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Well, that was about as much fun as a visit to the dentist at which you are strapped into the chair and forcibly given root canal treatment un-anaesthetised while having to listen to a soundtrack of fingernails being scraped down a blackboard.

First Half

Actually, we started pretty well.  You there at the back – stop laughing…  We pressed reasonably high and played positively. We were forcing City back and into making uncharacteristic errors while they tried to play out.    It didn’t generate any efforts on goal but was nonetheless encouraging. Until the 7th minute (!). A hopeful and not very good ball was hoisted forward by Gundogan into the left-hand edge of the Arsenal box.  Despite being favourite to get there first and then either kick the ball out for a corner or free kick, Tierney gave up his position in order to ensure he could jockey Jesus.  A couple of passes between Gundogan and Jesus gave the latter the time to pump in a lofted and again not terribly good cross. Which ought to have been won by our defenders.  Now we played with 3 nominal central defenders – Kolasinac, Holding and Chambers.  They are all 6 feet plus.  And yet the circus dwarf sized Gundogan managed to get on the end of the aforementioned rather average cross and nod it in. Laughable defending.

Man City 1- Arsenal 0

Now at this point, while all was not lost, City started to exert control.  5 minutes later we gave away a free kick in a fairly innocuous part of our half.  City played it short, with no real drive or apparent intent, engaging in some passing amongst 3 players. Again, a poor low pass into the Arsenal box was the result. Tierney managed to perform some kind of cross between a highland reel and the hokey cokey, throwing in short order his head and then leg at the ball, which managed to take a deflection and run through to some bloke to hit in from short range.  I mean, again, this was comical defending from a nothing ball.  Further viewings showed that Calum Chambers was in fact punched in the face in the build-up, resulting in him going down.   This was shown to VAR who decided that this punch to the face didn’t constitute a foul.  I’m sorry but this is ridiculous.  As usual when Arsenal play, the pundits, aided and abetted by the professional referee apologist Walton, decided that this punch in the face did not constitute violent play.  We live in a world where the meanings of words are increasingly being traduced, but I would love to know under what definition this act was not an act of violence.  And if not, what was it?  A philadelphic act of love?  More of this later.

Man City 2- Arsenal 0

At this point the game as a contest was over.  But in the words of the late Roy Walker, there’s more. In the twentieth minute, City almost gave us a chance as once again they were slack in their attempts to play out from the back in the face of some very decent Arsenal pressing. Ederson was closed down by Smith -Rowe who very nearly turned the keepers hurried attempt at a punt up field into the net.  In keeping with the luck, we have enjoyed thus far this season, The ball crept past the outside of the post and off for a goal kick.  In the 24th minute an accidental clip on the heels of preening, floppy-haired, serial cheat Grealish gave the referee the opportunity to flourish a card at Soares.   This being Arsenal, this enabled compulsory Scouse co-commentator McManaman to state this was a definite yellow card.  Its funny, but Fernandinho has made a career out of just this kind of thing and yet has an excellent record in terms of bookings.   I would say this is inexplicable, but it clearly isn’t.  Arsenal continued to try to play and again nearly had some success from pressing the keeper Ederson who passed very poorly out to the edge of the box, from which the resulting slick, quick passing saw Xhaka put in for a shot which he tamely hit at the keeper.  He was just offside anyway, but again it was hopeful.

In the 28th minute, the referee managed to perform the by now typical PGMOL doublethink by booking Kolsinac for a flat handed palm off into the face of Jesus, a man who constantly looks as though he was bout to burst into tears anyway.   Now given the earlier assault on Chambers, leading to the 2nd goal, this was a decision showing a mind-boggling ability to hold two opposing views of the same event in mind at the same time and manage to come up with contrary decisions for each.  Not only did he give a foul, but this was also a booking.  The whining, mosquito pitched voice of compulsory scouse co-commentator McManaman at least managed to understand the ridiculousness of the decision and declared there was nothing in it.  Which is of itself ridiculous since flat handed palm offs into the face are not and never have been legal in football.  No mention of why there shouldn’t be a VAR call to overturn this mistake by the referee, given the earlier decision.   I don’t want decisions to be made in our favour every time.  I just want consistency in refereeing, which arguably we have. It’s just consistently, appallingly against Arsenal.

In the 35th minute the referee was able to celebrate by giving Xhaka a red card.   Now it was an off the floor, one straight-legged straight tackle. Contact, I’m not too sure about. Neither clearly was the referee, who pulled his yellow card out. Then realised it was Xhaka and changed his mind deciding it was red.   I don’t mind it being red.  I hope every tackle like this is given as a red.  They won’t be though, as Xhaka can’t do every one of these tackles.  Of course, Xhaka should have learned by now.  But he is incapable of learning, as he is an inveterate idiot.  Two years ago, he was bawled out by the home crowd for his serial repetitions of stupidity – fouls in poor parts of the pitch, giving the ball away when under the slightest pressure, straight legged front on tackles.  Two years later he has learned the square root of sweet FA.  We now have 3 games without him.  He will not be missed.  Hopefully, he will never play for the first team again.  By now, all hope of saving the game that has not already been lost was jettisoned.  7 minutes later and with gaps all over the place as a result of the sending off, we still decided to press high when their keeper had the ball.  Unsurprisingly he managed to find a straight pass into the midfield, the ball was switched out to the left then passed into the box for some bloke to slot home from 4 yards.  Embarrassingly easy.

Man City 3- Arsenal 0

Second Half

Half time saw Elneny replace Saka.  It made sense.  The game was gone, and there was no need for the young man to suffer any more, and Elneny could take up more space in the centre of the pitch.   Nominally.

The second half was a procession, unsurprisingly.  On 53 minutes the lottery winners scored an excellent goal, with a shot from the edge of the box right into the corner.  No blame attached to Leno or necessarily the players.  It was just an excellent goal.

Man City 4- Arsenal 0

The 67th minute saw a nasty foul on Tierney who had his left leg planted while Rodri deliberately kicked him.  With the game decided, the referee rightly booked the offending player.  The 70th minute saw Odegaard withdrawn for Maitland-Niles. City had all the ball and we had by now given up the pretence of trying to get back into the game.  It was all damage limitation.  By now, the odious cheating hobgoblin Sterling had come on and in the 75th minute did his party piece pathetic dive in the box to try to get a penalty.  With the game already gone, the referee ignored it.  Then in the 84th minute, after a period of concerted pressure and near misses by City, a cross from the right from Mahrez found a very good Torres run, albeit, as usual, wholly unmarked and it was 5. And we managed to keep it at that without further real chances or mishap.

Man City 5 Arsenal 0


In fairness, and as been pointed out in the comments to the preview, we are only 3 points worse off than any sane person expected us to be given the start the computer inflicted on us this season.  And Arteta has been unable to pick the kind of side that we all think he wants to.  At the same time, serious questions are being asked.  We have no more discernible pattern of play than we had under the last 5 years of M. Wenger and his unfortunate successor. There is no evidence whatsoever, as per the previous 2 incumbents of any work on the training ground in regard to defensive drilling.   

I will resist joining the growing band of supporters clamouring for the head of Mikel Arteta at the moment.  In any case, I believe that with the financial backing provided this summer, he will have until December to turn it round.  We have eminently winnable fixtures coming up after the break, by which point one would hope that the Covid sufferers will have returned and the large band of accumulated dross for whom we are still paying will have been further whittled down.  I am not hopeful, but I seek to remain calm until then.

169 Drinks to “Pain”

  1. 1
    Steve T says:


    Cheers CER. Brilliant stuff. Comedy gold. Brightened up my day no end.

