by .

It’s Champions League night baby, and we have absolutely nothing to worry about. We’re top of the group, sitting pretty like Christmas kings, so you’d think we’d, you know, just leave all our best players at home this evening.

Well, not quite.

Arteta is actually taking them to Holland. Saka, Kai, Jesus, Odegaard, Ben White… they’re all on the plane.  I honestly don’t get it. You could say, ‘well, you’re not a professional coach’ and that’d be true. But I also don’t have a record of exhausting players and breaking them during crunch-time moments.

This was his explainer:

“I don’t know in another context what I would have done, but I also want everyone together with the mentality to win. I want to see that in their tummies tomorrow.

This type of rah, rah commentary feels very dated in a sporting world dominated by data. I understand that a lot of management is about feel and emotion. But this is PSV in a dead game in a moment when we’ve struggled for bodies. The squad doesn’t need more unity, it needs less minutes on the pitch to heal and recover. Fatigue is cumulative, so the more miles we put in the engine now, the more pain we’ll feel later. I mean, I don’t even need to talk up ‘later’ because we’ve seen bodies dropping all season.

We earned the right to leave everyone at home and play the kids – and we’ve instead loaded them onto a plane, and we’ll no doubt see people playing.

Brighton are at home this week, they play Marseille with the chance of topping the group and avoiding an extra game against a Champions League third-placed team. It’s great to play them at home when they’ll be tired. I just don’t understand why we didn’t look at the knocks, tweaks, and injuries and totally derisk the evening.

This is the squad Arteta can pick from.

Ramsdale, Raya, Hein; Gabriel, Cedric, Kiwior, Saliba, White, Zinchenko; Elneny, Havertz, Jorginho, Odegaard, Rice, Smith Rowe; Jesus, Nelson, Nketiah, Saka and Trossard.

There should be opportunities to see some players we haven’t seen much of this season. Reiss Nelson needs to get some game time. I would love to see Kiwior at centre back with Reuell Walters at right back. Smith Rowe should get some minutes, but it’s probably too early for him to start. Eddie needs to be at 9 and I’ll take Big Mo and Jorginho in midfield all day long.

‘The personality he has, he trains with us like he trains with the Under 18s and I love that.

‘He’s got that thing between his teeth that he wants to show every single day how good he is. When you have someone like that, you have to give him hope as well.

‘I think it was a strong sign for him (making his Premier League debut) that this was his place to keep developing.’

The praise here is high. I’m cognisant that he’s only a baby, but the fact he’s even being talked about like this tells you how exciting the player is. It takes outrageous skill to make it at Arsenal these days. It’d be wonderful if he could edge his way into contention over the next 4 years.

So what are we looking for this evening? No injuries. Limited first-team players. A very safe trip back.

Join us for an OTW after the game.

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I posted earlier in the season that there was a chance we could see Rice at centre back at some stage, due to Timber’s injury, and Tomi’s unreliability…. Got told I was talking nonsense… Obviously that’s not where I want to see him, even though he’s played there before, can do a job… And may end up back there towards the end of his career. We either need a White style versatile right sided defender, or a quality versatile midfielder who can also tuck into midfield from full back.. Zubimendi would be my pick. Apparently we want a Toney loan… Read more »


If you don’t trust even 1 youth player to even play 15 mins at the end of a dead rubber game which we’re not even losing, at a time when we should be protecting the first team players for any risk of injuries, then it says you really, really don’t rate these kids and might as well just not bring them at all The only other time when you get such a free pass to bring on kids is if you’re winning by a few goals deep into the second half, and we don’t find ourselves in that position often,… Read more »


If you don’t trust even 1 youth player to even play 15 mins at the end of a dead rubber game which we’re not even losing, at a time when we should be protecting the first team players for any risk of injuries, then it says you really, really don’t rate these kids and might as well just not bring them at allThe only other time when you get such a free pass to bring on kids is if you’re winning by a few goals deep into the second half, and we don’t find ourselves in that position often, and… Read more »


Pretty please Copenhagen lol


If Newcastle come second we could face only Dortmund from that group who are the best team

I’d rather face PSG or ideally Milan from that group


Sorry was wrong ofc we can’t face Dortmund. Yes technically a Newcastle 2nd place is favourable for us, tho I wouldn’t mind facing Milan.

