by .

What a glorious weekend of Barclays Premier League football.

Newcastle lost, and their fans got into a verbal with Kieran Trippier. Peak Geordie.

Spurs were 1-0 up at 90 minutes, then exited the game on 97 minutes with ZERO points. WE GOT OUR SPURSY BAAACK!

Chelsea vs Manchester City was a 4-4 thriller of a game, closed out with a late Chelsea penalty scored by Cole Palmer.

So that leaves Arsenal 2 points off City heading into the final international break.

A pretty good run.

Arsenal also has the joint best defence in the league – and the best expected goals against. Not bad when you consider we changed out a keeper very early on in the season and some people were crying that Arteta was destroying the club.

What I like about stats like that is they point to a clear objective and a clear output. Arsenal were too loose towards the end of last season defensively, so we’ve added players into the mixer that have transformed us into the sort of team that can limit Erling Haaland to zero xG.

Declan Rice, for me, has been the best addition. He gives us height, power, speed, and that 6th sense for sniffing out danger. He’s the everywhere man. An elite specimen of top tier midfielder we’ve been begging for since Vieira left the building. He’s settled at lightspeed and he already looks like he could compete with Rodri for #6 of the season.

Our keeping situation is settled when it comes to personnel, though I’m not quite sure we’re where we need to be output-wise. That said, David Raya has come in, largely stabilized the position from jitters, and his command of distribution is delivering on the pitch. We have the joint best defensive record in the league and the fans are split on the keeper. That’s progress baby!

I also think we have to look at Kai Havertz and the steel he’s given to our midfield. Attacking-wise, it’s John Jensen-levels of pony, but his defensive output – the output we were concerned about most – seems to be top-level. I know we don’t like to talk about the foundational parts of midfielders – but work-rate, off-the-ball movement, and ‘GET STUCK IN’ has been really good. For all the people writing him off – it’s hard to avoid the fact we’re doing pretty damn well with him in the starting 11.

We also need to be clear about where some of those goals have come from: individual errors. Those are the easiest to fix if you have great players. The system is top, top, top level… when the players in it really do click, it’s scary to think how robust we could become defensively.

At the start of the season, Arteta made it very clear he was going to put a lot of effort into bringing new dimensions to the side, so they could benefit us later on. Fans hated the chopping and changing in the first three games, but then those chops were forced on him because we started collecting injuries. The result of this has been ‘it doesn’t feel quite right’ and that’s because it isn’t quite right. We’re building our library of tactics and stratagems – and we’re doing it while winning. The clunky performances you’re seeing now will hopefully feel a lot more natural when we need them for the run-in.

Just remember: We were all asking what was up with City last Christmas. What was up? They were laying their own foundations so they could bang in the back half of the season.

… and bang they did.

Arsenal has been far better than I imagined. I thought there’d be more pain, especially when the injuries started piling up. But now we’re getting into a space where Ben White misses a game and you don’t really notice (maybe we noticed last game, poor Tomi). The squad is really strong, we’re only two or three players away from it being absolute perfection. Not bad when you consider how hopeless Arsenal seemed post-Emery.

We’re about to enter Phase 4 of the season.

The Run To New Year.

This phase is 10 games.

The month is going to be wild.

Thank the lord we don’t have to play Liverpool twice (league cup)

The killer games are going to be Brentford away – because that’s the first game back after the break.

Then we have Aston Villa away – wedged between two away games. The saving grace there is that our midweek game is Luton. An easier game and a lovely drive back for most of the players who will be in bed nice and early. Don Unai has to host Manchester City, that will be unpleasant for them, so good news for us.

Our two games just before Christmas are Brighton, who don’t seem to be doing too well after everyone said De Zerbi was the new best manager in the world. Then we play Liverpool on the 23rd away from home. They are not our favorite away day and say it quietly, the Jurgen Klopp-engineered rebuild seems to be delivering some sexy stuff. The German ain’t done yet – so it should be a banger of a game.

We close out the month with West Ham and Fulham.

There are 24 Premier League points to play for – 21 points would be electric. 18+ has us in great shape moving into January. The thing to note is Christmas is where you see injuries really hurt teams – and legs start to test players. There are going to be dropped points during that phase. So don’t get panicked if we’re dropping them. It’ll happen to everyone.

