by .

Arsenal signed off for International duty with a carefully crafted win against a Burnley side I thought were very impressive. Vincent Kompany and Mikel Arteta were cut from the same Pep-G-athleisure-wear material and battled it out with two teams leaning heavily into the DNA of the great one.

It was always going to be a rough afternoon with Vincent Kompany, the gulf in class was deep and wide, he admitted as much after when he said you need to be ‘perfect’ against this Arsenal side.

Mikel Arteta went through the same phase of not having the right bodies to deliver on the vision. It’s really hard for newly promoted teams that want to entertain. They rarely have the players to sustain it in a league as Brutal as the Premier League – and once they realise that, the coach is asked to play deep block football by the masses, and the ownership group sacks them shortly after. I hope that doesn’t happen to Kompany. He simply doesn’t have the players to decide to move back to Dyche-ball.

Arteta has been given the money to get who he wants and the players are delivering the results, even in third gear. It was an odd approach that he took to bury Burnley. He decided that they don’t like looped crosses into the box, so we battered them for 90 minutes with setpieces and diagonal balls. I didn’t like it to look at, but it’s hard to deny the success of it.

Trossard scored our first, putting his body on the line after Saka nodded a deep cross at the back post. The Belgian nodded in but took a knock so nastly, even the adrenaline of a goal couldn’t get him off the floor. Luckily, nothing was broken, and he continued the game.

Our second goal came from a setpiece, but that was right after Burnley equalised. Tomiyasu wasn’t strong enough on the ball in the box, the impressive Koleosho nabbed the ball off him, cut back to Brownhill, who smashed a deflected shot in through sea of legs. Almost immediately, Arsenal equalised. Trossard found Bill Saliba for a goal in his 50th Premier League game. The man is a colossus. It was great to see him on the scoresheet.

There was time for one more goal. A loose ball from a corner kick looped up on the edge of the box, Zinchenko sniffed out the chance to do something saucy and dropped a ‘special occasions’ scissor kick into the top corner. Very, very naughty.

There was still time for a little more drama. Fabio Vieira, who replaced a drab Kai Havertz, managed to get himself a straight red with a studs up challenge. He deserved it. Shame that sort of punishment isn’t dished out consistently for fouls like that. But we can’t expect any favors from VAR or refs after Mikel led a one-man charge against the awfulness of the officials.

A comfortable afternoon, tactical perfection, and some upward movement in a Premier League that saw bad results for Newcastle and Spurs.

Kai Havertz didn’t drop the performance we were hoping for. It was a limp afternoon for him. It’s not that he’s poor, he’s just been bang average all season. What you can’t take from him is we’re doing really well with him on the side. You can’t have 10 players and do what Arsenal are doing. What you can say is he needs to find his confidence and produce more than 1 goal and 1 assist in all comps. He’ll come good, I’ve no doubt, just wish he’d go a little faster.

Jorginho has quietly been doing the business. He had a great game in the week and did another very good job against Burnley. The errors have been concerning over the past year, but it does feel like he’s finding his footing in this Arsenal team. He also landed a call-up to the Italy squad.

There’s still a bit of a feeling that our front three haven’t really clicked this season. It’s not bad, it’s just not at the level we know it can be. Again, this is good, because the fact it feels like third gear but the output is a lot of wins means there’s still more to come from the team. I am increasingly of the mindset that we’re going to have to add a forward player in January. We’re a long way from one-dimensional going forward, but we lack a killer mode. In games like yesterday, you’re kind of begging for a Haaland/Toney/Oshimen-like target man to eat up those crosses. We said something similar last year… we play with our food, City strikes like a Komodo dragon eating a baby goat. There’s only one outcome. We need some of that in our game.

