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I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed a hit of CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW reaction. So here it is now:

I like it.

Bayern Munich is the perfect blend of super club at a lowish ebb that is very beatable. If you win, you’re really happy. If you lose, that’s just the level of the Champions League for you.

I’d give us a 40% chance of making it through to the next round. Bayern has nothing to play for, the away leg is going to be really tough, and I’m not sure how the boys are going to handle the bright lights away from home.

We’re better than Bayern over the stretch of a season, just not sure we’re better at this point in our development in a cup game over two legs.

But we’ll see. Never underestimate The Arsenal, as Matt Kandela says.

The really difficult issue I have with the overall side of the bracket we’re on. If we make it out of Munich, we’ll have City or Madrd in the next round. Quite the punishment, wouldn’t you say?

City three times in two months is not an attractive proposition. If we landed them in the semi-final, it’d be the most consequential since 1999, when a missed Bergkamp penalty and a Ryan Giggs wonder goal cost us three tournaments.

There’s more jeopardy for City if they lose, which really could be problematic for their iron-clad belief. If we lose, it’s just part of the process when you’re building out a young team.

The Premier League is where the action is at. We’ll dispatch of 30% of our remaining games the first week back. City, Luton and Brighton. You take 9 from that, and things really are cooking, you take 5. We’re on very shaky ground. It’d be insane to finish this season with nothing, but the competition is so fierce, it’s a reality we have to look directly in the eye of (that was a very clunky line).

Ben White signed his new deal and the same day, Gareth Southgate rolled him under the bus by revealing the player has refused his advances. The player doesn’t want to be part of England, Gareth offered it up, but there are no issues. All these problems stem from Steve Holland, his assistant who disrespected Ben.

The Daily Mail has gone all-in on the story. ‘What would my grandfather who fought in World War II think’ type narratives are everywhere. I don’t think White cares. If you feel like the manager who runs the show doesn’t rate you, why would you give up a summer you could spend with your new wife? Life is too short to do things you don’t value.

The next England manager will no doubt make a play for White when they arrive and I’m sure he’ll sign up. This is a black mark against Southgate in my opinion, it shows a real lack of leadership and class.

Arsenal fans love him, that’s all that really matters. He’s a standout performer who should have a role in a squad that has Jordan Henderson and Harry McG as key members.

The club still hasn’t announced the Tomi deal, though that is expected soon. The big one is Mikel Arteta’s. Josh K is in town, they have a tight relationship, maybe he’s inking that one as well?

Who knows…

We’ve been linked with Gyökeres for £85m. If we’re passing on Toney, I’d be surprised if we drop that sort of money on someone who is 26 years old. He’d need a year to adapt, then he’s 27. Think we’ll go for someone younger if we move with that sort of money.

Right, that’s me done. Enjoy your weekend off and hope Man City add more games to their already packed schedule. If they win today, their Spurs game will get moved to the end of the season. Imagine Big Ange winning the title for Arsenal? He might have no choice if Unai Emery is pushing them. Also worth mentioning that Villa qualifying for the next round of Europa means they’ll have no planning advantage before playing us. They’ll be just as fried as the Arsenal boys!

We recorded a Before the Whistle the Patreons are loving. So jump on that with a 7-day free trial if that’s what you like. x

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Did Partey report for Ghana national team duty?

I think it would helpful to let him play some minutes for the national team as he gets rid of his rustiness, better to let him get match sharp in competitive games that won’t cost Arsenal.

Last edited 25 days ago by Dissenter

ES I want a centre back who can play full back, or a full back who play centre back. Throwing the dice on the same injury prone players would be basket-case lunacy, how many times do we need to see the same script play out… Before we try something different?.. I have absolutely no idea why we’re renewing Tomiyasu at this stage, at least assemble a sample size on his ability to string a few consecutive games together first. In his 2.5 seasons he’s proved thoroughly unreliable, I like both him and Zinchenko, but neither can be trusted to stay… Read more »


The Athletic on Benni Blanco – – “At the outset of contract talks, White’s representatives commissioned a report from data-driven sports consultancy Analytics FC. The in-depth document highlighted how White has excelled as a full-back and centre-back, as well as identifying some of his strongest attributes. Compared to full-backs across Europe’s five biggest leagues, White is in the top 10 per cent for ‘progressive’ short passes and passing accuracy” – “This season, he has developed into one of Arsenal’s leaders. He is one of the team’s more experienced players. Staff were pleasantly surprised when, during a pre-season training session, White… Read more »



You may be correct in your assessment of Tomiyasu and Zinchenko.

