by .

Thomas Partey has officially been omitted from the Ghana squad. Chris Hughton weighed up the severity of his operation, the reality that he has no form to speak of, and the worry that rehabbing him during an international comp might break the player and ruin his chances of winning a trophy.

This is the most unexpected smart decision of 2024 so far, no doubt.

So there are some layers to this:

  1. If something new happened with his recovery, then this is not good news for us. My understanding was Arsenal were working to get him fit for AFCON. So the fact he’s not going is a surprise because that hasn’t been the plan
  2. If it’s just a case of caution and Partey is on a similar schedule to before, then he could be ready for Palace or at the latest, Forest.

Whatever the scenario, having him rehabbing with Arsenal is massive. Great pitches, brilliant facilities, the best minds in the world working with him, and no chance he’ll be sneaking out to nightclubs with his international teammates.

I have said this before: There is no better midfielder in the world to bring into this side than a fit Thomas Partey.

The internet has been a very downbeat place since the Fulham loss. Fans don’t seem to be able to process pain these days, so every dip is catastrophic.

This post from Bhavs summed it up.

Now, you can tell me that you don’t want to hear about underlying data, but the reality of the game these days is judgements by all the top clubs are made as much on underlying data as they are on actual output. Emery’s new Arsenal contract was yanked from Raul’s hand because of underlying data and that was the correct decision. Klopp was signed by Liverpool after a shocking end to his Dortmund career because underlying data said he’d been very unlucky.

Underlying data will almost always get you closer to the truth about performance. You can talk about the Liverpool on-paper score from yesterday and deduce that it was a close game that was decided by a horrible penalty call. Or you could look at the absolutely disgusting Newcastle metrics to ascertain that Liverpool was UNLUCKY with their scoring output after generating 7.87 xG.

Can we just quickly speak to this: Wow, Newcastle have totally collapsed since they got lucky against us. Players seem to have given up. They were monsters the past two seasons, now they look midtable average. What has Eddie Howe done?

Back to it:

Arsenal is a team in a mini-transition. We lost Xhaka, Partey, and Aaron Ramsdale this season and we’ve brought in new players who have had to adapt to our new system. A system that Arteta tweaked after the Wolves game to get more chance creation into the system. We were in a great position heading into the West Ham game, our xG deserved a win, but we lost, and the wind was taken out of our sails, which probably fed into the dreadful performance against Fulham.

5 points off top. We’re underperforming our xG by 8, Liverpool are overperforming by 8. Arsenal are bang on for their xPts, Liverpool are 6.21 better off than they should be.

Arsenal is chasing Liverpool. They have difference makers that means they’ll likely overperform xG all season. Though I’ll put money down on that blowing up at some point. They don’t feel like title-winners to me. They are very open and literally everything has rolled for them this season. It’s not the same Liverpool from a few years ago. Still very, very raw.

We outperformed our points expectation by 11 last year. The difference this season is the system is still bedding in with new players – and I don’t think our ‘share the goals around’ approach has quite clicked this season.

It has to. It will. We just have to get our ‘trust the process’ hats on again instead of worrying about all the ways this could fail. This young team always confounds expectations, this manager always finds a way, Arsenal is going through football hell at the moment, and they need to keep on going. There is a Promised Land at the end of this.

Arsenal needs to sell this January, though I am struggling to work out who is going to leave. Someone told me they were speaking to a relative of Aaron Ramsdale and they don’t think he’s going anywhere as it stands. He’s a big asset for us, so that’s a worry. The West Ham ex-employee guy is saying that David Moyes has an interest in taking Reiss Nelson in the next 6 months. That would be massive, doubt the fee will be what we want, but let’s move him on because Arteta doesn’t like him and we need to find someone he has time for. Emile Smith Rowe is getting zero love, he should go, he feels like an Aston Villa signing, but there’s little chatter right now. Eddie is being linked to Palace, just not sure we’re go knowing we’ll not get a replacement in. Ivan Toney will be the chosen one and there’s simply no way Brentford would sell a £60m player for a £40m premium if that meant them losing Premier League status.

The best thing Arsenal can do this January is not sign anyone.