    Onwards and upwards, as they say.


  2. 2
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers CER! Excellent report of an absolute shitshow.

    I’ve nothing to add, apart from suggesting that you get a new dentist! 😳

  3. 3
    Las says:

    Thanks, CER, really!
    Writing about this match could have been as painful as watching it. Or having another dentist session.
    Seriously, I don’t know what to think about Arsenal state of life. Ending the last season gave me hope also the players coming in suggesting that there was a plan and the development is around the corner.
    But now I am lost.
    But looking forward to the meeting with fellow struggler Norwich.

  4. 4
    ClockEndRider says:

    Thx vm Gents. I’d like to say it was a pleasure. But that would be a palpable untruth.

  5. 5
    North Bank Ned says:

    Deft grasp of a poisoned chalice, CER. We were thrashed. As expected. Move on.

  6. 6
    North Bank Ned says:

    I’ve mentioned this before, but £14.4 million of Willian’s three-year £30 million contract is accounted for by a signing bonus being paid over the duration of the contract. The remaining £15.6 million is wages (£100,000 a week). Regardless of what is agreed in terms of cancelling the contract so Willian can join Corinthians on a free transfer, I think the club is on the hook for the outstanding amount of the signing bonus. Terms of the settlement will need to be scrutinised. Suggestions that we’ll be saving £200,000 a week will likely prove wide of the mark.

  7. 7
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Excellent report CER of a match which I will try my best to forget. After the first 5 minutes or so whatever we did on the pitch had little resemblance to the game of football. People bring up the 8-2 result away at Man U but in that match we actually had a lot of shots away, looked threatening at times, everything they tried went in and we played a very inexperienced line-up at the back. I felt awful that day too but nothing like the non-performance of yesterday.

    To make myself feel better I went back and saw the highlights when we beat City — with YaYa, Tevez, Kompany, De Jong, Silva, Milner — away 3-0, with Chamakh leading the line and Djourou-Squillaci in the central defense. Nasri, Song and Bendy goal-scorers …

    If only the “owners” had supported our greatest ever manager with the kind of easy money they have trusted a few charlatans to play with.

  8. 8
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Yesterday after his umpteenth idiotic red card as he was walking away Xhaka received a compassionate pat in the back from Mikel. A strange gesture made all the more strange if you compare his cutting remarks about Pépé (first career red card) after losing his head following a few vicious challenges on him. His bizarre infatuation with a few players and open dislike of others, compounded with his completely inexplicable team selections (has been going on for more than a season now) means that if he is not delivering on the performance and results he cannot be trusted to build a squad as players aren’t stupid.

    The fact that we don’t have anyone in the club who has the authority to ask Mikel what was he doing with the back five selection and one holding player, and keeping the best player of the first two matches out, is a serious issue.

  9. 9
    Countryman100 says:

    A fine, indeed Faberesque report CER. Our season starts against Norwich. Mid table feels like a result right now.

  10. 10
    Bathgooner says:

    A well worked piece CER with, as C100 notes, echoes of the Guvna’s sanguine wisdom. You have made lingual massage of a painful molar almost pleasant. Almost.

  11. 11
    Steve T says:

    This sums up the Kroenkes, and where we are as a club right now.

  12. 12
    Bathgooner says:


  13. 13
    Cynic says:

    Given money, our “greatest ever manager” spunked it up the wall. Xhaka for £34m, Mustafi for £35m, Ozil for £42m, for example.

    You can definitely add the £17m or so for Lucas Perez to that.

    Even the combined £110m (roughly) for Lacazette and Aubameyang could be argued as a waste of money.

  14. 14
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@9: I am going to sound like a wild-eyed optimist, but I am holding onto my pre-season prediction that we will end up in a Europa League spot at the season’s end. There are 35 league games left. Take two wins from every set of three and that is 70 points. It is a tough ask and there will be draws and banana skins along the way. But it is doable if a stretch.

  15. 15
    Countryman100 says:

    DVD incoming from the Totts, celebrating being top of the league after three games.

  16. 16
    ClockEndRider says:

    C100/Bath @9/10,
    The highest of high praise indeed. If my piece has managed to bring the memory of The Guv into a few minds even for a few seconds, then I am inordinately happy. Happy enough to take the edge off the pain yesterday caused.

  17. 17
    TTG says:

    It has increasingly fallen to a number of us to try to find a balanced response to a series of monumentally awful displays from the later days of Emery to now. You sir have done this exceptionally well. Congratulations and thanks ,
    Without gilding the lily ( there is little to gild it with !) you do raise some legitimate questions about the consistency of the refereeing and what I perceive as a bit of a media witch-hunt against Arsenal . Yes we have a razor-sharp social media brigade who can mercilessly ridicule our rivals but the hate campaign against a club which has done a huge amount to promote the reputation of English football appears quite vindictive . I must be about to defect to Untold Arsenal.
    I think Arteta needs results quickly and to be fair to the Kroenkes he has received reasonable backing already ( although they’ve provided little else that a successful club needs like competent executives in key positions ) . But if our best side might be
    Chambers/ White/ Gabriel/ Tierney
    Partey/ Lokonga
    Saka/ Odegaard / ESR
    The presence of Kolasinac et al yesterday shows how far we are away from fielding a Covid -free fully fit team . Hopefully we can improve it further and ditch more dross .Sadly for me our obsession with the ghastly Xhaka saddens and infuriates me in equal measure . Whoever was behind the rethink on him deserves a P45 sharpish .

  18. 18
    Las says:

    @Cynic 13,
    Please stop it! You can not expect anyone to be 100% right. Even the famous professor, Arsene Wenger had a bad day.

  19. 19
    Silly Second Yella says:

    Chambers/ White/ Gabriel/ Tierney
    Partey/ Lokonga
    Saka/ Odegaard / ESR

    None of them could even made the bench 18 years ago.

    Not one.

  20. 20
    bt8 says:

    Five bouquets to you CER for turning this crap assignment into a highly enjoyable reading experience for the rest of us. Mercifully I didn’t watch it and still haven’t watched a recording of the game but reading your report made me feel lots better than doing that would have, I am quite sure. Resilience is the order of the day.

  21. 21
    TTG says:

    I don’t agree completely
    We had players like Cygan, Stepanovs and Luzhny in our defence around then Aubameyang is better than Wiltord and possibly Kanu, ESR and Saka would be equals of Reyes . It may even be that Ramsdale may go on to be a very fine keeper . Tierney would have done well in that team and Ben White might have done superbly next to Sol Campbell .
    This is an uneven squad but there is real talent in it

  22. 22
    North Bank Ned says:

    It is also a squad that needs some stability, including playing the same basic system with no more than a variation or two, week in, week out.

    I am probably an outlier in the bar, but I think Arteta does have a style of playing or at least a nascent one, but he is trying to play the advanced version when the team hasn’t mastered the 101 version yet. Got to get that down first.

    I was fine with his starting 3-4-3 against City, and it started well enough (the first two goals conceded were down to pisspoor defending more than formation). However, Arteta needs to be quicker at tactical fixing on the fly. He waited until half-time against Chelsea to sort out their overload on our left flank, by which time we were two down. Similarly, against City, he should have changed the set-up as soon as Xhaka got sent off. I would have replaced Soares and Ødegaard immediately with Lokonga and Elneny and switched to a 4-2-2-1. We knew that we would be under siege from a possession-dominant side like City, so put the proper defences in place immediately.