Right, short one today. Get your eyeballs on our podcast right away.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. MG42

    It would even be a better weekend if there would be a perceived improvement in the refereeing.

    Looks like Arteta is not alone in his assessment of the EPL Refs. In a brutal remark De Zerbi, after the 1-1 draw against Sheffield said:

    “I am honest and clear, I don’t like 80 per cent of English referees.”

    De Zerbi did not make that comment in the heat of the moment, but he said it during his post-match conference with the written press, long after the game had finished. He also accepted to a degree the red card against Dahoud. The refereeing in the EPL needs improvement, which I doubt will happen.

  2. Bilbo

    Read it too. Don’t disagree that Havertz is offering some structure to the team defensively. For 65m I would expect more, though. He’s a dead-weight elsewhere but it’s early days and we can’t really write him off yet – Grealish took a season to understand Pep’s gyrations and he banged in the second season. Perhaps we can take him out the spotlight when we start to get bodies back.

    Also, can’t disagree with Rice – he’s hit the ground running like Martinelli did under Emery when injuries forced his hand (that Chelsea goal). Probably our best signing in a decade.

  3. zaco

    Pedro, we are 1 point behind City not 2. you are not the only one on that strange train as i have seen about 2 other posters from yesterday say we are two points behind City.
    it’s one point unless you are Spurs. lol

  4. MG42

    “I also think we have to look at Kai Havertz and the steel he’s given to our midfield.”

    Don’t get that he is not as steely as Xhaka when it comes to on pitch defending of our team’s players when they are being roughed up and Havertz is definitely not as in your face to the opposition when a clear and forceful message needs to be conveyed. Havertz just doesn’t have the same influence that Xhaka had and it shows by the fantastic results Bayer Leverkusen is having in the Bundesliga.

    For me the clearest sign that it is a failed experiment is the fact that no one will pay us what we paid Chelsea for him.

  5. Mayank

    Kai Havertz is doing alright but watching him reminds me of late era Ozil. Completely different player but same feeling of apparently needing a master’s degree in football to understand what he’s adding to the team.

    Part of me just feels that we could’ve kept Xhaka and spent the 65M on a striker or Saka competition.

    Of course that’s gotten better of late and Arsenal are probably the only club where he could’ve been afforded the time and patience he’s gotten (10+ games in a row without a goal contribution of note) but I really feel this year should’ve been about readymade talents like Timber and Rice. Can’t really see the point of this project.

  6. raptora

    Pedro: “So that leaves Arsenal 2 points off City heading into the final international break.”

    Sorry that I have to be that guy but as zaco said, we’re 1 point behind City. Even better for us.

  7. Benjamin

    So that leaves Arsenal 2 points off City heading into the final international break.

    Not to nitpick but we are only one point behind

  8. Rich

    We conceded 25 in 27 last season, then conceded 18 in 11. After losing Saliba, Tomi, and then also losing Zinchenko + Partey for periods as well.

    If we’d had the same number of injuries in our backline as we have in our forward positions, we’d be in big trouble.

    We really needed a player like Timber, small sample size, but he looked well suited to the way we play…. His injury was unfortunate, but when you breakdown our most likely point of squad failure, they’re in the midfield + defensive areas.

  9. englandsbest

    Arsenal are doing well – very well – but Havertz needs to go up several notches to convince he’s worth the money Arteta paid for him.

  10. Graham62

    Those folk on here who think that Ramsdale is a better keeper than Reya don’t know what they’re talking about.
    Ramsdale for me is just too hyper and too much of a fidget.
    Reya is calm, even when mistakes occur.
    The defenders have more confidence in Reya than they do in Ramsdale and that is key.

  11. Graham62

    Arsenal have not hit top form yet, so considering we’re one point behind MC and on the verge of going through as winners of our CL group, we should be optimistic.
    Great feeling knowing Spuds fans are suffering……..again!

  12. Freddie Ljungberg

    If Havertz was a better passer of the ball he could be our new back up DM, we’re likely to get rid of Elneny, Jorginho and Partey soon so to not lose the full 65m we paid for him maybe it’s better to retrain him? Doubt he’s going to suddenly start banging in goals and assisting to the level we need, he’s shown almost 0 ability on the ball so far.
    It’s either that or backup striker but since he doesn’t score…

    Or we go full last gen Pool and have a functional hardworking midfield with very little creativity but then we need our fullbacks to replicate what Trent and Arnold did for them and I can’t see that happening.

