NO REST FOR TABLE-TOPPERS

by .

I kind of covered off my views on the squad Arteta took out to PSV yesterday, so I’ll just mostly bust some myths this afternoon because there’s a section of the fanbase that will happily double down on how Arteta manages his squads, then act shocked when our players crash later in the season.

That game meant nothing.

It was deader than dead. No one could move up or down in the group. It wasn’t even a friendly that had purpose. We earned the privilege of leaving players at home and didn’t take it.

‘Match sharpness needed’

We’ve played 25 games so far this season if you count the Charity Shield. Anyone who works in elite-level fitness in football will tell you it generally takes about 10 games to get to peak fitness. Our squad is match-sharp. We’re top three in the Premier League and we just topped our Champions League group. You do not lose match sharpness in 8 days. 2 weeks? Maybe. But 8 days, it’s not happening. Arteta did not take everyone as a sharpness excercise.

You also don’t chase match sharpness in your busiest month. The job of performance teams during this period is to ensure players aren’t overcooked, especially in a season that has seen way more injuries than normal.

‘Every manager plays his best players’

Statistically, no one played with a more stable starting 11 than Arsenal last season. Manchester City had the second least stable starting 11 last season, and they won the treble.

CHART

As you can see from the graph above, City, United and Liverpool all sit short of 80%. The two clubs that sit above 85% stability were Arsenal, Villa, and Newcastle.

Villa and Newcastle didn’t have European football last season, and Arsenal flunked early in the cups and had the ability to go less than full-throttle in Europa League.

Those factors allowed Arsenal to make a run at the league… but even with the reduced load, we fell short the same way we did the season before.

Fatigue hit the squad hard, particularly after the final international break.

Injuries set in on key players and broke the squad.

The link between fatigue and injuries is very clear. The link between stress injuries and player load management is even closer aligned (Saliba).

Even if you don’t believe in these absolute basics, what you might believe in is this: If the best team in the world rotates the most, plays more games, and wins more trophies than you… maybe you should think about player management as a bit more than a marginal gain.

So, let’s refocus on this season… what is different?

Champions League. Better teams, more important games, no rest. Arsenal has been three games a week since September PLUS three international breaks.

What has that resulted in?

We’ve seen Zinchenko out with injury.

We lost Martin Odegaard to a head injury but there were other problems.

We’ve lost Thomas Partey TWICE because of training ground injuries.

Emile Smith Rowe has been out (I mean, maybe we can let his injury pass).

Fabio Vieira is out.

Tomiyasu, a player who always breaks, was given an extended run in the side and we broke him again.

Ben White usually gets issues late in the season, he’s getting them early this year.

We lost Bukayo Saka for a period and we’ve seen him pulling up on the regular.

Martinelli was lost to a hamstring injury.

Trossard has had a hamstring tweak.

How many more soft tissue injuries do I have to list before you start to get the picture?

Arteta likes to train to extremely intense levels and he doesn’t believe top players should cave to the implications of pain.

That’s just how he is.

Fatigue is cumulative, getting on plains is not a plus for fatigue, we did not have to take the whole squad to PSV.

No one was injured, but these missed opportunities add up over the season, and they always bite you in the end.

So when you hear people minimizing the problems, know they are talking objective nonsense, and if they don’t believe you, show them the evidence we’ve seen three seasons running and compare the injury pile-up this season to our injury problems at the start of last season.

Arteta has a weakness, and it’s player load management.

As for the game, it was a bit of a yawn fest. I like their winger Bakayoko. He looked very tasty.

Arteta made 8 changes from the Villa game, my main pain point was risking our two best centre-backs when we’re suffering a shortage like we are right now. Such a silly risk for zero upside out of chest thumping and winnertivity. I’d have taken Kiwior and a donkey as a pairing over the two we chose.

There were some bright sparks. Eddie had a good game and scored a lovely goal. I also thought Reiss Nelson looked promising and troublesome most of the game.

I felt for Mo Elneny, the injury gods fired off some lightning, and they hit him. Part of coming back from a serious injury is the reality that your body breaks down along the way. Hopefully, his issue is minor. I did love his 35 yard strike, he loves those attempts.