  23. 23
    Uplympian says:

    An excellent match review CER considering how it panned out. As already pointed out it was expected we would come up short against the two financially doped clubs but we’re more hopeful of picking up points in our opener versus The Bees. What I’m finding most disconcerting however is the dire level of performance both by the team and the actual selections & set up by the manager. I’m seriously worrying if he is up to the job – the next few games will show this as most of the first team squad, which consists of some fine players, should be available after the wretched inter lull.

  24. 24
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks CER, it’s already been said but anyway that is a great
    effort. Staunch stuff sir, let’s hope the team will man up as well
    after the break. Either we will get the resilience shown in the 2nd
    half of last season or the surrender of the final days of UE. Fingers
    crossed it’s the former.

  25. 25
    TTG says:

    Peter Wood writes a very honest if vitriolic piece which won’t please everyone on here but I think is pretty accurate. His conclusions a the end are interesting and positive too


  26. 26
    Doctor Faustus says:

    TTG@25: I haven’t read Le Grove for a long time but given that it is you who recommended this entry I took a chance. I must say that I agree completely with the writer when he talks about the lack of structure around the football side of things. Which leads to lack of accountability, lack of transparency, lack of self-awareness from the decision makers. It seems as a club we are just waiting for things to click at some point of time — at least finally now with a long term strategy in place towards building the team — without clear tactical milestones to evaluate our progress by. There never seems to be a genuine urgency to turn around a bad performance.

    In this PL season there really is no excuses. We had the entire summer to work on planning, training, recruitment. We have no European distractions. The team — including the coaching team — should be able to treat each league match with complete focus and demand of themselves maximum points.

  27. 27
    Steve T says:

    I do not read Le Grove either, but I do very much agree with the article. It’s what I have been saying for ages now. I refer you to the picture I posted at 11.

    We have no leadership at the top of the club, and this just filters down. I have zero confidence in those at the very top to get sun manor decisions right. I genuinely do not see anything really changing until we have new owners. Stanley can belatedly throw as much money as he wants at the problem. But if no one knows how to use it then nothing changes.

  28. 28
    OsakaMatt says:

    sun manor = some major I guess

  29. 29
    Bathgooner says:

    Thank you so much for linking that Le Grove post, TTG. It’s bang on the money. A superb analysis. I too never read Le Grove, but I may start now.

    This quote sums the situation up perfectly:

    “No one is there to stop a tyrant from behaving like a brat, so he keeps on doing the same thing.

    There is no more than 10 games to save this disaster of a season and if he gets the sack, it is more than deserved. But what I cannot emphasize enough is the silver bullet we are looking for does not exist in a system this broken. Great managers need controls, why do you think Conte never lasts more than 3 years? He tries to make a play for the steering wheel and he’s told no. BIg clubs need vision, structure, and someone who can make the big calls. Technical Directors need a level of maturity we lack, and if they have no power, why do you have one at all?”

  30. 30
    Steve T says:

    Thanks Matt. Well worked out.

    Trying to type this stuff on a phone is not always easy….

    Anyway, that’s my excuse.


  31. 31
    Uplympian says:

    Thanks for that excellent link TTG. Just as Bath points out ( and other denizens of this bar before ) the basic structure of the club is a major fault line . It has allowed people in power to manage with little or no checks & balances and all under the stewardship of the Kroenke’s.
    For example, anyone who believes Xakha should have been given a new contract shouldn’t be running a team / football club The team selections, albeit with some unfortunate absentees, have become both strange & utterly inconsistent. Somehow inspite of this background scenario we have signed some good / promising players who, with the right coaching, should be able to put us back in the position that we aspire to.

  32. 32
    Cynic says:

    Las @ 18 – The point I was making was that far from being starved of support, that particular manager was given more money than any other up to that point in the club’s history. He then wasted that money anyway and some of those decisions have had far reaching and damaging consequences for this club.

  33. 33
    TTG says:

    As a general point re Le Grove don’t bother with the comments but Peter Wood’s editorials are bang on the money . I only ever read him and not the guttersnipes who frequent the blog ( AFTV types ) . I agree with all your comments particularly Bath and Uply . I can’t see a solution without a new and better owner .
    Re Cynic’s dialogue with Las , I think Wenger was close to a genius in the transfer market in his first fifteen years . A large part of this was because David Dein worked alongside him. We’ve covered this often. Wenger made us a fortune on players like Vieira, Overmars, Anelka , Hartson etc ( he didn’t sign Hartson but sold him well) . So one could argue he earned the right to spend .
    Sadly Arsene in the last five years of his tenure or so was much more hesitant in the transfer market – the deals Cynic mentions are excruciating but I understand he also flip-flopped over Alonso, Arshavin and Ozil . He didn’t like big deals they made him nervous and by the time we came to sell Sanchez we made an utter cock-up of the deal and had to settle for a swap with Mkhitaryan. At least we didn’t waste £90 m on Lemar . I believe Gazidis drove the Aubameyang deal as Mislintat had emerged as a guide to the transfer market . Wenger would still be a better option than what we have but he was a spent force at the end, If he returned the ground would be toxically divided. But boy was he a great manager at his zenith

  34. 34
    Bathgooner says:

    It’s a well recognised truism that people appoint in their own image. Hence Stan has, since taking control of the club and especially since the termination of Wenger’s contract, appointed a series of smooth talking bullshitters and given them positions of authority within the club when what we needed was a clear hierarchy headed by a benign dictator who would hold everyone, including the TD and coach, to account. That is not Vinai, who exudes as much authority as Noddy. Stan has proceeded to embed a series of bullshitters in positions of authority within the senior echelons of the club, as a result in part from that truism but also the cultural gap between the USA and UK where brash claims of competence are encouraged from primary school onwards in contrast to the healthy British suspicion of empty rhetoric and braggarts.

    I hope that the London lawyer who saw through Sanllehi within a couple of weeks can make a difference but everyone else in the organisation must be made to deliver or be jettisoned. A fifth columnist from the wrong end of the Seven Sisters Road could not have as effectively demolished a great club as the Kroenke’s, through their appointments, have achieved in the last decade. It’s an interesting study in how not to run an organisation and will no doubt be a test case in Harvard Business School, only not the kind of test case one would want to be. Empires have collapsed before from such incompetence in their upper echelons. It’s all very sad.

  35. 35
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@25: Thanks for the thought-provoking link. It is difficult to disagree that the management of the club is in disarray and that that is structural. To my mind, the root of the problem is at the very top. KSE operates like a private equity firm or US real estate group, not like a public company with shareholders and non-executive directors to advise the executive team and hold it accountable. It sets strategic goals for asset appreciation for each of its portfolio investments (of which Arsenal is just one among many for KSE) and leaves it to the operational management of each unit to achieve those, albeit closely monitoring financial performance along the way and holding the operational management accountable for hitting the financial milestones. The key to making that approach work is to have sufficient industry knowledge to appoint the right operational management in each unit. To my mind, that is where KSE has fallen down with us. It just does not know English football well enough and lacks the essential cultural touch (hence in part the ESL debacle and big spending on ‘the franchise player’). Tim Lewis’s appointment to the Arsenal board is a belated acknowledgement of all that. Kroenke lucked out in taking over the club when Wenger was still a power, as AW kept the wheels on the tracks and disguised the flaws in the system. When Wenger went, Kroenke replaced the man when he should have fixed the system. That remains the need, and will require some tough decisions by KSE.

  36. 36
    Trev says:

    Cheers, CER, nice work !