  13. Chris

    Havertz may be offering something that contributes to a more solid shape defensively and if that is continuing to work then that’s great, however I think we should be seeing a greater contribution going forwards from him. If he is playing the same role as Xhaka, Granit was chipping in with goals aplenty last season. Even if the roles are different slightly, he is surely capable of providing what he is doing off the ball on top of a more effective attacking output.

    Maybe it is all to come in the latter half of the seaosn for Havertz but the overall scepticism about him is not unreasonable at this point.

    Side note and completely unrelated but does anyone else see a bit of Ray Parkour in Connor Gallagher? Not every player can be blessed with supreme technique but Gallagher is one of the most determined players around at the moment. Always good to have such a guy in your team/squad.

  14. Guns of Hackney

    “ I also think we have to look at Kai Havertz and the steel he’s given to our midfield”

    Scanned for irony, found none. 100% worried Peter is fully addicted to crack and or, meth. Probably both.

    Dude. Kai isn’t the reason Arsenal are doing well, he’s the exception. When United was stocked full of ability and winning everything in sight, was it because of Nicky Butt being there or Phil Neville…or perhaps it might have been the other 10 monsters they had running the pitch?

    This is otherworldly levels of madness.


  15. Guns of Hackney

    What I’m really concerned about is the level of Jedi mind power Peter has over most of you.

    You literally spend days slagging off our worst player in a very very long time and as soon as Peter drops a positive, opinions change in an instant.

    Are you kidding me?

    These are not the droids you’re looking for.

  16. Davey

    Totally agree GOH Havertz is a liability, anyway this league is bonkers with the form team being Man U with 4 wins out of 5. Personally I think we will end up in 3rd and I have a feeling without CL football Liverpool will win it, I also think we will come close in the cl IMO

  17. Dissenter

    Honesty no club has a 100% history of successful transfers
    , if Havertz is a bust, then so be it.
    Arteta is giving him every opportunity to find his form, right now he’s played the same #10 role he played in Leverkursen against some of the weaker teams in the league and he still hasn’t done enough.

    I don’t know how it ends for Havertz, he has his defenders her and good for them but if it’s a busy we shouldn’t do the Wenger thing of just persisting, like with Mustafi. Just eat the loss, sell him for market rate and move on.

  18. Crispen

    True Kai is next go cow droppings so far but it’s 4 months only.
    This who compare him to Xhaka only think consider Xhaka in the final year.
    Kai is under performing. The talent and skills are there.. His time in Germany says so.
    Next season no one will be mentioning Xhaka in the same breath as Kai.. Take note Gooners.

  19. Sakablyat

    Yes since there will be a lot of suitors for Kai, especially since we made him one of, if not our highest earners.
    We’re stuck with him, but Real Madrid wanted him this summer, so he must come good, right

  20. Dissenter

    When Pedro was talking about ‘Madrid interested in Havsrtz’ on his podcast, the other two presenters tried very hard to not burst into guffaws
    Pedro knows it’s not true but can’t help it when he goes into that propaganda role.

    Chelsea used that good ‘ole scare tactic of creating a false demand ….and we fell for it.
    Madrid are stacked with quality midfielders, even Ceballos is better than Havertz.
    Bayern too we stacked with midfielders, they sold better ones like Gravenberch because their squad was too large.

    Pedro knows it’s not true that Madrid and Bayern were ‘sniffing’ about Havertz.

  21. Ernest Reed

    “ I also think we have to look at Kai Havertz and the steel he’s given to our midfield”

    Pedro embracing the elephant in the room with that comment.

    Call a spade a spade, for the price paid to acquire Havertz…there is no tangible return on investment, he’s been abjectly anonymous across the board. Stop trying to make something out of absolutely nothing, which is exactly what they have gotten from him.

  22. raptora

    Rumors about the Douglas Luiz deal:

    Arsenal could offer Emile Smith Rowe in a cash-plus-player deal with Aston Villa for their 25-year-old Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz.

    Source: football london

  23. China1

    Havertz IS playing better recently.

