by .

Guys, I fell for a Fabrizio tweet that said Arsenal were going to move Emile Smith Rowe to West Ham on loan.

How could I be so silly?

Mikel Arteta came in STRONG in denouncing the rumor.

I’m really happy with Emile, he’s on the right trajectory now he’s settled and he’s training really well. You know that I’m not going to talk about any individual situation.

No change, Emile is Emile. He’s got incredible qualities, we are really happy to have him and what he needs now is chances to put all those desired qualities on the pitch. In order to do that, we have to give him minutes.

Now, this could be a negotiating tactic to get a bigger fee from West Ham for a loan, OR this could be the realization the manager had with Eddie a few seasons back after totally ignoring him for the majority of the season.

I’m going to take a big drag of hopium and say this… I really hope Mikel sees the light on ESR. We’re lacking final ball output and finishing. This is a player who brought that in bucketloads when he debuted during a nightmare period three or so years ago. If you can’t finish, why not give a player who can finish a go?

My bigger concern here is if this is just media guff, it would be better to send him somewhere where he’ll get meaningful minutes. He’s a long way off his £45m valuation when Villa were sniffing around. If we give him 12 minutes in H2 of the season, he’ll be lucky to fetch £20m. This is a player who will be pure profit on FFP, max out his value now, give him time to show his talent. Hey, maybe he’ll show that he’s a great again?

I will say it regardless: The biggest weakness of Arteta is the transactional nature of his personality. When you are hot, you’re given the captains armband and a £350k a week deal, when you are not, you are given away for free after returning late after seeing your sick mother. We let Auba go for nothing – Chelsea bought him back for €14 million. In a world of stringent PSR, every penny counts, especially with Hale-Enders.

The hot trend amongst the ITK accounts this season appears to be predicting players returning to the first team early. We had it with Thomas Partey in December when people determined he’d be back for the Liverpool game, 4 weeks later, he’s finally a consideration.

The rumor doing the rounds this week is that Jurrien Timber will be back in February because the Arsenal IG has him doing some ball work.

Don’t do it to yourselves…

Arsenal won’t rush him back and getting him into the squad in February really would be a miracle. He has to continue working on building his muscles and his game-day fitness, and then he has to go through the psychological pressure of stress testing the knee in training. This isn’t a quick recovery; there will be setbacks, and the club won’t rush it. I penned this blog last night, and guess what, Mikel came to give some clarity on whether he’d be back before May.

There is a possibility, but at the moment he’s still very, very far from competing, that’s the realistic picture of it,” said Arteta.

“Are we hopeful that he can have an impact at the end of the season? If everything goes well, it looks like there is a chance that that might happen but I think it’s too early to make that call.

If I were putting money down, I’d say it’ll be early April. Yes, I know Arteta said May, but I think at this point he’s protecting the player from desperate fans and setting expectations that this will be a complicated return. He could technically be ready by late March after the international break, but Manchester City isn’t the game you bring a player back into. Early April we have Luton and Brighton. I’d maybe expect Arsenal to arrange an international break friendly to get him into game action before he plays.

The main reason not to believe this new breed of early-injury-return-ITKs is you don’t rush returns from ACL surgery – the consequences are too dire. This player could be with Arsenal for 8 years, there’s no reason to risk losing him for 18 months by rushing his return.

Crystal Palace is our opponent this weekend, and I’m excited about the prospect. They had a tough replay against Everton midweek and lost the MIGHTY Sean Dyche. That’ll be a rough trip back and the extra fatigue is never great. Joel Ward, Michael Olise, and Jordan ‘killer only against Arsenal’ Ayew will all be missing as well.

This game is poised for an Arsenal loss or a total battering for Crystal Palace. No in-between.

I’m feeling positive about the game. Arsenal have had a summer break to Dubai, Arteta seems to be very positive about what he was able to achieve, and as Jacob said on the podcast ‘Arsenal are always better when Arteta has had a long stretch with them.’

It was great, it was a phenomenal camp in every sense. We worked really hard on things that we wanted to do, and we recharged our batteries. The context and the change in environment in beautiful weather helped, and the togetherness and the moments that we shared together were great. We feel fully recharged.

I think it gave us an opportunity to look at things with a bit of perspective and analyse what we’ve been doing, and I will take a lot of positives from the first six months of the competition. Even though results haven’t gone our way in the last few games, when you look at what we have produced in terms of the Premier League and any other team, we are up there.

