PETTY ARGUMENTS

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I don’t like to be dragged into the petty arguments that go off on the internet (lol, sure), but Rio Ferdinand taking time out to call Phil Foden world class at the expense of Bukayo Saka merited a conversation. Rio was world-class, no doubt. He won big titles, played on the big stage, did big things. But I’m struggling to see how he’s landed himself in a situation where he can tell the world Bukayo isn’t at Foden’s level because he hasn’t scored a goal against *checks notes* FC Copenhagen.

Bukayo has 13 goals and 13 assists in 2500 minutes of football. He has a street value of £120m. The player is delivering huge numbers and people don’t even think he’s out of 3rd gear this season.

Getting into these weirdly subjective arguments really doesn’t feel like the sort of analysis the best pundits in the game should be engaging in. I can have that conversation down the pub. Doesn’t Rio have something more interesting to add to the chat?

CBS, for me, is doing the best punditry work in football at the moment. They combine humor and thoughtful analysis better than anyone… and they wrap it a really engaging format. It makes everything else feel boring. Listening to Thierry talk about the mental toll of managers yesterday was far more interesting TV than celebration-gate or cutting up a young player over a pointless opinion irrelevant to the City game.

The biggest problem with UK punditry is there is too much representation of Liverpool and Manchester United.

Onto Arsenal news.

Marquinhos has been shipped back to Brazil on loan to Fluminese. The boy had a stint when he looked decent. Things haven’t really worked out since. His loan moves have been flat and now he’s back in his home country.

… not everyone can be Martinelli, I guess.

There’s hot hot heat for new Ben White and Tomi deals. The man from Japan has been excellent all season, attracting interest from Bayern at some point. He’ll be rewarded with a contract bump, though I do wonder if this is a similar sort of ‘secure the value’ deal before he exits in a couple of seasons. Having a player that can’t do more than 8 games in a row isn’t useful over the longterm.

The Ben White deal is a bit different, there’s a player who adapts to whatever he’s asked to do. He’s always available, even if he’s injured. He just gets better and better. One would suspect he’s in for a big jump in salary now he’s doing the business on such a consistent basis. These negotiations have been going on for a very long time, so it’ll be great if Sam Dean of The Telegraphs is right and it’s wrapped soon.

Manchester City battered Copenhagen in the Champions League. 27 shots, 13 on target, they are BACK. It’s frightening how good they are and how little we pay attention to it. It’s just normalized that they’ll click in Feb and look unstoppable. A lot of people also seem to underestimate the level they are at an minimize the job you have to do to get close.

Arsenal basically needs to go on a long unbeaten run of its own if it wants to stand a chance. It’s hard to see City losing to anyone bar us for the run-in. The standards there are so ridiculously high. But that’s what we’re up against. I think we’re short this season, bar a little miracle.

The job we need to do is stay in the mix for longer this season and see if we can take a scalp at the Ethiahd. Football is a process, only one team can win the league each year, it seems unlikely that’s us this year, but next season, with a deeper squad, Champions League experience, and an #9 that likes scoring goals…. well, I think we could be very close to them.

Right, we have a FRESH podcast for you on this fine day.

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Habesha Gooner

Foden is more talented than Saka. And his ceiling is higher. He is easier on the eye because he is gifted technically. But Saka’s consistency can’t be ignored. Eventhough foden has won a lot of silverware, he did it by being a bit part player. He was always second choice to Gundogan, Mahrez, Debruyne and B.Silva. Saka has literally been the one pushing his team since he has turned 18. Their international impact and on club level are incomparable. I normally say the player who is easier on the eye and the player more gifted technically is the best. But… Read more »

Northbanker

If Saka was for sale then City would be first in the queue to buy him

Benkind

Habesha and Bob good points Foden was / is competing with Gundo, KDB, Bernardo, Mahrez, Ferran, Doku, etc. Pep rotates alot and still playing for city. Saka has no competition for his place under Arteta. So this is why Saka being able to “grow faster. If Saka goes to City, there is no guarantee he is a starter; Foden at Arsenal is guaranteed to start. I like both players. Very incredible output from Saka. Trophies are important. Alvarez in my books has a bigger legacy than Saka currently. Alvarez is playing in his 2nd season in England and has been… Read more »

Useroz

Re Saka needed to win trophies and ecvel in more tournaments to be considered, by Ferdinand at least, WC, we pity Kane, another WC aspirant, who’s likely going to miss out on yet more🏆🏆 this season despite scoring heaps earlier… Ferdinand just spits out a load bull

James wood

Jarrod Bowen 11 goals this season in a poor side.
Tempt West Ham with.Eddie and Nelson.
He must be a massive improvement on those two
time wasters.
Buy quality buy Bowen.

