and left side of defence this season. Partly, because Ben White is better with the ball at his feet than Gabriel, but I also suspect Arteta might see White as the superior and more experienced defender – he’ll want him in the middle if Saliba gets injured this season and he might even want him to start if Gabriel picks up a knock.

There are lots of scenarios Arteta has been working through – and whether people like it or not, the best place to test these things is in a live environment. It allows players to get used to the pressure in a controlled setting – versus an emergency one. Arteta did not test these scenarios last year which led him to lean on less innovative ideas during the backend of the season. Thomas Partey at right back and Ben White at centre back might have closed the gap on City – but there was no muscle memory for that type of move. We opted for Rob Holding and the rest is history.

There also needs to be some recognition of the challenge Arsenal is taking on this season. The best coach that has ever lived, with the most expensively assembled squad of all time, all peaking as I write, with a freak of a striker on 1 million euros a week. We aren’t topping them doing the same thing we did last season. The club has to invest in better ideas and we have to take the pain bedding them in. If you want a progressive coach – you have to accept that they have to experiment and occasionally get things wrong. It’s the only way to learn.

Arsenal also wants to become a sustainable club, they aren’t betting on one season of success, they want to invest in players that can dominate for 8 years when they peak. We aren’t going to peak this season, but the way we’re building the squad, it’s clear that’s not the plan (focus on young guys). The club wants to peak when City takes a shock to the system.

Does that mean we can’t win the league this season? No. But I suspect the most pressing matter is sustaining what we did last year without crashing because we can’t handle 3 games a week from September. Just read what Martinelli said about CL this season.

“I think we need to prepare ourselves for the worst, we need to prepare ourselves for the best teams and the whole team is doing that,”

“I think we are ready for a new challenge.”

“It’s so important (our squad depth) because we have too many games in the season and it’s going to be tough again,”

When you read that, you can start to understand the magnitude of the challenge, and maybe why we’re testing the squad hard early on.

All these things are painful to read – but they are based on the reality of the Premier League and what we’re up against.

Again, I’m not ruling out winning it all this year – I’m just saying a lot has to go for us for that to happen.

What I do believe is when this squad of 23.75-year-olds peaks, playing an unpredictable style no one can suss, we are going to be unstoppable. I just don’t think we’re there yet. We don’t have a Haaland, we don’t have right-wing cover, we’re not experienced enough, and I think the Timber injury has put us back a few steps.

If you don’t like the approach, tell me a better one?

Spend £900m like Chelsea – what has that got them?

Invest in a more seasoned manager – like Ten Hag? Mourinho? Conte? Carlo? Are there even any ‘we should have’ names left at this point? They’ve all come and gone, tails between their legs.

Do a Newcastle? Sure. I like what they’re doing. But is it better than what we’re offering?

Try what Klopp is doing? Do they look close to winning the league? I’m not so sure.

I like our idea the most right now. Young, technically brilliant, with a very innovative idea that will make us extremely difficult to play against, trying ready before the big changes at City. The shame is we have to wait for another club to dip before we can reach the promised land… but that dip will come one way or the other. Then we’ll be ready.

Ok, shorter one today. See you in the comments. x

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Aaron

Pedro,

Good points!

However, break Saliba and everything is done for.

Forcing him to mop up everygame at the back of 3 will break him.

Playing a back 4 with Gabriel conserves energy for the team, and allows Mikel to, cough, cough, rotate a few player at a time. Not changing the entire formation and playing the players out of position and stressing them to the maximum.

What you are saying is true, but Mikel can’t run everyone into the ground.

Abasiono

The first. Truly great write up

Gonsterous

Top 5??

TT

4th?

Jonathan

Doubt you heard Danny Kelly’s show on TalkSport yesterday evening, but Danny Murphy pretty much echoed what you’ve been saying about bedding a new and more flexible approach, getting new systems and players to gel and how it can only be done live. Certainly worth a listen.