Overall though, I’m very, very happy with Arsenal. We’ve had a very rough 3 months with injuries to key players and we’ve adapted really well. No Partey, no Jesus, Odegaard has been out, we’ve played HUGE games without Bukayo, Martinelli has done his hammy… but the results keep rolling in. After the international break, we’ll have Jesus, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, and hopefully Ben White all ready to go. That’s a very good set of players that’ll give us some extra bang-bang over the December period. No one has noticed that we’ve been shapeshifting and winning. That’ll come in so handy in the backend of the season when we can rotate heavily and still hit the heights with output.

Ok, great. What a lovely day. I’m going to direct you to listen to the latest podcast RIGHT NOW.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. GD4

    Lunch time kick off in 13 days is Liverpool vs City.
    The league is heating up.
    The title may come down to three teams and be settled in the last week or two of the season

  2. Nigel Tufnel

    Yeah Midwest, but still hurts that they were gifted a point because of the long forgotten bogus penalty at the start.

    Every team that goes against the middle eastern trillionaires is starting one goal down… even big money clubs like Chelsea and United have been cheated in the past few weeks. What chance do smaller clubs have?

  3. MG42

    The extreme limited abilities by our apprentice manager in training to spot talent was on display today for all to see. How the fuck did he not see Palmer’s talent while coaching at City? Only one explanation talent spotting is just not in his toolbox, He rather spent £65 for Havertz a total dud, instead of £42.5 million on Palmer. That says it all.

    Poch and the Chavs are ticking atm and will be a force to be reckoned with as we already saw in the 2:2 draw. FFS get a competent front office team in that The Arsenal deserves not this imitation one.

  4. GD4

    Palmer is not an #8.
    We were looking for a replacement for Xhaka.
    Plus the Palmer in action currently is a far cry from the one who was in the City youth ranks when Arteta was there.

    Also i highly doubt City are selling us any more players

  5. Goona

    …there’s a fair few teams in the league playing better more attractive and aggressive football than us at the moment…we’ve improved squad wise, but are crying out for improvement up top

  6. Habesha Gooner

    We didn’t need Palmer if we weren’t looking for an option for Saka. But we could have signed a much better player than Havertz. Had we done so, we would have had a much better chance.

    Brentford and Villa away when we come back. We have to keep winning our games.

  7. vieira

    This Chelsea City result is fantastic for us and all Neutrals, City are no longer unbeatable I am very optimistic about our team, particularly the calm collected mature performance we are displaying albeit unwatchable football, yesterday was awful football, but one can not expect any thing better if your are fielding Jorginho and Rice in midfield, having said that we won and the three points is all that matters with more lack it could be our time this season.

  8. GD4

    What frustrates me being English born is that we have one of the deepest, if not close to the best, talent pools in the world.
    The best league in terms of talent, money, excitement and quality of product.

    Yet our officiating is so piss poor … absolutely shocking and unacceptable…

  9. Rich

    raptoraNovember 12, 2023 18:42:44

    “Poch was excellent with his decisions during the game. I wish Arteta learns to help our team in a similar way.”

    Arsenal have more goals from the subs bench than any other team this season.

  10. Matt

    Yeah let’s not get too far up Palmers arse, let’s give him half a season!! 🙄 Idiot!!

    The kid has already shown more in his short time than Havertz ever has.

  11. Sakand Nature

    Put Saka at left 8. Jesus right wing when fit and buy another right winger (like Palmer) …maybe Neto from Wolves.
    Trossard at 9 for now, but also buy a better starter in front of him. Sell Nketiah and Nelson.

  12. Nigel Tufnel

    Lol Mg42-gd4 talking to himself again… they should do a psychological. study on this guy…
    But.. toggle that VPN.

    ….And its all misery and shite about Arsenal too. Real pleasant poster for legrove Pedro. Must be fun at a party.

  13. Rich

    Saka has a goal contribution every 95 minutes this season, 6 goals + 8 assists.

    Got a brilliant assist yesterday, had no right to win a header in between 2 centre half’s, also got an assist and a brilliant goal against Sevilla on Wednesday.

    If this is what Saka is like when he’s not at his best… Have mercy on the souls of the rest of the league when he gets going.