    He’s not playing 65m better tho (yet)

    #1 transfer with this signing was the cost. I’m just not sure why we landed on a 65m valuation. Unless the club just didn’t think 65m to be a big outlay considering rice was a 105m whopper

    But again when it comes to valuations, we mostly all agree Kai was way overpriced whereas 105m for rice is retrospectively looking like a ridiculous bargain. What a midfield England could be fielding in the euros when you have rice and Bellingham, probably the best and a top 5 midfielder in the world. Crazy times being English now

  24. allezkev

    When it comes to transfer rumours nobody, but nobody knows the actual truth it’s whether a rumour fits anyone’s particular narrative and if they can dig out some negative comment to throw at Arteta, Edu, the owners, the club or the Arsenal Fish Shop, we’re constantly linked with this player and that player and people on here accept it as kosher if it suits, and so it goes etc etc….

  25. psuedo warrior

    It is a bit much to credit Havertz for our defensive steel. Xhaka was far more of an enforcer, whose defensive actions were easily apparent. Can’t recall many instances where Havertz has made a key tackle or an interception.

    The reason behind Arsenal’s defensive improvement is our slower tempo of play. I guess you can credit Havertz for slowing us down 🙂

  26. Rich

    I have no idea why Villa would sell Luiz in January, unless he either has a fixed release clause that can be activated, and they’re legally obliged..

    Or they believe they can take our money, and then replace him with a better player.

    CL qualification is worth between £40 – £100 million directly, but indirectly it’s worth much more, in terms of sponsorships, retaining our best talent, and also attracting more….. It pays to keep talent on the pitch.

    Smith Rowe has started 1 PL game since May 2022… I’d be surprised if anyone was prepared to take a big punt on his fitness, without a bigger sample size on his continued availability first.

    Dec 2020 – Dec 2021 he was our standout player, but that’ll be 2 years ago as we enter the January transfer window… Football moves.

  27. Matt

    Anything we are doing well this season is in spite of Havertz, not because of him.

    You can say that is overly critical, but for the wrong reasons I spend a lot of time watching Havertz so I can see what he is contributing or more accurately what he is not contributing. We won leagues and cups with the likes of Senderos, Djourou, Gilberto, but it wasn’t because of them.

  28. Rich

    Jesus is a quality player, who improves us massively, as is Partey, but here lies the problem.

    The issue is that Jesus played 2,347 last season… And just 625 minutes this season.

    Whereas Haaland has played 1,510 minutes already this season, and 4,131 minutes last season.

    Jesus joined Arsenal at the same time as Haaland joined City.

    Jesus 2,972 minutes
    Haaland 5,641 minutes

    So Jesus is contributing at a rate of 52.65% of Haaland.

    In what will be 3.5 seasons at Arsenal by the time he returns from surgery, Partey has played just 7,252 minutes for Arsenal.

    Rodri just last season, and in quarter of this season has played 7,008 minutes

    Since 2020 Rodri has played 13,661 minutes for City.

    So Partey is contributing at the rate of 53.09% of Rodri across 3 and a quarter seasons, abd with Partey out until New Years, that number will continue to grow.

    I know some of you cucks are incredibly fucking slow… But here lies a problem.

  29. jwl

    Your Partey obsessed, Rich. You start off your comment with problem with Jesus but segue into rant about Thomas. I think we should keep Partey until his contract ends, he is a sunk cost, no one is going to buy him for big £££ and he tremendous player for us when fit.

  30. Marko

    Jaime Carragher calling Emery the 3rd best manager in the league. He said it in reference to talking about Man UnitedHealth but still you just know Pedro is seething somewhere

  31. Marko

    I dunno I think it’s possible Madrid and Bayern were interested in Havertz last summer but I imagine only at a major discount giving his dismal 3 seasons at Chelsea. Absolutely zero justification for spending 65 million on him. Also the whole turning a corner and playing well stuff from mik is very biased he has a lot riding on the signing so he tries very hard to make it seem like its working

  32. Rich


    The problems are clearly related, because they cost a combined £90 million, and a reported £20 million p/a in wages between them.

    Across a 5 year period that’s £190 million investment.

    If we average our revenue out at £380 million p/an over 5 years, those 2 players alone take up 10% of our overall revenue…

    Yet they’re contributing at just over 50% of their counterparts at Manchester City…. We’re not getting overall value for money, in spite of their qualities when they are available.

