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.

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Better for saka to rest, rather than aggravating and being out long term


Reis’s… have faith





Where we shall be.

into the red

Whatever the truth is, rest assured Arteta won’t be telling the press or fans. He’s playing guessing games with Pep, like he always does. As well as playing for time, hoping Saka might make it for at least part of the game. On top of that, everybody telling him to play Partey and Rice is almost a guarantee that he won’t – obtuse contrarian that he is. Or play one of them out of position. Whatever he does, it’s going to be another test of his acumen and tactics. We shall see.


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

Keeping Saka safe was the most obvious thing to do and he should have been rested for the RC Lens game. Yet Arteta disregards this kind of information and plays him anyway.

Arteta’s assistants need to stop being yes men.

Do they have the cojones to stand up to him?

I doubt it as no one has so far.


Pedro’s advice, assume Saka is out and what, move on and completely forget about Artetas unbelievable decision to play him in midweek when virtually everyone could see what the result of doing so would be!?

It’s ok though, Arteta will learn. Except he won’t, will he. I am fast running out of patience with him.


Saka is a matchwinner -with him in the side, the aim always is to win the game. The upside without Saka is the aim is not to lose. A 0-0 draw will be a good result.


Regardless on Saka I think we will get pinged on Sunday; I think we are, with the scousers back in the ascendancy, somewhere between the 4th to 6th best team in the league and City will ruthlessly deal with us again.

Belfast Gooner

Saka has been subbed out with injuries three times in his last three games. Off in stoppage time against Spuds after going down twice. Off on 76 mins at Bournemouth. Off on 34 mins in Lens. Before those there was persistent talk that he’s also nursing an ongoing achilles injury. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that if he plays this weekend there is an above average risk of another breakdown and the lad being out for some time. He should have been rested during the week. Refusing to use rotation options to give Saka a rest… Read more »


According to the folk @ AFTV, “generational” on the sales contract was a misprint. It was actually meant to be previous generation; ie last millennium.

Josip Skoblar

Arteta should not risk Saka on Sunday. He’s gonna break him.


“It’s ok though, Arteta will learn. Except he won’t, will he. I am fast running out of patience with him.” Last season was amazing, our best season in so, so long; we all loved that but this season Arteta has pissed me off. His handling of the squad this year has been abysmal, we have seen evidence that his approach is breaking one of the most robust players in the league until this point (Rice). I am definitely losing patience with this, and I think his lack of empathy and inability to manage the health of the players (along with… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

To the last comments from the previous post… jw and Mysticleaves both way off the mark…. as usual.

You’re out of your mind if you think he’s starting Partey at RB if Zinchenko is fit.
Not a chance in the world.

It shows how little you understand Arteta or our game that you think that.

in the 1% chance you’re right, I’ll repost this immediately and eat my words, of course.

Nice touch btw, predicting an 0-3 result against us.
Always classy and positive.


I think we should jazz it up a bit on Sunday ..
The normal 4 at the back
Tross rice party and ode
Jesus n Eddie
Good old fashion 4 4 fucking 2.


City more wobbly than us..

They are there for the taking


Got to be ramsdale in goal Sunday after Raya howlers recently ….
Eye for an eye ….

Ernest Reed

The fact that this is even a discussion tells you just how ridiculously absurd Arteta actually is. “He ain’t broke so I’m gonna play him because that’s what he’s supposed to do, play until he drops” Going to say it up front, if Arteta plays Saka on Sunday…he’s a fricken moron in dire need of a solid smack upside his head. Go ahead and break him Mik, then blame everyone but yourself – it’s not like you’ve never done that before! Going to also say it when Saka does go on long term disability…Can’t say I didn’t see that one… Read more »


At this stage of the season Arsenal and City are of a similar level، neither playing at their best and both searching for their best starting X1 with both missing players.. This game has all the makings of a draw، a result which I would say that probably both managers wouldn’t be content with… I doubt that it will be a classic as their will be fear in both teams as neither team will want to lose ، so neither will over commit going forward and we may even see more negative team selection from both managers than usual. Media… Read more »


The instance Rodri was red carded, Arteta should have planned for the strongest team against City with a 100% fit Saka because City’s left side is weak with Ake or Akangi being easier to score against rather then on their right side with Walker. Now that Saka is not 100% fit if we will be 4 points behind City on Sunday it is squarely on Arteta.

