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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Marko

You’re idiotic. Basically injured for the best part of two seasons and you make it sound like we were unreasonable to let him go. Grow up

Nigel Tufnel

Dissenter, “Something tells me that Willock can play that Havertz role a lot better than the £65 million man” What tells you that is your predisposition against Havertz.. Willock is a serviceable player. Nothing more. I’m not saying that you’re just jumping on the Havertz hate train with the mob… because that’s not your style…. But here’s an honest question: Have you ever given Havertz any chance of being a good acquisition for us since he was linked? I definitely have, and expect him to prove the mob wrong, just like White and Ramsdale. Before anyone mentions the 65m …… Read more »

Un

Marko
Well it’s clearly not idiotic because he had two extremely high performing seasons
Obviously some errors of judgment were made by the club
These people are paid to get these things right
Villa real’s medical department got it right and their coaching staff recognised the value in him
We didn’t
Who was right and who was wrong?

Raulishuss

You are acting like you discovered electricity or something that ESR has played more for Arteta than for any other Arsenal manager. When the last manager before Arteta left, Emile was 19 years and 4 months old. He’s now 23.

What has age got to do with it you absolute bellend. Keep gaslighting negativity that’s your forte

Dissenter

Un
It’s a waste of time debating you on any issue because you are intentionally impervious to reason

Why is it going over your head that a head coach doesn’t “sell” anyone?

Emery always had 2-3 people above him when he was at the club, that’s why they never followed his recommendations for incomings or outgoings. He coached whomsoever was given to him.

When you’re asked to explain, you go off on another tangent like a catfish.

Dissenter

Santi had not played for 18 months by the time his Arsenal contract ran out.
No one was going to RENEW the contract of a player who’s not kicked a ball for 1.5 years

Un

MarkoAugust 29, 2023 19:30:12
You’re idioti

Can you have a discussion without attempting to insult the intelligence of others?
To me it highlights a specific insecurity in your own self worth Jackeen. Maybe time to call the therapist again? Friendly advice from your old pal l

Nigel Tufnel

Duvee,

Good analysis. Clear, simple. Spot on.

Nigel Tufnel

Sid:

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

A rare miss from you there Sid.
Nice players, and I wanted Diaby, especially for pace, but nothing about him says he’d be good against premier league quality low blocks. Probably the opposite is more likely. He’d struggle.

Would be great in fairly open games though, and I thought as a sub to run at tiring defenders or on the counter against teams chasing leads we might have. By the 60th minute Martinelli is usually losing steam because he sprints so much.

jwl

Fab Romano –

Understand Manchester United have reached an agreement in principle with Cucurella on personal terms. Green light arrived on player side.

Man United won’t negotiate for any other left back now — as they want to get Cucurella deal done with Chelsea ASAP.

Un

Diss
Ok. Engage in semantics
Let me rephrase
Emery froze out or gave away all of our creative players

EdTheRed

Not going to name the geezer, but this is the level of discussion we have to deal with, bordering on moronic I’d say.

“Pierre esr has played more times under arteta than any other arsenal manager so shut up with your facts cause it ain’t”

Un

Diss

Aaaah
Ok
But one club would give a contract to him and extract maximum value
Just stop it
You’re making a fool of yourself

Nigel Tufnel

I consider Murdyk shit right now… but I’d be curious to see him after a season and preseason under Arteta. The forward whisperer. I’m not an expert, but I believe he could be an elite presser with his explosive first step… he just seems to have all the wrong priorities on the pitch. He should be told – don’t worry about goals for now.. they will come.. work on all the other aspects of his game, and the pressure comes off and goals and assists will flow. I actually am hopeful Emile stays and gets more playing time. But as… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Just an opinion, but maybe if Saka had a slightly less poor game, we would have 3 wins right now, and there’s be much drier beds for grovers.

