by .

Arsenal cruuuuuuuuuuised to an exceedingly simple win against a totally outclassed Sevilla FC. How can these young Arsenal men be acting out in the Champions League like they’re seasoned veterans?

We are not talking enough about how this rebooted Arsenal group of players are strangling sides like Homer Simpson on Bart before it was deemed uncool to strangle kids in cartoons last week.

Sevilla had one shot on target all game and that was their entire catalogue of attempts at our goal.


This is the Champions League, those sorts of numbers shouldn’t be possible against quality sides known for European football. But look, this is a pattern. We might have lost against Newcastle at the weekend, but we had the richest side on the planet patting the floor trying to find scraps – they didn’t get a corner for an entire game.

This is a different Arsenal side defensively. We have more control, we have more physicality, we have players that feel more attuned to the type of football Mikel Arteta wants them to play.

William Saliba continues to look like the best centre-back in the world. He is a control master – he reads the game like a 30-year-old, but he has the superpowers of a prime VVD. He has all the tools you’d want in that position and he’s still a baby by centre-back standards.

Declan Rice is so good it’s getting boring writing about him – he is every inch a £105m. How many players that go for mega fees have their fans feeling like the deal represented value? Not many. The problem with going up against Declan is he’s everywhere. He’s not human, he’s a horror movie bad guy, you look over your shoulder, he’s not there, you turn back 2 seconds later and he’s savaging you. The only weakness in his game is you still feel there are levels to go… what’s going to happen when he starts shooting?

It was great to see both Bukayo and Martinelli have positive impacts on the game after being clogged up by the black and white deep block boys at the weekend. Martinelli was terrorising Sevilla all night long, constantly beating his man, and constantly getting into dangerous positions. Could the final ball be a little bit better with the cutbacks? Yeah. But he probably needs a striker to make those work more consistently. He still managed a glorious assist for Bukayo Saka who scored a very Bukayo goal.

Our OG Starboy also had a great game, he looked far more comfortable playing up against weaker fullbacks who let him run the game. The goal was great, so was the assist for Luther Van Tross. The injury wasn’t serious, according to Arteta, so let’s hope he’s in the starting 11 for the game this weekend.

There were some other notable performances.

Zinchenko, who has been training as a midfielder for parts of this week, showed up in the Jorginho role and did really well. The guy is an outrageous technician but he’s being outdefended this season. Maybe midfield as an 8 or a 6 could be the future for him? I certainly prefer him in advanced positions over Fabio Vieira.

David Raya kept a cleansheet.

Kai Havertz had a very good game again. Is he starting to find his feet? I think so. We’re also starting to learn what his game is about. I’m watching Granit Xhaka with more power and pace… and better at the one touch connective passing. Kai offers us a lot of hard work off the ball and eventually… he’s going to give us an edge in the opposition box with final passes and goals. He’s getting better, those that wrote him off, get ready to bow down to those that kept the faith.

Ok, that’s me done. Have urself a lovely day. Listen to the pod. See you later! x


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. bacaryisgod

    Might as well repost because it’s deeply important.

    Does Declan’s voice sound like a really good imitation of Neil from The In-Betweeners? Want to make sure it’s not just me who thinks that.

    He was tremendous again today. Can you think of any new Arsenal player who has been this consistently excellent from game 1? Even Thierry and Dennis got off to slow starts. Vieira got off to a storming debut but not sure if he was consistently good for this many games to start his Arsenal career.

    Maybe Alexis?

  2. Gunnernet

    Big win mentally today, i really hope for a big UCL run. We have unfinished business and after 7 years nobody counts on us. I like it that way. After all this is how we went to Paris once..

  3. Gunnernet

    Indeed Bacary, he has been quite impactful, particularly late in games. Once he gels better with Ode and the rest he will become an ultimate beast.

  4. Aaron

    Calm, cool and collected this win!

    Martinelli scalped their entire left side more than once.
    Tross the boss with another finish.
    Saka with a very nice goal.
    Defense was great, and only had one moment when Ben played the ball a bit too casually.
    Raya did what he needed to do.

    All positive, but Sevilla gave us all the time we wanted on the ball, and sat back, more often than not that is a death sentence for the opposition.

    Let’s get back on track in league, channel that vaR anger into Wins.

    Let’s go.

  5. salparadisenyc


    I’m w/ you there is a bit of Neil in that voice, so we got that going for us, which is nice.

    Rice is kind of incomparable in recent years we are in new territory he’s been that good out of the gate. Will he find the highs, longevity and overall quality of the original OG that was Vieira, we shall see.