This is an important piece of the December narrative. Results did not reflect performance. Perspective in a different environment can be really useful. The message of ‘keep doing the same, and the good times will come’ can feel counter-intuitive when combined with the painful feeling of losing games. But it’s true of anything. If you keep doing things the right way, eventually, performances will match the underlying data. Luck is not a long-term strategy, having a good system and coaching players to master it is. We can’t lose sight of our system being one of the strongest in the league, and we can’t forget that our lack of experience combined with bad luck hasn’t been helpful.

But don’t doubt Arsenal. Arteta sees the issues with clarity and if we’re thinking it, he’s thinking it. I’m sure we’re going to bang after the break. This is a faith-based assessment, but that’s what sport is about, believing that doing the right things will eventually pay off.

That isn’t to say there aren’t things we can be working on.

We have to continue to be ourselves but there are certain details and marginal gains that we have to improve and evolve, and the beautiful thing about my job is to constantly find the evolution of a team and what it needs to keep winning.

My basic assessment is the team needs to be working on moving the ball faster into our speed monsters, and there needs to be more aggression and killer instincts in front of the goal. If we want to win the league, we need more non-penalty goals than Nottingham Forest. We’ve lost collective confidence, but remember, it takes one individual moment of magic to get that back. We have to hope it comes against Palace.

3 wins out of the next 3 games is imperative to our campaign. I don’t want to be in the muck fighting for 4th and 5th this season. I want to be battling with Liverpool and City for the league title.

Ok, long post today. I hope you are enjoying the uptick in LG content. See you in the comments, but before, listen to the latest podcast with me, Matt, and Jacob.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Steve gooner
Agree, classy performance from Smith Rowe.


Interesting that the subject of cheating has been raised. I’ve been thinking a lot about it.

Coming from a family with a rugby background, cheating is something that is penalised. The Interesting thing is that teams will still try it, despite it being frowned upon.

For some strange reason, in football, this is somehow overlooked and embraced.

What is your take on cheating?


Spiral of death arrested.
Good result.
Martinelli must play more centrally, he is wasted hugging the line doubled up.

Nigel Tufnel

Another quality assist from Eddie. Pierre mentions correctly. A real beauty from Jorginho. ESR as I’ve been saying, very active on and off the ball, and always looks dangerous. Him getting more than 20 minutes maybe means Arteta is opening his mind. I’ve been complaining about Martinelli all season with his horrible head down decision making. 2 goals today under these circumstances don’t change anything. Perfect finishes…. but It’s incredibly rare for him to get even 1 opportunity like that with the way teams normally defend against us. These were garbage-time counters against a demoralised team with giant negative banners… Read more »


Martinelli should be used up top.
Arteta doesn’t see it though.
Whatever Pedro and the gang communicate on here, today hasn’t proven anything.
Our play remains ponderous and incredibly defensive minded.
Apart from Eze, CP were awful.
Anyway 5-0 is 5-0!
I thought ESR had a great cameo.


Pierre – sorry mate but I have no idea who said what and couldn’t care less What I do think is that you reserve judgement and see how ideas pan out. Neither you nor I were competent to assess Jesus asa CF at the beginning until we have had a decent time to view his performances And now we are where we are. He has a huge number of attributes but doesn’t seem to want to own the penalty box, which is no use as a CF He also doesn’t seem to understand how offside works. So two major issues… Read more »


Good win. Couple of thoughts: 1. Jesus and Nketiah are not it as strikers. 2. Zinny is the worst player in our first XI atm. He can’t defend, can’t dribble and can’t run with the ball. He is mostly static and he slows down our play a lot. He is a good passer but mostly its either sideways or backwards. 3. Sakas hype has gotten to him. Maybe an Arteta problem. He needs to be more ruthless like last season. 4. We aren’t winning the league or winning the CL this season, maybe look at bedding in our squad players… Read more »


Haha .. they just showed the replay of Toney’s freekick goal .. he basically cheated. Moved the ball.. moved the foam,, moved the ball, moved the foam. Then hit the ball 4 feet outside of the wall after he moved the ball 4 feet.

Lol. Toney wouldn’t have got away with it if he played for Arsenal … instead he probably got a yellow haha


Btw, if as someone commented Toney sent his teammates to distract the ref then Brentford doing the cheating and not entirely on Toney… may be club culture or training ground routine , or from the set piece coach 🤔 🤔


I watched couple of hours after the game and can immediately rewind to watch interesting moments as they unfolded. Quite interesting vs watching live as I normally do. ESR was okay. Tried some quick passes the 1 touch type ( incl side&backward ones) but some surprised his teammates as our usual MFers like to take many touches. We needed to up the tempo esp from MF. At this moment thou ESR looks an outlier unfortunately unless Arteta is willing to change. Also noticed ESR made fewer driving runs (when 3 up why not?) and opted to pass instead I suspect… Read more »