by .

It’s Tuesday, and I’m still feeling pretty good about that Manchester City result. However, the bland punditry surrounding Arsenal this season has put a slight dampener on proceedings. It’s all a little personal, right?


A manager on the sidelines deemed disrespectful.

Having a bit too much fun with the club photographer.

And now, we’re dissecting a clean sheet at the Etihad, the first one in 882 days, as if it’s an insult to the beautiful game? Claiming we lacked ambition? That it wasn’t a serious performance?

When it boils down to it, people are resistant to change, and the change they’re resisting is Arsenal’s return to the top table.

Once we scoop that first glorious Premier League title, this nonsense will cease, and Arteta’s junior standing in the managerial hierarchy amongst pundits will change overnight.

It’s still disheartening for the Arsenal players and coaching staff to be bombarded with so much nonsense after a truly world-class performance.

Furthermore, some of the evaluations regarding individual performances seem lacking. Let’s face it, Manchester City is formidable; they compel you to be flawless with their pressing, they keep you in a constant state of alert, and they have the capability to capitalize on even the slightest errors because they boast some of the best players in the world.

It’s difficult to pinpoint any underperformers when you manage to hold City to a goalless draw and limit them to under 1 expected goal. Passengers cannot exist in games like that. If you have them, you’re dead; it’s as simple as that.

Now, we turn our attention to a new challenge this Wednesday against a Luton side fighting for survival. This match is crucial because three points are expected. The reality of the Champions League demands squad rotation for survival. We can’t afford to stumble into games like Brighton, Villa, and Wolves away. Arteta also needs to give playing time to players who haven’t seen much action: Thomas Partey, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, and even Fabio Vieira could all play significant roles in the final stretch of the season. If they’re not match-fit, they won’t be of any use to us.

You might notice I haven’t mentioned Timber. Why? Because I’m struggling to fathom how we integrate him into a team that’s hitting its peak. It might not be fair to him, nor worth the risk. Perhaps if he had played a couple of friendlies during the break, but he didn’t, so I’m hesitant to endorse his inclusion… especially considering he doesn’t have much experience in our first team (this is just an educated guess, by the way).

Arteta has been forced into rotation this season, and to some extent, it’s been effective. Despite our outrageous form all season, we’ve had to contend with heavy injuries throughout the year. The true test of rotation lies in how you manage your squad when all your star players are available… but you have to rely on those further down the pecking order.

Could Kiwior come into the midfield? Might we see Tomi at center-back and Cedric at right-back? Apologies, I can’t believe I just suggested that, do forgive me. In midfield, I expect to see Thomas Partey and Jorginho (the Italian hasn’t been worn out by a full season). Our front three might feature Reiss and certainly Trossard and Jesus.

We have plenty of options. Our bench could be very exciting. Whatever happens, our key players need to be out of that starting 11. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some big players dropped from the squad entirely.

Lastly, let’s take a look at this xG table from

Five of the top seven teams have overperformed their expected points by more than 8.9.

City and Arsenal have scored fewer than 5.

Some have questioned the reliability of the xG scores on the website, but regardless of their accuracy, it’s evident that teams significantly overperforming are the ones that have been under scrutiny all season.

The question remains: Are they getting away with it… or are they using wide-open football to outsmart the system?

Is a system that controls every inch of the pitch, like Arsenal and City, superior to the wide-open, high-scoring style of football seen with Spurs and Villa?

I don’t have a definitive answer, and we’ll only find out which style prevails by the end of the season… but let’s make some educated guesses.

United: It’s a blend of outrageous luck and having a squad brimming with individual talent that bails them out even in their worst performances. The system isn’t exemplary. Nor are their future prospects for the next few years.

Spurs: Ange has made positive strides with them. Everything I’ve heard about his vibe over there is promising. However, I’m not sold on his system. It exhausts players, it’s high-risk, and I doubt it will significantly evolve with better players. Plus, the absence of European competition is a factor. More time for coaching, more time for rest, and more time to devise strategies. Ange might find himself figured out next season – and I’m skeptical that Premier League + Europe will work to their advantage (especially if it’s the Champions League).

Liverpool: Klopp’s narrative has propelled them on a wave of euphoria. The last-minute goals, the stroke of luck, combined with individual brilliance, have been remarkable… but once he’s gone, that momentum won’t be sustainable, and a sixth-place finish next year wouldn’t be surprising.

I won’t even delve into Aston Villa, lest I stir up some heated debates among the commenters.

So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to check out the latest podcast!

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Clean sweep?


Will the fringe players be match ready?


Or will we have hearts in mouth moments?


Trophy 🏆


Anything less than a win against Luton is unacceptable


Emery is doing a good job with Villa

However, I have the feeling that soon they will be given a pasting like 5-0 or more.

They’re too open, as usual with Unai Emery teams


Morning- I doubt that the critics will stop if we win the Prem. They all hate us and we shouldn’t care



We hate them too, in equal and probably more measure


Just seen Sid’s latest stupid comment. Why are you posting crap like that still? It would be a massive disappointment but let’s cut the ‘unacceptable’ crap can we ?

Jim Furnell

The ghost of ESR, from saviour and England player to a shadow on the sideline. Such talent blighted by injury and seemingly no way back, even Pedro pits Viera before him.

Habesha Gooner

Yep, I would rotate heavily vs Luton. We have Brighton, Bayern and Villa with in the next 12 days. So I would bring in Zinchenko at LB, Partey instead of Jorginho and Tomi instead of White or Saliba. Also in attack I can see Saka being rested. The noise about Arsenal is a joke. We had more chances in that game than City. We could have nicked it. We played it as a must not lose which I agree with. Totally agree with pool not returning to compete next season. I can see them in the top 4 race though.… Read more »


Pedro, the problem isn’t fans grudgingly accepting the result. It is that just few weeks ago, Porto employed similar tactics against us and we complained. Now we use it, and call it a world class performance. 🙄

Standards y’all. We should maintain same standards and matching energy. It’s better we just get it going. No one hates the club or manager. But agenda….


Pedro Interesting points.. I’ve always thought that the elite punditry of football are always happier with champions who at the very least, live north of Watford. It’s an odd prejudice to have , especially because the days of teams being mainly comprosed of local talent are well and truly over. In fact the days of top clubs even being British owned are also over. This is a bit sniffy: Overall, Arsenal can win this Premiership and if they succeed, it’ll be a victory cast in excellent football at times, but also in steely pragmatism. Maybe Arteta is proving to… Read more »


On Man city- and Idon’t mean to disparage Arsenal’s form this season in any way-I don’t think they’re as strong this season as they have been.

Good articale here on that:

The upshot is that Pep’s latest round of transfers haven’t really worked and he was wrong to offload certain players, especially Gundogan and Mahrez.

Perhaps Pep should have emulated late Fergie, keeping and preserving Scholes and Giggs.


A. Isak is a done deal between club and agent I’m hearing…. Newcastle not helping themselves by discussing his situation in public…. More it’s spoken of more likely it will happen


Newcastle want to fleece Arsenal for 110m and have offered him to PSG for less knowing they aren’t really interested


Would be a monster signing

Bob N16

I don’t know if we should rotate too heavily with our starting line up. For example, I’d start with Rice and Partey in midfield and sub Rice for Jorginho after 60+. Rice and Partey need to have time to gel. Their partnership could make the difference. If Saliba and Gabriel are fully fit, I’d stick with them but rotate both FBs, Zinchenko and TT. Up front I’d probably start Martinelli, Jesus and go with say Vieira on the right but Trossard or Nelson would be fine too. Hopefully we’re in control of the game and could use ESR rather than… Read more »

Bob N16

Not many clubs will be able to afford anything approaching 100m for CFs this summer. In fact after PSG and Arsenal I’m struggling to think of any who are in the market and have deep enough pockets (discounting Saudi nonsense). Mbappe to RM feels like a done deal. Liverpool and City are not looking and other PL clubs would fall foul of FFP. I think Arsenal are in a very strong position, assuming there’s still enough money around for other PL clubs to pay decent money for Eddie, ESR, Nelson and Ramsdale. Osmihen seems to tick the boxes, Isak maybe… Read more »

Brian Muff

Honestly, I can’t see how our gameplay vs City is comparable to Porto’s gameplay. Making this point feels like just another way to knock what we’re doing. We chose to concede possession in favour of a more defensive approach, something which Porto also did, but that wasn’t their crime. Their crime was the anti-football they employed; taking every single opportunity to stop the game and ruin it, to fluke a win in a knock-out fixture. We did not do that. We nullified city’s threat by putting in a world class defensive performance, in a league game. We all remember the… Read more »


I wouldnt mind letting both eddie and jesus go if we could sign isak. Quality over quantity etc.. he seems like a guy who used to be a great prospect who doesnt deliver early on in his career but will be a late bloomer to the top of the game.


Nketiah and Nelson needs to start tomorrow’s game. Period


Also i hope that odegaard and saka are rested in luton game. If we cant win it without them then surely we have no business to be nr.1


It would be ridiculous to have earned a historical 0-0 draw at the Etihad only to then drop points at home to Luton, so I reckon a couple of changes, 2 max, but many substitutions once the game is won.


Arsenal need to keep on winning games if they are to stand a chance of winning the League Title. To do so when you are playing two games a week requires the manage to monitor carefully the fitness of his players. On Sunday it was apparent that Saka looked to be struggling. So it was clear to me that Arsenal needed to take him off in the last quarter of game. Similarly Kiwior who has played very well since he played regularly in left back position needs probably a break after playing 2 full games [+ extra time] in less… Read more »


Has Isak done enough this season to justify a fee of £100m+ because I’m not seeing it?


Nobody is spunking more than £50m on Isak in the summer.


Isak will get injured again by the end of the season.

Bob N16

You may be right Kan. We’ll probably find out by 30th June due to accounting reasons; Newcastle will need money in by then. That said if £50m is Isak’s value, then the players that we’re looking to off load may go for less than we might hope.

One additional attraction of Isak is that he combined really well with Odegaard at Real Sociedad and I don’t think he’d need too much time to fit in.


I wouldn’t make wholesale changes as it is important not to disrupt the flow and momentum the team has built/is continuing to build. Tomorrow, make one or two changes and then more developing on the state of the game etc.

Nothing can be taken for granted in this league, and strange things happen in a title run in (see Southampton, at home last season for reference).

It’s wise to not peer too far ahead into the future. One game, at a time.


Tomi Saliba Kiwior Zinny
Ode Partey Rice
Reis Trossard Martinelli

That’s 6 changes from the team that started against City. Will affect our rhythm and flow for sure but it’s necessary


@Isaac, you are on an agenda driven blog where agenda must agend. No one shifts goal posts than the Artesunates. We are stylishly been told not to expect anything this season but look forward to next season cos klopp will be gone by then and Ange will have European football on his hands. Yuck yuck


It’s a delicate balance between under-protecting the first team and making too many changes

We have often looked much weaker when we’ve subbed more than two players, sometimes when only subbing one

James wood

Every possibility EDDIE is off to Geordie land in a swap plus cash for ISAK.?
ISAK technically better than Toney who probably does not fit Arsenal’s profile would be a great signing injury’s yes but a majority of player’s we sign drop in to this category.
Keep Jesus at all cost’s.


@Brian muff, why was Jesus and Raya yellow carded on Sunday? It is OK to employ whatever tactics to win a game, in fact, it is expected of a champion to be able to use whatever means to weaken his opponents. Nobody remembers you for how you played but for what you won. I’m not against playing the way we did so far it gets us the results but badmouthing it when it is used against us is being disingenuous and hypocritical. When we use it, you lot glamourize it but when used against us, you lot cry foul. Pick… Read more »


The usual remarks from the miserable bastards again today…as sure as eggs is eggs.
I agree with the posters that say too many changes will disrupt the balance.
MO 10 must start-he’s the one that makes us tick.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jonnygunner

We’ve already got Tomi, Zinchenko, Partey, Smith Rowe, Jesus, who all struggle with availability. We’ve also got Tierney on our books until 2026, who has the same availability issues. I’m not sold on Isak, it’s not that I don’t think he’s talented or could offer something, he’s quick and capable of moments of exceptional quality. But I want energy, urgency + aggression.. Maybe Arteta could put a rocket up Isak’s backside, but he’s far too lackadaisical for my liking. When you see the defensive shift and the discipline our forwards produced on Sunday, and how little we restrict the opposition… Read more »

Bob N16

Vickingz – ‘It is OK to employ whatever tactics to win a game’ I don’t agree with ‘whatever’.

Porto are a great defensive team just as Arsenal are, the difference is in their play acting, the falling down, the determination to break the flow of the game through shitty means. Newcastle managed it against us last season at home and it was terrible to watch.

Sure Raya got a deserved yellow but that’s not faking an injury and reacting ridiculously to the slightest contact.


@vickingz, I’d rather be on the side of truth than be a crowd pleaser. One vice I’ve hated all my life is hypocrisy.
Pray pool doesn’t win the PL this season, as I’d like to hear the new excuses from Pedro and ilk.


I absolutely guarantee all the big names make the matchday squad. We know the guys coming in are a level down and match rusty. Why wouldn’t you have the A-graders there for the eventuality that we need to push for a win? On another theme: have a team ever been as lucky as Liverpool this season. They’ve trailed in 14 of their 29 games. Gone on to win 7, draw 5, lose only 2. Here’s some: Trailed Newcastle 1-0 in 81st minute. Won 2-1 Trailed Luton 1-0 in 95th minute. Drew 1-1 Trailed City 1-0 in 80th minute. Drew 1-1… Read more »


The media chirp about arsenal all the time because arsenal biggest club in London and London is country’s biggest media market by far so it good business to keep middle class gooners constantly riled up to keep us watching or phoning in to show to disagree.


Isaac – As predictable as day follows night, I can guarantee there will be absolutely no one harping back to that ‘momentous’ day we got a point at City if we end up losing the league virtue of coming of unstuck in the final stretch. You will see a gradual pivot and increasing grumbles about our lack of ability to keep the ball and be a more consistent threat when Liverpool had just gone two points clear. Great performance labels are dictated by context. If that was the 2nd leg of a champions league after winning the first leg –… Read more »


Could AFC buy and use Mason Greenwood as a Saka replacement on the wing ? We also could use a Bruno Guim. or Lucas Paqueta.
type in our midfield.


Can’t see many changes to starting XI at all tomorrow night. Every game now is red hot as we go for the biggest two club football trophies on Earth.

Arteta is not going to compromise that by a patchwork team until he has to

We just have to hope we can get back into commanding leads again so we can use all our subs as early as possible


In what is generally a great season so far, the biggest disappointment for me is Arteta’s treatment of ESR. Seeing Vieira come back from injury and get more time than him I think would be a disgrace and would be the final nail in the coffin in regards to his future at Arsenal.

Brian Muff

Come on @Vikingz & Friends, apart from being forced back to defend and being starved of possession, you cannot in all sincerity claim we employed the same additional negative play as Porto. Please.

I never criticise a team for parking the bus on us, but I will criticise our team if we fail to find a way through. I would think most fair minded fans would feel that way.


If we fail to win the league, it won’t be because we didn’t beat City away.

We went toe to toe with them at the Etihad, could’ve won, didn’t lose, 0-0 was a solid result imo.

Positive Pete

“ Les Miserables”.what a sad f*** ng life you lot lead.As I said before ,the type of faux fan who would shit on the invincibles record.There are other blogs you know?One or two might welcome you with open arms.Go,you know it makes sense……


Newcastle will want 100 M for Isak, but no one will pay.
And for 50 M they won’t sell.
Either they sell him for 60 – 70 M or he stays put.

Not concerned about his numbers because he looks like he could explode in a team like Arsenal which is more suited to his strengths than Newcastle.
Of course, salary is a part of the equation. If he came on 70 M he could still be noticeably cheaper than Havertz, depending on the salary.

Positive Pete

With regards to Issac.Chuck in Rambo & £60 & they’ll probably have to bite.


Good morning Pedro,
I cant help but think that for some of the pundits, jealousy is behind their comments-most of them were superb players and the ones that tried to manage were mediocre at best,total failures at worst.
Easiest thing in the world to critique-even easier if you have no comparable accomplishments.


I doubt Newcastle would want to pay good money for Rambo if they have an equally good GK in Pope. While he was treating a serious injury, sure, but he’s on course to be back later this month so I don’t see it.

pseudo warrior

Remember the mugs that were laughing when Arteta made the claim that Arsenal will unlock more than one way of playing and will be unpredictable?

Look now, seamlessly transitioning from attacking monstrosity to defensive masterclass


Ramsdale’s distribution is on a whole different level to Pope. Raya is just a level up again.. Even if he did look shaky throughout at City. But if you watch Ederson + Alisson, neither are flawless. If managers decide to play with a ball playing keeper to create the overload against the press, then they have to accept some level of occupational hazard. I was gutted for Ramsdale with the mistake against Brentford, but his overall performance was good.. He could have had an assist, his distribution was otherwise good, and had the character to produce a big 2nd half… Read more »


Paulinho: agree that this match will not be remembered for anything other than its lack of entertainment

but your point about context is very important, if we go to the Etihad and win next year, Sunday’s game will be seen as a major step in that progression

the team now has the confidence to know they can match City and when Arteta figures out the outlets so that we don’t just give the ball back we will be even stronger


We have to win the EPL, theres No other option.

Marky Mark

Ramsdale is the sort of guy who needs to be loved . An arm around him. Judging by his dad who appears a bit of a one there could be a few ego issues. I’ve come to the conclusion that Raya’s calmness suits Arsenal at thus moment in time. Ramsdale to a crash bang whallop style team could be perfect for him. Newcastle and Chelsea are more forgiving of mistakes at the moment so he’s far more likely to lose a bit of the pressure and settle into a more standard coaching set-up. I still blame our GK coach for… Read more »


Everyone knows what we paid for Ramsdale 3 yrs ago.
They know his contract was just renewed
They know he’s in the England set-up
They know he was selected as best GK in the league last season

Prospective clubs will come with the fees commensurate with the player
It’s that simple.

Bob N16

Great analysis of the City game.


“Great performance labels are dictated by context. If that was the 2nd leg of a champions league after winning the first leg – great performance. But it wasn’t. “

In the context of recent history of results away to City I can see how some Arsenal fans would call it a great performance.
Especially those who expected the trend to continue or were afraid it would.


“Sure Raya got a deserved yellow but that’s not faking an injury and reacting ridiculously to the slightest contact.“

I’m sure no one on Legrove ever complained opposing teams time wasted vs Arsenal and how it was a disgrace to the game of football.

Calling out football fans for rank hypocrisy is like calling out a re#arded kid for double dribble in basketball charity game.

Bob N16

Very magnanimous of you Tom
‘I can see how some Arsenal fans would call it a great performance”.

‘Only Arsenal could go to an away ground against a reigning treble winning team, where they have lost eight times in a row, stop their opponents(who have netted in 57 straight home games) from scoring, earn a point where no team has won in 16 months and still get criticised.’



City had been 57 games without firing a blank at home, dating back to October 2021. We restricted them to little, they only had 4 touches in our penalty box in the first half, which is the joint fewest since Guardiola has been at City since 2016. For all their possession, they had a header from a corner, and a Haaland header that went far wide of the post.. Then Kovacic had a crack from distance early in the 2nd half. In our 2 league games this season, we’ve restricted them to 2 shots on target across 180 minutes. They’re… Read more »

Guns of Hackney

Calm down troops. Calm. We didn’t lose which was the goal. That’s great. City didn’t score and that’s also great. We’ve crossed the hurdles we need to do except the scousers. Win that and we win the league. This is the money now. We actually have a chance and I’ll stand by my opinion that if we don’t win the league, Arteta has to go. We cannot not win the league and go forward with him. We will not get another shot. And I didn’t think we’d get this shot to be honest. If you asked me to bet my… Read more »


“Very magnanimous of you Tom “

Thank you Bob.
I’m trying my best to develop the pro Arsenal bias so I can be a better fan.



City are still class but I would argue their base level – from a technical/dynamism perspective- is as low as it’s ever been due to that limited lump Haaland up-front and losing Gundogan in midfield, who was great at running off-him, and Mahrez being a nightmare on the right. KDB is past-it physically and no longer has the running game to match his technical ability.


Also their relatively dour back four compared to the Cancelo days.


25% possession is still far too low for my liking.

I mentioned the underrated technical ability of our 05/06 team, and how we played great football despite all the counter-attack narratives that even the likes of Henry lazily attribute to that team, but in Madrid we played great football and they struggled to get the ball off us at times.

Our possession stats were 40%, which for me is perfect for a counter-attacking team looking to sit in and yet still be a consistent menace on the break.

pseudo warrior

Honestly why bother with the negative dbags?

Best attack, highest goals scored
Best defense, lowest goals conceded
Top of the Top 5 mini league

Those are the facts

Bob N16


You’ve got a long way to go, as you drip insincerity….

Guns….’We will not get another shot’. So you don’t think next year is a possibility with Liverpool needing a new manager and City likely to be deducted some serious points?

Small point, it’s been 20 years since ‘The Invincibles’, not 23. Don’t remember a 13 point lead but there we go!


I remember when people were happy with top 6 and the ones who wanted better were called doomers.
This season, EPL title is the only option.

Bob N16

Pedro, I’ve been following Arsenal for too long to listen to the doom mongers. That said you have to get use to be being disappointed as a football fan but it makes the highs that much higher when they happen.

Can’t wait for Luton and for that matter all the remaining games this season.


“I’ve come to the conclusion that Raya’s calmness suits Arsenal at thus moment in time.”

If by at this moment in time you mean the side with aim to become elite then yes.

Name one elite team with a starting keeper who’s overly emotional and admits to lapses in concentration during matches.

Top teams don’t need on field cheerleaders


It’s good for the soul to see so many on here trying to be better supporters.


Re rotation, no wholesale changes for Luton.
They never work.
Start your strongest XI with a few possible alterations, and use your subs earlier than normal if results allow it.


Anyone that cant see Saliba and Magalhaes are better than Ake and Dias
Raya is better than Ortega
Rice better than Kovacic
Saka better than Foden
Then you cant be helped.


Pedro, some rotation yes, not wholesale.
My biggest Arteta pet peeve from last season wasn’t necessarily lack of rotation per se, but rather keeping key players on for 90+ in matches won by 70 minutes

Bob N16


Appreciate English may not be your first language but ‘wanting better than top 6’’ can never be described as being a doomer.

Pedro, if as an Arsenal supporter you’re not enjoying the ride, I wonder what’s going on in the rest of your life to project negativity onto Arsenal’s current trajectory.

This could be one of Arsenal’s greatest ever seasons. It might not work out that way but with a maximum of 14 games to go, it’s fantastic that that’s a possibility!


Sid, Saka and Foden on equal footing but the others 100%.
We all laughed at Ake to City transfer at whatever cost and now some of the same people make him sound like a worldie.


“You’ve got a long way to go, as you drip insincerity….“

There are worse dripping problems than insincerity Bob.


Le grovers always say Saka is better than Foden, id be a doomer to disagree


I reckon 4 changed maximum, but most likely 2-3.

Trossard in against a deep block.. Maybe Partey in for Jorginho, try and load him up with 60 minutes.

Unlikely Arteta would throw 2 midfielders in cold.. So if not Partey, maybe a curve ball with Vieira.


For the benefit of the “we is only little “ crowd among us I ran the numbers, and City used a cool 1billion worth of talent in the game vs Arsenal to our 913 million worth.
Average wise 70m to 60m per player featured according to Transfermarkt.

You welcome

Brian Muff

GoH what the fuck are you on about? Your last post makes no sense whatsoever.

You begin by saying if we beat Liverpool (who we don’t need to play again) then you’d start to believe, then you end by saying, even if we do beat Liverpool (who we don’t need to play again), then you’ll still struggle to believe we can do it.



Could certainly see Trossard getting a start, but unfortunately with Vieira it can be like playing with a man less. Maybe Eddie or Reiss (if he’s fit) could get a tun out, but the one we don’t really have an alternative to is Odegaard. Has to be sensible rotation (2 or 3) rather than wholesale changes.


Isak for Jesus , Nketiah stays.

James wood

Absolute class by ISAK.


Wil Pickford still be England’s starting goalie when he’s in the championship next season?


Bob N16, i appreciate you correcting my English. I only use it because its the only language you understand.



Don’t know.. But if the football God’s have a sense of humour, then Southgate will be managing United.


You’re trying very hard to start a political bar brawl.

Bob N16

Si tu lo dices, Sid!


Lol GOH poor trolling lately.
Get u r shit together bud.

We need to play the strongest team every game now. Just strat strong some games and start subbing when 3 0 up


Get in!!!

Bob N16

You’ve got a fan Sid!