Sunday, December 5, 2021

Arteta: We need a fresh team for Benfica

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will need fresh legs when they face Benfica in Athens on Thursday and hinted that he’ll be making a number changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Manchester City.

After a 1-1 draw in Rome last week, the Gunners hopes of qualifying for the Europa League last-16 sit on a knife-edge. While the boss, possibly with one eye on the trip to Greece, rested five players for Sunday’s encounter with the Premier League leaders, he needs to check on the status of several squad members before he can decide on further rotation.

“I don’t know if it will be five, four or seven,” he said in his post-game press conference.

“We will have to see how they react from today’s performance. It was a really tough game physically for both because it was full gas from the beginning and we will see who will be available and fit to be there.

“Obviously we need a fresh team and we need legs as well because then the decision making and everything becomes better when they are fresh. We will see who’s available.”

A lack of depth in key positions means that for all the tinkering in recent weeks, certain players aren’t getting breathers – Xhaka, Saka and Bellerin come to mind – while others are spending more and more time on the bench.

It’s an issue that is obviously playing on Arteta’s mind.

Asked how he’s managing the squad’s fitness, he said: “Well, it’s hard because everyone wants to play and everyone wants to be available for every game, so if anything, I feel sorry for the players that they cannot play or are not playing more.

“But everybody is doing their best all the time to be available, which I really value a lot. But it’s true that there are players with lots of minutes and we don’t have the players to replace them, unfortunately.”

Yesterday’s defeat leaves Arsenal hovering in 10th place in the table. It looks increasingly likely that if the club is to secure a place in Europe next season, we’re going to need to win the Europa League.

“It [the Europa League] is really important, but obviously every defeat now in the league puts us in a much more difficult position.

“We have to take it game by game and we need a run of games. I think we have a big run of performances, but we’ve lost three games now in different ways and it’s not what we want obviously.”

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Definately not 6 though

Runcorn Gooner

Am I the only person who thinks that Aubamayeng has lost his mojo. He can’t seem to trap the ball or lay it off anywhere near as well as he used too.
He has always missed good chances but his overall game has deteriorated.


Yes, that’s right. Just our luck that he’s given a big wage increase (justified on previous form, of course) only for his form to collapse from what it had been at about the same time. We’ve seen glimpses of the “old form”, but overall he’s just not the same.

Not much we can do about it currently other than hope he recovers very quickly. We are really coming to the make or break part of the season now and we must get goals from someone on a regular basis or we’re stuffed.


It’s not luck. It’s human psychology. He can rest now being reassured his future. You need a hungry body and a hungry mind. Aging players who secured/maximized their financial future lack that hunger. And when your body starts telling you that you’re in the fall of your career performance it just takes the edge off. It’s natural.


Didnt have his best game yesterday but he got a hat trick last week so it might be a little premature to send him to the glue factory just yet.


Or you could say he’s one good game this season, being the hatrick 2 games ago, since then and before he is lackluster and i feel sorry for Laca as he was previously making the TEAM tick.


Not getting much of a break between games. Maybe his fitness is not quite what it could be, he was out for a bit.

Saka is being overplayed at the moment too. I worry that will cost us in the next game …


It’s true that the pressure of games is on him and the team/squad but other strikers press on under such pressure. Something injury-related is possible I guess. I think it’s either being played out of position – but I think we should be getting a better return there even if it wasn’t up to the previous, or it’s a combination of things off the pitch. I’m not blaming him whatever the reason, but we can’t pretend that he’s not a shadow of the “previous” Auba.


His overall game has never been particularly good. He’s always been a player who plays on the fringes of the game But he could get away with it because he’s a consistent match winner, and one of the best goal scorers in Europe I made this point last season, and when he renewed his deal, that we should have cashed in. He’s not really a No9, and Arteta demands a lot from his wide forwards, and at some point he was going to dip physically. He’ll still bag us goals, but it was a lot of money to invest in… Read more »


lol Cash in? What club was buying?

Naked Cygan

I am no rocket scientist, buy maybe it is down to moving him central from the left, where he used to scored a lot of goals.

Crash Fistfight

That’s never been his game. He likes running onto the ball/into space. He’s never been someone who holds the ball up. That is the type of player you need up front when the rest of the team isn’t good enough to progress the ball. What’s been more worrying this season is the lack of chances he’s been getting and the lack of confidence he’s had when he has had them. I think there is an element of him feeling more pressure to score because we haven’t been creating much, but also that he always needs a lot of chances to… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

*was an anomaly

Winterburns right wand

Hasn’t there been some problems with illness in his family? It might be that they are on going and been on his mind, or hes just gotta play himself back into form after those problems.


