by .

Arsenal put on a clinic on a Stoke-themed wet and windy afternoon at The Emirates. The 2-1 scoreline didn’t do justice to a punishing first-half. We hit the post twice, had some outrageous chances, and reduced the adventurism of Wolves most of the game giving them a meager 6 attempts at our goal.

Some folk will talk about the disappointment of not killing a game that was begging to be slaughtered, others might say the first half was a good indicator that the narrative of our ‘control phase’ being anti-attacking-fluidity, might need to be revisited.

The first half posession-wise was a hot butter knife on a Kerry Gold factory line. Wolves lined up to deep block us all afternoon, but we had other ideas. There was no hangover from midweek, we got back on the confidence juice and went into action with aggression, power, and precision. We were two goals up inside 12 minutes. The first showed that Bukayo Saka is serious about shifting up into 4th gear. He improvised a clever toe-poke through a crowd of players, both he and Jesus navigated between packs of 4, the Brazilian using his body weight before letting Tomi slide Saka back in for a low strike under the keeper. Sumptuous. A goal that ChatGPT would create if you asked it to show you modern Arsenal.

The second was just as delicious. Declan Rice pinged a switch to Saka. Saka beat his man and crossed to the back post finding Zinchenko. The Ukranian played a one/two with Jesus then dragged his cutback to Martin Odegaard who swept his trademark first-time shot past Jose Sa.

Arsenal has tagged itself back into the attacking fluency game with a bang. The 6-0 win in the week might have been against fumbling opposition, but the job it did for squad belief cannot be underestimated. Wolves have been taking praise all season for their resilience and some bad luck with poor calls. That wasn’t an easy afternoon and they’ve had all week to strategize against us. We battered them.

The intensity certainly dropped off in the second half, but we only let them back in on paper. It wasn’t like we were under assault. But it is worth pointing out that once again, the team was a victim of a Zinchenko late-game blackout moment. He gave the ball away in an unnecessary moment and we were killed by Cunha who hit a screamer past Raya. A man of Zini’s technical ability and experience shouldn’t be doing that. These moments tend to come late, which makes me wonder if it’s fitness-related. Whatever the cause, it does my head in, and I can’t imagine Arteta hasn’t noticed.

The only other minor complaint was seeing Eddie get one vs one and strike the post. It’s a marginal miss, but still a miss. Those moments in a Champions League quarter-final can really cost you. I want to see Eddie Gunnar Solskjaer out there and we’re not getting that regularly enough. Last season, we could blame the lack of minutes, you can’t this season.

3 points is really all that matters. We’re still top of the league, our goal difference is within 2 of Manchester City, and we look like we’ve found a new level in a month that can be crucial in the title race.

The week ahead is going to be critical – Luton Town on Tuesday followed by a monster game against title-challenging Aston Villa away from home. Unai Emery has to contend with Manchester City on Wednesday, so we’ll get a sneak peak for what he has planned for us. Our Luton away game, thankfully means the players will be back in bed nice and early so they can make that extra day count.

The Premier League worked some magic for us as well. Erik Ten Haag, who I was told was a messiah, crashed to Newcastle. The football is horrible, the signings have been attrocious, and for all the ‘look at how quickly he implemented an identity’ talk… I cannot see one. They’re in the top three for shots conceded. Their £85m summer signing Rasmus Hojland still hasn’t scored a Premier League goal. Rashford has gone from outrageously world class to uninterested. It is absolutely delicious.

Spurs plays Manchester City tomorrow… and Ange Impostercoglu is getting tetchy in the media.

Good times people. Good times.

Finally, let’s end on some transfer gossip. Word on the street is Newcastle want to move in on Aaron Ramsdale this January and after they lost Nick Pope to an injury, that might give them less time to flap around negotiating a tiny fee. I like that Newcastle want him because that means the fee will at least match what we paid for him and we’ll not see him go out on loan first. Interesting that Chelsea might also be in for Nick Pope as well, another odd move if you ask me for a club that like to play out of the back… or at least have the players to do it.

Ok, now you’re here, you might as well jump on the podcast and leave a 5-star review on your fave platform.


by .

Goooood evening my darlings… it’s late on Friday night in America and I am BUZZING about the game tomorrow.

Gotta say, I didn’t quite realise how well Wolves were doing this season, sitting pretty in midtable. Gary O’Neil is clearly doing an excellent job up there. They will be dangerous, they will have a good plan to spoil the afternoon, we cannot afford any level of complacency.

The main difference in preparation is Wolves have had a week to figure us out and a week to rest between games. Wednesday nights in Europe tend to lead to slow Saturdays and we can’t afford that against Wolves.



by .

Well, that my friends, was a battering. The second leg was always about revenge, but I don’t think anyone saw the utter brutality of it happening the way it did.

Arsenal scored 5 goals in the first half. It was monstrous. We were utterly clinical against a team that thought they could come to England and play football the RC Lens way and escape punishment.

This was the first game our first-choice front five played together. We saw Saka, Kai, Odegaard, Jesus and Martinelli drop a masterclass in clinicality and focus.



by .

As we speak, Arsenal has qualified for the Champions League next round. Sergio Ramos has Sevilla ahead of PSV (2-0). This is great news and might affect how Arteta manages the game this evening. It’ll certainly allow us to take players off early.

It really has been incredible to witness the progression of the side so far this season. The pain I expected us to have when building towards the next phase of development has mostly been visual pain. The football doesn’t feel as fluid, namely, because it’s not.

Mikel Arteta has put the issues down to teams parking buses and taxis. You can’t deny him there, it’s hard playing against top-tier teams like Newcastle, and having to deal with Joelinton dropping in at left back to double up on our wide players.



by .

