by .

The most important thing we needed from our evening in Nottingham was 3 points.

Not a performance.

Not a warm and fuzzy feeling for the fans.

Not a hat trick for Emile Smith Rowe

We just needed to rob from the overspenders to feed our title challenge.

… and that’s exactly what happened.

Was it pretty? No. Did any of our players shower themselves in Balon d’Or glory? Most certainly not. What we did was exit an away game after a 10-day break with three meaty points. Who cares what the judges think?

The most important game of the season is Liverpool this weekend.

That’s not to say there were positives to take from the game. We dominated the majority of it in that cold, dull, sterile kind of way Manchester City tend to. Our off-the-ball work was exceptional; every time we lost the ball, we won it back instantly and recycled it into a familiar pitter-patter of getting into good positions and totally blowing them through lack of composure.

Ben White, Baukayo Saka, Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard were all miles off when a final decision was needed. But we made a meal of it on our terms. Forest had nothing.

Then we scored two goals and everything felt bright and breezy again. Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring, racing into the Forest box from a Zinchenko pass, sticking an unlikely shot under Matt Turner. You felt like he needed that, it could be a spark, one that sends him on one of those Manchester City runs of form.

The second goal came from his assist on the break. Gabriel drilled a ball to Saka, Havertz hopping over it, Bukayo dropping the good neatly past Turner’s left.


Then we conceded. A speculative ball over the shoulder of Zinchenko, a terrible header from Montiel looped high into the middle of our box, Saliba challenged, was bodied by Awoniyi, who turned and placed his shot past Raya.

2 shots. 1 goal. The story of our season.

It didn’t change the shape of the game. There were a couple of hairy moments and a VAR call and 8 minutes of added time, and I cried a little bit.

But we landed the points. We live to fight Liverpool as title contenders. Clubs have games like these.

So what is the assessment?

1. Everyone still loves Emile Smith Rowe. Where was he playing? As a 10? A 9?  A false 9? Who knows. All that mattered for me was the touches, the movement, the danger, the sheer excitement of watching him glide around the pitch again.

2.We have to be better in front of the goal. Hitting the target 3 times out of 18 attempts is pitiful against a team as open as Forest. Everyone is trying to pinpoint what the specific issue is… and it’s hard. We’re rash in the final third, we take too many touches, no one has that much confidence in front of goal, and now the ‘we’re rubbish in front of goal’ narrative has bedded in… we can’t be satisfied with 2 goals away from home and a win.

We’ve scored 44 goals this season – the best has 47

We were joint second with City for open play chance creation before tonight (14 shy of Liverpool)

Arsenal has the best attack in the league via npxG since Gabi J came back from injury in November with 21.03 npxG. Liverpool in second with 17.86 npxG.

The eye test says it ain’t right, but all the numbers surrounding what we see, tend to all point at this conclusion: our players could be doing way better in front of goal, but the output has been really good regardless.

Rich from the comments also pointed this out:

Victor Osimhen

8 goals + 3 assists in all comps (2 penalties)

1,315 minutes Goal contribution every 119 minutes

Gabriel Jesus

8 goals + 5 assists all comps

1,444 minutes Goal contribution every 111 minutes.

Grass. Greener. Pot of gold. Rainbows. Something like that.

3. Shots on target conceded vs goals conceded.

Since December 1st:

  • Forest: 3 shots on target, 1 goal
  • LFC: 3 shots on target, 3 goals
  • Fulham: 4 shots on target, 2 goals
  • West Ham: 3 shots on target, 2 goals
  • LFC: 3 shots on target, 1 goal
  • Villa: 3 shots on target, 1
  • Luton: 4 shots on target, 3 goals
  • Wolves: 3 shots on target, 1 goal

Only one team had more than 4 shots on target against us and that was PSV with 6.

This was a problem with Ramsdale, and it’s the same with Raya. What’s the conclusion? It’s not all the keeper. I’d say we are prone to self-inflicted dumbness. There’s always a really stupid error in us. There’s also dumb luck. Every error is punished to the max. That Forest goal was ridiculous today. The poor looping header, the lucky turn, the easy goal. That stops at some point… or does it?