Fans chase these pipedreams that signings this month can make a difference. They never do, at least not at the top of the table. The value is in the summer market. That has proved out time and time again. Anyone peddling that deep squad changes in January make a difference are picking outliers. We cannot be Manchester United signing Wout Weghorst. Money is finite, and we do not have the squad space to land a waste man. Arsenal already has the problem of Arteta refusing to trust the players he’s signed off on. Panic buys set the project back, we need to be forward-thinking and we need to lean on Arteta to figure this out without going Manchester City on the problem.

Partey will come back into midfield and offer us a double pivot from heaven and slightly more ambitious progressive passes from deep. I don’t want to see him as a right-back.

Tomiyasu is now fit; maybe he’ll drop from Asia Cup? If not, he’ll be back in the mixer in a few weeks and he’s on fire this season.

Timber will hopefully touch grass this month, then the countdown is for him to be back by late March. He was such a massive piece of Arteta’s plans this season, don’t underestimate what a body blow it was to lose him.

If we can get to the winter break without any new injuries, Arteta can spend time rebooting confidence and the system. The key to a prolonged challenge is to cut out the errors, trust that we’ve fixed the defensive aspects of our game, and work on our confidence in the final third.

We’re gonna be alright.

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

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This is great news that Partey is not joining the Ghanaian squad for the Afcon.

I think the plan here is to have him play our CL games and some of our key PL games.

If we can keep him going when needed all while wrapping him up in cotton wool, we have a strong chance of going far in the CL (semi-final) and for the PL, in the top 4.

We definitely have the players to make something happen.

So having Partey back will be very, very welcome for our end of the season run.


The reality is Arteta is a coach and not a manager
Too much power
Too much say
You lobbied against this set up under wenger for years and we are worse of now than we were with him
£700m spent and back at square one only with boring football


Don’t think Partey or anyone else gonna help us win the league this year…be nice to try though by nicking Mbappe!!!. Think most Arsenal fans see the prob isn’t the players……there’s no chance really when you hav a manager who goes to the lengths of inverting Kiwior and Tomi in the same game because he simply has no other ideas. Would love to see how far this team could go with De Zerbi. He might bring Mitoma with him and then turn Marti into a world class CF!! Bet LB and RB would be the first 2 positions he’dd address.… Read more »

X haka

The reality is Arteta is a coach and not a manager
Too much power
Too much say


Nothing has changed at the club, we have gone from Wenger ruling the roost and everything he says stands to Arteta doing exactly the same.

Arteta has very quickly surrounded himself with the Yes men, Wenger liked as well.

when Mick departs, we will need to have a whole new structure and all the turmoil and rebuild will start again.

We are already seeing, the Arteta In/Out from the fanbase, like it was before.


People asking for Zinch to be played as LCM, this will not happen as Arteta wants an additional man in the midfield and hence the inverting strategy from full backs. Even if Zinch plays as LCM full back will Invert.
Are we going into 5th is a Trophy narrative as we are discussing CL coefficient and possibility of 5th qualifying for CL.

Belfast Gooner

Graham 62, 80% possession also means nothing if most of it is in your own half and the rest of it is playing sideways and backwards. I don’t think it matters who Arteta signs. If he makes them conform to this rigid, pedestrian, uninspiring way of playing, they will experience the same difficulties as those he wants to replace. What needs to change is the way we play, so we can get much more out of the talent we already have. I was hoping Partey would be sold back in the summer. There was interest in him, at the time… Read more »


@X haka – the most efficient form of govt in the world is a good dictator/king. Having power is not an issue if you’re a good manager. We don’t want to hamstring ourselves with “too many cooks” if he’s the right guy.


The Partey injury situation is clear as mud. If he is available/ will be soon, hopefully we can nurse him back slowly as in Feb/Mar we have Liverpool, Chelsea and City in the league as well as both legs of the CL vs Porto.