My friend… I have a suggestion for you. Please turn off the volume of the match and listen to the commentators the way you listen to your parents. He seems to have some mental issue, sometimes all you need to do is talk to a psychiatrist. Because first touch is all about mental calmness. Calmer the person the better the first touch. (Calmer means better control on emotions)


Thought I worry Auba spent his whole career building up to play for real Madrid or Barcelona. His grandfather promises. That was his carrot. His reason to improve. Now there is no carrot no aim it is gone . Once he signed the contract. He was depressed all autumn about it . Now he get paid no matter what and has no career ambition. By the way it is sub conscious, he is probably not even aware . The 1% difference We saw same with Alexis when he went to utd for money rather than city for career. ( Covid’… Read more »

Ponsonby Gooner

Yes, not exactly how I’d put it but I think there is an element of truth to what you’re saying


I seriously think it is because of covid. No fans, protocols and all the other strange stuff that we also have to endure. I don’t know about you guys, but I find it rather hard to be and stay happy under these circumstances.

Take care guys!


Does that Willian is back?


looks more and more likely we will not play europe next season to be honest.


That is looking more likely I fear. Aren’t we miles away from that daft talk (and it was daft) about a possible top four finish on this site only a month or so ago – it’s contemplating no European football at all now.

If it happens it will be a big financial blow as we know but it will also have an effect on getting players to join us. European football, even EL, is a draw for potential recruits and without it we’re going to find it (even) more difficult competing with teams that have it.


The market is going to be dead Selling players almost impossible Clubs are haemorrhaging money, and while we may be able to open up once every adult has been vaccinated in the U.K., in time for next season Who knows when they’ll catch up in mainland Europe…. Football finances are in big trouble, it will be mainly loans, and clubs with very wealthy backers who’ll be pillaging and plundering talent We’ll have a first team squad of 28, which is too many with European football, without European football, we’d need to purge 8-10 just to bring 2-3 in I think… Read more »


Purging 8 players might not be a bad thing… provided the 2-3 replacements are far better sourced, negotiated and then, managed, than our past few seasons suggests.
I for one would not be gutted to see us being forced to rely more on bringing the Academy through… a combo of a Partey and Odegaard each window being smartly (and there’s the rub!) used to motivate and upskill our young guns.
This may well be our only choice.

Crash Fistfight

Well, at least it means not being in the Europa Conference League.


Never turn down the opportunity for a trophy…


West Ham, Everton, Leicester and Aston Villa have made a push this year without consistent European money. If they are going to stick with arteta I’d be happy with just one game a week for a year. We may have a chance of keeping our first team fit
Cedric holdingGabriel tiern
Partey xhaka
Saka martenelli aubamayang

Odegard(keep on loan)

Torera or guenduzi

I am convinced a decent manager would get top 4 with that team


Throwing money into squad has not worked for the last few years. Iñ


Doesnt matter

AMN's cheeky grin

If we finish 7th, we might qualify for the new Europa Conference League … which for some reason I’d find more humiliating than having no Europe at all


“Well, it’s hard because everyone wants to play and everyone wants to be available for every game, so if anything, I feel sorry for the players that they cannot play or are not playing more. “But everybody is doing their best all the time to be available, which I really value a lot. But it’s true that there are players with lots of minutes and we don’t have the players to replace them, unfortunately.” So here Arteta says I wish some of the squad players could play more, but they aren’t good enough so they’re not playing. Arteta has a… Read more »

Anders Limpar

Honestly some of MA’s explanations make as much sense as Emery’s, he is just more eloquent with a better grip of the language.

I know this will be down voted; but if Emery had said – “we need a fresh team 5 or 7 changes’… “But everyone is doing there best to be available which I value” … “we’ve lost 3 games in different ways and it’s not what we want” he would have been slaughtered.


I think if you view his words in perspective of his pre-match comments where he basically admitted that the squad pretty much picks itself as many players are carrying bruises & minor injuries, it suddenly makes way more sense.


That comparison would be out of context though. Emery couldn’t even figure out who his captain was…then they all were…then he had them pick.


Then they did Musical Chairs


Of course a fresh team, BUT let Auba & Pepe in cloakroom.