Madhu

Again not accounting for the fact that these Young players will leave if we don’t win anything this season. To sustain and be at the top regularly needs consistent quality which delivered some progress every year. Lese you will be looking for alternatives and bedding in new players every season as you would have lost a young player to a RM or a City.

bnsb

Is the article generated by ChatGPT or future reality? Seriously good read.

Bergkamp63

If you look back at my comments regarding Gabriel Magalhaes, you will see that I have been saying he is a liability for a long time, he is too slow, too nervous and not great technically,

I for one am glad Arteta has benched him.

Savage

This is a change management issue and about how rapidly you introduce change. I do question the decision to change one of the things that was actually working, namely Ben White at RB. As soon as he went to RB we suddenly started getting overlaps, meaning Saka was pushed one position further infield, which is where he does the most damage. 3 changes (Partey at RB, Rice in mid, Havertz) is too many when it wasn’t well set up during pre-season.

But beat City and we can all get on board with it.

Andy1886

No mention of ESR linked with Chelsea? If we effectively end up having swapped him plus cash for Havertz someone needs their head tested.

Madhu

It will be sad day if ESR is sold to Chelsea. Much mor e of a sad day than when Cole went to Chelsea at the dawn of Abromovich era. My faith in Arsenal and it’s culture would be shaken to the core.

Graham62

My goodness, it’s been so nice only coming on here occasionally because my old school just wasn’t surviving a regular slot. All this statistical/ AI/ Technological mumbo jumbo makes me so angry. I swear some folk on here genuinely think that football is being played by robots! Quite unbelievable really. Anyway to my point. Arteta is the reason we are stumbling along. His methods and systems, which cost us massively towards the end of last season are clearly evident to anyone who understands the basics of the game……and team sport in general. Players playing out of position, disrupting proven systems… Read more »

Graham62

Old school style

Tikpo

Great analysis Pedro, these numbers from @Bielsista are a light bulb moment for me. They put into perspective, the change in system being implemented.
There’s just so much going on in the training ground and the backroom that we fans are unaware of.
I for one am going to relax and enjoy the process until a big enough sample size is generated on the football pitch to form definitive opinions.
Good luck to Mikel Arteta.
If fans are going to judge his performance, he is going 6need it.😃

Tikpo

he is going to need it

EdTheRed

Yes Graham.

I mean what’s the point of watching games anymore and getting emotionally invested? Just check the stats next day.

EdTheRed

This is more or less the timeline of Arteta’s tenure at Arsenal:

2020 – He needs six more players, then you’ll see.
2021 – he needs six more.
2022 – he needs players that can invert.
2023 – he needs 18 players who can invert at any point anywhere.

When does this madness stop?

Pierre

Results will determine if what Arteta is doing is a success or not. Winning football matches breeds confidence. Losing or drawing football matches saps confidence. Clean sheets will give the defence confidence Conceding goals will sap confidence. Scoring goals will give the strikers confidence. People can talk all they like but if we lose a couple of games in the next few weeks then the shit will hit the fan ….big time، the players confidence will dip and as Arsene Wenger said confidence goes up by the stairs and comes down by the lift، the title could be over before… Read more »

duvee

I think people are over analysing the dropping of Gabriel. Arteta wants to play with an inverted full back especially against ultra defensive systems. He currently thinks that only Zinchenko and Partey can do that. He obviously feels that Partey can only invert from the right and Zin from the left. Then in terms of centre halves pecking order, it is 1. Saliba, 2, White, 3 Gabriel (which I would agree with). When Zin is fully fit, then he comes in, White switches to right back and Gabriel comes back in to LCB. Question then is what happens in midfield.… Read more »

Josip Skoblar

Pedro’s piece is interesting but it is also speculative and full of conjectures. It may eventually work but it could also go terribly wrong like two years ago..I fear that it will be the latter. Arteta’s team selection and tactics still do not make sense to me. Apart from a few games last season when we played beautiful football, our play lacks fluidity and quality in general. It is all conservative and boring. Arteta was himself a boring and conservative player. Wenger’s last years were bad, and the man was flawed in many respects, but he offered us so many… Read more »