    The nuttiest part is that it seems kind of possible.

  6. Nigel Tufnel

    Matt B and Pierre
    …….seem to be the only guys who want to give any credit to players who are unloved by the mob.

    Even before that amazing Fabregas like pass to Saka for his assist,, Jorginho was having a very good game. He was also excellent against Newcastle, but nobody here will give him credit.
    ” I’m sorry he didn’t cost 100 million, Arsene would say.

    Buffoons on the internet would rather have a brainless athlete like Bissouma than a cultured midfield passing machine with positioning, who’s career achievements are incredible:

    named in the Champions League Squad of the Season, Jorginho was also included in the European Championship Team of the Tournament and named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2020/21.
    Also placed third in the Ballon d’Or. Not to forget he helped beat mighty Man City in the CL final…..Geniuses here mock him though.

    Havertz had a good overall game, but since he’s had a slow start in scoring for Arsenal, he will be forever abused by grovers. He also was effective against Newcastle.

    The smooth brains online only see goals, and the other 95 minutes of the game, they’re busy commenting on legrove instead of watching build up, midfield play,, pressing and tracking back.
    It’s why some of the best posters appreciate the recent games of Havertz and Jorginho. They actually watch the midfield battle happening throughout the whole game.—–That’s how we limited Man City shots, shut down Newcastle in a midfield war to a 0.06 Xg, And barely allowed 1 shot last night.

    It’s not all about the keeper and defenders… it’s more to do with team play in front of the back line, and selflessness.

  7. BacaryisGod


    You’re right-feels like he could become a club legend but will need silverware to seal it. Same goes for Saliba, Martinelli and Saka.

    Quick question-do we have a better chance of winning Champions League or the Premier League? I think the Champions League is our best chance. A likely first-place finish, a decent draw and three knockout wins gets us there.

  8. Sensei

    Yeah, struggling to take too much from this. Agreed that Marti looked great, skinned his defender a lot, although that could be the generally pants level of La Liga fullbacks. While I mostly just watched the second half here in the US, I was struck by how composed and dominant our defense was. Not sure who mentioned it, but Havertz in the Odegaard role could be useful when Ode’s out, he looks better on the right and despite missing that header had a few good attacking moments.

  9. MidwestGun

    Let me guess Nigel ? Your a student of the game?
    Maybe give it rest on telling people how to watch the game. ya?.

    Doesn’t help your point when your busy pumping the way you do things up. Everyone processes things in different ways. I can appreciate Jorginho and Havertz or not and still watch the game and comment.. Don’t be a prat.

    I can also walk and chew gum at the same time. Been multi tasking for quit a few decades now.

  10. Nigel Tufnel


    I love your paragraph about Havertz..
    That’s the correct view … positive,,,,
    an improving player who’s been doing the job in midfield all season, just deficient in goal contributions so far. I like that he took shots today, he needs aggressiveness and selfishness when he’s in the final third. It is a start. I hope he can keep attacking like last night from the left….when Øde gets back.

    The shutting down of Newcastle was big, and while everyone here was crying about no creativity, they had no idea that Newcastle hadn’t allowed a goal at home since the end of August!

  11. Nigel Tufnel


    Have you ever read the in-game comments online? It’s an embarrassment of loud reactionaries with no temperament or understanding of what happens with in game battles and adjustments.

    In my estimation, you are one of the best posters, but you don’t have to be the great defender of the “noble savages” on blogs and Twitter.

    We are not all equal. It’s a sad fact. I’m not gonna pretend we are, just for your sensibilities.

    1000 “Guns of Hackney” are not equal to 1 Rich, AFCforever, kpankulu, or Positive Pete.

    By the way, you just ignored the compliments I gave to 2 thoughtful posters to start my comment.–Try a little balance yourself once in a while.

  12. allezkev

    I think everyone put in a decent shift with some better than others – and of course there’s always room for improvement, but restricting Seville to one shot on target shows excellent control defensively, ultimately though if you have a major downer on any one particular player then nothing will change your mind.

  13. jwl

    Sky interview after match –

    Martinelli: “This week especially, Arteta has asked to me and to Bukayo to be more direct and told us to believe more in ourselves (1v1 situations) and today it worked out!”

  14. MidwestGun

    Nigel I’ve been commenting on Le Grove for over a decade during the games of course I have read the comments. It’s actually on of the most fun things to do on here. . everyone gets emotional and reactionary during the games.. but that’s part of the fun. why are you reading so much into it is the question? As long as they aren’t blatantly rooting for the other team, who cares? I would hate to discourage people from commenting on here.. Arsenal needs as many fans as they can get the way I look at it.