    Injecting a bit of humour into Arsenal pieces is tough work these days. These, our, players have climbed to the top of many trees to even arrive at a club like the Arsenal, but what do we find ? Defenders who do even know how to shape up against an attacker – see Chambers at the back post for their first goal. Chasing after the ball instead of staying goal side of a winger and then being done up like a kipper as said winger reverses the ball and runs away from you. Allowing runners from deep positions into our area without even being noticed, let alone followed or challenged.

    And then ….. Xhaka, oh dear. Our single, yes single – against the best midfield in the league – defensive midfielder gets caught as our furthest forward player and attempts to get back as the ball is turned over. Two things. If you know you possess the pace of a lame snail, don’t get caught upfield when there is no-one behind you. As a team, don’t press these pass masters high up when you are a man down and, even before Xhaka was sent off, the high press is almost impossible when your central man has absolutely no pace, no manoeuvrability and no sense of danger.

    Are any of the entourage who sit around Arteta all through matches – and presumably training sessions – actually coaches ?

    It’s back to leadership again. Is anyone questioning or demanding answers from Arteta about his selections, his tactics, his substitutions ?
    Apart from posting holiday snaps of his latest holiday jaunt on Instagram, what does our Director of Football do ?
    Are the coaches incompetent, or are the players simply incapable of learning ?

    Sometimes it looks like they are playing to get the manager sacked. Given his propensity to nudge them on the kerbside, if not throw them under the approaching bus, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise.

    Even when we were boring we used to be tough. As fans we could take pride in our obstinacy. What have we got left now ?

  37. 37
    Cynic says:

    If Stan was appointing in his own image, he’d have appointed non talking bullshitters 🙂

    Quite some feat if you can manage to bullshit and not say a word, so let nobody suggest the man has no talents.

  38. 38
    TTG says:

    Very true and very sad
    Everton are likely to sign AMN on loan as a right back( where he doesn’t want to play) . We need a right back as we have ( the unsellable ) three stooges in place . Couldn’t we unload Soares and Bellerin and use AMN in that position? The AMN deal like everything Edu negotiates allows Everton a loan with an option to buy( not an obligation) . When he returns he will have one year left on his contract and if Everton don’t want him we will get a pittance for him. Fiorentina have a similar deal for Torreira. So we get very little money in and are possibly subsidising wages, get a tiny loan fee and less sell-on value . AMN could have been sold last Christmas for £20 m . Unless there is a major shift we will still be retaining the likes of Kolasinac , Bellerin , Soares, Nelson and we have only managed to sell Willock ! Nketiah will go tomorrow it appears . The club’s operations are a shambles on and off the field

  39. 39
    Cynic says:

    Did anyone else notice that Xhaka didn’t exactly look surprised or particularly upset about his red card by the way? Did anyone else notice the apparent argument about the red card between Arteta and whoever that is with the laptop? Steve Round was it?

    Laptop Guy seemed to be all “What a fucking clown, what does he expect?” and Arteta appeared to be defending aforesadi fucking clown and disagreeing with Laptop Guy, who sort of did a “You’re wrong but fuck it” gesture.

  40. 40
    Cynic says:

    If Palace came in for Nketiah, would you counter offer them a cheap deal on Eddie if they did a swap for Zaha and Pepe? Just for the lols.

    Liverpool’s sporting director is apparently on his way out of the club. Go on lads, sign him up and let’s have Edu out of the door.

  41. 41
    Bathgooner says:

    Cynic @37, not so. Stan could not have appointed non-communicators. He himself chooses to remain taciturn in public but he is enough of a businessman to know that his organisations require communicators at senior levels to function (even ineffectively). Whether he himself is an underachieving bullshitter in private we shall never know but his appointments to senior positions at Arsenal suggest he has a tendency to select such individuals for senior positions in the organisation either because they appeal to his self-image or because he doesn’t have the antennae to identify and avoid them. Those individuals then go on to repeat that error and appoint further drones. I have seen whole hospital departments of that nature. Effective achievers are a threat to that cosy coterie and should such an individual be appointed in error, they are quickly moved on or out – cf Mislintat.

  42. 42
    Steve T says:

    Have we bought anyone yet????

    Not long to go now.

  43. 43
    Cynic says:

    We’ve got a bid in for Hernan Crespo. We went to Chelsea for their latest old crock on huge wages but the best they could do was offer us his number.

  44. 44
    Steve T says:

    Can he play at the back????

  45. 45
    North Bank Ned says:

    Azeez season-long loan to Portsmouth confirmed.


  46. 46
    MiddleArse says:

    Excellent write up CER. That couldn’t have been easy. Neither Is the reasoned analysis of our demise offered by the drinkers in this fine establishment. Thanks all for keeping this the sanest and calmest place in Arsenal fandom. I can see us getting marginally better after the break and with our main players back but it’s very difficult to be positive about the trajectory of this once great club with its current ownership and hierarchal structure.

    I will leave this here for those that could not get a good close up of the chambers incident. Not to cry over spilt milk but I feel assertions that Chambers took the easy way out are harsh. All the usual caveats about this not being an excuse for the spineless performance delivered apply.

  47. 47
    Bathgooner says:

    Notwithstanding Ned’s observation regarding the balance of the signing on fee still to be paid, Arsenal have lanced a boil. Credit to Willian for doing the decent thing. Mistakes (on Arsenal’s part) must be paid for.


  48. 48
    Cynic says:

    Now all we have to do is burn off all the other leeches. It’s going to take a big lighter to get rid of some of them though.

  49. 49
    TTG says:

    One piece of good news.
    I hear that AFTV may be folding

  50. 50
    Goalhanger says:

    Nips in to snatch the 50

  51. 51
    North Bank Ned says:

    Dr F: You have to get Faustus Jr on the case here. An NFT of those Auba drawings of his could fund his early retirement before he even started working…


  52. 52
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bath@47: I think we have already paid handsomely for the mistake…

  53. 53
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well hung, Goalhanger.

  54. 54
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Middlearse for the link. It was an obvious foul.
    And thanks Bath for that link too – good news that Willian has moved on.

    Best of luck to Azeez at Portsmouth.

    And a nod to goalhanger – straight in the side with that kind of finishing

  55. 55
    bt8 says:

    Word is that Willian decided it was time to go when he saw CER’s picture of the dentist at the top of the page. Great job, CER. 💪🏻

  56. 56
    OsakaMatt says:

    I knew it was a great piece but I didn’t réalise CER had really got to the root of the problem that well!

  57. 57
    Cynic says:

    I hear that AFTV may be folding

    Seriously? They’d be crackers to close down now, their whole reason to exist surely comes from Arsenal being shit and we’re about as shit as we’ve ever been.

  58. 58
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Ned@51: Very tempting! 🙂 I have some, let’s say healthy skepticism, about these digital art/music NFTs. Let us hope we will have some performances this season that would inspire him enough to draw something at least for our amusement. 🙂

    Good for Willian to take this step and moving on where he could play more regularly. Respect that decision very much. Maybe it will inspire a couple of others too?

    Best wishes to Azeez at Portsmouth. One silver lining about the club remains the group of technically high quality academy players we are producing. Looking forward to his growing excellence in the next few years.

    Reiss apparently may go to Feynoord on loan it seems. He really needs some consistent playing time. I still have high hopes for him.

  59. 59
    bt8 says:

    OM, Willian could have pulled a rabbit out of a hat with this act of self-extraction. 🙂

  60. 60
    bt8 says:

    Irish women footballers strike a blow for equal pay. Bravo. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/58385989

  61. 61
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes, good for him and helps with
    filling our coffers a little

  62. 62
    North Bank Ned says:

    Willian is leaving with good grace, and kudos to him for that. If you are going to fail, fail fast and move on.