The Mo injury led to Arteta bringing on Declan, Martin, Emile, Jesus, Sir Benny Blanco. It felt like Arteta reminding everyone who is boss. Totally pointless unless the goal was to make sure those players didn’t need to warm down after the game.

It was a shame that we didn’t get to see the young players get a runout. Arteta said PSV were too strong to risk fragile minds. He’ll know better than us on that one. Again, it was a dead game, I’m not sure much harm would have been done. If they can’t handle a PSV game, why are they even there? We put Nwaneri on against a much better team in Brentford, but whatever…

We escaped the battle. Blitzed our group. The broader question we’ll find out later is will Arteta’s methods have us win the war. Or will we be looking at Groundhog Day in March.

We shall see. Arteta went all or nothing on a nothing game. I hope he gets away with it.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments. x

1.3K Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Northbanker

Adebayors not Senators (wtf?)

TR7

Right now the priority should be to get a striker who offers something different (presence in the box, good at heading the ball, winning balls in the air etc.) from the ones we have in our squad. That striker doesn’t necessarily need to be a world class striker, he just need to have something different.

Toney fits the bill perfectly. He is physical, good at headers and exceptionally good at link up play. An unselfish striker who makes the team better.

TR7

We play a lot of tippy tappy football which often works for us but with Toney and Harvertz in forward areas we can often switch our style to long balls when needed.

raptora

Yeah one option is to get Osimhen or Leao and the other option is to buy 2 players like Toney and Solanke. I know which option I’d prefer. I hope Artedu think the same. But to each their own.

Mikel Coneteta

Totally agree with TR7 above.

Clamouring for an x-factor type is all well and good, but Arsenal stand to benefit from someone different to Jesus who plays at a really high level.

Man City have the blueprint:
– Tall and dominant box player (Haaland)
– creative and tricky false 9 (Alvarez)

We have our Alvarez, and now we need a profile like Haaland to help us vary our threat and get over the line. Toney would be excellent, a clear and obvious upgrade on Nketiah.

Mikel Coneteta

“Yeah one option is to get Osimhen or Leao and the other option is to buy 2 players like Toney and Solanke. I know which option I’d prefer. I hope Artedu think the same. But to each their own.”

You preferred Caicedo to ‘decent Rice’.

To each their own indeed.

raptora

You wanted Tammy fkin Abraham. And now Toney. Coneteta please.

raptora

You seem to respond to what I write for whatever reason. Don’t. I don’t talk to you at all. Just scroll on when you see a post of mine. Literally no point picking on fights cause you have some personal agenda towards me. I don’t have anything towards you. Talk to other posters, not to me.

TR7

Waiting for Osimhen type till eternity and doing nothing in this Jan window reduces our chance of winning the league this season.

On the other hand if we get Toney in Jan, I can see him adding 8-10 points to our final league tally which could well be the difference between winning the league and finishing 2nd/3rd.

We don’t need to build a perfect team, we just need to do enough to pip City.

jwl

Stat from Guardian roundup of weekend –

“Only one team since the year 2000, Manchester United in 2012-13, have won the Premier League while conceding more than a goal a game. Last season Arsenal conceded 1.13 per game. So far this season it’s 15 in 17 games, equal fewest with Liverpool.”

raptora

I think the point should be to dominate Europe. One title but stuck with Toney for 5 years doesn’t help us with that. Getting Osimhen/Leao does. But we’ll see what they’ll do.

raptora

Supposedly Osimhen will sign a new contract with Napoli with a £112m release clause. We could try to get him in the Summer if we wanted to. Leao also has the potential to be a world beater. As close to TH14 as it gets among the current players really. Real didn’t buy a striker and are #1 in Spain atm, same as us. It’s a good idea to wait and get the exact player we want. But the current team making the decisions has gained a high capital that I’d support whatever we decide. Like I did with Havertz. I… Read more »

OleGunner

Toney is not worth the 80m quid asking fee and paying that sum on our part would be absolute lunacy considering he’s worth half that at best.

Get an up and comer who can share the load with Jesus like Sesko in the summer window.
Keep our powder dry and not chase after bad money like Nico Pepe (who I actually liked a lot), getting in more CM or CB recruitments this winter.