Yea.. Martinelli should be tried out centrally


Arteta needs to wake up. Saka should have been rested. Tierney, xhaka and bellerin should have played at most 60 minutes. Gabriel can play left back to get minutes and cover Tierney. Cedric would have covered bellerin. Luiz would have given holding a breather. Ceballos and xhaka should have shared minutes in this match more or less equally. Martinelli should have been given a clear run out. Since it was a dead rubber game we should even have used Willian just to ensure we prioritize Europa. Arteta is courting bad luck when his first choice players either get injured or… Read more »


On Willian, it’s clearly not one of the best on the evidence to date. It was always going to quite risky (and that’s not with the benefit of hindsight) as £7 million a season for three years for a player over 30 is potentially asking for trouble if the player doesn’t provide the level of performance needed. Willian hasn’t so far – there’s always hope though – and I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about it.

No foot Norbert

Pepe waned based on 1 game vs City? He should play on the left because he isn’t great on the right. Agreed he was pretty anon vs city but he wasn’t the only one, he got barely any service from bellerin who had a shocker for me (compounded by putting the ball out from a poor touch from a simple pass) I know people are going to downvote for that bit he’s a senior player now and he just isn’t doing it. Auba and martin were also pretty anonymous and a midfield pairing of xhaka and elneny was never going… Read more »


Makes sense from that point of view on Pepe. Still his effort should always be 100% even if frustrated by bellerin. There are chances that are created just by sheer determination. He just didn’t look determined or willing to run at zinchenko who I don’t think is good defensively. He run at him so slowly sterling would catch up then just turn and give a back pass to bellerin and that would just kill a promising attack.


Auba has looked determined in one half of a football match this season.


Yup, Why play Saka 90mins? He HAS to play against Benfica. What Arteta says and does are totally different things. Talks about protecting by not overplaying them and here is Saka being played into the ground. ESR too, finally got a game off after looking literally in the burn-out zone. Bellerin needs to be rested. It is good Cedric has looked really strong at RB. Xhaka needs to be rested and he isn’t well suited to the next game.

Team for Benfica:

Crash Fistfight

Agree on everything except the Luiz-Holding statement. Holding hasn’t been playing so he didn’t need resting. Tierney looked exhausted in the first half, let alone by the end of the game. I don’t see how he can play on Thursday, now. Saka needed a rest. Also, why did he and Pepe play on the opposite sides to where they have been playing well recently? If it was to accommodate one of them it might make sense, but it actually was worse for both of them to play in those positions. I also agree with No foot Norbert on the Pepe… Read more »


We need to sack Mikel as soon as we are out of Europa. It was a good experiment, but his choices are baffling since winning the FA cup. He certainly hates a lot of the squad, and is clearly underwhelmed with Arsenal players after training Man city magicians. He is thinking “Where the heck did we get these idiots?”, and then proceeds to add more idiots. This season, we have added – Mari, Cedric, Willian, Odegaard – none of whom have really worked out to be any good. Odegaard has hope, but he will leave at the end of the… Read more »


Getting rid of an fa cup winning manager less than a year later when our best signing (who you conveniently left out of your little roundup) has been injured most of the year would be more baffling than anything arteta has done.


Mari, Cedric and Odegaard have been v good some games. And you shouldn’t ignore the emergence of Saka and ESR, and the improvement in Xhaka and Holding. It is too easy just to cherry pick the things that support whatever gut feeling takes your fancy on the day.

Graham G

Completely agree on all points. There is cause for some optimism when discussing certain players. Cedric actually playing his way into the team when that looked unlikely or impossible and staying there on merit. Xhaka seems to be moving the ball and himself much more quickly and effectively than ever before. Mari has overcome niggling injuries to become an important member of the squad and rarely looks out of place. Saka is probably the first name on the team sheet given how stable and consistently effective he is. And only 19, right? ESR now has the fitness and the chance… Read more »


Look at the table, Arteta is just trying to survive the axe. I don’t see any long term plan emerging from this mess. ESR and Saka bailed Arsenal out of relegation. But Mikel has done nothing in his tactics to help the team. He puts Auba in the first team, whenever he is fit. And Auba keeps missing his chances. Willian and Pepe keep coming on the pitch. Why do Nketiah, Martinelli, etc just keep disappearing from the team picture. Partey is either injured or rushed from injury to get injured again. If you think its all following a plan,… Read more »

Eddy F

Tierney won’t be fit enough to go again on Thursday. Unfortunate because I’d have liked to see Cedric at RB and Tierney at LB. Holding would’ve been in with a shout but his mistake and head injury probably means he won’t get in. Mari was fine but Gabriel will keep the LCB spot. Elneny didn’t do anything to warrant inclusion on Thursday, neither did Pepe. I’d even consider resting Aubameyang. He definitely looks like he’s lost pace. Even a year ago he’d have knocked that ball past Stones and made it into the box. But Stones easily kept pace and… Read more »


Bellerin is cooked. Xhaka too. Tierney HAS to play IMO, this game is too important. 4 days rest and he can sit for the Leicester game to manage his game time.