I think Partey has other issues and basically has given up football.
Players can easily fake injuries or make a meal about effects.
Something is going on.
Arteta and Edu are not that good, very average managers

X haka

Having power is not an issue if you’re a good manager. We don’t want to hamstring ourselves with “too many cooks” if he’s the right guy. Well Wenger was the right guy once and then we had to rebuild to the whims of Arteta. I think Arteta has peaked and other coaches have found him out We have not beaten Fulham and West Ham this season, thats four games. They all know how we play, they also know Zin is weak defensively and the goalkeeper is poor, Last season, we did surprise teams , but other teams have sussed us.… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Joseph Goebbles would be embarrassed by the spin being generated. Partey is a good player…when fit, and he ain’t fit, ergo, he is a waste of a squad place and keeps people in business quoting X fucking G stats to justify having a player who is accused of rape on the books. You simply cannot be classed as a great player if you don’t play. This is my issue with Wiltshire who is regularly quoted on here as being a god level player. He played a very good 45 mins against Barca and you lot lost your mind. Other than… Read more »


I don’t think Partey will play another game for Arsenal. Probably had a fall out with Arteta.


Pedro is irredeemable, he’s lost, sold his soul to Arteta cult. What’s your price, pedro?

X haka

We have a manager who doesn’t know how to get out of trouble. Dark days Wenger did the same. Picked the same players that let him down hoping they would eventually come good. Arteta is doing the same but doesn’t have the same gravitas that Arsene had. Or the class. Or the madness. Arteta hasn’t earned time. He should be gone by May.

So damn good.


Gambling our season on Partey staying fit, seems incredibly risky. We now have 3.5 seasons sample size, the best we can likely hope for is intermittent brilliance, hope he can take a few games from Rice at some stage, and be fit for a few of the bigger games. My biggest concern about Partey wasn’t his just own absences, more that prolonged absences would mean we’ll end up running Rice into the ground, and risk banjaxing him as well. I like Tomi, he’s the ideal squad defender…. But can’t believe we’re renewing on improved terms over the medium term…. Not… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Even the moron Rich has hit on a good point. Handing another contract to a dude that isn’t a superstar or has been fit for three years is crackers. Simply crackers.

This was Arsene. And now it’s Arteta. The overriding correlation has to be the club. A club that is not paying attention and giving away too much control to a manager.



Rich You’ must have written at least a dozen wordy posts about Arsenal getting Lavia to replace Partey. At the time, I’m sure you were feeling very erudite Romeo Lavia has played a massive 32 minutes for Chelsea , he played against Wolves after Boxing Day and is out injured again The Partey that you love malign, for fitness has played 251 minutes for Arsenal in the league this season Ffs stop pretending that you have any unique expertise in this Partey availability business. If the club had listened to you we would have Lavia, who so far, has been… Read more »


No doubt Partey will come back… Play brilliantly, the same idiots will declare “Why would we sell Partey, he’s brilliant”…

A bit harsh calling Arteta, Edu, Josh, and Stan idiots for not selling Partey, wouldn’t you say?


It would be Hara Kiri of Chelsea sold Gallagher to a Big Ange Spurs set up
It would be like rocket fuel to spurs .

I wish we had some loose change around
Declare a loss on Viera and replace him with Gallagher


Remember that Rich wanted Lavia to replace Partey
Lavia hardly kicked a ball this season
Remember that next time Rich deploys self generated righteous anger, calling people “idiots” for daring to have a different opinion from him



I never once write about Arsenal signing Lavia, stop talking shit.

I had no opinion either way… The players I wanted was Rice + Caicedo, or Rice + Zubimendi.



Why are you lying and making up shit?…

Either produce 1 post where I said I wanted Arsenal to sign Lavia, or retract your bull shit.

You won’t find a single post, because I was never on that bandwagon, I wasn’t for or against it.

I know you struggle with this… But there’s also a huge difference between players getting injuries, which are inevitable.

And the same players repeatedly breaking down with muscular injuries.


Not selling Partey, who’s muscles and hamstrings are made from chewing gum, obviously a completely idiotic decision.
Unlike playing him at RB with a full compliment of players available, which was completely reasonable of course.


Most posters when accused of posting something they haven’t either say they didn’t or just laugh it off.
Rich demands a retraction and a formal apology.



