by .

Well, happy Monday to you!

Starting a little 10-day break from the Premier League is always nice after delivering a walloping. Liverpool, who dished out another xG-defying win against a decent Bournemouth, played three games to our one before they meet us. It might not make a difference now, but I can’t imagine fighting on all four fronts is going to do them any favours in the long run. They can’t even flop out of the FA Cup because they play Norwich. They’ll beat Fulham and get to a cup final that’ll come in the February crunch and move Premier League games to later in the season.

Arsenal have a much simpler two months coming up. The big question is whether Arteta can learn the painful lessons of seasons’ past. Will he get too excited, lose track of the bigger picture, and blitz the same 13 players until they break? Or will we see more intention when it comes to rotating his faves so they are fresher when it matters?

The Palace game looked like a new Arteta. I know we were winning handsomely, but when has that stopped him from giving full 90s to everyone? This is a guy who took a full squad to PSV for no real reason other than winnertivity and macho vibes.

There are some key players that’ll be crucial – the first is Zinchenko, who has had an up-and-down season in the eyes of the fans. He was fantastic at the weekend, we saw exactly what we miss when he’s not in the side. Bravery, verticality, and ambition. We are better with him in the side, but he is always on a countdown to a calf injury. Can Arteta lean into Kiwior more often? Can he get rotated more when Tomi comes back? There needs to be a plan to ensure he plays the big games.

Gabriel Jesus is another player who spends a lot of time out injured. I’d rather give Eddie some starts than have to roll with Eddie for 8 weeks. We can’t afford to be without our number 1 chaos merchant for the run-in.

The real star man hasn’t played in months, but Thomas Partey could be in the mixer for Forest, and if we can keep him fit, anything is possible. I don’t want to see him as right back, but I do think his fast passing and aggressive play from deep could be really valuable. He gives us tools we don’t have right now. He won’t be here next season, so he owes us a really good sign-off after a drab 3-4 years of 3-month stints.

Jurrien Timber could be in the mixer for the Manchester City game if you track the return dates of typical ACL injuries. That’s only 10 games time. He’s a magical player and he could be very useful for the action part of the season. We might be getting a bit too excited about his return, he’ll be very rusty, but at the very least, he offers us top cover from the bench.

The final two we need to keep an eye is Saliba and Gabriel. Arteta took the Brazilian off early at the weekend. It’s hard to pick the player who is more important because I think Gabriel has been outrageously good all season, and I can hardly remember an error since he was dropped. Saliba broke down last year because of a stress fracture, and he has shared minutes with no one this season – a bit of a concern if you ask me, but at least he’s not being loaded up with cup minutes. Keep those two fit, and anything is possible.

My hot take for the rest of the season is kind of where I was at the start: I think we’ll finish second.

You have to be a realist and put a true perspective on who we’re trying to beat: The greatest team ever assembled. The greatest sporting department, buying players for the greatest manager, with no limits on spending. We just aren’t at their level, and nor should we expect to be. Beating City with our current squad just ain’t happening this season. It won’t for Liverpool either, and they have the second-best manager in the world with the best keeper, centre-back, right-back, and right-winger.

We are one transfer window away from being a true threat to City’s dominance. We don’t have a striker, we don’t have cover for our wide players, and we haven’t yet mastered playing Champions League with a Premier League chase. You need those elements if you’re going to upset a group that has done it all. Bang the table all you want that I am weak saucing this, I’m not, I’m just being blunt about what it takes to be the best. United tried to buy their way to better than City, but failed. Newcastle have tried to bully their way to contenders, everyone feared them last season, they are further away than ever before. Chelsea spent a billion and they might not make Europe. If you think you know a better way of beating City, let me know. I think the way Arsenal are approaching it is the right way and it’ll bear fruit at some point… maybe even the Champions League this season. But the league is gonna require more time in the kitchen.

Ok, that’s me done. Check out our latest free podcast with Janan Ganesh. He’s one of the finest writers in the UK, a huge gooner, and I really enjoyed our hour chatting about Toney, Liverpool, and Arteta’s obsession with atmosphere.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“Do you think if Pep took over Arsenal squad and mess at the same time Arteta did, with Arsenals resources, that he’d be ahead of where we’ve come to at this moment? Maybe a little bit ahead, maybe not even”

So Pep maybe isn’t a superior manager to Arteta? This is easily the worst take in the history of le-grove.