If we the armchair managers and the tea ladies can figure this out it tells you all you need to know about our manager in training.


* both managers WOULD be content with.


We spend millions on additional players in the summer TW and on paper are stronger and a better team yet we do not play as good as we did last season, scraping by a few teams that we should have hammered. Hopefully by the end of the season the diehard Arteta fans will also have seen the light.


Why would anyone harm themselves by actually watching AFTV?


The apprentice trying to con the master is laughable. Pep had plenty of time to get to know the abilities and ways of Arsenal’s wanna be. Be prepared to watch Sunday school for Tets.


Saw pictures of training today and Saka was out there sweating like everyone else… at this point I’m just gonna be numb and watch.


Numb and watch is exactly been the emotions when I watch Arsenal this season. Playing games outside the field with Pep is no use. The game will be decided on the pitch where I sceptical of Artetas prowess.

Nigel Tufnel


“The instance Rodri was red carded, Arteta should have planned for the strongest team against City with a 100% fit Saka because City’s left side is weak with Ake or Akangi being easier to score against rather then on their right side with Walker.”

Like the musings of a child. No concept of the real world.

Planned a 100% fit lol.
Man City defenders easier to score against.
I’m still laughing.

I’d say to grow up but you’re probably just an adult with issues.
Bless your heart.

Nigel Tufnel

AFCforever, 1. In 2022, Everton got a PGMOL apology after Rodri handball was not given as penalty. Everton lost 1-0, and Liverpool lost the title by 1 point because this handball decision was not given. 2. Last season, Arsenal got 2 PGMOL apologies which cost them 5 points. City won the League by 5 points 3. Man City have never received a PGMOL apology. Somehow the horrible quality of refereeing in this league never affects them, but affects their direct title rivals a lot. So in last 2 years, 3 apology worthy mistakes have given 2 titles to Man City,… Read more »


Rest Saka, use ESR.

Shouldn’t be any more complicated than that.


Nigel this is precisely the reason why I admire and support Liverpool’s stance on PGMOl. It’s high time.someone.takes a stand and say the truth that PGMOL needs an overhaul. For too long we have been fed on perceived refeering bais against Arsenal and blogs like untold Arsenal run on the basis of that. But as a club we haven’t taken an stance or pushed for any review. We havent publicly taken any stance which says to me that its all only with fans. But when I listen to Adrian Clarke who has been a player he laos mentions it’s time… Read more »


Pre game nerves reduce the quality of comments 🙂

Rusty Shackleford

I have no doubts Saka will play on Sunday. The question is how long will he last. Arteta is playing a risky game with his best player. Hoping too see Partey, Rice and Ode in midfield tomorrow. Saka and Trossard on the wings. And Jesus up top.


This will be the starting lineup
White Saliba- Gabriel Zinny
Ode Rice Haverts
Saka Jesus Trossard

Starting Partey cold for City isn’t smart

Guns of SF

Socrates that sounds about right



If there’s just 1% chance if Arteta doing something daft, that’s 100 % what he will do. Haha. As for the 3-0, it’s a form prediction. We bend over for city lol.

As for your referee conspiracy theories, off the top of my head city was beaten last season by a Rashford/Fernandes offside goal. This prompted PGMOL to review their rules on that kind of situations. Just last week, the wolves player that scored the winner against city maybe should have been sent off before then.

PGMOL are just poor in their officiating of the game. End of.


Two things: – We don’t even know if Arteta likes a Partey + Rice midfield. In the Community Shield we had Jesus injured so maybe that’s why Havertz started at No 9. – We’ve heard Arteta say things haven’t started well for Havertz, meaning he hasn’t started the season as well as expected I guess. He was a reserve vs Everton away and Spuds but was back to starting Bournemouth and Lens. In a way, he was benched for the two “harder” games and started the two “easier” games. With that being said, Fabio’s last 3 games vs Everton, Spuds… Read more »


Arsenal’s PL win % since Aug 2022:

With Saliba – 77%
Without Saliba – 46%

Holy moly!


I just hope tomorrow we don’t join likes of Wigan and West Brom who are on record for losing 13 consecutive league games to the same opposition. We’re currently on 12 with City.


