ARTETA LOVING ON THE DEFENCE

by .

Goooood evening my darlings… it’s late on Friday night in America and I am BUZZING about the game tomorrow.

Gotta say, I didn’t quite realise how well Wolves were doing this season, sitting pretty in midtable. Gary O’Neil is clearly doing an excellent job up there. They will be dangerous, they will have a good plan to spoil the afternoon, we cannot afford any level of complacency.

The main difference in preparation is Wolves have had a week to figure us out and a week to rest between games. Wednesday nights in Europe tend to lead to slow Saturdays and we can’t afford that against Wolves.

There’s no real injury news at the moment, which is absolutely excellent. I expect Ben White to be in the mixer tomorrow, though it has to be said, who is he displacing at the moment?  Competition is really strong.

The forward line picks itself. The same 5 that decimated RC Lens need to show they can do it against a well-organized deep, deep block. Loads of people have questioned whether we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. It’s fair to say, not many teams will roll over and give themselves to our strengths in the way Lens did. For me, a win like that gives belief. It’s quite laughable that we’re talking about belief issues when we’re sitting top of both tables, but I think it’s been pretty clear the attack hasn’t been what it was early last season.

Massive wins show players that they have it in the locker. They build relationships and bonds. They demonstrate to the players that all the ideas they’ve been working on behind the scenes are actually pretty decent.

I don’t expect a cricket score, but I would like to see us do better than one goal. That said, Wolves has a team that can frustrate, and they have players in their frontline more than capable of springing an upset.

One thing we tend to believe in outside Santa Claus is this: we have really good defenders these days.

William Saliba and Gabriel came in for high praise from Mikel Arteta. He took some time out to remind us all that these guys are babies by centre back standards PLUS what they are doing is immense. He also dropped some not-so-coded language on the benching of Gabriel by broadly suggesting that if you don’t train or behave how you’re supposed to, you’ll get some bench time to think about your sins.

We are truly blessed to have two centre-backs playing at the level they are. In a fantasy world, that’s our centre-back partnership set for the next 10 years. Arteta said the thing stats won’t tell you about is the chemistry between them. I love to hear that. I also like Arteta talking about the love of defending, because for years under Wenger, it felt like no one really took it that seriously.

We have proper defenders now. There are very few weaknesses outside of experience. Can you imagine how sexy things will become when Timber comes back into the mixer? I spoke to Jess Black on the podcast and she mentioned that there was still a weakness if Bill Saliba gets injured, and I agree… but I don’t think there’s anyone who could step in for the big man. The biggest issue is finding someone who is happy to sit on the bench. I’m not sure there are many of those… which is why I think Tomiyasu, Kiwior and Ben White are the fillers if we lose William. Remember, we signed Kiwior ahead of schedule because the club thought he’d be a £60m defender if we left him in Italy for another year. There’s still a lot to come from him.

David Ornstein reckons the Douglas Luiz move is unlikely this January – and I think transfers overall are going to be at a minimum. Better business is done in the summer. The thing I’m keeping an eye on is what happens with Aaron Ramsdale. Wolves are apparently losing Jose Sa to Saudi – which means they could move for Aaron on loan. If he goes on loan, what are we going to do to replace him? Is it going to be David De Gea on a short term loan… or do we have a young keeper lined up.

Arthur Okonkwo, our 6ft 6 keeper Hale-Ender we’ve put out on loan to Wrexham is crushing his spell there. He’s played 13 games, conceded 10, and kept 5 clean-sheets. I know it’s League 2, but it’s still a good loan. Could a recall be in the offing? Probably not. We didn’t with Bill Saliba. Maybe we’ll just promote Karl Hein who is an Estonian international.

I’d love to talk about strikers, but we spent literally 29 minutes doing that on the latest Patreon you can access below.

Honestly, can you imagine how sexy that move would be?

I also dropped a new podcast with the EXCELLENT Jess Black from She Knows Arsenal. Check that out below.

Finally, I wanted to ask YOU a question. Would you like a Daily Arsenal mini-podcast that rounded up the day’s news like the blog? Kind of like a radio show. Let me know! x

487 Comments
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Un

I prefer Odegaard deeper
He creates more from the middle than the final third in my opinion
It’s where his vision and passing ability are most dangerous
But if he’s deeper the we need a more classic 10 style creator closer to goal
Like ESR

Rich

Un

We were largely dominant, our second goal was a banger.

