by .

I’ve shut down as a human over the past two weeks.

I’m disoriented.

No Arsenal.

For the third time.

I have attachment issues at this point.

Can I truly trust that if I let football back into my life again, it’ll stay with me?

I’m gonna give it a go… one last time.

The biggest drama moment of the week has to go to Gabriel Jesus who failed to score for Brazil – he then told reporters ‘scoring is not my strong suit.’

FFS Gabriel. Do NOT say that when Mikel is about. Or… did he say it knowing that Mikel has a plan to solve for the lack of goals in our 9 position?

Regardless – it’s not what I want to hear.

A few years ago, when I was propping a TallBoy summer, all the nerds were telling me scoring goals is no big deal in a 9 if they bring a lot to the starting 11.

You’re all about to find out that Arteta doesn’t agree with you – maybe not in January, but he’ll certainly try and rectify it next summer.

Someone that can score more than 15 goals is the missing link.

Or is that just a dirty lie used to prop up BIG STRIKER INC.

City defied odds for two seasons in a row. Gundogan was a top scorer with 13 in 20/21 and KDB was top with 15 in 22/22.

The context here?

20/21 they scored 83 > the second highest scoring team was United with 73.

21/22 they scored 99 > 5 more than they scored with Erling Haaland last year.

Arsenal scored 88 last season and fell short to 94 goals – but as I just said, the season prior, with goal-shy Jesus in the side, they scored more goals.

I actually think Mikel Arteta tried to answer some of the goalscoring issues of last season this year. He added a false 9 to the team and has tried to make him a left-sided 8 that could… score goals. Dry Kai has 1 goal in 12 and that was a pity penalty. So this experiment so far is a dud. He also added a 6 that is very adventurous and probably has goals in his future. Again, it’s not really paying dividends just yet.

Arsenal aren’t quite right going forward.

We’re in what feels like a frumpy stage of our attacking development.

It’s kind of weird as well, because all I hear about Liverpool is they’re a revitalized attacking monster of a club, and they’ve managed 1 extra goal than us so far this season.

We’re 4th for xG. I can try and spin that we’re monstrous going forward, but I’d be lying. The truth of the matter is we’re in a development phase at the moment. The overall objective appears revolve around Arsenal controlling games more in a bid to tighten up defensively.

It’s working for defence.

But like we saw early in the Arteta revolution, it’s had an adverse impact on the way we attack. We lack sexiness, unpredictability, everything looks a little too choreographed.

When this happened the first time, people said things like:

‘Too many things need to go right for it to work’


‘Arteta doesn’t want to attack’

Well, we know number two ain’t right.

My uneducated hunch is this: When we look overly choreographed, it’s because we are. Arteta is trying to coach his players into new ways of thinking. His job is to give players a deep base of tactical ideas that can be executed at speed – right now, he’s trying to add additional strategems into the mixer as he moves into a new phase of his project.

If you take coaching lessons for musical instruments… you’ll know the process. You learn the basics in private and when you take them into the public sphere, it’s really hard. I’m a drummer (bad). When I practice new things on my own, it makes sense. Then I invite a guitarist to join me and I freeze up. These ideas I learned on my own are different in a live environment. They sound clunky and it’s hard to make them work against another musician that isn’t on an MP3 I can press play/pause on. But after a few sessions, those six-stroke rolls start to sound a bit crisper because my timing gets better, I start to vibe with the guitarist, and I’m listening for the right moments versus trying to impose my idea on a song. When I finally master the technique, I can start adding accents. If I’m feeling very saucy, maybe I start playing with ghost notes.

Point here? Those additional bits are the flair bits that make drums sound cool, but I can’t get there until I’ve gone through the frumpy stage.

The question right now is: once we get past the frumpy stage, do we have the players to deliver us to 99 goals?

Personally, I think we do. We’ve seen Arteta and his staff shape players and systems to their will too many times to doubt it. But I do believe we need someone that loves scoring goals as our #9. Gabriel Jesus is like that person you knew from 2011 Facebook that’d post ‘I’m sooooo ugly’ for attention. He’s way too insecure about his striking looks and it shows on the pitch. He wants to create. He wants to be a midfielder. He wants to create chaos. But goals? He snatches, scuffs, and fluffs his lines far too often.