Useroz

Can’t say much about his other capabilities but Bowen certainly pressed our defense like crazy like a one-man army…and looks way better than how Eddie and Nelson usually press…

Tom

Jw Bowen would cost a fortune. re Foden, he plays on the club that had more total shots and shots on goal vs Copenhagen away than Bayern did in both their CL group games just a few months ago, and Bayern were considered by some City’s level. They aren’t. Kane will be the butt of all jokes of course but Tuchel’s decline is obvious to anyone whos been paying attention since his late Chelsea days. Tuchel’s Bayern are all about individual brilliance of players like Sane or Musiala but when that fails, as it has been doing lately, their team… Read more »

Tom

Weagle complaining the comments section is dying, well, post more yourself motherfucker.
I enjoy reading everything you write.

Dissenter

The Saka vs Foden debate is one of the many meaningless chatter that football fans love to have. Both players are superbly talented young footballers with stratospheric potentials. England is fortunate to have so many of the best young footballers and are very likely to win one world cup in the next decade. I reckon England will win the next WC in the north America because it will be on friendly territory. Saka and Foden aren’t vying for the same position in any team and their heat maps don’t overlaps on the field so what’s the offing need to compare… Read more »

Naija+soccer

Gotta love Arteta’s ability to aim high. He said Arsenal should be in conversation for the best players including Mbappe. This is what we missed from 2007-2020.

Mikel Arteta is like an Arsenal fan sometimes

Dissenter

‘What has happened to Le Grove? Just 75 odd posts in well over 24 hours.I remember when 300-400+ a day was the norm on a quiet day”

Pedro has kicked put lots of good posters over the early Arteta-years
That’s definitely contributed to the quiet around here.

Tom

Talk about missing posters, I hope Don’s ok.
He’s been absent for awhile.
Must be attending to his alpacas.

I hope he doesn’t take it too hard that his go to Biden Ukraine corruption case was based on lies of an FBI informant.
I guess you cant win them all, can you.

Kadbia

Jamie Carragher
“Then you go and watch the Champions League, and I’m watching Bayern Munich, a massive team – Arsenal are better than Bayern Munich, and I think Arsenal will beat Paris Saint-Germain”.

“I’m looking at the Champions League thinking who could stop City – and I’m thinking probably Arsenal. If they met each other, we know that City would be massive favourites,’ he added.

Interesting

Tom

Arsenal were in conversation for Mbappe.
Wenger was sitting in his parents’ home living room discussing the transfer when a €7m bribe was mentioned (allegedly), at which point Wenger said thank you for the delicious meal but I’ll take that coffee to go.

Naija+soccer

Tom

All he’s done is save that 7 million pie for Don Raul to come in and gazoomp.

Naija+soccer

Dissenter,

We have been a winning team for the last 2 seasons. That will directly affect the population of posters on Le Grove as there isnt much to moan about. Wenger isn’t here anymore so nothing to punch.

But if Arteta was to down tools, watch Legrove start averaging 1000 posts per day.

Naija+soccer

But seriously imagine this front three

Mbappe. Jesus. Saka.

Now thats CHAOTIC.

Positive pete

Dissenter.Lack of posters more down to “ if you’ve nothing positive to say don’t bother posting “ bad news always travels faster they say.les Miserables simply waiting for the next stumble in the ‘process’ I’d imagine.

Josip Skoblar

Mbappé leaves PSG: it is now official. Spend the f…. money, Arteta!!!!

Tom

Naija, it was all about principles with Wenger.

I can just imagine Pep sitting down with the Haaland people( the dad, mom, agent, uncles, dog sitter) listening to all their personal demands and laughingly pushing a piece of paper across the table with a phone number starting with 971 area code for them to call.

Naija+soccer

Tom

I also can see Arteta sitting down with the Mbappe family working things out, unlike our legendary but extremely thrifty former manager.

daniels

thats right naija..!!! obviously i had nothing to go by except my gut, but… most gooners didnt want to entertain the idea but i was posting several weeks ago that the club should pull out all the hacks to make the mbappe deal happen: – kse equity injection (they have a few hundred mill in their sock draws i bet) – retail and image right cuts (give him half) – market purchase amortization kick back (the 100m+ savings over 4 years is about 500k/week) – and any other creative financing tech they can afford to pull out of their yankee… Read more »

Tom

We missed out on Haaland to Arsenal ( thanks for nothing Odegaard) but who do we have now who can speak the same language Mbappe speaks and plays with him for the National team?
Saliba better not let us down the way Ode did.