Known possible opponents:

Copenhagen, Napoli, Inter Milan, RB Leipzig

Unconfirmed possible opponents:
Lazio, Milan, PSG, Porto, shaktar, atletico

My feelings are

Ideal: Copenhagen, shaktar
Nice draw: Porto, lazio
Ok: Milan
Big draw: atletico, psg


Sorry having a mare:

Ideal:: Copenhagen, shaktar
Nice draw: Porto, lazio
Ok: Milan, leipzig
Big draw: atletico, psg, Napoli, inter

psuedo warrior

I’m amazed that certain Arsenal fans have the cheek to complain about Arteta when they can first hand witness the situation at United and Chelsea



Remind me of our last 8-10 games of the season the last 3+ years…..

If he grinds our players down again this year, he needs someone above him to assist him on how to manage his players, not some average docs, medics or whatever’s. yes men, people….

Seal the deal or move on!


Teams to avoid: Inter, AM, PSG, Leipzig.

Napolis midfield is underwhelming.


“”Bob N16December 12, 2023 20:38:11
Maguire feeling his groin- that’s niche porn!””

one mans meat is another mans poison


Arsenal selected a seriously weakened team for the PSV game and a well managed draw was a decent result. The decision to put out eight replacements ensured that we will be able to select hopefully our strongest team on Sunday against Brighton. Brighton are incidentally playing on Thursday in Europa League. Positives for me were Ramsdale and Nelson’s performances. On the negative side I was not impressed with Kiwior performance. He was given a very hard time by the PSV right winger. Arsenal’s priority is to ensure that all members of first team squad are ” match fit” so I… Read more »


This kid Arsenal had between the sticks looked good. He’ll be pushing forum favourite David “Little Legs” Raya for his place soon enough. Cans has unearthed another gem


Arteta did rotate a fair bit and had to give the fringe players he may need later game time. He could have played one youngster but I guess he wants to get some minutes into his main players to keep them sharp. Mo had a good game and will be an important player for us with partey possibly out. Was good that Kai started as he had to be the main man out there today, good for his confidence and he also had a great game. Saliba and Gabriel staring is a bit weird, but again, there is probably a… Read more »


If we were winning 3 nil maybe yeah, he would have brawt on one or two youngsters. But we’re not winning, would be disrespectful to not try to win the game. As he said, we play to win every game.


If Arsenal as a big club in a dead game cannot ‘carry’ a academy youngster for few mins then we are in big trouble, that’s assuming that the youngster is not capable which I don’t agree. In the last few mins we can surely throw in a Ethan or a Lewis Skelly and they are good enough to hold fort. You don’t play them then you don’t know. There would be added responsibility on a first teamer to manage the player in the game. That’s how teams bed in young players. It’s not rocket science and a tried and tested… Read more »


Big fans of Partey and ESR but am open to selling them in jan. We can’t have broken players when trying to compete for the title.

Ramsdale, I don’t want gone because we then need another back up keeper. Keep both keepers till the end of the season and it is definitely important to keep both happy with game time.


a game with too many bad passes and lost balls. We need an replacement for Jorginho and Mo
is getting on in years.. Nelson showed glimpses and was helping out in defense.. Nobody picked up
an injury.. manc’s are out .. hope we draw FCk


Really surprised at MoJo’s inability to anchor the midfield which kept on getting played through. At least from what I saw in the second half.


‘So for me, the squad selection was good, not sure why such a big fuss is being made’

If Gabriel, Saliba, Rice, Ø, Jesus or White picked up an injury, which was the concern that drove the ‘fuss’, maybe you’d have understood. We seem to have escaped with that, thankfully, but betting your mortgage on red, even if you win, isn’t good judgement, it’s luck. Considering it was a dead rubber, it was a risk that had no upside.

X haka

Pep G played and got Palmer some early season exposure and then sold him for £40 million to Chelsea.

He also played Lewis and suddenly he is playing for England the other day.

Harry Elliot scores the winner for Liverpool, last week.

Simply makes sense surely to blood the youngsters.

