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Arsenal fans, we’re a funny bunch. We lost to West Ham and all I see online is people looking for every single stat that marries to the idea that we’re not good enough this season and Arteta has it wrong with his squad.

We’re 18 points worse off than we were last season.

Our non-penalty goals sit below Forest.

The dominance against West Ham, was, in fact, an illusion.

Don’t talk to me about elite mentality of our players if you can’t look at Arsenal sitting two points off the top of the league in December and be slightly confident in our ability to improve from now until the end of the season.

We banged the first half of last season and we faded. We haven’t banged this season and we’re 2nd. We added a new left-side 8, a new keeper, and a new 6. We’ve wrestled with injuries all season.

Yet there’s not a single game you could tell me we deserved to lose.

Every time people write this Arsenal side off, they go one better.

The same folk claiming we’re in dire trouble were the folk who said missing out on top 4 to Conte’s Spurs was the end, that not signing Vlahovic was a death knell, and they probably spent the first chunk of this season claiming Kai was the worst signing in our history.

There’s too much of a market for claiming the Arsenal project ain’t right. People are far too quick to tell you 40 points halfway through the season isn’t good enough. As fans, we spend too much time worrying about how good everyone else is instead of marveling at what we’re building.

Where are those that said United would bang? Where are those that kept ringing the alarm bells over the progress of Newcastle? How about those in a frantic panic over Chelsea? We forget about them.

Arsenal have problems at the moment, no doubt. But they are luxury problems. We have a system that is producing the desired outcome. Namely, we’ve gone from struggling to create chances earlier in the season, to creating chances that aren’t being taken.

Now, there are a few ways I would break down the chance-taking issue.

Underperforming Talent

You can’t ignore the reality of some of our fave young players – they aren’t doing it like they were last season. Saka hasn’t hit 5th gear, Martinelli is delivering nowhere near the output this season, Gabriel Jesus is a massive disappointment in front of goal, and Trossard ain’t quite there. Kai has only just started to find the back of the net – no doubt his height and power would have been useful in that West Ham game.

So here’s the faith part of this issue: Do you believe that is a talent issue – or do you believe it’s a form issue?

If it’s talent, we’re doomed.

If it’s form, that can switch in a heartbeat.

Talent Issue

Too many people spent the Gabriel Jesus summer that I called ‘Tall Boy Summer’ telling me that it didn’t matter that for 75% of the prior season Jesus played for City, he was tracking BEHIND Lacazette.

‘Umm, actually, that’s not really his game’

Great, well, we’re now in a situation 2 seasons on where our main striker spends most of his time anywhere bar occupying the centre forward position. That’s not to devalue the greatness of Jesus, but it is a reminder that City shipped him out, and Pep won the title by signing a finishing monster.

Eddie Nketiah, a fine player, but his number one attribute as a young player was hitting the target. He doesn’t do that often enough when he’s given ample chances. If anything, he’s become too similar to Jesus. The team functions well with him in it, but he doesn’t offer anything different in terms of profile.

We also have another glaring weakness -> We re-signed Reiss Nelson to a long-term deal, and as I said all last summer, Arteta doesn’t really fancy him. We preserved the value of a player no club had tried to sign in 5 years. This year, his minutes have been fleeting, and pretty unimpressive.

The result of both of the above problems is there is no pressure on Jesus or Saka when they play badly, there’s nothing to come off the bench that truly threatens, and we’re an injury away from having a very long-term bland replacement to either that wouldn’t help us to the title or Champions League.

So what’s the answer?

Arsenal’s for has gone from starting the season with low chance creation, low output. To high chance creation, low output.

You can look at it pre and post Wolves game. This analysis from Billy is great.

The form has to turn. Big players need to step up. Arteta needs to find a way to get people back into the swing of things in front of goal.

We’re either a team that overperformed expected goals scored last season (+11.49) because our players are top-class – or we’re a team that outperformed expected goals last season because we were lucky.

