SAKA ABSENCE COULD SEE THROWBACK TO PRAGMATISM FC

by .

Well people, today is the day when we find out our fate regarding Saka. Arsenal already know the deal with his injury and sadly, it won’t be club that tells us the state of the player. We’ll find out when Gareth Southgate announces his Euros squad.

The one hope we had is that his injury wasn’t a blowout at speed… he was jogging when it happened… that could indicate he has discomfort over a tear. It might be a fluid injury, similar to the one that allowed Tross to come back early.

But let’s game this out.

Pull up a shot glass, pour out a 30-year-old barrel-aged shot of copium, and knock it back.

Manchester City have been beaten twice this season. Newcastle and Wolves. Both teams limited City to less than 1 xG. Both played deep blocks and caught City in transition. That is their weak spot; it always has been.

The last time Arsenal beat City in open play was in the FA Cup semi at Wembley. Those were the pragmatic days under Arteta. Remember when we had a specific dance move to get goals? Bleak football, but we scalped a few big dogs.

The loss of Saka could push Arteta back towards his pragmatic ways… and I think it’d be smart.

Arsenal could go for a double pivot with Partey and Declan. We could opt for Kai Havertz as a #9. We could go for Jesus and Trossard as the wide players… or even Reiss Nelson for the explosive pace and directness.

Not having Saka might feel like a disaster, but it could be the excuse Arteta needs to play something that works for us.

Talking of Saka, I do find some of the conversation around his injury a bit painful. Whether it’s a strain or a full-blown three weeks out… the fact he has an injury at this point of the season points towards mismanagement. If it was a one-off, I’d be kinder, but this is the 4th soft tissue injury of the season and we’re only in October. You could blame the wider footballing world for it, but I think making broad-stroke excuses for soft tissue injuries lets Arteta off the hook for problems we know have historic grounding.

Here’s the basics:

  • 87 consecutive Premier League games
  • 2 injuries in the last two weeks
  • Injured in the first half of an away game against RC Lens

Load management (minutes/intensity) isn’t something you can look at in isolation. Fatigue builds up over time and taking one game off doesn’t solve it. Arteta has played Saka in 87 Premier League games in a row. That is HUGE output for someone so young and it was always going to come at a cost. Hamstrings can happen for a variety of reasons, but Saka didn’t pull up from a sprint, so it looks likely that whatever he was suffering was from wear and tear (fatigue). Clubs can control fatigue by lowering minutes or being gentler to players in training (I’m being very basic here).

Mikel Arteta is brilliant at many things… empathy is not one of them. He can be presented all the data in the world about where a player is fitness-wise, but if they are a good player, he won’t give a shit, because his belief is the best players don’t feel pain, they don’t get fatigued, and they will find a way to power through things. Declan Rice going off with a back injury only for the club to find out there was no problem is not an acceptable outcome for Mikel Arteta. That’s why he said what he said in the media about his surprise at him coming off. It wasn’t sympathy, it was disdain.

Arteta ran Saliba into the ground last season to the point he landed a stress fracture in his back. The season before, he overplayed Tomiyasu, the player broke against Leeds, and Arteta finished him off against City. Thomas Partey was not managed well two seasons ago, he was a fragile player that was loaded off a plane after international duty into a cup game the same day, then later in the season, brought him back after an international break and he broke against Palace.

Arteta is a monster. He likes intense training sessions. He pushes everyone to the edge. It comes at a cost.

If you really don’t believe me, just read his own words from last season.

‘Rest Saka? All world’s best players CAN play 70 games’

Let’s get specific. Out of the top 50 players for minutes last season, only 7 outfield players are from the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes leads with 6000+ minutes, but he doesn’t really press. City have two freaks in there with Bernado and Rodri. Granit Xhaka the only one for Arsenal.

1. Fernandes 6017

4. Rodri 5304

6. Kane 5190

32. Salah 4734

34. Hojberg 4704

38. Granit 4668

42. VVD 4365

Not many players can manage 70 games. Messi and Ronaldo could when they played in Spain because La Liga has about 2 intense games a season to worry about. That’s why the league can support veteran players into their late 30s. The Premier League doesn’t allow it. Look at how bad Ronaldo was when he returned to the Premier League. He caved United and got two managers the sack.

