by .

Well here we are; Le Grove is 16 years old today.

What a crazy ride.

We started this site to quench an addiction to football content that wasn’t being met – now we’re 5549 posts in, with 3 millions comments, and multi-millions of reads.

This website help me fraud my way into advertising, now I’m working in football. Don’t ever let anyone tell you producing work for free on the internet for an audience of mostly men is a waste of your time. This weird little hobby has been so good to me for so many reasons both personal and work related.

Thank you for reading, commenting, tweeting, listening, and getting involved in the spicy hot takes.

Here’s to another 16 years.

Ok – let’s talk about Arsenal.

I brought up a little prediction about Aaron Ramsdale yesterday – I think Raya will get the PSV game, then the countdown to him going perm on that #1 spot will begin. A lot of people wanted to tell me that he’s been fine this season – I beg to differ. He hasn’t been great for a while now and this season he’s seemed less and less confident every game. You can read that he has something on his mind and I think it’s playing out in the data for the opening four games.

… and it didn’t look good last season.

The difference between a team fighting for top 6 and a team fighting for top 1 is most teams going for the top 1 position have keepers that defy gravity to keep the ball out of the net. We’ve seen flashes of that from Aaron. Leicester and Liverpool games spring to mind. But to retain that #1 position, he’s going to have to deliver that 95% of the time. Add the eye test to his distro – it’s gone from best in league to very iffy. He’s less ambitious, less accurate, and you don’t need a stats sheet to see it.

I don’t think he’s going to last much longer.


Sharp shift of pace…

A quick little observation. A few weeks ago the world’s media was clapping the Deli Alli for speaking out about his mental health issues. Fingers were wagged at the brutality of elite sport and the unforgiving nature of fans obsessed with roboticizing athletes that go through the same things as us. This week, Jadon Sancho was dropped, a man who has confessed to his struggles with mental health and the response was ‘MUST GET HIS ACT TOGETHER’… hold on here. Where is the empathy here? Did we forget? Do we not care? Can you only get sympathy if you do a podcast?

It feels like a lot of the chatter around mental health and ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ is just for online platitudes – and this feels like case in point. It’s a bit of a shame. People look to sport for cues in their life. If Jadon Sancho speaks up – and he can’t get the benefit of the doubt, where are we as a society?

… and don’t get me wrong. My point isn’t that EtH should play him. This is professional sport. It’s just that the coverage doesn’t come with a caveat and that after all the handwringing… turns out we’ve not moved forward, and we’ve learned nothing.

Nico Pepe has Turkish clubs circling and apparently someone from the Saudi League. Honestly, it blows my mind he hasn’t landed a move to Saudi. The wages are manageable and he’ll be a bang BANG player out there. Besiktas and Trabzonspor are in the mixer as well. He needs minutes, the sticking point is the £150k a week we gave him. If he doesn’t exit, he’ll get a contract termination. My fear is part of the reason no one moves for our deadwood is they know we’ll give in to termination in the end.

Martin Odegaard AND Bukayo Saka have been nomiated for the Balon d’Or – an incredible achievement from two of the clubs finest young prospects. Each have been on their own special journey with the fans, have each set themselves up as role models, and they will both land the hardware in the future. Just maybe not this year. We have to deal with Lio Messi winning it again. Which really is getting quite boring at this point. It should be someone like Haaland taking the top honors this season.

Finally, it has been reported that Liverpool is bracing for a £210m bid for Mo Salah. On the one hand – lose him and CL places look tougher. On the other, you just take the money and run with it. The player is past peak, his head will have been turned, and that cash injection allows Liverpool to go big in January and next summer.

It kills me the Saudi’s weren’t around after Auba won us the FA Cup. We’d be so much better off.

Ok, we’re recording a podcast later. Let me know if there are any HAAAAAAWT areas I should be talking about. See you in the comments where I expect a GOOD happy birthday message for this wonderful site. x

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Matt B

Massive congrats Pedro and thank you !


16 years, Happy birthday day Le Grove !!

Tenerife Gooner

On the podium?


