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. Matt B

    Nigel: So far, Havertz isn’t playing with the confidence, skills, spatial awareness or anything that resembles what you might expect from the highest paid player at one of the countries top clubs.

    Yes, he might be doing this, that and other on behalf of Mik and his defence stats might be good, but he has underwhelmed. Anyone who says otherwise is being disingenuous.

    It’s widely accepted that Rice has been a roaring success and so far, most level-headed observers feel Havertz has not performed anywhere near the expected level.

  2. Kpankulu

    @Tom: Love the sarcasm…seems some peeps don’t get it!

    On a separate note, Havertz has nowhere to hide because the baying hounds that are fans deplore him because he played for Chelsea. Even if he scored a goal a game from the next game until the end of the season, he will always be painted with the “came from Chelsea” brush. No-win. All he can do is continue to get used to the intricate and complicated Arteta playbook and then bang in whatever position[s] he is asked to play.

    All we can do is respect each other’s opinions as we continue to debate this never-to-be-resolved conundrum that is Kai Havertz. Methinks we will eventually be pleasantly surprised [bear in mind he was not brought to the club as a striker, so while goal contributions are naturally expected, even as a midfielder one needs to be realistic]. Whatever you view about him, he is an Arsenal player – support him even if you don’t like him or his output so far.

    Try to bear the international break, everyone!

  3. raptora

    This is some golden shit btw. Rams says he cannot concentrate for 90 mins, no way. So that’s why he gets involved with the fans/opponent fans. After he’s done with the 2-3 minutes of madness in his head, he’d fully concentrate for 10-15 mins again and half time will be around.

    Why does he say that infront of the camera? Wrighty’s face while he’s listening to it says it all.

  4. Luteo Guenreira

    Expecting better out of a person or a situation is not that same as being unsupportive. These fans that think we all need to want to hold hands and sing with all of our players no matter what, seriously grow a dick.

    You know what happens to kids whose parents never show any expectation and accept mediocrity and worse? They become Don. Who fucking wants that.

  5. Matt


    ‘Even if he scored a goal a game from the next game until the end of the season, he will always be painted with the “came from Chelsea” brush. No-win.’

    You don’t really believe this do you??

  6. Naija+soccer


    Ramsdale coming out to say that is like saying ” I cannot be trusted as a keeper “. I ve suspected this about Ramsdale for a while. I even mentioned on here his regular interactions with fans as a proof that he isn’t fully focused on the game.

    Doesn’t mean I wanted to hear it from him directly.

  7. China1

    Rich your use of numbers over the last 3.5 years with partey very conveniently hides the fact that we will not be keeping him for another 3.5 years and that most everyone expects/hopes he will be sold in the summer.

    We kept partey this summer based on what we hope he will contribute over the course of this season – not based on what the total cost of the player was for the previous 3.5.

    If you follow this line of thinking we should’ve sold RVP before his killer season because he too was a crock. DEPENDING on a player like that to play a full season every year is hopeless but making a calculated risk that said player might be able to play an important role for at least a good chunk of a season during a transition period for his replacement/the team s a simple calculated risk

    A lower calculated risk than replacing an entire midfield in one summer which you argued for…

  8. MG42

    We need a CF that loves to play for Arsenal more then playing for his country. WTF is Jesus doing traveling to join up with the Brazil squad despite being sidelined by a hamstring injury on Oct 24th. It has been said that it will take at least three to four weeks to completely recover. Another reason why we need to look for a CF that is competent and committed to Arsenal.

  9. Pierre

    Very sensible of Odegaard to fake concussion after a ball hit his head، no doubt if he had been playing half decent he would have recovered for the trip to Newcastle.

    It says it all that with an under performing Havertz replacing Odegaard we haven’t. missed our Captain at all ، in fact we have looked a more solid outfit with Havertz picking and choosing when to press and rarely being caught out of position، plus Havertz is good defending set pieces unlike Odegaard who turns his back on the ball.

    Havertz couldn’t have done any worse than Odegaard creatively wise as Odegaard has yet to have an assist from open play this season، let’s hope the bang on the head brings a change in his performances and creativity when he returns to action، of course there is the possibility that he may struggle to win his place back in the side if Arteta prefers a more functional player at no.8

  10. China1

    The problem with Jesus is he’s not their celebrated n9 and he’s not far away enough from taking that role to think it’s pointless going

    So he’s going on a hope and a prayer that he won’t aggravate his injury (I have my doubts he will escape unscathed) because he’s desperate to prove himself worthy of being the starting CF. This decision to go belies a lack of confidence in himself to earn that starting 9 spot later, he just wants to take any chance he can get.

    Do I understand the thinking? Yea.

    Do I think it’s a good idea. I don’t. This is probably a false economy where there’s a good risk of him making things worse for himself, not only in the immediate term, but playing for Brazil in the future depends on his club form – if he aggravates his injury now and misses another chunk of the season he’s going to be farther away from the Brazil starting 11 come the next international break.

  11. MidwestGun

    Christ.. I come on her to catch up only to read another Pierre… hate rant on Odegaard.

    Odegaard scored 15 goals last season .. the 7th highest scorer in the entire league including forwards. He has 3 this season… even with time off.