Naija+soccer

If Mbappe doesn’t end up in Madrid, what is his most likely destination ? Old Trafford?

Naija+soccer

Tom
Haaland was always joining the top dogs so thats City over us. Though I see big stars now seeing Arsenal as one of the top ideal clubs to play for.

Rich

Mbappe will very likely go to Madrid.

But the fact we’re even in the conversation, and it’s not completely laughable, shows how far we’ve come in a very short space of time.

Other than carrying a few too many injury prone players for my liking, we’re in a pretty strong position.

Tom

Rich, and how exactly are we in Mbappe conversation?

raptora

Tom, I saw a tweet of us being 2nd favorites according to Sportsline oddsmakers. Very distant 2nd but still 2nd.

https://twitter.com/EduardoHagn/status/1758260925151273000

WengerEagle

Tom Ask and you shall receive my man, let’s talk about how Kane has seemingly Spursified Bayern, eh? Jokes aside, he’s playing extremely well over there and this Leverkusen team have just been that good. Alonso as a coach is pretty fascinating, their football is so aggressive and ballsy under him and I cannot remember since Klopp’s Dortmund sideseeing Bayern beaten so convincingly in a H2H Bundesliga match. I really hope that he doesn’t go to Liverpool but it looks inevitable, especially if he tops out and wins Leverkusen (nicknamed ‘Neverkusen’ for being the biggest bottlers ever in 2002) their… Read more »

Benkind

Mbappe to Arsenal can never happen this year. Never. The guy is trying to win the UCL. Arteta cannot handle that ego and we are not in the trophy win phase according to some. The guy has too many options, I am sorry but he will go to City or United before coming to us

WengerEagle

Rich Why even torture yourself with the Mbappe stuff? Everybody knows that he’ll be a Real Madrid player next season, they are the biggest club on the planet and the no.1 destination for superstar footballers. He’s openly said he has dreamed of playing there to boot. They actually have a real need for him too for the first time since 2009 one could argue as Benzema carried the load post Ronaldo. It’s not remotely realistic to expect Bellingham to continue to score at this rate although I do think he has it in his locker to score around as many… Read more »

Rich

Tom Arteta was asked about it today… There’s also been reputable reports that both Arsenal + Liverpool are looking at it. Nobody would have ever believed that Arsenal could have signed Sol Campbell… Unthinkable that we could sign the Spurs captain.. Without doubt my favourite ever signing. 2 years ago… We’d have had no chance, now we’ve at least got a punchers chance. I strongly suspect he’ll land at Madrid.. The worlds best players are never short of options, and make no mistake, Arsenal are now an attractive option for any player, that wasn’t the case 2 years ago. We’ve… Read more »

WengerEagle

I’ve said it before but I really do fancy us more to win the CL than the PL title this season. I was thoroughly unimpressed with both Bayern and PSG midweek, we beat either of those for me if we turn up. City are the only scary side out there, Real to a lesser extent maybe given their CL black magic and the fact that they are still really strong. But as for the rest, I’d be expecting us to beat any of them over 180 mins. They key for me is avoiding City until the Final because having to… Read more »

Guns of SF

all this talk about Mbappe Im seeing. Great player but the price will kill us

Rich

One for Pierre + Benkind:

Via TNT Sports:

“Only Mesut Özil and Cesc Fàbregas have a better minutes-per-chance ratio in the Premier League for Arsenal since Opta records began than Martin Ødegaard 🪄

𝐊𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫 🧠”

WengerEagle

Cesc was beyond an animal. That 2009/10 season he carried us on his back, literally. That Villa game around Christmas where he came on injured and scored the 2 goals including a banger of a FK was unforgettable.

It’s criminal that he had to feed Bendtner and Chamakh for large spells of his prime seasons here. Can only imagine how many more assists he’d have if RVP could actually have stayed fit.

Siddeeq

Bayern need to get rid of the overrated Sane and Serge.

