MAGIC NUMBERS

by .

It is absolutely not game day and that makes me sad but happy at the same time. I like the idea of sitting back to watch City and Liverpool lose. But I do not like the idea of a Monday night game. My weekend will feel empty.

We spoke on the Before the Whistle podcast and the view was that we have to start seeing some points getting dropped by title-race hunters.

I’m just not sure I’m seeing that this weekend.

City vs United has more chance of being a bloodbath for EtH than an upset. United players know there’s massive change coming and the football represents the uncertainty. Slow passing, zero pressing, little accountability, and a series of drab results that has them in nowhere land. Remember when everyone thought he was the next level because he ran around shouting ‘standards’ in every presser? Remember people slandering Arteta because EtH had an identity sorted inside 3 months? I do.

Forest vs Liverpool doesn’t feel like the sort of game that is going to give me any sort of pleasure. Klopp has a depleted starting 11, but I’m not sure Forest has enough killer in them. Though tired legs will start to work in our favor at some point, just not sure that’s today.

Arsenal has Sheffield United on Monday, that game should not be one we lose sleep over. Every newly promoted minnow has the chance to upset a big team, just not sure it’s this Sheff U side. They are a mess, they don’t have many threats, and they’ve been dreadful all season. 13 points, a negative 44 goal difference, it’s pretty bleak.

This game is a good one to give some minutes to folk who will need them for the run-in. Thomas Partey is back in action, Gabriel Jesus should be fit, Fabio Vieira is in the mixer.

Partey really is the unknown here. He’s been training for a while, but he hasn’t featured in a long time. Can he use his experience to get back to good form right away? Or will he need a run of games? If he can hit the ground run, he gives us so much optionality in midfield. Our seasons usually end on him exiting the starting 11, could his return give us a boost when we’re in boost mode already?

My big worry heading into this run-in is that we’re almost too good.

December and early January was not a good reflection of our performances. We were playing well, but getting punished in defence, and flopping in front of goal. I remember reading people talking about us padding xG or lacking quality chances – when the real issue was things sometimes just don’t drop for you in football.

Well, now everything is dropping for us. There’s no metric you can look at and not be THRILLED.

I don’t even understand what this graph means, but apparently, @DataAnalyticEPL is measuring dangerous shots and we don’t concede many of them.

Everywhere you look, there’s a wonderful chart that we’re smashing.

We aren’t getting lucky according to xG, whereas Liverpool clearly has been all season, and people outside me are finally noticing it.

Arsenal are just good. We defend really well, and our whole team is capable of scoring goals. No one beats us for setpieces. No one has a better press. And the squad us largely fit with top players coming back.

If data were reality – we’d be faves for the league. Sadly, it’s not. Liverpool has more big trophy winners than us and City has seen this moved 5 times before.

Where I’m trying to go with this meandering point is when things are too good to be true… something happens, especially when you’re an Arsenal fan. So I’m not getting my hopes up… or am I.

Ok, short post today. Get on the On The Whistle podcast and sorry I had to duck early. Work tings. Get it here!

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Little Mozart

It was mmen against boys

benkind

The thing is asides Liverpool we have beaten all sides we should beat. We will win tomorrow. Some people are happy we have few games in March, I am concerned. We have Villa, spurs, united, Chelsea, City, Brighton, still left to play in a very congested time with UCL to deal with. So much to go. Like Habesha said, to be sure to win the EPL we need to win 13, minimum 12. We are at our best, City and Liverpool, especially Liverpool are grinding out results. They are both playing more games than us also.

Habesha Gooner

Wenger Eagle I know it looks daunting but we are better than every other side apart from City. The rest of our games are against those teams. If we are going to win the title, we have to be near perfect. We have 12 games left. Win all of them. The City game is a must not lose though whatever happens. We really shouldn’t care about going away at Old Trafford. This is a shit United team. We have to play the game and not the occasion. Spurs are a bit difficult but they are also open so they will… Read more »

X haka

KSE getting off with a free pass as usual. Could have had, Pep or Klopp to replace Wenger.
Ticket prices going up again, but will we get Alonso, when we fell short again?
And Arteta turns into Wenger 2.

WengerEagle

Foden looked incredible today, he’s now scored 8 goals in 10 PL apps vs Utd and 6 in his last 4 matches which is madness for a non-penalty taking midfielder.

Tom

WEagle, Foden’s a midfielder?