    So ya.. Havertz isn’t replacing him.. Last I checked scoring goal is the most important thing for an attacking player to do.

    Honestly, Pierre your hatred of Odegaard.. is pathological and boarding on creepy… no I take it back it is creepy. And insinuating Ode is faking injuries.. is ironic as hell and genuineyl, , sick…. since your man crush Ozil .. faked injury more than any player in modern times to get out of playing.

  12. China1

    Lol Pierre managed to go a good few weeks earlier this season forcing himself to say reasonably positive things about De as a player, but the facade has come crumbling pretty fast.

    Fake injury? 😅

    Good one. You have no tolerance for tht as well do you 😂😂

  13. China1

    And Pierre I like how you feel the need to say the ‘number of assists from open play’ because that’s going to be lower than the number of assists if you include set pieces

    I also seem to recall a few years back when ozil barely got a few assists all season you were on here celebrating pre assists lol

    Curious lack of you bothering to mention those for Ode when you used to value these so highly

    Your agenda is just so barefaced it’s not even funny

  14. Kpankulu

    @Matt: Unfortunately, I do.

    The rate at which some people on here and other sites describe the gaffer, or Havertz as well as some other Arsenal players as a “cunt” or other equally vile names makes me believe it.

    Look at past game day comments on past threads, especially when Arsenal is going through a dry spell in a game.

    When I watched Ramsdale describe how he felt when abused on social media, my heart went out to him and other footballers. We fans sometimes forget that although they may not read stuff on social media, their family members and friends and acquaintances do.

    Anyway, I feel that there is always that asterisk attached to former Chelsea players who moved to Arsenal. Havertz has it worst because of the price tag, which he had no part in determining.

  15. China1

    We all have very fond memories of you limiting discussions of ozils assists to assist from open play right Pierre?

    And you used to complain every time he faked an injury or got one from playing fortnite.


    Yeah thought so.

  16. Rich


    Liverpool replaced their midfield in one summer, and are better off for it… The idea we gradually needed to integrate Rice was a myth, he’s been our best player…

    But I was assured Rice would need a season to settle… And we just needed to manage Partey’s game time better to keep him fit, which was the biggest fallacy since Marx,.. Sorry I know he’s your childhood hero lol..

    In fact Liverpool should have done it a season earlier after almost winning the quadruple…City have no issue refreshing from a position of strength, and that’s why they stay on top.

    We can’t sell Partey next summer… unless he suddenly produces half a season of consistent football, because nobody in their right mind would agree to pay his wages for 12 months, let alone pay a fee on top.

    The time to get out was last summer… Even if it was just writing off the final 2 years of his book price and shifting his wages.

    Now due to the fact we didn’t move his wages + book price, and alongside his squad allocation, could restrict the move we desperately need to make.

    Partey’s poor availability goes way beyond his own availability, it not only increases the workload of other players… Who then risk breaking down themselves from our over reliance on them…

    It also leaves us a player short so far for half a season… When Rice went off injured against Spurs, where was Partey?..

    When we couldn’t get the ball between the lines against Chelsea, which is Partey’s super power, where was Partey?…

    These are the margins when we’re trying to produce 90+ point seasons…

    My biggest concern is Partey’s absence risks us banjaxing Rice as well… Once players start getting issues..

    3 seasons in a row Partey’s poor availability has fucked us, and now this season we’re unlikely to see him until February, but in the last 3 seasons we were just competing on one front at the business end…

    We’re trying to evolve into a club that can compete on multiple fronts… Can you spot the problem?..

    No doubt he’ll come back play a few games… Then yourself + Dissenter will declare… “Why would we sell Partey, he’s brilliant”…

    Then he’ll breakdown again… And you’ll get your answer… We want to play 60 games a season, not wank over Partey’s intermittent brilliance…

    The reality is that impact injuries are just bad luck, they can happen in any game or training session… But when the same players have giant red flags planted all over them… We need to be proactive, rather than reactive.

    There’s very few midfielders of the quality of Partey… But a player at 80% of that quality, but 100% availability is more beneficial.

    We could do Partey at 2,500 minutes and 100% availability, that’s fine…

    But 2,500 minutes and 65% availability… Has the potential to fuck us hard, and there’s a clear sample size over 3 previous seasons of that,

    You could also argue as good a position as we’re in, that we’d now be in a better position if we’d fucked him off, and moved for his replacement.

    You remove 2 years book price on Partey = €20 million, then remove his wages £10 million p/a….

    That then gives us manoeuvre for Zubimendi who at €60 million over 5 years. Would be a book price of €12 million p/a and likely cheaper wages.

    There’s always risk, but we at least have to stack the odds in our favour.

  17. MidwestGun

    Ya China…. dude needs an intervention.. or something. it’s like he can not help himself any longer. He must wake up everyday thinking what other way can I talk about Odegaard in a weird passive aggressive way.

    Another irony … calling others obsessives.. He is the definition of obsessed.

  18. Kpankulu

    @China1: Excellent analysis on Jesus.

    I love him as a player, but he needs to get his priorities straight. He is paid by Arsenal – and even though he wants to and should represent his country when invited, only an idiot would not understand if he withdrew due to injury/recuperation – FFS, isn’t Arsenal’s director of football not the former technical director of his country’s football federation?