Brighton with even more aimless passing than Arsenal. Woeful to watch .
Absolutely toothless


Group-B just flipped on its head.

Nigel Tufnel

Jamie is as dishonest a character talking about Arsenal as he is about himself in general. Very specific set of circumstances that I laid out. Pep likely performance under limited conditions without the star laden squad, the much smaller budget than he’s ever had. Cynics can only come back with criticism of Arteta… but not using the same criteria. Not a mention of Heynckes, Emery or Klopp that I compared him to even more emphatically… . Some of you just want to kick our manager for everything that hasn’t turned out perfectly…..yet. Jamie wants to portray me as saying Arteta… Read more »


Some Arsenal fans are living in a different world.
Comparing Arteta to Pep……..please! Don’t make me laugh 😂

Gary O’Neil doing a fantastic job at Wolves and they’re pleasing on the eye.
Power and pace by the bucket loads.
See them pushing on over the next few months.


Nigel: “Do you think if Pep took over Arsenal squad and mess at the same time Arteta did, with Arsenals resources, that he’d be ahead of where we’ve come to at this moment? Maybe a little bit ahead, maybe not even.” Imagine calling my take ridiculous, then proceeding to typing this gobbledygook. It’s the same as “can Messi do it on a cold, rainy Tuesday night in Stoke”. Alvaro bloody Morata scored a hat trick away to Stoke. Pep is a generational manager. He is not perfect but he’s been the best in the biz in the last 15 years.… Read more »


Nigel: “because we are at least the 3rd best team in England… with 2 titanic teams that we’re competing against”

Let’s open up the champagne guys. We’ve made it.



Do you think that our squad, player for player, is as good as MC’s and Liverpool’s squads?


Nigel, it’s ok for you to rate a rookie Arteta from 4 years ago “maybe” on the same level as Pep from 4 years ago (3 x La Liga, 3 x Copa del Rey, 2 x Spanish Super Cup, 2 x Champs League, 2 x UEFA Super Cup, 3 x Club World Cup, 3 x Bundesliga, 1 x PL, 1 x League Cup).

It’s still the worst take in the history of le-grove.

Nigel Tufnel

Jamie you can list all Peps trophies from his whole career.
Nobody was comparing his and Artetas trophies or managerial career.. but you keep pretending that I was. I gave a very narrow comparison about how Pep would have done at Villa, Liverpool, Arsenal… with a real budget and average squad to start with.
I wonder if anything you talk about here is true.. probably not.

Now go ahead and list some more of Peps trophies and pretend your debating. Lol

Mr Serge

We would have won the title at least 3 times if pep came here when Emery did


Nigel triggered by his own asinine take on how ‘maybe, maybe not’ Pep could’ve done a better job than Arteta has done at Arsenal over the last 4 years.

Also, it’s ‘you’re debating’, fool.

Nigel Tufnel

“Nigel, Do you think that our squad, player for player, is as good as MC’s and Liverpool’s squads?” Graham asks an honest question, unlike Jamie. Man City is stacked from top to bottom. They should’ve won the CL years earlier under Pep. Liverpool is another story. I would take our squad over them without a doubt. Salah aging, Van dijk aging. We have young to prime in those positions and more. Maghalaes, Rice, Saliba, Saka, Martinelli… Many players on Liverpool are over rated, like Nunes, Szoboslai and MacAlister. Gakpo is straight up rubbish. Couldn’t shine Trossards boots, or Eddie’s. But… Read more »


Nigel, No one here can question your Arteta superfandom. You’re consistent at least. But Dissenter is correct in pointing out that Arteta has been incredibly wasteful with our resources in a way that Pep (or any other top manager for that matter) has never been. Some of his moves I agreed with. I do believe that Ozil was a culture problem that needed to go, despite the cost. The Aubameyang case was an inexperienced and insecure manager flexing his muscles at great cost to the club. There was easy money to be made there if he’d been a bit savvy,… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Jamie says:

“Also, it’s ‘you’re debating’, fool.”

Ouch. That really showed me.