Dolomite

TR 7 thankfully you understand what’s needed – something different that converts chances not necessarily a box office striker

Good post

psuedo warrior

“I’ve been quite annoyed that our game plan is to have our CAMs get at the end of our attacks“

It always seems to fall to Odegaard. Who proceeds to take a gazillion touches and then shoots either with too little power or too much power

The much shorter cutback closer to the goal is being missed completely though. No one making those near post runs

psuedo warrior

Looking forward to seeing how Arsenal manage Anfield. We absolutely need to dial the tempo of the match to the bare minimum.

Markymak

When are we talking about a CF? I’m hearing we are sailing close to FFP as are a number of clubs. Also as a few podcasts have pointed out a back-up striker is one of the hardest positions to fulfill. You’ve got to be good but not quite A lister. If we go for a full fledged no. 9 as somehow we do have the money. One would assume they’d be different to Jesus? This in turn means a whole tactical change at a crucial point of the season. This does not make sense. Better to buy in the post… Read more »

Bilbo

Toney is better than Eddie in the same way Raya is than Rambo: marginally but still not up to the required standard and absolutely not given the relative cost to ‘upgrade’.

Mikel Coneteta

“You wanted Tammy fkin Abraham. And now Toney. Coneteta please.“

So lies is it. I wanted Ollie Watkins, and Toney.

Both vastly superior to Eddie Nketiah who you shamelessly claim is on a par. Have you gotten any transfer right ahead of time? Ever?

Rich

The best teams are based on the collective, unless clubs can secure one of the rare freaks, who are worth building an entire team around. But even then a forward like Suarez worked like a dog, was incredibly industrious, and yet still did the lot on top. I’m not keen on going big on a low touch, low involvement centre forward… Not unless they can give us 50 goal contributions a season, without hurting the overall collective. If Havertz is going to play as a 2nd striker, then we need consistent end product… He averages a goal contribution every 155… Read more »

psuedo warrior

It was a Portuguese team that knocked us out of Europe last season. I remember Vieira completely failing to make a mark playing in his own country

psuedo warrior

Nkietieh is the new Holding.

Marko

What is wrong with some of you lot calling for a lump or height option when we don’t nor ever have played the long ball type football. Look it’s simple you bring in Toney or Solanke in January you can forget the likes of Oshimen he’ll end up at Chelsea or Evan Ferguson. Like the last several windows we need a proper striker a prolific striker and we might need to get creative in January or wait until the summer or just sign Toney and forget about other better options.

Mikel Coneteta

Again, TR7 is on the money. This planning for future glory continually does what for right now? At some point you need to acknowledge the moment you’re in and act accordingly. We’re top of the table and through to the knockouts in the CL. Osimhen isn’t the calibre of player you wait and wait to purchase as far as I’m concerned, he’s no Declan Rice. Excellent striker, but overrated because he’s doing it against mediocre teams most weeks and casuals are gorging on his highlight reels so there’s a level of artificial buzz. If we put off buying a striker… Read more »

Marko

This planning for future glory continually does what for right now? At some point you need to acknowledge the moment you’re in and act accordingly

Like I said we’ve needed a proper striker for several windows now not just this January but last January and yet summer windows have passed by and nothing has been done.

Mikel Coneteta

Marko

Yet you want a 19 year old who was subbed before the hour mark against us yesterday?

Is that proper? Or is that another talent that needs a few seasons to marinate into a striker of note?

Because it’s fairly obvious what this team lacks and it’s not a teenage striker imo.

Marko

Anyway let’s be honest here we’re probably not going to be doing anything major in January most clubs don’t and how much money do we have after the summer we had. It’s hard to buy in January and we might need to sell the likes of ESR or Partey or Ramsdale if we want to bring in someone significant. Oh and we need a LB as well next month

Olumide

Very few strikers can improve Arsenal, at the moment.

If Jesus can keep fit, we’ll likely be fine.

Marko

Yet you want a 19 year old who was subbed before the hour mark against us yesterday?

Me personally no but a lot of people were clamouring for Ferguson. I personally think Oshimen is worth the wait or Sesko. Ivan Toney at his age and his likely price coming off an 8 month football ban is a risk not worth taking for me. The less said about Solanke the better

Rich

Eddie certainly isn’t anything like Holding… Holding was a Championship level defender at best… Who’s now 4th choice centre back at Palace.. Eddie would likely start consistently for 12/20 PL clubs… And with the state on United + Chelsea currently, there’s an argument he’d be certainly in contention there as well. Holding invited pressure in both phases of play, whether we tried to invite and evade pressure, or apply and sustain pressure… He weakened the whole system. Eddie + Nelson are the type of compromises we make when we’ve needed to prioritising strengthening other areas, are dancing around FFP, and… Read more »

TR7

I don’t want to diss Nketiah who by all accounts is a good lad, is from our own academy, very professional and he does have a few very good qualities ( good movement in the box, decent touch and he has scored some nice goals for us) but to suggest Toney is just marginally better is plain wrong. There have been so many games this season in which we have had lion share of possession but we didn’t have a focal point in the box. Even against Brighton we dominated from start to finish but it seemed we didn’t have… Read more »

Marko

Eddie + Nelson are the type of compromises we make when we’ve needed to prioritising strengthening other areas, are dancing around FFP, and have homegrown quotas to fill.

Long winded post but I had to answer one we didn’t prioritize other areas so that’s wrong two they’re both on 100,000 a week which affects our finances and FFP and three our HG quota has never been better.

Mikel Coneteta

Marko I’m sorry but I just don’t get comments like that. Ivan Toney is 27 years of age… Osimhen is 25 before the new year meaning there’s 2.75 years between the pair and we’re acting like one is 6 months from being taken out back to get a bolt between the eyes. Also, can you tell me how you can want for a killer in front of goal and then drop Sesko into the mix who has 19 appearances in the league and CL this season – only 5 starts. Whether that’s injury management, or the fact he’s not yet… Read more »

Mikel Coneteta

TR7 Eddie is actually a Cobham product who was let go for being small, and joined Hale End at 15/16 I think. But he’s everything you say. Good pro, decent player, but not at the level. It’s not contentious, and when he sells for 20M+ it will be a compliment to our development of him. But we do need for better if we’ve any designs on winning major titles. The closer we get to that level the more difficult decisions need made when it comes to the squad. That’s a fact that every team faces when operating at those heights.… Read more »

Wicked Willy

I’m currently thinking either Boniface or Mathys Tel upfront. Curious to hear thoughts on that.

Marko

Hey I’m clamouring for Sesko because of the ridiculous potential he has the upside to his signing and how he gives that something different to Jesus that people are asking for. Far more upside to Toney for me. And why the fuck are people so quick to dismiss being out of football for 8 months like it’s nothing.

psuedo warrior

If Havertz starts to make those near post runs, he’ll hit very good numbers. Sadly I’ve given up on Jesus showing striker’s instinct.

Marko

Boniface isn’t leaving midseason with Leverkusen going for a league title this season.

Also Sesko gets mentioned because of his lack of starts this season. Openda is the guy at Leipzig and I’ve no idea why poulson is ahead of Sesko in the pecking order. Hence links to arsenal

TR7

Boniface is highly rated by many. But again if we want someone to come in Jan and help us from the start then it’s imperative we sign someone who knows the league.

Last year Trosaard came in and hit the ground running which I doubt a player coming from other league would have managed to do.

Mathys plays for Bayern, so not sure he will even be interested in joining us in Jan and again he doesn’t know the league either.

salparadisenyc

Porto is a great draw, second leg at home is an excellent bonus for group winners. Of the rest I fancy a single goal being enough for Inter vs Atletico, hoping Sociedad do PSG which seems possible but definitely and uphill battle. The usual suspects of Bayern, Madrid and City will cruise into next round. Barca vs Napoli is an interesting one and hard to predict.

Rich

Marko Quite simply… Eddie £5 million p/a to keep over 5 years.. And there’s a chance we could get £25 million back for him. Who are you buying and paying them for 5 years, who’s going to do a better job in the squad than Eddie?.. We have had other priorities in the squad, we’re coming from 8th, 8th, 5th… And are trying to build a squad that can compete for 1st, and win the CL We lost Aubansyang + Lacazette for free… We needed to replace them, at the same time as having other areas to fill. This summer… Read more »

TR7

Mikel

Got to say Cole Palmer is some player. I really love watching him play.

Mikel Coneteta

Marko

What’s the context to him only starting 5 times this season in 19 appearances out of curiosity? Presumably it’s injury based, because something else says red flag surely? A 20 year old not getting starts for Leipzig is a bit odd.

Toney won’t be match fit, granted, but that would arguably work in our favour that much more with him being a super sub until he gets minutes in his legs. He’s not been on the couch for 8 months with a bag of haribo exactly has he.

Mikel Coneteta

TR7

Yeah Palmer does look slick tbh, ugly bastard though.

Marko

Who are you buying and paying them for 5 years, who’s going to do a better job in the squad than Eddie?..

Well technically speaking you could replace what both Eddie and Reiss offer and get 10 million a year off the wage bill or significantly reduce it. Replacing Eddie Nketiah is frankly an easy fix. Both what he does on the pitch and value for money

Marko

A 20 year old not getting starts for Leipzig is a bit odd.

I think the idea is to ease him in gradually but he should be getting more mins hence why there’s talk of them selling Werner or him leaving. He’s an outstanding prospect

Marko

He’s not been on the couch for 8 months with a bag of haribo exactly has he.

You can’t really make a case for knowing the league and hitting the ground running and then overlook the fact that he hasn’t played in months

OleGunner

You all can’t be serious about dropping 80m on Toney though?
Like what’s the max that we should hypothetically be dropped on the degenerate gambler?

I’m with Marko on the Sesko train, I’d rather get a highly promising up and comer at a reasonable fee and let Arteta mould him into a great CF while Jesus leads the line.

Sure there’ll be growing pains (sorta like Darwin at Pool) but I think it’ll be worth it for longer term payoff.

Batistuta

If we are serious as a football club about getting over the line, we go in January and get that striker. All the talk of waiting for some world class talent down the line and im a big fan of Osimehn who’s about to resign for Napoli by the way is just bonkers. In a season where it looks like the city players dont look like they have the same hunger after having just won it all, it would be foolish to again not strengthen in january and be nearly runs because we want to get some ronaldo type regen… Read more »

Mikel Coneteta

“You can’t really make a case for knowing the league and hitting the ground running and then overlook the fact that he hasn’t played in months“

I mean you definitely can. Match sharpness and knowing the league aren’t the same thing at all.

Can take players entire seasons to get comfortable here, and some never do. Toney will take X number of minutes to reach certain fitness markers and that’s that.

Rich

Marko We’ve had other priorities in the squad… We can’t do everything at once.. And we lost 2 strikers inside 6 months for free, who cost £105 million… They needed replacing. Eddie will cost us £25 million over 5 years to keep, and will still hold value.. I think we could get £20 – £25 million for him inside the PL?… Who were you replacing Eddie with over 5 years for £25 million including wages?…. So that’s £50,000 p/w over 5 years, with £12 million left over for a transfer fee?… Who’s this elite squad striker who’s better than Eddie,… Read more »

Batistuta

Also and i hope Arteta and the team arent thinking they’ve got a million years to deliver trophies for the club by buying yet another prospect who needs moulding and all that yada yada. We’ve got a young squad already, now they need to start winning stuff together, if an Ivan Toney gets us over the line then absolutely spunk all the money on him, he’s an upgrade on Eddie Nketiah bless him for all his efforts

Mikel Coneteta

OleGunner

Why would any highly promising player go for a reasonable fee? That’s an oxymoron if ever there was one. Fairly sure Leipzig know the talent of Sesko and are well used to selling for good money. What’s a reasonable fee for a 20 year old that doesn’t get minutes at Leipzig anyway?

Don’t see Toney going for more than £65M personally, citing his age, contractual circumstances, and the fact he’s been out for months.

Marko

Bati we were making that same argument last season and it cost us the league and also the previous January where it cost us top 4. My point is it doesn’t have to be Toney that comes in and gets us over the line this season there’s others who can make an impact in the run in.

TR7

We have been talking about the future since we left Highbury.

Close to 2 decades of not winning the league title and people are still talking about young prospects who can come good in the future.

Liverpool are not really all that and City struggling to hit the top gear. This season is a massive massive opportunity. 60-70M won’t matter eventually if Toney helps us get over the line. We have a near complete squad so it’s not like we will have to spend big in the summer again.

Mikel Coneteta

Everton are tin pot in recent seasons, however this is absolutely brilliant from their lot:

https://x.com/sundaychants/status/1736670077280239859?s=46&t=kX5MOSw74fHSUeJjWqv6nA

😂😂

Marko

We have been talking about the future since we left Highbury.

You do realize our best players are literally considered young and prospects? Some of our best transfers in recent seasons have been the young ones. Keep em coming I say

Mikel Coneteta

Yeah I’m with Batistuta and TR7, the dynasty building chatter is a lot of nonsense to me.

We haven’t won a league in 20 years and have never lifted the CL. We are genuinely competing for either/both this season and the club should recognise that by acting with the necessary intent to bring in a player that can make a difference now/the next few seasons.

If it’s Toney in Jan, or Osimhen in the summer then it’s Toney all day for me.

Marko

Look all this talk of strikers I think it’s likely we do little or nothing unless we’re able to sell next month and that’s going to be tough cause the obvious ones being Partey will be tough to sell since he’ll be at the AFCON and the other one potentially being ESR but people will have a kanipshin at the thought of selling him

Emiratesstroller

Porto is a decent draw.

They are playing Benefica the top team in their league three days before our home game against them.

So they will not have an easy ride before they play us.

jwl

“60-70M won’t matter eventually if Toney helps us get over the line” This money will matter if Toney doesn’t get us over the finish line tho, TR7. I don’t pay attention to Toney, have no opinion, but if how people describe him is correct he won’t fit into Artetas system and I would be shocked if tets wants him in first place. The old skool no 9 are mostly gone at top end of football, managers doing other things now and we need a Jesus like player but who scores goals regularly, that doesn’t sound like Toney and I have… Read more »

jwl

Arsenal twitter says this match was last time we qualified to progress to quarter finals of champs league.
——

“Nicklas Bendtner struck a hat-trick as Arsenal outclassed Porto to overturn a first-leg deficit with ease and clinch a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

Bendtner – heavily criticised after a succession of misses in Saturday’s win against Burnley – scored twice in the first half to wipe out the 2-1 lead Porto were protecting from the first game in Portugal.”

news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/8555855.stm

TR7

Haaland, Osimhen are all no 9 really, aren’t they jwl ?

Pep Guardiola is the architect of modern football and even he has 2 different kind of strikers of which one is a classic no 9.

Rich

There’s places in our squad where it might weaken us, but we can eat a few injuries, and there’s clear proof for that. For example Eddie has started 9 PL games this season, we’ve won 7, drawn 1, lost1. 22/27 points.. Across 38 games, that would give us 92 points.. Probably unsustainable… But we’re not punching those numbers with Holding or Tavares level players.. Against City no Saka, We got the results.. Jesus has played just 52% of the minutes Haaland has for City since the start of last season… That’s the issue, if we can get better availability, that… Read more »

jwl

Haaland, Osimhen and who else is on this list that going to score goals regularly and is worth changing our current system for? I hate youth projects as well but I think we fcuked when it comes to striker that better than Nketiah but not good enough to replace Jesus. Unless Arteta plans to change our style of play in Jan or next summer when we currently in first, Toney seems like square peg round hole.

jwl

“Pep Guardiola is the architect of modern football …”

Pep got everyone trying out fancy systems meanwhile he gone with Haaland to win champs league and everyone else farting around false nines and inverted fullbacks.

raptora

RCB/RB Saliba, White, Tomiyasu, Timber Four players for 2 positions is the ideal amount. The problem is Tomi is injured and if he gets healthy by January, he’ll be going to the Asian Cup and who knows, he might get injured in there again… Timber just had a massive injury and we can’t know how well and fast he’ll be up to speed. Benny Blanco is reliable and so is Saliba but if one of them is out we might have to play Cedric if he even stays beyond January (I doubt it but who knows). Our left flank is… Read more »

Rich

Away to Porto Wednesday 21st, sandwiched between Burnley away Sat 17th, and Newcastle home Sat 24th

Porto home Tuesday 12th March

Sandwiched between Brentford Home Sat 9th, and Chelsea home 16th March… Which could be moved if we’re in the draw for FA Cup Quarter Final.

salparadisenyc

Just realising we play Liverpool 3 times in our next 7 games.