  14. Rich

    Foden goal contribution every 145 minutes this season, and playing with their first choice centre centre.

    Saka goal contribution every 105 minutes, Jesus has started 1 PL game.

    Foden might look dangerous, but Saka is more dangerous.

  15. Nigel Tufnel


    Man City play Liverpool in 2 weeks so somebody is dropping points…We need to focus on our next game, of course but….
    Aston Villa after that is a battle.

    We are Aston Villa’s Super Bowl….
    They fancy themselves rivals and equals, and the effort they drop on us will be big. That is hard one on our fixture list.

  16. Pierre

    Chelsea have a season when they are playing without fear or pressure ، meaning they will be Involved in many games similar to what we have seen this 2 week v tottenhama and city…

    Pochettino is taking a different direction to Arteta’s first 2 years at Arsenal in that it looks like he has told his players to go out and enjoy themselves on the pitch and not get bogged down with tactics and systems.
    Time will tell if pochettino has taken the right path.

    Sterling looks back to his best، Palmer is quality but it’s Reece James staying fit over the next few seasons that could determine if they are successful or not.

    Watching Caicedo today makes me thankful that we didn’t buy him ، he has a poor understanding of the game and his decision making and positioning for a defensive midfielder was abysmal at times..
    Enzo Fernandes isn’t much better.

    Jackson has a poor technique when striking a ball so he will be hoping for 5 yard tap ins similar to what we have seen this week ، mudryk looks like a cat caught in the headlights…

    City were gifted their first goal by a ridiculous penalty award that should surely have been overturned by VAR due to Haaland’s pull on the chelsea defender.

    One point behind city going into the international break is a nice position to be in، personally I am confident of Arsenal going all the way this season due to our defensive discipline and a better keeper.

  17. Tom

    Whatever you think of City’s past financial shenanigans they don’t dwarf financially their immediate competitors.

    _______Yes they do…

    Middy, the article you’re referencing was written before the summer TW during which Chelsea has overtaken City for the period beginning in 2008.
    In any event it’s splitting hair because Chelsea, United, and City have all spent in the same ballpark on transfers and wages for the period, which is definitely not the case for Bayern vis a vis their Bundesliga competition…….which was the point.

  18. Kpankulu

    Galaxy brain was at Manchester City and only got the crocks, he had no eyes to spot palmer? So much for galaxy brain

    Every bad thing in your life is conveniently blamed on “Galaxy Brain”. As if you would have done any better if you were in his shoes. SMH.

  19. China1

    Wow nice weekend for us

    City Chelsea spurs and Newcastle ALL dropped points

    City’s next 3 league games are liverpool city and villa

    Our next 3 are brentford wolves and luton

    We have to find 9 points from those 3 and if we do we stand a real chance of taking another 3-5 points off City over that period. We have to make it count

    Spurs over the same period have Villa city and west ham (followed by Newcastle).

    So we should be forcing a gap between us by then.

    Pool have city and two easier games so should be getting at least 6 of the next available 9 points. I fancy them to take something off city tho whether or not it’s a win or draw

  20. China1

    Crazy fact

    If Villa hadn’t lost at Forrest a week or two back they’d be joint top after 12 games.

    That club fits Emery like a glove. No expectations of a trophy combined with few egos and an upper mid table quality squad is a perfect equivalent for the teams he’s done great with in the past, like Sevilla and villareal. 13 home wins in a row now and I think only a couple of teams have collected more points than Villa since Emery’s arrival last Oct

    We play them in 4 games time and we need to do whatever it takes because that’s a real banana skin match. Last season we beat them with the crazy late Jorginho and Martinelli goals. Hoping we can find a way to make it more routine this time, but I’d take it any which way

  21. Pedro

    MG, you need to pick up the behavior. You’re on an Arsenal blog, shitting on a manager who has us top of our CL group and 2 points off City in the Premier League.

    This is not a space for trolls.