    Dr F@58: There is probably something to first-mover advantage in NFTs. They may well prove to be the Dutch tulips of our age. Digital currencies may have more legs, but I doubt governments will let them exist as non-fiat currencies.

  63. 63
    North Bank Ned says:

    If Arteta is picking his teams based on how players perform in training, then that is something that he has got from Guardiola. The difference is that Pep has two world-class players for every position, so he can afford to do that. At this point, Arteta needs to pick his best players. Fabianski used to look like a world-beater in training, but he was just Flappy once he got on the pitch in a match.

  64. 64
    Steve T says:

    If we don’t do the business that we desperately need to do today, can we blame the ref??

    If yes, then anyone in particular? Or do we just blame all of them, past and present?

    Asking for a friend.

  65. 65
    Steve T says:

    Where is Snir when we need him?

    Snir Deadline Day was always far more enjoyable.

  66. 66
    Cynic says:

    At Manchester City on Saturday, the only new signing in the starting line-up was Martin Odegaard, who was on loan last season so hardly a game-changer.

    Ben White is still recovering from Covid, while Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares were on the bench. That is £52m-worth of freshly recruited players not considered capable of starting for a team that had lost its first two league games, and failed to score. No doubt it all made perfect sense in analytics.

    This a Daily Mail link, for those who hyperventilate at the thought of visiting the site, but it’s a good read.


  67. 67
    Steve T says:

    “ There was a time when Arsenal was the best run club in the country. That time is not now.”

    A well written summary of the mess we are in.

    I actually think that we have made potentially decent signings in this window. Time will tell I guess. But we are still desperately short in more than on area and we need to be looking at players that will be almost automatic first choices. It’s also incredibly alarming that we seem completely unable to move players on when it’s needed.

  68. 68
    Trev says:

    Steve, as you know, that’s because we pay them too much before they’ve achieved anything and when they continue not to achieve anything nobody else wants them on silly wages.

    Doesn’t seem that difficult, does it ?

  69. 69
    Steve T says:

    It doesn’t seem that difficult at all Trev. Even more of a concern is if it’s that simple, why does no one at the club get it????

    Perhaps we should launch a Holic takeover of the club. You know BTM is loaded. He can put an offer in.

  70. 70
    MiddleArse says:

    Strong links to Bologna RB Takehiro Tomiyasu with some quarters suggesting it’s a done deal. Please direct all your questions to me. I have watched an 8 minute YouTube video of him so that makes me as qualified as anyone else on the internet.

  71. 71
    Cynic says:

    When I heard we were after Tomiyasu, I thought surely the dessert trolley in club level is not that bad?

  72. 72
    MiddleArse says:

    Hope he doesn’t crumble like the rest of the soufflés we have in defense Cynic.

  73. 73
    Cynic says:

    Chances are he might be a bit flaky but as he’s Japanese, the shirt sales should increase our turnover.

    Just hope he’s not a tart and ends up being flantastic.

  74. 74
    MiddleArse says:

    Word is he might not be oven ready but there is hope he will rise to the occasion.

  75. 75
    TTG says:

  76. 76
    Cynic says:

    On the subject of food related gubbins, I really hate the saying “A fish rots from the head”, which I’ve seen floating around the reporting of Arsenal’s latest battering (ahem).

    A fish doesn’t rot from the head at all, it rots from the guts like all dead animals. A minor annoyance but worth moaning about.

    Makes a change from football anyway.

  77. 77
    Cynic says:

    Anyone being offered a role in this Arsenal “project” should be advised to bring plenty of sticky backed plastic and their own crayons.

  78. 78
    Bathgooner says:

    TTG @75, Oh dear!

    Cynic @77, good advice, sir.

  79. 79
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@75: Not the world’s first example of flawless logic in theory turning out to be flawed in practice.

  80. 80
    North Bank Ned says:

    Cynic@77: 🙂

  81. 81
    Bathgooner says:

    Cynic @66, he may be a grossly obese, irritating, anti-Arsenal Spammer but Samuel is spot on in that article. Thanks for posting it.

  82. 82
    Cynic says:

    Amusing to see certain Arsenal “journalists” fawning over the honourable Willian, when Arseblogger has it about right.

    “If you want to give him credit for not just sitting around and picking up his wages, that’s fair enough, but terminating his contract by mutual consent means we agreed a figure to facilitate his departure, we’ll pay him the money, and he goes back to Brazil.”

  83. 83
    Cynic says:

    Also if true, the decision to ban AMN from training with the firs team, after blocking his move to Everton, smacks of a squad being managed by small minded, petty, arseholes.

  84. 84
    Trev says:

    The whole AMN thing is very strange indeed.

    He would have been our best choice of RB at City but was not picked. Then when our RB of choice had stunk the place out, on comes AMN to replace him – surely, we thought. No – he was brought on in midfield where he’s always wanted to play but has never been considered good enough and our inept RB remains to see out the game.

    Meanwhile the other members of the Not Good Enough at Full Back club are enjoying their special fun day out at centre back and we are only 0-5 down.

    It’s all going rather well, wouldn’t you say ….?

  85. 85
    TTG says:

    I’ve held reservations about Edu for some time and now I’m getting confused about what is an Edu decision and what is an Arteta one. For example the Joorabchian quote about Willian ignores the fact that I heard about that deal from a source close to it well before Arteta had arrived at the club .
    I’m sure I’m not alone in expecting Arsenal to run it’s affairs like the companies we used to run or work for . It seems to me that our 21/22 squad structure was put together depending on who we could sell or move out and not who we wanted to retain. We are not alone , the Chavs have half a dozen players who they can’t offload but they seem to be in a healthier situation than us and can afford the odd financial hit . But are we being fair or clear-minded in retaining Nketiah / Lacazette , AMN ,Elneny , Kolasinac ( he’s like the stuff that’s always caught in the waste disposal. You think he’s been flushed away but he clings on.
    We’ve sold ONE player – Willock – and I think Guendouzi and Mavropanos will bring in fees next season. We will see a lot of players returning to the club with virtually no resale value and a year left on their contracts . It’s a difficult market but when you can sell Guehi for £25 m and James for £30m and Tomori for about the same figure, the Arsenal effort is pathetic . I’m not sure we will get any fee for depreciating assets like Torreira, Bellerin , Runarsson and Nelson . We get to reduce our wage bill eventually but the financial wastage is appalling.

  86. 86
    bt8 says:

    Re: Steve T. @ 64. Yes, you have official permission to blame all the refs for all of our transfer failings.

    … (cba-style ellipsis)

    Feeling better yet? 🙂

  87. 87
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Best wishes to Reiss at Feynoord! He signed a contract extension until 2023 so when he returns next year there would be some time to sort out his future. I am hoping he will have a great season and come back to stake his claim in the Arsenal team.

    He is going to have an ex-gooner around in his time at Rotterdam as well… 😉

  88. 88
    bt8 says:

    Portsmouth manager Danny Cowles waxing lyrical upon the announcement of the loan of Arsenal’s Miguel Azeez to his club for the season: “We’d worked with Emile Smith Rowe before and the loan manager highlighted Miguel when we first arrived at Pompey, saying he was the next one for us to look after.

    “So we’ve seen him develop since then and fallen in love with him – as you do when you see a boy who’s as talented as he is.

    “You can see the hunger and humility to learn and get better, which we really like. He’s really studious and wants to find ways to improve his performance.”