Mikel Coneteta

“Haaland, Osimhen and who else is on this list that going to score goals regularly and is worth changing our current system for?“ I’m not following how an Ivan Toney requires a system change? Jesus roams like there’s no tomorrow which has its benefits, but there’s also a lack of presence in the box because of that. I’ve lost count of the number of time Martinelli or Saka have it wide and cut in with crosses that are hopeful more than anything. Toney would be immense for such situations. Don’t think he changes the dynamics of the side much at… Read more »

MG42

This argument that has been running for a few years now what to do about our forward line and a CF can be easily solved but not in Jan. Arteta is averse to our acadeny players plus he is mediocre in spotting talent and coaching attack lines, Replace Arteta with a competent coach/manager in the summer, job done and we don’t have to depend on the 1:0 wins and giving the majority of fans heart palpitations with a 1 goal lead,

Rich

Rap That’s exactly my line of thinking.. Would have loved Caicedo in for Partey last summer, but at least he didn’t land at Liverpool, he’s the exact profile of midfielder they’re missing. Caicedo could have covered No6, No8, he could have certainly tucked into midfield from right back, as I seen him do that for Brighton… Possibly into midfield from left back as well. Could you imagine Caicedo doing what Zinchenko does from full back, or the role Partey played at the start of the season, and creating a double pivot with Rice in possession?… We’d have been impossible to… Read more »

Guns of SF

Im sorry but Jesus and Toney would cause some serious problems up front for any team. Not only do we increase our steel, toughness, but actually have someone to occupy defenders, move them out of position. Right now this is not happening
Imagine this…

Aaron

Get another defender, need to rest Saliba and White, they have a high probability of not being able to play all our games without getting a knock. Tomi is out, Timber is not going to be able to help us this year, Rice should not be anywhere near playing cb, and we can’t count on Partey to be fit, and if Ghana advances he is out until mid February at the earliest. Get a damn defender or two, and maybe another player to be rotated in to help Jesus get some rest and recovery, this year! Porto is no joke,… Read more »

Guns of SF

MG42
Not a fan of Mike A myself but at this point its unlikely he leaves.
The team is in last 16 CL, first in EPL

Now if he moves on his own accord that seems more likely but he does seem to love Arsenal

Guns of SF

Aaron
Pedro dropped the scoop when he said that we are in for a defender.
Id also take Toney if FFP allows us to

Buckagh

Decent post Rich

Bertie Mee

Good debate about reinforcements . I write for another blog and after the Villa game I championed the signing of Toney because in the two games we’ve lost we were much the better side but couldn’t score . I personally think Toney is a beast and he bullied Saliba last season in a way nobody else in the league has ( he also bullied Ben White the season before ) . But I went yesterday and it was a very impressive performance that was only slightly marred by our lack of finishing quality . Arteta has a vision of how… Read more »

Guns of SF

Bertie I think the lack of goals is a concern on Mike radar.
We missed the title due to sputtering in later stage games as per usual.
Plus Saliba out killed us.
A defender, striker for me.

Guns of SF

Now I reading we are in for Solanke
Says the click bait

the_jw1

“… we need a Jesus like player but who scores goals regularly, that doesn’t sound like Toney and I have no idea who fits role.”

A shame, but that might’ve been Brian Mbuemo. He projected out to 17G/10A this season at Brentford before his being injured. Same kind of motor as Jesus, and he would have been the same kind of ‘defend up front’ striker– with more clinical finishing.

raptora

Completely agree with everything you said Rich. Zubi is the guy for us. I only worried he wouldn’t want to join us but while a couple of months ago Sociedad were in a very good position in both La Liga and in the CL, now they are sitting 6th in La Liga and just drew PSG in the last 16 round which any way we look at it, PSG are the heavy favorites in that match up. Fighting for top 4 in Spain for yet another season, or coming to a flying Arsenal #1 in the PL and heavily favored… Read more »

raptora

New post.

Un

Rich do you have a job? How do you get the time to compose a fucking novel with such regularly

Bilbo

I really don’t see it with Toney given fee, expected wages Vs my opinion of him as a player. Can anyone who’s a big fan point to something, somewhere where he excels? His stats are average across the board in my view but maybe I’m missing something?

1 11 12 13