If we were lucky and scoring less non-penalty goals than Forest this season is where we are – we’re in trouble. If my hunch is correct, we’re just going through a rut. It’s the same rut that has us conceding goals with less that 3 shots on target far too regularly considering our impressive defence. I don’t think high chance creation with this team will always deliver low goal output. Just like I don’t believe every team that has 3 shots on target will score at least one goal.

We also have to get real about the talent gap. Arsenal lack a killer. We need an output machine as a striker, but deeper than that, we need someone who wants to play there, occupy defenders, and be an absolute monster for us like Haaland is at City.

We also need someone who can fight Saka for minutes. I would favor a pace terrier over anything, but that pace has to have a brain, and a taste for output. Who can be our Jota? I want more players in the side that have that Mo Salah lust for scoring goals.

I heard one of the reasons Arsenal signed Reiss down to a new deal was that he offers unstructured play in a very structured system. That’s great for coming on in the last 20 when we’ve explored all our other choreographies. Not so good long-term. Is it possible for Arsenal to sign a player with a bit of that Robin Van Persie WHAT THE HELL! Who knows. But I feel like we lack a bit of wow factor in attack sometimes.

So what is NOT the answer?

To panic.

Arsenal dominated West Ham in every single way bar the goal. If we score in the first 5 minutes, they give up, and we hammer them. Instead, they take an incredibly lucky, and ride out an improbable win.

Those games happen in football. If you played the same game tomorrow, we’d win 3-0. Our approach is to control games, create chances, and win points. We do that… a lot. West Ham defended well (because they didn’t concede), but don’t tell me Moyes is looking at that performance as standout… because letting a team have 30 attempts at goal with 8 shots on target, 5 of those chances classified as BIG CHANCES, is not great. Letting Arsenal break the record for most touched in the box without scoring isn’t a ‘hell yes boys’ moment. They were lucky. Play that game 100 times again and we win it 99 of them.

So back to Context FC.

If we win tomorrow, we’ll exit the year the same as we did the last: top.

The answer to our current ‘nearly top of the league’ crisis is for top quality players to shake themselves out of the scoring rut they are in and be more ruthless in front of goal.

There’s also one more area that gives a little bit of promise: We’re top of the league for errors leading to goals. I think we’re up to 5 this season. We’ve managed to achieve that whilst having the second best defence in the league. Unforced errors can be ironed out of a system. Part of this can be blamed on accidents and I’m sure part of it can be apportioned to new players learning a new system (Raya has 2). As the system bakes into people’s brains, the hope is great players stop making horrible errors.

Sharpen the finishing, stop conceding from 3 shots on target, and we’ll be right up there come the end of the season.

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

P.S. Thomas Partey definitely out until AFCON, but hopefully there might be good news elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’m BACK in America. Podcasts will resume. I’ll get the e-mailer setup again as people have been requesting it. We are go, go, go for 2024.

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Zinchenko is not a bad player, in fact I feel he might be better than Reiss and Tross on the left wing.

I think he is also as good if not better than Ode at creating chances as an attacking mid.

However as a fullback he is definitely suspect.

Problem is Tomi also struggles when pressed(eg. Burnley first goal).


Graham “How many first team minutes has Nelson played since that wonder goal? Does someone have the answer?” Not many that’s for sure. How many starts has Eddie had since his hattrick over 2 months ago… The answer is one and his replacement has played 8 games as striker and the team has only been ahead in 3 of those games whilst he has been on the pitch.. Wolves 2-1 Luton 4-3 Brighton 1-0. The other 5 are Chelsea 2-1 down Villa 1-0 Brentford 0-0 Liverpool1-1 West ham 2-0 down Must be incredibly frustrating to score a hattrick and still… Read more »


Finally, a full 18 months later, we come to the realisation that Jesus is NOT an elite striker. But rather a very very good player across the first line. Eddie, isn’t even that. Neither is he a good back up option FOR a team with title winning aspirations. Yes, we need to lace both the above notions with the caveat that we are making those statement because we aspire to win the title. Independently, Jesus and Eddie are both good players and great lads. But ruthless goal scorers they are not. Also, pedro you went through an entire article of… Read more »