Madhu

Last Season our best performance was the 3-0 away win at Brentford. That performance was WoW all over. Brentford didn’t lay a glove on us. We controlled it for 90 mins. After that we haven’t seen a performacne like that at all.

englandsbest

Excellent analysis from Pedro – but I won’t pretend to understand the technicalities of what Arteta is doing, or trying to do. Clearly, Arteta is in experimental mode – and the absence of Timber hasn’t helped. Fine, provided points aren’t dropped. They were against Fulham, primarily because the players were pre-occupied by technicalities, not actualities. The question is, will Arteta have time to get the team fully in tune for games, or should he save the experimental stuff for the training pitch? In contrast Arsenal were cohesive from the start last season. It might be better for Arteta to re-ignite… Read more »

David.D

Seriously fuck you Arteta if you sanction the sale if ESR to fucking Chelsea.
He is absolutely taking the fucking piss.
Unforgivable.
Havertz in ESR out.
Fucking raging.

David.D

*of

into the red

More fantasy football from Pedro, obsessed like Arteta no doubt with the stats that ‘prove’ it’s all part of the master plan, the new two year one which conveniently is designed to wait for Pep to crumble, so we can keep making excuses for another two years, after the last two year plan. No mention of the introduction of Havertz which is the primary cause of the contortions at the back. It makes me laugh that the new buzzword is ‘unpredictability’ as if that is a virtue of the mismatched repositioning at the back. The reason we are unpredictable is… Read more »

Patrick

And when Ange proves he’s better than Mikel in the derby will you finally show him some respect?

Batistuta

Would be funny wouldnt it to take their underperforming Havertz and give them Smith Rowe in return, woild be quite something

1970 Gooner

Graham62 Absolutely spot on. I’m ‘old school’ too, and all this XG nonsense and the like drives me mad. Football is a simple game – score goals and keep ’em out at the other end! Arteta playing players out of position, and trying to be some sort of tactical genius is going to cost us big time if he persists. We could be on a fast train back to the bad old latter day Wenger football if we aren’t careful – lovely on the eye, plenty of possession, but easy to score against and no ‘teeth’ when it comes to… Read more »

raptora

Fabrizio Romano 30m
Understand Mallorca and Sevilla both asked for conditions of potential Rob Holding deal this week. 🔴🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #AFC

There are also PL clubs informed on Holding situation, as he’s still expected to leave.
____________________________________________

Sevilla is too good of a club for Holding. Probably gonna be a reserve there as well. Should look for a team where he’ll be starting. In any way, any fee for him will be appreciated.

X haka

Brighton had 78% possession v West Ham
26 goal attempts
10 on target
17 corner kicks.

but they lost.
Thats the thing with these stats, they tell you lies., which your eyes do not.

Mr Serge

PatrickAugust 29, 2023 09:53:29
And when Ange proves he’s better than Mikel in the derby will you finally show him some respect?

No and he won’t do one spud

Samesong

Don’t sell ESR do a loan if we aren’t going to play him.

raptora

Yeah, like Samesong says. If Arteta has decided not to play him this season, maybe he makes Arteta play him next season after a stunning loan campaign.

dSidstathopoulos

Teams have realized its better to let Arsenal have possesion and catch us on the break instead of the other way round.

dSidstathopoulos

Jeremy Doku, Diaby are a better approach to unlocking a low block than Havertz.

Graham62

Ramsdale is becoming a liability.

Discuss.

Matt B

David: Agree about ESR — its unforgivable not giving him any game time and inexcusable if he’s sold.

raptora

RyanTaylorSport 8m
Any move from Luton Town for Rob Holding would have to be a permanent transfer. Hatters will have filled two spots within Premier League loan quota once Isaac Hayden joins from Newcastle as Issa Kabore was also loaned from Manchester City.

Permanent transfer would Arsenal’s preference, anyway. As @FabrizioRomano reports, Mallorca & Sevilla have made enquiries. Besiktas saw bid rejected earlier in window. Now highly probable Rob Holding will depart before deadline. Contract runs until 2024 with 12-month option.