Arteta once again showing you, why a lot supporters, ie ones who are not millennial and gen Z ones, can’t take to him.

X haka

HARVEY not Harry

Dark Hei


You are right.

If he threw in the youngster and we threw the game, it is going to stick for the rest of the career.

This is not dick and jane FC from middle earth.

This is PSV who hasn’t lost a home game since Genesis

Wicked Willy

Boohoohooo. Tets didn’t play some of the youngsters.he favoured squad players who need minutes. Big deal.

With regards playing first teamers, periodisation means that some players are at risk of injury if they don’t get minutes. Therefore, was there actually additional risk in playing them? Worth considering before bitching.


Barney Ronay won’t be most peoples’ cup of tea but there are some belters here for us to bask in UTD’s all-round shoddiness. – As the seconds ticked down at the end of a Champions League season‑ender that felt like a gentle, even quite tender, act of sporting euthanasia, the only noise inside Old Trafford was the sound of the Bayern Munich fans singing an impressively sustained version of Football’s Coming Home. A little later they sang Is This A Library? -In the second half United’s back five was André Onana, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonny Evans, Raphaël Varane and Diogo Dalot,… Read more »


Two posters appear to have disappeared from this site on roughly the same day. One got up some posters noses but I liked him. The other a user with a mix of letters and numbers was a total arse. I wonder if there was a cull of posters with multiple users? A mystery that’s for sure.
The forum appears more chilled since.


The Guardian summary of UTD was brilliant . As others have said it was performance art. It could be film.
I’ve got some spare time today so will do a run through of each UTD games hilights . Incredible stuff


Ramsdale must be retained until at least the summer if Arsenal has serious intentions to win the
EPL title or Champions League.

If he wants to leave the club then we have at least time to find a decent replacement. Top class goalkeepers is a commodity in short supply. So replacing him will be difficult without paying an inflated transfer fee.

On the evidence of yesterday’s performance I think that Ramsdale is a better “shot stopper” than
Raya. There is also some evidence that our defence prefers to see him in goal.


Ange would’ve played da yoof.


On reflection, I think Arteta got team selection right – although injuries to first team pick were a risk, it was a risk that came off. He made plenty of changes from first team pick. Many of us would like to have seen the three youngsters, but again it made more sense to play second choice pick. Also Ramsdale played well. IMO he still rates as future first pick GK. Great to see ESR, potentially an rsenal ‘exceptional’.


I’m reading Partey is very, very close to a return. Not sure if 100% credible info but it’s said that Liverpool is the aim for his comeback. That’s exactly 10 days from today. He’ll be ready to get injured at AFCON again (lol). But maybe he’ll give us a performance or two before that.


ES – Raya vs Ramsdale over their careers in the UK (same stats if you line up to 18/19 onwards). They’re both pretty average shot-stoppers albeit with Raya marginally ahead; Raya is a signif better sweeper keeper. Raya has been the better shot stopper (74.5% vs 70.7%) and lets in fewer goals per 90 (1.04 vs 1.37). Raya basically saves the amount of shots that are expected, whilst Rambo does less (albeit largely marginal). He’s more aggressive off his line, features much more heavily in build-up play, spends more time and action outside the pen box, completing more passes overall… Read more »


I’d suggest if we can sell Rambo, replace him with someone equivalent in terms of ability and finalize the Raya transfer for a net 10m GBP down we’ve prob done alright. I think we might struggle on that front after his new contract will either narrow the field of buyers or drastically reduce the fee.

We’ll see – I’m not sold on him at all but we need to see how he performs once he settles a little bit. Hopefully he can follow Kai’s recent trajectory


Strikers goalscoring stats this season in Europe compared to the premier league. This highlights the difference in the degree of difficulty between the competitions. Jesus League..8 starts ..2 goals Europe. 4 starts ..4 goals. Hojlund League .7 starts goals Europe 6 starts 5 goals Alvarez League 16 starts . 4 goals Europe .1 start .4 goals Watkins League 16 starts ..8 goals Europe 3 starts .2 goals Salah League 16 starts .11 goals Europe 2 starts 3 goals. Nunez League 9 starts 4 goals Europe 3 starts 2 goals Haaland is very slightly better in europe but isak is… Read more »



Ramsdale saved two shots yesterday which I am pretty sure Raya would have had difficulty in making.