The bigger worry for me this season is this: We overperformed xG by 11 last year. Top 2 teams tend to outperform xG because they have world-class players – but we outperformed by 11 goals. The only team that did better than that was Spurs… and they had Harry Kane.

We need someone who can do Haaland things in our forward line. We need someone that can find the cut backs, reach the crosses, and bully centre-backs in the biggest games. We need a striker who goes on Facebook and writes – ‘I AM THE KING’

We need someone you can bet the house on to score in a one-vs-one in a Champions League final. That’s not Eddie or Jesus right now. For me, that’s a problem, and it can only be answered by a big signing.

Ivan Toney, Evan Ferguson, Dusan Vlahovic…

I don’t know who it’ll be. But I know we’re going to give it a go. This move has to be right, so let’s hope the analysts get it right!

Ok, now jump on our Patreon and enjoy the Brentford Before The Whistle.

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Our flair up front is missing this year.
Too much tippy tappy in midfield which slows us down .
Teams have sussed us out and now block the spaces
More flair please let the players off the leach.


From Aouar to Partey – CM to DM From Vlahovic to Jesus – classic No 9 to a false No 9 From Lisandro to Zinchenko – defensive beast to a passing monster From Mudryk to Trossard – a work in progress speedster to a less exciting polished gem From Caicedo to Jorginho – ball-winning super versatile young gun to an accomplished veteran Rap But this isn’t actually the case is it? We were looking at aouar then brought ESR and Odegaard into the squad Partey was a silent target Zinchenko was a back up to Lisandro due to their ability… Read more »


SpanishdaveNovember 23, 2023 19:48:11
Our flair up front is missing this year.
Too much tippy tappy in midfield which slows us down .
Teams have sussed us out and now block the spaces
More flair please let the players off the leach

To an extent
Tilt tally is good if it’s fast and direct
Like the best wenger sides
But horse show tippy tappy is any my vino


Sociedad are having a fantastic season in the CL. In Spain they are 6th, double digits behind the top 2. That’s the ceiling of Sociedad. The magnitude of Arsenal is not even comparable.

Zubimendi at 6 and 8 would be equally good. I think the LCM position is very much open for him to just take it and make it his.

But again, a summer transfer. Not in the middle of the season.



Zubimendi could potentially play a similar role to Zinchenko, and play the role Partey played in the first few games as well.


Fair play to the Jackeen
First people in Europe to stand up to the scum
3 children stabbed


raptoraNovember 23, 2023 13:12:02 Klopp not getting Caicedo is something of humongous importance. Watching Pool and compared to us and City, if Caicedo had joined I would put them as the #1 favorite for the title. Liverpool are superb in attack, with Caicedo they would have been also superb in defense too. Imo I think people overrated caicedo and undervalued the tacrical role gross played as the ball professor and what an incredible player macalister is. They both were really in charge with caicedo ball winning and loosing balls to win them back again. Caicedo isn’t tactically at the level… Read more »


If we get eliteCF he replaces Eddie not Jesus.


Speaking of Liverpool. Is it too forward to suggest we’re in similar sceneries? I’d say they are trying to figure themselves defensively whilst we are struggling offensively. Thing is I’ll bet on us still. We’ve seen how important it is to your defense in shape during the run ins as games become scrappy and fatigue sets in. We have enough match winners on a bad day to win matches but watching us play it’s very hard to get into advanced areas into our territory we’re probably the best in Europe with our positional dominace and we have rice and partey… Read more »


rollenNovember 23, 2023 21:32:23 If we get eliteCF he replaces Eddie not Jesus Eddie StIll produces more than esr and reiss rn for us and unlike some there’s a steady growth and clear development. Why are we in a hungry to get rid when he’s so willing to fight for his shirt? Jesus replacing reiss as an auxiliary winger is what I’d prefer. Not all players development is linearz Eddie has been proving people wrong all his life he can be trusted to fit in. He’s producing similar or better numbers than all the back strikers and some crowd favorites… Read more »


I’d like to see Trossard given a run up top. He was banging goals in for fun before we signed him, then turned into an assist monster for us last season. He seems to be flying on both now and seems to be over his injury issues. I love what Jesus brings but maybe he would be better rotating with Martinelli and Saka for a bit. I don’t think there is anyone compelling on the market for not crazy money in January so we are going to have to find an internal solution this season.