This is an example when you’re shook by another poster….and can’t get even close in a debate.

You’re so desperate to lash out at somebody that you need to resort to that type of comment… let me get Nigel on grammar, punctuation, or auto-correct. Lol

Did the “foo”l part make you feel satisfied at least, Jamie?


“Did the “foo”l part make you feel satisfied at least, Jamie?”

Not really, Nige. You have a small brain, so it’s not especially fun for me.

Mr Serge

LoveSausageJanuary 22, 2024 22:48:10 Nigel,No one here can question your Arteta superfandom. You’re consistent at least. But Dissenter is correct in pointing out that Arteta has been incredibly wasteful with our resources in a way that Pep (or any other top manager for that matter) has never been.Some of his moves I agreed with. I do believe that Ozil was a culture problem that needed to go, despite the cost. The Aubameyang case was an inexperienced and insecure manager flexing his muscles at great cost to the club. There was easy money to be made there if he’d been a… Read more »

Mr Serge

Pablo mari another the pace of a snail

Vieira not sure about still
Tavares shit

We have bought well lately but is that because Edu is learning ?


Mr Serge Don’t believe that for a second, we were light years away from City + Liverpool. Emery inherited largely an ageing squad, that wasn’t good enough to begin with, and after we finished 5th and a Europe League Final.. Which was nowhere near the disaster that some painted it… The only way was down. Arteta spent £72million in his first 3 windows… When he spent £140 million in his 4th window, he spent it on young players, on lower wages. Guardiola as a comparison… Inherited the most expensively assembled squad in history, had months to plan his arrival… Spent… Read more »

Mr Serge

Rich bringing in pep would also mean giving him funds he would have brought in better players than pepe

Mr Serge

Luiz,ceballos, torreira,sokratis,pepe,lichsteiner etc Pep would not have bought any of those players


Nigel, Alexis Macallister is not overrated. He’s someone I’d love to have in our squad, although I’d take Odegaard over him. He has surprised me how well he’s adapted to having to play the 6 at times. He’s been found out at times back there, but he’s held his own more often than I thought he’d be capable of.


Mr Serge Lichsteiner is what you end up with when you have £0 for a right back.. Pep spent £50 million on Walker. Ceballos on loan for 2 seasons (Decent enough player)… Is what you get when you have no money to buy a midfielder. We spent £7 million on Luiz to replace Koscielny… Pep signed Stones, Laporte, Walker, Mendy, Danilo, for a combined £240 million inside 12 months. Pepe was an epic fuck up.. Decent enough end product, but all around game was poor.. but Pep has had his few expensive mistakes Pep also inherited an infinitely better squad.… Read more »


Serge, For me, the most impressive thing about Pep is how rarely he misses in the market. I rate Klopp for his ability to achieve results on a comparatively lower budget but Pep is second to none when it comes to talent spotting. Philips was a dud and so was the Wolves guy whose name I can’t recall now. Kovacic is somewhere in between. Probably suffers from the comparison with Gundogan even though he’s a different player but he might still be useful. Except for that, I can’t remember many misses. He’s certainly bought some very expensive toys but he’s… Read more »


Now that Pedro has said we are finishing second o can relax and watch the games. I was unnecessarily stressing myself thinking the generational will win us league with his process. My BP will improve and I cannot enjoy watching football.
Wenger supposedly made us banter club while competing against Ambramovichs Chelsea in pre PSR/ FFP era and building a stadium while in the PSR/ FFP era we should be happy with just competing. Atleast things are clear now. No need to stress anymore.


Typo can enjoy football meant


Ake cost City £41 million.

Arsenal have only spent more than that on a defender once in our history, White £50 million.

Nigel Tufnel

The list of grievances against Arteta coming out because somebody had the nerve point out that Pep is a great manager… but also a chequebook manager. Cedric..and.other players taken because they were on a free, because our financial situation was poor. Loans like Ceballos. No top level champions league ambitious players were looking to come to Arsenal, not without being highly overpaid… which we couldn’t afford to do much either. It was a difficult rebuild that we’ve had to do. There were bad characters in the dressing room,, and contracts hard to get rid of… We’re at a good stage… Read more »


City defenders under Pep:
Stones £50 million
Laporte £60million
Mendy £50 million
Walker £50 million
Danilo £25million
Cancelo £60million
Diaz £65million
Ake £41million
Akanje £17mill
Gvardiol £80 million

But Mr Serge thinks Guardiola wins at least 3 titles at Arsenal…

Guardiola is clearly an exceptional coach + manager…. But there’s certainly grandeur ideas around just how good he is… And how much he could have done at Arsenal without being backed to the hilt.

Klopp’s achievements are much more impressive.

Nigel Tufnel

Ake 41m is the example of a dirt-cheap, bargain basement purchase by Pep. Their other defenders mostly 80m +.

Klopp hard fought accomplishments make Pep look like a spoiled rich kid.

Nigel Tufnel

Sorry Rich, I over estimated the cost of Dias and Laporte.

Nigel Tufnel

Pep would have paid 105m for Rice if he hadn’t already been convinced by Arteta.. just to add to his expensive collection with Rodri..

Such managerial genius that takes to throw (allegedly) dirty money at players . 115 charges.

Mr Serge

Pep and klopp are elite MA is not I am just pointing out facts, would I swap ma for those 2 hell yes, anyone else right now? No



41M isn’t all that expensive when you consider the PL experience, his age at the time and the top 4 premium.


LS It was a good signing… The point I’m making is Arsenal have only signed 1 defender for more than Ake in our history. Guardiola has bought 7 defender for £50 million or more since 2016. Good luck trying to play Guardiola football when you lose Koscielny, then get given £7 million to buy Luiz, who was way past his best. The problem Emery/Arteta had 2019 was Luiz + Xhaka were the only players who could move the ball from back to front… Good luck trying to win 1st + 2nd balls with Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang, Ceballos.. That’s why we… Read more »


Rich, That squad was dreadful, not denying it. I’ve been listening to Ferguson’s auto biography and it was interesting to hear his reflections on how Arsene increasingly went for the same type of player rather than what the game required. He’s right and that squad inherited by Emery wasn’t fit for purpose. Anyhow, the Guardiola vs Arteta discussion is pretty ridiculous. And the whole “checkbook manager” debate is pointless. Every manager at one of the top 10 clubs in Europe is a checkbook manager. The point I was trying to make is that, financially doped or not, Guardiola’s hit rate… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

So many self hating gooners here it’s sad. Rich gives all the numbers that blow away any comparisons, not only to Arteta, but even more compared to Klopp, Emery and others. Let’s see Pep go work at Roma, or Aston Villa, see how far he gets in Europe, or doubles, trebles he wins. If I was owner at a club like that, on a budget I would fancy my chances more with Unai Emery than Guardiola. Klopp is a whole other level compared to Guardiola. What he squeezes out of an average or decent spending budget makes Pep look like… Read more »


Winning 1 FA cup = not (yet) elite

And we’re not fighting for 2nd. Liverpool’s manager is on another level from the narcissist Arteta. Narcissists usually fail sooner or later in non-individual situations, so I expect the FA cup is all we’ll ever get from Arteta (or rather Auba).

Next season is the decider for me. If we get 85 points or more I’m fine with Mik staying.

BTW, are we really going for Šeško in the summer?

Canadian Gooner

I can’t really believe we’re at the point where Timber is being referred to as a “magical player” in this post. Absolutely ludicrous. Complete nonsense. Did he look promising in the limited time he played? Sure. Has he done anything previously in a top league for a sustained period of time to give that statement even the smallest amount of credence? Absolutely not. The history of the premier league is littered with promising Eredivisie flops. How about we let the guy finish at least one full regular season premier league game before we start heaping adjectives such as magical on… Read more »


Arteta is Elite but we should judge him based on subpar standard right? Comical. 5 years into job yet Pedro is still not expecting EPL but Arteta is excused for not winning cup competition. Nothing is Arteta fault or his problem. Would Arteta have Villa in Europe if he was their manager last season? No. Or have Leverkusen or girona top? There is no evidence of this “generational” or “elite” status. Would any of City, Liverpool, psg, Madrid, Barca, bayern sack their coaches and do everything to sign Arteta? No In England, big 6 is a status yet no other… Read more »