1970 Gooner

I know we are only 3 games in, but my pre-season optimism is fast slipping away – Timber out for the season, Havertz, predictably, looking like a complete misfit, Arteta messing about like Tinkerman on speed, and now we might be selling ESR to the Chavs!

I know 7 points from 9 is not to be sniffed at, but we hardly look like title challengers at the moment.

David.D

Matt I just don’t understand it. We have all seen the class of ESR. He was one of the first names on team sheet the season we missed out on top 4. Yes he has had his injury issues but he is fit now and still not being played. I don’t understand Arteta. To go from one extreme to the other is just mystifying. I know we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors but ESR has always come across as humble and loving the club. Just so gutted to see his talent just ignored. There will be an… Read more »

Dissenter

Kiwior lost all his aerial duels against Fulham, every singe one of them.
Arteta has been making poorer choices for a little while .
When ESR leaves for Chelsea, that concept will be out in the open for all to judge. It will be said than we bought high [Havertz] and sold low [ESR]. At that point you’ll just have to track the trajectories of both players
I won’t be surprised if he lets Gabriel leave and keeps the lesser option,

Foxy

re Ramsdale a likely scenario is that Raya comes into the team as soon as Arteta has an excuse to drop Ramsdale, performs well and Rams is benched and then loaned out/sold at a loss

Foxy

ESR needs to go to Pool or Villa , both managers will love his dynamism on the ball

Gazza

So basically forget actual points, goals scored & tables & just go on XG & possession as a guide to our team’s standing this season !!

Foxy

Watching the Fulham game is was noticeable how unsuited Havertz was to our style of attacking in numbers in tight areas and generally was just getting in the way!. He is quite tall and gangly and will I think be much suited to playing deeper in the left side role that Xhaka did and let Zini play more advanced when we attack.

Marko

One thing’s for sure absolutely all momentum and positivity from halfway through the window is gone. After the injury to Timber, the mysterious dropping of certain players and the freezing out of others on top of frustrating line ups and worse performances we’re now lowering expectations and hoping for better. All could have been avoided by the way problems created solely by the manager.

Rich

Regarding the goalkeeper, Arteta just needs to pick his No1. Decide who his best goalkeeper is, then pick that player in every league game, and every CL game of significance, then just rotate for the domestic cups. If he tries pleasing both of them, then he’ll end up pleasing neither of them, and instead of having one unhappy keeper, he’ll end up with two. It’s great to have quality cover, but I’m not keen on the idea of consistently rotating goalkeepers. Arteta is obsessed with control from the back, and whichever keeper is deemed to have superior distribution, is likely… Read more »

Dissenter

englandsbest is one of the greatest defenders of Arteta of all time ‘The question is, will Arteta have time to get the team fully in tune for games, or should he save the experimental stuff for the training pitch?In contrast Arsenal were cohesive from the start last season. It might be better for Arteta to re-ignite that mode and style early on, and ring the changes later.’ He can see the obvious, why it so hard for Pedro Arteta doesn’t have to jam in all these changes now, he can take a cue from how Pep handled Grealish. Let Havertz… Read more »

Dissenter

Somehow I’ve never read or heard any former goalkeeper support the idea of two co-equal goalies fighting for a starting position.
I stand corrected, can anyone come up with any former goalie that thinks this Ramsdale vs Raya thing is elite culture?

NORG

Arteta learnt style from Pep and stubborness from Wenger

raptora

I’m also struggling to see what ESR has that we wouldn’t need. Pace, power, end product/finishing, dynamic, positioning, technical skills, good in 1v1s, good in breaking packed defences, he’s a youth and is loved by everyone. The only thing that I can think of, he is a different player to before the many injuries he’s had. Or Arteta doesn’t see in him the qualities he likes and wants. What I know is, he’s bad one injury in the last almost 3 years. Maybe another small one for like a week or two, but 1 injury that was at the beginning… Read more »

Dissenter

ESR has to leave for his footballing survival, it’s a matter of footballing life or death

He only has to look at what Willock made of himself
There’s life after Arsenal.