So starved of club football I’m bookmarking Fridays Lique 1 game between Monaco and PSG as a must watch.
But looking through Arsenal’s schedule, December is a killer month. We can’t afford any more injuries and Arteta has to trust his squad, as we have EIGHT GAMES in the month!

Yikes! And some are real tough showdowns with little recovery time in between. Hope Arteta uses the right judgment in terms of personnel use and earlier substitutions


There are 20 days between EPL games from the last one on New Year’s Eve so there will be recovery time and a chance to get more of the walking wounded back.


Game this weekend is too late for me. Will watch part of the Newcastle Chelsea game and city liverpool game tho

Hoping for 0-0 draws across the board lol

And of course a 10-0 win for arsenal. Maybe need to promote that danish kid to our senior team to get those goals!

Nigel Tufnel

It is such a shallow, superficial view by so many gooners – that we have lost our zip, fluidity, creativity, killer instinct… ….. Blah blah blah Don’t give me your insipid stats either. They mean nothing with a disrupted lineup and considering the opposition performances. Nobody is laying down or taking us lightly any time soon. Arsenal was a surprise package last season, but not any more. Like Leicester a few years ago.. BUT LEICESTER DIDN’T HAVE THE MAN CITY JUGGERNAUT to fight,, they were gifted lots of penalties that season too….and I don’t recall Leicester having 5 points stolen… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Andy, I’m hoping that Trosaard may have moved ahead of Eddie in Artetas mind with his performance so far. I’ll be annoyed if he hasn’t … I think he deserves to be worked in at various positions. Raul, I know I’m a minority in this, but Reiss has not been given any decent run to build some type of form….. Arteta overplaying our wingers has made it impossible to judge Nelson on merits. I think the talent is there. A few spotty minutes here and there will never be enough to gain real form, or impress. 🎵🎶 all we are… Read more »


Agreed on most points Nigel Especially on Nelson If you can’t get anywhere near the team then my expectations when you very occasionally do are naturally going to be low. We need to stop playing players like saka every single match. Let the boy rest when he needs it. Trust the squad a bit more Because otherwise this will be a problem later. If arteta doesn’t trust Nelson now and continues to run saka into the ground then if saka breaks properly he’ll have to use Nelson far more It’s a false economy to think picking your favourite player every… Read more »


‘There’s the middle eastern holiday handicap that needs to be factored in.’

Also known as the ‘brand new Mercedes gifted to me by a random middle eastern stranger’ handicap

And the ‘my kids’ uni tuition just got paid off by a benevolent stranger’ handicap


Honestly think how easy it would be to do things like that. One time payment to cover all uni costs direct to the student loans company to a ref’s kids account

That’s never coming up in anything resembling corruption checks surely.


It was a mistake renewing Reiss Nelsons contract. He lacks drive(another Sancho) and a leopard doesnt change its spots.


Our next 3 PL fixtures are Brentford, Wolves and Luton. It would be nice to use these games to ensure we’re not leaning too heavily on our front-3 of Saka, Jesus and Martinelli. Eddie, Reiss and Trossard should be able to rotate in.


The fact were looking at Neto means Generational wants other options for wide forward position or a ball carrier/dribbler #10.

Ode isnt mobile enough for #10(reason Jesus has to drop into midfield), if he cant score as much as last season, he will be upgraded.

Nigel Tufnel

Bilbo, China,

For example… we’re pretty sure Arteta will rest Jesus for Brentford, but I’d also start Martinelli from the bench.
He just went through a war against Argentina, and if we struggle with Brentford, we’ll have our most explosive player to bring on against tired defenders.

It’s the same concept with Saka too. To keep him strong, occasionally, have him as a fresh weapon on the bench, and we have a superstar – starboy to bring on for second halves sometimes. They both would wreck tired defenses.