The best players need plans tailored to their needs. You think Messi was training like a dog every week? The badge of world-class or INDISPENDIBLE doesn’t distort the realities of the human body. Arsenal got it wrong with Saka and it looks like whatever is going on at the club ain’t quite right. The biggest advantage of having a young squad is resilience… we can’t have players dropping like flies!

Arteta needs to improve. No one wants to waste a season because of injuries. Let’s see how the week pans out!

183 Comments
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Jamie

“Please tell me this genius is not saying he’d prefer Eddie Howe.”

Nigel, if you were fully literate, you would understand what’s being written.

Jamie

Also, nice piece today Peds.

EdTheRed

My question is: will the owners step in at some point, because our manager is running the club’s biggest asset into the ground???

As for Sunday, if he plays Saka and then has to take him off yet again, it will not look good for him. Saka is not only Arsenal’s fans favourite, he’s clearly England’s fans favourite as well.

Smart manager will not play him on Sunday. Declare him injured, spare him international games, give the kid time to rest FFS.

Foxy

Arteta probably plays Saka in every game because he does not have a another player in the team who can fill the same pivotal role that Saka does. Both Reiss and Jesus are right footed more direct wingers whilst Saka is more of a wide 8 at times perhaps like in the Hleb mould. I think Arteta sees Vierra who is also left footed and also a technical player as a better Saka back up but it is just not working. The only solution has to be for the team to practice different lines of attack on the right side… Read more »

Foxy

If Saka is forced into action against City then he may then end up having to join up with England unless he picks up another injury. Best for all in the long run that he gets 3 weeks to fully recover from all his knocks.

Leftside

Saka should either not feature at all against City if he is carrying something. We have to lean into our squad more.

Terraloon

Good piece today.

This topic will returned to on a regular basis . Injuries around the league are alarming and Arsenal playing in four competitions will be under far more pressure than last season to go deep into the two domestic cup competitions.

If Saka isn’t badly injured he inevitably will be picked for England and you can be sure he will be over the coming weeks add to Saka several others whose numbers of minutes are already alarming

Patrick

The smart move would be to send Havertz out in a City shirt.

Positive pete

Let’s face it.Whether injured or able to play it’s an opportunity to rest him.He badly needs it.Cos you just know that f** ker Southgate will pick him & flog him to death just like Arteta.
We have to trust the squad.An opportunity perhaps to keep the oilers second guessing & come up with a few tactical innovations Pepsi wasn’t expecting.
Besides the fact that he’s being doubled up on every match & at present isn’t getting the support he needs to find space.

Greg

Why sign the squad players if they can’t do a job? A definite management blind spot for Arteta, leads to injuries for players like Saka and Odegaard and unrest for the squad players who see severe consequences for their 1 mistake vs unlimited chances for others on the favorite list.

Madhu

Good Post Pedro, agree with you on everything. First for me 🙂

englandsbest

Fair and accurate criticism of Arteta. He’s overplayed Saka. Why? Because he relies on his input of goals and assists. He has other very good players, but none as ”indispensable’ as Saka. Arteta knows this and tries to justify overplaying him with stuff like ‘all top players should be able to play 70 games a season’. Nonsense. The sensible option is NOT to play him, give the boy a chance to recover full fitness. Arteta should pick a side that is impenetrable at Man C. For me that’s a back 4 of White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomyasu (no Zinchenko). Ode, Partey… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Newcastle. That is all.

GD4

Great article Pedro.

Pierre

So the answer is to play a player up front who hasn’t scored or assisted from open play this season، and in all honesty doesn’t look like he will improve on that dismal record . If he really wants to play Havertz and wants to play the pragmatic game then the answer is to play a midfield 3 of Partey/Rice/Havertz… If saka isn’t playing then jesus has to play right with nelson or trossard wide left and Eddie or Trossard up top . Earlier China said “A key issue we’ve had recently is we can’t depend on our CFs to… Read more »

X haka

Would have been interesting to see ,had we signed Jude Bellingham and we would have had the funds ,if we didn’t blow the budget on Havertz and Vieria how Mick would have managed him? Would he had him scoring the late goals like Carlo, or would he had playing more defensively, and nullifying his attacking instincts. Carlos does seem to be getting the best out him and managing his minutes well I think there is far too much hype around Mick and there always has been. Not to say he is not a bad coach, but just too much hype… Read more »

Wegotsupermik

I like your thinking englandsbest but that’s 11 outfield players and even Arteta won’t go as far as dropping both goalkeepers.

Or will he?

Tom

“Fair and accurate criticism of Arteta. He’s overplayed Saka. Why? Because he relies on his input of goals and assists. He has other very good players, but none as ”indispensable’ as Saka.”

The game vs Cherries was done and dusted on 53 minutes after Arsenal went 3 nil up.
I would imagine Saka’s input on goals and assists at that point was less ”indispensable” than usual.

But then again we were 2 goals to the good when a guy with a knee knock turned ACL tear was deemed indispensable until collapsing without contact.

raptora

Pierre, Did you not like Havertz’ performance vs City in the cup game? https://twitter.com/MikeMakesComps/status/1688334555168595969 It was his best performance for us to date and I know that’s not much but vs arguably the best team in the world he was a handful for their defenders, won some balls, had 2 good chances to score that he missed but being there to miss is still a plus cause next time he might score. The ability to win a ball and pass it to a teammate this high up the pitch vs a team like City is a great quality. I’ll go… Read more »

Positive pete

Englands Best. Agree with your line up.But would take a punt with Havertz up front instead of Eddie.If it’s not working.Flip them.Otherwise agree.Especially with Tommy at LB & a back four.Can’t afford any f** k ups. Or turnovers.Hence Zinchenko the bench.oh & hope Partey has no brain farts.

Pierre

Raptora “we need to be solid when defending set pieces and when we are forced to kick the ball forward, Kai gives us that height and physical presence.” Which is why I would play him in left centre mid alongside Rice and Partey as he is good defensively at set pieces and if we need an outlet for Raya then he can move up 10/15 yards for when he needs to hit the ball longer.. I can’t see the point of playing a striker who doesn’t score or assist، and let’s be honest he isn’t exactly a beast in the… Read more »

JOEL

I really hope that Arteta sets the team up…in Saka’s likely absence…with the double pivot of Partey and Rice. In addition I would like to see Havertz playing up top with Trossard and Jesus playing wide left and right. I believe that defensive strength and the ability to break quickly and decisively against City is the best strategy given Arsenal’s current player availability….or rather the lack of it. This more pragmatic approach has far more chance of success given City’s current ansentees and surely if Wolves were able to garner success playing this way Arsenal should be able to replicate… Read more »

allezkev

Myles Lewis-Skelly signs his first professional contract, now that is the type of really good news to blank out the noise.

allezkev

As if stands Arsenal have 3 players injured.

Villa, United, Forest, Sheffield U, and Spuds have 8 on their injury list, although a few of those will probably be available this weekend.

Palace have 9 injured and Chelsea have 13, injuries are part and parcel of football.

Both Martinelli and Saka could potentially be fit for Sunday

raptora

Wolves have a lot of speed going forward – the likes of Neto, Cunha and the Korean guy (Pep’s actual words backfired as he scored the winner) Hwang are rapid. If Saka doesn’t play we’ll have Jesus and that’s about it. Eddie is also fast but I wonder if he’ll start. We need pace for sure hence not having Marti is a big loss.

Samesong

Havertz and Odengard in same team doesn’t work for me. You either play one of the other. Havertz looking at Chelsea games look comfortable as an advancing Midfielder that can assist high up the pitch. I don’t get the playing as forward. Actually I do now. It sounds like desperation.

Samesong

I think Pierre mentioned it earlier Jesus on the right is the best option we have. He’s knows the role inside out.

raptora

Pierre,
We’re not a team that whips the ball in for our tall players to score headers anyways. We even take short corners so I don’t think Havertz not being good in that isn’t big of a negative.