Personally, a draw would be good enough at this stage of the season as City would remain within striking distance ie 1 point, assuming of course we ought to up the form asap and win games consistently. On that basis, I’d rest Saka and play Partey. Saka’s case is obvious and along the line Pedro put it. For Partey, we’ll, he’d be coming in cold … but still a great footballer esp the defensive side of his game. Some would worry he’s match fit and may relapse …. He’s going to play for Nigeria anyway and worse case he tweaked/… Read more »


*not* match fit

Guns of Hackney

Oooo…Arteta playing mind games with Pep. Sheesh. This whole ‘mind games’ shit was tired 25 years ago, let alone now. As if city have a special plan for Saka. He’s not Messi FFS. City will rock up and do the job and we’ll be whining on here about: VAR Havertz Saka being out Zinchenko blowing up Injuries The sad truth is, city are better than us in every department and I doubt it matters who shows up for Arsenal. We need to be the best we can be and city have to be having a very very bad day. Both… Read more »


For the avoidance of doubt, I’m talking Partey plaing a 6, not the RB +invert shit we witnessed early season.


With that being said, Fabio’s last 3 games vs Everton, Spuds and Lens were not exactly successful so it’s a decent prediction that Fabio will not start and Havertz will.

Can’t recall Vieira played well when started. My take is, he’s willing to try something , take more risks, and be more decisive when he comes on to help chase a game. Otherwise, as a starter, Vieira plays like many these days with plenty of side, back and generally safe passes most of the time.


If Arteta genuinely meant to inject *unpredictability* this season, esp when trying to surprise his master, suggest he starts Zinchenko, ESR (8, not LW) and Partey in some formation and nick a goal, or two, and then defend like no tomorrow with Tomi, Kiwior and Jorginho coming on asap in the 2H assuming we still have a lead.

If we don’t win the MF battle, have no chance, not even a draw.


If Generational is playing mind games vs Guardiola, it means one thing.
Guardiola lives in his mind mortgage free!


I can’t see us scoring more than a goal against City. Our chance creation has been low and our conversion rates are not that great.


I would prefer it if Arteta’s mind games with his bum chum didn’t involve overplaying one of our best players to injury.

Hopefully we get away with just a small loss against Shitty.


don’t play him and go for a draw, the whole season is ahead, the whole point of our summer
spending was to expand our squad ?? If Wolwes can score two goals we could score one if luck
decides to get on our side..


So this is my take and it hasn’t change since we signed him Havertz in my opinion is better suited; in terms of his natural qualities, to be a no9 for us He may develop as an 8 or 10 in time when his confidence comes but I think we should be deploying him as a 9 He has the ability to cause chaos in the box with his first touch, height and movement. Once his confidence comes goals will come for him. His game right now is far too risk averse to play 8. Arteta himself said he didn’t… Read more »


The big difference between City and everybody else is the squad depth. Which means Pep can and does rotate his players. If Saka played for City he would have been rested until Guardiola was satisfied he was fully fit. As it is Arsenal fans are left praying Arteta doesn’t do the player serious damage.


jod: “The big difference between City and everybody else is the squad depth.” Not really. There are just a few players even in City that start almost every game – Ederson, Rodri and Haaland for example. KDB as well but he’s always had injury problems. The reason for that is 1 – because the players can take it but also, 2 – because the drop in quality with their replacements is too big. It’s fine for Arsenal to have main irreplaceable players like Saliba, Rice and Saka but when they are visibly having issues for a couple of weeks, game… Read more »


Jod We have sufficient depth to rest Saka We’ve lost over the course of a year Jesus Partey Eddie Saliba Tomiyasu Esr Timber Partey again Jesus again Martinelli Trossard Saka Even with those players gone we’ve had players waiting for game time I’m a big fan of Arteta and support a lot of what he’s done and is doing but I can’t get my head around this. Also his treatment of certain players perplexes me Pepe being the prime example I think if he trusted his players more we’d see injuries reduce and better end product. The attacking players seem… Read more »


I mean, does City even have a LB in their team? I think Gvardiol has like 5 games there, Ake has a few games there, Rico Lewis has played there. Is that the squad depth? They only have Walker as a natural RB but he started 22 games in the PL last season. Nobody even realized cause he used like0 other players there – Rico Lewis, Stones also Stones at DM with 3 in the back. Their CBs are never the same in any 2 games in succession, but the backline in reality is something like 7 players just like… Read more »


TheBayingMobOctober 6, 2023 22:42:43 Regardless on Saka I think we will get pinged on Sunday; I think we are, with the scousers back in the ascendancy, somewhere between the 4th to 6th best team in the league and City will ruthlessly deal with us again. Baying mob Really?? You think pool and who else are above us? Spurs beat Liverpool Spurs have been jammy this season We have an injury crisis and are performing (results wise) as good or better than any team in the league bar city. What evidence do you have that anyone bar city are a superior… Read more »


You want a no.9 who doesn’t score or assist and can’t run the channels …Good luck with that.