Hit the post twice, Martinelli + Eddie.. Had a stonewall penalty inexplicably turned away… Missed a few other chances we could have done better with.

Wolves scored a late goal against the run of play that made the finish more day than it should have been… But overall we were thoroughly worth the 3 points.. And on another day would have scored 4-5.

Ødegaard was outrageously good.. Saka unplayable in the first half, and Martinelli deserved a goal for his overall performance.

Un

Midwest
I trust you were a keen observer in the 90s

MidwestGun

Ya.. 90’s were my jam… That;s when we finally started getting the majority of premier league games over here, televised. And I stopped playing myself in any kind of serious way in about 1991 so.. had time to watch more games.

Rich

D-Bomb-Derek ended MidwestGun’s career in 1991… It was pure nepotism.

Un

Rich
Sounds like a good game and that we’ve got our finger in the pulse again with regards to our attacking verve
I love Odegaard as a player and can’t stand when people try to denigrate him
He’s a rare specimen in the modern game that’s gets you on your feet with some sumptuous riches turns flicks and passes

Un

Mid
What position were you?

TheLegendaryDB10

The teams I dislike are:

1) Chelski

2) Spuds

3) Manure and ‘pool of piss, joint third.

Rich

Un

Forgot to mention Declan Rice… But it goes without saying at this point, but I’ll add it anyway… “Declan Rice was excellent”…

MidwestGun

Oh I started out fullback when I was young and got switched to winger in College, played there 4 years and then played a year and half in the MISL. which was an indoor league basically 6 on 6.. so played as a forward. I was pretty fast so .. ran hurdles and sprints in track in high school. Basically I was a shit Theo Walcott. I guess. hahaha

MidwestGun

I thought the whole team was excellent the first 45.. the last 15 mins of the second half.. not so much.

allezkev

Marcus Rashford looking a shadow of the guy who was scoring every week last season.

Un

Mid interesting
I asked pegged you for a large guy
Centre back or centre mid

MidwestGun

Na I wish.. Those dudes had long careers.

TheLegendaryDB10

It’s a shame that Declan didn’t score today. He was so up for getting us that third goal as well as he knew that this would kill off Wolves. The fact that he tries, alongside Øde, is giving us options from the middle of the park. Kai has also started, which is a massive bonus. I think Arteta actually encourage us to do this. The more people you have in your team who can score, the more likely you do. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is something that Tets has as a game plan. I most certainly would not… Read more »

MidwestGun

Wow that was about as close as you can get to a goal.

Rich

allezkev If you were being cynical… You could argue he’s gone to sleep since the ink dried on his new £325,000 p/w contract. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/66221519 30 goals + 11 assists last season in 4,300 minutes, goal contribution every 104 minutes. This season 2 goals + 4 assists in 1,342 minutes… Goal contribution every 223 minutes, In 2021/22 5 goals + 2 assists in 1,657 minutes… Goal contribution every 236 minutes. Stylistically he reminds me of peak Aubameyang, he can be devastating in transition and off the last line in the counter press… But doesn’t offer much else, and certainly doesn’t provide… Read more »

Un

Rich
Yeah no need to mention Rice
It’s a given that he had a good game
To think some doughnuts thought Caicedo was the better player 🤦🏻‍♂️

allezkev

Rich:

It happens too often to be a coincidence so no, I don’t think it’s cynical at all, but Ten Hag is doing a fantastic job.

Un

Never was a huge rashford fan
Flatters to deceive
Got it all in his locker but the hunger and desire to apply what he has week in week out
Another young English player who got too flash too quickly and never fulfilled the hype
Saka on the other hand…. Proper boy.

Samesong

You just know Jam United will get a winner

Un

His face annoys me too

MidwestGun

Neither Rashford or Martial are very awe inspiring this season. Their League position is smoke and mirrors. No idea how they have managed to stay in top 6. with 5 losses out of 13 games. Some sort of voodoo.

TheLegendaryDB10

Mid

Or maybe some mysterious help from PGMOL maybe?