Bob N16

Nigel, you could argue that simply saying our lack of attacking cohesion is ‘shallow and superficial’, explaining it away as due to facing a deep block.

Our midfield has not functioned well, apart from the impeccable Rice and our attack has missed Jesus in PL


What Jesus does, is what our midfielders should be doing, running with the ball/ dribbling/link up to pull opponents out of position.

Saka and Martinelli would need to replicate Mane and Salah goal scoring if we are using the above tactic. ie Jesus (Firminho)


Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson. Was Liverpool EPL winning midfield.

Partey, Rice, Xhaka can match the above 3 in athletism and technique. If you replace that with Jorgi/Ode, its a downgrade in athletism


“I’m really not keen on Toney. He is the type of lump that works in a long ball system and when you want a flat track bully. In a champions league elite game you won’t even know he’s playing”.

Well he bullied Saliba at the Emirates ، make of that what you will.


Nigel they were gifted lots of penalties that season too….and I don’t recall Leicester having 5 points stolen by refs,, all with official apologies in case anyone wants to argue. In fact, I would go as far as saying that PGMOL were actively helping Leicester win. As you said, they were getting a lot of the rub of the green with decisions going their way. And as the media furore of Leicester winning this on their first attempt as a newly promoted team, it was looking increasingly like there was only one outcome: that Leicester would win it. A shame… Read more »


“Bullied Saliba” at the Emirates has been overused. Toney is average.

Bob N16

Sideeq, are you in favour of resigning Xhaka?

‘Partey, Rice, Xhaka can match the above 3 in athletism and technique.’

Nigel Tufnel

Bob, I mentioned the injuries. We have had no continuity. And I didn’t mean it’s only the deep blocks if that’s how it seemed. It’s funny though… on balance, grovers are constantly whining that we were running and gunning last season, it was so exciting,, and seemed so easy..,.and now we’re not. You expected the league and Europe to allow us the have our way with them again playing exactly the same? The real world doesn’t work that way. Crying, unrealistic Grovers all ignore the fact that right now we’re right up there with Liverpool and ManCity on goals scored… Read more »


“”Sideeq, are you in favour of resigning Xhaka?””

Loool, individually Ode is a better footballer than Xhaka.
In a partnership, with a mobile/athletic footballer like Partey/Rice,
Xhaka will work better.

Bob N16

Nigel, my only concern atm is our Xhaka replacement. If (!) Partey was available fine but he’s not.

Sid, see above!


We replaced Xhaka well with Rice. Partey is the pain in the flesh.


I dont consider Havertz a Xhaka replacement. His position is unclear. One moment he is Tierney, next moment Balogun, sometimes Xhaka.


Nigel, agreed. A lot was made of Rooney needing to play all the time to be sharp but he had a very different body type to our front 3. We also do need to keep our replacements sharp and engaged in the team. Plus, it gives us a better opportunity to assess whether they can be strong contributors to the squad and, if not, we can sell someone who’s played rather than languishing in the mid-week U21 games.


A question for those who have to use the ballot system to get tickets.

Is it best to do rwgister now when the ballot opens or wait a little bit to be further down the list??

I am asking as I am looking to try and get some tickets for the Palace game in January. The ballot has just opened this morning.

I have been very unlucky so far aa i have not been able to get any tickets for the attempts I have made so far this season.

So trying to see what can swing my bad luck around.


Opta Analyst –

“Brentford are a tough team to beat a home. They’ve only lost one of their last 10 home league games, a defeat to Everton in September. Stretching further back, they have suffered defeat in just two of their last 22 Premier League home matches, with Newcastle the only other team to beat them during that run.

Derby fixtures have also been good for the Bees over recent seasons. They are unbeaten in 14 clashes against London opponents. However, the only club on a longer current such run without defeat is Arsenal (16 matches).”