He was in trouble from 2022 summer soon as we got Viera through the door, then he was rendered more moribund by us spending £65 for Havertz , who was always guaranteed game time.

raptora

Fabrizio Romano 24m
Nottingham Forest are considering the possibility to re-open talks for Nuno Tavares with Arsenal. 🔴🌳 #NFFC
Discussions ongoing to make decision soon.

Madhu

If Arteta sells ESR without giving a good try iam done with him. Arsenal seems to be his vanity project. On one side he talks about culture and values but then sells an academy star who has delivered one season but was injured next and seeped in Arsenal culture. ESR has had a surgery and now playing painless. How can he be sold before giving him enough time. We are willing to give time and place for a 65 M Havertz but not our own ESR. What message will be give to academy players. I sometimes wonder if Arteta the… Read more »

Tikpo

No @Gazza, XG and possession is no guide to the teams standings this season.
They are a guidebto the teams progress in adapting to Arteta’ s new philosophy.
3 games into the season is certainly not enough to draw any conclusions BUT compared with first 3 games last season, it shows the trajectory and the problems encountered.

Chrispy

I’ll be counting down the minutes of the window. Not for arrivals but for ESR not leaving. Love him as player. West Ham have enquired allegedly which i’m hoping is Newsnow clickbait bollox.

China1

‘We aren’t topping them doing the same thing we did last season. The club has to invest in better ideas and we have to take the pain bedding them in.’ Pedro the folly of this argument is that we aren’t facing city and pep 38 times this season We don’t need to out think them, we need to get more points than them. Only 6 points to play for between the two of us. How you pick up points in the remaining 36 fixtures is infinitely more important. And if you’re good enough to beat the other teams the vast… Read more »

Markymark

If ESR is sold to Chelsea I’d seriously throw my toys out of my pram. I’m guessing this would go down as well as Ashley Cole and Andy Cole from Newcastle to UTD

raptora

We won twice vs Leicester in 2015/16. Didn’t count for shit. They still won the league.

China1

Meanwhile Klopp won the CL, made another final, won a title and got extremely close to 2 more all whilst basically repeating the same tactics and system for the vast majority of those years. They only dropped off last season because their aging players ran out of steam. It doesn’t matter how original your game plan is it matters how good it is. We did not get found out last season. The setup had no glaring weaknesses and a whole bunch of strengths when our best 14 or so players were fit Need to stop making excuses for the manager… Read more »

Marko

Arteta isn’t even being innovative it’s basically diet pep shit he’s trying and failing. Last season was innovative he had us challenging and then to go away from that to try to look smart he’s ended up looking dumb.

allezkev

I’m not at all sure if Emile Smith Rowe would be considered at all a saleable asset if Jurien Timber doesn’t get injured or if Sambi Lokonga had been sold or if Nino Tavares had been sold or if Cedric Soares had just cancelled his contract and left or if Nicholas Pepe had been sold?

I would absolutely be against selling ESR whether the rumour is true or not and even if we have to sell to buy, in fact I’d rather just go with the squad that we have and keep Emile.

Marko

It’s also really fucking stupid to alienate one of your best prospects (ESR) your most in form players (Trossard) and one of your best defenders (Gabriel) for the sake of experimenting at the beginning of the season.

Matt

If it were possible to pin posts on here – this from China would be worthy of a pinning! ‘‘We aren’t topping them doing the same thing we did last season. The club has to invest in better ideas and we have to take the pain bedding them in.’ Pedro the folly of this argument is that we aren’t facing city and pep 38 times this season We don’t need to out think them, we need to get more points than them. Only 6 points to play for between the two of us. How you pick up points in the… Read more »

Marko

Again I can’t stress this enough it’s not innovative if it doesn’t work.