@aasim…Great post


It is true that our build up play is pedestrian which doesn’t help the striker, our play is designed to get our wide men on the ball. If you look back at our chances and goals this season, very few come through the middle or from a quick early ball over the top.. Jesus 3rd goal v united …assist Vieira Havertz goal v Brighton ..assist Eddie Maybe Eddie goal v fulham …assist Vieira Eddie 3rd goal v shef utd …assist smith rowe. From memory I cant think of any other goals scored with an early ball or centrally The fact… Read more »


Now let’s get to the brass and tacks. We are not getting Toney in January because Arteta has spent us into trouble and Brendford won’t sanction another loan because it’s illegal to have 2 players on loan from the same club. So what are our options? Very simple – buy a cheap epl ready striker or get an epl striker/target man on loan for 6 months, and then reevaluate in the summer. Luckily we have strikers who may not be top top notch but I’m absolutely sure will help us in the meantime and fits the above description. An EPL… Read more »


Aasim excellent post but Rice is not a transition monster which is in part why our play through the middle is now so slow. Out transition monster is Partey who is unfortunately not fit and if he was not sure where Arteta would play him. Rice is an elite defensive midfielder and a play break up monster which is why we are still at the top of the table despite poor attacking output.


Olise would of been the perfect replacement for Mahrez both similar in play not output obviously. Olise wouldn’t come to Arsenal with Saka hogging the right side. Saka has no competition at all.


That is a great one Pedro! And a realistic one too. I hope for a big win today, like scoring four goals and a clean sheet


Our football in the champions league has been more expansive , more entertaining and the goals scored are of a higher quality than the league.


Since left back is a problem and Zinch anyways doesn’t play there why don’t we change the system to a 3-5-2 and augment the strikers dept to occupy the central space more by playing 2 strikers. Why not try different things and look at ways to score. Anyways we always start the attack with a back 3. GK always sweeps up and Rice tends to drop into backline when we start the attack.


Style of play doesn’t bother me so much. We had years of gorgeous football under Wenger which I was fortunate enough to witness. Unfortunately what those teams often lacked (towards the end) was intestinal fortitude. In the end, perhaps some of us grew tried of a lack of backbone and an inevitable collapse where it truly mattered. Despite the way the last 2 seasons have ended under Arteta, I do feel that he has it in him to win us trophies, more in a George Graham style than a flamboyant Wenger style. I’ll happily return to somewhat sterile victories if… Read more »


” the winger we ABSOLUTELY should be after in the summer is Olise. Boy is already so good you just need to watch him. ”

100%…I actually think he could play a similar role to Cole palmer at Chelsea more centrally, picking up the ball in pockets of space and running at defenders…


That’s not a good idea
Saka and martinelli are already over burdened


No way Reiss will be focused knowing his friend Sancho is enjoying dancing with Cocainna.

We will struggle to get rid of him.


I am starting to like Oliseh more and more with his languid style of play. Will be a good player in a top side one day.



I’ m not upset, I’m devistated. Finishing second to Leicester proved that, after 2010, Wenger’s “title chellanges” were an imitation.

This season, Arteta may ultimately decide to prioriotize Europe over the domestique league. Our squad players are not ready to step up, for us to play two games a week, as the subpar results over the busy Christmas period showed.


We should sign Olise to play CF, he can do what Jesus has failed to do. Better than Firminho.

X haka

How many are we thinking Solanke scores at Spurs today?


When he’s on it he’s just unstoppable. He can play both wings and even be the playmaker. He’ll bring a lot of unpredictability to our attack unlike now when teams can train ahead of time knowing Saka is gonna play right and Marti left. The predictability of our attack is as down to our rigid style as it is to the habit of using the same players every time.


Same song.
If we keep passing up these players because of our established players we won’t love forward. Saka has dipped. He’ll get injured one way or another. Or need rest. The same goes for Martinelli and Odegard. Olise should be fighting all of them for their positions. One of our biggest problems is that we have a trusted front 3 and nothing else. Liverpool and ManCity have front 6 that they can change as they will.