Arsenal 2 City 1 – I’m on for a win


For me، the deeper Havertz plays the better، Xhaka was a better option higher up the pitch mainly because he is a good striker of a football and is a powerful header of the ball. From what I have seen of Havertz، he hasn’t convinced me that he has the technique to volley، half volley or hit a bouncing ball with any confidence ، and although he is good defensively in the air، I am yet to be convinced that in the opponents box he offers a real goalscoring threat. There is a world of difference between a defensive header… Read more »


Havertz playing alongside Rice and Partey would give us a powerful midfield against city، similar to liverpool’s midfield of a few years back that caused city so many problems of fabinho، henderson and Wijnaldum.

Only drawback is our fullbacks are not as offensive as robertson and Trent Arnold


Pierre, I get your logic but it’s not happening. He’s not taking out Odegaard.

Mr Serge

Can’t wait for tomorrow game a 4.30 kick off allows us to get to the pub early
Expect a loud and rowdy atmosphere tomorrow


Havertz will never come good for Arsenal. Sometimes you just got to call a spade a spade. 30 games, 1 season doesn’t make a difference.

People talking about confidence lol. Havertz is a CL winner and has no confidence whilst we have Saka who is forever confident and doesn’t have no PL title or CL winners medal


‘This is top two managers’ keep digging Arteta’s ass pedro, you’ll soon discover crude oil


“Pierre, I get your logic but it’s not happening. He’s not taking out Odegaard.”

You’re probably right


Pierre 😂 What channels? Didn’t you read that we come up against the lowest blocks in Europe Eddie has no room to move and doesn’t have the game in spaces Jesus tends to come deep when it’s crowded but with no martinelli or Saka to zip into the gaps then a change is required I think Havertz is a curve ball and has the game to connect the supporting forwards who cover the wide areas perfectly well We don’t need channel running We need someone with presence in the box I think Havertz would be more of a goal threat… Read more »


Very good news guys

I don’t see any of our rivals dropping points this weekend (including city and liverpool)

Why is this good news?

80% of my predictions do not come true. My lack of confidence should mean we’re in for a handful of great results!! Let’s gooo


I’ve been very critical of Kai but think he’s the right choice at CF today

I’d rather we have a baller in midfield to improve control and creativity and I think he’s the right choice ahead of Eddie at CF for this match

Jesus on the left, I am expecting Saka on the right even tho it’s an accident waiting to happen


Partey rice and havertz in midfield is too much emphasis on control and not enough emphasis on creativity and goal scoring threat

Ode is indispensable to this team. Even when he has a bad game, there’s no one I’d rather start ahead of him in that position based off the last 12 months

Rusty Shackleford

For the love of God please don’t start Havertz in this match. We need the full 11 on the pitch for this one, not 10 and a half. Playing Partey and Rice as the 6 and 8 is what should’ve been done from the start of the season. Hoping Arteta has seen the light, but I seriously doubt it.
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko
Partey, Rice
Saka, Trossard


Un Away from home or against teams that attack us at the Emirates ( City) ، you will find that there is more space behind the opposition defence . The penalty award v palace was an example of a striker with pace and intelligence making a blind side run behind the defence. The penalty award away to Bournemouth was an example of a striker with pace and intelligence making a run behind the defence، proving there is space behind the defence if utilised properly and the ball is played at the right time The winner Away to Brentford was an… Read more »


If we’re honest, talk of where to play Havertz on this game is less about where he can be most effective and more about where he can cause the elastic damage – to us. What a sad indictment!




I’ve had ups and downs with my views on Arteta but one
thing I’m happy about his tenure is that he’s made us relevant again.
And for the few blind spots in his game I just hope that time and hopefully
someone soon, can make him aware of them.

One thing that can’t be disputed is that the man loves the club and has ambitions
to get us to the highest heights …. Navigating the journey there is where the issue lies ..