China1

It’s also very convenient that before the season started the posts about city were saying their team will find it hard to maintain the levels after selling a few players, losing some back room staff and motivating themselves after winning the treble. Supposedly they were going to have a season of relative transition They actually have started the season without being at their best (in line with the above expectation) and yet the moment we drop points unnecessarily it’s because we need to try and outthink a city team at the peak of their powers! Apparently that city transition only… Read more »

Northbanker

For anyone interested I have just placed one of my tickets for the Arsenal v Man U game on ticket exchange

Northbanker

ah too late – already bought it seems

Graham62

Marko

I agree with everything you say.

Unfortunately, you can be innovative and forward thinking but if you can’t get the basics right, what’s the ####### point!

Ken

Pretty much unanimous opinions on here when it comes to the prospect of ESR being sold. I also think it would be unforgivable. He saved Arteta’s job not too long ago after all.
If Arteta sells ESR to anyone without at least giving him a fair chance then I’ll struggle to give a shit about the team as long as he’s in charge.

Marko

I think if we don’t bring in a couple defenders before the end of the window there’s going to be a real struggle this season. Absolutely need a LB our options there are precarious to say the least

Un

MarkoAugust 29, 2023 13:10:11
Again I can’t stress this enough it’s not innovative if it doesn’t work.

Marko
True innovation rarely works immediately. Especially when you’re competing against superior resources
Have patience
You prick

Danny

Can’t blame ESR if he leaves. Arteta obviously doesn’t trust him, why else has he signed so far 3 players in his position (Ode, Vieira and Harvetz)?
As for Harvetz, I understand signing him for his European experience but that’s no reason to play him in every league game, he better not start on Sunday.

OM

Bang on. Love the content, great to read something rational and thoughtful instead of the emotional outpourings that dominate fan commentary. Keep doing what you’re doing

Leftside

I think that is our lot for incomings this summer. Wouldn’t be excited anyway, our manager has managed to create problems where there weren’t any.

I do not rate United at all, with our system that has worked well and the players are familiar with we beat them this weekend in my view. However, with this fancy idiotic system that actually makes Arteta appear way less intelligent than he thinks he is, we will lose make no mistake about that.

Josip Skoblar

Pavard has just signed for Inter for 30m euros. A bargain for a seasoned World Cup champion defender. What a waste.

1970 Gooner

Marko

”Absolutely need a LB our options there are precarious to say the least”

Where’s Tierney when we need him – oh he’s out on loan!

Arteta is seriously worrying me now with his determination to shoe-horn Havertz in to the team by playing Partey out of position, and throwing away the White / Saka partnership that worked so well last season. I’m waiting with bated breath to see what the selection is for the United match – surely the time for ‘messing about’ is over!

raptora

AFCAMDEN 13m
Chelsea enquired about a swap deal last week: ESR for Mudryk. Was a no from Arsenal at the time.
__________________________________________

LOL, I bet this guy is mental. No way this happened. Or is there?! haha what a stupid rumor

China1

This Utd game is massive

hope we smash those fuckers

Samesong

If we play the occasion we will lose at old Trafford. Our record is shit there.

If we play them with no respect we will smash them.

Graham62

It’s at the Emirates!

Chris

Would ESR even get game time at Chelsea?

I ask sincerely because I have lost track of how many midfielders they have bought.

Like others, I would be gutted to see him go, especially there.

Chris

Champions League draw to look forward to as well this week chaps.

If you know any Spurs fans, remember to ask them who they got in Europe this season!

China1

Although I hope I’m wrong, I will be surprised if partey doesn’t start at RB vs Utd

Even tho I wouldn’t do it I am kinda curious to see what it looks like tho when you have two players as good at CM as partey and zin both inverting in the same team

One would expect we should have complete midfield dominance on the ball but I dunno what it would look like off the ball considering Zin isn’t the best defender and partey literally isn’t one…