Anyway, to bring it back… you can have a fight with each other like Ben White and Zinchenko after the game… and that’s fine, you love each other and want the best for AFC. But you need to get it out the system now because we have a big game on Sunday. The biggest of the season. So get your POWER BOOTS ON we’re going to smash them. I feel it in my bones.

Ok, I’m tired. See you in the comments. x

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Habesha Gooner

Nunez is a comical striker. Brilliant one minute and infuriating most times. Just a lot of money spent in him. And if Klopp can’t get a tune out if him, he might struggle with a lesser manager.


Nunez has hit the bar 7 times in the PL this season. Insane.



We should have had him instead of Kai in that MLS challenge last summer.


Seriously arteta should have no jurisdiction on the youth.
In 4 years not one youth player come through .
Absolutely scandalous


Connor Bradley with assist as well.

1 goal and 2 assists. Wow!


Bradley doing things. Interesting


Chelsea are an appalling side sitting 20 points off the top rocking a net spend that in a braver league structure would have them docked another 20 for FFP infractions.

Stats from this Liverpool mauling are going to be brutal what has Chelsea had 1 shot on goal? Under other circumstance i’d be enjoying this more, fuck I will it let them rot. Just hard to take on board we dropped points to them but that is the Arsenal this season, controlled sure but clumsy definitely.


There’s something to be said for a tactical system that relies on pace and intensity. It’s easier to integrate a young player when he doesn’t need to have a PhD in positioning and 43 formations, or whatever it was Mikel claimed.


Nunez with the woodwork again. Guy just can’t help himself.


LoveSausage careful cause generational’s style cannot afford academy players 5 minutes against PSV. They need PhD in positioning indeed.

Odegaard in premier this season 3 assists 4 goals in 19 games.

De bruyne in 3 premier league games 2 assists 1 goal.

But don’t worry Odegard is 99% percentile.


Not sure how Pedro or anyone can look at this Liverpool side and think they have a rebuild on their hands post Klopp.


Tom I think he is thinking about VVD abd salah. Asides those two, they just replaced their mildfield and they don’t need major additions.

Mr Serge

Macalister may be out against us with that knock


Serge it don’t matter who’s for this Liverpool side they are showing levels right now.

Mr Serge

Tom some players will move on after klopp and others will not suit the new manager coming In

Pool will have a drop off when klopp leaves


Who’s out of this*

Mr Serge

Samesong I don’t agree
Macalister got star man
Most tackles won 7
Most duels won 11
Most passes 95
Pass accuracy 95%
4 recoveries

They will defo miss him if he is not playing


“Pool will have a drop off when klopp leaves“

Mr Serge, no argument there, just don’t think they need too many new pieces to suit any managerial style.


So you confident we’ll beat them on Sunday then ?

Mr Serge

Yes I think we will beat them in Sunday

Matt B

Totally agree Tom — Klopp has built a fantastic squad of players, we’ll set-up for whoever takes over.

I was mightily impressed by Liverpool tonight, some of their youth players are fantastic — took me back to Arsenal c. 2019-20, a distant memory now.

We’re not a patch on Klopp’s Liverpool

Matt B

Wish I shared your optimism Mr Serge — for me, they’re a better team than Citeh


No idea where title ends up this season but its going to take a pretty perfect storm to see Arsenal achieve imo, another gear we’ve yet to see this season. Perfect position at the moment but we need a serious run beginning now, is that possible? City’s engine is purring and nobody does a run in like Pep with Liverpool not faltering with each week that passes. Jurgen vs Pep slug fest is what a gambling man go with. In terms of recruitment cannot look past fact Liverpool completely rebuilt the mid this summer bringing 4x players in and they… Read more »


I was just looking at jeorge birds acct to see what he saying about the youths who moved today, lots going on at the academy. Also read that marquinhos close to joining fluminense on loan with an option to buy so it doesn’t look like punt on marquinhos worked out.