  19. MG42

    Jesus is not doing the best for his career and correctly expressed if he is terrible at his club he will not be called up for his country. He is risking the wrath of the Arsenal fans by taking a risk to be out longer because he wants to play for his country.

    Arsenal pays his wages and if he puts country before club then he should not be surprised if in the summer he will be replaced by a CF that all of us have been screaming now for 4 years and he will find himself either playing on the wing, as 2nd striker or being on the bench where Pep had him. He should have known better.

  20. Kpankulu

    @Luteo Guenreira:
    Expecting better out of a person or a situation is not that same as being unsupportive.

    Agreed – but not by calling someone a pussy, a highly overrated failure [after 4 months], a cunt or worse. That is not how to expect better, and you know it.

  21. BacaryisGod

    It’s all about the price tag with Havertz,. If you told me this summer we were buying a Chelsea player for 65m, I would have struggled to come up with a name but would have probably landed on Reece James, Kai Havertz wouldn’t have even crossed my mind.

    Now if you had told me we bough Havertz for 26n, I would have thought that’s a fair price for a Premier League level that gives us something we don’t have the squad. He would have been a mild disappointment at that price but not far off that value.

  22. Nigel Tufnel

    Matt B, (the good Matt)..

    I’ve been very clear about my frustration with Kai shyness in going for goal.
    The example I pointed out against Burnley was annoying because he took some shots in the previous match, so we were hoping he was turning over a new leaf.
    On the other hand, people here are constantly crying how bad he is, when he’s playing pretty well overall.
    …… Tackles, interceptions, distance covered, being physical, all good stats. Not afraid to put a foot in.

    They’re citing goal attacking stats ..
    He’s not a 9. They should know that.
    He wasn’t bought to be a 10 even.

    He can fill in at those positions.. but it’s not why he was bought. He’s a CM. The whole plan was to have him replace Xhaka. So far, he’s not providing attacking elements enough. Agreed.

    Moaners complain here in (almost) every comment about Kai Havertz.
    Meanwhile we’re having a very good season, even with shedload of injuries.

    They’re ignorant (of midfield play) and rely on goal numbers only as if he’s a striker.
    I don’t know what to say when somebody doesn’t watch midfield play, and only comments about goal statistics for a midfielder. Scouts or professionals would laugh at them. These clowns laugh when I talk about watching games a second time to observe more details.
    If you look up goal leaders this season, there are only 3 mids in the whole league with 3 goals.
    Doucoure is the anomaly with 4.

    Is it so shocking that Havertz has only 1? Not really. It’s a slow start in a new team. That’s all.

    Why does every comment have to be about him. It’s an agenda. Simple.

    Some loser was wanking over Szoboslai the other day… who has 1 goal and 2 assists this season. Some wank that must have been.
    –these are Szobo positions played in the last 50 matches:

    Attacking Midfielder (Right) 23 –
    Midfielder (Centre) 12 –
    Attacking Midfielder (Centre) 9 –
    Midfielder (Right) 3 –
    Forward (Left) 1 –
    Attacking Midfielder (Left) 1 –
    Defensive Midfielder (Right) 1

    Mostly ATTACKING mid positions. Only 12 of 50 as a CM.
    But Szoboslai is so great with his amazing 1 goal this season… 1000 minutes. So that would be be 3 goals over a full 3000 minute season, for a more attacking team than Arsenal.
    That’s the guy grovers are pointing to as such brilliant business.

    It’s just a way for them to shit on our player, and Artetas buy.

  23. Nigel Tufnel

    Pierre you made a brilliant comment yesterday.
    Why do you have to sink to such low levels about Ødegaard that it makes everyone protest?
    It was obviously bait, i know, but I wouldn’t say things like that about our players publicly.

    Avoid him as a subject if you can’t be better. We can all enjoy your other comments.

  24. China1

    Yeah I’m not angry about Jesus, I just think it’s extremely naive. He’s feeling the pressure to play and it’s gotten the better of him.

    Regardless of this, in the summer I think the priorities should be (in order)

    1. Elite CF (upgrade on both our current ones) and quality DM who will be backup to rice/replacement for partey
    2. Backup keeper (have to assume we’re losing one, most likely it will be ramsdale) + a squad player for defense
    3. Anything else is a luxury

    Wouldn’t be spending big money on a saka backup. If we get a great CF, Jesus can be that and it frees up funds to focus on those positions where it’s needed more

    From my side as well I don’t feel convinced about Toney. We’re one level down from winning a league or CL and the pedigree of striker we should be in for should be with that in mind.

    Teams which win titles usually have an Aguero, a Suarez, Henry, RVP, Benzema, Zlatan, Van Nistelrooy, Anelka etc (not even accounting for a CR7, Messi, Haaland, Mbappe level.

    Is Toney really that guy? He’s the player who in a CL final when you get no chances at all, he’s going to score a worldie from outside the box and be the difference? I’m just not sold he’s that guy. Good clearly, but great? Haven’t seen that

  25. Freddie Ljungberg


    Still can’t behave yourself like a normal person I see, smh.