Xhaka was our best player v city so thats a worry for the entire squad, no one else showed any composure.

Crash Fistfight

I know it won’t happen and most people will probably disagree, but I’d prefer to see that three as

Odegaard ESR Saka

I feel like Saka can play anywhere (even if he has looked good on the right) and Odegaard can play on the right, but mainly that ESR is much more effective playing centrally. I think the sum of the parts is better that way, rather than having ESR out wide.

santi's thigh grab

ESR goes out wide to find space anyway so it really doesn’t matter where they line up on paper.


…but at his best he goes wide on both sides from a central starting point. He can’t do this from the left. I’m with Crash on this one.


Mainly agree as Saka’s form has dipped last few games, switch him wings or give the poor blighter a break.


Sounds like Willian is starting then

Thomas webb

Arteta is a fraud. The sooner you all see it the better.


Oh fraud gang alert!


what is fraudulent though? It’s not like he’s pretending to be a manager with a history of success?

He’s exactly what he appears, a new young manager in a really tough position (first club is a team in extreme decline, ownership system changes during first season, covid hits during first season, second season has to compete without he main signing, has to compete with an extra 3/4 teams doing great)


“But it’s true that there are players with lots of minutes and we don’t have the players to replace them, unfortunately.”

Sorry but even if it’s not fully his team and he doesn’t trust some of the players to play his style (with good reason I imagine) a manager has to adapt to what he’s got to some degree.

His scattergun approach to selection and substitutions are not doing anyone any favours.


He’s using it as an excuse and a wall to protect himself. But the crazy thing is when he makes changes, he then just sticks to those changes. So all of a sudden the guy he didn’t trust (e.g. Luiz, Auba at Striker) before becomes the trusted one and the guy that was trusted becomes untrusted (e.g. Gabriel – until he finally worked his way back into the team, Laca at Striker now). His squad rotation is strange at best.


I respect what he’s trying to do and would much rather watch this team than latter era Wenger teams and certainly any Emery team but his selection is very odd.


Between September and December was some of THE worst football I have ever seen played by Arsenal. We’ve had a few moments since that were fun, but late Wenger teams had those too and they won more. So did Emery’s teams. Are we just this bad? And note I’m one that thinks Wenger’s time was up by the end. He’s a legend, but we started this slide under him (no question IMO). Problem is we’re still sliding. And there is very little evidence to show that Arteta has or is changing that. Lose Thursday and all we have left is… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Yes, you can think Arsene Wenger was not doing well by the end of his time at the club, whilst still thinking those that have followed haven’t been good.

Maybe the club could think of hiring someone with a proven track record of success? (Alien concept, I know)


I agree that we had some dire performances at the start of the season but we’ve sorted out the defence and we’re now very confident and composed playing out of the back.

The attack did click for a few games but seems to have regressed again. Arteta’s team selections and substitutions seem to be preventing us from kicking on.

Let’s just see how things are going forward. I don’t think we’re still sliding. It’s fine margins for us at the moment with discipline, early game focus being real pain points for us right now.


It’s good to be optimistic (credit to you), but I was REALLY disappointed with our tactics against Benfica. They look pretty poor in quality. They have hard workers, but that’s it. And yet tactically we copped a schooling. They played Xhaka at of the game with pressing that they even took up a notch in the 2nd half. They sat deep and countered. We missed some chances and should have been more efficient, but we were also ineffective in getting the ball where we needed it. Benfica squeezed us left after the early period showed how dangerous we were on… Read more »


Benfica were rubbish and only equalised due to a chest into arm hand ball. Again it’s a discipline issue where ESR has lost his head and thrown his hand up when he shouldn’t.

We outperformed them by 1 non-penalty xG and 1-0 would’ve been a fair result.

I agree it would’ve been nice to batter them but the pitch was awful and I really didn’t have too many complaints with that game.