Dissenter

Un “Let me rephrase Emery froze out or gave away all of our creative players” Maybe you’ll get it after the 66tth text revision If he can’t sell then, how can he give them away. You’re conditioned to loose language because you’ve spent too much time stocking up on lies. -Club didn’t renew Wilshere’s contract because he was irreversibly crocked. West Ham took a chance on home and voila… they mutually cancelled his contract because he was too broken. -Emery used and depended on Ramsey, even after Ramsey jumped at the insane wages Juventus was offering him. He only stopped… Read more »

Buckagh

Saturdays result certainly felt like a loss, regardless of Pedro’s theories, Arsenal should put the points in the bank against a team like Fulham,
Gabriel’s head has been turned by the oil money I presume, it won’t likely happen this window but if it does happen in the near future there has to be 70/90 million fee, if not,well your not going, will he down tools, be toxic in the setup?

Dissenter

*I get the impression that you’re doing chug-a-lugs with home brewed beer as you type up these posts

Dissenter

Why are the media talking about Salah ‘do the dirty’ on Liverpool by leaving?
He’s won every available trophy possible at Liverpool
He’s 31 years old and someone is offering him Ronaldo/Neymar type of wages in Saudi Arabi, how can he not consider it properly
Liverpool stand to get about £100 million for him and they already have his attacking replacements in place.
That’s a no brainer

Un

Diss
You’re becoming boring. Seriously
What happened to you? You used to be an interesting poster

Nigel Tufnel

I just saw Ben White tell Ødegaard he has no top lip lol.
It’s so true! This guy is worth 50m just for the personality.

Un

Diss

Yeah ok
Let’s assume your appraisal of each player is correct (it’s not)
The creative heart was ripped from the team and not replaced until Arteta spent a year at the club
That’s 2 and a half years with no creative players.

Un

Nigel
Maybe he should hang with marko and make it clear that he has no balls
Or diss who needs to discover that he lost his personality.. maybe he shat it out

Josip Skoblar

Kolo Muani signs for PSG. He was available until now. He would have been a perfect signing to replace the often injured and not so prolific Jesus.

Dissenter

Un
I wholly agree with the last statement
Odegaard was the one who restored the creative heart beat. Funny enough, I didn’t see that side of him in his loan year.
Arteta loves Soldiers more than he loves artists though, He hasn’t signed too many Mozarts or Van Goghs, or he differs from Wenger in that regard.

Batistuta

Glad for Saka picking up that award. Hopefully he has White at RB to put United to the sword this weekend

Marko

I’d be curious to see him after a season and preseason under Arteta. The forward whisperer.

That’s funny. Can’t give any game time to ESR or Trossard or Nelson but he’s the forward whisperer apparently

Marko

Great news for Saka

Mr Serge

Santi my fave player of the last 10 years was absolutely broken and nearly lost his ankle in the 18 months he was out injured and it made total sense for us to let him go at that point, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Batistuta

4 arsenal players in pfa team of the season shows so much progress was made

Shame we’re riping all of that apart and playing our best midfielder at RB

raptora

Emad AFC,
According to the Danish @tipsbladet information..

Several English clubs are interested in signing right-back Benfica Alexander Bah (25-year-old Danish) in the last days of the market. They are West Ham and Nottingham Forest.

However, there is a special interest from a bigger “fish”, which is the Arsenal club.. Benfica does not want to sell unless an attractive offer of 30-35 million euros arrives..
________________________________________

He turns 26 in December and is a RB that was bought by Benfica last summer for £7m from Slavia Prague.
https://www.transfermarkt.com/alexander-bah/profil/spieler/452607

Raulishuss

4 arsenal players in pfa team of the season shows so much progress was madeShame we’re riping all of that apart and playing our best midfielder at RB

Shame we have pretends fans trying to doubt same coach and playersb

Un

Diss Great We’ve reached a consensus of sorts Glad we could agree my old chum. My point was not one of semantics but one of losing our creativity Yes Arteta prefers work rate over artistry. Agree. It’s a symptom of the modern micro manger and something I hope we pivot from soon as I miss the era of the footballing magician. Still, it was he who restored creativity into the middle of our game and I love watching the way Odegaard plucks the strings The turns and drag backs and sinks and flicks and through balls A little bit of… Read more »

Un

That’s funny. Can’t give any game time to ESR or Trossard or Nelson but he’s the forward whisperer apparently

Mongo
88 goals for says he knows a thing or two about putting it in the old lobster pot with a forward line that cost him £45m on Jesus and £27m on trossard
Hmmmmmm 🤔

Marko

You don’t get it don

Un

Serge
I was adamant at the time that it was a mistake
My point stands
Hindsight has only fortified my conviction

Un

Marko
88 goals says you don’t get it
Move on. You can’t argue with cold hard facts. Actually you’re a raging empty headed lefty so of course you can

Mr Serge

Congrats bukayo

Mr Serge

Un and Marko as emperor palpatine once said let your hatred flow.

