SEASONED PERFORMANCE IN SPAIN

by .

I have to own it… when I said we’d drawn a Europa League group in the Champions League, I was wrong. I’m am very silly.

RC Lens beat us and Sevilla, with an average squad age of 56, gave us a really good game.

Arsenal exited the evening victorious – but my word, was it a hard-fought battle.

When you’re slumming it in Europa, you tend to forget that the Champions League isn’t flowers and champagne. The 90 minutes was hard to watch, it was cagey, it felt like a chess game for large parts. The big learning is domestic positions mean nothing when the tune of the famous song hits… players up their game, fans bring out their best selves, and games become extremely equalized.

That’s why a 1-2 win feels extra special. We are not an experienced European team, we’re a group of extremely talented boys, trying to find our foothold in the biggest comp in world football. To go away to the best outfit in our group and execute a really good game plan was very impressive. We showed a lot of patience, we didn’t fall for the Sevilla traps, and we didn’t let the emotion of the night get to us.

The finishes were superb as well. Watching Jesus pluck the ball out of the sky, turn Sevilla midfielders inside out, before sliding a galloping Martinelli in for a simple-ish finish was really special. To see him kill the game was raw individual talent just showed where he could go as a striker. He created his own space, used his dazzling feet to perfection, and rifled a Thierry-esque like strike into the top corner. Can I see this Jesus a bit more regularly?

We did have time to make it spicy. We conceded a sloppy goal from a corner. David Raya also kept the Ramsdalians on his back with a duff punch from a cross late on. He didn’t keep his eyes on the ball, the cross skidded off his fists over the bar, versus 40 yards up the pitch. The important conclusion here is it didn’t go in.

3 points is all you can ask for, but we got a lot more out of the game than that.

Tomiyasu tried his hand at left-backing and did a tremendous job. He looks really fit and sharp. Technically, he was extremely sound defensively. He won his duels, he made his presence known with his strength, and he showed that there are other options beyond Timber in that position. If the weekend is a form-based decision, why wouldn’t you opt for him?

David Raya is coming under fire again. I understand why. The punch put everyone’s bowels on the floor. But we have to give some perspective here – he’s 8 games in. He’s at a new club, with new players, being asked to do very ambitious things. He was literally partaking in rondos after 10 minutes. There will be errors – but at every club with a ballplaying keeper, there are errors. The player needs support and the detractors need to back off – just remember, the same folk begging for Ramsdale to return were the same folk that were telling us signing a keeper with 3 relegations under his belt was a bad idea. Writing off a potential Spain number 1 feels like a futile exercise, but here we are, some fans do not learn.

Declan Rice put in another monster performance. He’s going toe-to-toe with Jude Bellingham this season for the best midfielder in England. I am not a huge fan of him in the more advanced position, but overall, it’s hard not to sit in awe of his defensive positioning, and some of that explosive turbocharged running he can do when he sniffs out a chance to close in on goal. What a player – how did we end up bagging a generational talent like that?

The only real flatline moment of the evening was seeing Jesus limp off. Another hamstring issue. That’s quite the number we’re totting up this season. The club should be doing a better job with these soft tissue problems. It’s too early in the season for a young team to be dropping like this so regularly. Hamstring issues are the result of wear and tear – that can be too many games, but it can be offset by being a little less intense in training. What is the root cause here? TELL ME?

No one will tell me.

But it needs deeper investigation because if we can’t survive 5 games a month, we’re going to be in deep, deep trouble come December.

So, a great start to the week. We’re in the hunting pack for the league. We’re top of our group in the Champions League. There are minimal things we need to complain about. So why not check out our latest podcast?

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Richard

I don’t care if I win the 4th place trophy… Loving that we came through the game last night!!