If Dissenter is dreaming about me writing at least a dozen wordy posts, that simply don’t exist…. I just hope there’s no peanut butter involved in those dreams or fantasies,


He should be gone by May.

Prediction for 2024? Good chance of it happening? If AFC do not finish in the top4 – probably.


John Cross 54m Thomas Partey was always expected to miss the rest of 2023 and AFCON. No setback just a long recovery from an injury which needed surgery. I think people forget with his injuries and drop off in form, just how good he was at start of 2022/23. Ben Jacobs 8m Crystal Palace interest in Eddie Nketiah is genuine. Club also still considering PSG’s Hugo Ekitike. Nordsjælland’s Ibrahim Osman also one to watch, with Brighton the other club looking. But #AFC view Nketiah as part of their plans. Offers won’t be entertained unless Arsenal find another striker in January… Read more »


Apparently reduced attendance at home games is happening at several clubs, not just Arsenal. And home gates are rising in Championship division. Same for Italian clubs, No VAR in lower divisions, that’s why.

I no longer attend matches but if I did, I would stop going. Because of VAR, you see. Sitting in an armchair watching TV waiting for a decision is fine, even exciting, But not in a stadium.

My bet is that the elite Clubs will demand the curtailment of VAR, or dropping it entirely for next season.

Positive pete

Club seem determined to keep Nketiah? Or they’re being crafty to drive up the price? Much like everyone else.ZzIncluding Brentford/ Toney.
Personally if someone stumps up anything around the £35 million mark.Grab it Sharpish & get busy with what we need & stop f**** about.

James wood



Fabrizio Romano
🚨🔴⚪️ EXCL: Arsenal are advancing to final stages of negotiations for Takehiro Tomiyasu’s new long term contract with salary rise. It’s getting closer.

Enjoy this one too

Guns of Hackney

James Wood

98% correct.

The other 2% is anomalies. 👍

Guns of Hackney

Crowds are quiet because no standing. That’s defo no.1 reason. Second is all ticket. That blows. Crowds need different people in to make it…different. All ticket crowds are boring dicks. Fact. They know each other so no new banter. You can’t rile a crowd unless there’s a reason to be riled. Middle class jerks who can afford £2000 a year seats ain’t getting riled. Know what I mean? You need aggressive people who are drunk and angry. That works. But you need a team that people want to get excited about. We ain’t it. We’re not winning the league, we… Read more »


I love that people enjoy calling Partey a crock. But why has nobody bothered asking why he was so injury-free at Athletico where he played for 7 to 8 years.

Guns of Hackney

He’s a crock now.

Arsenal destroy players. But, Partey was 27 when he stole a living from Arsenal. He may have already hit his limit, physically.


I also think renewing Tomi should have happened in the summer after a clean season from him. If he manages to stay healthy from January all the way to the end of the season, that will be progress made in the quest of proving he’s not a crock. From what we know thus far, I’m sorry but he is a crock until proven wrong. Us renewing him on improved contract etc etc not being sure of his ability to stay injury free long term…. it’s not the right move. I was also being told a month ago “Jesus Christ, raptora… Read more »

larry mccarthy

Guns of Hackney you not been to a game lately ? both ends behind the goals are standing every game. The crowd is quiet because the football is poor..

Thierry Martinelli

We’re bombarded left right & center with all this xG stuff. It was alright a couple of seasons ago but I feel like we’re almost misusing it. We now have xPts and xGA to boot….crazy.
But one thing’s for sure, at the end of the season it’s your position on the table that will matter. Not even an xG of 100 will save Arteta if he delivers nothing ath the end of this season.


I see a player I like’s release clause was supposedly revealed today – Nico Williams, 21 yo Spaniard, winger of Athletic Bilbao. His release clause supposedly is £47.5m. He’s been playing LW this season but is so versatile already. He has about 71 games at RW, 31 games at LW in his career. He can also play at AM but he’s a superb winger. With 3 goals, 8 assists in 15 La Liga games, he’s red hot. He’s an incredible dribbler, he’s fast, he’s crafty. He’ll surely become one of the best wingers in the world. His release clause is… Read more »


Long article on Saka and how brilliant he is.