Damn you two always at each other.

Even me and Sid get on better

Batistuta

Raul

Doubting a coach’s tactics isnt the same as doubting tje coach. He’s not infalliable

raptora

Zinchenko on Rio’s channel The topics: 00:35; – Which player impresses you the most when it comes to training? 2:30; – Which player do you think can go the furthest? 3:30; – Who has the most potential from the academy? 4:26; – Who is the most underrated player in the Premier League? 6:50; Who would you rather take in a 1v1 Mahrez or Saka? 7:48; – A goal preventing tackle or a match winning goal 8:20;- Mudryk or Mbappe in a race? 9:30: – Who is the toughest opponent that you’ve faced? 10:15; – Why can’t Arsenal win the league?… Read more »

raptora

Some of you wanted to sell him. Shame on you.

WengerEagle

For fuck all nothing too Rap.

Daft really.

jwl

Taken from twitter –

Number of Arsenal players in the PFA team of the season in the ELEVEN seasons between 2011 – 2022: 3 (Wilshere, Van Persie, Alexis)

Arsenal players in the PFA team of the season JUST last season (2022/23): 4 (Ramsdale, Saliba, Odegaard, Saka)

WengerEagle

For as Un pointed out Rice who by Conteta’s criteria with ESR has only performed for a shit West Ham side prior to the 105m purchase.

Marko

Listen imbecile he was talking about Mudryk joining and I mentioned how he can’t even give ESR Trossard or Nelson any game time. Do you get it now dummy. Don’t you have a cross to burn somewhere go bug someone else

Dissenter

How did Ramsdale make the team of the year
Lots of payers just voted for their buddies

He’s good but not better than at least three keepers in the division last season

Dissenter

Martinelli was every inch as good Saka last season

EdTheRed

RaulishussAugust 29, 2023 21:14:34
4 arsenal players in pfa team of the season. Shame we have pretends fans trying to doubt same coach and playersb

Why are you mentioning Arteta along those players.? He’s won fuck all.

WengerEagle

I think over the entire season Saka was better but in the bigger games, Martinelli stepped up more imo.

Leftside

Really hope we can build on last season. Get back to basics and then go from there.

Bill

I must say that I’ve never been impressed by Havertz since he was bought by Chelsea. I saw clips of his skill in the Bundesleiga, but let’s be honest anyone can look good in clips. I always thought of him in a similar vein to Timo Werner. Both good on their day but not game changers. I was bemused, to say the least, when Arteta bought him. I was shocked at the £65m fee. I had convinced myself that the fee, and maybe the link, were media inventions. Having said all of this, I’m happy to see if Arteta can… Read more »

Mr Serge

I was listening to last week’s pod and Pedro was saying Rice was better than PV4 I was shouting at my speaker unbelievable comment Pete

Declan is not fit to lace the big man’s boots
He came over at 19 and was magnificent for us from his debut onwards

Rich

Spurs never fail to give a good laugh.

Leftside

Spurs keeping up tradition I see, always great to see

allezkev

Good old Spurs, you can always rely on them to cheer you up.

Mr Serge

Spursy

Nigel Tufnel

Marko, as usual you can’t be positive about anything. Sorry about whatever happened to make you this way. Reiss, Nketiah, look great and much better under Arteta. Saka and Martinelli had the talent, but are getting better every season under him. They track back and defend, press and win balls along with the attacking improvements that have come these past couple seasons. He certainly hasn’t made Trossard worse, has he? ESR had that best season we all point to,, playing for which manager? Arteta. I agree he should find more playing time for them… it’s my biggest complaint….. But you… Read more »

Dissenter

I cannot think of any footballer that loathe more than Richarlison

Why does he do that puffed up goal celebration?