Chrispy

Just keep gaining experience in the CL and racking up the points in the prem. We will hit our stride soon but until then, just stay in the hunt.

philmar

“… when I said we’d drawn a Europa League group in the Champions League, I was wrong.” – Pedro
NO, you were right. We’ve been crap in the Europa league and we had to fight hard to achieve marginally better results so far. PSV gave us trouble last year in Europa League. We beat them this year because they sold their better players since we last met. Lens beat us. And we had to fight hard to win against a Seville side that has been crap so far this year. We are not the team we were last year.

bacaryisgod

Not sure how serious the Jesus injury was. Fingers crossed.

Why I Gunna

2nd?

Why I Gunna

I shouldn’t have read the post

Ernest Reed

“ What is the root cause here? TELL ME?‘’

You already know the answer but struggle to face it head on – ARTETA!!!

MidwestGun

There are minimal things we need to complain about. _____ Yep… the whole we aren’t playing pretty enough… is getting on my nerves. Jesus was like are you not entertained?!?! Imo, we will get it figured out by the end of the season and be flying. I think the key is figuring out the Left 8 position. Meanwhile we are taking care of business in a somewhat ugly manner at times. But we are taking care of business. Philmar the team we were last season , collapsed at the end of the season to City and dropped out of every… Read more »

Curse

Jesus

Dissenter

Pdsro “Hamstring issues are the result of wear and tear – that can be too many games, but it can be offset by being a little less intense in training.” That’s not necessarily true and just because you repeat it very often doesn’t change that fact Training ought to prepare them for what real games are like. Hamstrings will happen more often if training is any less intense. It’s like playing without a good warm up routine. The wear and tear is not a micro-Arsenal issue. Players of all clubs are going down with these issues. There are bigger macro… Read more »

Dissenter

I do think Arteta needs to use his substitutions timely to spread out minutes.
That may help in reducing the soft tissue injuries

Also the Sevilla turf was giving way, like it was just newly laid. That may have played a part in the muscle strain Jesus had.

Markymark

I’ll avoid talking about Raya to have a look at what is going ok. The breaking transitions the world class set up from Jesus with the excellent finish of Martinelli. He had a lot of time to think so he did it with aplomb . I compare to UTD who fluffed opportunities and were light years behind us in terms of movement

MidwestGun

Has it been confirmed that Jesus is even out? Regardless.. We have Sheffield and a Cup game. So he has like 2 weeks to get it sorted before Newcastle.

Wow Mbappe goal was pretty good. no backlift, quick shot after turning his defender silly.

jwl

I am not physio but I wonder if training regime is fine but Arteta rotation abilities are awful and overplaying favourites and running them into ground is the problem here. Our benched players should be starting or coming on as substitutes much more often.

The problem, Middy, was that Raya also had a few are you not entertained moments but in completely different way.

Habesha Gooner

Fantastic Dortmund goal.

Chris

When you look at how the champions league group tables are shaping up, and how they are likely to finish, it appears very important this season to top the group. Finish second and you’re likely to play a Real, Bayern, Barca, PSG, Inter rtc It’s what makes last nights win more crucial. Next 2 CL games are at home. Win those and we are probably good for top spot, perhaps a point in Eindhoven in the final game to be sure. A more favourable tie in the last 16 and we should be getting through to the quarters and then… Read more »

MidwestGun

Jwl.. true true.. my heart stopped at least once. Newcastle behind.. City Nil .. Nil at halftime.

jwl

Just saw this on guardian live blog, what longevity at very top this bloke has –

“At 40 years and 241 days, Porto captain Pepe becomes the oldest-ever outfield player to feature in the #UCL”

Mikel Coneteta

Pedro rebranding David Raya’s remit as goalkeeper has to be one of the more amusing things going atm. The reality is that Raya is being asked to be a ball-playing GK, the kind of auxiliary CB we’ve seen Ederson and Alisson be for 5 years now. He isn’t suddenly amongst the CM’s involved in some triangles to overload the midfield chess battle. This assertion he’s being tasked with special things is verging on insulting, is he bollocks. The over explanation is a shield for Arteta making a questionable recruiting decision and wanting to lean heavy into the apparent cerebral nature… Read more »

Josip Skoblar

Great Mbappé finish. PSG-Milan 1-0.

