by .

I’m a bit late to the party on the Brentford game, but I have some hot takes.

1. That was a GOOD win.

Brentford doesn’t get beaten at their place often… we delivered a very clean win against a team packed with first-teamers. I thought we’d lose that game because of the amount of changes made. I was wrong. We’re finally getting to a stage where we’re a ‘next man up’ kind of club. Gone are the day where the player doing the domestic cups would mail it in. I loved the make-up of the squad, it was youth, a bit of experience, a random debut, and a spirited performance. For all the embarrassing histrionics we’ve seen this season, we’re now at 6 wins and 2 draws. Pretty decent, wouldn’t you say?

2. Aaron Ramsdale

He’s here for the fight. The performance was vintage Aaron. A few shaky moments, but mostly all good. He made a brilliant save that contributed to the win, his kicking was really bold (even though his completion rate was a smidge over 50%), he also commanded his box really well. Will he start against Bournemouth? Doubt it. I think he’s the domestic cups guy now.

3. Kai Slander

People are now fully in the mode of critiquing performances that don’t merit it. He played well. His game is simple at the moment. I thought he did well in possession, he connected play really well, and he gave the side solidity from a defensive perspective. There was no goal or assist – but those are coming. The biggest concern about him in Xhaka’s position was defensive diligence – he has that, and now people are worried he might not be able to attack. He’ll come good there, we’re gonna get Leverkusen Kai. We have to remember, he’s learning a new position, he’s under extreme pressure, and things aren’t falling his way. When they do – just remember the slanderers.

4. ESR

I thought he looked good. There were no real concerns over fitness. Some folk on the internet reckon his issues with Arteta come from a lack of pressing. The player himself said he sometimes doesn’t take instruction well. It’s simple for him – get it together and make a case to stay. Or mail it in and leave in January. I hope he stays, he’s a lovely player to watch, and he deserves to be playing at our level.

5. Kiwior

I might be imagining it, but the bulk we wanted Vieira to put on seems to have gone to the Polish defender. He is a BIG boy, has he been stealing from Fabio’s plate? I loved his game. He’s a menace. Very strong in the tackle. Good passing range. He’s also very aggressive. He’ll be knocking on the door soon I’d imagine. Remember, we picked him up because the club worried he’d become a £50m defender if we left him in Italy for another season.

We have West Ham in the next round, that should be a fun game, we can call it the Declan Derby.

There are some injury rumours doing the rounds at the moment. Reports suggesting Saliba might be carrying a knock are worrying. But I do think it’s worth noting that Arteta revels in the confusion around who is and is not available.

My guess would be this: The only players not in the squad tomorrow will be Partey and Martinelli. We could see some names rested, especially after good performances against Brentford. But by the time City comes around, we’ll have a full batch of players to choose from.

I think having Partey and Martinelli in the mixer for City would be HUGE for Arteta – I just hope he isn’t rolling the dice on fitness so early in the season.

Right, short one today – get on the latest Patreon BEFORE THE WHISTLE if you need the content in your life.

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Weekend is here

Mr Serge

Is Rice back ?

Mr Serge

I know saliba and saka are

Mr Serge

Some one take top 4

Henley gooner

Oooh 4th?

Henley gooner



G’day cobbers


Big weekend of sport down under, only time I’ll be supporting teams from Brisbane that’s for sure.

Midnight kick off for the real match for me this evening is a hell of a lot better than the 230am games haha.

Josip Skoblar

Saliba out or in?


Jopip out for me… why risk it. In fact lets put Saka and Rice on the strong sub list w/ Saliba.


Nketiah can sub on as well, Arteta can spin a tale about it being ‘tactical’ BUT odds are its Nketiah with Jesus on left.


Is vierra injured? Sal you’d like to see havertz on the right? I mean he’s definitely versatile, if tets wants to get him up to speed I feel like he will be the left 8, at least to start the game. Maybe ESR gets some more mins than a 3 min cameo in place of havertz 2nd half. I am all for Gabriel Tomi CB pairing. I agree, let’s not risk Saliba. I am one who has been wanting to see a bit of Eddie and Jesus together, wouldn’t usually do it at expense of our regular first 11 but… Read more »



I like your inclusion of Nelson in the lineup.