Nigel Tufnel

The PFA team of the year… I was thinking the other day, we actually have 4 world class players now.

Saka, Ødegaard, Rice and Saliba.
Pretty good I think.

Mikel Coneteta

“If you’re really comparing ESR to Pepe in terms of contribution past goals alone then there’s nothing more to be said really.“ Literally the opposite of what was said, maybe read what’s put for a change instead of ignorantly chirping in. YOU keep harping on about ESR once scoring 10 league goals for us, I said Pepe managed the very same feat. Overachieving your xG one season doesn’t mean a player has arrived. ESR is a crock at this point, everything about the lad is surrounded in hope. Pretty sure everyone on here wants him to succeed with us, but… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

“How did Ramsdale make the team of the year
Lots of payers just voted for their buddies”

Dissenter morphing into mysticleaves and Marko.
If I was a player, that is the list I’d be most proud to be picked for.

Contrary to dissenters comment, it’s all about respect for rivals. It’s a real honour.

Of course some geniuses on a blog have more important opinions than our guys peers.

I’m sure they voted for him only because he’s a likeable guy, nothing to do with football….
The cynicism from our own fans is a bit depressing.

Un

Marko
Triggered hahaha
Someone get marko a safe space for his bruised and battered ego

Dissenter

Mikel
” He isn’t Saka or Martinelli who are bonafide stars of this team.”
But for his injuries, he has the same talent level and ceiling.

Marko

Saliba last two seasons Ligue un team of the year and premier league team of the year. Lucky to have him

Dissenter

Nigel
You’re selectively reading stuff so you’re outrage can be like a forest fire

You wouldn’t be able to get so angry, of you read EVERYTHING that I wrote:
“How did Ramsdale make the team of the year
Lots of payers just voted for their buddies
He’s good but not better than at least three keepers in the division last season”

The three keepers in question are Alisson, Ederson and Martinez

How could that have offended you bro?

Dissenter

I mean, the data doesn’t even support the notion that Ramsdale should be anywhere near the team of the year.
How can Ederson win a treble and wasn’t named into that team.

Foxy

So Zini thinks Partey is the best holding midfielder he has played with, could he now tell Arteta that and to stop messing about using him as a wandering all over the place RB. As Frank Leboef said the other day on ESPN it is really difficult for a DM to play full back as you have read the game and move so differently.

Mr Serge

Marko Saliba is lucky to be at Arsenal one of the biggest clubs in the world not the other way round.

Diss I loathe Richarlason too and that Anthony with his bad man expressions I wish I could be locked in a room with either of those two.

Mr Serge

Nigel
No way is Ramsdale better than Ederson or Allison
The later had a stinker of a season so I can See Aaron being ahead of him on the list but better then the player that won the treble ? Nah man

raptora

Mr Serge: “I wish I could be locked in a room with either of those two”

Sid will pop out of the wardrobe at the right moment.

Un

How many Marko’s does it take to screw
In a lightbulb

Two.

One to hold the bulb, and one to drink until the room starts spinning.

Mikel Coneteta

“But for his injuries, he has the same talent level and ceiling“

Glad we agree that Martinelli and Saka are bonafide Arsenal stars, and ESR is talent yet fulfilled.

Maybe you’ll take the stick out of your arse now just because it was said by someone apathetic to his sale.

Nigel Tufnel

Dissenter you insulted Ramsdale by suggesting it was a personality contest from his peers. Also, Martinez could never handle the the game of the other keepers you mentioned, and doesn’t belong in that group. Klopp, Pep, would never take a simple old school keeper who is a shot stopper and commands his box. Our teams control the ball for such long periods of time, the keeper is part of a ball playing 11. No Nick Pope, no Emi for top teams. The rest of your comment I should have taken more into account as far as a decent ranking for… Read more »

sarge

Excellent post Pedro. Totally makes sense for Arteta to develop tactical flexibility and keep us one ahead of the game. And agree most fans will find this a frustrating process, that patience is required. That said, the new system *might* be a step in the right direction, but he still needs to find the right personnel to execute. And right now I have my doubts that Arteta knows his best XI to make that work… the component parts are not yet syncing. At the game Saturday, I just thought it was all too measured and prosaic… not nearly enough invention… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Mr Serge. ..
I didn’t mean to convey that, but Ramsdale is closer to them than people here think. I put a lot of stock in the PFA team. That’s just me.