MidwestGun

Worst part of Champions League coverage on CBS has to be Micah Richards cackling at his own jokes and being a complete clown.

salparadisenyc

Mid

And the best part of it, watching Henry dismiss Micah for the wanker he is.

Habesha Gooner

Let us be honest about Raya, he has been so inconsistent. His passing has been erratic. Especially when he tries to play short passes or he tries to clip it to the fullbacks. Going long, it hasn’t been too bad. The one positive in his game has been how he collects crosses. And even that, he might have fucked up last night with flappy punch that almost ended up in our net. All the positive PR won’t do him any good if he doesn’t start performing better soon. What he was brought in was for marginal gains and it is… Read more »

Chris

Some ex pros make good pundits but overall I think I’d prefer some of the more respected journalists and football experts on the panel, rather than some Ed footballers who can barely string a sentence together, offering next to no actual insight.

It needs a shake up because there’s a reason most people tune in just before kick off and switch off as soon as the final whistle goes.

MidwestGun

Sal- True.. TH14 doesn’t suffer fools.

MidwestGun

Go on with you bad selves Young Boys, haha That’s how you chip a keeper.

Habesha Gooner

How Newcastle buckle as soon as they play a superior possession based team is a mystery. The look like orcs running around. When we got to St James’s park, we must look to do the same. Crisp quick passes. And they won’t bite.

MidwestGun

A lot of close matches today.

Josip Skoblar

Kolo Muani (The no 9 we should have signed…) scores: PSG-Milan 2-0.

Dissenter

Just seeing how Dortmund are managing Newcastle, the champions league is so very different from domestic football,
Pedigree in the competition matters much.

Josip Skoblar

Micah Richards laughing loudly at his own jokes: unbearable.

Dissenter

Did Tonali bet on this game?

LoveSausage

There’s no need to CL-wash our group. It’s very much Europa-level. The problem is that aside from the PSV game, we’ve been EL-level too.

We need a solution to the left 8 problem and Rice ain’t it. The occasional galloping run doesn’t change that fact. He’s a 6 and he’s very good at it. ESR needs to get a shot and Ode needs to find some form again if we’re to put a run together.

MidwestGun

Of course City get a Pk. Still trying to figure out how Saka’s getting fouled in the box wasn’t a pk..

Dissenter

Officiating is so top notched in the CL, except for the few games that PGMOL referees are responsible for when the quality drops.

Dissenter

Willock is back
Newcastle have missed him

salparadisenyc

Pedro Bit of a debate in futility as Arteta has made his choice but the gains are looking less and less as we progress thru schedule w/ Raya. For me it’s easy to see why many are calling attention to the situation, just as Raya may be Spains eventual number 1, Ramsdale may be England’s. David Raya is coming under fire because he’s been poor, lobbed at Chelsea, given ball away cheaply on multiple occasions, nearly punched ball erratically into net giving up 2 points in Champions league group to Sevilla. Ramsdale did less to loose his grip on the… Read more »

G8

Micah Richards is a clown on steroids!
What a tool!

TheLegendaryDB10

From the Guardian:

“The Premier League has reportedly recommended that Everton should be hit with a 12-point deduction if found guilty of breaching its financial fair play rules.”

It’s great to see that the FA are seriously looking into punishing Everton for FPP breaches.

But it does beg the question why the same was not being said of Man Cheatty who have also seriously breached FPP rules by cooking their books.

Football really is a crooked sport sometimes when big money is involved.

G8

And why is the gambler Tonali is still allowed to play?

jwl

Was that willock comment some bait for pierre, Dissenter?

Dissenter

kwl
Nah, I rate the lad

Josip Skoblar

Warren Zaïre-Emery is only 17. He is on his way to becoming one of the best central midfielders in Europe. Tonight, he has looked a cut above the rest against Milan. A young lad to watch.

MidwestGun

That was a huge win for Dortmund in the group of Death.

Josip Skoblar

Lee scores. PSG-Milan 3-0.

salparadisenyc

Dortmund cling on… gravity pulls the Saudi’s back down.