    I don’t think people need to rewatch the game in depth.. and break it down before the formulate an opinion either. Been doing it my whole life so that experience lets me process pretty quickly.. I can post my resume if you want? haha

  15. jwl

    From twitter –

    No defender has been dribbled past more times in a Champions League game in the last eight seasons than Juanlu Sánchez was against Arsenal (8).

    Gabriel Martinelli giving him nightmares

  16. MidwestGun

    Jwl – Ya I saw an interview after a game once where Arteta’ s only advice to Marti before he came on as a sub one time was do your thing. Nothing tactical just be aggressive.
    The way we setup we need our wingers to be effective for sure and then that opens everything else up. So I like that.

  17. MG42

    FoxInTheBox, but his village may be on another planet.
    “Wait wait. Am I staying in some other planet?”

    No, you just read a comment from the Village Idiot and who knows his village may just be on another planet.

  18. MG42

    “Wait wait. Am I staying in some other planet?”

    No, you just read a comment from the Village Idiot and who knows his village may just be on another planet.

  19. Leedsgunner

    It’s been a while…

    We are a good side but we sorely miss a clinical finisher who isn’t afraid to rush into the box to grab the crosses that Saka and Martinelli were lobbing into their box. However the problem is we’re not given this amount of space or room in the EPL. EPL defenders and opponents are too busy wrestling with Saka or whacking Jorginho in the face to care.

    Osimhen would be the dream but I like the links with Sesko.

    Toney could also work but he’s not worth £80m Brentford will want… and he’s a good EPL proven pivot option if Osimhen or Sesko isn’t available or obtainable this January or the summer 2024.

  20. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal had a very good game in spite of the absence in team and squad of several key players including Odegaard, Jesus and Partey.

    As others have suggested Saka, Martinelli and Rice were excellent and unplayable. Trossard scored
    a very good goal and certainly looks an upgrade on Nketiah.

    However, one note of caution. Raya may have managed a clean sheet primarily because Seville had
    only one shot on goal. However, on the one other occasion that they produced a very dangerous
    cross, which went fortuitiously out of play our goalkeeper was once again positionally poor.

  21. Bob N16

    Loved how comfortable the win was; the final kick of the game was Sevilla’s first shot!

    Not wishing to piss on anybody’s chips but can’t really work out good we were or how bad they were.

    Great to see Saka and Martinelli back on form though. Saliba and Rice just quality.

    Hoping for another comfortable home win on Saturday and some of our players held back from playing internationals.

    Only criticism, Saka playing on when he was first injured and not being replaced by C- Duberry.

  22. Markymark

    MG->GD->RP – there’s must be a village out there somewhere where all three of you can live happily?
    Spotted GD is now basing his like of Rashford on being English. Wow that’s a big moment . I mean I could start screaming racism and babble on about Biblical mythical beasts. But in this instance just glad MG->GD->RP has now worked this through.
    Up all the villagers and up the Arsenal and well done Kai for at least some upturn in form and confidence

  23. TheBlaster

    Is this correct (from Gunnerstown writing about the PGMOL)?

    “Link Up Arsenal on X revealed that It was Andy Madley & Stuart Burt on VAR – who take officiating jobs in the Saudi league which is owned by Saudi PIF which also owns Newcastle…”

  24. FoxInTheBox

    ‘ who isn’t afraid to rush into the box to grab the crosses that Saka and Martinelli were lobbing into their box.’

    Can someone please pacify me by statingArsenal tried to get Giroud for a short-term contract this summer.

  25. raptora

    Arsenal (1.61) 2-0 (0.02) Sevilla

    If it wasn’t for the last shot in the game in the 97th minute, Sevilla would have had an xG of 0.00. That’s insane.

    I’m buzzing. We played a top game. One could say it wasn’t too hard to look good vs Sevilla, and that’s probably correct, but we were very dominant and we had an excellent performance. Can’t ask for much more.

    We shouldn’t care how other teams are doing, but looking at Manure you see a team that struggles versus average teams. Winning in the CL is not easy regardless the competition so I’m buzzing and already looking towards the KO rounds.

  26. Habesha Gooner

    Martinelli was terrorizing sevilla all night long. Saka was good too. We look much better attacking with Eddie out of the team. He needs to be kept on the bench. He just affects our other attackers negatively. We need a player there the ball sticks to.