    It seems a good loan for Miguel. Hoping he gets lots of playing time and confidence there.

  89. 89
    bt8 says:

    As for Hector’s loan to Betis I’ve a feeling he’s in it for the calamares fritos, but good luck to him too. He’s given us his all, his decline definitely seems the result of his injury, and we don’t know if we’ll see him again in an Arsenal shirt.

  90. 90
    Doctor Faustus says:

    bt8@89: Betis is in Seville, rather landlocked if you ask me. 🙂
    Apparently he grew up as a Betis supporter as his dad was from there, or something like that …
    Best of luck to him. At his peak was a very good player and always represented the club on and off the field with dignity. An intelligent, articulate man and different than the assembly line personalities of modern football…

  91. 91
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    We still have not bought a Central midfielder to go straight into the first team (Lokongo does not appear to be first choice with Partey. If he is going straight to the first team then that’s a huge gamble)

    That was the most pressing position to fill.

    I’m happy with all of our signings but I have no idea why we haven’t bought a partner for Partey?

    Bissouma seems the obvious choice, to me. But we have already fielded a Xhaka and Elneny midfield this season. It ain’t hard to find players better than them.

  92. 92
    bt8 says:

    Andalusian calamares may have special properties, Herr Doctor. 😉

    I do think a club like Betis is lucky to get him. I wonder if Hector might be interested in becoming a coach one day. In any case this means we’ll probably draw Betis the next time we qualify for Europe, at least if Betis are up there too.

  93. 93
    Bathgooner says:

    Dr F, Seville was formerly one of Spain’s major ports and indeed was given the monopoly of trade with the Americas when the Spanish Empire was at its zenith. While Seville is not a port for modern container ships, the River Guadalquivir remains navigable all the way from the sea up to Seville so it is not outside the bounds of reason that fresh calamares might be landed there by the rapacious Spanish fishing fleet. It’s a lovely town too. There’s a political component to the football rivalry in the city. I am led to believe that Betis is the Republican team. Good luck to Hector, a loyal servant to the Arsenal who gave everything every time I saw him play.

  94. 94
    Cynic says:

    Anyone else thrilled by the signing of another expensive defender from a third rate club playing a second rate league?

    Tongue in cheek Slightly.

    Let’s put it this way, if I was standing outside the Emirates this evening I would not be feeling the urge to shove a celebratory dildo into a Sky reporter’s ear.

  95. 95
    Tapera Doma says:

    Is it just me or? Notice how much talent has migrated from La Liga to other leagues, with EPL seeming to gain the most.

  96. 96
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Bath@93: Thanks! Didn’t know about Seville’s maritime past. 🙂 Maybe Hector likes flamenco too.. 🙂
    Yes, good for him. He will probably enjoy playing there more than joining his boyhood Catalonian giants (given all that’s happening …)

  97. 97
    Doctor Faustus says:

    GSD@91: My preference would be to play Partey-Sambi as the first choice in PL. AMN, Xhaka options from the bench. Mo primarily for cup games. That does leave us rather short in this department. Maybe Chambers as another option.

    Other than Partey no real high quality established players. Sambi hopefully will get there soon.

  98. 98
    North Bank Ned says:

    From looking at Bolgona’s team sheets, I see that Takehiro Tomiyasu has been playing at centre-back for them. His last outing as a full-back was in December 2020, and that was at left-back though he joined them at right-back.

  99. 99
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    My preference would be to play Partey and another player that, inexplicably, we have not bought (Bissouma?) as first choice in PL. Then have Sambi as backup. Elneny and AMN to play cup competitions as/if needed.
    And Xhaka out the door.

    I’d have got my celebratory dildo out for that.

    I think that would have been a cause for celebratory dildos all round.

  100. 100
    North Bank Ned says:

    Scrub my@98. It is the other way round. Started as a CB and still plays there for Japan. Must be the giddy excitement of transfer deadline day…

  101. 101
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Ned@98: He seems to be two footed. Our new Santi Cazorla (of defense) 😂
    Did he play in RB for Japan in the Olympics? The age profile seems to perfectly match with the rest of our signings … at least we are not buying players past their peak …

  102. 102
    North Bank Ned says:

    A correction is an unworthy ton. 🙂
    I’ll let GSD wave his celebratory dildo to the crowd to acknowledge their applause.

  103. 103
    Doctor Faustus says:

    GSD@99: Completely aligned. My preference was given what we have. Which is missing second player in CM and still Xhaka.

  104. 104
    Doctor Faustus says:

    I guess overall an active window with clear strategic approach. Not being able to upgrade on Xhaka remains the big failure.

  105. 105
    North Bank Ned says:

    Dr F@101: Yes, he did play at CB in the Olympics. It looks like he got yellow-carded out of the semi-final that Japan lost to Spain.

  106. 106
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thanks Ned. He is 6 ft 2, and supposedly good in the air. That probably leads him to be considered as a CB for the national team.
    White’s limitations against aerial threat are well known. Maybe was a contributing factor in choosing Tomiyasu, who is technically good too by all accounts.

    Hopefully will come up to speed of PL soon, as we really need some quality on that right back role.

  107. 107
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    I may be confusing a few messages but I think we can agree that we still have a dildo in midfield.

    Although he is something of a special edition…
    He constantly fucks us, yet lacks any penetrative whatsoever. Go figure.

  108. 108
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


  109. 109
    North Bank Ned says:

    Even Arteta is calling Tomiyasu a ‘versatile defender’.

  110. 110
    North Bank Ned says:

    “Takehiro is a strong defender with good experience in Serie A and at international level,” said Arteta.

    “He’s a versatile defender with great defensive qualities, high technical ability and composure on the ball.”

    We’ll see.

  111. 111
    North Bank Ned says:

    I see he has been given Nacho Monreal’s old number, 18. If he proves to be as reliable as Nacho, it will have been a good purchase.

  112. 112
    Doctor Faustus says:

    GSD: I just hope that his enforced absence opens up the role for others to grab with such force that he doesn’t ever come close to the starting eleven.

    Ned — yes Nacho was a very good purchase for us. I remember many derisive remarks too when we got him from Malaga.

  113. 113
    TTG says:

    Welcome to Takehiro I agree with GSD, we’ve made a huge error in not binning off Xhaka and in fact giving him a new contract. We have a low ceiling for achievement while he is in the side. It is to be hoped while he is out suspended Sambi can impress with Partey and we can move on from the Swiss monolith .
    It’s time to let Arteta put a side he has been given a lot of money to buy on the field and to see how they do. I think there is a sensible strategy in place but we needed a dynamic midfielder to complete the mix . We also have a lot of strikers doing nothing – Lacazette, Balogun , Nketiah and Martinelli won’t get much game time . Balogun must be regretting his new contract I suspect .
    Dildos will be on the bar for all drinkers if Arteta pulls it off ( oo- er)

  114. 114
    OsakaMatt says:

    Nacho took about two seasons to nail down the left back spot but never really stopped improving, a model professional. Sadly, Nachos don’t grow on trees as you know.

    Welcome to Takehiro, and best of luck to Hector, Reiss and Runarsson. Seems like good opportunities for all of them.

    Can’t really agree with the Xhaka / dildo thing. Dildos are, apparently, reliable, low-maintenance and good finishers😃

  115. 115
    OsakaMatt says:

    @104 Dr F
    Seems a fair summary in a sentence Doc. Improved the situation on players going out in the last couple of days but still a couple short of ideal. It will be a season or two before we know about those coming in so I’ll wait and see who can realise their potential.
    A word on Tomiyasu as full back, he is a solid defender but certainly not lightning fast, more Calum pace than Hector quick.