I am always suspicious about so-called statistical analysis. Most saves made by goalkeepers are fairly mundane..

The test of a great goalkeeper is the saves that he make which most others are unlikely to make.

Based on what I have seen both goalkeepers are fairly average, but my personal instinct is that Ramsdale has better performance improvement potential.


I think Nektiah not appreciated because of Jesus and his ability to not score goals but play great otherwise. When people talk about replacing Eddie, they are describing a number one striker who would want to replace Jesus not Nketiah. All frustration with Jesus gets poured onto Eddie, which is a shame, because Nketiah is decent number two and he homegrown.


ES – I’m not sure I can help you then. There are decent sample sizes. Sure, statistical analysis isn’t the be all and end all, at all but to refer to it as ‘so-called statistical analysis’ makes me think there’s short odds on you having long nose hair. Maybe things moved on and you didn’t? At over 170 games each, I’m surprised that you think you can see what saves a goalkeeper not on the pitch would have saved and somehow isn’t showing up in the stats. Saves va expected goals does show up, which is what I think you’re… Read more »


Well done Eddie really well taken goal, 1 for the stato’s to say 1 in1 for Eddie in Europe-yawn zzzzz

Very good goal in a dead rubber.


ES: “The test of a great goalkeeper is the saves that he make which most others are unlikely to make.” Makes no difference making an incredible save one game, then gifting the opposition a simple goal in another game. It’s like when a CF scores from hard chances but misses easy ones. In the end, it’s not enough. The only stat we have that measures it is this one (from 2022/23): 4. Raya – xG faced 48.77, goals conceded 43, goals prevented (48.77-43) 5.77 12. Ramsdale – xG faced 40.80, goals conceded 42, goals prevented -1.20 Based on this stat… Read more »


Eddie’s the 2nd best CF in Europe I can conclude from Pierre’s expert analysis.

Bob N16

Not biting Pierre……


ETH continues to break records. Most goals ever conceded by an English team in the CL group stage and have Utd ever finished bottom of their group? Doubt it.

People thought that Ole was a fraud, this guy is way worse.


Hilarious though.

Utd are the most arrogant cunts ever and still are deluded enough to believe that they are the biggest club in the world.


Rap, be careful peddling snake oil and so called statistical analysis to the refined eye of ES.


Pierre, respectfully, from what I saw of the second half, Eddie’s hold up play was pony. Towards the end (as he tired as you noted), he almost exclusively gave the ball away.


Why do you perceive Pierre stats as bait, Bob N16?

I honestly don’t understand the irritation with Nketiah, he scores goals regularly in a system that isnt tailored to his strengths, and he’s our number two striker.


The Raya-Ramsdale debate is pretty boring at this stage.

It’s pretty clear by now that neither are particularly good and they both have too many mistakes in them..we need to upgrade on Ramsdale next summer and I hope we don’t make Raya permanent for the 30m or so because that can be better spent elsewhere.


I don’t know how true it is, Weagle, but there been talk of Arsenal plans to complete the purchase of Raya in winter transfer window and not wait until next summer to make transfer official like originally planned.


WE, to be honest I am inclined to agree. We must be able to find a keeper w/ Raya’s ball-playing ability and above avg shot stopping. Even if we had to keep the 30m, bin Rambo and go for a much clearer #1 & #2 with the dropdown more signif to spend more on the #1 I would be fine with that. Happy to give the benefit of doubt to Raya but a continuation of this trend through Xmas would suggest finalizing that loan is madness.


JWL – I heard the same and someone above brought up the Toney loan point which would almost exclusively be the only reason to do so now in the absence of a time-bound purchase agreement.

Options should be kept open as long as we need, there’s nothing to say Raya doesn’t get a career-threatening injury in the back half of the season or becomes over-indulgent in London’s nightlife. Having locked him in permanently ahead of time would look ridic in hindsight.


Yes Trossard has been very disappointing when he starts and yes Edie may have a better results when he starts, however yesterday he lost so many times his duels and showed he is very light weight to remain relevant for Arsenal despite the goal he scored.
I am still very angry that Arteta did not bring on any of the youngsters or even ESR much earlier, he does not trust the youth and he is the new Murinhoe in that department.