Rich

Martin Ødegaard is twice the player that Ozil was, and Ozil in the first half’s of 2015/16 + 2016/17 was exceptionally good. But our captains all around game is vastly superior, one of the best off the ball players in the world when the games condensed. He’s a leader who organises those around him, and leads our press brilliantly. I’m open to upgrading any player, but I’m amazed at how many fans are under the false illusion that replacing Ødegaard would be easy… Phenomenal player, brilliant professional, best days hopefully ahead of him. I’ve thought for a while that later… Read more »

Guns of SF

Cesc could unpick any low block, parked bus.
Steady with the ball, fiery competitor. Miss that

Habesha Gooner

Wenger Eagle
Arteta’s record in Europe is pretty dire to be honest. But we will field our strongest teams in the UCL this time, so we have that going for us.

Winning the league is a tall order. City are weaker but they are still monsters. We have to match their every result at the minimum to keep up with them.

We really are 3 elite players away from winning everything though. I think we will something major over the next two seasons if not this one.

Siddeeq

Thomas Muller should be taking his athritis medicine away from the stadium.

Siddeeq

Generational has a chance to win CL because Emery isnt there to eliminate him.

Habesha Gooner

I loved Ozil. But Odegaard is different gravy. He is consistent and at the top of his game runs games like Cesc used to do. I am pretty sure he is in the top 5 creative players in the world right now.

Siddeeq

Odegaard will Not get close to Modric, he will be like Arteta at best.

Samir

We all know Mbappe is going to Madrid, so there’s no point even discussing it.

We’ll be just fine without him.

Samir

Siddeeq

Ode is already better than Arteta ever was, stop attention seeking.

Siddeeq

There are similarities between Odegaard and Arteta.

One kicked out of RM, the other out of Barca.

Both captains of teams that dont have alot of pressure.

Siddeeq

Modric on the other hand, carried a mediocre team(Spurs) and RM came calling.

Benkind

Rich and Habesha, I laugh cause you are forgetting who Ozil was.
Odegaard that couldn’t hack it in Madrid. Ozil won more playing in Arsenal with giroud than Odegaard has won in his career.

When Odegaard does it in a world cup then let us discuss. Until then. Ozil was ridiculously good, that is/was a world class player.

Rich

For any manager to compete in multiple competitions for the duration, they need a squad. Look at what happened to West Ham last season, almost got dragged into a relegation battle, finished 14th, 21 points behind the Europa conference places. You see it with Brighton + Villa this season, whose players are dropping like flies, as they aren’t used to the schedule. We haven’t had what it takes to hit our targets in one competition at the business end in the last 2 seasons. There’s areas where it might weaken us, but we can eat a few injuries, but there’s… Read more »

danielesellwood1986

Rich back after working out 3 + 3 doesn’t equal 12

Bilbo

Mbappe is an outrageously talented footballer and, as Rich said, it’s a credit to the current setup that a transfer to Arsenal is not considered a joke. Like if Spurs were mooted.

That said, his wages would match his talent (and then some, to be honest) and it’s hard to discern how much of the toxicity during his time at PSG is his fault or that of the club who have created a frankly awful culture.

I’d take him in a heartbeat but I guess it’s an emotional hedge when he invariably goes to Madrid.

Tom

Weagle, good posts, as usual. Obviously people know my opinion of Kane but if they don’t think I’m actively rooting for Bayern to fail then they are mistaken. Bayern players laughing having learned they drew Arsenal in CL knock off stages is what proper football grudges are made of. I hope they get bounced by Lazio – although getting done by Arsenal would be sweeter still – and lose Bundesliga to Leverkusen. I’ve watched half a dozen of Leverkusen matches and was really impressed by them and Xabi. Didn’t realize he started his managerial career in RM’s U-14, and then… Read more »

Rich

We need some luck really.. Last season Inter played Benfica + AC Milan in the Quarter + Semi Finals.

They draw the Quarter + Semi Finals simultaneously on Friday 15th.

But after the International break, the schedule goes berserk if we’re still competing in Europe… That’s where we need a squad, and all hands on deck.

Liverpool would be rubbing their hands together with glee, at the thought of an Arsenal vs City double header in Europe.

Northbanker

Totally agree on comments on Ode (other than Sid’s usual shite) – incredible player and now making more direct passes forwards which is making his contribution more invaluable than ever.

Tom

“Tom, I saw a tweet of us being 2nd favorites according to Sportsline oddsmakers. Very distant 2nd but still 2nd.”

rap, so not too dissimilar then to me being my wife’s second favorite choice for sex partner after Brad Pitt.
Very distant 2nd but still 2nd.

Dissenter

If we were ever to win the CL, it would be because we became the luckiest team on the planet.
Like Rich, write would need some luck
Doesn’t mean we are shit but luck is the most undervalued commodity in football.