However, there is no suggestion that any of the four I listed will be offloaded this summer.

I suspect that Arteta will play Timber in starting lineup if match fit.

Insofar as Cedric’s replacement I suggest that Walters could be added
to first team squad. He can play both CB and RB.

Positions 22-24 in squad should be recruits from Academy ie 3rd string
goalkeeper + two outfield players with low expectation of regular playing


ES I argued this before our recent form, I’ve never been overly worried about goals. If you look at our squad, it’s not about where we’d most like an upgrade.. We instead need to identify where the most likely point of squad failure is, and then address it. We’ve got plenty of options in our front 5, i’m not against upgrading… But we have options We’ve proven we can still get results with Eddie in the team.. I’m not that bothered about Vieira. Smith Rowe, Nelson getting minutes, But throwing the dice on Partey for the 5th consecutive season can’t… Read more »


Diss Agreed that Partey could use the match practice, but he hasn’t gone away with Ghana. Tomiyasu hasn’t gone away with Japan either. Minutes in a friendly Is exactly what Partey needs right now, since he hasn’t started a competitive game since August. Tomi hasn’t played since the beginning of Feb at the Asian Cup.. Playing at least one of the games for Japan would have surely been beneficial. Rather than throwing these 2 cold, into a title race or CL knockout game. If Partey had got 60 against Uganda… He’d have maybe put himself in contention for a start… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Rich

RICH We can debate ad infinitum how Arteta should select teams. It is clear to me that if everyone is “match fit” Arteta would prefer to play the same starting eleven in all EPL games. The only position where his preferred choice is unclear is left back. Had Timber not sustained a serious injury in first game of season my guess is that he would have become regular left back. Havertz was recruited as his preferred left midfielder. However, he has played recently in attack whilst Jesus was injured. Nketiah is clearly ranked third string option at CF behind both… Read more »


I miss the early 2000s when great CFs were ten a penny

Henry, Bergkamp, anelka, van nistelrooy, tevez, Rooney, Ronaldo, Owen, Fowler, Saha,van persie, hasselbaink etc etc we’re all give or take playing in the PL at near enough the same time…

Any one of those would’ve been 100+m in todays market

Then there was the next category down like Defoe, gudjohnsson etc. even those guys would cost 75m in todays market because of how scarce genuinely good CFs are now


ES We can’t play the same team 12-14 times in 7 weeks.. We’ve just played 10 games in 53 days, so sticking with a relatively stable team has been easy.. We’re about to enter a period of playing 12-14 games in 50 days… Those small gaps between fixtures to recover + recuperate are going to be extremely minimal, particularly if we make the semi-final. We’re trying to evolve into a club that competes in 4 competitions for the duration.. The idea you can do that with the same 11 players isn’t realistic, we’re not trying to manage just 38 games…… Read more »


Partey is staying put in London and not joining up with the Ghana NT… Finally, something sensible!


As for game minutes for Partey and Tomi– this is usually the situation where Arteta favors closed-door friendlies with Watford or Luton or Ipswich. Wouldn’t be surprised to hear of one this week.


China The lack of centre forwards is likely down to how structured football has become. You don’t get many Mavericks these days, navigating the transfer market doesn’t appear to be about solely signing the most technically gifted players. It’s more about targeting specific profiles, clubs need to decide how they want to play, and then identify + secure cogs for the system. In one system a player could look like a world beater, but in a different system they could look bang average. Remember Wenger once saying: “ There’s only a handful of players who are that good, that it… Read more »


The Guardian –

“Nottingham Forest have received a four-point deduction for breaching the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules, dropping them into the relegation zone, one point from safety.

An announcement from the Premier League is expected on Monday and Forest are likely to appeal.”


I really don’t get all the furore surrounding Ben White excluding himself from the national team, it certainly doesn’t seem to bother him.

I suspect that Ben White will enjoy a very satisfactory and productive international career – as soon as the present coaching incumbents at the FA move on…


The premier league is devaluing the league with the way they are enforcing PSR
They need to only execute point deductions after appeals have been exhausted and announce it at the beginning of the following season.
What is happening now is tantamount to shifting goals posts while the game is still ongoing.


The real question is not Forest’s point deduction but $h*tTy’s relegation to league 3, the cancellation of of EPL Championships, CL and Cups wins, and a wholesale freezing on player purchases.

Nigel Tufnel

Bob N16,

I just read your response to me and it’s completely valid. I actually had begun talking about the “general” legrovegroup of Toney fetishists and fans (including Pedro) while a had been addressing you at the start. I wasn’t really even talking to you so much in those last points.
My mistake.