I can only watch and pray


He’d prolly never admit it, but I wonder if deep down Arteta knows that in regards to Havertz:

“He done fcuked up”!


There is a very very small percentage that we can win against city. Spare saka from the game and go ultra defensive. That’s the only way to play against pep. Soak up pressure and hit on the counter.


Bissouma is a prime example at how a manager can make or break a player….Conte destroyed him and under Ange he is thriving.

I wouldn’t be too keen to write off tottenham this season، their passing is fast، crisp and incisive، should be 3 up already..

What we need is Arteta to prove a lot of people wrong and “make” Havertz، can he do it ، I’m not so sure but let’s hope so .


“ Bissouma is a prime example at how a manager can make or break a player….Conte destroyed him and under Ange he is thriving.”

Shhh, how can you say that Pierre?

Don’t you remember that victory laps by the V.I, calling everyone a clown and a moron for rating Bissouma?
It’s amazing how people can be so proud, loud and ignorant all at once


“I’ve been very critical of Kai but think he’s the right choice at CF today.”

Agreed. Sure he’s bossing training sessions.
Tomorrow, however, I would play Trossard as false 9 and Jesus on the right.

“Bissouma is a prime example at how a manager can make or break a player….”

Very true, Pierre. There was a genius here who used to gloat that we didn’t sign him, because we didn’t “need a player who’s just a destroyer”
LOL, you’d think Bissouma was poor man’s Makelele.



Yes our starting striker scored and our reserve striker failed to register a goal or assist
Either way our game isn’t set up for a channel running work horse like dirk kuyt, I mean Eddie Nketiah, it’s set up for someone who can play on the ball or someone who is tall with a good touch and can play in tight spaces
That ain’t Eddie
We are actually looking for a new striker in the next window
That doesn’t bode well for our reserve work horse


Watching the spurs game

I noticed Luton are using NHS paramedics to treat players when they go down injured

I think that’s fucking appalling.

At a time when the NHS is stretched to breaking point, a club which must have won untold millions gaining promotion to the PL, plus however many millions from TV revenue can’t prioritize paying for their own complete medical team – that’s disgraceful

They’ll go out in the transfer market and spend a few million on a new signing but can’t afford some medical staff? That’s pathetic.

Hope they win anyway tho


Bissouma just got a second yellow for diving lol

I’m still not confident about the result but this is a big moment


Maybe Bissouma will bring his child unto the field to celebrate that red card he’s gotten

Really pathetic, diving like that in the last seconds of first half of the added time of first half


Ramdas be other teams I’d rather Trossard as false 9 as he’s our best striker of the ball off a half chance

But I don’t think I trust Kai in midfield against city. Can’t have sloppiness or mistakes and we need that creativity – so I’d have trossard in midfield this match and Kai up front


**Really pathetic, diving like that in the last seconds of the added time of first half


I’m going to jinx this and richarlison is going to score a second half hat trick now, but death me he’s such a bad player


Spurs have been very jammy this season.
It will be the heights of lottery winning jamminess for Richarlison to score a hat trick with his team one man down.


HAH no le grove curse from me today

Richarlison subbed at half time

He’s so bad I wonder if he’s a secret gooner on a sabotage run from their inside


That was the chance for Luton


“Bissouma just got a second yellow for diving lol”

Bissouma has just made Nigel’s weekend.

If only Bruno G could now injure himself for Newcastle, that would be the cherry on top.
Nothing too serious of course, just an ACL.


Why did he not just finish with his left peg. That’s poor.


Just that spurs play on the counter and have two good finishers so one man down doesn’t really change much
Luton still have to keep playing with those two double decker buses parked across their goal


There you go now spurs will think with 10 men they are the best team in the league.


Newly promoted teams tend to be very poor but even by those standards, Luton are particularly bad


Tottenham luton is a good game ، end to end ، Maddison is absolute quality it’s sad to say ، Bissouma red has evened it up a little، both teams look vulnerable at the back.


Expressions oozing will be insufferable this next fortnight if spurs are top of the league going into the international break


This game gives me cup tie vibes


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


“Newly promoted teams tend to be very poor but even by those standards, Luton are particularly bad”

12 players signed for total of 17 million tells the story


Luton have had so many chances

Guns of Hackney

Is this a spurs blog?