Move forward, not love forward


Un we have to try different to have more presence in the box.
Managers are like CEOs they have a shelf life. That’s why Wenger staying for so long was a problem. Winning nothing an d staying for 10 yrs is too much and if that hasn’t taught us anything then we are not learning. It’s important to get in fresh ideas both in coaching and players. What is the shelf life of a manager is the decision of owners in the current setup.


Personally I’d gladly sell martinelli or move him to 9 and bring in the Georgian kid at Napoli who’s name I can’t spell
He’s low block proof and far more skilful and unpredictable


I am expecting Saka, Jesus, Ode and Rice to fade in the second half as all of them played full 90 just 2 days ago.

Although professional athletes they are still human.

Fulham will likely press instead of sitting deep which will make it even more difficult.


The managers who survive, evolve. Alex Ferguson once said: “If you don’t change your team every 5 years, then they’ll change you”… Ferguson + Pep, don’t just churn their squads, they churned their coaching staff as well There’s a fine line between stability + cohesion, and stagnation + malaise… And it’s always better to be proactive changing things up from a position of strength, rather than reactive from a position of weakness. Football and football narrative can change very quickly… We’re not going to have a manager for 20 + years again, but as things stand, I’d have no interest… Read more »


Agree no need to panic, I have faith in Arteta working things through. Interesting point about Reiss and unstructured play – personally I think that’s our main issue – too choreographed and predictable in our build up, leaves us needing something special to finish chances. More unstructured play, or call it chaos or simply invention makes it harder for teams to organise and appt a block. I think the players we have can play with more chaos around the box, will just obviously take more time. That said, I do think Martinelli is very predictable in his play, I’d prefer… Read more »



This when football was still partially populated by actual men, who remembered their roots
Not any more
Spoiled little boys now across the board


Totally agree
Martinelli would be easier to defend against then Saka for me


The sad thing about YouTube videos is that they don’t show you how utterly dominant players like vieira Henry Adams cesc and rvp were
How our midfield in 07-11 destroyed teams
How terrified Barca were of Theo and how we actually had them on the back foot for such large periods of our bouts during that period
How Hleb cesc jack and rosicky would conduct games like an orchestra and teams couldn’t get near the football for weeks and weeks
They missed the greatest era of football and can only catch glimpses
That’s sad


The January window is difficult, there’s talk Spurs are in for Gallagher at £35 million. That would likely be the signing of the window, he’s been Chelsea’s best player this season, coming into a good age + level of experience. Would be a really tough pill for Chelsea fans to swallow, they’ve got plenty of quality in Caicedo, and in the little I’ve seen of Chukwuemeka, Palmer, + Lavia, they look quality But Gallagher is their most experienced midfielder, think he’s got more minutes than that lot combined. He’d be an excellent option to provide cover/competition for Ødegaard + Havertz.… Read more »


Chelsea aren’t selling Gallagher this January.
The note that they’ll let him go for £35. Million. makes no sense considering what they got for Havertz and Mason Mount


Rich Ferguson + Pep, don’t just churn their squads, they churned their coaching staff as well This is something I wish / I hope Arteta does. He actually needs someone who can can challenge him a little but and push him to make bolder decisions, such as with subs in game (make them earlier for example). Arteta is a young manager and should not be afraid of seeking an alternative perspective. The best right hand men are those who know how to politely challenge an idea and come up with an alternative idea that is equally good. If Arteta wants… Read more »


Team news?
Havertz back no doubt
Probably same old tactics, need to score first we struggle otherwise


Well, due to the Eurostar chaos yesterday, I am now having to travel today.

This means that I am now going to end up not being able to watch the game live (well stream it live) as I was hoping to do.

Thankfully, Arseblog live will once again come to the rescue.

psuedo warrior

Arteta definitely has a stigma against using substitutions and squad players. Klopp and Pep are far more trusting with their squads.


SSN live game thread has a post titled:

Can Fulham end the year on a high?

I certainly hope they don’t.

We absolutely need to win this game to make up for the aberration of our loss on Thursday.