Regarding Everton getting a potential points deduction while City and their 95 infractions, Chelsea and their dodgy contract details coupled with mega outlays w/ players sitting in the corridors due to lack of space see nothing really shouldn’t sit well with anyone paying attention.

MidwestGun

Sal.. Yep.. it’s going on what a decade before they make a decision on City? It really feels like they are delaying to protect the League’s reputation and perhaps waiting for Pep to retire/ so no potential sanctions touch him.

Meanwhile the swift hammer of justice may reign down on Everton … because they have no titles to forfeit.

jwl

We had a good generation come of age, dissenter, saka/esr/nelson/nketiah/willock is pretty decent and it shame we couldn’t keep them all together.

salparadisenyc

That Xavi Simons goal tonight was special.

MidwestGun

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/arsenal-star-kai-havertzs-future-is-clear-following-recent-substitute-appearances

Interesting article.. this is pretty much how I see it as well.. Although, I would argue this makes Kai’s future very unclear.

Vickingz

Galaxy brain should take a cue from xavi’s Barcelona. He’s trusting their kids and they are delivering but the fraud at Arsenal wants us to believe he’s good, you are not good if you lack flexibility and trust in your squad. His town criers would soon start chorusing that it was injuries that prevented us from contending for trophies but wouldn’t talk of the elephant in the room, the constant k in our equation

jwl

Clear as mud, Middy, after reading that. I wonder if Arteta thinks he made a mistake yet or is Kai living up to expectations.

MidwestGun

Jwl.. think it’s very much up in the air. Wouldn’t be shocked if we moved for a midfielder in January, at all.

salparadisenyc

That is the play for me, Havertz can give us the physical presence in box along with other areas as needed.

Lets buy a proper left sided attacking 8 in January if required. Feel like we already said that this summer alas here we are.

TheLegendaryDB10

Sal

Yep. Chelski is just disgusting.

That and the way they were farming out all these players they were hoarding to make money.

Abrahamovic and a sea of infinite corrupt Russian money.

Now Boehly with his huge wealth equally flouting FPP rules.

The FA once again turning a blind eye and being extremely selective in their decision making.

I mean you do have to apply the rules sometimes from time to time, just to remind everyone that this rule is there (to be flouted ad infinitum).

China1

If Everton should be deducted 12 points, how many relegations should apply to Chelsea and city?

China1

And what the fuck is taking so long? The city 100 charges were announced last FEB ffs

allezkev

Maybe Man City and Chelsea can afford better lawyers than Everton?

GD4

Someone made a very astute point that the absence of Partey, his press resistant ball progression and turns are affecting the effectiveness of Odegaard.
Think it’s a point that’s been largely ignored but so many forget how key he was to our effective yet flamboyant style of play from last season

Rich

GD4 Yeah.. Partey’s superpower is getting the ball through the lines. Hopefully we can extract some type of value out of him this season, and at least take some of the workload from Rice for a period of time… Otherwise we risk banjaxing Rice as well. The problem with injury prone players, is that we don’t just suffer from their absence, we also suffer from over playing other players, who then risk breaking down themselves from our over reliance on them. It’s a domino effect… If we want to stop all the dominos from falling down, then we need to… Read more »

Socrates

MidwestGunOctober 25, 2023 21:03:24
“Worst part of Champions League coverage on CBS has to be Micah Richards cackling at his own jokes and being a complete clown”
No Mid it’s the lagging then the cackling

GD4

“ Hopefully we can extract some type of value out of him this season, and at least take some of the workload from Rice for a period of time… Otherwise we risk banjaxing Rice as well.”

Can’t agree with you more but you’d be amazed how sensitive and personally some folks take something so obvious …

China1

I actually think this treatment of Everton by the PL is disgusting One rule for them but another for Chelsea and city clearly The PL has recommended this points deduction based on evidence of wrongdoing from as recently as the 21/22 season Yet with all the copious evidence required for them to charge City with 104 breaches spanning back about 10 years, they’ve been SILENT about recommendations there. They only have balls to pull the trigger on Everton because they’re not as big or backed by a middle eastern group. I haven’t even heard a peep from the PL about… Read more »

rollen

Premier League is getting fraudulent. First PGMOL bought by City owners and now law enforced for Everton but not for dirt money bags City and Chavs.
Disgusting.

China1

And yeah PGMOL refs being sent midweek for highly lucrative matches between absolutely nothing clubs in the Middle East is more than a little suspect

You’re telling me these middle eastern teams with barely a known player amongst them finds it a priority to pay top dollars to have random guest appearances from English refs officiating their games? For what benefit? Really.

Follow the money and the scale of corruption will become clear

Davey

How long can you make new ball playing GK teething problems excuses? come on he is a nervous wreck and time for Ramsdale

Un

I’m half convinced Coneteta is champagne Charlie.

TheLegendaryDB10

China1

And it’s strange that they then say that they do not want refs from abroad from reffing in the PL

Their wish to remain a closed shop is what’s preventing them from improving. They just want to keep their status quo of total incompetence.

I just find it strange that they have no pride or wish in having well reffed games.

It really is not much to ask for, is it really?

TheLegendaryDB10

Un

Jamie also thinks that it is CC.

Un

Listening to the podcast Pedro what are you on man. World class saves? The type that are on used to make in the beginning of his arsenal career? The saves he made at the end of last season were A1, top drawer and kept us in the hunt. Raya has made more errors in 8 games than Ramsdale did all last season. Arteta will persist with raya this season, his arrogance and stubbornness and pride will ensure it. But I think it’s going to become abundantly clear, if it isn’t already, that raya doesn’t have the nerve to play at… Read more »

Un

DB10

I make Jamie right. Few little idiosyncratic clues I’ve noticed.

But why? Why Charlie?

raptora

Don,
Make that full convinced. Been obvious for a while.

Markymark

The Podcast had Pedro in knots over Ramsdale. Basically it was sell him then spend money yet again on another backup whilst we have little legs in prime slot.
It’s so convoluted it’s untrue. Purely designed to find a way around Arteta’s failed decision. The stretch of games where we await the genius to emerge is now going on and on. Each game being of high risk that errors will occur.
It’s pretty obvious that the crowd will begin to turn causing a vicious circle .
The answer -> send him back to Brentford

Matt B

Un: Yep, you’re right, pretty certain Memel Conteta is Champagne Charlie — someone, can’t remember who, said the same thing last week

Markymark

Raya is a Richard Wright – great for a 2nd tier Premier club but likely has temperament issues under the intense spotlight. No way could Raya take over the Spanish international jersey at the moment if ever. Whilst Ramsdale is getting his England opportunity ruined by Arteta. It’s a sad state of affairs

Mysticleaves

Un Conteta is not Charlie. He couldn’t resist a barb at Emery for this long. Markymark Arteta has made so many ‘mistakes’ that alot of people have pointed out beforehand and have been called bedwetters or other names for by you and some few others. Lately you and englandbest seemed to have tuned on Arteta based on Raya over Ramsdale. Don’t you think you are bedwetting a little? Arteta has made a catalogue of mistakes why is it this one that pains you the most? You can’t seem to stop talking about it. Correct me if I’m wrong but you… Read more »

FB

Andrew

I too like Ramsdale’s “infectious” personality.

The obvious problem is Raya is two inches shorter, which tied in with shorter arms, probably leaves his reach at least four inches less.