Bob N16

Jwl, stats need analysis and I’m not willing to look at minutes played etc. I’m not that down on Eddie , just Pierre’s relentless campaign to elevate Eddie to a level that he is clearly not at. For the most part Eddie did not excel yesterday. His goal was really well taken but otherwise he didn’t shine. Nelson was far superior yesterday but inevitably Pierre focuses on the defence of Eddie.

For me the ‘irritation’is with Pierre not Eddie.

X haka

Solanke is the one to watch.
Rejected by Chelsea and Liverpool as youngster , he could be a late bloomer, like Ian Wright.

And a brilliant option to go aerially against deep blocking defenders, something Nketiah struggles with.

I hope these Toney rumours are simply that.


Bob N16 – I think Pierre is the troll master of Le grove. I don’t know why but a bunch of you’s respond to him like he’s just insulted your wife and kids.


Nketiah is a refined rare gem,
majority here prefer, rough and tumble running, falling over then getting injured for the pity party.


scores goals regularly in a system that isnt tailored to his strengths, and he’s our number two striker.

Here’s a thought but could you imagine if oh I dunno we brought in someone better? Imagine how many more goals we’d score.

I personally think Nketiah can score all the basic goals he wants coming off the bench or starting in nothing games he’s a bang average striker who’d barely score in a bang average team. Arsenal makes him look way better than what he actually is.


These stats are interesting around PPG between Klopp, Arteta, Ten Hag..

The big red-mark against Ten Hag being how much money he’s squandered, particularly on players he should have been more equipped to apply correct valuations, and judge their suitability to succeed in the PL.

Also spent roughly 4-5 x Arteta + Klopp in the same time period.

United coukd benefit from single focus, and getting players back in the second half of the season, but not convinced there’s any shortcuts there… They should have listened to Rangnick… Instead of trying to shortcut success.


Fucking solanke



The Liverpool Klopp walked into, ditto Arteta were well in need of upgrade. Ditto Man U for ETH but the fundamental difference is, as you note, the relative spending. ETH has spent 350m net of Arteta, that’s 30m per additional point. Moreover, I’d argue he’s left with a squad that’s as bad and worse wage bill which hardly bodes well for the next phase in his career at UTD which should be looking upwards to the title spots with a clean deck


It’s seems every other week for the last 3 years people say Man Utd need to change pretty much their whole squad, yet the same dross is there stinking out the place. Look at their squad and compare it to their vintages of 08, 99, 94 etc. This current squad isn’t fit to kick the boots of those guys Long may United’s own banter era continue. Because one day they will snap out of it and become a force again. That’s why I’m glad they weren’t bought out by an oil state. That kind of backing behind such a historically… Read more »


A peak Barca with Messi would’ve had problems getting out of CL group stages with Onana’s shit show.
Can we hear from Gary Neville again about Arsenal’s goal keeping problem?


“Here’s a thought but could you imagine if oh I dunno we brought in someone better?”

Here’s another thought, Marko, someone better than Nketiah is going to want to be number one striker and we already have one of those.



Neither goalkeeper is outstanding. My personal view is that our goalkeeping problem is the coach and possibly Arteta. They are asking our goalkeepers to perform like outfield players Very few goalkeepers have that particular skill set.

What I want to see is a goalscorer who is “solid, positionally excellent and with a good concentration level.”

The critics of Ramsdale forget that last season he conceded few goals until Saliba and Tomiyasu
got injured.


correction goalkeeper not goalscorer.


Here’s another thought, Marko, someone better than Nketiah is going to want to be number one striker and we already have one of those.

One that’s not a bad thing we could do with an upgrade at ST and two you can easily replace Nketiah with a better option and still be a backup striker.


Or move Jesus on the wings like Pep did., he is not a number 9 Pep did mit rate him and he wanted to be number 1 at Arsenal that’s why he moved, well score 20+ goals as expected from a number 1 CF.