    Pointing out our win percentages and how important they are when they do play, entirely misses the point….

    That it’s not when their in the team that hurts us, it’s when they’re out if the team that fucks us hard, and they go missing far too often.

    Yet Eddie on £100k p/w who cost us nothing, at 1.32% of our revenue based off the same numbers is apparently a huge problem…

    Or Jorginho who’s supposed to be our 3rd choice No6, is apparently a problem…. When he’s actually the best 3rd choice No6 in football.

    We need to be extracting better value from our big investments, not criticising our squad players who aren’t supposed to be playing the number of minutes they do…

    They should be there to take some workload against lower opposition, but have become vital cogs, because the hierarchy is messed up due to players going missing when we need them…. Particularly in the big games.

  33. Dissenter

    I want us to keep Partey till his contract runs out, just to get Rich posting his rant-a-lysis

    Everything is not about Partey. Players are dropping like flies for all clubs …why’s Partey being targeted?
    When w get him back in Dec/Jan, I want him to play the AFCON to regain full fitness, then come back ad give us the same effect KDB will give city upon his return.

  34. Foxy

    Forum fan opinions on Havertz must be treated with caution but when professional Arsenal Pundits like Charles Watts call his performances inc against Burnley poor something is definitely going wrong. For starters can we just see a little bit of this high technical ability that Pedro etc keep saying he is supposed to have but none of us without the social glasses can actually yet see.

  35. Howard

    We better don’t play Arteta’s new found Captain (Joginho) at 6 against Liverpool’s mobile midfield else, we will be toast.

  36. Spanishdave

    We have far too many regular crocks.So we have to question the medical staff, and training methods to remedy this.
    Partey came to us with a good record and within a year he was broken and has been ever since.
    We will never win anything with 25% of our squad regularly missing.
    Arteta has to sort it out

  37. Rich


    We may have got good value for money for a player of Partey’s calibre, but we’re not getting value for money based on his availability across what will be 3.5 seasons.

    You could argue the exact same thing with Jesus so far, but I’m not quite ready to pull the plug on that one yet., even though a worrying sample size is building,

    My biggest concern is that we end up banjaxing Rice as well, because Partey isn’t available to pick up his percentage of the workload.

    I also think it’s unfair some fans criticising Eddie, who’s a perfectly acceptable squad player who eats up a tiny percentage of our resources.

    We’ve put roughly 10% of our revenue into these 2 players over a 5 year period, but we’re not getting overall value from those investments.

    Pointing out De Bruyne is now getting issues at 33 is a mute point…

    City have extracted 27,000 minutes across 8 seasons, and won multiple trophies… Averaging 3,375 minutes a season at City.

    Partey has won no trophies at Arsenal, is banjaxed 3 years younger, his poor fitness has cost us 3 seasons running, and now into an 4th…. And he’s averaging just over 2,000 minutes a season.

    De Bruyne at 32 last season played 3,684 minutes.

    Partey might come back for a few games in Feb… You’ll start wanking … and Screaming “Why would we sell Partey, he’s brilliant”

    Then he’ll just breakdown again…And again you’ll entirely miss the point.

    The best we can hope for at this stage is him being available for a few of the bigger games, and a few cluster of fixtures here + there.

  38. jwl

    It would be better to sell Arteta, Rich, than Jesus and Partey. I think our manager is big part of our injury problems when Partey barely was out injured before he arrived at emirates and he tremendous player when fit.

  39. bacaryisgod

    ok, so we’ve been linked with Gabriel Moscardo from Corinthians now? That would give us 4 Gabbys. Almost too good to be true.

  40. Rich


    Mangers come and go, at some point Arteta will either leave through the front door, or be marched out the back.

    Partey being a tremendous player when fit, doesn’t help us compete across potentially 60 games does it?…

    But it is a huge waste of resources, and it does increase the chances of breaking other players through our over reliance on them.

  41. bacaryisgod


    Moscardo plays in the Partey role. He would be actually an ideal player to come in as an understudy. Partey’s salary makes him hard to move on anyway and he’s a Rolls Royce player when healthy. I would hope the club would keep him on until the end of his contract unless we get a big money offer next summer. Otherwise, his injury record and age means we should only be offering him one year deals from now on.