Terraloon

China Re your 4.52 post. Sorry but you clearly mis understand the process and indeed the position of both Chelsea and City and probably the PL. First Everton they are currently the subject of an Independent Commission who are examining and will rule and it seems pretty soon will rule on the matter. Their charge relates to the four year monitoring period ending 21/22 and almost certainly relates to the £300+ million loss suffered over that period and mores specifically how Everton have tried to claim that the numbers fall in line with acceptable losses but their problem is that… Read more »

Un

Mystic

His biggest mistakes have been centred around gk choices in my opinion
Letting emi leave as his worst recruiting decision. Even worse than signing Willian or re-signing Aubameyang.
Turner for one year
Persisting with leno who can’t play with his feet ata when he had emi all along
Singing runnarson
Even as far as having that shite gk coach bending his ear
And ruining every keeper he comes near
Now this

Markymark

Mystic – I’ve pointed this out a few times on here. I’ve never wet the bed in my life. Sadly I piss in the airing cupboard
In all seriousness
I’ve been seriously pissed off with Arteta I think on 2/3 occasions each involving odd team choices and blocks of young players. Willian complete nightmare , Kai Havertz and now Raya. Arteta has moved his role from developing of squad to all out winning. I get the winning bit. But I actually believe when he moves away from internal squad development he tends to stumble.

local

Arteta has been poor at rotation and it is probably because he doesn’t trust the fringe/reserve players. In some of the cases I do think he has been correct. I like ESR and wanted him to push on for a starting 11 spot this season, however he doesn’t seem interested in doing off-the-ball work which is a major thing for Arteta(and I agree with that). However Reiss did show a couple of times that he is willing to put in a shift and still has only played a total of 35 minutes in PL which is less than Perisic(103 mins),… Read more »

raptora

Pedro: “just remember, the same folk begging for Ramsdale to return were the same folk that were telling us signing a keeper with 3 relegations under his belt was a bad idea” I been thinking about this in the last days. I don’t think it’s the same people. I also don’t think the people that supported Ramsdale’s arrival are all against Raya now. It’s a portion of each fans. Some of the fans that didn’t want Ramsdale to begin with, have grown to like him and appreciate him. Some fans of the other portion that embraced him, see that he’s… Read more »

englandsbest

To clear the air, I believe Arteta;s past record makes him the right man for the job. Notably last season. But that does not free him from criticism. Two of his summer signings – Havertz, Raya – seem mistaken, and loaning our best LB seems odd. Even allowing for Timber, it’s doubtful the squad has been deepened or strengthened. Worst of all, Arsenal are unconvincing. Saka and Odegaard are underperforming.Why? My belief is Arteta is over-coaching, putting tactics above talent. Only Martimelli appears to be doing what comes naturally. The rest are like chessmen on a board, moved around ex… Read more »

Markymark

Englands Best – yep agree it’s not critical failure yet
Rap – this was a throwaway comment from Pedro that actually got me saying No out loud to the broadcast.
Think your take is right on this. I’d mentioned earlier though that his 10% replacements often seem to blow up in his face. When he gets someone who does something no one else does Rice and to some extent Partey it works.
Wenger TBF avoided the marginal gain type purchase

Rich

EB Tierney is injured already at Real Sociedad, got injured at the end of September, he’s contracted to us until 2026… Likely a problem we won’t be able to cut short. There’s no value in Arsenal gambling on his fitness at this stage, he played less than 300 minutes in Spain before breaking down. Seems like a really good character, but relying on Tierney + Partey staying fit, is the equivalent of playing a high stakes game of Russian Roulette with our season, with a high likelihood we’ll end up with our brains splattered against the wall. There’s always risk,… Read more »

Graham62

The reason players are breaking down and underperforming is down to our managers inability to rotate and adapt, even in training.
Yes, we won but it is clear that some players need to have a rest to recharge their batteries.

Pierre

Imagine the outcry if we were conceding more than a goal per game with Raya in goal…..we are conceding less than a goal per game with Raya in goal. Of course, Martinez ticks all the boxes, selling him was a baffling decision. Out of our last 6 games , 5 have been away from home and the one home game was against city.. Aftet that difficult run of fixtures we are top of our champuons league group , we are joint second in the league and still in the league cup . We are now going into a run of… Read more »

raptora

Rich: “relying on Tierney + Partey staying fit, is the equivalent of playing a high stakes game of Russian Roulette with our season”

Same can be said about Tomi (as you said), Zinna and Jesus. Probably the 5 crocks we have in our squad with ESR being a question mark.