  116. 116
    bt8 says:

    Credit where credit is due. Scouting for the Nacho Monreal signing was presumably carried out principally by none other than one Santi Cazorla who preceded Nacho on the calamares-laden Malaga-Arsenal train by some 18 or so (?) months as I recall.

  117. 117
    bt8 says:

    OM. Not only do Nachos no grow on trees, but Santis do not slide down chimneys. Except in fortuitous circumstances.

  118. 118
    OsakaMatt says:

    Well, I’ve been a good boy this year (the bars being closed mostly) and so maybe we’ll get a visit this winter😃 How about you?

  119. 119
    bt8 says:

    Don’t have a helluva lot of ideas as to what Gary Neville means when he says Cristiano Ronaldo is “almost 28, 29, 30 when you look at him” so I will presume that he thinks the old man is 27.

  120. 120
    TTG says:

    There is hope – the Turkish transfer window is still open ! If anyone has a people carrier we can get Kolasinac, Elneny , Cedric and Xhaka to the airport on a flight to Istanbul . Assessing their value I suggest Fenerbache could write us a cheque for 4 dinar and GSD ( who seems to collect them) would surely throw in a box of dildos) . Job done . Who needs Edu !

  121. 121
  122. 122
    bt8 says:

    Will the Japanese bars be open by winter, OM? My doctor assures me it is important to maintain my HSD. *

  123. 123
    OsakaMatt says:

    Stupid link went to Reims but anyway if you click on the menu you can see The Arsenal. We certainly found homes for a lot of young players this summer.

  124. 124
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


    I’m not sure we could add a box of dildos to a car already filled with dildos. 😬

    Would the Turkish appreciate the irony?

  125. 125
    bt8 says:

    * HSD being of course my high saké diet.

    Auto-prescribing again, doncha know. Apologies if Iadded an unnecessary accent mark on 🍶 but it looks odd to me when it seems to rhyme with “take”

  126. 126
    OsakaMatt says:

    I bloody hope so bt8 @122

  127. 127
    Cynic says:

    Would the Turkish appreciate the irony?


    But they’d definitely appreciate the dildos.

  128. 128
  129. 129
    depressedgooner says:

    I like to read all the newspaper articles like yours Dr Faustus but unfortunately they are all seemingly behind paywalls these days, are we not allowed to copy and paste the articles?

  130. 130
    Doctor Faustus says:

    DG@129: I will copy and paste some key passages from the article later when I have a bit more time. Meanwhile this analysis at arseblog is a good technical overview too: https://arseblog.com/2021/09/new-signing-profile-takehiro-tomiyasu/

  131. 131
    Doctor Faustus says:

    depressedgunner@129: Sorry for posting this late. Please see what I thought were the most relevant observations from that Athletic piece.

    Tomiyasu is seen as the ideal kind of “hybrid” player. He has played predominantly at right-back and centre-half, and has also filled in as a right wing-back. Bologna’s asymmetrical system emulates Arsenal’s in that the team defends in a back four, but shifts to a three in possession. At 6ft 2in, Tomiyasu has the height and aerial presence Arteta was looking for. He is also relatively two-footed, meaning that if he is pressed, he is able to turn infield and pass with his left foot.

    Above all, it was Tomiyasu’s commitment that made the most lasting impression in Belgium. On the week of a big game against Anderlecht, he returned from international duty carrying an injury. STVV had been warned he would be unavailable for the match. “We saw him the day before the game, and we said, ‘Tomi, what’s the situation? Can you play or not?’,” says Charai. “He looked at us and just said, ‘I can play. No doubt’. The dedication! We said, ‘Fuck it, you’re starting’. He played, he scored and we won at home. This is typically Tomi: he just wanted to play. He just wanted to help the team.”

    Tomiyasu has been a regular in the Bologna side for two seasons, making 61 Serie A appearances in total. Not yet 23 years old, that is a considerable feat. Only intermittent fitness issues have prevented that figure from being higher: he has missed 15 games in the last two seasons due to several injuries, none of which are believed to have any long-lasting ramifications.

    “He impressed the Italian media, who are not always kind!”, says Dan Orlowitz, football writer for the Japan Times. “If there’s one group that’s hard to impress it’s them. I think that shows his maturity.

    “Then the Asia Cup comes around, and it’s on normal TV, and you have this 20-year-old centre-back who’s amazing and who people haven’t seen that much of before. He doesn’t seem to be 20. How can he be so composed, have such a good reading of the game, and make it look so simple? He was the guy the whole country stood up and took notice of.”

  132. 132
    Bathgooner says:

    Here we have another example of Xhaka’s stupidity:

    Swiss FA confirm Xhaka has not had Covid vaccine

  133. 133
    Cynic says:

    I dreamt that we lost to Norwich.

    I dreamt that we immediately fired Arteta.

    I had a nightmare that we appointed Antonio Cunty

  134. 134
    depressedgooner says:

    Many thanks Dr Faustus I appreciate the time it took you.

  135. 135
    OsakaMatt says:

    Have we reached the stage where players in contact sports like football or rugby should have to vaccinate?

  136. 136
    Cynic says:

    Some sports have already reached the stage where their teams will favour vaccinated players. The NFL for example, where unvaccinated players remain under the same protocol as they used in 2020, ie a ten day period of isolation for close Covid contact.

    Vaccinated players can play again after two negative tests 24 hours apart.

    That’s before we get onto the new ruling on postponed games. If a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week schedule due to a Covid outbreak among unvaccinated players the team with the outbreak will forfeit the game outright and will be credited with a loss. Players on both teams will not be paid for the lost contest, and the team responsible for the cancelled game (the one with the Covid outbreak) will cover the finances for the other team.

  137. 137
    Cynic says:

    Ooops, messed up me italics… also there’s the case of Cam Newton at the Patriots, who was last year’s starting QB but missed a testing day, is not vaccinated, had to miss five days of pre-season training as a result and was cut from the team on Monday.

  138. 138
    Cynic says:

    And finally on the NFL – According to NFL figures, unvaccinated players and staff have tested positive at a rate seven times higher than those who are vaccinated.

  139. 139
    North Bank Ned says:

    The NFL’s forfeits and loss of pay rulings have raised the vaccination rate among players to 93% from 75%.

    Money speaks more loudly than misinformation.


  140. 140
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bath@132: What on earth was he thinking? is a rhetorical question, I suppose.

  141. 141
    Silly Second Yella says:

  142. 142
    Bathgooner says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words… (courtesy of Dr Faustus Jr.)

  143. 143
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thanks a lot Bath for posting up Faustus Jr.’s doodle. 🙂

    About Xhaka not getting vaccinated, given that he has young kids it’s not only stupid, but irresponsible and immature behavior … not very dissimilar to his petulances on the field.

  144. 144
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Excellent stuff from Faustus Jnr!

    Well played that young man.

  145. 145
    bt8 says:

    The multifarious forms of Xhaka’s stupidity astound me.

  146. 146
    bt8 says:

    Do we only keep him on to pkay the pantomime villain?

  147. 147
    bt8 says:

    Could be the only thing he’s good at.

  148. 148
    bt8 says:

    How many red cards would Xhaka have to get before Arsenal decides he’s well and truly useless? There must be a discrete, identifiable number.

  149. 149
    bt8 says:

    Ditto for the related questions,

    A. How many season tickets would have to be canceled? ; and

    B. How many televisions turned to another channel.

  150. 150
    bt8 says:

    On another but no less important subject Skysports website tells me I am trying to gain access to their video from an “unsupported location.”