They were ahead. We equalised. We should have buried them with a better tactical game plan. I worry we will go in with the same plan and go down the same road again. Because Arteta views us as unluckly WAY too often in games like this, he uses that as an excuse instead of identifying why we were forced left, why we were basically reduced to nothing by the last 1/4 of the game. Using the “unlucky” defense is arrogance.


All the tactics in the world cannot legislate for individuals missing split-second moments of opportunity. Seize those and it’s at least 3 ‘away’ goals on the night.
We created the opportunities – and enough of them: the fact that key players missed those chances ain’t tactics, it’s just individual human error – and that happens, unfortunately


Chances happen and are missed EVERY game. There weren’t an abundance in this game. Some good ones missed, but we struggled to create, especially at the end of the game. We were completely neutralised by the end.


I have supported Arsenal since the late 70s and I can honestly say that as a club we are in danger of the wheels coming off. Truth is, Wenger managed a team in transition while the club financed the new stadium. That was the first phase of that transition. The second phase was, putting it bluntly, to play the kind of football and get the kind of results and win things to justify an eye watering ticket pricing structure. We are moving further away from that at the current time, with no clear path back. The PL has become so… Read more »


Hate to be the voice of further doom but I don’t see us winning the Europa League. We’re much more likely to qualify via league position even though I agree that’s also unlikely. Does anyone see us getting past the likes of Man Utd, Leicester, Napoli, AC Milan, Roma, Ajax … thought not


Don’t get me wrong, I know the Europa league is a massively long shot. Maybe we are a 5-10% chance 15-to-1 odds seem about right? Still that is where we need to spend our resources (maximising the team for) because there is also the financial aspect of a deep run.


So slightly less likely than a decent league position then (your own odds :)). Which also comes with a cash bonus for league position.
Basically he needs to go for both. If knocked out by Benfica then every game from then on and there aren’t many left – need to be approached like a cup final imo. Anything less and there is no justification for keeping Arteta.


Yes, (i mean I wrote the odds, quite aware of what I wrote). In terms of money: £8.5M for winning Europa, £0.5M for round of 32 exit. League Merit based performance money: £26.6M for 6th, £19.5M for 10th. Now ask yourself, which would you as a fan prefer? 6th place or Europa League win (which gets you Champions League next season). It’s not even an argument to make saying the league is more important at the moment. In all likelihood we finish 8-10 in the league and fail in Europa – but it’s time we got stuck in and showed… Read more »


I really think some people here have forgotten just how bad things were in Wenger’s final season and Emery’s time here with regards to style of play. The players persistently looked lost and as if they didn’t have clear instruction.


There’s not a team on that list that I don’t think we can beat (fitness and refereeing decisions to be taken into account).


What about a fresh manager?

Naked Cygan

Or what about a smart manager who could have rested his first team vs City? This guy chose to play most of the first team players in a game we had no chance to win. No he complains about fresh legs. I have a feeling he is looking for excuses.


Thursday is very close to a must win. If we crash out without at least a deep run in the Europa Cup then what has Arteta done except go backwards this season. How long can he ride the FA Cup win? I really hope he succeeds at Arsenal (and we win the Europa), but he is and should be on a knifes edge right now. Lose Thursday and the season is basically over.

Crash Fistfight

I think it would take a mammoth performance to win the EL at this point. Nobody wants to admit it, but Man U are very good this season. There’s also Spurs (who although shit, still seem to be able to beat us) and Leicester (who it could be touch and go against if we played them) still in the competition, let alone the other teams in it.


Sure, and I agree it will be hard… so we should roll over in Europa too as we have done in every other competition? I mean it would be more fitting of what we have come to expect with this team. Maybe I’m feeling a bit negative (I get a really bad vibe about Thursday), but it is time this team stepped up and showed us what they’re about.


“How long can he ride the FA Cup win?”

According to a lot of sentiments expressed by commenters here, a trophy doesn’t even get someone a full season of goodwill. To me that’s some fairweather nonsense, but apparently no one can remember more than 2 weeks ago.


If we were half decent in the league it wouldn’t be a question and I’d we can take a deep run in Europa (fingers crossed win) again no problem. But crash out Thursday and he’s in trouble. He should get the end of the season, but if this is it 10th place and poor cup performances. Not sure we can justify keeping him around. Because that is 100% the team going backwards.