GD4….are you sure you know Osihmen properly? Apart from his recent spat with the Napoli’s media team can you pull any record of the so called recalcitrant attitude? Where is the talk of being a diva coming from? And while am not pinning that his services are secured by Arsenal, I am stunned by the falsehood of your claims! He is a player that likes getting stuck in the game and except the manager is strict about him hugging the box, he wants to be part of the build up. Am sure you haven’t seen him in proper games. Arsenal… Read more »


Arteta press conference – – on the latest team news and if Odegaard will be available: “Hopefully, yes. We have another training session today but he’s been progressing well and hopefully he will be available” -on Gabriel Jesus’ fitness: “He’s available. He played 96 minutes in a really competitive match. We have another session. They had a long flight and I have to see the condition of every single player to make the final call on the lineup.” on Ben White’s fitness: “Again, hopefully if he’s available to train today, he will be available to play. It’s a question mark… Read more »


Kai Havertz is up there with Arsenal legends Jimmy Carter , Denilson and Hillier. I’m expecting big things from him


Orbinho –

Arsenal are currently 3 points worse off than last season in their equivalent fixtures. They took 11 points from these next six fixtures in 22-23. How many will they get this season?

3 Brentford A
3 Wolves H
1 Luton A (Southampton)
3 Aston Villa A
0 Brighton H
1 Liverpool A

Malcolm Andrews

Hi Pedro My first time “contribution”..I have followed your blog for several years but am now at the point of wonderment. I know that you and i love Arsenal with a passion. I was born there and at 73yo, to my families bewilderment, am ever more so ‘engaged’. However i read your blogs and become ever more confused about what you say. I of course realise that its “hip” to write the way that you do but -please excuse, i ask that you try and speak in English and not in some indistinguishable sub-language or American patois because to be… Read more »



Don’t know why you’re being so defensive and triggered.
Any player who can lose his rag in Public just because he
was being substituted is a total diva.
That’s pathetic.
Imagine your fellow teammate who is your replacement and how it makes them feel.
Nah, he’s a one dimensional poacher.
Great at what he does, but after what I saw Rudiger do to him in the champions league coupled with that attitude…nah I’m not having him, and I doubt he’d gel with Mikel.
Sorry just my opinion


And also threatening legal action for a social media post, albeit wrong and in poor taste, is a lil much for me. But my main reason is his style of play. Not suited for Arsenal.


“British Airways pilots have been enlisted to help improve the communication of Premier League officials during VAR reviews, The Times reported, after Liverpool wrongly had a goal disallowed earlier this season due to a blunder.

In a presentation to top-flight officials, pilots Chris Heaven and Pete Nataraj stressed the need for clarity and accuracy in communication, with minimal syllables and no informal language.”

https://www.reuters.com/sports/soccer/airline-pilots-enlisted-help-premier-league-officials-times-2023-11-24/#:~:text=MANCHESTER%2C England%2C Nov 24 (,season due to a blunder.



The problem with PGMOL is not just how they communicate.

It’s that they don’t even know / can’t apply the rules that they are supposed to be implementing.

Knowing the rules and applying them accordingly will make their job that much easier.

But that does require them to actually sit down and learn the rules off by heart.

Are they even capable of this??


TheLegendaryDB10 – I don’t even understand why var has to be separate from refs on the field, it is unnecessary and seems like make work project by the union. Replays on tv are basically instantaneous now, the ref could just run over to sidelines and watch monitor himself and see if he agrees with his call after he watches the review. I think a big problem with refereeing now is that they know they aren’t actually in charge of making important decisions and act accordingly, if they make mistakes var is meant to sort it out, and now we have… Read more »


They should call the umpires from cricket and rugby instead of pilots.

But they will tell them to make the VAR audio and video public. PGMOL does not want to do that as it will make biases public as well. Not that they are not already.

It’s all a whitewash.


Pep would be fired because they couldn’t afford his salary and has no experience coaching a team that isn’t manipulating the rules to help him win.

“Pep Guardiola says he will not resign as Manchester City manager even if the club is found guilty of breaking financial fair play rules and relegated to League One.”



JWL – beat me to it. Interesting that he discusses if they are relegated. I suspect the conversation is being had internally


He will be getting some nice envelopes or speaker fees for his troubles. Tons of people from Barcs are financial frauds, just like Messi Piqe and ex wife etc. 100% Pep is too. Money and power corrupts nearly everything.


I think Pep taking the piss, Markymark. I would absolutely love to see Pep try to manage his way out of a lesser division without having level of players he used to.


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