Nigel Tufnel

Mysticleaves puts a negative spin on Ben White. Saying Trippier is ahead of him at this point is beyond stupid. White outclassed him last year, now is miles ahead. Would I be wrong in assuming that Mysticleaves was one of the louder against signing White and complaining about the price constantly? He must try to downplay him forever then? He’s not clearly better CB than Mcguire? Slander. White as a CB had a very good season for us.. good enough to get called up to England in that position. He’s a better CB than all Southgates other options…. and would… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by Nigel Tufnel

The lack of mavericks is because the streets are Not safe for children to play anymore.

The academies like most institutions, produce robot like players.


Gabriel Magalhães has withdrawn from the Brazil National Team due to injury.

Oh no….

It’s only friendlies but playing for the ultra competitive Brazil team is an absolute honor. In addition, the Brazilian footballers playing in Europe didn’t even have to travel far as Brazil is to play vs England on Wembley and Spain on Santiago Bernabeu.

I hope it’s nothing serious ffs…

Nigel Tufnel

Rich said:

” (Isak) capable of the spectacular, and he’s quick. But lacks anything resembling urgency, industry, energy, or aggression. He’s far too lackadaisical without the ball for my liking, and he’s had a few injuries. If you look at the style of player Arteta covets in our front 5, they’re nearly all defensive forwards.”

Rich you perfectly describe my impressions from watching Isak.

Topside Northbank

Hopefully Big Gabi is withdrawn as a precaution. Hes been excellent this season.

Forest deducted 4 points, Luton last min goal against them looking massive.

Topside Northbank

If Forest appeal as expected the ruling may not be decided until after this season ends.



The maverick really belongs to the 1970s. If Odegaard had been born then he would probably have been in that group with Tony Currie, Stan Bowles, Duncan MacKenzie, Alan Hudson etc

This decade requires much more, including a willingness to graft on AND off the ball. Ode gets that and does it in spades.

Bob N16

Agree with you about the 70s Northbanker (Frank Worthington, Charlie George, George Best).

Cantona was also a fully paid up member of the Mavericks’ club!

Fair play NigelT!


Sami Mokbel, DM
Gabriel Magalhaes withdrawal from Brazil squad is not due to serious injury – more precaution. Problem described as genuine but not ‘too bad’. Magalhaes has been carrying a foot issue – but no confirmation of the specific issue linked to his withdrawal.

Sounds like there will be enough time for him to heal up and be ready by the end of March for our visit to the Etihad Stadium. Two weeks. Fingers crossed.


China – you forgot Drogba & Torres.


Meanwhile why is Timber having Spanish lessons being payed for by the club.
How do I know ? My daughter is employed by the club amongst others to teach him face to face.


With so much at stake in so few games this season maybe our players are putting club before country and the prospect of them making a little bit history?


So you just broke the confidence of your daughter, by disclosing that and then outing her as your source?

Last edited 25 days ago by Dissenter

Mavericks such as Matt le Tissier.
Can I add Ian Wright to the centre forwards list ?


I haven’t broken any confidence in fact there was a photo of her with Timber and his girlfriend at The Porto game published but I actually don’t know why he is learning Spanish ,therefore it’s a poser.



Meanwhile why is Timber having Spanish lessons being payed for by the club How do I know ? My daughter is employed by the club amongst others to teach him face to face.

Why don’t you ask your daughter


Marbellaron – if that fact wasn’t disclosed publicly then it is a breach of confidence. Not that most of us are going to lose that much sleep over it!

Topside Northbank

Being in the mix, last 8 CL and around top PL, decent times to be an Arsenal fan.

Eboues Bank Account

Got me a wicked cigar burnin. Ain’t bothering myself with a single thing in this bleeding world.Fuck Arsenal too LOLOL …I kid of course. COYG!