    “Mostly ATTACKING mid positions. Only 12 of 50 as a CM.”

    And those 12 games are for Liverpool.

    A lot of picking and choosing there in those stats. Give his positions for the last 50 games but only how many he has scored as a CM for Liverpool in a new league.

    Also we shouldn’t judge Havertz, a player that’s been here for 3 years by goals and assists but we should the new guy? Can you be more disingenuous?

    It’s not only Havertz goal contributions that are lacking, he does next to nothing on the ball, meanwhile Szoboszlai is already one of Liverpools best players if you actually bother to watch him play. They’re not comparable in the slightest in general play.

  26. China1

    It’s an oversimplification of a players contribution to boil their whole performance downs to goals and assists

    This needn’t be the primary stick to beat havertz with – he should be judged on the whole performance, good bad or ugly. Only that is fair

    Likewise the same is true for dom slobby who has been largely excellent this season.

    He’s definitely started this season way better than Kai tho. That’s not bashing Kai that’s just recognizing he’s been really very good. Watch him regularly and it’s usually clear

  27. Useroz

    Wouldn’t be spending big money on a saka backup. If we get a great CF, Jesus can be that and it frees up funds to focus on those positions where it’s needed more

    Best approach to complete / enhanced our forward line.

    Yhat said, we could spend IF we win a CL or EPL (or both haha)… why not?

    If we’d get Toney on the cheap, sure, but not at price tags thrown around the media. Need someone more capable to score headers thou at least as a plan B

  28. China1

    The same is even true for CFs. Dennis Bergkamp is routinely regarded as one of the greatest strikers to ever grace our shores but he was not a world class goal scorer (a scorer of world class goals tho!)

    But his contribution to build up play and his ability to score the impossible more than compensated a relative lack of goals himself

    But if you don’t score or assist AND you don’t have a special contribution in other ways, then it’s going to be a problem at the very top level of this sport

  29. China1

    Guys we gotta pace ourselves the international break has only just started

    Hang in there and let’s each promise to limit ourselves to foaming at the mouth in rage whilst arguing about politics to MAX 12 times each before the PL resumes.

    Can’t say fairer than that

  30. Mayank

    I don’t think people would make much of a fuss about Kai’s G/A from a CM position if he didn’t look like such a charity case on the pitch at times. I mean, out of the few games where we’ve dominated scoring and chances, at least three have ended in the entire team basically playing to get Kai on the scoresheet, with one instance of giving him an out of turn pen.

    If the team really thinks of him as a Xhaka replacement why would they be tripping over each other to get him a goal. It’s cause the guy has had some Gervinho-esque moments in front of goal and looks like he’s been told off by his mum for staying out too late.

    Petty jibes aside, I really do see what the people upstairs saw in terms of technical quality. But he just seems like the kind of player where you’ll be thinking about managing his confidence for his entire tenure. Doesn’t help that he’s bought along with the king of confidence and ability, and probably our best signing in a decade, Declan Rice.

  31. Zomber


    Wow, thats a great one on Havertz and Szoboszlai. We should not judge any of them just now. Both seem to do what their respective manager asks to do. Both show promise and potential, let’s see what happens with them. For this Havertz conversion is nonsense about judging him

  32. Nigel Tufnel

    Those were the only stats I could find, and they weren’t broken down by dates or team. Only the last 50 games. I’m honest and everyone here knows it, even the ones I argue with.

    If you’re sure he’s only played CM in his 12 Pool games I’ll take your word for it…
    But that ain’t the point. If he’s playing the same position as Havertz in a very attacking team, and he has the same goal tally that you all use to shit on Havertz. That would make you a hypocrite. Sorry to inform you.

    That is what everyone here talks about, goals. Not even the assist that beat Man City.

    You provided 1 stat, key passes where Szobo has a real edge. The rest was nothing.
    Yet you still call Szoboslai a remarkably good buy for Liverpool and call our player Havertz shite. It’s just your bias.

    I watched him a bit in Germany because we were linked, very little for Liverpool so far.
    All I know, as most fair people do, is that cynics like you judge our players more harshly, and are always fawning over other teams buys.

    I’m backing our player to come good, and appreciating what he does well., even if I’m not thrilled with his goal aggression.

    Many, many Grovers loved these players and called them brilliant signings :

    Djed Spence
    Many more at Chelsea that I can’t even remember…

  33. Olumide

    Lokonga – £17 million
    Fabio Viera – £35 million
    Kai Havertz – £65 million


    Jude Bellingham – £88 million

    I prefer not to speak.

    PS: Ramsdale just lost us £10 million out of his transfer fees for his concentration comments.

  34. Freddie Ljungberg


    You bend over backwards to not include goals and assist as a measure to judge Havertz but then use it as the only parameters for Szobo, no not disingenuous at all……

    “But that ain’t the point. If he’s playing the same position as Havertz in a very attacking team, and he has the same goal tally that you all use to shit on Havertz. That would make you a hypocrite. Sorry to inform you.”

    You still don’t get it do you? It’s not only the goals and assists, it’s that he has shown nothing on the ball so far, absolutely fuck all quality, off the ball he’s been decent but that’s only half his job, even if he was playing as a DM you’d expect him to do more on the ball than he’s done.