London gunner

Such a disappointing week the worse was Liverpool’s winner yesterday a draw would have been huge for us but I can see them going unbeaten they will be dieing for klopp this season and salah Robertson and Alison will be back soon. City have been pretty shit this season but they are machine like and have individual quality to win games and also seem to be favoured by refs. To win the league we need the following to happen win every game and draw against city and Liverpool city tie to be a draw and city to draw one other… Read more »

Olatunde

Even last season when haaland was having the season of his life, I watched him and concluded that apart from his goals he contributes next to nothing. He misses many clear cut chances, has poor ball control and combination play with other attacking players is average at best.
Those rooting for him as the best player in the world should really be embarrassed. He is not even the best on Manchester.

Dissenter

More people saw Arsenal women beat spurs women than saw the city team beat United today at the Etihad

Brian Muff

Let’s face it. Utd made the cheats look good today. We’ll beat them at their place. That’s for certain. It’s been coming and they know it.

This season is ours.

allezkev

What grates is that Man United will somehow rediscover their best form when we visit OT…

Nigel Tufnel

Man City desperately held on to beat Bournemouth last week… United was the easiest fixture for them until after they play us.

Nigel Tufnel

What I take away from the Manchester match is this.
Legroves scouting dept… (commenters, not Pedro) are the worst on the internet.. really, worse than Twitter.

Onana had a good game by HIS weak standards, but he is a horrible, inconsistent goalkeeper. The 1 thing you don’t want in a keeper.. inconsistency.

Then the guy all grovers were getting wet about… Doku.
So overrated with commenters here crying what a “brilliant bit of business” he was…

Doku is what you get when you combine dribbling with a sub 80 IQ.

rollen

Manure 100% will play better against us. It will be a hard game at Old Toilet.

rollen

So funny, Kane went to Munich for trophies and this will be first season since forever that they will win nothing.

Chas

Brewster injured for tomorrow I hear…. SHU have barebones team

China1

Chris I’d like to take a moment to apologize and claim no legal responsibility if you took my advice to remortgage your house, refinance your car, empty your bank account, get cash back on your eggs and bacon and take that ‘fat stack’ down to your local betting shop to bet it all on arsenal being top of the table come the end of the Sheffield Utd game

It turns out betting your life away on my hunches is not a sure fire way to becoming a millionaire. Little did I know…

allezkev

Isn’t Ivan Toney a millionaire?

Kpankulu

“Top 4 is out of reach and we are shit. That being said, Saka is not world class and Arteta is still a rookie manager”. – Rio Ferdinand

TallestTiz

Kpankulu
When did the comedian say that?

Kpankulu

TallestTiz: I’m being sarcastic 🙂

Nigel Tufnel

Anybody notice the ref in the 1st half of the Manchester game? Just let them play… almost no little fouls. Contrast with that Dutch –tch at Porto. Don’t tell me refs don’t have everything to do with results. I hope Pedro is right and that is remedied by UEFA in the next leg.

China1

So it’s been widely accepted as a ‘monumental error’ from ref Tierney with the drop ball that led within seconds to Liverpool’s winner

Isn’t Tierney the one who directly cost us 5 points (probably the title) last season?

Here he is again playing god in the title race?

Nothing to see here PGMOL. Just another day in the office.

China1

Kane not winning a trophy at Bayern is comedy gold

He made Bayern spursy???

Marky Mark

UTD as many predicted went for shit housery and it failed. It also sure makes you look bad when it fails

Berg10kamp

Lol x haka, pls oh pls crawl back into your hole mate. Arteta is one of the best managers right now, and u want to replace him if he doesn’t win the league against a City team with bags of experience, loads of money and 115 charges of breaking rules. Xabi alonso, just cos he is doing well with leverkusen in a much less competitive league, u think arteta wouldn’t do what he is doing in that same league? Wake up. We look better than we have looked since the invincibles buddy whether we win anything or not, get a… Read more »

benkind

🔴⚫️ Bayer Leverkusen are now 10 points on top of the Bundesliga, one more win… and their unbeaten run continues. 🤯 99 goals scored in 34 games. 🚀 11 goals and 11 assists for Grimaldo, 10 goals and 10 assists for Frimpong — LWB and RWB. Xabi Alonso, doing super job. Copied from twitter. Imagine Leverkusen loosing the league and someone saying they didn’t bottle it. Xhaka is using us as an example for his teammates. We bottled the league last season, but don’t worry we are in phase 5, trophies lack context. I wonder the context and phase Leverkusen… Read more »

Berg10kamp

Must be sarcasm… or utter dimness. And I apologise if it is the former.

Berg10kamp

Agree allezkev, OT is always a daunting place for us for some reason. We need to Newcastle them, I’m sure we will score more than we did against Newcastle.

Madhu

There is no way in hell we are losing to this united team. If it does happen then it will be a total off game. It’s embarrassing how the commentators were frothing on Man U even when they were playing badly. Some guy oconnor along with Matt Holland were the commentators. These guys are so desperate for Man U to become an imp team they were praising simple things.