Thank you for all the content you have given us Pedro. I started following Le Grove when I moved to Singapore and missed the catty bantz of the London crowd. Your site and the comments section keep me sane during the lean years of aggressive cussing that I yearned for back home. Keep io the GREAT work

Montana Gooner

Happy “Birthday”, Pedro. Thanks for trying to keep us between the lines.

Montana Gooner

Two tro4hy’s in a month. What has the world come to.

Montana Gooner

Word on the street is Raya’s distro is blowing minds in training. Look out, Rambo.


Arteta told me to wish you a happy birthday 🎈🎂🎊🎁🎉

He’s going to give you a secret wink at his next presser


Liverpool will be the largest loser if they decline

Although I think that Saudi offer will still be on the table in January when cooler heads have prevailed

Salah will be the biggest signing of the Saudi league ever
He’s the greatest ever Arab athlete of all time.


Happy anniversary Le Grove! 16 years is quite something, congrats Pedro 🙂


Montana Gooner – get it right bro, it’s Tr4phy not Tro4hy 🙂

Guns of SF

Happy B day.


Massive Happy Birthday, congratulations and a you deserve any help the site has given you, been pretty much around from early door and enjoyed all the posts.Kerp it up

Montana Gooner

DM, lol. Yeah brain fart there. I was looking at it and knew something was amiss.


*keep it up

Montana Gooner

My office day is ending and my brain is obviously fried. Pub time in MT. Don’t stay up too late.


Congratulations Le-grove.
I have been a reader for 15 years plus now.


On the subject of Salah to SA. I am really hoping that this isn’t the beginning of the end of the premier league being the greatest show on earth.I know he is getting on but he is still a class act and it will be another good player gone


Just off the last post – I really loved Reyes. His 1st goal in the game against Chelsea. Bless him- he ‘s on main bench. God Bless REYES AND STEVE POWELL . I was at castellon semi final in 2006 next to CE. Biggest game I have been to.. STEVE POWELL organised that . Bless the people who have gone to the Arsenal sky. love you all . STEVE POWELL – you made it possible – enjoy up there lad !!!


Tip my cap to you sir!

Josip Skoblar

Ballon d’Or — Yashin trophy for the best goalkeeper, list unveiled 🏆✨

Marc André ter Stegen 🇩🇪
Dominik Livaković 🇭🇷
Emiliano Martínez 🇦🇷
Thibaut Courtois 🇧🇪
Aaron Ramsdale 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Mike Maignan 🇫🇷
Yassine Bono 🇲🇦
André Onana 🇨🇲
Brice Samba 🇫🇷
Ederson 🇧🇷


Happy Birthday Le Grove! And many more. Thanks for keeping it going Peds.
Can’t remember the beginning. But been here at least 14 years out of the 16.
What a long strange trip it has been. Had some great times though and some top banter.

Interesting Keeper stats…. things do not bode well for the Ramsdalians, pretty poor return.

Hell all 3 of our ex-Keepers are fairing better so far. But to be fair, if Ramsdale keeps getting wins, the rest is kind of immaterial.

Pool has to take the money.. one would think.. That’s crazy stupid money.


That $210M will ripple thru football driving up every interaction.This is not good for the game, especially the Prem League. The genie will never return to the bottle. FFP will never work. When Liverpool peel off $180M and take Saka, we’ll all be Mary come sorry.


Happy birthday Pedro and thanks for all the work you put in – genuinely! However, there is a not insignificant amount of hypocrisy with the difference in treatment that you are giving Ramsdale compared to Havertz. I notice you post tables of actual relevant stats from a keepers perspective to push the argument that he needs dropping. Where are the same stats to evidence why Havertz shouldn’t be dropped? Could it be because any stats table produced relating to attacking midfielders would have Havertz nowhere in sight? Hence why people have to pick out and stitch together completely random stats… Read more »

Jacque Le Bis

Happy Birthday Le Grove, merci pour Le posts!

Mikel Coneteta

Goalkeeper stats, like most, should be taken with a heavy dose of salt. We’re supposed to use a metric which has Bernd Leno 2nd, Kepa 3rd, and Ederson outside the top 12 as a true representation of how Ramsdale ranks currently? Ok then. Raya is a great deputy vs what Turner offered. That’s the long and short of it. He will undoubtedly get a run in the team to assess whether his fee would be a wise investment at the end. But the demands placed on him at Arsenal will be entirely different to those at Brentford, so when he… Read more »


“Goalkeeper stats, like most, should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.”

I couldn’t agree with you more on this issue.

If Raya was so good why isn’t he remotely on that list of best keepers
I just wonder if we are not starting an unnecessary game of musical chairs
Brentford don’t play like we do so the stats aren’t very meaningful.


congrats pete


Congrats on year another birthday LeGrove!
16 years is a long time. I’m enjoying the ride!

Nigel Tufnel

Coneteta and Dissenter right about the keepers.

Most of the guys considered very good shot stoppers (we could all list them,, and Ramsdale is one) are in contention for awards…
But stats are useless for keepers in my opinion, even on distribution.

You have to watch them play full matches to judge them.
Personally I’m happy with Ramsdale and Raya is an excellent understudy.

There are 2 positions where we may have the best 2nd choices in the league…
Front and back.
Eddie and Raya.


Aaron – lovely. BLESS STEVE- I was trying to get a ticket on the grounds around Paris for the final. 3 euro they – wanted. No chance. STEVE POWELL comes up with an extra ticket for final- between 2 – I went heads and lost. So over to PIGALLE – ( moulin rouge) to watch the game and had a bunk up with some brass , Gutted I was – when I found out the result later after the game. She wanted 120 euro.!!! – gutted son!


When we played Brentford in February 20233, Ivan Toney win 12 aerial duels- he won 100% of his duels against an excellent defender that is Saliba.
When Brentford played city at the Etihad in November 2022, Ivan Toney won 7 aerial duels.

Ivan Toney the champion of duels skews Raya’s stats in a major manner.


Happy Birthday Pedro/Le Grove!


I understand your point about Ramsdale but XG doesn’t account for the importance of being able to play out from the back which is the reason we sold Leno in the first place.

Maybe Raya is the keeper that can improve on Ramsdale in both areas. We’ll know soon enough.


Sweet 16 you sexy lil bastard.
Congrats Pete!


Congrats Pedro and Happy Birthday Le Grove. Thanks Pedro for a wonderful blog and stupendous effort to keep a blog running for so long. Regarding Ramsdale he is absolutely fine. As a GK you are only remembered for mistakes and not your saves. That’s the reality just like a Wicket keeper in cricket. It’s a hard job with lot of mental fatigue and Raya will provide much needed mental rest for Ramsdale. He would be better served with the rest and competition. Looking at Ramsdale career trajectory I don’t think he will be fazed by Raya and he will take… Read more »


Can’t believe it’s been that long. I made the 1 millionth comment way back when but don’t comment as much anymore but always log on to read.

Montana Gooner

PL clubs wondering if they will be paid in full by the evil empire. Monopoly money


Happy Birthday Le Grove “We have to deal with Lio Messi winning it again. Which really is getting quite boring at this point. It should be someone like Haaland taking the top honors this season.” While Messi will win the Ballon D’or this year and rightly so, I don’t want a player like Haaland to win the golden ball even in future. The guy scores goals but there is no joy in watching him. There are games in which his no of touches is fewer than 20 and does not get involved in the overall build up play at all.… Read more »

Montana Gooner

I’ve been an entertained reader since 2010 at least. Had a run as KilgoreMT. For a while Pedro wouldn’t clear me to post. Sorry bro. You were right. 😂

Ramsdale was rusty in the states but he knew a tougher understudy was coming with Turner leaving. He looks more nervous on distribution and it’s in his head a little bit. Raya is more cutthroat than Turner, who was just happy to be there. Didn’t play football until he was an adult, basically. Raya will push him hard. Should be interesting to watch.

NJ Gooner

Happy birthday Le Grove. Your efforts are much appreciated..

A day without Pedro is a day without sunshine, especially after a victory.


wow 16 years, thats big.
Not always agree with blog but still the best place all things Arsenal!


If Ramsdale cant keep Raya on the bench he is not good enough for Arsenal.
Great to have good keeper competition after years of Almunia and others.
IMO Ramsdale will win this battle of the keepers.


Good job Ptah, we appreciate!


Finally Ramsdale has lived up to his name the relegator. It has taken 2 years to admit.


I was posting on here (and got banned for arguing with Pedro’s dad) back when the blogs on this page were linking us to ADRIANO

Now if that doesn’t make you feel old I don’t know what will

Happy bday legrove. Nice one Pedro

Dark Hei

Hey Peds, love your forum as it is a spot where all of us get heard.

And happy birthday to us all, Le Grovers!


I find it kinda weird how arsenal got so much flak in the media for having two proper keepers

Really don’t know why it’s ok to have quality players on the bench in other positions but not in goal. Makes no sense to me


Hermoso (the Spanish woman their FA President kissed at the World Cup) has filed a legal complaint about it … A week or two after being filmed happily laughing and holding up footage of her getting kissed in front of her team mates and bragging about how he kissed her There should be consequences for people who behave inappropriately in the work place and there should also be consequences for people who 5 mins after showing they think something is harmless and funny then start trying to end someone’s career because of it She should also be stripped of her… Read more »


Happy birthday Legrove!!

Bob N16

Thanks and congratulations!


In fact the whole Spanish team should be stripped of the chance to play for the national team. They were ALL goading hermoso and chanting ‘kiss President kiss President’ happily on the team bus after the game. They even called him Presi which is hardly a nickname you’d give to a monster Then they all get home, see there’s some justified noise about the kiss in the media and suddenly all the team are miraculously disgusted by this horrendous behavior that they could never condone (except 5 mins ago). Truly pathetic from them all I really really hope if the… Read more »


Raya is probably a very good keeper, and if MA uses him just to prove a point, he is emulating Pep´s
methods instead of using his own mo.


Congratulations on the 16 years amazing stuff.

Just a little mention that it’s brilliant for Saka and Odegard for being nominated and err. Yep that’s right that failing keeper Ramsdale also being nominated for the Yachine trophy. Funny how that doesn’t get mentioned


Happy birthday LG!!


China1-I got banned by Pedro’s dad too. I don’t think Pierre would have lasted 2 minutes with Geoff. One word of support for Arsene and you were in trouble.



Hermosa wasn’t bragging about being kissed by Rubiales.She was probably joking about the ridiculousness of the meme that compared an unwanted kiss from him without a mutual kiss on live television between Casillas and his TV reporter girlfriend (who went on to become his wife).


Lol bacary


Happy Birthday Le Grove!!!!

A big massive thank you Pedro for providing us with such an excellent blog. Your write-ups are always a pleasure to read.

Long may it continue!


Bacary it doesn’t matter what we guess, what matters is she wasn’t traumatized by the event until it became apparently convenient to be

The outrage and fury strangely missing until others were outraged by it.

That’s the inconsistency which is really bs.

Either it was a big deal or it wasn’t. She’s played both sides of the coin


HP LeGrove and thanks Pedro

China and Bacary. Winding Geoff The Bear up was too easy. Just one nice word about either Wenger or Song and he was off 🙂


Concerning Ramsdale, I think the lack of competition last season with Turner was a big factor in his drop in quality.

Now that he knows that a potentially better keeper is breathing down his neck, could this be affecting his ability? I mean this shouldn’t be the case. Competition should be bringing the best out of him.

Or is there something else going on in his personal life?

It will be interesting to see what Raya is about when we do get to see him in goal.



How do you know she wasn’t traumatized? It’s very common to have a delayed reaction to events. What she was immediately clear about was that it wasn’t consensual.

Maybe it’s better to see how the whole situation washes out but it seems there’s consensus across all the male and female national players that Rubiales was clearly in the wrong.


FB-I forgot about Geoff’s Song fury!

Josip Skoblar

I do remember Geoff’s Song fury. This was epic and comical! 😂



My memory is foggy to say the least, but I do believe Arsene selecting Song was what finally pushed Geoff over the edge. The straw that broke the camel’s back 🙂

Guns of Hackney

Congratulations to Le Grove but there was one stat not mentioned, well it’s not a stat per se, but a ‘feeling’…Guns of Hackney and how much love everyone has for me.

If the Saudis came in with a £250m for Saka…what would be the feeling?

Josip Skoblar

Ballon d’or consecutive winners:

Lionel Messi 4 times in a row (2009 to 2012).

Michel Platini 3 times in a row (1983 to 1985).

This shows who the true great players are.



Happy birthday LG. Congratulations Pedro.


Congrats Pedro on your anniversary.


GOH Saka is the best right winger this country has seen since 1990. Not for sale at any price…. Providing Saka is happy to stay, we should do everything we can to keep him. If Livepool are armed with £200 + million from selling Salah, then decide to put that money towards Saka, we should tell them in no uncertain terms to fu*k right off. CL qualification is worth between £40 – £100 million per season directly, but indirectly it’s worth much more in terms of future sponsorship + manufacturing deals, and our ability to keep our best players, and… Read more »


Bac no shadow of a doubt he was in the wrong He was unprofessional and inappropriate in a blatant and undeniable way. He doesn’t deserve defending for such an obviously wrong thing to do. Whether it was just a dumb mistake or a more sinister intentional abuse of power etc is open to discussion but he started this mess and he should’ve immediately held his hands up and apologized (better yet just don’t do it in the first place) But I just don’t accept that she’s gone from acting like it’s funny and no big deal to wanting legal consequences… Read more »

Mr Serge

Happy birthday Le grove thank you for the many years of enjoyment, debate,lunacy and lately the podcast it’s been a journey.

Here is to another 16 years where Nigel will only ever be polite. Sid will have another 3 wives, Pierre will write a book on his hero, Rich would have posted another (wise ) million words and the rest of the lads will still slag each other off.

Mr Serge

China this is exactly it well said I agree 💯

Mr Serge

Guns we should not sell saka he is our star boy and everyone loves him
How much would it cost to replace him ?


HBD le grove.

I don’t have any favourite in Rams/Raya debate, I don’t mind Rams keeping his place(unless he is directly/solely responsible for dropped points).

I also wouldn’t mind if Raya is picked ahead of Rams so we can find out how good/bad he actually is.


GOALKEEPERS First of all there are very few “world class goalkeepers” either in EPL or for that matter elsewhere. Personally I am not interested in stats. When it comes to “great goalkeepers” you do not need to be an analyst or genius to recognise one. You need to look at: Their personality Importance to defence and team Command of their area in particular for free kicks and corners Positional Sense Agility Shot Stopping Distribution Penalty Success In recent times there are coaches who attach importance to a goalkeeper’s football skills. Personally I find that of secondary to the matters I… Read more »


Congratulations Pedro

Long live Le Grove


Giroud scored against Spurs a number of seasons ago, he said after the game he knew Loris would be off his line as he had been all game so he took an instinctive shot…it went in. Ramsdale is becoming as predictable.


Congrats. Le Grove is almost part of my daily life, that’s a big achievement. I even gave up on Wordle after 1.5 years.



Many congratulations on your anniversary.

I posted this earlier, but for some reason it did not appear.


Giroud scored 21 goals in Ligue 1 and we signed him for 12 million.
Balogun scored 21 goals in Ligue 1 and we sold him for 38 million.
Pepe scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 and we bought him for 72 million.

That was peak Raul.


Pedro Martinez is on the lower end of the scale Does that mean he’s one of the worst performers in the league? Not in my opinion Ramsdale has made some outrageous saves already in 4 games and we’d have at least 4 less points without him I’m sorry but I think you’re wrong on this one and I expect another back track soon. Our defence has been pretty shite and has gifted goals There was nothing he could do about rashford or the second Fulham goal The first was a freak shot and he did exactly what he should do… Read more »


Let’s not pretend like 99% of the fan base wasn’t super excited about bringing Pepe here. He was red hot and one of the biggest talents at that moment. Now, some knew because they had watched Pepe, that he might turn out a bad fit. And they were right. But I remember videos of fans swarming Raul’s car thanking him and singing his name after we signed Pepe. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I’m sad about how things turned out because vs Pool, his first start in the PL, Pepe showed some fantastic stuff that made me believe he’s gonna… Read more »


Raya has prevented 0.1 more goals than Ramsdale. When arsenal concede goals we concede a lot through errors from defenders. Giving away penalties or passes in front of goal. Also, do you notice ederson on stat 1? Does even appear on stat 2. Does this mean he’s poor or underperforming? Will pep be looking to drop him? He’s a top 3 in the world GK but these stats do not reflect it I think that’s quite telling. Leno is great at a club like Fulham where he can shot stop all day and has big centre halves who love to… Read more »


Rap I was over the moon we bought Pepe and expected him to become world class at arsenal I genuinely think he would have under Wenger as his style suited Pepe He would have been free to express himself and given confidence to play his natural game under Wenger In the modern game I’d say he’s suited to a counter attacking side or a side who will give him runners so he can use his skills I still feel Arteta treated him very harshly He’s a shy boy and needed an arm over the shoulder I feel really sorry for… Read more »


By runners I mean to take markers off him
He often had 2-3 like Saka but Saka had Odegaard Jesus Eddie and white to run off him to create space
Pepe had Auba lava Dani ceballos and fucking 40 year old cart horse lichtensteiner


Laca not lava


None of those run off him to take a marker away
They all liked to play deep
Even Auba wasn’t a guy who ran behind
He wants to ghost in off the far post once the runners were already dragged to the ball



Ramsdale is a decent goalkeeper as I posted earlier but he is not great or world class as I posted earlier.
The question is whether Raya is an upgrade. That remains to be seen.

World Class
BUFFON 23 years as first team gk. 2001-18 at Juventus
CASILLAS 24 years as first team gk. 1999-2015 at Real Madrid
NEUER 18 Years as first team goalkeeper. 2011 to 23 at Bayern Munich


For all those re Havertz coming out with’’ well he was shit for 3 years at Chelsea’’.

Second season 14 goals and 20 goal involvements second to mason mount


He is not remotely on the same scale of a Buffon, Neuer or Casillas or for that matter the best English goalkeepers such as Banks, Shilton or even David Seaman. Stroller Who is? The standard of todays gk, centre halves and strikers is shit compared with previous generations Don’t even get me started on central midfielders It’s all full backs and wingers and all the best are collected by a small group of super rich clubs Where are the guys like maldini nesta cannavaro desailly Campbell adams Samuel terry Rio Stam Puyol hierro Ayala even carragher? You’ve got one or… Read more »



I agree, although I suspect that I will be called romantic.

The reality is that current goalkeepers are expected to play the ball to feet. That seems to be at the expense of their “goalkeeping” craft. The fact that Ramsdale cannot replace the current incumbent in the England team says it all.

Also some people are raving about Onana the new incumbent at Man Utd. He has conceded 5 goals
in his first two games!! I saw absolutely nothing in his repetoire which suggests that he is a great


Happy birthday Le Grove! Pedro, thank you for the time you put into this site, I am a regular reader and occasional poster. Best site for all matters Arsenal, the club we all love.


Correction. Onana has conceded SEVEN goals in last 3 games at Man Utd


His long ball distribution was pretty shit against us


I’ve never watched a more annoying keeper than Onana the other day.

Mind you, I’m no expert, and my greatest ever goalkeeping gaff was Anfield ’89, and the 91st minute when Lukic receieved the ball.

I was screeming “hoof it”.

Instead he rolled it out to Dixon, and the rest is history.


If Ramsdale isn’t all that , why are his fellow professionals nominating him for all these high honors such PFA team of the year and the Yachine trophy

Also the goal keeping coach is Raya’s long term mate so let’s stop pretending that is an even competition.



I have been very careful not to be “over critical” about Ramsdale. I described him as “decent”.

What I also suggested is that Raya may be rated by the coaches as more solid. My view as I said
was that “remains to be seen”.

My main gripe about Ramsdale is his propensity to position himself upfield. Frankly I don’t like
goalkeepers doing this.

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