  22. Pedro

    Guys, gonna start implementing time outs for people trolling, name calling, or starting fights for no reason.

    Arsenal are doing so well and it reads like we’re in 2018 after getting battered by Watford.

    Can’t have the few spoiling it for the many.

  23. useroz

    Can’t be better positioned before yet another interlull…. that said, had more consistent standard been applied in the Newcastle game, we’d be joint top.

    I re-watched the City penalty and wondered if we’d ever get one similar. … the ease with which the hull fell was funny! Saka got more push/pull every game in the box and he needs to time the fall better…

    Interesting mix of next 3 to 6 games for us and direct title competitors. Per eye test, we still can up our level another 20, 30% and it’s not beyond imagination we’d be top at Xmas / into 2024!

    Somehow, we need keep White, Jesus, Partey, Odegaard and ESR relatively injury free going into 2H of the season and we will be in for a good title fight, especially if 1 or 2 coming in/out in the Jan TW…

    Habour no expectations on Havertz this season. He’s not Pirès who needed time to get used to the EPL… if however Havertz suddenly snaps into actions, will take it a bonus.

  24. Nigel Tufnel

    From X:

    City won last season conceding 33 goals.
    Arsenal conceded 43 in 22/23.
    This season, Arsenal is on track to concede 32.
    This is why the attack seems more dull than last season. It’s about control. The next modification sees the attack click more while control is maintained.

  25. Vickingz

    @pedro, you don’t expect everyone to have same perspective as you. Your scope or lens through which you view success may be short-sighted while another person’s is long-sighted. It’s like trading stocks, forex or crypto, there are different trading techniques depending on your personality. Two people can be trading same pair, having two different perspectives, using two different techniques and both ends up winning depending on what they set out to achieve. There’s unity in diversity. Arsenal is playing well according to you but not to everyone on the blog or on the planet earth. Can’t force your opinion/perspective/narratives down peoples throat

  26. Nigel Tufnel

    Control IN FRONT of our excellent defenders and keeper…

    Declan Rice, of course.
    Havertz doing a much better midfield job than most give him credit for..
    And Ødegaard doing more midfield work and defending than last season.
    More 8 than 10.

    Partey hasn’t barely played. So it’s these 3 guys along with our forwards tracking back. Martinelli energy, and Saka much improved in tackling of late, knocking balls loose.

    Would be even better if Jesus the master presser was part of it, even though Eddie tries hard.

  27. Vickingz

    This populat village whatever is already shifting goal post, just look for whatever fits the narrative, so this season isn’t about winning but about conceding lesser than last season and next season will be about building our attacks. When then are we going to compete to win? Vision 2030??

  28. Nigel Tufnel

    that sort isn’t worth the effort. Don’t let them drag you down.

    Something positive. In 2 weeks we see either or both City and Pool drop points. Two great teams that now respect us.

    Things lining up to keep us in the thick of it if we focus match by match… Hopefully all season.

  29. psuedo warrior

    Calls himself vickingz and moans all day, everyday. Why do people respond to this hero?

    Last season my biggest concern was that Arsenal looked way too dependent on emotional state in matches. Great to see this is been addressed this time around, we are playing slower, calmer, controlled football.

  30. Chitrak

    Lol @pedro
    This blog constantly shit on wenger and emery for achieving the same. The hypocrisy is unreal. We all enjoy arsenal now, but this is just too much. Smacks of superiority complex of a huge amount.

  31. bacaryisgod

    A big feature of our play last season is happening again in this one.

    Through 12 games, 15 of our players have scored goals. The only regular squad members not to have scored are Jorginho, Partey, Nelson, Gabriel M, Kiwior and Smith-Rowe. Wouldn’t bet against nearly all of them scoring before the season is over.

  32. Chrispy

    Our next 3 league fixtures will be 9 points but the 3 fixtures after that are really tough, Villa away, Brighton home and Liverpool away. I’d take 5 points from those quite happily.