    Makes me feel like I ought to consult with a geologist to see if I am in imminent danger of getting sucked into a sinkhole.

  151. 151
    bt8 says:

    If the Arsenal men signed a 33 year old at this point I would be highly dubious considering they only need to be building for the future but the situation of the Arsenal women is a bit different, and knowing Tobin Heath’s abilities a bit, I’d have to say she is a good signing.

    From Arseblog News:

    Arsenal Women have agreed a deal to sign USA international winger Tobin Heath. Heath left Manchester United this summer after a year in the WSL.

  152. 152
    TTG says:

    Words failed me on Xhaka a long time ago. The bloke is not made of the right stuff to be a leading player for Arsenal. He’s not quick enough, positive enough, brave enough, mature enough and intelligent enough . It’s entirely consistent with his other behaviours that he didn’t get vaccinated . We are cursed with him stating for several more seasons . Huge mistake from Arteta .
    As for Tobin Heath , I watched most of Women’s CL game on Tuesday and they played very well especially the Japanese girl . Tobin Heath is a short-term signing and should reduce the reliance on Viviane Miedema . The lady in midfield – Maanum – looks a terrific player too.

  153. 153
    Cynic says:

    You know how you can summon the Candyman and if you do, you’ve had it? Well the other day I was looking at a list of free agents and saw the name Serge Aurier. I mulled over the supposedly loooong pursuit of Serge Aurier in the Wenger days, but Serge Aurier ended up having a less than stellar time at Spurs and now he’s out of contract and looking for a club. I wondered if signing Serge Aurier might solve our right back issues on the cheap but decided even we wouldn’t be that daft.

    And what do I see floating around the rumour mill tonight? Serge Aurier is open to an Arsenal move.

    Ooops, hang on. That’s five times. I hope an iMac screen doesn’t count as a mirror.


  154. 154
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@146: If he is a pantomime villain, that may explain why he always passes backwards. ‘Behind you!’…

    On an upbeat note, it appears Arsenal Women are signing Tobin Heath. Now there is a big name incoming.

  155. 155
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8: You were ahead of me on Tobin, I see.

  156. 156
    OsakaMatt says:

    Cynic, Ned
    Thanks for NFL info – I didn’t know
    they were out in front on vaccination.
    A bold stance.

  157. 157
    TTG says:

    I think the Aurier story is his agent trying to make something happen . He is not tye player we need to be looking at from the Marshdwellers
    If we were to take any of their players , Kane and Son aside , the most useful would have probably been Hjobjerg who was a steal for them from Southampton . But Aurier, that would be the death knell for Arteta

  158. 158
    ClockEndRider says:

    The problem with us buying Hjojberg is that he would be treated in the same way as Xhaka, with a plethora of bookings and reds. We have to play without a Fernandinho/Hjojberg player, as quite simply we are not judged as others are. How many times do we receive a yellow for early bad tackles? How many times have you seen the opposition not?

  159. 159
    OsakaMatt says:

    Congrats to Daniel Ballard on his
    first international goal.
    Usual nonsense from some
    Hungarian – already on a punishment
    from UEFA so let’s see if FIFA have
    any balls.

  160. 160
    Bathgooner says:

    Jeremy Wilson hits the nail on the head again. Is it Stan’s insecurity in his football knowledge that prevents him making the most obvious invitation to the most obvious individual?


  161. 161
    Cynic says:

    Another pay walled article. If it’s anything to do with Arsene Wenger coming back to Arsenal, in any capacity, I’m against it.

  162. 162
    Bathgooner says:

    Here’s the punchline:

    (Wenger) “left in 2018 and has not been back since. He has since suggested that he would be open to a directors’ role but, for whatever reason, it has never happened.

    “The current Arsenal board comprises owners Stan and Josh Kroenke, Lord Harris of Peckham, who was the founder of Carpetright and Tim Lewis, a corporate lawyer who specialises in mergers and acquisitions.

    “On the sporting side, Arsenal have appointed former players in technical director Edu and academy manager Per Mertesacker but, taken together with the board, it is hardly a backroom set-up dripping with the sort of heavyweight football personality one might expect at a club of such history and stature.

    “And, wherever you stood on the old Wenger in/out question, the truth remains he has a stature in world football which is far in excess of anyone else at the club. You saw that just as travelling journalists on any away European trip. Or day to day at the training ground when former legends from the Invincible team would drop by to maintain their fitness and see their old mentor.

    “Even in the more difficult final third of his tenure, Kylian Mbappe thought seriously about joining Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez picked Arsenal above Liverpool and Luis Suarez pushed to leave Anfield to play at the Emirates. All of that would be unthinkable now and was largely explained by Wenger’s presence. You could still even see only last week how genuinely delighted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was when Wenger showed up at Liverpool’s training ground.

    “No-one is saying that Wenger is the sole answer to Arsenal’s problems but, if used correctly, his presence and input could help. And Arsenal could use all the help that they can get just now.”

  163. 163
    Cynic says:

    I’d rather have my arse hairs pulled out with tweezers.

    The point about the lack of knowledge at board level is obviously valid but the answer is not to appoint the man who allowed complacency to become ingrained at this football club. It’s a personal view, but I think he’s the architect of everything that’s wrong with this club, a level of general incompetence has been laid on top of all that but the rot had well and truly set in long before he left and runs deep.

    I know that won’t be a popular view, but the truth is often unpopular 😉

  164. 164
    ClockEndRider says:

    I bet the Ox was genuinely delighted. Wenger bought, made a millionaire and gave a new contract to a bang average, permanent-injured young man. Who wouldn’t be delighted.
    Sorry, but M. Wenger was a seriously busted flush by the end. It gives me no pleasure to say it at all. But it’s true.

  165. 165
    Doctor Faustus says:

    CER@164: The core argument of the article Bath shared is not about Wenger’s managerial abilities in his later years — a lot has been debated about the same, with arguments spanning the entire spectrum of evaluations — but the value he can bring in as a high-profile presence and one (and not the sole) source of strategic insights. I find that a rather strong argument.

    Ox probably wasn’t as bad a player as you depicted him to be. 🙂 He was exciting, direct, skillful, had some good performances but desperately unlucky with injuries. Liverpool — supposedly a flawlessly run club where transfers are concerned — went after him with heavy money too, definitely a player Klopp rated as well. 🙂

  166. 166
    Steve T says:

    Cheers Bath.

    Personally I would welcome AW back at the club with a seat on the board in an absolute heartbeat. He would have more football knowledge, and more passion for The Arsenal than the owner and the entire board put together. For me it would be a total no brainier.

    I agree that his time had come to step down as manager, but I think we would be in a far better place with him on the board.

  167. 167
    TTG says:

    I met a couple of senior members of the AST at the Oval today . These guys get much closer to the people who run the club than we do and I touched on the subject of Tim Lewis. They are not comfortable with his role and believe he has wandered into a role for which he is not remotely suited as the final arbiter on player acquisitions . He is a corporate lawyer not a Director of Football .
    For what it’s worth they see Arteta limping through this season rather than being replaced immediately. But two or three immediate defeats might change all that

  168. 168
    ClockEndRider says:

    That is not at all good news. I get why Mr. Lewis might be a good man for a strategic review, but as you say, he ought not to be final arbiter on transfers. That smacks of a lack of trust in his direct underlings – Arteta and Edu. Unless he is simply overseeing to make sure there is no financial jiggers pokers a la Sanllehi, would only be appropriate.

  169. 169
    Bathgooner says: