by .

It’s Friday and it’s still not clear where we are with Saka.

My advice? Assume Saka is out. Take the pain now. Move forward emotionally. Be stronger for Sunday morning.

England put him in the squad – but Southgate said the injury was being monitored.

Arteta basically said ‘late fitness test.’

There are some guarantees here:

At the very least, he has some sort of inflammation around his hamstring. Inflammation shows up as liquid on a scan. That means wear and tear. That is a pre-injury. But you can recover from it with rest (Trossard).

The thing you don’t want to see on a scan is a tear. A tear shows up as blood on a scan. If you see blood, that’s at least 3 weeks out (Martinelli). I suspect if there was a tear, we’d know about it, and Arteta would have told the press (and England).

We’re 8 games into the season.

If Arsenal could play Saka on Sunday, they’d run the risk of at least one bad thing happening.

Here are the options.

  1. The man with the pre-injury plays the game successfully, then heads out on the international break.
  2. He plays the game and aggravates a short-term injury into a long-term injury

If you are gaming this out you want to mitigate the risk of a long-term problem. How do you do that? You don’t play him.

That keeps him out of danger for City and leaves no room for Gareth Southgate to break him.

2 weeks off gives him time to recover in the same way Trossard returned very quickly after a similar problem.

Saka out for City – but back for Chelsea (a), Sevilla (a), then Sheffield United (h). Yes please.

My gut says Arteta is trying to keep Pep guessing in the same way Pep is trying to fraud us into believing John Stones is out injured after sitting on the bench in the week.

This is two top managers trying to con each other.

It makes life as a fan hard – but if there’s a marginal gain somewhere, I guess it’s worth it.

Ok, short post today. We have an elite BEFORE THE WHISTLE where I talk about the basics of what I think is going on with Bukayo.

We also have a great free-to-air Manchester City fan interview.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Pierre

    “Still cannot believe we had a chance to make a post-Xhaka midfield signing and we passed on Maddison to sign Havertz.”

    The common cocensus was that we didn’t go for Maddison because we had Odegaard،
    personally I think Maddison and Odegaard would have made us the most potent team in the country and we wouldn’t have been talking about the need for a new striker.

    Instead ، this season we are one of the least creative teams in the league and probably will continue that way without a left sided no 8 who can gives us goals and creativity،

  2. Dissenter

    ‘ Instead ، this season we are one of the least creative teams in the league and probably will continue that way without a left sided no 8 who can gives us goals and creativity’

    It’s most bizarre indeed
    Unlike you, I can’t find anything good to say about Havertz. I’ve said too much so now I try just staying quiet
    We created our own problems last summer.

  3. LoveSausage


    Yup, it’s difficult to see that our chance creation will improve as long as Havertz stays in that left 8 position.

    Having a box to box type of player in that role (not that Havertz has actually turned out to be that) made sense as long as Partey played in the middle.

    Rice is more of a DM. He can pivot the midfield on his own but doesn’t give you the line breaking qualities of Partey. With him as the first choice, the left 8 should be a more attacking profile. Arteta shit the bed with Kai but we have the perfect profile in ESR in the squad. He just needs minutes to get his fitness and flow up to the required level. Let’s see if he gets that now.

  4. Dissenter

    Now I’m reading g lots of posts where people are saying try Haverz as number 9
    He’s a crap number 9 based on his Chelsea history

    Let’s see if that vaunted ruthlessness will be manifest in the summer

  5. China1

    It appears refs have given up on the extended injury time if spurs are winning

    All the subs in the world and several stoppages in this half and it’s 5 mins.

    Whatever gets them over the line

  6. Guns of Hackney

    It was the crack addicted Un that suggested Kai fucking Havertz as our no.9.

    The man couldn’t lead a drunk to a bar, let alone a forward line.

    Havertz is a done deal. A £65m scam that needs investigation. Giving him a free little pen the other week was the most cringey thing, but we did it.

    He’ll start again tomorrow no doubt, stink the place up for 90 mins and then we’ll get the obligatory Le Grove stat breakdown as to why he was the best player on the pitch.

  7. China1

    Luton should be really embarrassed here

    Playing at home, a man up for 45+ minutes, had an open goal chance and are probably leaving empty handed without even scoring. That’s crap and only fuels the tiresome Angie love in. Luton are a gift for spurs today

  8. Tom

    “personally I think Maddison and Odegaard would have made us the most potent team in the country and we wouldn’t have been talking about the need for a new striker.”

    I agree.
    The idea two creative players can’t play together because their positions overlap is about as amateurish a take on football as one can make.

    How Iniesta and Xavi ever managed I’ll never know.

  9. Markymark

    GOH – is the classic stopped clock that still tells the correct time twice a day. Literally throw out any of his opinions bar Mr Kai Havertz

  10. Madhu

    Don’t write off Spurs they dont have midweek games as well. They will cause an upset by shoehorning into top 4.

  11. China1

    Lol yeah to be clear I don’t propose Kai as 9 today because I expect him to bang in a few screamers

    I just think trossard is a better creative player and I prefer that in midfield today.