Chris

Don’t worry China1, I only have the odd flutter on an acca every now and then for fun, and for very small stakes 🙂

Rich

Some good stuff here from Adrian Clarke on Havertz.

https://www.premierleague.com/news/3917059

Amazing what a bit of confidence can do, also some interesting stuff of Havertz conversion rate.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rich
Rich

Also The King is on Monday Night Football tonight, starts @ 18.30.. Will be getting on that one nice + early.

zaco

whatever Arsenal may do this summer selling Mika Biereth should not be one of them.
The young man is scoring goals and that is what strikers do.
He is the kind of players Brighton, Dortmund, Liepizg, Porto, Benfica and sporting Lisbon would invest in and he will turn out good.

Dissenter

Mika Biereth is the Folarin Balogun of 2023-2024. You sell while his stick is high, it’s not rocket science.
Some of our fans are living a charmed life if they don’t realize that we’ve declared a loss for the 5th consecutive season. In the era of PSR that has teeth, we can’t continue to mishandle talent.
Mika, like Balogun has never been in the plans of the long term manager. It’s a 100% sell.No ifs, ands or buts.

TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

This make me chuckle from today’s Arseblog.

We all know how good Man City are, and how their special blend of 115 fruits and vegetables helps them maintain their prowess throughout the season.

Tom

” u think arteta wouldn’t do what he is doing in that same league? Wake up.” Maybe he would but probably not in the same time frame. It takes time to ship out all ”bad apples” and ”change culture” of a club in a relegation zone. Not to mention getting a dog with a winning mentality if course. For some weird reason Alonso just skipped all these stages and instead decided to go straight into winning the league in his second season with a club nicknamed ”Neverkusen” by rival fans, after having spent 20m net on transfers. Of course had Kane… Read more »

Useroz

However ‘legendary’ and daunting that old stinky Trafford place is, if we couldn’t beat them this season, we have a problem. I genuinely believe we can, no buts and if’s…

That said, we probably need to win all/almost all games to secure the title this season!

ps.a similar ‘KdB pull’ by any of our players would the ref pulling the yellow quicker than Martinelli… just disparity at play

Last edited 1 month ago by Useroz
Siddeeq

Its unfair to compare Generational to Xabi,

a process takes time while Xabi has Xhaka coached by Generational.

Jamie

Piece from the Athletic explaining Arsenal’s FFP position.

https://theathletic.com/5307717/2024/03/01/arsenal-finances-ffp-wages-debt/

Player sales (Sambi, Rams?, Nelson?, Eddie?, Tavarez, a youth player or two perhaps?, Partey), Champs League money, and new Emirates commercial deal(s) should put the club back into profit next season.

Nigel Tufnel

Rich,
Good article about Havertz. Let’s hope some of the masterminds here read it and learn something. There’s no chance it will be understood by les miserables.

I think I heard on the gooner talk that our current squad has a lower wage bill than one that lost the Europa final under Emery. The owners have done a good job if that is true.

Brian Muff

The world watching on as Arsenal serve up some of the sexiest football on the planet right now, whilst Benkind & Sideeq are still looking over the fence at other managers 😂

These two really are the turds of the blog.

Rich

Taking nothing for granted, we’ll have to graft for our points..

But seen a stat doing the rounds..

If Arsenal win by 5 goals tonight, we’d be the first club in the history of English football’s top 4 divisions, to win by a 5 goal margin in 3 successive league away games.

Sheffield United have conceded 5 in each of their last 3 home games…

https://www.nowarsenal.com/latest-news/ruthless-arsenal-could-set-new-english-football-record-against-sheffield-united/

Aaron

Mikel should keep the same lineup.

They are rollin’.

Smash Sheffield, recove,r and get ready for Porto.
Maybe rotate a bit in this next game.

Total futbol Mikel, 100% domination.

Let’s go!

Hermes

This is a difficult match, the boys should not take it for granted.
I have a bad feeling

jwl

Just saw the trophy for top scorer in Germany is a mini cannon that looks like our old emblem, so hopefully Kane doesn’t win any medals this season but end up with a cannon trophy.

Rich

The FA are a joke.. Paul Tierney’s punishment for helping Liverpool gain 3 points last weekend..