“Not sure how Pedro or anyone can look at this Liverpool side and think they have a rebuild on their hands post Klopp.” Only Salah. VVD is not very good anymore. Cost them at least 2 goals in the last 5 games. They will not miss him much if they recruit well. “Pool will have a drop off when klopp leaves” They had a drop off last year, too, under Klopp. If it’s Xabi Alonso, I can’t see them outside of top 4 like last year under Klopp. Let’s face it, we’re lucky ManU and Chelsea are shit for now.… Read more »


I share the optimism that we will beat Liverpool next match. We will definitely be a tougher game for than than Chelsea.

However, It’s crazy that Pedro thinks everyone will drop off and leave Arsenal a clear run to league dominance. That was shameful writing.


To say the truth. after watching Liverpool and City last night, for us to win the league this season we need intense love from lady luck or otherwise win 98% of the remaining matches
Our plan is not working, we need elite finishers and crossers for our plan to work.

Mr Serge

I don’t think we will win the title either.
We do not have a good enough finisher and we lack cover for saka


Agree with many here if we play well and give City and Liverpool good company we can feel happy about the season. Another good run in CL is what we can hope as well. We have to at the least end the season in 3rd place. Liverpool bedding their academy kids as well and that shows their confidence. We selling Lino Sousa is sad but looks like our academy strategy is changing. Sousa was talked about very highly and also was trained to play inverted and doing well. What’s sad is that he wasn’t even tried in any senior game… Read more »

Mr Serge

Madhu Sosa contract is up at the end of the season, he probably wants to play let’s see if he is the next Omari or not


Sousa going to Villa, then straight out on loan to Plymouth.

Villa offering him a contract until 2028

Was hoping we’d get a versatile right sided defender this month.

Aurier going to Galatasaray from Forest, which could rule out Cedric leaving… Looking at our options on the right, there’s a very real possibility that he’ll be needed at some stage.

Japan through to the quarters to play Iran, might not get Tomi back until Burnley.


‘’ VVD is not very good anymore‘’



Serge my point is that we have routinely gone out of Carabao and FA cups early rounds. It would have been better if we had blodded these academy kids in those games. Personally I prefer going out playing academy kids atleast we will know what can they.


VVD’s tackle success has fallen from 63% to 50% in the last 2 years.
I shouldn’t have said he’s not very good, obviously, but if you think he’s still as good as during his peak years, you haven’t been watching pool’s games regularly.
He frequently back off attackers, which had just in the last 5 games caused 2 goals to be conceded. Saliba ATM better for me.


Pedro often preaches that Arsenal shouldn’t aim for the title till Klopp and Pep are active in the premier league. So by that, one can conclude that there is an acceptance that Pool and City are better teams and Pep / Klopp better managers than Mikel. Further, Pool were behind us last season. They are ahead of us this season, not only in points, but also goal scored. And more importantly, their style of play is more exciting and produces more chances and goals. More proof if anyone needed, that their management, talent ID and coaching is ahead of Arsenal… Read more »


From Daily Mirror, poor calum twice now he stuck with manager who doesn’t want him.

“Unai Emery is overhauling his squad at Aston Villa and one of the players he is likely to get rid of is defender Calum Chambers – who the Spaniard also bombed out when Arsenal manager”


Apparently we might be sending two more youths out on loan today, after three left yesterday, they busy at academy arranging loans or selling them on.


Is Saliba better than Konate this season?

Methinks not
Saliba doesn’t get blame for many of the mistakes he makes because we are so besotted with him.
He’s an excellent young defender who’s going to be in the conversation for best defender for many years but you can still see he has some ways to go.


Klopp has charisma, PGMOL will make sure his goodbye is memorable

Im telling you for free!


Saliba playing with ze handbrake is still better than Konate


Citeh needed to be taken advantage of during their run of difficult games from gameweeks 8-15, while deBruyne was absent and during Haaland’s form dip and injury. We didn’t take our chance, dropping too many points. But Liverpool did and I think it’s going to be a race between those two. Who can maintain the intensity until the end. Pool haven’t really suffered for Salah’s absence. KDB is still the best there is.
I’d say third is as much as we can hope for now, unless something unexpectedly spectacular happens and someone morphs into Hugo Sanchez or something.


Saliba is the best 1 v 1 defender in the PL. 79.2% success rate of dribblers tackled, which outs him in the 98% in Europe’s top 5 league’s. Challenges lost 0.14.. Which puts him at 99% Kanate 67.4% success rate of dribblers tackled, which puts him at 76% Challenges lost 0.52% .. which puts him at 48% Saliba is by far superior. Where Saliba can certainly still improve is aerial duels, wins 57%, which is in the 37%… But a guy of his size + stature should have the potential to enter elite brackets Konate wins 76% of his aerial… Read more »


Sid, I agree.

Klopp’s goodbye could be similar to Messi’s last World Cup.

Gazillion of penalties given for Argentina – 5 pens in 7 games is absolutely insane and by far a record in the competition. Some of them were a joke.

Yesterday, for me, a clean penalty at 0-0 when VVD fouled Gallagher. Not given.

Other than that miscommunication vs Spuds, Pool have gained a lot of points due to refereeing decisions even before Klopp announced his future exit. They are literally pushing Pool to compete with City.


Saliba is smart to avoid aerial duels, impact to the head will cause problems in old age


Chris Wheatley
F.C. Copenhagen have signed Arsenal goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson on a permanent deal until June 2027. 🇮🇸

Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson had six months left on his contract at Arsenal. His contract with #AFC was mutually terminated, as called by @danielnojsen .

James Benge
Arsenal working on a permanent exit to Spanish club Atletico Baleares for Miguel Azeez, once considered one of the brightest prospects at Hale End. This one could run to the wire and may not be concluded before the window shuts but there’s a will to get it done in time.


Don’t realise the transfer borefest goes on until tonight

11pm going to be so exciting (yawn!!)


* Didn’t


“I was mightily impressed by Liverpool tonight, some of their youth players are fantastic — took me back to Arsenal c. 2019-20, a distant memory now”

Matt B, yup.
Obviously wanted Pool to drop points but couldn’t help feeling happy for the Connor Bradley boy.
Certain innocence about him. No fancy haircut, tattoos. Just pure, unadulterated joy of making it on the big stage.


Not sure what happened with Miguel Azeez, he looked such an accomplished player but has never really hit his straps during several loans.


”Mutually terminated” is so synonymous with our transfers


If we want the elite players… We first have to be in a position to attract them, because rarely are they short of options. [@Rich]

Rich – excellent summation to your analysis.


Actually nice knowing nothing will happen transfer deadline day


Nice but sooooo dull this transfer window checked right out of LG, expected nothing and got just that.

Still waiting for that like a new signing Thomas Partey revival party.


Transfer deadline day just isn’t the same without Jim White hyperventilating on Sky Sports, he was always my go to source.


Very short at the back and expecting everyone to stay fit is a bit of a gamble. Also an injury to Saliba away from shitting the bed yet again. That would be two seasons in a row if it happens. Maybe next season we’ll have learned our lesson


Just read that since Edu was hired we have twelve “mutually terminated” contracts which seems awfully high for just a five year period.


Without sounding like I have something against Ivan Toney, which admittedly I do on both a footballing and character level, it’s pretty remarkable he came out a few weeks ago, talking about wanting to play for a team challenging for the title. Of course, it’s only natural but you’d have expected a shade more discretion from the man given his recent antics, how Brentford stuck by and, lastly, because no club was in a position to buy him. Why annoy your own fans for almost zero upside? He could have just dismissed all questions, said he just wanted to get… Read more »


Very hard to shift on shite and we accumulated a lot of shite over the years.


We had a first team squad of 38 at the start of 2020/21.

7 players out on loan, Ozil, Sokratis, Mustafi, not registered in any competition.

Saliba + Runarsson not registered in the Europa League.

It was an absolute car-crash, and we’re still cleaning up the aftermath of that.

The weirdest signings were Cedric + Mari…

Neither were signed as a numerical issue, and neither were an upgrade on what we had.


As aside, Gallagher has 17 months left on his contract @ the Chavs. Presuming he doesn’t go today, he’s got to be well positioned for a move in the summer and given his contract, might be available at a reasonable fee. Definitely one to watch over the back half of the season.


Rich, that was one of the weirdest times to be an Arsenal fan of late, watching us make moves with almost no strategy to it. Throwing mud at the wall, hoping something would stick, somewhere. Like a poor man’s Chelsea over the past 18 months.


Sadly there is very little chanse for us to beat Vity and Pool to the title with Generational in charge.
Talent wise we are not that far off.


Of course, all Arsenal fans will accept the win but isn’t that par for the course on here.
If Forest had made it 2-2 and they very nearly did, would the rhetoric have been ‘With such a young and inexperienced team, what do we expect? It’s all a learning curve’.
A win against Liverpool is a must. Are we capable of beating them? Yes, of course we are!
Let’s hope Arteta unshackles those chains a wee bit.


Our outgoing transfers are one of the worst in any top team in the world.

Ernest Reed

Transfer totals for January are coming in at roughly £50m for EPL clubs. The obvious reason is that FFP rules now appear to be enforced as evidenced by Forrest and Everton potential penalties. I have no issue with the rules around FFP but the fact that it has taken the FA and EPL to only now to do something about rules that have been in place for far too many years, brings open questions as to the competency of those running these organizations as it has been very clear for a very long time that a good number of teams… Read more »


The Ruunarson deal to buy him in the first place was absolutely shocking and whoever ignored him needs to be sacked immediately. Most of us knew within 10 minutes of seeing him play that he was shockingly awful. Made Almunia look like Lev Yasmin. In reality we’ve had more flops under Arteta than successes in the transfer windows. Arteta has been good for us over all, but I don’t believe he has what it takes to take us to the promised holy grail, and I don’t think he ever will unfortunately.


Sorry I meant whoever recommended Ruunarson



Spot on.


Those bodies overseeing the game are culpable for the financial irregularities.
Lesser clubs have folded because they couldn’t pay their council tax and yet the big wigs sit on their fat arses and do nothing.


Tom thank you mate. Seriously great comment about current situation in middle east. The ignorance and stupidity is incredible. Now I’m going to say this once and never again as it’s a football blog…..ANY LOSS OF LIFE NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION IS DISGUSTING. So yes I condemn hamas but I also condemn the idf. Take a look at tik tok videos posted by the idf glorifying massacring the civilians, take a look at Israeli television parading kids singing death to Arabs, have a look at the way Israelis treat Christians in Israel and the attacks on Christians. Some Jewish groups… Read more »


Sorry Pedro I will never say anything else about the situation as this is a football blog and let’s keep it that way. Sorry. And by the way I’m Atheist.


You look at Barcelona, now correct me if I’m wrong but Barcelona have been found guilty over a period of time in paying to influence referees. Why haven’t they been punished? As far as I’m concerned there should be an asterisks next to their achievements as they’ve been found out. Like City, how have they escaped punishment? In honesty if I was a forest or Everton fan I’d be pissed off as well.


In fact as an Arsenal fan who’s gagging for a top striker to complement jesus , why’s it fair that we have to watch what we spend when the big boys get away with murder


“Why haven’t they been punished?”

I wondered about this, would the Spanish fa investigate itself or does ufea/fifa, because Spain authorities have good reason to keep quiet and hope the fans have forgotten about it.

Don’t want to acknowledge corruption, bring your league into disrepute, so pretend it never happened. I was just thinking about Italian authorities seem to punish juve for cheating, they not trying to cover anything up.


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