If you watch as many City and Pool games as I do, you’d be surprised at the amount of brain farts they have. Only Ramsdale gets the torch and pitchfork treatment from his own teams supporters because he creates some scary moments when he purposely draws in pressers. That’s the game we play.

WengerEagle

Coneteta If ESR were a Pepe and or a Walcott type that could only put up 10 PL goals by contributing pretty much nothing else to the cause I may take your dense POV on this seriously but anyone who has actually watched him over any length of time can tell you what a brilliant player he is outside of the goals. ‘Overachieving your xg one season’, you talk as if he is some seasoned vet when the guy put up that season for us at 21/22 years of age. Is it not reasonable to say that he has incredible… Read more »

rollen

oh yeah Richalison Anthony Fernandez and Jota, hate them all.

Dissenter

Mikel
You’re funny man
You’re super quick to defend Kai and Mount
Has it not occurred to you that even though Emile has been injured since the summer of 2021, Kai Havertz hasn’t done NOTHING since the scored that CL final goal in May 2021.

Even with the year Emile was out for, he’s still at the same level or ahead of Havertz.
Spot the contradiction in your position?

Rich

Havertz managed 17 goal contributions in his first season at Chelsea. 20 goal contributions in his second, and 10 last season, but it’s hard to draw any type of real conclusion with anything at Chelsea over the past 18 months… It’s been pure basket-case. Havertz has scored 13 goals with 13 assists in 2,274 minutes for Germany, with a goal contribution every 87 minutes at international level. At Chelsea he managed a goal contribution every 191 minutes, at Leverkusen 147 minutes, between the age of 17-20. Smith Rowe has managed a goal contribution for Arsenal every 185 minutes. Smith Rowe… Read more »

Mikel Coneteta

Eagle What was your question on Rice? “Is it not reasonable to say that he has incredible scope for growth if he was doing that in his very early 20s?“ Scope for growth…..also known as….potential? Ie the thing I’ve said ESR is all about? Well yeah no shit. Let’s have it right, you were the one claiming his ten goal season was proof of him being ‘at it’ as far as being ripe for the top level of the PL vs Mudryk. Im saying plainly that we were shit at that point and he’s got a lot to prove that… Read more »

Dissenter

Nigel If you’re willing and big enough to acknowledge that Ramsdale was not the best keeper in the premier league [he’s behind Edison and Allison]. How else do you think he got in the team ahead of them. PFA voting has that bias. Many players vote for their mates or don’t vote for the arrogant top player because he was too annoying. Check out this article in the Athletic. https://theathletic.com/2577786/2021/05/11/footballers-and-voting-for-pfa-awards-picking-mates-misspelt-names-and-holding-grudges/ It has a paywall so I posted some excerpts ““One thing I’ve always found is that lads put their mates in a lot,” says the Premier League player who voted… Read more »

WengerEagle

Coneteta ”Let’s have it right, you were the one claiming his ten goal season was proof of him being ‘at it’ as far as being ripe for the top level of the PL vs Mudryk. Im saying plainly that we were shit at that point and he’s got a lot to prove that he can be a starter for a team at our current level – same as Mudryk would.” My point on Rice was precisely this, he was performing for a far shitter West Ham side than the Arsenal that ESR was and for some odd reason you only… Read more »

Dissenter

Mikel C’mon, what has Havertz done since he scored that winner in the CL You can rationally argue that he’s been stymied by the chaos at Chelsea but when all is considered his career has been in hibernation at Chelsea so much that even his best advocates hope he can reenact his Leverkusen in the 2019-2020 season. My point is that Havertz hasn’t done much in the time that ESR was out from injury so you can’t use the injuries that’s held ESR back as a basis for selling him. I don’t think you ever rated ESR even when he… Read more »

Marko

How many Dons does it take to screw in a light bulb? Just the one but he needs his wife to pay the electricity bill.