    Meanwhile Szobo has been excellent for Pool, goals or assists doesn’t go into that assessment.
    It’s not just me saying that either, I haven’t seen anyone say a negative thing about Szobo, it’s just a massive amount of praise for how he’s been playing. Only people doing that with Havertz are either blind or is doing anything they possibly can to justify anything Arteta does whether it’s good or not.

  35. Olatunde

    With the benefit of hindsight, had Arsenal signed Harvert on loan with the option to buy for 50m ( not 65m ) at the end of the season, how many of you will support the signing? Honest answer is that many of those asking the club to persist with him would have been here mentioning different players cheaper and better. It is not about the money it about the fact that he just can’t do anything of note on the pitch.
    It is also very unfair to criticize Ode for not being able to win more headers as Herverts when he’s almost twice as tall as Ode.

  36. Terraloon


    You just can’t resist trying to prove you are the all seeing all knowing and anyone that doesn’t agree with you isn’t just wrong but in effect a lesser supporter than the almighty Nigel.

    I don’t read any of your posts expecting to be educated or informed . To be fair your posts do prove a couple of things one of which is that you are total and uttter _____ ( fill in the blanks)

    I know what I can see with my own eyes that the stats only tell part of the story. For instance Jackson in the PL over at Chelsea is outscoring any Arsenal player by 20% . In the stats world of Nigel how do you interpret that stat?

    Or ( I can’t remember the exact numbers but in the context of the point I am trying to make arent that relevant)

    It’s said that 25% of all RTAs involve a driver under the influence of drink .. That means 75% involve drivers sober.
    So Nigel in your stats world does that mean get drunk and drive because it means you ar3 less likely to have a crash ?

  37. China1

    I’ve seen improvements in Havertz performances lately. Can’t deny it

    But he’s definitely not yet in the ‘playing very well’ camp.

    Football is not a complicated game in spite of what people sometimes like to make out, and it’s very rare that you need to be a genius to understand the quality you are seeing. Great play is normally pretty self evident and thus why most people rally around players who regularly play great and argue about players who don’t.

    Nobody argues about is Rice a 9/10 or an 8.5. Nobody cares what his stats are. It’s just plainly obvious that he’s fucking excellent and everyone lines up to give him the very well due credit. No one argues is Saka is amazing, they might say he’s a bit off form but the quality is beyond doubt. Same for all the top players.

    But always be suspicious when people need to make a strong case to explain why a player is very good it’s normally a big red flag because it should be pretty obvious. Rocket science it is not.

    So I’ll give him the credit he’s due which is I can see a clear uptick in his performances. He’s good off the ball and more involved than before on it. If the trajectory of improvement continues he may become very good with a bit more time. I hope so.

    But he’s not there yet. And it’s pretty easy to see

  38. Un

    ChrispyNovember 14, 2023 07:27:19
    That Ramsdale YT clip , I was hoping someone had dubbed his voice but nope. He really said that.

    Yes it’s very disappointing to see him offer such idiotic comments so openly. He’s done himself no favours there at all. Not sure when that interview was conducted but I can only assume he was far too comfortable when he made them and maybe it’s understandable now why arrest felt he had to change for someone with more intensity. Not that rats hasn’t made more fuck iOS than any arsenal keeper I’ve ever seen in such a short space of time but ramsdale at the very least needs a wake up call, if those are the thoughts in his head
    Maybe he has ADHD? Otherwise I can’t see how an elite athlete would offer such views

  39. Markymark

    That’s very concerning re Ramsdale. I’ve a strong suspicion that ADHD and OCD are common in footballers . Might even give some an advantage or at least a by product of the extra athleticism that we don’t have.
    However as others have said. Best left unsaid to the public and kept to the couch. Not good at all for his options within Arsenal.

  40. China1

    I agree he shouldn’t have said what he said but I do think people are reading too much into it (which is understandable)

    I take his comments to mean he thinks it’s hard to focus constantly for 90 mins (it definitely is and why even many top players have occasional lapses even at key moments), and that his method of managing his focus is to take advantage of the calmer moments when he’s not in direct danger to reset his focus. I don’t think his point is we are defending a corner with it 0-0 after 85 mins and he’s singing the waka waka song lol!

    He’s just doing what many top professionals do which is find a way to reset himself when the opportunity arises because it’s exhausting giving 110% concentration for every second of a 90+ min match.

    I actually think it’s quite fair enough.

    Would’ve been better left unsaid tho. Could’ve chosen better words like ‘I use the crowd to help my hone my focus even more as their noise gives me the extra boost’.

    But he’s a footballer not an orator.

  41. China1

    He kept some of the most clean sheets in the PL last season and had many great games

    So yes he’s made some mistakes but I honestly doubt many of those are because he’s singing the Saliba song in his head whilst the opposition put us under pressure.

    If he was that careless he would never have gotten anywhere near this far in the game imo. As a keeper concentration is central and a player who doesn’t concentrate can’t get to the top end of the football pyramid for any length of time and look the part – which he does – irrespective of if there’s room for improvement

  42. China1

    He kept some of the most clean sheets in the PL last season and had many great games

    So yes he’s made some mistakes but I honestly doubt many of those are because he’s singing the Saliba song in his head whilst the opposition put us under pressure.