“Bukayo Saka was one of very few Premier League attackers to play every minute over the festive period, and there is no sign of his manager giving him a rest. But is it time for the Arsenal star to get a break?”

Thierry Martinelli

This is my issue with Wiltshire who is regularly quoted on here as being a god level player. He played a very good 45 mins against Barca and you lot lost your mind. Other than that, he averaged 7 games a season in his career. Waste. Not rated. Sorry.



John Cross Arsenal are prioritising a move for a left back in the January transfer window. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is likely to have to settle for a loan deal but the club have put feelers out to try and make a signing this month with that position their No1 priority this month. Arsenal will not be able to do any big deals in January but are making plans ahead of the summer window with Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi emerging as a key target. __________________________________________________________ I said LB is the most problematic position in the team. The alarms are… Read more »


It’s been long but if you are interested, here’s my take of what’s wrong currently at Arsenal.

Positive pete

James Woods.That’s worrying.What’s more worrying is that you think so.Hmmmmmmmmmm


Larry – something to be said for that. – it feels a little more Graham philosophy and early Wenger – I suppose one big difference- and I’m not taking equilaterals by pace or subtleties of physical contact changes – it was one person and that is the man that is called DENNIS BERGKAMP – take a bow !


Arsenal support has always been on the quiet side. At Highbury the north stand was the noisiest whereas the clock end was known for its banter. Hence the name for Highbury was the library.

Away support was / is different – often very vocal.

Thierry Martinelli

Go easy on the transfer rumours Rap.
I’ll never forget Higuain being spotted at the London airport 😂.
But if I may indulge in the transfer talk, I wouldn’t mind the ex Spurs winger who plays for Sporting. To tired to Google his name
Laimer of RB Leipzig would be a good player for Arteta. Plays RB and CM

Thierry Martinelli

Formerly of RB Leipzig


Alphonso Davies Rap what herbs you smoking?

Guns of SF

Might as well throw in his brother too, Inaki. I wanted him with us a few years back
Maybe we can get a package deal lol


Not sure about the rest but will say moving injury prone Partey to Right back… was a crazy decision with predictable results. Incredible really that it was signed off.


To jwl and MBA thank you for the links 💯 spot on. Said yest why has he gone to this sterile slow ponderous football? Fear? Afraid to win rather than not lose? Stakes too high? Paymasters to satiate (must get top 4?) It’s been awful and turgid watching these last couple of games. Re injuries I wonder? Didn’t under AW, we use a new technique fibre artificial turf dessima 4.0 or something like that which was 90% sand and that affected players and was found to cause impact injuries? Wonder if that’s Bern changed?


Mb apologies bloody premitive txt


“Someone told me they were speaking to a relative of Aaron Ramsdale and they don’t think he’s going anywhere as it stands. He’s a big asset for us, so that’s a worry.” This is absolutely excellent piece of professional journalism. I know someone, who knows someone who met arteta’s gardener pissed in a pub, and he said that arteta is going to barcelona this month, as he heard, while mowing his grass, that arteta was speaking to someone on the phone in Spanish. He doesn’t know that language, but is sure it was about this, because what else? Come on… Read more »


Tony 2 Going out not to lose games or going out to try and win? The consequences of each are totally different. A mindset of not losing centres around a negative philosophy. Stop the opposition, minimise risks. A much slower tempo. Winning breeds positivity and calculated risk taking and leads to a faster more dynamic tempo.. Compare it to tennis and Djokovic. He goes out to stick it out and not lose. The tighter the game becomes, the slower he is between points. Bounces on the serve increase dramatically, he fidget’s more. Federer was a risk taker. Wanted faster tempo… Read more »


Too true
The fear of loosing does affect players and they drop back taking the pressure off the opposing team
Henry put the fear of Christ into teams and they would sit deeper opening up the midfield for Dennis and co to exploit.
Hence the need for a player to press the centre not the wings to open up more chances.
Arteta is so one dimensional and now it’s catching him out.

London gunner

Do you guys honestly think we will win the league followed by my second question at what age were your dropped on your head?