  42. Positive pete

    “ Expressions” you tube on the latest ‘spursey’ masterclass.Hilarious.Absolutely hilarious.Makes AFCTV look tame.

  43. jwl

    Rich – we agree about problems with our squad but we disagree about solution. Partey is sunk cost now, he has eighteen months left on contract and no club of similar status will buy him so he won’t agree to transfer. I think Arteta training methods and barely rotating players during match until he forced to is big problem for squads overall fitness and that why Partey is broken all the time.

  44. Nigel Tufnel

    Still a Havertz obsession in the comments, until Rich put some focus on Partey.
    Havertz is playing a good CM. Even in Ødegaards position he’s not being aggressive enough going towards goal though. I don’t care about missed shots, because those will start to go in.
    What I’m not happy about is not enough desire to get into the goals more.

    On the other side of the coin.. we talk about how we maintain control in midfield to help our defense, and Havertz is a big part of that. Pressing, Tackling, winning balls back, disrupting opponents so much in the middle third with his pace and strength.
    Much better than Xhaka on that account, and it begins a lot of our attacks from that area of the pitch.
    The job he’s doing there is actually vital, but nobody pays attention to grunt work. Just the goal stats again.

  45. Nigel Tufnel

    I tuned into Latte firm as usual and it was a nice surprise to see our blog leader on as a special guest! Representing for Legrove.
    Must be especially fun when the club is performing well, even through an injury crisis.

    Any word on Martinelli? He was rubbing his hamstring at the end of the game.
    Such an opportunity Smith Rowe is blowing. If he can come back in a couple weeks, he should at least get more subs with Vieira on red.

  46. Bertie Mee

    This has been a really important part of the Goonerverse and has developed a lot of positive debate but I cannot believe what you’ve written
    I also think we have to look at Kai Havertz and the steel he’s given to our midfield. Attacking-wise, it’s John Jensen-levels of pony, but his defensive output – the output we were concerned about most – seems to be top-level.

    Are you being sponsored by Kai’s agent ? 😃
    He is possibly pound for pound the worst signing Arsenal have ever made. He makes no meaningful defensive contribution. We signed him to add to our creativity and he has contributed the square root of f all. He is paid nearly £300 k a week and the outlay on him has probably prevented us bringing in the sort of quality we need .
    Ask yourself if we tried to sell him what we could get for him? Especially with Edu selling ! I would be amazed if we could raise £20 m. If he has been reinvented as a DM clubs would be gagging to sign him because good DMs are as rare as hens teeth, Germany would use him as a DM but you can be sure it never entered their heads .
    Declan Rice cost a lot of money but has probably been five or six times more effective than Havertz. How many moments of real quality has he contributed ? Virtually none . Please don’t lose credibility by trying to big up a player who was pony for Chelsea…..and has declined . Ye Gods!

  47. GD4

    “ Are you being sponsored by Kai’s agent ? 😃
    He is possibly pound for pound the worst signing Arsenal have ever made. He makes no meaningful defensive contribution. We signed him to add to our creativity and he has contributed the square root of f all. He is paid nearly £300 k a week and the outlay on him has probably prevented us bringing in the sort of quality we need .
    Ask yourself if we tried to sell him what we could get for him? Especially with Edu selling ! I would be amazed if we could raise £20 m. If he has been reinvented as a DM clubs would be gagging to sign him because good DMs are as rare as hens teeth, Germany would use him as a DM but you can be sure it never entered their heads .
    Declan Rice cost a lot of money but has probably been five or six times more effective than Havertz. How many moments of real quality has he contributed ? Virtually none . Please don’t lose credibility by trying to big up a player who was pony for Chelsea…..and has declined . Ye Gods!”

    Post of the Year award nominee👍👍👍

  48. Marko

    Only the pom pom wavers are arguing for Havertz at this point and in really poor fashion honestly. He was such a highly rated attacking talent at Leverkusen and now we’re talking about 65 million getting us someone who does the grunt work? It’s kinda pathetic. So far he’s not fit to lace Xhaka’s boots and I fucking hated Xhaka in our team for the best part of 5 years.