Manu are having a difficult period and they might sack ETH. However, for me they are having the same issues with Arteta in the beginning. If anyone wondered how other fans looked at us aft er FA cup and still finishing 8th 8th anf 5th. This is how it felt for those who wanted more. Last season was Arteta finally doing something with respect to the EPL. If you were supporting and making excused for Arteta when we were 8th, it is hypocritical to judge ETH differently. Pep as a Nov 2022, had given 24 academy player their debut. It… Read more »

X haka

It is madness considering how academy players do not get game time under Arteta

I think he likes academy players, just the ones that have not gone through ours.
Chelsea, West Ham or Sporting Lisbon etc. are cool.

Saka , Martinelli, Nketiah, ESR and Saliba were all at the club before him, remember.

24 thats a high amount from Pep, and probably explains why they finish the season so strong and we are on our feet.



Excerpt that EtH has spent close to £300 million on being in his old mates from Ajax and some it her very questionable signings. Way more than Arteta ever had to spend.

Bob N16

If we bring in a top CF, Jesus can share minutes with all the front three. We need at least 4 top quality forwards, at the moment we have three.


This is a good article from Adam over at Cannon Stats:

Bob N16

We were shit 4/5 years ago which meant it was much easier to give young talent a go, it’s now more difficult. Our back ups are full, current internationals so it’s inevitably more difficult to break through.


Search for the comment by GofH when he was asked to up his game and it describes perfectly what Arteta is and tells you why he does not blood in academy players.


ChrisDecember 13, 2023 16:09:38 BenkindExcerpt that EtH has spent close to £300 million on being in his old mates from Ajax and some it her very questionable signings. Way more than Arteta ever had to spend. Fair enough. 300million is something Manu can afford. player valuation for united is over the top. However, fair enough. When Artet reached 300 million spend what did he win and what was his average league position by then? Arteta is doing well, no one can deny that but let us not rewrite history on his progress. is it only Arteta that is deserving of… Read more »


Pep as a Nov 2022, had given 24 academy player their debut. It is madness considering how academy players do not get game time under Arteta

People do all kinds of mental gymnastics to defend Arteta.
I wonder how Pep and Klopp manage to use academy players while winning big trophies along the way.
Trophies the generational has not won.
Imagine if Wenger didn’t trust players like Cesc and Wilshere. Imagine if Emery didn’t trust Saka.


Bob Comes down to resources, we’re apparently skirting around FFP. Last summer it was accepted by most fans we needed to address our midfield and sign a versatile right sided defender. We got Rice…. Which was a game-changer, we haven’t been in the market for this profile of player for a long time.. With Partey’s unreliability we needed him, and it was vital we never let him land at City… But it was a huge outlay. It was a small sample size with Timber, but the early signs were hugely promising.. We just got unlucky with an impact injury. Then… Read more »


ES – “Neither goalkeeper is outstanding. My personal view is that our goalkeeping problem is the coach and possibly Arteta. They are asking our goalkeepers to perform like outfield players Very few goalkeepers have that particular skill set.” I would argue we have both a player(s) and a coach problem. Neither Raya/Rambo or Cana will get to a proper title-worthy level but your personal view is that Rambo> Raya which isn’t backed up by the ‘so called statistics’ you ostensibly ignore. There’s context required in their reading but there’s a decent sample size and, irrespective of their absolute levels, relatively… Read more »


People giving excuses of “well, the game wasn’t safe, we’re playing almighty PSV.”

We beat Lens 5-0 in the first half and I didn’t see any of these boys come on. I mean, will their coming on 15 minutes to go cost us the 5-goal lead?


fuckin stats, Raya is 100% worst shot stoper than Ramsdale but stats say otherwise.
He will not have good stats for Arsenal


Arteta is not development manager. He is a check book manager, why do you guys argue about this?
He wins big cup or get very close with strong finish and all is good, he fail again and he needs to go , simple as that if we are big club.


Very interesting post . Arteta has all the data at his fingertips and so we either trust him or not.
Although sometimes our trust in people might be misguided.
I mean you trusted Cochrane not to retweet what could be misconstrued as anti-Semitic content – and yet you still sit with him on the pod .


Raya can’t command his 6 yardbox and is a midget Tyrion L. Raya who flaps at crosses.


We should buy Zirkzee from Bologna and let them have Jesus for free


If Raya is the answer , then we are asking the wrong question.

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