    Havertz looked a bit better. That shot that narrowly went wide was the only attacking incentive he has taken since he came. more of that please.

    Rice and Saliba have been fantastic all season long. they just put in a 7 and 1/2 every game without breaking a sweat. just fantastic players. I prefer Rice at 6 though. His tools are more effective at 6 for me.

    added to that we have had a few great days after that week. Liverpool drew, spurs got trashed by a poor chelsea side, Newcastle go their ass handed to them after all the crap they talked about, United getting embarrased again. I will take it.

  27. raptora

    Sevilla allowing our wingers in 1 on 1 situations versus their full backs was very optimistic of them. No wonder all the PL teams double down on Marti and Saka. They can ruin you.

  28. raptora

    Hab: “We look much better attacking with Eddie out of the team. He needs to be kept on the bench. He just affects our other attackers negatively.”

    I’m sure it was all Trossard when Marti beat his man around 20 times in the first half. Or when we had Saka’s clone playing on Valium.

    It was in fact Trossard who failed to get at the end of every cross Marti tried and he was desperate to find someone in the box but Tross couldn’t possibly catch up and arrive on time in the dangerous areas. He did only when Sevilla had left the box completely open.

  29. AFC Forever

    Sevilla are the current winners of the Europa League. This wasn’t Copenhagen we reduced to one shot on goal. It is worth also remembering we had no Odegaard or Jesus two of our best players. Eddie was also missing.

    So to control that game like we did needs to be properly appreciated. That’s not luck. It’s not about throwing a bunch of players onto the pitch & hoping they do well. This is the result of hard work off the pitch. Our pressing and ball recovery was of the highest quality & demonstrates a real team understanding & desire. That was a very mature performance from what is a young team not familiar with Champions League football; just four days after a tough away game & the shenanigans of PGMOL.

  30. raptora

    We looked alright vs Bournemouth and Sheffield United, didn’t we? Wait a minute, we had a different CF than the one yesterday? I don’t believe it.

  31. raptora

    The way the fan base can just assume that 1 single player is responsible for the attacking play of a whole team, is very funny. Just look at Marti and especially Saka’s performance yesterday compared to their performance vs the beheaders. If the only thing you can come up is “Trossard > Eddie” then something’s wrong.

  32. G

    ‘’ would hate to discourage people from commenting on here.. Arsenal needs as many fans as they can get the way I look at it.‘’

    Not sure about that.. A poster recently stated Saka had downed tools

  33. Habesha Gooner

    Eddie is not it. Martinelli and Saka had good individual performances but Trossard was also dropping deep and the ball was sticking to him. The biggest annoyance from me in eddies game is the fact that the ball bounces off him. aside from that he isnt a clinical striker either. We have evidence that Saka and Martinelli play much better when they have jesus or Trossard ahead of them. evidence going back to last season.

    I know why you keep defending him. He seems to get harsher standard than a lot of players. But a CF at Arsenal is supposed to be held to higher standards. He is just not that great. He will go on to be a striker for a midtable team in the next few years. That much is clear.

  34. raptora

    I’m annoyed Eddie gets roasted for performances of the team. Like he’s the one to blame for our whole attacking play in most of the games since the start of the season.

    Trossard started at CF vs Fulham and was yanked off at half time after a horror performance.

    Jesus has started one game at CF in the PL – vs Chavs. tell me how positive our attack was with him there instead of Eddie? I’ll wait. In fact our best minutes in the game were after Jesus was subbed by guess who? We lost vs Lens with Jesus in the middle as well.

    It’s beyond unfair to treat Eddie the way most fans have. It’s also wrong. No wonder Arteta keeps playing him, he’s aware Eddie’s not the problem.

  35. Chris

    Sevilla weren’t very good and they are in a bit of a mess right now, but we didn’t allow them to be any good either.

    We were in complete control 98% of the time. I watch is these days and I never usually worry about conceding. I’m years past I always thought we looked like conceding 2/3 goals a game under late Wenger/Emery and even towards the back end of last season.

    Is Arteta gearing us up this way as a strategy to win the CL? We play like this and we could edge out anyone (we’ve already beaten City in the league this way) I’d love another 93/94 CWC style win!

  36. Positive pete

    The Blaster.It is in fact true.Perhaps Arsenal should add that to the portfolio dossier they have on PGMOL f** ups/ bias.Take your pick.Perhaps they could toss that little nugget in the FA direction asking THEM for an explanation.Hope they don’t miss the opportunity.

  37. Positive pete

    Raps.Think it’s more to do with the idea that we can do better than Eddie & if so why not.That goes for all the squad.

  38. Batistuta

    To todays tips and a big fuck off to Napoli for being utter shite yesterday.

    Wins for;

    Club brugge

    Tempted to add Pool but they’ve been suprisingly hot and cold this season

  39. Jollof Rice

    Great performance, and a fantastic atmosphere at the Emirates last night.

    We were dominant off the ball, and importantly, inventive and direct on the ball.

    More please.

  40. Chris


    I usually like a goals bet in EL/ECL Thursday nights. Just for a bit of fun!

    I find going for teams to win in these competitions is unreliable as they usually put out a weaker starting 11.

  41. Karsa

    The treble I posted came in the other night – that is if you were wise enough to cash out when Ipswich took the lead in the 88th minute.

    Like Chris, I’ll be going for a goals acca tonight for value. The EL games are just so erratic at this stage.

  42. Dissenter

    Surprised that Habesha jumped on the bash Eddie bandwagon, he’s normally level headed.
    This season, we’ve had games where Jesus started or came on and was a ghost as well.
    Sevilla are so poor that Eddie would have had a good game too, no different from Sheffield.

  43. Dissenter

    Martinell does need to work on his final action/pass. He does everything well and then smashes it on the defender

    He does need to play closer to the goal. It makes no sense hugging the line when we don’t have a proper center forward he’s dragging players away from.

  44. Rich


    Our wingers hug the touchline because we play with 2 x No8s, and we can’t have them occupying the same spaces.

    If we invert both our wide forwards, then we’d need width from our full backs, but we’d then need all 3 of our midfielders to sit deeper as structure players.

    Or we could play an asymmetrical shape, with one inverted forward and one attacking full back on one side

    Then 1 x No8 in the pockets, and one winger holding the width on the other.

    If we played with 2 x No8, and 2 x Wide forwards occupying the same spaces, we’d be incredibly disjointed.

    Particularly if we then tried playing with 2 x attacking full backs to get some width….

    Because we’d then be playing with 7 outfield players ahead of the ball, and that would leave us incredibly vulnerable defensively while trying to dominate the game in the attacking and middle thirds.

    If you want both Saka + Martinelli starting positions to be closer to goal, then we have to sacrifice our 2 x No8s.

  45. Pierre

    I’ve been saying for a while now that with Rice in the side we can afford to take more risks in the final third as Rice’s reading and understanding of the game is first class ، plus I’ve noticed that with Havertz playing as the other no.8 makes us better defensively as both Rice and Havertz kill the counter before it starts.

    Our last 3 games with Rice and Havertz in the side we have conceded a measly 3 shots on target، our centre backs are basically playing with a cigar in their mouth as they watch our midfield squeeze the life out of the opposition.

    Last night our wide players took risks ، they commited the full backs instead of playing safe.
    The thing is it doesn’t matter if they lose the ball as rice، Havertz and jorginho close the space in seconds to avoid the counter، those 3 work very well together to help us retain control of the game ، yes they are not flair players but Arteta may have found a midfield that is solid، dependable، reliable and all work well together.

  46. Belfast Gooner

    Delighted with the result and the organised performance. You can only beat what’s in front of you and the lads did that comfortably. For the most part the performance was workmanlike, rather than scintillating. I hope we will see performances that are a bit more exciting soon.

  47. Dissenter

    Keeping them close to the lines makes sense if we had a central striker or late arriving midfielders that can use the space that’s created.
    Teams doubling up on Saka and Martinelli would have to think twice about doing that. Last season, Odegaard, Xhaka [last season] and Jesus were tearing them a new one from the middle

    We are still carrying on like Jesus is fit, Odegaard is fit and a goal scoring Xhaka is still rampart.
    Right now, Saka and Martinelli are more likely to score goals than Eddie or Havertz, so let’s put them in positions to be more direct.

  48. Rich


    This is the argument I make with you about Ødegaard

    In our system, our forwards roles are to be defenders, arguable more than they are to be attackers.

    The average a player is on the ball throughout 90 minutes is just 1 minute and 49 seconds…. So for the other 88 minutes and 11 seconds, it’s about controlling the game in the right areas of the pitch…

    Either by applying pressure both with and without the ball, or through aggressive positioning…

    If we commit more players to attack, the opposition has to commit more players to defend, and that’s how you create territorial advantages.

    You and Jamie have both scoffed at this before, but some of these positional tactics are based off military strategy for control of territory,

    Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world at controlling the game in the attacking and middle thirds of the pitch, and prohibiting the opposition from entering our defensive third, and our penalty box.

    We defend not by traditional defending, but by stopping the opposition at source… Attackers who defend are vital to our system, we’ve got one of the least thankful centre forward roles in the PL.

    Our system isn’t designed to have a superstar, our system is designed to be the superstar…

    Some fans see us dominating the game in the attacking and middle thirds as an attacking trait…. The reality is that it’s as much about our defence as it is about our attack.

    You see pressing as simply winning the ball, but applying pressure is as much about stopping momentum building at source, as it is about winning the ball.

    If you look at where our goal came from against City, they didn’t need to win the ball from Partey…

    But they did need to apply enough pressure to avoid him getting his head up, and then picking out a 45 yard ball into their penalty box, and eliminating their mid-block.

    The mistake didn’t happen in their final third, it happened in the middle third.

    I’m convinced that’s why Arteta would favour Havertz over Maddison, because Havertz helps keep us high up the pitch, and while there can be no argument against us needing to see more end product from Havertz….

    There can also be no argument that without the ball, he’s incredibly switched on, tactically astute, and has plenty of defensive nous.

    When Arteta said Havertz was the best player in the first half against West Ham… He probably meant it, because West Ham didn’t have a shot on goal in the first 45.

    Against Newcastle we restricted them to nothing, last night Sevilla didn’t muster a shot until the 97th minutes.

    Having listened to Arteta, Klopp, and Pep talk about defending, I’m 100% convicted they see it very differently from most fans.

    We need to see far more aggression with the ball from Havertz, but if Arteta can get that side out if him as well… He’s going to develop into some player.

  49. kjelli

    It’s easy to keep a clean sheet when the defenders is as good as they were against a slow Sevilla
    team. Keep Aron match fit and start him against Burnley, he will be eager to perform. I just hope
    Öde will be fit and raring to go !! Good vibes all around..

  50. AFC Forever


    Correct. Pep once described Jesus as his best defender.

    There is a misunderstanding of the amount of work that goes on off the pitch to develop a possession based system that focusses on defending from front to back. It’s such a tactically disciplined way of playing that it takes time to integrate new players and coach them to understand the triggers. It doesn’t work individually. City have been the best at this for years, they strangle teams. Arsenal are improving in that regard, our pressing and aggressive ball recovery is starting to be more effective, and Rice has made a huge improvement in that respect. He is a beast of a player no comparison to players like Caceido, Rice idifferent class. . It is worth pointing out that we haven’t played our best players together this season due to so many injuries to key players. We are on the way to building a very competitive squad but will need an addition up top.

  51. Mikel Coneteta

    Some players make other play better, it’s part of the game that isn’t as closely focused on but most fans can see it.

    Martinelli and Saka were back playing some liquid football again, Martinelli especially, I wonder why.

    Just like adding Declan Rice has given his defensive mates even more of a stage to strut their stuff (we’ve been excellent this season defensively), an additional attacking player that can glue the group together and bring the best out of Saka, Ode, Martinelli etc will be worth their weight in gold.

  52. Siddeeq

    Theres nothing sophisticated or complex about pressing retirees,
    their bladders are already pressed and their minds are focused on visiting the urinal

  53. Jj

    We should try to secure that Bardghji boy fron fc Copenhagen. Midfielder, 17 yo,, playing for their first team since 2021, has 15 goals in 65 appearances already. Last night 87 mins, 3 all against united in CL (I know it’s not prestigious to play against them anymore, but still) and he takes that cheeky shot, and scores the winner. Great goal, and there’s a replay showing his face before he took it, you can say he meant that.

  54. Habesha Gooner

    Eddie is just not good enough for where we want to go. Niether are Viera, possibly Nelson, Havertz, Jorginho too. But he is the one who is regularly starting for us. He makes our other attackers play worse. That is just my opinion. he was enough for top4. Not enough when we are competing with Alvarez and haaland.

  55. Grouvillegooner

    I think last night should have a little perspective about it in terms of the opposition. The commentary likened their starting X1 to their Caraboa Cup side.

    I like Rich’s thinking that Havertz is improving slowly and the highlights I have seen show him actively getting in tho the box which is where the goals are going to be scored. Xakha got 9 I think last year so you have to feel that Havertz needs to match that total between now and May to justify his inclusion, defensive contributions apart. I agree with the comments about defending from the front, this is how Citeh and Barcelona did it, but along with that there has to be positive on the ball contributions as well as all Citeh and Barcelona players have shown.
    Arteta has definitely ditched some of the attacking style for more solidity (this is really what Citeh did last year in getting Haaland), we have to hope it pays off and lets hope that it is well in to May before we know the answer to that!

  56. FB

    Hi AFC

    Can you elaborate on your final line: “…but will need an addition up top”.

    Apologies if you have covered this previously, and I missed it.

    Are you referring to a Saka back up, or central striker, and if the latter, what type of player (maybe examples of strikers from the past that fit the profile)

    Thanks in advance

  57. TT

    “Amazing what 5 days in the life of VAR bring”

    Confusion, chaos, anger, disillusionment, apathy are but some things that come to mind.

  58. MG42

    “Amazing what 5 days in the life of VAR bring.”

    It was not the PGMOL fucking VAR personnel it was the CL VAR personnel plus they had the semi automatic offside technology which the EPL rejected and a complex call took 44sec to resolve

    So more like apples to oranges comparison.

  59. MidwestGun

    Jwl- I would say that my ruling on that committee being independent is inconclusive.

    3 Former players of the League. Didn’t say which teams. City, Newcastle and Spurs? 1 former ref from pgmol .. Mike Dean? . And 1 former representative… Sir Alex?

    So inconclusively unbiased the….. call stands. 😀

  60. Ernest Reed

    “ We are not all equal. It’s a sad fact. I’m not gonna pretend we are, just for your sensibilities.‘

    And this followed up with a request for Midwest to try to balance himself.

    Don’t care any longer, you are a muppet Nigel, truly LeGroves resident Village Idiot without compare nor peer.

    Nothing good EVER comes out of your mouth and no one benefits from your brand of sage “wisdom”. I used to say it to Pierre, but it’s all yours now – take a very long walk off a short pier!

  61. Ernest Reed

    “ Seriously though can a committee be Independant if they aren’t mostly from outside the bubble?‘

    Forget independent, what about objectivity? I am still at a loss as to how those running VAR for this particular match could not sequentially piece together the events, let alone in singular isolation?

  62. Ernest Reed

    From Sky Sports

    But the Premier League’s Independent Key Match Incidents Panel believes Joelinton did not foul Gabriel before the ball fell to Gordon, while they also stated there was not enough evidence to state that the ball had gone out of play before being crossed into the area, or to judge Gordon offside.
    However, the panel unanimously decided that Kai Havertz should have been sent off rather than booked for his tackle on Sean Longstaff, and that Bruno Guimaraes should have seen red for striking Jorginho.
    The five-person panel is made up of three former players and/or coaches, plus one representative each from the Premier League and PGMOL, the referees’ body.

    Any time now the FA will come down hard on Arteta and AFC, it’s the next logical step in trying to restore face against their own incompetence. Can’t have the integrity of a bombastic process challenged like that, now can we? FFS times 2

  63. Tom

    I didn’t think Havertz tackle on Longstaff was a red, but he probably should’ve gotten another yellow later on for another similarly bad challenge.

    Not that too many here will agree with that of course, even if they themselves were in favor of similar punishment for Kovacic just a few weeks earlier.

  64. Ernest Reed

    Both fouls were careless, Tom. I found Bruno’s more concerning because he was very deliberate with a shot to the head. The fact that both were declared as errors, does not let both VAR nor PGMOL off the hook.

  65. salparadisenyc

    Just so we’re clear it’s OK to shove someone from behind in the box with two hands on back or shoulders in the Prem.

    The beauty of all this and VAR implementation is life comes at you so fast. Let’s revisit on Monday after the next round of fixtures.

    Napoli saw a goal taken away last night for a very similar infraction thus fucking Bati’s trifecta, that the levels were dealing with here.

  66. Nigel Tufnel

    They will never admit the goal should have been disallowed even though they know it’s true. They don’t want to admit they gifted 3 points.

    They will hide behind “clear and obvious” forever to continue the corruption. Even though the replay is clear and obvious.

    There are middle eastern junkets at stake for these refs, pleasure trip weekends by first class Emirates luxury flights, to stay at 6 star hotels, with the most beautiful Instagram models showing up as incentive, let alone luxury gifts that don’t show in bank records.

    A guy on a podcast said it.. these refs don’t want to go against the people that are seeing that they are wined, dined, and 69’d.
    What middle class bloke from Manchester would want to give up experiences like that. Some people would kill for it.