We need luck with the draws, luck with injuries, luck with opposition team injuries, luck with rebounds, luck with referees etc.

Dissenter

**Like Rich wrote would need some luck

Richard

Tom, 2nd choice is good going. I think for most of us top ten would be a result!

rollen

Money and under the table premiums are the problem.
I belive that Arteta could bullshit Mbappers to jojn Arsenal project.
I’m not so sure that Arteta could control him as he never deal with that caliber of player before. Would be glorious though.
95% he is going to Real , 4% City/Chelsea/Manure, 1% Saudi for world record money.

rollen

Arteta build this team to play against top team so, with some luck we could go far in CL. Porto games wil show us if we are serious now or still bedwetters in Europe.

rollen

It’s entropy or chaos theory not luck!
That’s why it nearly impossible to win CL 2 years in thw row.

Dissenter

To make Mbappe possible, to afford the mega sign on bonus, wages and agent fees for Mbappe, we would have to sell one our jewels
Martinelli would have to be sold, that will feel like cutting off your two thumbs to buy a new Ferrari.

Bilbo

Love the boy, Diss, but Marti is to Mbappe what Walcott was to Thierry. Not even close, never will be.

Bilbo

Sorry to finish that post: I would get my missus to drive Marti to whichever club and have his wicked way with her to be in with a 1:10 shot of Mbappe.

kpankulu

Odegaard that couldn’t hack it in Madrid. Ozil won more playing in Arsenal with giroud than Odegaard has won in his career. [@Benkind]

Yeah – nice way to denigrate our captain. What age was Odegaard when he actually played a few games for Madrid [when not on loan] vs when Ozil played there? No wonder people here don’t take you seriously. Be balanced.

Rich

De Bruyne got dumped by Chelsea at 22.. Signed for City at 24… Didn’t win a trophy there until his 3rd season..

He must be shit as well.

Benkind

Kpankulu and Rich Not denigrating anyone. It is facts. Odegaard did nothing at 17 and at 25 still has 1 trophy. At 25 what was Ozil doing and how many trophies won? Simple. No one is saying Odegaard is shit i never said that. If you will compare him to Ozil then be ready for that. Odegaard like saka I keep reading “… are carrying this Arsenal team…” what have they both carried us to? When we won FA cup Pepe, AMN, Martinez and Auba helped us. So, with all their carrying we bottled the league. I digress. Odegaard isn’t… Read more »

bendabrah

Is it possible that one of the reasons the comments section is quieter than usual is because Arsenal has won the last 4 games and appear to be hitting good form?

I am pretty certain it would have been busier if there was a crisis

Rich

BenKind The huge mistake you’re making is equating trophies as the sole arbiter to judge the quality of a player. Ozil winning the World Cup with Germany, a population of 84 million, who in 2014 had some of the best players in the world.. Isn’t a fair comparison to Ødegaard coming from Norway, with a population of 5 million, who’ve only ever qualified for the World Cup on 3 occasions. Also the landscape domestically has changed since 2017, it’s been much harder to compete against 2 juggernauts, but we’re gradually getting there. Ødegaard has been playing in a young team,… Read more »

Brian Muff

We didn’t “bottle” the league. Yet another oft used lazy old phrase that gets trotted out to paint a gloomy picture by miserable cunts. Lame AF.

rollen

lol Young Ozli was WC, late Arsenal Ozil was complete coward and wasted his talent. Odegard is on the way to have much better career. Defensively and what modern game is Odegard is better than both Ozil and Cesc ever were.
Don’t know why you guys talk shit about Saka and Ode while we have Zinchenko, Eddie, and many other underperforming players and absolute twat of goalkeeper coach.

gnarleygeorge9

What a way for Josh & Stan to announce themselves as serious ‘players’ on the world footie stage, especially with the USA co-hosting the next WC. Mbappe to The Arse makes perfect sense/cents 😛

But we have been teased upteen times b4😖

Useroz

Being able to get Mbappe, or not, is commercial as much as a footballing proposition If Arsenal could work out a deal with decent ROI considering FFP, why not?! That said, media say Mbappe /his entourage set a £1m+ pw wage expectation plus add ons (eg image rights) so we are looking at 60m+ pa , plus an initial outlay of say £150m+ for sign on bonus, agent commission, facilitation payments to brothers/ sisters/ cousins/ butler, etcetera. Also reported thou is, Mbappe is currently costing PSG €170m pa… With these mega numbers in play, we’d love to keep talking about… Read more »