Being demoted to VAR next weekend to officiate Arsenal, one of Liverpool’s direct rivals.

https://x.com/gunnerblog/status/1764693464682225743?s=20

jwl

Good article by Jonathan Wilson this morning, going to be a tough ten matches. ———– “And that perhaps explains the feeling over the past couple of months, even as City have won 15 of their last 16 games, that they are not quite at their best, that they are not quite as intimidatingly remorseless as in previous seasons. There has also been a recognition that the fixture list has been unusually gentle. Sunday was the first time since they lost to Villa three months ago that they have played a side who began the day in the top eight in… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Rich, I still think it’s criminally poor policy they exercise over Jared Gillet. They acknowledge that it would be wrong to let him ref or VAR Liverpool games as a big fan… but they allow him to affect us by reffing or VAR as against Newcastle, where he showed clear bias. They admitted the wrong call on Guimaraes red, and we know the story on their fake goal. The obvious answer should be that he can’t ref or VAR teams that are direct title rivals to his favourites Liverpool. Neither Arsenal or Man City. He has just as much sway… Read more »

Tom

Rich, it didn’t say ‘punishment’.
Don’t refs get rotated in and out of matches to do VAR duties?

Pool scored a minute and 50 seconds after the drop ball error with changes of ball possession in between.

Guns of SF

Fuck this Tierney fella. Cringe he is working our game.

Guns of SF

Why we insist with British refs. Take them out, and you remove and explicit or implicit bias. Simple

Just that its an old boys network

Guns of SF

Read we have a historic losing record on Mondays. I know its Sheffield but our boys got to come out swinging. None of this weekend malaise shit. We need at least 3 GD or more.

TallestTiz

Paul Tierney has been selected as VAR for the Arsenal v Brentford match on Saturday.

PGMOL sources insist Tierney ‘hasn’t been dropped’ following his high-profile error in Nottingham Forest v Liverpool at the weekend.

FB_IMG_1709575809097
raptora

It’s weird that a VAR ref appointment is the talking point of our game starting in less than 2 hours.

Hopefully it’s not the talking point during and after the game.

Let’s focus on our game and try to do what’s in our power.

I’m so excited to see our players returning to the squad. I just pray we get lucky and not have any serious injuries from now to the end of the season.

Soon, when hopefully Partey and Timber are fully back, we’ll be much stronger.

Last edited 1 month ago by raptora
jwl

From gooner on twitter –

“Arsenal have scored 25 goals in their last six Premier League games.

The record across seven consecutive Premier League games is 28 goals which is held by Manchester City in the 2017/18 season.

The Gunners need to score 3+ goals tonight against Sheffield United to set a new Premier League record.”

Habesha Gooner

An hour to go. A must win.

Dissenter

It’s sad that we’ve reached the point where premier league clubs are now hiring former referees to serve as consultants to deal with the PGMOL.
btw, The PGMOL strenuously deny that Tierney was punished.
For all you know, he got a bonus.

Chas

I wanna see all guns blazing ….no mercy…. Rapid from the KO…. claiming down… Everyone tosser is desperate for us to slip up and it’s the usual occasion we do … Bottom line

MATCH THEIR PASSION WE WIN HAMDS DOWN NO PROBLEMS…

MATCH THEIR F***ING PASSION!!!!

COME ON GUNNERS!!!

Chas

Kop and Citeh struggling over the line… Late winners…. Desperate points… Let’s be the team out of the three, smashing teams, convincingly and barbarically as we await those cheats on 31 March!!!!

GoonerB

Arsenal Team:

Screenshot_20240304_140223
jwl

Arsenal XI vs. Sheffield United: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Rice, Jorginho, Ødegaard; Saka, Martinelli, Havertz.

Arsenal subs: Ramsdale, Cedric, Vieira, Partey, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Trossard, Jesus, Nketiah.

raptora

0 changes from last game. Kai at CF, Jorgi in midfield. Let’s win it!

Guns of SF

If we smesh them, hope TP can get a run in for a few mins

jwl

Nice to see Partey and Jesus back in time to help us out with last ten matches, Zinny and Tomi is concerning. I would like to know what happened with Tomi was he further injured when went off to Asian cup.

jwl

from twitter –

“Thomas Partey has been included in the Arsenal matchday squad for the first time since the 2-2 draw against Chelsea last October & for just the seventh (!) time this season.”

TheLegendaryDB10

For me, the best thing to do tonight is to play like we have so far in the last 5 games and and treat Sheff Utd like any other team in the EPL. For me, as long as we stay focused, play the game like we have done in our last 4 -5 games, should ensure quite a fair few goals tonight. I am sure Arteta will remind the players that no team in the EPL should be underestimated, despite how shit Sheff Utd maybe. I hope to see a solid battering in the first half which should then allow… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by TheLegendaryDB10
Hermes

So people think we will go there and smash them, easy!
In reality, they will defend really deep and siblings of the 5-4-1 formation are coming to us.
We need to show up and be creative otherwise we will end up with a draw and that is what we don’t want.

What you guys forgot is that both City and Sp*rs picked their win very late, we need to avoid this by any means necessary.

We must win this and I believe we can win this but we need to show up.

Rich

New post:

rollen

When was the last time we had best attack defence and GD?
If only not for December mini collapse.