Marko

Perusing Twitter as one sometimes does I notice quite a bit of arsenal blogs or commentators basically saying that it’s wrong or stupid to rotate Saka two games into the champions league and they’re bringing up stats comparing his minutes to other players to back their argument. And it’s so painfully stupid when you consider people argue he should have been rested because he got injured the previous game. I dunno if it’s about drinking the Mikel Kool aid or if this fan base is that stupid sometimes but it’s really simple. If a player is hurting you rest him… Read more »

Marko

Plus I’ll be honest if you can’t trust the likes of Nelson or ESR to put in a shift against the likes of lens then maybe the problem is with the manager and not the squad.

Oh…I see what I did there

Un

Jack grealish is the man
You can always tell the mark of a man by how is with kids
Wilshere was the same
Still does lots of work with sick children
Good men

https://m.youtube.com/shorts/UZaf634bnnw

Un

JamieOctober 5, 2023 07:19:34
Also, nice piece today Peds.

💩 👅 😜

Matt

Havertz is never the answer, unless the question is, ‘which player can we put in that is so anonymous, people will forget he is even playing until he commits a foul or gives the ball away with his first touch?’

Guembuzy

Englandsbest

I agree with you but we can’t play with 12 players on the pitch 😂

local

Saka can play 70 games if Mikel likes that, he shouldn’t be playing 70 odd minutes every game.

He could start and play 45,55,65 minutes and then come off, or he can wait on the bench and come on for the last 35,25,15 mins.

On Kai, although I don’t think he is good enough as a lone frontman, he might click with someone beside/behind him in a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1.

Of course I don’t see that happening unless we are short on wingers(we still have Reiss and Trossard fit).

raptora

local: “although I don’t think he is good enough as a lone frontman”

He’s not good enough but he was a handful for the best team in the world…

TR7

Why did Arteta renew Nelson’s contract if he doesn’t trust him to take Saka’s place when the latter is injured? You can’t come out in every press conference telling how important it is to have a big squad and then not use the squad at all.

Nelson is a good player, even Jesus can play on the right.

salparadisenyc

I’ve no doubt Arteta is going to roll out the same MF of Havertz/Ødegaard/Rice with an alteration at front in Saka’s space.. Likely Eddie down middle with Jesus on left and either Trossard or Nelson on right. As much as a MF of Partey, Rice and Ødegaard would be more effective hard to see at this point. More likely to see Partey at RB FFS, not to mention he’s zero game time in legs since injury. City we’re cooking last night barring Haaland who looks like he’s working his way back into form and not far off, biggest weakness was… Read more »

local

“He’s not good enough but he was a handful for the best team in the world…” – Raptora

Yes, but his record with the Chavs(bigger sample size) in that position isn’t very promising.

“Havertz’s goals-per-game average at Chelsea is 0.23, lower than his 0.31 average at Leverkusen. His 2022/23 season was particularly underwhelming, with only Leeds’ Patrick Bamford recording a greater underperformance compared to his expected goals output. Havertz also missed 14 of the 18 big chances he was presented with.”
https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12906148/kai-havertz-to-arsenal-why-chelsea-are-willing-to-let-him-go-and-why-he-is-attractive-to-the-gunners

TheBayingMob

Hard to stomach that we have come so far from Wenger, but it will be one of Wenger’s worst traits that will be the end of Arteta. Arsene never rested and rotated as he should have and also drove players into the ground. Arteta won’t last long term, because he will never consistently have his best players available and he clearly doesn’t trust the understudies he has; MA doesn’t need two worldies for every position, he is so bleak in this outlook I think he might actually need three. The spiral has started for Saka, there is a risk he… Read more »

salparadisenyc

Fitness a huge blind for Arteta, as Pedro has said many times he expects maybe too much. I fear Saka will eventually go path of Jack Wilshire if the beasting continues which essentially started from bringing him back into fold too soon from injury with all kinds of external factors.

In game management and the 70th minute sub.

Two of Wenger’s bigger flaws perhaps Mik learned ‘too much’ from the big man here.

TheBayingMob

MA has really put a lot of his eggs in this Havertz basket; if he was new to the league I’d understand it a bit more but he’s been playing here since 2020. He just isn’t cut out for it unfortunately; all because your 6’4″ it doesn’t automatically make you a brute; but we’ve seen MA almost fall on the Willian hill, this will be the nexy one. Havertz saw what was it 2 or 3 managers at Chelsea?