Topside Northbank It absolutely is. And the greatest part of all this? Tets is committed to getting us some trophies. Mark my words. As much as Pierre bemoans the FA Cup (and that is no slight on you mate, as I 100% agree with you on why the football is full on spectacular. This is all thanks to the fact that tickets for the first few rounds are a tenner. It’s to garner as many ppl as possible through the turnstiles to keep the packed grounds and get ppl who don’t have the chance to watch their team that often,… Read more »



Maybe Arteta wants to communicate with him in local language? No other reason it could be lol


The points deduction fiasco could turn the whole season into a farce. This whole idea of penal sanctions years in arrears is unworkable The relegation battle may be fundamentally altered on almost the last day of the season which is unacceptable The Cheaty situation is even worse. City have “allegedly” cheated their way to becoming an income generator from football operations. Keep winning the Prem with the odd CL final and you can’t help but have a healthy financial situation ultimately (only works if there is one of you) FFP MkII needs to be much sharper and more responsive. It… Read more »


The appeals process for these points deductions is also such that they do not guarantee your appeal will be concluded until a couple of weeks after the season finishes So you literally have a possible scenario whereby a team’s finishing position changes dramatically after the final game of the season – rendering their placement on the final day meaningless Ie if arsenal won the league by a point on the last day, they could finish 3rd… or vice Versa. Or a relegated team could stay up… or vice versa. Same for CL qualification… or not This is the problem when… Read more »


It’s all to do with the prospect of a government regulator, that’s what has motivated those at the Premier League/FA to suddenly spring into action…

Too late mate.


The authorities themselves should be investigated as to why city’s charges were only raised several years after the fact

Why were they not tracked and dealt with at the time?


China– the same charges were properly dealt with in 2018, and found City to be in non-compliance. However, due to appeals UEFA allowed, City ran out the clock involving a time limitation with multiple appeals. The FA/PL reviving of the charges have no time limitation, only one appeal (within the FA only, no outside appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or any other body), and that one appeal is limited to rehearing the facts with the only change being two of the 3-person panel who originally heard the case can be replaced by new members of the… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by JW1

Normally the international break is soooo boring but its so nice watching all these videos on Ben white and all the take on it from pundits, and fans.

Lad entertained us when playing for Arsenal and is now entertaining us while the international break is on.. Great that he’s extended his contract as well. Just the right time to do it.

Luteo Guenreira

Broken confidence? Outing a source? Because some old dude mentioned his daughter is teaching a football player a language?

You guys are a bunch of clowns, I swear. Probably more upset than his daughter would ever be. Get a grip with all the faux outrage about every little fucking thing.


“Broken confidence? Outing a source? Because some old dude mentioned his daughter is teaching a football player a language?
You guys are a bunch of clowns, I swear. Probably more upset than his daughter would ever be. Get a grip with all the faux outrage about every little fucking thing.”



“Already two goals scored by Kylian MBappe against Montpellier. Scoring machine” JS, your obsession with Mbappe is unhealthy, but you seem like a likable fella so I’m gonna break it to you gently – he’s not coming to Arsenal, let it go. And two, seeing as you’ve been getting super excited over his scoring record this season, 9 of his goals were from pens and these don’t count (I know this because Weagle told me ), and 5 ( I think)of his goals came against actual farmers( not joking, fourth and sixth tier of French football in Coupe de France.… Read more »

Canadian Gooner

“I suspect that Arteta will play Timber in starting lineup if match fit.” – Emirstesstroller He’s not alone with comments like these. Based off what? The guy didn’t even play one whole EPL game. He also blew his freaking knee out so even if he had looked good in a run of game prior to doing that you do realize there’s a very real possibility he will forever be 90 or 95% of the player he was. What we knew about Timber before the injury: A guy who looked real good in a bush league and promising in pre season.… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel


Thanks for the info. I had remembered the part about the NO outside appeals, and no time limit. Those are the most promising aspects. The other details I didn’t know about.


I’m not expecting anything from Timber this season. The best thing we can do is hardly play him so he has a long recovery time. It’s been shown that statistically re- inflaming the injury increases disproportionately with every month brought forward


I hope Timber doesn’t play at all until the next pre-season.


And if Mansourty are to be docked points and titles etc, does that leave them open to retrospective actions by other clubs for potential loss of earnings from not participating in European competitions?
Every club knocked out of domestic competitions by them over the years would have a claim if that can of worms gets opened.
But precedents are funny things….


Wanna know a crazy stat?

19 years ago, Porto signed both Pepe and Thiago Silva


Thiago was one of the PLs best defenders last year and Pepe is still a CL knockout stage player at 41. There’s something in that Porto water.

Yes, when arsenal were invincibles, those two were professional players lol


I suspect if you made a pensioners 11 of current or very recently retired elite oldies you’d have a pretty awesome team

Up until last season you’d have had a front 3 of Zlatan giroud Ronaldo, mandzukic on the bench
Modric at CM
Thiago and Pepe CB
Buffon GK

That’s one hell of a spine in spite of the geriatrics lol

Can’t think of any others but there must be some crackers I’m forgetting