Habesha Gooner

United getting cooked all half is funny. Shows you how well we fought there and didn’t give them a sniff until that joke of a goal was allowed.

Newcastle should be ahead by one or two so far. I can enjoy these games now we have our job done for the weekend.

MidwestGun

Hmmm ya . Pgmol dark magic voodoo, perhaps.

Chris

TNT need to do better with their pundits. Jermaine Jenas, on his own?? Surely they can do better.

Samesong

Can anyone forsee spurs getting battered tomorrow?

allezkev

Martial has been coasting every since he arrived at Old Trafford, you aren’t going anywhere with guys like that in your team.

Rich

United will be delighted with that… They’ve been utterly dominated, struggled to get out of their own half… But they’re still in this.

Spurs dominated Villa last weekend in the first half, but somehow went in level at the break, and then lost the game in the second half.

United have been so lucky this season, absolutely astonishing that they current sit in 6th.

MidwestGun

Well it’s one of those things .. I either want Spuds to win .. sneak a draw …or get completely battered.

So basically I’m good with any outcome tomorrow.

Chris

If Newcastle get the first goal soonish I think they’ll get a couple more, United will fall apart

Habesha Gooner

Chris
Jenas sounds like an idiot. I wouldn’t have him in a panel let alone by himself.

Goona

Come on geordies….

allezkev

I can’t stand either United’s so a draw for me.

Mids: a draw tomorrow as well, can’t stand either City or Spuds.
Cheers

Habesha Gooner

Any result is great tomorrow. Spurs get trashed, we will laugh at them and they will have 4 defeats in a row. A draw means we will have gained 2 points on each. City lose and we will have gained 3 points on them.

So it is the ultimate win win scenario.

MidwestGun

oops.. United finally broke. That was coming .. Trippier been Newcastle’s best player.

Habesha Gooner

It has been coming really. All game.

Rich

Spurs will get completely dismantled tomorrow, they’re not very good.

Not even the Le Grove curse can save them from being torn to shreds.. City + 4 goals minimum.

Goona

Manure…the gift that…

Chris

Has martial even touched the ball

How is he still a United player in 2023, says it all about them these days,

MidwestGun

Imagine when Antony and Hojlund are the cavalry. See how this goes.

Goona

What a splendid weekend weekends results are forming…

TheLegendaryDB10

I have to say it’s nice to see NUFC lead Manure.

The Geordies were a pain in the arse back in the 90’s.

It’s interesting to see them back at it with their financial doping.

Steve

Man utd player’s throwing There manager under a bus

Dissenter

This referee is blissfully blind
He doesn’t see that much

Pv4

Ten hag making Avram grant look world class ilong live Ten Hag….give him a contract extension

MidwestGun

Can they give Bruno a Red card for being a whiny bitch? Make it happen … ref dude.

TheLegendaryDB10

This referee is blissfully blind

That sums up PGMOL in fact.
.
No surprise they have no clue what the actual rules are and make it up as they go along.

Thanks Diss for that insight. 😉

Habesha Gooner

Jesus Christ. United are so bad. They don’t even run enough. Genuinely looks like our squad after Emery but they had to spend 400 mil over the last season to stay there. Surely they will start improving on recruiting now that Murtough guy is out though. Just shocking. You can have all the resources in the world but if you aren’t smart with it, you will just have bad investment on top of another.

MidwestGun

Maguire tackles like he is blissfully blind as well.

MidwestGun

I can’t think of one United player I would want… and that makes my heart so happy.

Goona

It’s lovely watching those arrogant manure fans….

Rich

Ramsdale to Newcastle in January if that’s a nasty one?…

TheLegendaryDB10

… wallow in their own shite.

Bliss it is indeed!

Goona

@mid…so true, they ARE that shite…its a thing of BEAUTY

allezkev

Newcastle running out of players.

Marko

I’m begging for a LB in January. Zinchenko does some things brilliantly but he’s a constant error waiting to happen and it wasn’t acceptable when the likes of Xhaka or mustafi were doing that and costing us goals and it’s not acceptable now

TheLegendaryDB10

Rich

As long as we can milk it for £35 – 40 million, I am up for it.

MidwestGun

I was just kidding about injuries. Hate to see Nick Pope go off like that.. to be honest. But ya they may need a Keeper.