    If he was that careless he would never have gotten anywhere near this far in the game imo. As a keeper concentration is central and a player who doesn’t concentrate can’t get to the top end of the football pyramid for any length of time and look the part – which he does – irrespective of if there’s room for improvement

    I do the same kind of thing in my work which is extremely concentration heavy. I get headaches if I just give 200% focus all day. My performance is much better if I focus strongly when I matters most and when things let up, I take a small break and post some crap on here or whatever. It’s a reset that makes me better when I go back to focusing after, vs the mental fatigue of treating every second of the working day like my life depends on it. Not all moments are equally in need of focus.

  43. China1

    Let’s we forget the same guy who people are horrified at for saying he finds it hard to concentrate continuously for 90 mins is talked of in legitimate circles as a contender for England n1 (when he’s getting minutes)

    This guy is not careless. And does focus.

    Main thing he’s demonstrated is just that he’ll never be a politician because his wording of his message was very negative and always going to attract an unwanted response

    I don’t judge him for it at all tho

  44. Bkon

    Some part Aaron Ramsdale’s dad, interview : “David Raya, Aaron says, he’s a lovely guy and he works hard with him and Aaron’s trying to help him as much as he can to settle in with the squad.”

    🗣️ “Aaron is working as hard as he can, he’s trying to do the best for the squad, he’s upbeat and he’ll do everything for Arsenal to win the Premier League.”

  45. China1

    You’re telling me Mad Jens used to spend a good 10-15 mins of most matches thinking of something batshit insane?

    I don’t believe that! He was just never silly enough to say it out loud 😁

  46. Bkon

    Some of the notable points of discussion in Ramsdale’s dad interview include:

    a) Raya’s performances being brought up and discussed with Ramsdale’s dad

    b) Indirect jabs where questions like *what if you watch videos of someone not better than you and he’s still playing* are being asked by Ramsdale’s dad

    c) Openly questioning Mikel’s decisions and mentioning what Mikel told him in confidence and saying he has a problem with it.

    d) Openly entertaining comments that the goalkeeper coach is the reason Raya is playing

    e) Openly telling Ramsdale’s dad that the majority of Gooners think his son is better.

    f) Openly saying that Raya is not pulling up trees and that Raya did not earn his chance to play.

  47. Matt

    This really does make you shake your head at the state of football. Regardless of whether this was the right decision or not, most people agree that VAR and the people involved in it are a shit show. Instead of spending their time and energy sorting it out, they create a show on TV where the head of the referee association selects which VAR conversations they want to release and it’s then debated with mr bland Michael Owen, which will only bring further scrutiny and doubt. How the fuck Howard Webb has a job is beyond me. TMO in rugby helps the game and is rarely discussed, in football they decide to make a whole entire show about VAR. Unbelievable

  48. Pierre


    “Ozil .. faked injury more than any player in modern times to get out of playing.”

    Is there a difference between one person saying Odegaard has a fake injury to many saying that Ozil faked injuries… of course not.

    Both are ridiculous statements because there is no evidence that either is true.
    And yet I am called all kind of names for simply playing the same game as many have done on here for years…..

    Mid thinks I am “pathalogical and creepy” for insinuating that Odegaard is faking his injury، I suppose the irony is lost on him and the rest of the Ozil obsessives who on a daily basis made ridiculous unsubstantiated accusations about him…

  49. psuedo warrior

    Tough day for the Ramsdalians.

    He’s finished at Arsenal. He can thank his dad for it. Arsenal probably the biggest thing that will happen for his son. He can now sit and watch his son settle in mid table mediocrity.

  50. TR7

    Not that I was ever a fan of Ramsdale because I always thought he was reckless and not calm enough but he coming out and saying he can’t focus for 90 mins is very damning for any GK.

    An attacking player can lose focus at times during a game and still impact a game positively but for a GK who is the last line of defense being focused is absolutely essential. One instance of lapse in concentration and the team can be a goal down.

    Also Ramsdale’s father being very vocal doesn’t help at all his son’s Arsenal career in my view. My guess is Arteta doesn’t like so much of endless chatter in media over Ramsdale’s exclusion from starting 11. Arteta likes chaps who silently work hard even when they are out of favor.

  51. raptora

    Real talk, I’ve read his father’s words, I read some controversial opinion on his Rams’ brother being a snitch re Arsenal news (might be bullshit) and we’ve heard what Rams says without a problem in interviews. Neither his family, nor Ramsdale himself are helping his cause. He should keep it quiet and just give the media the simple answers. It’s curtains anyways for him and for a reason. Ramsdale’s issues have more to do with his mentality than his ability.

  52. raptora

    “Ramsdale’s issues have more to do with his mentality than his ability.”

    Having strong mentality is also an ability so I got that one wrong. It has a lot to do with his ability.

  53. psuedo warrior

    Ramsdale the relegator

    Arteta and his team plucked this guy and gave him the opportunity to represent one of the biggest clubs in the country.

    Renewed his contract with a bigger pay check after just one season.

    Now after spending a couple months on the bench he mouths off through his Daddy.

  54. Bob N16

    ‘I am called all kind of names for simply playing the same game’

    Pierre, at least you admit to ‘game playing’. Some might say you’re being hypocritical e.g. calling people ‘Ozil obsessives’.

    I can’t decide on whether you lack self awareness or are just indulging in self amusing ‘wind ups’.

  55. Dissenter

    People who think Ramsdale’s dad misspoke in that interview don’t get it

    This is the first salvo in Aaron’s quest to leave Arsenal closer to his own terms
    It’s just the first pressure they put on Arsenal. He will be moved out in January on loan, which is what Aaron wants to secure his England spot for the Euros

    Arsenal were borderline negligent in doubling Ramsdale’s wages in the summer, with great fanfare. . They shouldn’t be doing that if there was any doubts about him.
    We’ve created another exit where we won’t get the max from the outgoing transfer.

    We do have some leverage cause he has to be desperate to move out so we can use that to pare down what he gets on his way out.

  56. Mayank

    Absolutely on board with Ramsdale’s comments about focus and bantering with the fans. A keeper is in play for maybe 20% of the game for a possession controlling team. A bit of back-talk doesn’t hurt anyone.

    Don’t think anyone would have a problem with his comments if he was first choice and playing well. It’s be an amusing anecdote and humanising.

    What I do have a problem is, is allowing your father to talk to the media, absolutely horrible decision. When has family talking to the media ever helped a player. It signals a breakdown on the player’s end.

    I was fully team Ramsdale a month or so ago. But if a couple months on the bench to a ‘keeper who’s at a similar level has you losing your smile instead of gritting your teeth and getting to work… then I just don’t see a long term future here.

    Still, hopefully he bucks up and gets better at the things that Arteta wants. Ultimately these are the qualities all coaches will be looking for.

  57. Mayank

    Good point Dissenter.

    I think is a shame for a player to make team of the season (not that it means anything) then immediately proceed to sit on the bench in a Euro season. Gotta feel for the guy.

    Also good point about the wages, why double them when you’re unsure of the player? Makes me think that they weren’t unsure but Ramsdale’s reaction to being dropped has made Arteta drop the two WC goalkeepers idea.

    He starts the next game after the break, I think there’ll be a lot of eyes on him. At 12.17 shots on goal per match (comparable to the top 6 and better than Newcastle, Man Utd etc.) Brentford at home are going to test Ramsdale. Plus they’re dangerous from set-pieces.

    A good showing and a clean sheet means his value stays up. A stinker here and we can kiss another 5-10M goodbye along with possibly a few points.

  58. TR7

    “This is the first salvo in Aaron’s quest to leave Arsenal closer to his own terms
    It’s just the first pressure they put on Arsenal. He will be moved out in January on loan, which is what Aaron wants to secure his England spot for the Euros”

    One season at Arsenal as no 1 is as good as it gets for Ramsdale. He couldn’t be England’s no 1 even when he was out no 1. Once he leaves us to join perhaps a smaller club then I think he will fall further behind the pecking order. His dad can run his mouth off as much as he wants but it will not help his son.

  59. blue_lemon

    Ramsdale was, is, and always will be a clown, nowhere near a top GK. Yes, he can pull off some stunning saves, but there’s no consistency, mentality, or concentration (seriously?) to play for a top team. Get rid in Jan. Arsenal will remain the pinnacle of his career. Anyone who’s watched football for decades and seen dozens of GKs come and go, knows that Ramsdale is shit. Wake up and smell the coffee FFS! Never understood the hype. As much as I criticize Arteta, here I’m fully behind him.

  60. Dissenter

    ‘ What I do have a problem is, is allowing your father to talk to the media, absolutely horrible decision. When has family talking to the media ever helped a player. It signals a breakdown on the player’s end.’

    I’m not so sure about that
    There’s some plausible deniability there-my is father speaks for him but he can still disclaim his father as just and over eager advocate. I expect Aaron to put out a statement that tepidly disagrees with his dad’s comments. It won’t change what was said.

    I’m sure Arsenal know the rumblings already behind the scene. That’s why Arteta would have said what he said in the weekend. The manager went public because the quiet reassurances weren’t working imo.

    Honestly I’m critical of how Arsenal have handled it from the outset. They doubled his wages and made a PR feast of it just 6 months ago and appear to not have a clear end game.
    Aaron Ramsdale is not a back-up goal keeper so don’t blame the player for trying to force his way out. No reasonable club should have back-up goalies on 120k weekly so Arsenal need to be decisive this Janauary and bring an end to this silly reality tv show.

    Back up goalies shouldn’t be hard to get, if our goal keeping coach wasn’t so iffy.

    Does anyone know the name of the city back up goalie off hand? …. don’t use google now
    I bet the answer is NO but the dude is competent enough to fill in when required and played well in a FA cup final, without drama. That’s for a team that also plays out the back.

  61. Matt

    Maybe I haven’t seen all of Ramsdales Dad’s comments, but what I have seen really isn’t that bad. Yes it’s probably better he didn’t say anything and we dot know the circumstances of how the interview came about but for me, the comments were in keeping with that of a concerned parent who is probably as confused as anyone as to why the club signed his son up to a new 4 year deal on an increased deal if we was only ever going to be a bit part player.