Kai is the widowmaker…

salparadisenyc

Saka named in Southgate England squad so theres that.

Pierre

Un
“Jack grealish is the man
You can always tell the mark of a man by how is with kids
Wilshere was the same
Still does lots of work with sick children
Good men”

100%…
Some are a natural and I would put those 2 very talented players in that category..
Loved the way Grealish communicated with the blind girl at the champions league final….showed pure class.

raptora

Local,
Name me a striker that has performed well at Chavs in the last what over 10 years? None. Nobody.

Jesus is an injury prone player. If we manage his playtime, he’ll get injured. If we don’t manage his playtime, he’ll get injured. Jesus can also play incredibly well on the RW. So Havertz and Eddie should share the load when we inevitably have to resort to them to replace Jesus. Havertz has unique qualities over the other two and should be played in some games for sure.

Siddeeq

“”Mikel Arteta is brilliant at many things… empathy is not one of them””

Bob N16, did you see this? Do you disagree with Ptah? Like you did when i said it.

Siddeeq

“”Mikel Arteta is brilliant at many things…”””

I will disagree with this statement. Generational is brilliant at 2 things
Doublespeak and imitation

Guns of SF

Im up so freaking early ….
this lack of sleep gonna kill me

Anyhow, City game will answer a lot of questions. Will Saka play> id like to think no,
Part of the issue is, Saka himself- lad needs to know how to say NO, when the physios are checking him out, asking him how he feels. Needs to stop thinking he will dissapoint the boss and just listen to his body. Take the rest. say NO

TallestTiz

Saka called u by Southgate. He is fit

TR7

“So Havertz and Eddie should share the load when we inevitably have to resort to them to replace Jesus. Havertz has unique qualities over the other two and should be played in some games for sure.”

I think you are overrating Harvertz here. Except his defensive contribution I don’t think we have seen anything from him.

local

Rap,

I am not saying he shouldn’t play there, I only said I don’t think he is good enough as a lone frontman.

I agree that Eddie and Kai should be played not just to manage the load but also because they offer something different(better hold-up play in case of Eddie and better aeriel duels/long ball success in case of Kai).

Josip Skoblar

You could think that Arteta had learned one (important) thing from Pep: rotation.

kofi

rotation needs trust, trust needs to be built. building is only possible if you play … does not work i guess one problem is that we actually only have two players constantly winning 1on1 – martinelli and saka. the former is out so the latter cannot be rested as our only chance to score is a team goal or probably a set piece. it may sound funny but the biggest difference attacking wise between us and city does not come down to a big norwegian guy but the fact that either of alvarez, grealish, silva, doku, kdb are constantly trying… Read more »

raptora

TR7,
for Kai at LCM I agree.

But vs City (I agree it’s just 1 game I’m basing my idea on) he had a near perfect CF performance except for scoring a goal from one of the two chances he had.

His ability to press high, the safety-first-plays when he wins a duel, his lay-offs and his off-the-ball movement are ideal for a CF. Not for LCM.

His qualities make him a much better candidate for playing the CF position or at least that’s how he’s developed from his Chavs days.

Guns of SF

Pedro pointed out Mikes comment about playing 70 games and I think that it puts undue pressure on players who are carrying knocks or fatigued to live up that standard. Opening his fat mouth and spouting nonsense like that has a knock on effect on the physios as well.

Hell, he should look at himself first. hardly the most robust player. Injured a lot, got blown by many players while with us. Slow.