Habesha Gooner

Middy
😂😂😂
They were all screaming about Rashford being one of the best last season but everyone knew it was a purple patch. Just a shit squad all around. Hoijlund for Eddie may be but even that isn’t a great upgrade. Not one player is an attractive proposition.

Goona

Looking at the stats, manure have been well shafted…..

MidwestGun

Pffffy Jammy goal.. and offside?

Goona

9 mins of fergie time….lol

Habesha Gooner

Why is Maguire in these situations all the time 😂😂😂
He is either blocking his team from scoring or he is scoring an own goal.

Habesha Gooner

So impressed with Livaramento. Though he was an overpriced English player but looks a good prospect.

MidwestGun

This replacement Keeper dude for Newcastle is pretty shaky.

MidwestGun

Maybe order in the universe is starting to be restored.. United dropping down the table some.

WengerEagle

Fucking hilarious watching Utd these days, absolute pile of shite.

Gordon for Newcastle starting to look a proper player.

WengerEagle

Gashford the most overrated English player there is. I still remember he was mentioned in the same breath as Mbappe not too long ago, lol.

Leftside

United are dreadful and that makes my heart so happy

TheLegendaryDB10

Lolz

Nice to see Manure lose once again.

Now if they could drop any further down the table would be even more enjoyable.

As for tomorrow, I would rather have a draw btw Cheatty and Spuds to avoid Man Cheatty attempting to catch us.

Samesong

The commentator said Martial not played 90 mins in 3 years.

MidwestGun

Yep United and Chelsea being hot garbage… is a very feel good factor no matter how you look at it.

Kan

DB10, aren’t Spuds playing Citeh tomorrow?

Marko

United will never be back to the team they were until the bin the likes of rashford and Maguire and stop pissing money away on people like Anthony and Martial.

Rich

Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia… Only Southgate could fuck this group up.

TheLegendaryDB10

Kan

Yes they are.

Citeh = Cheatty. It’s my derogatory term for that plastic club; hence my lack of even ranking them in my list of disliked clubs.

They are so fake that they can’t even be ranked.

They have no history to speak of.

Nelson Vivas’ weak moustache

The Match of the Day analysis of Arsenal tonight was some of the most backhanded negativity I’ve ever heard.

TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

If ManUre were top 🎩 of the league they would have had them on first and spent ten minutes talking about their bollocks.

jwl

I was just reading twitter and bloke who runs gunnerblog wrote this, I’ve never heard of this “three substitution windows” thing before. Anyone else know what this is, I assume it recent rule since covid.
————–

“Seeing as a few of you have asked: Arsenal did not breach the rules about the ‘three substitution windows’ today. The Havertz & White subs in the 77th min & 79th min were counted as taking place in the same substitution window as play didn’t restart between them.”

China1

I’ve had a good long think about it and I’ve decided I want spurs to win today They are never going to be in the title race come May and city are, so having a 4 point cushion over city with their next game being against Villa (ours is luton) is mathematically the best thing for us That’s said a draw is welcome too. And even if city win 10-0 we get not only to laugh at spurs but that’s a 4 game losing streak for a team and manager that was lauded as hot shit earlier this season. I… Read more »

China1

That martial still plays football matches for Utd is golden

He’s been ‘big potential’ there for about 4 or 5 years now. Madness that they’ve never cut their losses

But they still have players like mctominay and maguire so it adds up

Rich

This even makes me angry, and I hate United…

https://x.com/nocontextmarkg/status/1731101041632874616?s=61

Guns of SF

Joelinton is a like a fucking imbecile. Just pushing and shoving players all game. Getting into refs face. Dude is like a time bomb. what a fucking idiot

MG42

Nelson “The Match of the Day analysis of Arsenal tonight was some of the most backhanded negativity I’ve ever heard.” Didn’t see that, Shearer said that Jesus is not a prolific goal scorer, well the stats support that statement. All the negative comments in the beginning were for Wolves. As far as the Wolves goal is concerned, I bet you both Leno and Emi would have kept that out. You need a +6ft goal keeper not what we have. The clue is in the name of the man between the sticks “Goal Keeper” his job is to keep the ball… Read more »

allezkev

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