  49. AKINZO

    For years, Xhaka was the object of scorn here. We were told how he was the most embarrassing player Arsenal ever signed. Now, how many wished he’s still here as he ended his stay on the high!
    Yep, Havertz hasn’t covered himself in glory but how long are we going to drowned with the now tedious and homochromatic talk about the German?
    Arsenal will neither be the first nor the last to make dud signings.
    .How is it going with Kavin Phillips at City? Has that made Pep a bad.manager?
    Vikings and his cohorts claim they are Arsenal fans yet sprout negativity about everything at the club! What kind of fandom is that?
    Thank good fortune these poppinjays aren’t part of the administration of the club otherwise Arsenal would have gone into extinction!
    Why not embrace the positives and ignore the lacks?
    For years, we were the laughing stock of the football world but any sincere fan would agree we are gradually rediscovering our mojo.
    How come there are so many sadists here?

  50. Dissenter

    “Why not embrace the positives and ignore the lacks?”

    What’s the point of a football blog is we are to “ignore the lacks”?

    Better to debate everything; the good, the bad and the ugly.

  51. Luteo Guenreira

    Havertz being shit so far doesn’t mean that Xhaka was suddenly good enough, though. I don’t know why people can’t have opinions on one thing without letting it affect their opinion on another.

    If you want to be one of those I-told-you-so people after the fact, have at it. But honestly at this point it’s irrelevant and it doesn’t matter at all whether the fans opinions of Xhaka was right or wrong, we didn’t win with him, he was considered a liability for years until he had some success in a more advanced position, and with consideration to age and ability he was the prime candidate in the starting eleven to be replaced.

    If Kai is making you miss Xhaka, your rhetoric shouldn’t be to wax nostalgic about how good Xhaka actually was and how no one saw it except you. It should be how Kai is so bad right now that’s it’s making you miss a player who was a near consensus as the player we could replace and improve the most as a club.

  52. Northbanker

    I tried to give Kai the benefit of my huge doubts but he has been truly dreadful. There isn’t even a seed of hope at the moment

    The worst thing is that his obscene coat (what were Arteta and Edu thinking? ) means we have to keep playing him in the forlorn hope that he will improve and show some glimmer of the player he was in Germany

    We’re now nearly. a third of the way into the season and absolutely no glimmers at all

  53. GD4

    The redemption of Xhaka is a testament to Arteta’s coaching acumen, and vision and belief in him. I still saved the quotes from Xhaka where he said Arteta basically threatened him and said if you don’t change your game and adjust to the new role I have for you, then you will be replaced!

    Emery and Wenger played the man in positions that brought out the worst in him. Plus he didn’t help himself with rash decisions and foolish outbursts.

    So yeah, the scorn and flak that came his way was well earned but the coach’s and the player himself played a role in that …

  54. GD4

    Unfortunately for Kai Havertz. at this point there seem to be very few redeeming qualities to his game and presence on the team. We are doing well, in spite of him at the moment … it’s not a crime to have more expectations when such a huge financial outlay and coaching equity is placed on acquiring a player

  55. vieira

    Well, Well, we are doing fine long may it last. This can not stop one thinking what might have been if we did not have this guy called Havertz and some one else who would play football and as a footballer aim by Kicking the ball towards the goal to score ? This Guy came for even more money to chelsea three years ago ? exept that chamionsleague final goal I don’t remember him at all !! So yes Arteta has more eyes than me or many others on here, But surely what I want to know is what did Arteta see what all of us missed ?

  56. Tom

    If Xhaka and Havertz have been the two ”worst” Arsenal singings in clubs history then?!

    Bought Xhaka for 45m, sold him for 15m
    Havertz for 75m, could probably sell him to a German club for 25m right now

    How did we do on Mustafi and Pepe remind me.
    Oh, that’s right, 120m spent , none recovered.

  57. Tom

    Havertz has been underwhelming to put it mildly, and to have met his Chelsea’s asking price was eyebrow raising, but to call him the most useless is ridiculous.
    Not that being ridiculous on here has ever stopped people from posting mind you.

    If Arsenal have been carrying Havertz and managed to trail the most complete side in Europe by one point, then that could only mean City have also been carrying someone.
    Care to say who it is?
    I’m all ears.