  67. G

    Didn;t think Havertz tackle was that bad,, he actually goes in infront of the ball as if to block it and its his trailing leg catches their player.. Never a sending off and am amazed people like Thierry think it was

  68. raptora

    I watched a slow mo of Havertz’ potential red card challenge and I must say on retrospective, I thought the lead leg didn’t catch Trippier’s but it did. It’s slowed down and the contact is not a big one but it’s there. I’d be furious if an opponent gets away with a tackle like Kai’s.

  69. MidwestGun

    Well I think I’m pretty balanced.. I will tell anyone to piss off, doesn’t matter who it is.. hahaha

    Think that has been established by now.
    Oh well.. I need to look at the slate of games today .. see if any are worth viewing.

  70. salparadisenyc


    The problem in that clip is it’s slowed down, football isn’t played at that speed. For me one of the bigger issues in VAR usage is the still frame or slow mo for judgment.

    That challenge 10 years ago never a red, 5 years ago very likely not and now a 50-50 red depending on the official.

    The reaction to that moment is pure madness and where the official looses complete control in the classic…. off with your head mentality of escalation.

    Mid your clearly on very thin ice.

  71. Tom

    Ernest, Bruno’s was a straight red for me.
    Troy -Arsenal have no cojones- Deeney got a red for a less obvious shove to Torreira’s head a few years back, and everyone agreed it was deserved.

    The problem with many pundits as I see it, is that once refs call something certain way they feel inclined to support their decision.

  72. MidwestGun

    Ya Sal.. story of my life. Did you see Pedro on the pod?

    Looked like Hugh Hefner after a weekend bender, and just rolled out bed wondering what hit him?

    Should I be worried about his health or jealous? Can’t decide. hahaha

  73. Nigel Tufnel

    Pierre sharp comment:

    “I’ve noticed that with Havertz playing as the other no.8 makes us better defensively as both Rice and Havertz kill the counter before it starts.Our last 3 games with Rice and Havertz in the side we have conceded a measly 3 shots on target، our centre backs are basically playing with a cigar in their mouth as they watch our midfield squeeze the life out of the opposition.”

    Rich expanded on that too, about how Havertz in midfield is helping us control games. He’s got good pace, strength, is combative, and likes to put a foot in with those long legs.

    All season I’ve been saying to judge him as a midfielder first. Midfield goals will come from him eventually.
    He has too much midfield responsibility to be judged as a CF and simplistic goal numbers.

    Everyone on legrove has got morning wood thinking about Szoboslai yet he’s got 1 goal and 2 assists in 11 games, almost 1000 minutes.
    Grovers love to judge other teams acquisitions better than our own.

    I’m not even saying Havertz is much better so far, just that one is looked at as a giant success, and we just pointed out that Havertz is doing great work in midfield, but is constantly called a complete failure by Arsenal fans.

    The bias is supposed to be FOR your own players and team, not against them.

  74. salparadisenyc


    It was a strong look no question, chalk that up to the after effects of the MLS playoffs and going out early after topping the table. So harsh.

  75. philmar

    Pedro, Havertz did NOT have a good game. It was better than his previous poor games though. Because his confidence is shot, he doesn’t try hard enough to make himself available to receive a pass from a teammate under pressure.. He still passes backwards more often than prime Denilson. But he still does his job defensively, tracks and presses well. His languid style is infuriating. too many times Martinelli beat his defender only to have nobody to cross to in the box. Havertz is of course waltzing towards the box but he needs to run with conviction. He clearly doesn’t want the ball. This reminds me of the days when Walcott was darting down the wings with nobody to cross too as Giroud couldn’t keep up. Havertz once was a great midfielder but years of being a striker has dullened his midfielding instincts and skills. He needs to be running with the ball more often and working hard as a late runner in to the box. This project is going to take a bit more time than Arteta thought.

  76. GD4

    Arteta is in dangerous territory.
    You’ve already seen the Old boys gang closing ranks via media and ex players and already shaping the negative narrative around our Spanish coach, much like some here.

    I fear for Arteta and Arsenal too.
    The knives are already out.
    He really needs to walk a very fine line because there will be no benefit of doubt any longer

  77. Tom

    Midwest, you might be balanced but I would expect you to be a better judge of size/distance considering your background.and years of staring at 2×6 lumber..
    How you saw 6” of green between the ball and goal line probably only booze could explain.

  78. raptora

    Bruno is a red as well but Havertz’ foul happened earlier.

    Anyhow, the big problem for me is how the goal is ruled as a good one. That’s the absolute insanity. A shove from behind is given a foul anywhere on the pitch, maybe less so if a defender does it in the box, but an attacker doing this and a bunch of football people deem it alright, is, for me, farcical.