  62. Dissenter

    Goal keeping ought to be the most stable part of a team list. We need to reduce it to boredom level certainly.
    It’s obvious it’s Raya so remove the distractions and drama around him to give him a chance to succeed.
    What’s happening now ain’t competition for a starting place because that’s been determined if we’re to be honest , it’s drama that’s spilling out to family members now.

  63. Kpankulu

    Funny how everyone is scrambling to decipher what Ramsdale and his dad said, especially his defenders.

    I support him as an Arsenal player and appreciate all he has done for the team – but the optics look waaaaay bad when you look at things simply..

    No future for him at the club – by design or not.

  64. Useroz

    allezkevNovember 14, 2023 13:13:28
    Chelsea come in with a bid of say £35m/£40m in January for Ramsdale, what does the club do?

    Ask for £65m… wherelse would they go get a starting 11 level England goalie in January?

  65. Markymark

    Matt – Maybe I haven’t seen all of Ramsdales Dad’s comments, but what I have seen really isn’t that bad. Yes it’s probably better he didn’t say anything and we dot know the circumstances of how the interview came about but for me, the comments were in keeping with that of a concerned parent who is probably as confused as anyone as to why the club signed his son up to a new 4 year deal on an increased deal if we was only ever going to be a bit part player.

    Completely agree with the above , take away the issue of whether the father should be on a podcast . It’s all sounds highly confused and poor communication. Needless completely needless

  66. salparadisenyc

    All a bit sad regarding Ramsadale, if that was his opening salvo at finding a new club the smarter play would of been to not say the quiet part aloud. Can see it all over Wrights face, he’s like don’t go there.

    Incredible how any players of value we seem to cultivate that value gets reduced in all kinds of manner before moving them on.

  67. Fire

    Aarons dad should keep quiet and advice his son to keep working hard. He won’t be sold until the summer and Arsenal have the leverage via his new contract.
    Pickford is de facto no 1 even if Rams plays for Madrid. That’s why I find Southgate comments funny

  68. Tom

    A concerned parent asking a coach of an U-14 team why his son was relegated to the bench is fine………a concerned parent of a 25y/o pro plucked from obscurity a season ago and put on 120kpw orchestrating a media blitz in his son’s defense is another thing entirely.

  69. Fire

    It’s like your dad coming to the school playground to fight another kid because of you… Very embarrassing.
    He ousted Leno… Didn’t hear a pip from Leno’s camp.

  70. salparadisenyc

    Every walk of life there is the helicopter parent that can’t let go especially where big talent is concerned. Sure Aaron has told pops to STFU but he just keeps coming, reality is dads words will have little effect on Ramsdale. His own words are where the problems begin for him.

  71. TR7

    “Exactly. No one was moaning when he said this exact thing a year ago.”

    I think his earlier comment went a bit under the radar. Now that he is out of starting 11 his admission of having concentration issue gains more weight. I think the writing is on the wall for him. He will be sold sooner rather than later.

    Last 18 months has been a roller coaster ride for him. From being yet another average GK playing for relegation fodder teams to getting a no 1 position in a club like Arsenal and then getting a huge jump in wages in no time to all of a sudden becoming a second fiddle totally out of favor can be hard to deal with for anyone, let alone a young guy.

  72. salparadisenyc

    On Havertz be positive its pretty basic on the attacking front, it can’t get worse it’s only up from here.

    He’s good at finding the space but looks lost whilst inhabiting it, once he gets on the ball the instinct is a sideways or backwards pass, he’s gun shy in front of net, he’s gun shy not in front of net. If we had to put a single word on Havertz attacking qualities i’d say TAME.

    All we can bank on is these are elements of lacking confidence and that will change. We need better out of that space, horseshoe ball was back in play this past weekend. Some say it was a tactical choice, regardless we had no other options except hoofing into the box or playing for corners.

    A pretty good interview a while ago with Cesc where he talks about the death of the #10 and how the game is changing with managers preferring stability to players who can unlock a match. Sound familiar?

  73. Matt B

    The thing about Ramsdale and his Dad is they’re just honest no-nonsense salt-of-the-earth types and that’s a large part of the reason why fans connected with him.

    I think it’s a bit sad really and of course, I don’t get all this, couldn’t care less about him; he’s finished; this is the best he’ll ever get comments. Supporters really are a fickle lot but I guess most of those being so cruel and unkind about him, are the same lot who were so indignant at his signing.

  74. Dissenter

    Ramsdale talking about having concentration issues doesn’t change anything imo.
    We all knew he had challenges sustaining attention on the field, he didn’t exactly reveal a trade secret or something. If we knew it, then goalkeeping professionals would have had gb of data on it as well.

    These concentration issues didn’t stop him from doing reasonably well for us in the past
    They can be remedied with good goalkeeping coaching so that won’t hinder his outward transfer.

  75. Matt B

    This kind of nonsense would never have happened under Arsene W.

    I get that his lack of a ruthless streak was part of the problem amongst other things, but he would never have been quite as dishonest/disingenuous — whatever you want to call — as Arteta has been in this whole, never-ending GK fiasco.