Hardly a representative of some uber athlete himself

Guns of SF

Play Jesus on the right, he is decent there. Tross on the left,
Kai as a 9? Not so sure

I remember Tross as a 9 worked for us for a little while. Maybe mix things up

raptora

I know the comparisons with DB10, RVP and Berbatov might be a bit over the top, but all three of them were forwards. I don’t think it makes sense to play someone with similar skill-set at LCM. At all.

rollen

Arsenalnshould block Saka from all England friendlies like Ferguson used to do with his players.

salparadisenyc

Nketiah passed over for Watkins, can’t argue with that call from Southgate.

raptora

Olly_A_informer 43m 🚨Just wanted to say that Pedro Neto to Arsenal is in the works. Along with Ivan Toney he is another top target. Contact has already been made ahead of a potential January move. Important few months ahead to fully scope out the logistics of the deal. _________________________________________________ Toney and Neto. Squad players maybe? I hope we’re not talking about serious sums here. I’m not sure I support bringing either of them here. We need top talents. I’d rather bring a top, top class young talent than a player that will never be world class. Unless we are strictly… Read more »

raptora

Eddie is in the squad along with Saka, Rams and Rice.

raptora

We need to start thinking like a top club if we wanna join the likes of Real, Bayern etc as the top clubs in the world.

Would they buy Toney and Pedro Neto? They just got Bellingham for less money. Haaland joined City for less money.

Rice and Timber are great transfers. Need more of that, not of Toney and Pedro Neto I feel.

salparadisenyc

Better report back to my whats app group involving a few on here and tell them to quit sending fake news 😂.

Ernest Reed

You say a lot of very important truths regarding Arteta, Pedro. The one area where you remain steadfast is that Arteta learns from mistakes. This is true, bar one critical caveat, not when it comes to load management. His philosophies regarding players playing is ingrained and is not something that can be easily changed. Arteta will break a player and simply move on to the next, it’s a repeatable profile of behaviour. Is what it is but you have to realize that those that pay the bills eventually will ask obvious questions on return of investment and protection of valued… Read more »

Ernest Reed

“ We need to start thinking like a top club if we wanna join the likes of Real, Bayern etc as the top clubs in the world.‘ Would like to say that Arsenal do not have the budgets of those teams you mention Raptora, but it’s how you spend what you do have that sends a message to elite level players (supporting cast). Outlays on those like Pepe and Havertz do not send a message of top club, it doesn’t. London is a desirable place to play, but is Arsenal where it’s at? There are reasons as to why the… Read more »

AL

When people mention defensive contributions and Havertz in the same sentence, what do they mean? I only see him committing fouls and the odd headed clearance from set piece. He cannot make a clean tackle without committing a foul.

Ernest Reed

Southgate has named Saka to the squad. This is one time where Arsenal have to say no for the best interests of the player, let alone club.

X haka

Serious questions will have to be asked about Mick’s judgement again if gambling addict Toney arrives for huge sums in light of the sale of Balogun.

How does he fit in with Havertz and Vieira and the non negotiable policy?
We are spending huge sums on mediocrity on yearly basis now.
We need players like Bellingham not Toney, as someone stated above.

Can Mick actually coach a team and improve players or as many Arsenal supporters suspect simply a cheque book manager who blows with the wind?

Siddeeq

A deep block vs Man C will only worked when we had Auba wide left

salparadisenyc

Sorry we didn’t spend £165m on the mid this summer to rock a deep block vs Man City.

Mike

Just got off AFTV this morning. Talk on the street is “special sauce” is turning rancid.

EdTheRed

Ernest ReedOctober 5, 2023 15:15:40

Post of the week. I only wish more people can see it.

Tom

“Sorry we didn’t spend £165m on the mid this summer to rock a deep block vs Man City.”

Sal, that, and the fact it isn’t easy to prepare the team for a completely different style of play in under five days time.
It will never happen.
Whatever tweaks Arteta makes, if any, Arsenal will go toe to toe with City on Sunday.

Spanishdave

We shouldn’t be dependent on one player ,there should be alternative choices.
Arteta is very one dimensional with his set up that’s why teams have sussed us out more this year.

Ernest Reed

“ Whatever tweaks Arteta makes, if any, Arsenal will go toe to toe with City on Sunday.‘

Still early into the season, but this one really will define just who this club is. It’s truly a who do you want to be today moment for the club in terms of progression.

Guns of SF

Been saying for a while, we needed to build a team that can go toe to toe with City and beat them. Do that, and all the other comps will work out as well. Trying to rehabilitate Chelsea rejects is not the way to take down City. Tinkering and overplaying critical players is also not the way. Arteta breaks his best toys, and then his followers have an excuse to say that ” it was injuries” etc etc I would say that the team has been doing better against them recently, and I surely hope Sunday we see a real… Read more »

Siddeeq

Man c without KDB and Rodri should try a deep block away at Arsenal.