I guess carrying a couple of crocks in the squad is fine as long as we have good options in their positions, but having more than 2 is unsustainable.

FoxInTheBox

I will swap Martinelli for Gordon any day, anytime

Ollie

FoxInTheBox

Why would you swap Martinelli for Gordon?

Un

Pierre We aren’t conceding fewer goals because of raya It’s because Gabriel has cut out his mistakes Rice is shielding the defence Saliba has improved this season Tomi is being used very effectively White is more conservative positionally And the unit is tighter and more cohesive all round We are better defensively despite David raya He is extremely fortunate not to have given another 4/5 goals away. Punching crosses into his own net. He’s like a fucking jellyfish out there I’m telling you now he will go back to Brentford next summer. Do I think Ramsdale is the finished article?… Read more »

allezkev

What I like about Tomiyasu is that he doesn’t need two or three games to hit his straps, he can fit straight in and you’re going to get a high level from him. Fitness wise, if he’s not playing two games a week he should hopefully be ok, he’s not a Ben White who can play every three days but as a player who can come into the team and perform to a high standard in several differing positions, he’s about as good as you are going to get in that regard.

Un

Out of our last 6 games , 5 have been away from home and the one home game was against city..Aftet that difficult run of fixtures we are top of our champuons league group , we are joint second in the league and still in the league cup .
We are now going into a run of fixtures that should see us strengthen our position in the league and cement our position as winners of our champions league group .

Pierre
Same could be said for Odegaard (who has been poor this season by his own standards)

Bob N16

Foxinthebox- poor trolling at best!
You’d swap Gordon for Martinelli because you’re probably not an Arsenal fan and don’t have Arsenal best interests at heart

raptora

Bob: “(you probably) don’t have Arsenal best interests at heart”

Yup.

Bob N16

TT is a quality one on one defender who also happens to be two footed and comfortable in possession. If he were to stay fit he’s worth £50m +.

His suitability at as an inverted LB should encourage Arteta to try Zin at left 8 where he looks the best fit of all our roptions.

Un

Is it too simplistic to draw a line between the fact he had his ankle crunched, then played two games for Norway during the Interlull, and his performances since? We know players will push themselves through pain on a regular basis, but in our last two games he has had just 36 and 30 touches of the ball. It’s noticeable because in the previous fixtures, he had 61, 49, 71, 47, and 61 respectively. That is a considerable drop-off, and perhaps indicative of a player who is either feeling the injury or protecting himself a bit. It could be coincidence,… Read more »

Rich

Rap I’ve got some concerns around Jesus, he’s a brilliant player, and his lack of goals doesn’t bother me… He makes us a much better team. But he takes more kicks than Saka, I’m not convinced his style of play is sustainable over the medium term. Once these style of players lose that dynamism + energy, they usually fall straight of the edge of a cliff… Stylistically they’re certainly not designed to play well into their 30s. Enjoy him for now… But if he’s playing well and there’s an opportunity to dump our stock ideally in 2025, but I wouldn’t… Read more »

Foxy

Un spot on re our back 4 and Rice. They have been key to our current good run of results, Gabriel in particular is much improved, maybe from not having to cover so much of the pitch. The question is how much has our new defensive solidity cost us in attack. It is too easy just to accuse say Odegaard of playing badly without digging deep into why. Bob yes I for one would love to see Zini start at left 8 with Tomi at FB at Rice at No 6 . He was our best offensive midfielder in the… Read more »

Bob N16

Rich, can’t disagree with your argument to sell Jesus. I’d be less convinced if his availability record was better but isn’t so I’m not. There is an argument to keep him one more year but if we upgrade Eddie or bring in a versatile forward, it may well be best to cash in. Gradual evolution and always looking for upgrades with a mind on transfer values and contract lengths, has to be the sensible way forward. I’ve never seen the Brazilian Andre play but as a 22 year old DM, who has already played for Brazil(and Liverpool are v interested)… Read more »

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