    Meanwhile Eddie simply isn’t scoring recently so willing to try something else vs city

    For other matches I’d have Trossard up front as he’s our best finisher

  12. China1

    And yeah Maddison is playing consistently as the difference maker

    1) we should’ve signed him instead of Kai
    2) tbh tho once he inevitably gets injured, spurs are going to suffer very badly

  13. Nigel Tufnel

    Pierre favours a lineup that doesn’t include Ødegaard.
    This is not a surprise to anyone, is it? Nothing personal though. Let’s sit our player of the season and take out his leadership and pressing.

    People calling for Havertz to start as a striker. He played as a false 9 in the shield and it helped us in keeping some control against them.
    As a traditional striker, of course not. Partey started with Rice in midfield..

    I don’t have any predictions… but what we need is to actually convert on an early chance, which we never seem to do against them.

  14. Mysticleaves

    Maddison was a no brainer tbh. He would have performed anywhere he went. City, Arsenal, Liverpool

    Haverts need to be given the same criticism Pepe got. Pepe was 72m but at least he was on fire for almost 2 seasons before the move. And he was on a modest 140k pw. Haverts on the other hand has had 3 underwhelming seasons prior to making a whopping 65m move on 280k pw. It’s beyond astonishing. I can’t believe this deal was sanctioned. What I can’t even believe more is that they are people on this blog backing this move. There should have been protests all over N5 district.

    Pedro was crying so much at how we won’t be able to sell pepe at 140k and tbh we couldn’t (cos of precedence). Wait till we want to sell Haverts.

  15. Mysticleaves

    I thought cucurela was a left footer. He’s been playing RB. Or are Chelsea doing the opposite foot in opposite positions thing ?

  16. Spanishdave

    Arteta will not win us the league.
    He is making basic errors in man management and key purchases.
    Offloading duds and then buying more poor quality.
    Without a good cf warrior up front we will not win tight games.
    We will not win tomorrow as he gives them too much respect.

  17. Nigel Tufnel

    Legrove scouts Onana fanboys…..

    Nobody with the character to raise their hands and say they were wrong? I would.
    There were so many of you… what’s happened? So much better than Ramsdale you said.

    So many comments over the past 2 years calling him such a great player that we should’ve got… and what a great piece of business he was for ten Hag.

    While we’re on the subject … how about years of calling for Ten Hag at Arsenal..
    80% of posters here were on that one too.

    Great judges of talent….. even today talking about mediocre Bissouma…. what a laugh. You would add him to our fantastic squad?
    Who’s next? Aouar?

  18. Zacharse

    this is not the first time ive seen pgmol get heavy criticism and then take it out on whomever utd is playing. unbelievably one sided reffing so far and brentford is fucking winning. I LOVE IT

    oh and congrats to tottenham for 1-0 win against luton, decisive stuff. my only hope for them is a typical season ending madison injury and another 8th place finish.

    i’ll leave yall to it

  19. Mysticleaves


    ETH has not had nearly as bad a run as Arteta has had as Arsenal coach.

    Onana being so ordinary so far is also a systematic issue. Did you see what his defense did before the shot was taken? You wrote off Bissouma when people looked at his skillet and quality of it and thought he would be good for us. Onana has the skillset and quality that could have taken our team to the next level. He’s had that level since 2017/2018.

    Looking at Ramsdale, he also concedes almost with 1st shot at goal while not being half as good as Onana with his feet. That’s why Raya (marginal gains, I don’t even rate him) was bought. Onana is suffering from a systematic failure not a skillset or quality deficit.

  20. Luteo Guenreira

    He does all these extra facial expressions but doesn’t keep the ball out of the net. Great. He’s like a fighter that throws a lot of punches that don’t connect but somehow a judge or two thinks he won the round because he ran around a lot and was active. Onana sucks.

  21. GD4


    Even in the abundance of water, a fool like you know will willfully choose to remain thirsty … don’t waste your time with that thing … you’d have a better conversation talking with a mannequin about Darwin and evolution

  22. China1

    I haven’t tracked Onana closely prior to his move but I gather he was a big star at Ajax and inter

    If that’s the case, he either turned shit after his plane touched down in gloomy Manchester or he’s still good but dying an absolute death out there in a confidence crisis of epic proportions

    Honestly it’s probably the latter.

    But the longer it continues, the more it helps contribute a key part of the man Utd shit show and for that I am extremely grateful!

  23. China1

    IF Utd go on to draw or lose this game I have a sneaky feeling the Man U higher ups might have to come out to stress that ETH’s job is safe – something which is ALWAYS a precursor to a nailed on sacking within the next few weeks

    And to think we’re talking about ETH, the new messiah. The guy who invented defending in numbers and playing hit and run counter attacks with pacey wingers. The first manager last season to work out arsenals weakness (var disallowed legitimate goals) AND he pulled it off

    The man, the legend. Long May he stay in the hot seat and drive this train straight over that cliff edge it’s hurtling towards

  24. Markymark

    What I do know is that if Arteta had matched ETH this season we’d all be going flipping nuts. It does help sometimes to see where we actually are

  25. Siddeeq

    Onana was banned for misuse of diuretics.

    Side effects of diurectics include confusion, disorientation, delirium. Thats whats going on with him.

    Im telling you for free!

  26. China1

    I think Bournemouth should be relegated now to spare everyone the wasted time in having to face them this season