Rich

It’s not so much about trusting Smith Rowe, he was by far our standout player between Dec 2020 – Dec 2021. But he’s been carrying an injury issue since his teens, and I’ve seen it suggested by someone who works in the medical profession, that they likely wanted to put off surgery until he’d stopped growing. He was injured through his loan in Germany, treated with kid-gloves on his loan with Huddersfield, had a shoulder injury in the beginning of 2020/21. We were managing his fitness through the second half of 2021/22, then he missed pre-season for 2022/23. So was… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Smith Rowe is an injury prone nightmare. Now look, I’m a fan. He’s got chops and seems okay but is he? Two years ago is when we last saw him for an extended amount of time before his body broke down. As we stand now, even if we are only three games in, is to absolutely give him a run. But he didn’t cost £65m and therein lies the problem. ESR is expendable. Havertz, by default is not. Arteta has made a rod for himself purely based on buying a very expensive player no one wanted and we didn’t need.… Read more »

Samesong

Graham

My bad

1970 Gooner

China1

If Arteta persists with his ridiculous team selections against United we’ll lose.

izzo

For someone whos had his tongue firmly lodged up Arteta’s rectum and loves any England players, I’m surprised Un hasn’t said anything about ESR being sold to Chelsea.

Samesong

Loan not sell ESR

Emile Smith Rowe in October 2020: “As an Arsenal fan, it would be a dream to become an Arsenal legend. I want to win trophies with the team. I could see myself being a one-club man if everything works out.” #afc

raptora

1970, This ain’t right. He benched Partey for 3 games straight at the end of last season, before he started him at RB in the last two games of the PL. No Havertz back then. But you know what fits the bill? Zinchenko got injured. Arteta is so desperate to have a full back that inverts that he’ll do whatever it takes to play with one. Perdo keeps repeating unpredictability, unpredictability… Fulham skipper Tom Cairney: ‘We spoke about it before the game that if Partey plays right back but comes into centre midfield and the same with Zinchenko playing left… Read more »

jwl

Graham62 – Pedro loves his xG instead of what his eyes tell him. Most of us here were introduced to xG during our 22 game unbeaten run under emery and pedro was running around with his hair on fire about how it was fake. Pedro doesn’t use wins/loses/place in table when judging arteta, he like more nebulous stats that dont really tell you anything.

Marko

Especially when you’re competing against superior resources

Fulham? Palace? Forrest? Superior resources? Come on now you’re not that daft Don

1970 Gooner

raptora I agree with what you say. Football is a simple game, which Arteta seems to be completely over-thinking. Also he doesn’t seem to trust certain players which must effect their confidence. Havertz was an unnecessary purchase, and Arteta’s desperation to prove all the doubters wrong at the expense of a solid back four is so disappointing. I would dearly like to see Havertz succeed at Arsenal, but messing with a winning formula isn’t the way to do it. Let’s see Partey back where he’s best, and White linking up with Saka against United, with Gabriel back, partnering Saliba. I… Read more »

Rich

Hyper hysterical bedwetters are out in force today.

jwl

Rumours say manure about to sign 25yr old Turkish keeper from fenerbache. It looks like they doing two competing keepers as well because he currently no 1 for his team and also plays for senior national team.

Guns of Hackney

Shut up Rich. We’re doing badly compared to what we’ve spent and what we’ve supposed to have done since last seasons big fluke. £200m this season. £665m since Arteta took over.

That’s obscene. And we ain’t doing what the xg says we should based on the money.

You want stats? Based on Arsenal spend, we should be winning stuff. We are not.

Marko

Huge argument by Rich there. Massive

Rich

GOH

I love you….. But we’re 3 league games in, we’ve also beaten City at Wembley, but dropped 2 bad points, our performances though haven’t been worrying in any way.

Building towards success isn’t an event, it’s a process, particularly when starting from a very low ebb, and on a steep downward trajectory, in an incredibly competitive environment.

Hopefully we can clear the deck, get our squad down to a more manageable size, and add at least one quality versatile defensive option by Friday night.

China1

Man U appear to be interested in Hojbjerg

Another meh signing of a player just because he’s Dutch just like that elite CF they got last season in Jan lol

I’m all for it. Hope they spend big. He’s not even good by Spurs’ standard so aside from being Dutch I’m really not sure why he’s be looked at by Utd

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