It’s all very good having X number of shots on goal. But if we can’t convert them, what is the point?

So for me, a good solid drubbing of Fulham today should be the doctor’s orders to get our mojo back on track to our winning ways.

Come on lads, let’s show them what we’re made of!!!

Come on you Gooners!!!!


Kiwior and Eddie start
Tomi on bench


Team to play today:



Would drive those who covet creativity + flair insane… But the PL is turning into a big physical scrap. Rich so d we follow the trend or set a new trend combining flair skill and creativity with power and hard work? Name me your favourite players of all time and I’ll bet guys like Connor Gallagher or Havertz don’t feature Name your favourite teams of all time and I’ll bet they were magic with the ball or allowed their creative players freedom to perform magic Nobody remembers the chelsea side of 2010 because it was fucking dull and boring No… Read more »


Zinchenko injured rather than dropped.


Martinelli again? 🤦🏻‍♂️


Raya again….
The return of ray aaaaaaahhhhh

Anything can happen

psuedo warrior

Jesus dropped



So Havertz is back which is a good thing to help us:

Keep the middle solid

And push us forward fo create even more chances to score.

And nice to see Eddie up top.

I genuinely hope that he can score us some goals today to help make a selection headache for Tets.


The squad and staff need to 1st win titles before we talk about churning or managers like Pep or red nose.

For now Generational is just Villas Boas levels.


Eddies is like playing with ten men.
Won’t win

Ernest Reed

Confirmed Line-up…Proper changes to address clear weaknesses that keep getting exposed.


You can’t play Eddie Havertz and Martinelli together
Too many low touch players attacking the same areas
That Marian’s Odegaard Saka will have to create and they will be easier to defend against
Not a good selection for me


Sorry but Eddie nketiah starting up front for arsenal is a joke…..don’t care how bad Jesus form is he is a fucking better footballer than Eddie……


The shit Eddie gets from this place is shameful
It;s not like the starter is an Aguero like goal scorer. Jesus has 3 league goals and he’s been just as shite for a while too.

Give the lad an opportunity, at least until the club decides to sell him to fund a rebuild of the forward line.


Eddie hat trick incoming.


SpanishDave Our biggest problem at the moment is scoring goals. We won’t get a CF in Jan unless Brentford cave in and sell us Toney which I doubt will happen. So until then, we need someone who can. Eddie has not been given as much time as Jesus so far this season up front. So it would be nice to see Eddie given a run out up front in the PL to prove his worth. For me, Jesus is a winger more than a CF atm, so we need someone who has a little more instinct. Eddie seems to have… Read more »


He has had hundreds of opportunities and not grasped them how many more until we realise he just isn’t good enough?????



Lump on..


Let me pat myself on the back.

The two problematic players I pinpointed that we need to improve on

LB and Striker -> Zinchenko and Jesus – both benched

It’s been obvious for a while.

Happy Mikel finally gonna try to do something about it.


Should also have dropped Martinelli for ESR.
Or put ESR right wing and Martinelli at ST instead of Nketiah.



Well said

Put some respect on the man’s name…
Let him have a run in the team


Has Jesus been any better?
That’s old lie about Jesus making our forward line play better has been exposed for what it is


Kwolior can make the spot his own…
Sell zinny in summer if we can

Freddie Ljungberg


Key word is improve.

Not sure this is an improvement. Zinny is injured anyway so that’s a forced rotation. Doubt Arteta would have benched him volutarily no matter how bad he is defensively.


Jesus has shots saved
Eddie scores on the rebound

Ernest Reed

It would have been disheartening for Arteta to continually persist with what is clearly no longer working. Squad rotation remains vital and this game presents a clear opportunity to do just that. I for one can no longer watch Zinchenko’s defensive liabilities on dos[lay as it’s obvious he has no business starting at back. As for Eddie, at least he offers structure and doesn’t run around the pitch like a headless chicken falling down at the slightest touch. Seriously, how back can he really be, he,leads the team in scoring FFS!

Left Testicle

Make no mistake – if Zinchenko had been fit MA would have selected him.