These are the facts. Arteta since being appointed has finished 8th, 8th, 5th and 2nd and won one trophy (FA Cup). The guy has spent £600m since being appointed, and brought in £120m in players sold. He has to win a trophy this season or it is an absolute disgrace and he should be sacked. The problem is I don’t see where that trophy is coming from. Out the FA Cup in the 3rd round (Liverpool), out the Carabao Cup in the last 16 (West Ham), and 3rd in the Prem having lost 4 games already (no chance we win… Read more »


Channeling my inner Rich here (so I apologize) but some of this chat reminds me of Thatcher on Labour supporters: they’d prefer it if everyone was poorer as long as the gap between the top and bottom was smaller. I feel like some of you would prefer Arsenal to drop down the table with Tets in charge given you ‘called it’ rather than him take us to the title in spite of your opinions on him. All the while chucking out ‘elite’ mentality chatter like X haka whilst living with your parents. If we think back to ghosts of Christmas… Read more »


Excellent post BenKind.

Bob N16

Hamz, No need to feel so depressed. We have won the league 5 times in 50 years and made one CL final. During that time, only for a few years under Wenger were we arguably one of Europe’s strongest clubs. Right now, with the financial advantages the PL has, we are back ‘at the top table’. The fact that we pushed City hard last season, when they became World Club champions, is strong evidence of that. Competing in CL this season, none of the remaining clubs will celebrate drawing Arsenal. Liverpool are back in with a real shout for PL… Read more »


PedroJanuary 23, 2024 00:52:27 Madhu, not sure how you deduce we’re a banter club in 2024 Pedro please read the post of.Benkind above. I couldn’t have said it any better. If Wenger era is banter club for being consistently top4 with FA cups in between whole building a stadium and clearing debts pitted against a behemoth like Man U and Ambramovichs Chelsea in pre PSR/FFP era then why not now. Yes we have a good squad and likeable players but the pressure will start this summer if we don’t end up with anything. All I am saying is that we… Read more »

Mr Serge

PedroJanuary 23, 2024 00:51:29
Mr Serge, Arteta absolutely is elite… he just isn’t one of the two greatest ever to manage in the game yet

Hence I would not swap him for anyone else but them Pedro, I would not call him elite yet he has to win a major trophy first though.


I am sorry but wasn’t that the culture change that we are told. To expect trophies while in Wenger years we were happy with Top 4 and ridiculed his Top 4 is a like a trophy statement?


Rich and Nigel give off the same person vibes…. Very similar styles in writing and Nigel is always referring to Rich posts. It maybe nothing. But I’m sure Nigel will be on to defend it saying they’re not the same person.

Mr Serge

I am a season ticket holder the Wenger banter era is a far cry from what we are seeing here, we are not buying terrible players, our infrastructure from the youth up is far and above anything we had In the banter era. We are thinking like a big club again, unlike the last 7 or so years of Wengers reign, where we were stale and predictable.

I would say MA has an elite mindset but he has yet to prove he is elite for me.
You cannot compare the 2 eras.

Mr Serge

Madhu it takes time to become a team that’s competing when you have teams that have been building with elite managers since 2015, not sure what you expect considering where we were as a squad and the infrastructure we has when wenger left. First you have to catch up then surpass. This is not football manager it’s reality.


Mr Serge iam ok with that as long as you say the right things. I have watched Arsenal for 25 years and know to an extent the history. We are probably having a team now that is probably the third in the history of Arsenal in terms of potential and stature. The other two being the Herbert Chapman and Wenger era. The older Arsenal will correct me but all iam asking is for a fairer assessment. I know it’s not easy to compete with Man U, Man City, Chelsea and other clubs spending potential. But we were told that we… Read more »

Bob N16

New post


Bilbo Quite solid in your analyses. The idea some rando netfan posts what they opine as– ‘facts’– generally, stops me from reading on. Open a fecking discussion with some room for disparate views. Buy in– by all means. We all want the club to kick on. But it doesn’t have to be on some narrow interpretation of how we get there. But make no mistake, barring the unforeseen? Arteta has another season, this one and next at minimum– to bring home honors. If you’ve not been paying attention to how KSE has been operating their successful stable of clubs and… Read more »