I’ve been saying for most of the season that we have become a George Graham side , which is fine when you are winning but the fans will quickly turn if we hit a poor run of form as the Arsenal fans have been spoilt by the effortless beauty of Arsene Wenger’s football even in his latter years.. Of course there is an over reaction to a couple of defeats , the vultures have been waiting patiently for this moment all season which is a sad indictment on these entitled ” supporters “… Calling for Arteta’s head is ridiculous, I’m… Read more »


The shit will hit the fan if we field a strong team but still lose.


@Pierre “Personally I am confident that we can turn things round, put out our strong team at home to Liverpool at the weekend” Looks to me like that this is what you hope for but it is more wishful thinking than reality. “put out our strongest team” Arteta still doesn’t know that and we the fans are not putting names on the starting XI sheet. On top of that the strongest team against Liverpool after tactical training and implementing a tailor made game plan for them would determine what the strong team would look like that can get us a… Read more »

Brian Muff

MG42 always brings the sunshine.


London gunner – love that. Gutted mate. I am trying to reconcile. I left London a while back – what a proper club we were back in the day. We were a TOP TOP CLUB. Only hope the youngsters can do it cos I’m exit right-did my bit. I will always love the ARSENAL. One TEAM IN LAAAANDON – there’s only …. All the best …


It’s not 2 games lost is it? 4 lost 4 draws and we got lucky few times.
We have been shit since end of last season collapse.
We are clearly going backwards result wise and playing shitty football too.
I don’t think Arteta can change this.
He is very poor manager and tactical novice.
Can’t change system or in game plan.
38 formations in one game bulshit lol


Time for young manager with proven track record and good style of football and real board and CEO.

Where is Sir Chips and Ivan snake Gazidis when you need real leadership lol


We have not lost Ramsdale …

We have let him down.

Arteta wastes money.
He couldn’t coach young lad Pepe..

If he was any good he would have turned him around..

He ain’t no Messiah he’s just a half decent coach.

James wood

The truth certainly hurts some people.
If your enjoying the football played by Arsenal at the moment
then your lying to your self Pete.

Ernest Reed

Two losses on the bounce is not ideal, but rather it’s the shift in style of play that is of concern. Arsenal’s play has always been somewhat predictable, but of late compounded by what appears to be a slowing down and more deliberate passing rather than free-flowing and, at times, explosive speed. Something has changed for certain and it’s too obvious to ignore. Either Arteta is trying to implement something new or it’s something too complex to implement quickly. Either way, it’s got Arteta’s hands on it and reeks of over-tinkering, something that is definitively a trademark for him. Bottom… Read more »


Good call G62 re Novak. Love me tennis. but always preferred the style of a Johnny Mac or Nastase (although he was/is a bit of a prick) to the GOAT. Re MA8 just want him and the team to entertain again just like last season

Ernest Reed

Christ Pierre, you can be such a mug when you want to be. If you are not pounding the shit out of Ode you are waxing lyrical of a bygone time where Sugar Daddy Arsene and Ol’ Bug Eyes Ozil were just da bomb.

Your agenda is clear, so stop with the it’s not all bad crap. It’s not all bad but people don’t like seeing the team lose in the manner that they have. That’s normal behaviour- fawning over Wenger and Ozil the way you do, that’s just perverse and creepy.

Little Mozart

Girona vs Atletico is entertaining to the neutrals


The darts final is quality


” fawning over Wenger and Ozil the way you do, that’s just perverse and creepy.”

.it’s called appreciating our greatest ever manager who brought (not bought) success and multiple trophies by playing the game the right way ….. as for Ozil, oozed class and brought enjoyment and trophies to the club…


Massive (issues in) Attack Mid-season player ratings Elneny and Tomiyasu depart + Kiwior’s role Go wide … Arsecast Extra Episode 561 – 01.01.2024 Logo MASSIVE (ISSUES IN) ATTACK Columnists Tim Stillman January 4, 2024 1 arse Arsenal have scored four goals in their last five games and that perfectly reflects the number of points they have taken in the same spell which, clearly, is pretty disastrous for a team that has designs on challenging for the title. The conversation over the Arsenal attack is not a recent one, it has been rumbling under the surface all season. Here are a… Read more »