Ernest Reed

Another nice change would have been Ramsdale over Raya, as Raya is going to be good for a howler or two. There is zero improvement on Raya playing, it’s like watching 2 and 2a rather that a clear #1.

Titles are often won on goalkeeping, keep that in your pocket.


Some interesting matchups
Saka vs Robinson
Marti vs Castagne
Willian vs White

Ernest Reed

Have a feeling that Arteta is up for another yellow today. He was far too docile the other day.

Habesha Gooner

Eddie starting. When he is the last time he made a contribution in an away game? Bournemouth may be. He is average. I would rather play Jesus till he comes back to form rather than him. Jesus was great at Aston villa and Luton. He wasn’t great at pool but no forward had a great game there either. He was poor at Westham. He is 10 times the player Eddie is. Expect an anonymous performance from Eddie.


I can see Arsenal struggling to get a win at Fulham today.


Jesus has never had any form as a striker.


Eddie hasn’t scored away for a year…..I get it he doesn’t play every week but cone on…….


Havertz up top
Jesus wide
ESR in the middle
I’d like to see it


“ He (Jesus) is 10 times the player Eddie is.”

This one made me laugh, considering the fact Jesus falters to deceive in that number 9 spot

The way people. Talk about Jesus you would think he was an Aguero or Salah kind of finisher

I would have played Jesus on the left, instead or Martinelli.

psuedo warrior

“He is 10 times the player Eddie is.”

Fvck off with this bs


Eddie starting. When he is the last time he made a contribution in an away game?”

This season

Scored v psv away in his last start .

Brought down for a pen away to palace …the only goal of the game
Brought down for a penalty away to Bournemouth…all important 2nd goal..
Assist for reiss nelson away to Brentford in the league cup ..

Last 12 months
Averaging 2.1 points per game with Eddie starting as striker.

Averaging 1.5 points with jesus starting as striker

Nothing to worry about playing a striker who guarantees more points per game.


I think Fulham. Match us very well, man for man
Palhina counters Rice’s industry
Leno is a good shot stopper

Another tough game to come

Good thing is we have sine variety in the bench and Havertz’s runs to the box will pose an extra threat.


It’s a bit dispiriting to see he’s not trying to freshen things up here
He has options and alternatives to inject ore threat and variety into our attacking play
Fulham are gonna sit
What good is martinelli today playing wide? He’s going to have another stinker
Jesus trossard and ESR are the most skillful players in our team in tight spaces yet all 3 are on the bench



I would swap Martinelli up top for Havertz.

Martinelli will thrive as a 9.

Now that front line will have what it takes to unlock defences.


Cmon Eddie

All knowledgeable Arsenal fans are behind you.


At least try it
Try something new
Not just throwing Eddie in whe he’s poor away from home



I know, I know.

The problem is Arteta is so risk averse with trying something really different that the day we will get to see a different set up that will not have his favourites in the first XI, will be akin to a miracle.


New Post


A tough game awaits us
We need Martinelli to at least show that he has a pulse




Come on The Arsenal!!!


Get in?


That’s more like it coyg!!!


GET IN LETS GOO!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our football has gotten so slow and boring this season


Keeper at fault again…



We are very predictable


Wetin dey happin?


Since Rambo dropped defence looks iffy…very iffy


Ode is so far off the pace he is playing terrible


Wtf? Our defence is shocking, our passing is terrible and we are painfully slow. Wake up! I want to see bloodbath in the second hal


What is his umbridge with the left back position…
He should focus on up front


Our defenders cannot follow anyone, what the fuck has happened to this team? We need to change formation and sub iff fir instance Saka, he is eaten up by that rookie left back


And we thought the WHU loss was painful


Well there you go…..

As Pedro himself used to say, you can only ignore what your eye is telling you for so long. He used to say this when Emery was having his unbeaten run, and then post that when we tanked.

And the our gameplay, our build up has been an eye sore. It’s pedestrian, it’s predictable it’s laborious, slow and it’s catching up with us. And I’m afraid that style of play has nothing to do with the players. It’s down to the manager. And his safety first approach.