  58. Guns of SF

    This far into the season, Kai/ Mike should know exactly what Kai is meant to do.
    Mike is know for being a stringent coach so what exactly is Kai not doing well? He seems to be doing Mike’s orders.
    I put this on Mike if Kai is not performing well. He either needs more coaching, or be real about this is what we are getting all season.
    For most of us this is shit

  59. Tom

    Just to summarize, you know, to make sure that dummies like myself are all caught up, we are having a goalkeepers crisis with a Spanish/ Basque/Catalan midget pretender minding our nets, a substandard No 9 filling in for Jesus who’s also probably not so good himself, an absent perma crock central/holding mfer putting undo pressure on remaining mfers, and we are carrying a completely useless Havertz to boot ……while one point off the top.

  60. Naija+soccer

    The number of times I ve seen Kai in a shooting position this season, I never saw Xhaka at Arsenal in that many positions to shoot at goal, except for maybe last season. Kai Havertz will cook at Arsenal don’t worry.

    I don’t know what happened to him exactly but its like he’s just come out of a real toxic relationship that took quite the toll on him. In my many years of watching football I have never seen a player’s confidence and drive drop down to this level.

    Confidence is the issue and I do hope that Arsenal fans allow him to regain his confidence don’t want him having a Chelsea flashback .

  61. Nigel Tufnel

    Akinzo makes a good point as always when he pops in.

    The people criticising Havertz are only using goal deficiency, while ignoring
    90% of what takes place on the pitch. …Work rate and CM duties.
    This is why I don’t respect their opinions. They talk about him as if he’s a CF, not a CM.

    You know that I am disappointed in Havertz lack of ATTEMPTS at goals, including a glaring example against Burnley, but in no way would I pretend he’s not an important part of the collective.

    We could not be functioning this highly, having this many injuries, if Havertz was not contributing a lot from his position. You can’t hide a bad midfielder in one of the best teams around.
    It shows a particular negative agenda to ignore his work, considering he’s so easy to spot on the pitch.

  62. Naija+soccer

    Agree Nigel

    At the very least, Kai Havertz has added steel and solidity into our midfield which in turn leads to clean sheets, low XG and such which all adds up to wins. Yes he should add attacking output to that but he’s honestly afraid of hitting the target at the moment so fans are gonna have to wait for him to regain his mojo.

  63. Jon

    Kai also isn’t a walking yellow card machine who may or may not get sent off in fiercely contested games. He’s left footed (like xhaka), taller, younger, and far more composed. The style of our play is far less chaotic with him than his predecessor. And, mostly it’s all an improvement

  64. vieira

    Naija +soccer, your hope on ESR is misguided , if there was no Havertz , we would have seen much more or not of ESR. None of those, who are claiming Havertz has contributed say exactly what he really contributed. You are absolutely correct about the confidence issue you are stating, having said that unfortunately for us he did not produce much in three years at Chelsea. Still there is always some hope after all every one on here is praising endlessly the most frustrating Arsenal player of the last Five years or more Xhaka exept for for last year. Havertz will remain a topic simply because he made as to long for bloody fucking Xhaka !! To make things worse he as much more talent and god given Physical gift.

  65. Luteo Guenreira


    Sal solved the mystery, it was Pierre after sneaking into the training grounds by hiding up his own ass. Dangerous with his distribution, sprayed it right into Ode’s face from distance. Pinpoint accuracy, maybe Rambo could take a lesson. Evidence left behind was a note written onto the ball “Mesut 4 Life“

  66. GD4

    I know Arteta would never do it because he seems wedded to this idea of playing.
    But if Timber returns and has any measure of a return to form, I’d put Havertz on the bench and move Zinchenko into the #8 role.
    It’s where he’s most comfortable and is a natural fit.
    Playing him out wide against speedy wingers is just not his forte.
    Timber can invert and still give us defensive solidity.
    I think Zinch would breathe a sigh of relief and play with so much freedom and inject so much verve into our attacking game and show us how much we were missing with Havertz clogging up our flow.

  67. Matt


    ‘Yes he should add attacking output to that but he’s honestly afraid of hitting the target at the moment so fans are gonna have to wait for him to regain his mojo.’

    Just to point out, to regain something, one must have had it in the first place.

  68. Karsa

    Havertz is only starting because of injuries. He had already been dropped to the bench prior to that.

    He wouldn’t be starting if Ode or Partey were fit.