It’s been quite sad to watch some of the videos of Aaron Ramsdale after the Brentford game. The thing we miss as fans is the emotional stress that comes with losing your place in a team. He joined Arsenal with the vision of being our keeper for 10 years. Arteta probably told him Champions League and big trophies were in his future. This summer, when we gave him £120k a week, he probably thought he was a made man.

Then the bite happened.

Arteta never forgets.

He signed David Raya and the rest is history.



by .

Yeah, we can go there people.

No one, not even me, can escape the humble Kai we’re choking down this morning.

The German played left-back in the week and scored a goal but he was on the losing team. The situation would be very different against Brentford. Mikel Arteta only had one idea left to try – that was Kai coming on in the 79th minute. There were fans all over the country in the Whatsapp groups huffing at the move. But it was inspired. Bukayo Saka, after a rough 90, spotted Kai at the back post, he clipped a beautiful cross, Kai attacked it, and nodded a waste-high ball into the net from a yard.



by .

Well good morning my darlings – football is coming home. 10 games in 36 days. It’s going to be pure joy. I’ll be going to a few of them as well. They’ll yell ‘PEDRO, YOU’RE A TOURIST’ and I’ll show them I’m not by flashing an Arsenal vs West Ham half-and-half scarf. I won’t be beaten when it comes to superfandom.

Who might not be there by the end of this run?

Aaron Ramsdale. I made a shocking error in the podcast suggesting Brentford was s BIG game for Raya. It’s not. He can’t play because he’s on loan from Brentford. So that means maybe one final game for Aaron before he’s jettisoned in January.

Fabrizio Romano was given the news that Arsenal will be signing Raya on a perm deal. This should come as no surprise to people, especially if you’ve been reading this blog. I don’t know who leaked to Fabrizio or why they did it… but the message to Aaron will be clear.

You’re leaving in January, so get your agent working on a deal.

A few fans have suggested that telegraphing our intentions to sell means we’ll get less money. I’m not sure it makes much difference, the fact he’s been benched since September is a pretty strong sign he’s not rated by Arteta. Key for Arsenal is he’s on a long-term deal, so if clubs come knocking with £5m offers, we can pass. I don’t really buy that there was a strategy for keeping his value high. If you play him and he keeps costing you goals, he’s costing you points, and he’s devaluing his own price tag. He hasn’t worked out, we probably overpaid for him in the first place, so I’m not sure I’d be banking on getting a big fee for him anyway. Other clubs can access the data – his poor shot-stopping ability is going to be a problem at £40m.

Still, Aaron is 24 years old, he has loads of experience, and he can play out the back like the best of them. He’d be better for Chelsea than Sanchez, but outside that, it’s hard to see who has a keeper problem they’d like to solve this January. Maybe he gets a move to the continent? More likely… a loan.

Mikel Arteta gave us the good news ahead of the Brentford game – Ben White will be back in training, but it’s not certain he’ll be available. Martin Odegaard is back and Gabi J should get minutes.

Those three players totally change the dynamic of Arsenal. It’s amazing we didn’t really notice their absence over the break. The main frustration injury-wise continues to be Thomas Partey. He’s a Diaby-like enigma these days and it doesn’t seem like it’ll ever get better. We need to have someone in our midfield for the long term who can step in and do things like he can.

The great thing about this weekend is there are a couple of games of interest in the top 4. The biggest is City vs Liverpool. This is the game we’re all waiting for because we’re all dying to know if Liverpool is actually going to be good this season. Has Klopp rebuilt a masterpiece? Or is it a cheap knock-off? I have a sexy feeling Pep G might get his arse handed to him.

Newcastle vs Chelsea will be interesting as well, I’m hoping Eddie Howe drops points in this one – Newcastle worries me. They are the stalking horses of the league and they haven’t had much luck this season (bar the game against us). Spurs also have a rough game against Aston Villa. Don Unai will rip apart a highline with average players – and there aren’t many good defensive options Big Ange can face up this weekend.

There’s been a lot of noise coming out of Germany regarding Tomiyasu. Bayern likes him, they see him as a player of interest because he can play across the backline. Arteta doesn’t normally comment on transfers, but he stepped into this one.

‘I really want him to stay. I value the player a lot, I really like him. I think he’s loved and respected by everybody at the club. He’s getting a lot of minutes now, he’s getting his availability to the level that we need for him to make an impact in the team and I think he will continue to be with us.’

The key word in that sentence is ‘availability’ because Tomi hasn’t had a lot of it. I don’t have any inside information, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see us sell him if a chonky bid came our way. His injury problems aren’t going to get any better and I don’t think he’s the long-term solution to any of our positions. So if you can get £40m for him, you could find someone younger with less wear and tear. But we’ll see… I’m loving what he’s doing for us right now.

Arteta is going to find out his punishment for being a bad bitch when talking about referees. He had an interesting point on the subject.

‘I think it’s good that we are communicating. We want to improve the game, all of us, referees, managers, officials, owners, sporting directors, you guys, we all want a better game, that’s it. To have a better game we have to have freedom of speech, respectfully, in a constructive way, but we have to promote that. If not, you don’t get better. That’s for sure. It’s good that they are talking in front of the media and explaining the situation because it brings clarity.’

I kind of agree… if no one ever speaks out, nothing ever changes. We can’t live in a world where refs are beyond reproach. Gary Neville and his gang telling the fans they have to get on with it doesn’t move the needle in the game. Telling managers to suck it up also doesn’t work. Managers would prefer points over private apologies. If behind-the-scenes conversations aren’t getting the action clubs need, they have to use the bully pulpit to maximum effect.

… but know this, Arteta is gonng get smacked with a big wet fish over his outburst. The combo of the aggression and the club statement is a massive thread to PGMOL, so he’ll get the big sentence to make sure revolt is not seen as an option in the future.

Ok, that’s me done. See you in the comments!