New question how many clients does Dons wife have to see to pay the electricity bill? Anyone…

Mikel Coneteta

“My point on Rice was precisely this, he was performing for a far shitter West Ham side than the Arsenal that ESR was and for some odd reason you only seem to hold that against the latter. Can you maybe explain the difference?“ Do you first want to clarify the difference between being a starter and standout for 6 years at a mid table club vs going hot for a 21 PL game injury-managed season for a shit Arsenal? Because make no bones, Declan Rice is on display this season to prove to all he belongs at this level. That… Read more »

Jonnygunner

Marky…extremely near the bone with that last remark. By all means stand by your opinions…but if you were face to face with him…would you make that remark?
This is about football. You two are out of control.

Jonnygunner

Marko…bloody autocorrect

China1

What is it about the left sided CM role at arsenal For 5 odd years with Xhaka most of us was sick to death of that position being our weakness. Then last season he finally was legitimately good (fair play to him). Then he leaves lol Then we replace him and it’s once again probably the position which is under the most scrutiny and facing some of the most criticism. I really hope Havertz comes good and fast because I can’t be coping with another early years xhaka situation again. We were supposed to be moving on from those days… Read more »

China1

Dissenter I disagree with the thinking that Ederson should be in the team of the season because he won the treble because he didn’t – the club did. He was ‘only’ one of the many contributors of the clubs successes So I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it based on performances – maybe he does – but he doesn’t deserve it based on team trophies. Clubs win tournaments not players And lots of players in title winning teams are not actually even elite (again not saying Ederson isn’t but just underscoring which that logic does stand up). For example Wes… Read more »

raptora

https://twitter.com/DailyAFC/status/1696579961010671819
Zinchenko at Rio’s show – just the part about Partey.
Zinny speaking like that for Partey is a big acknowledgment.
We’re wasting him at RB.

Nigel Tufnel

Dissenter that was some interesting info on the voting! Still that’s a definite minority, but i guess could swing the win for somebody… but it’s not fair to assume that’s the only reason our guy won. That’s where it gets back to people being disposed to excuse fuckups by Ederson and Alison, but get all over Aaron for less bonehead moments. I see it here plenty. Even when he wins a vote, you assume it’s for something other than merit. I’m proud of, and happy for him even more than the others. Ramsdale is good enough to win the league… Read more »

Madhu

Mikel the reason we have to encourage players like ESR is that they are academy products and if we don’t integrate them we can’t keep buying 65M rejects from our rivals and hope to sustain it. I would wager that the amount of chances someone like a willian or Pepe or Havertz gets isn’t it worth to invest the same time on ESR, Willock, Riess etc. They also signify a clear strategy to academy prospects. If I was Per I would have a word and two with Edu and Arteta. I honestly feel that we could have integrated a Ruell… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

As somebody wisely said above… Kai has 3 games with us… not even bad games. (You want to see a bad game… check Saka’s last performance). Cost us a win. Simple fact. Yet people are ready to label Havertz shit. Actually they labeled him that even before he played a minute for us. That’s a fact from Grove comments. They decided after the American skills competition… also a fact.. the posts are all on record here. I’m supporting our guy. Just like I supported Ramsdale and Ben White. I’ve been rewarded by them for that. They’re great for us. And… Read more »

Kpankulu

Arteta has made a rod for himself purely based on buying a very expensive player no one wanted and we didn’t need. Pure arrogance and vanity. [@Guns of Hackney] – – –

The arrogance is from your end, Guns.

You don’t determine players the club needs – that falls on the manager who is hired and can be fired. Keep things in perspective.

Papageorgeo

Part of my worry with the Havertz signing is that I don’t think it was planned, it was opportunistic and now it appears we are trying to shoe horn him into the role.

I appreciate that you need to be nimble but hes our 3rd most expensive player ever and will have to adapt to fit into the team/system.

RJM

One of our players thinks we have the best CM going and our manager plays him at right back.
Giddy up Thomas! He should be made to stay behind after training to practice his overlapping and crossing!.
Arteta….joke.

X haka

West Ham seem to have improved without Rice. they certainly look more fluent and potent without him?

How comes?

dSidstathopoulos

Zinchenko contradicting Golden standard managers tactics, freudian slip?

dSidstathopoulos

The players energy is transmitting to the fans at the Emirates