Yesterday was a wake up experience for me. It just became clear that after spending a fortune since Arteta came in, we are 10th in a poor league season and struggling to get past the round of 32 in the Europa League.

Man City didn’t play well and we showed no fight, poor tactical decisions (Pepe/Saka on the wrong sides) and seemed to accept the defeat with alacrity.

Is this enough for an Arsenal manager to keep his job? Emery was poor, but achieved more.


The football is way better than Emery. Man City did not play well? Maybe because we were pretty good. Just to remind you they beat Everton 3-1, Sp*rs 3-0, Liverpool 4-1 in their last 3 prem games and they have kicked our arses in recent games. OK we screwed up in the first minute, and found it hard to create any clear cut opportunities, but we were matching them for most of the game, and they are arguably the best club team in the world at the moment. The players worked hard and I am not clear what showing ‘fight’… Read more »


That’s true to a point, but if/when MA’s position is re-considered by the owner, it will be done on the position overall not on how we did against any particular team. If we’re honest, the season (so far at least) has been a massive disappointment and anti-climax. While we may have performed reasonably well against some teams, we’ve been very poor against others and that’s the balance that needs to be looked at in the summer. If I had to put money on it, I’d say MA will stay for another season.

santi's thigh grab

MA will stay until KSE or the fans say otherwise. The Gazidis explanation of when Wenger will leave still holds, it’s up to the supporters. Certainly nothing will happen until fans are back in the stadiums. KSE are only interested in club value. Really hope they sell and we get smarter owners.

Once a gunner

Give MA another season. it make sense this way and it saves money too, another coach will come with different ideology sell some players buy new ones, it will be like buy a property with on going building and changing the whole plan. we need to be patient with what we have now. We are actually moving forward. See our defending is one of the best in the league now which we have lost since years ago we are getting it back, all we need now is creativity and it’s coming back gradually not in a consistent measure but coming… Read more »


I am normally an optimistic supporter, but it dawned on me that we are on a downward trajectory. Baring a few halves of football, there is nothing to make me think we will be better next year.

Aubameyang will be 32, a of Partey wasted and players like Willian sucking huge resources in difficult financial times makes it hard to move forward.

To my mind, the players present should be able to manage top 6, but something is stopping that happening.


a year of Partey wasted


Well said, onenil. I’ve learned to avoid commenting (Would Saka launch into prolonged defences on here of our captain or our manager, or would he look toward a big win on Thursday?) on Mondays after a loss, but I appreciate reading yours.


It’s difficult. I assume that the owner will review the club’s position at the end of the season. We could still (possible, not probable I would suggest) qualify for Europe of course. That will almost certainly be enough to secure MA’s job. However, if we end up with no European football, we’ll be a mid-table side where money will be even tighter and any recruitment that can be afforded probably made more difficult with the offer of domestic football only. That may cause second thoughts about the current manager. The $64,000 question (or whatever that is nowadays) is whether that’s… Read more »

Gooner J

I’m sorry but it’s always the same dribble from MA. He speaks the obvious and consoles us irrespective of which team we lose against. Yes, City is better right now but West Ham will be hungrier than us next week against them. We’re tenth, nothing to lose. Let’s go a bit gung-ho. We just had to be nasty and stop their flowing football. Guardiola’s teams WILL out-pass you but we’re the ARSENAL! We shouldn’t care who the opponent is. We need more passion in our playing style (still not sure what MA’s is if we’re still passing in defence 1… Read more »

naked cygan

Just read a stat: From our 13 games left in the league, we have to win 9 games and draw 2, to match Wenger’s worst finish at arsenal. 2018 season we finished 6th, with 63 points.


Cedric Mari Holding Tierney
Xhaka Elneny
Pepe Laca Saka


As expected, City game was a bit of a throwaway. Benfica is the main goal. But we have to be careful with OVERotation too. Very tricky business for Arteta. I think the strongest set of fullbacks will be Bellerin and Tierney. Bellerin is not up to what he can deliver at the moment, we know he can do better. Tierney is working back in and slightly rushed with his deliveries. With Cback, likely Arteta will opt for the experience of Luiz. Holding has been decent but against City he was a little messy with a number of hospital passes (which… Read more »


Cedric Luiz gab KT
Xhaka Dani
Saka Lacs pea



This was the game to play the subs Mikel – all of them – Willian, Pepe, Nketiah in a low stakes, low expectations game.

Jason Clifford

Please. Please. Let Hector have a break. Let us all have a break from Hector.

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