He has been doing very well lately which is great to see and for me is deserving of a first team selection. I could see Arteta play him for 70 and then sub in Saka.

I personally wouldn’t sub in Saka at all and keep him for the CL game vs Lens and the Cheatty game but let’s see what Arteta does.


Havertz sure is versatile. Versatile in the sense that he can be equally as anonymous in multiple positions.

And all for the bargain price of £65m!


Matt yeah unfortunately that’s how I feel too hahaha. But knowing Arteta his pet project isn’t over so easily


Kai needs to make way in the midfield and I wanna see ESR with Ø. With whose injured (Trossard/Vieira/Saka) put Havertz in front 3x.

Honestly cant be worse than in mid, likely more effective.

NJ Gooner

Is Trossard fit for the game? Any news on him?


Yep I definitely want to see ESR with ode. Perfect game for it actually.

I mean I’m pretty much in agreement to what you put up there Sal in terms of what I’d like to see. But what I think we will see is quite different


I really hope Tomi can keep himself fit. What a brilliant player to have in the squad.


Even the fact he was stepping up into the inverted lb role zinny plays, he has a footballing brain that is for sure.

Matt B

Love Tomi, proper no-nonsense defender. He’s the bollocks


ESR was gassed midweek. Highly unlikely he has enough to start tomorrow. Best bet twenty minutes from the bench.


Karsa that sounds about right to me.

The fact he is getting minutes is great for the squad. It’s up to him now to keep raising his match fitness and be able to start more often.


Karsa with key point that will likely see Havertz in the mid, Eddie in the 9 and Nelson on the right.

Nigel Tufnel

Seems according to Arteta a lot of our players are not fit for this next game, so we will have to show how good the depth is… Whoever is chosen to start, I hope early subs will help pick us up early in the second half, when our pressing so hard usually shows us the toll it’s taken, and the opponents start to ascend with their early subs energy, winning more duels, loose balls,,etc.. I’d like to say the lack of rotation and subs by Arteta is behind it, as it’s my biggest complaint about him, but this is so… Read more »

Ernest Reed

“When they do – just remember the slanderers.‘

Want to know where the toxic environment emanates from on this site? Comical.

Freddie Ljungberg

Martinelli scored 15 goals in the league last season. How is Nelson more productive than him again?


Spot on, zero self awareness.


to be super super super forgiving of arteta

there is a way that making a player want to play so bad that he’s willing to leave- to start really getting the best of them.
a) not the right approach for every player
b)better to have players in your squad that want to be THERE rather than just raking in cash

pressure on the arsenal squad, with or without arteta at the helm, is much more than at the overwhelming majority of clubs in england/europe/theplanet
it’s not for everybody and it’s certainly not like it was when wenger was around

Guns of SF

Is Saliba gonna play?


When Nelson scored his 97th min goal six months ago that was first time I started to wonder if we were actually going to win league and then two weeks later a disaster happened instead.

Nigel Tufnel

Ernest and Freddie.. the 2 lovable geniuses.
Sure .. Pedro and AFCforever are the toxic problems here lol.

People come to this site for Pedro and people like AFCforever.

By the way… I’m saying that if Reiss and Trossard played as much as Martinelli, they could produce more goals+assists than him on average.

I think if you look it up per minutes played, they already are more productive.

I guess you don’t understand the “per minutes played” concept. Have somebody explain it to you.

Guns of SF

Jorginho better be ready. Im worried about our center


Possible 8 absentees from this game tomorrow including Saliba. WTF is happening at the Colney ground? 6 games and a possible 8 absentees. Staff is being paid to feed the players a proper diet, You pay physios, sports doctors and other personnel to keep player’s physical conditions in top shape and then there is the training in Colney plus the selections of players for matches Which of these areas could cause 8 absentees in 6 games plus 1 CL game? I don’t get it how in the world will we get results in the CL plus the EPL when we… Read more »


There is headline in BbC about.pkayers load and injuries. We have 8 players down and City is in bottom of the table with 3 players out. City doesn’t have these cluster injuries. Wonder why when we always seems to have cluster injuries. Hope Arteta learnt something when he was at City?


There a short video on arsenal twitter that shows squad getting off bus in bournemouth and it’s hard to tell exactly but it looked like rice saka saliba were there.

Nigel Tufnel

Madhu another rocket scientist. We go the past 2 full years with no rash of injuries. Same manager, same players, same system. Even Tomi and Saliba last season were down to impacts, like Timber… (Saliba from the previous match). You were not noticing recently as United and Chelsea players were dropping like flies in the past month… Now you’re bedwetting and looking to blame someone (our manager) because we’ve been unlucky for the first time in a while. But of course, highlight the team that’s been fortunate with fitness at the moment…. all because of Pep’s brilliance, right? I wonder… Read more »

Freddie Ljungberg

Nigel Absolutely no self awareness. Who said anything about Pedro? You are one of the most toxic people on here, basically the other side of the coin from people like Hackney. Afc superfan is just a slighly less dickish version of you. Same condescending policing and sense of superiority. Nothing Nelson has shown so far in his career, (he’s 2 years older than Martinelli btw) indicates in any way that he would get better numbers than Martinelli. He’s looked good in the late cameos he’s done against tired legs but that’s about it. I like Trossard, wanted him when he… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

MG42September 30, 2023 02:47:56
WTF is happening at the Colney ground?

same thing happening everywhere, we’re tied w utd and spuds for players out injured with 8
chelsea have 10
newcastle 9


twatwaffle lol

when i was your age it was buttnugget

Nigel Tufnel

Freddie, I like how you state it as a fact that Trossard won’t match Martinelli in goals… even though he’s our most clinical finisher with 2 feet….. At least in many peoples opinions. And why is he more productive in assists? Because he doesn’t run with his head down all the time like Martinelli. Martinelli brings some chaos and pace, but that’s not always what’s needed. And like I said… you still don’t understand the concept of stats per minutes played. Maybe you should try an A.I. search engine to explain it to you. Also, it’s my OPINION that Nelson… Read more »


Saka, Saliba and Rice must not play if it means they’d be fit for the City game. That’s a 6 pointer if we still harbor any ambition to win the PL title this season! However unlikely, need to beat City and might kick start our sluggish season…

Freddie Ljungberg

Trossard had 8 goals 3 assists in 2812 min for Brighton in his best season, 2 years ago. At 26 1 goal 10 assists in 930 min last season for us, which was fantastic but most likely an anomaly, since I can’t see him assisting more than 30 in the league over a season. 15 goals 5 assist in 2806 min for Martinelli last season, at 21. Top scorer along with Saka and one of the best young forwards in the world. The disrespect he still gets from some on here is ridiculous. Any luck with that AI engine? ,”… Read more »


LOL … Seen the report saying…

Champions League rival could be ‘stripped of title’ won vs Arsenal
Barcelona have been hit with a bribery charge

Arsenal fans will want to pay attention to the case, and indeed any future punishment given they were beaten by Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final. If that trophy is reawarded, the Gunners could get their hands on their first ever Champions League title.”

Nigel Tufnel

Freddie thanks for looking it up as I’m too lazy. I remember Trossard was scoring goals through the first half of last season at Brighton even with missing time through injury….. you conveniently left that part out, ………..and you’re so quick to write off his sublime assist numbers for us as an “anomaly”.. they do still count, you know. They should at least be sharing minutes, for fitness and for effectiveness, to give opponents different looks. MAYBE WE CAN AGREE ABOUT THAT? All 3 very different playing styles. Still my opinion about Trossard the most clinical on the team, and… Read more »

Kesses gunner

Havertz can’t be viable in central mid arteta should drop him or play as forward as used in germany

Freddie Ljungberg

Nigel You’re right, didn’t even think to check that. He had 7 goals 2 assists in 1326 minutes so 8 goals and 12 assists in 2256 minutes, very impressive, never said he’s not a good player. Safe to say 10 assists in 10 games is an anomaly though, unless you think he would get 38 assists in a full season? I like both Trossard and Nelson btw and want them both to get more playing time, Trossard for Martinelli and Jesus and Nelson for Saka. Martinelli is a bonafide superstar though, up there with Saka and Saliba (and Ode but… Read more »

Guns of SF

Madhu, I read the same article bro. Interesting seeing how Mike came from City. Me guess is that is Mike’s uber training he insists on. Sometimes the body needs time to rest and heal, Less is more in this regard There was a tracker once I read to see which players are in the red zone, as to determine if they are majorily fatigued and to avoid that happening. I can tell you Saka is likely the reddest color on the graph, along with Saliba, Gabby M;s, and Ode Xhaka was a freak of nature, never injured at all. Then… Read more »


Good win


“same thing happening everywhere, we’re tied w utd and spuds for players out injured with 8
chelsea have 10
newcastle 9”

So you are comparing AFC now to some pathetic loosers in the EPL. Why not try to compare to City’s injury list KDB, 1 suspended and 3 being assessed today, so again WTF is happening at Arsenal with these injuries. If we want to compete with City & Pool we can’t have our starting players out injured after 6 games.


Nigel – you are great sir mere mortals like can only hope someday can reach your loft heights. Having said that where in the comment did I indicate that it’s all because of Arteta or Man C lack of injuries is due to Pep. All iam saying is that cluster injuries seems to inflict Arsenal every season. man C seems to be lucky regarding the same. Either we assume that it’s pure luck or there is some scientific reasoning behind it Also Nigel if you use profanities against your fellow Arsenal fan shows your class and I will bear the… Read more »


Guns of SF saka is real worry bro in terms of the matches he has played without break including the England games. Hope he doesn’t play this weekend and makes a sub appearance in the CL gearing up to play the whole match against Man C


Last season City played the 2nd most games and had the fewest injuries in the league. Looks like Arteta didn’t learn how Pep rotates his players to reduce the fatigue and injuries and here I thought everyone was hoping that Tets would bring some of that Pep IP with him. Looks like he was bypassed when Pep’s IP was handed out.

Wicked Willy

Errr…compare the squads from last season – Pep had tonnes of rotational options, Tets didn’t. Case closed.

TheLegendaryDB10 This article is worth a read. It talks about how we are not the only ones with an injury crisis. In fact, all EPL teams have a combined 112 players injured. The main point of contention is the heavy load of games that players all have to play. The 3 – 4 comps that one can have is one thing. We need to add the players going to international duty being another. But more importantly, we now have all this extra time being added at the end of the games, which is not doing anything to help either. Players… Read more »


Tets hasn’t learned in 4 years yet how to rotate. It shows that he still is a manager in training and no one can tell him as he is too stubborn to accept correct and sound advise. Normally after 4 years you graduate, in 3 months it will become evident if he still is an apprentice or not.


I just noticed that you, Madhu and Guns of SF, have mentioned it. 🙂

I genuinely think that this is something that really has to be taken seriously by everyone and that something needs to be done about this.

For one, scrapping these extra 9 mins being added at the end of a game by PGMOL is a must.



Arteta not rotating enough is his biggest achilles heel.

That very late sub of Saka at the 90th min of the Sp*rs game was criminal, really.

This is squarely the reason why he has not been training lately.

I hope Arteta realises this and takes responsibility for this.


Arteta has a major problem when it comes to man management and rotating.
It cost us big time in the latter part of last season.
It is the one thing that concerns me most.
By the way this has nothing to do with serving an apprenticeship either.
Arteta has been involved in high intensity sport his whole life and if he fails to understand the human factor now, it means we have a problem.


Arteta good, training intesity bad


It’s not just that Martinellinruns with his head down. It’s that even when his head is up he’s not great with decision making and misplaces simple passes
He’s an instinct player like Theo was
Id prefer to see him play off the shoulder running into space
That’s where he most dangerous and where most of his impact comes
Another who isn’t really suited to our style but still one of the best young forwards out there due to his pace and finishing but above all his mentality and attitude.


Havertz sure is versatile. Versatile in the sense that he can be equally as anonymous in multiple positions.And all for the bargain price of £65m! – ooh thats gotta hurt 😂

Guns of Hackney

Le Grove must have shares in Havertz PLC. I’ve never seen such blind support and love for a dud like this.

He’s, how can I put this diplomatically…dirge, bilge and also shit.


Havertz good, blind support bad



Imagine you always felt that way about Granit, rather like the majority of Le Groaners, who let’s be honest, aren’t too bright 🙂

You at least have a sense of humour about your own flavour of misery 🙂

Rusty Shackleford

So expecting one of the highest paid players on the team to earn his keep is now Slander? Nonsense. Havertz hasn’t done anything yet to merit the time he’s getting on the pitch or being placed higher in the pecking order than players we already had. Not one true Arsenal fan is cheering against him to succeed here. We just want results, and rightfully so. I didn’t like the purchase when it happened and I like it even less now. But I’m still very much hoping he proves me wrong. I just don’t see it.


I dont think arteta has raya in his long term plans. Raya came in to give a kick up the arse to ramsdale, bring that hunger back. He will get it and be back in the team. Another thing when it comes to the stats of raya vs ramsdale is that our defence was fairly decent last season and raya played at Brentford where he may have faced more action from attackers. Raya doesn’t have ramsdales personality that got us thru many games last season, as shown when he made that save against the post. We need some mad Jens… Read more »



Totally agree with your Martinelli/Theo analogy

There are plenty examples of footballers who lack that footballing savvy, but make up for it with athleticism and effort.

Combine the best of both and you get your worldies


Look tbh I’m mainly just glad that arteta has demonstrated he won’t die on the Kai hill. He’s been willing to drop him and pick Vieira when form for both players suggested that was right to do

Sometimes seeing a manager course correcting is as positive to see as anything else

I’m ok for Kai getting opportunities to find form as long as he’s not as guaranteed starter which has now been proved to be the case


Well said China. Add ESR yo that list as well fighting to establish as left 8


Nah the solution is just to rotate more and sub earlier honestly Nobody at all forces any manager in the league to pick his best players relentlessly. Do it and the probability they will get injured is not only high but higher than ever So stop blasting your players Saka is in the red zone? Trossard Nelson vieira and esr have all been shy of minutes… it’s our own fault And before anyone says that we can’t rotate more because we need results. Yes we can. We have a big strong squad in almost all positions except defense where numbers… Read more »


Kai can be given 3/4 more starts(not against shitty) and then dropped to the bench if no improvement is seen.

I would also give him til February end(more than 6 months) to prove himself as an impact sub, and in case of no improvement, should only be brought on for last 5/10 mins if required.

It’s not just that he doesn’t offer much in attack, he has been poor when it comes to pressing or keeping possession as well.


I also don’t like the alternative of reducing the injury time component because it’s rewards time wasting which is a blight on the game and fans pay record prices for only a diminished product


Some Newcastle matches last season only last like 58 mins with the ball in play 1) teams which waste time still haven’t really clocked that it harms them when they’re playing 100 minute matches and are defending with exhausted players at the end of the game against freshly subbed on attackers. Once the Penny finally drops that time wasting is not really helping teams it will come down a bit 2) you can find useful ways to cut a big chunk of that additional dead time. VAR reviews are appallingly, unnecessarily slow. Add a rule that says review must be… Read more »


(September 29, 2023 22:32:31)
Your Kai comment made me laugh and spit out some of my morning coffee…

Looking forward to the game later today

AFC Forever

This season is about integrating new players and developing the squad. Last season our depth cost us, replacing Saliba with Holding didn’t work & players like Vieira & Kiwior weren’t ready. This season we’ve seen how both have developed & Tomi is finally over his injury woes. We have Rice now, whereas before we had the unreliable Partey. Nelson is proving up to the job and if cause we also have Raya. So we have more options now and better ones too. Champions League is a whole step up so that depth is important. Hopefully, we’ll start to see more… Read more »


Fb Yeah agree Wouldn’t want martinelli sold at all but I see his faults and there are games where is lack of ability on the ball kills us on the left side It’s why trossard is such a breath of fresh air as he is very good at almost anything in any situation as a forward player so he gives us variety and unpredictability, ball control and retention, vision for the killer balls AND still offers very good end product numbers Have to say I’m really impressed with Nelson’s attitude over the last 12 months and he’s finally applying that,… Read more »

AFC Forever

Legendary DB10

Very good comments.

Clubs pay players wages and should have more say over International games. Rice was breasted in friendlies. Let’s be honest too, the Nations League are friendly games and it was stupid to bring that in so there were more ‘competitive’ internationals just for the money. .It’s a joke the power international managers have. .

That is where change is needed, more power to the clubs about how many minutes they’re players play Internationally..

AFC Forever

*minutes their


Big lol at “we’re going to get Leverkusen kai”…


I wonder if today we see Mikel rush back an injured player too soon and with City just around the corner.


Bati let’s be honest the people banging the Havertz drum so much are the Arteta die hearts because he’s a 65 million pound vanity project of his. A way to outsmart people. But until it starts working it’s not working



International football is less competitive now regardless
Back in the day qualifiers were far more interesting
International football should have pre qualifiers for the smaller nations
If you’re not a good footballing nation then you shouldn’t get the right to compete with the top teams unless it’s friendless
San Marino has no business playing England France Holland Spain Brazil
It a waste of time


MarkoSeptember 30, 2023 12:39:13
Bati let’s be honest the people banging the Havertz drum so much are the Arteta die hearts because he’s a 65 million pound vanity project of his. A way to outsmart people. But until it starts working it’s not working

Said marko about vieira white and Ramsdale
All have been worth the money or in vieira’s case, starting to prove what a player he is
Don’t forget he’s created more goals than anyone outside of Saka and Odegaard since he arrived.
Havertz will click
It may not even be this season but he will click


Watkins in January?
I’m beginning to like the idea.
Villa over the mighty De Zerbi


Emery in full Arteta celebration lol


Said marko about vieira white and Ramsdale

Huh? Great debating as always Don

Also if you spend 65 million on someone I don’t think it’s fair to ask for a season or two to come good. For fucks sake he’s not a teenager



Habesha Gooner

Emery does have these games in him that he totally smashes a good team. But it goes the other way too. Wierd manager.


Where’s the world class Ferguson?

Dr J

I’ve always rated Emery. I wish Arsenal had backed him with a decent squad and got him the players he wanted like they did with Arteta.


Brighton tactically naive here.


If we actually are missing Rice and Saliba today, I will be satisfied with a point from this match. There are so many ebs and flows to a l9ng season and sometimes you can only tread water and hold on. Title winning stuff…probably not, but then again I never expected or thought we are going to win the title this season. Last season was our chance. I want us to finish top 3 and have a good run in Europe. Do I think winning the title this season is impossible?? No, but certainly unlikely. I thought we had it in… Read more »

Habesha Gooner

I wouldn’t risk either Saliba or Rice today. Keep them on the bench and use Tomi and Jorginho.

We may have to risk Saka depending on how the game is going. Jesus, Nketiah and Riess should be enough to beat Bournemouth. If it isn’t bring on the big guns later.

Lwe need them fit for that City game at all costs.


32 minutes gone at Villa Park, interesting game, Brighton looked so good initially but Villa are 3-0, Brighton missed their chances, Villa took theirs, simple game football.


Arteta has done a great job but Emery didn’t get a quarter of the backing that Arteta has ….

Habesha Gooner

On second thought, I would start ESR on the left, Jesus in the middle and Riess on the left. Nketiah isn’t in great form so needs to se the bench. ESR and Riess both deserve a start after Wednesday.

Habesha Gooner

Let’s be honest, Emery will never get yo a level where he is challenging Guardiola. That much is clear. The guy sets up his teams based on the opposition. Arteta might never win against Guardiola but he has shown enough so far to make you think he is of that level. Emery is just a really good fit for Villa. Not Arsenal.

I would rather have someone like Dezerbi, if we were going to pick from the managers on show today, despite the scoreline.


Tactical masterpieces, so far, by Emery.
Reading the “W” passing lanes that Brighton loves
and picking them off at will.
Could’ve easily been 5-0

Just Another Customer

so much for de Zerbi hype

been good ebening’d right now lol


Habesha bit light on the left lol

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