Guns of SF

The danger man is Alvarez IMO. We have kept the Cyborg quiet in a few games but Alvarez is the one to keep an eye on as well. Always in the right place at the right time. Sneaky little fucker

Graham62

Ernest

Excellent posts.

I agree 100% in regards your perceptions of Arteta and “load management”.

X haka

The best Arsenal have played against City, was when he was absent with suspension.

Mick have the weekend off, we might have a better chance ,lol.

Guns of SF

B Silva is another dirty little rat to watch out for. Stomp on him

Un

MikeOctober 5, 2023 16:18:11
Just got off AFTV this morning. Talk on the street is “special sauce” is turning rancid.

Yeah Mike
You should stop listening to mongy talk from the streets
Lost an away champions league group game
First game this season
Boohoo

salparadisenyc

Union Saint Gilloise at Anfield tonight is quite the tie for that club. Home ground seats like 8k on the cooler side of Brussels, a beautiful thing.

Brighton ownership took this club over likely the most historic in Belgium but lost in modern times and pulled them out of second division, promoted to first division for first time in 48 years in 2021. Missed out on title on final match day of season last year, went out in quarters of Europa to Leverkusen.

Now at Anfield, what European nights are all about there supporters are going mental.

Pierre

Another England call up for Eddie، deservedly so after a couple of accomplished performances away to Brentford and Bournemouth..

I expect him to start v city with jesus out wide.

Samesong

“We need to start thinking like a top club if we wanna join the likes of Real, Bayern etc as the top clubs in the world.”

Rap we need to start winning things. Trophy winning teams buy the top players. We are not there yet. Toney most likely outscores Jesus end of this season.

salparadisenyc

Pierre,

With Saka injured think it’s quite possible Eddie gets the start with things shifting a bit.

Samesong

Guns SF

It’s the nerves and individual errors against city. We shouldn’t show them (City) too much respect.

Un

Eddie is the Michael Rickets of 2023. Without the 20 plus goals

Luteo Guenreira

I think Saka will play on Sunday.

EdTheRed

Thanks for that info about Union Saint Gilles, Sal. Much appreciated.

englandsbest

Nobody’s gonna believe me, but I meant 3 of ESR, Eddie, Gab J and Trossard, not all 4.

Guns of SF

We beat them earlier in the season, generally played better. so I hope the team can get confidence from that. This game is critical, maybe some might disagree.
Its a measure of where we are against the team we are chasing for all the marbles.
we have to win at least one of these league games against them, other wise -6 pt gap is hard to make up. They dont look as great so I hope we can do it!

EdTheRed

As for City, I don’t think people should be building it up as “do or die” game regarding the progress of our season. We might suffer unjust loss, like on NYD 2022 and it might motivate the players to go on a winning run, we might even sneak a win, but then complacency might kick in…but I think this game should answer some questions regarding where we are as a club. Then again, if it ends 0:0, it will probably not answer anything, but would definitely be a point gained from our perspective.

salparadisenyc

EdtheRed

My pleasure!

Felt need to share one of my mates is a big supporter has bar in Saint Gilles and always giving me the results… he’s been on one since yesterday for sure. Football is so great at that level.

Luteo Gonorrhea

Think Arteta had chance to play Saka vs City but blew it in Lens we shall see. Who else you think we’re starting in that one?

Useroz


The biggest advantage of having a young squad is resilience… we can’t have players dropping like flies!

…and this to Arteta

The biggest advantage of having a young squad is resilience… you can’t abuse it

Samesong

Honestly. against City I’ll be happy with a draw. Three points better of course. Actual loss isn’t the end of the world either as City will drop points along the way.

Need to stop comparing that Community shield game. This city are going to be hungry after a loss to Wolves.

Guns of SF

Samesong I like your idea of now showing them too much respect.
Take the game to them, go out guns blazing!
We also just lost, so our fellas hopefully have the same hunger

Un

Eddie makes Emile Heskey looking like haaland

Un

Look like ffs

Un

I’m not the dad from east is east I swear