Monday, April 22, 2024

“We’ll try to find a way” – Arteta weighs up options amid personnel crisis

In a situation that could be described as “far from ideal”, Mikel Arteta is preparing for Monday’s match with Newcastle knowing his patchwork defence has further holes that need repairing.

Already without Kieran Tierney, the Gunners have lost Rob Holding to suspension and are currently sweating on the fitness of Ben White and Gabriel.

The former was fit enough to make the bench against Sp*rs on Thursday but, when push came to shove, not in good enough nick to risk when the latter went down with a muscular problem in the closing stages.

If the pair remain sidelined, the boss faces a headache deciding who to use alongside Takehiro Tomiyasu in the centre of defence. While there are youngsters waiting in the wings, it seems most likely Granit Xhaka will drop back from midfield although that creates further issues elsewhere.

“It’s a good question,” said Arteta when asked which defenders are fit ahead of the trip to St James’ Park.

“We will know probably more on Sunday, so we wanted to extend this period as much as possible to understand how they are recovering, how they are feeling, assess them and tomorrow probably we will know more about how they are.

He added: “We will have to modify certain positions to try to make it work, because we don’t have more defenders and even though we have academy players, they haven’t experienced a lot of those positions because they’re not specified central defenders, so it’s something that we’ll try to find a way.”

When he was pressed for further details on White and Gabriel, he continued: “I could [give you an estimate], but I will probably be telling you whatever!

“Sunday will be the day we will have better answers, probably not the answers that we want until matchday, but hopefully better answers.”

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It’s one of the unwritten rules of football. It doesn’t matter how many central defenders Arsenal have, we’ll always be critically short when it’s important.


Anyone still left out there who thinks we should cash in on Saliba….?



You guys may downvote, but there were people on here with the madness to suggest that we should….

Alan Sunderland

They’re downvoting because they’ve never seen him play. From what I’ve seen gabriel is on the bench if he gets a fair shot at it. I have watched him on all 3 of his lean and it amazes him that anyone would have thought holding chambers were better options. Even kolasinic has played on the left of a 3 for us, I don’t get it.


not at all clear to me that white should start over gabriel.

Der Kaiser

IF he wishes to play for Arsenal we should not sell. IF he could not settle in London and just wants to play in France the scenario is different Clearly very talented BUT IF a player does not want to play for Arsenal and be part of a squad then let him go. Not as good but Ainsley Naitland- Miles could have been a very good squad player for us ( like Nicky Butt and a Phil Neville were at Man Utd) but he wanted some form of “ guarantee “ of first team football. Now on bench at Roma.… Read more »


Another reason why we MUST qualify for this fucking 4th spot – honestly, I’m beginning to get sick of it and can’t wait for it to be all over, one way or the other.

With Champions League football on the fixture list, everything changes – especially the attitudes of those who might otherwise want out.

At the moment, Eddie holds all the cards. If we get Champions League football, he has to seriously reconsider his decision to leave.

Likewise, Saliba. Turn your nose up at Champions League football? He’s going to want to stay.



Ligue 1 young player of the season. Who said we need to cash in? Journalists have said he doesn’t want to come back. Journalists also say we are still in for Felipe Melo.

Off topic gooner

Eat magpie pie you Tottenham bastards, and stick it up your conte cunte.
That is all.

Unfettered tr...

This message is fully approved by Arseblog News.


I love James’ Magpies ditties. We haven’t had one for ages. Hopefully if we win, he’ll utilise his considerable creativity skills to come up with a new one.

Come on Arsenal!

Come on James!



Magpies! Magpies!

Rolling over and letting Arsenal score a bundle!


Hopefully, if we win, James will have a suitable celebratory Magpies song to sing on Arsecast Extra. 😊👍

Ramsdale, Cedric, White, Tomiyasu, Tavares; Elneny, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah – should be more than sufficient to get 3 points at Newcastle.

Tavares given the freedom to roam forward but Cedric will then need to stay back. Absolutely do not want to see Xhaka in defense; he’s too vital to the midfield.

Not worried about White’s fitness; if he was fit enough for the bench on Thursday, he should be able to start four days later.


Just praying we can do this minus any fuck ups from Tavares and Cedric.

I big ask I know….


Good proposal if White is fit.
If he is not Xhaka should play there.
Of course it is gonna be nerve cracking.

Spanish Gooner

I’d much rather see Elneny at CB than Xhaka. Neither are perfectly suited to it, but we can’t afford to lose Xhaka in midfield. Lokonga can play midfield, then hopefully White will have enough fitness to allow Tomiyasu at full back.


Now that is a fair shout.

That’s actually a great shout. 👍🍺

Peter Cechs helmet

Time to unleash the superhero.. Get out your suit and get your boots on BFG!

Billy bob

Now that would be awesome lol perhaps Lego hair could have a stint in midfield too!!!

Martinchaser Of Lost Courses

Off topic warning! Another fraudulent penalty awarded to Shit’ham against Burnley at the 45+8th minute. EPL refs outdoing each other to get Shit’ham into top 4 by all means. Hope Arteta and boys understand that we will be up against Newcastle and the ref Monday night!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Both were pens. Instead of moaning about refs, lets look at Cedric’s part in that, and Holding losing his head the whole time he was on the pitch


Oh do give it a rest and get behind the team, FFS.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

“Give it a rest”, says the person who moans more than any other on this site.
Alright mate


Bullshit. The one against Burnley was not a penalty. Upper inside arm…slightest of slightest contacts (no material change to trajectory – which was going into the stands btw), original on field decision was no pen..and when the ref looked at VAR he saw but one angle. Total. Fkn. Bullshit.

Matt P

Gotta get the only English owned club into the Champions League ey? Get that money pumping in to English hands.


Go watch the same referee not giving a penalty for a much clearer barge on Jota from Royal earlier this year (gained Spurs an additional point). And in the same match failed to send off Harry Kane, not even checking VAR for a high tackle on Robertson.

I’m not one to blame refs as well but if it’s as clear as day then who else to speak out but Arsenal fans. Stupid comments like yours just further suppresses any point to really criticize the referee when there’s clearly something going on.


It looks like they’ve all decided to do whatever they can to get Spuds to finish fourth. The penalty decision today was an absolute fucking joke. The ball was booted at Ashley Barnes from 3 feet away and he couldn’t get his arm out of the way.

We are being completely fucked over at the moment.


Gonna be ALL the sweeter if do it, Fats.



*if we do it


And the PL has 3bn reasons to make sure the “entertainment” is top notch until the final day


Yeah. We should have a big vat of salt water to dunk Gary Neville into live on the pitch after the Everton game. More salt than the Dead Sea.

That’s entertainment. 😉


Tierney is also not officiating any games this game week…. Maybe the pmgol aren’t happy either…

Emi Rates

Fuck Spuds!

Naked Cygan


Yeah, I don’t get that decision at all. Are defenders supposed to keep their arms at their sides at all times, just in case an errant kick that isn’t goalbound hits their arm?

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Well tomorrow is now a must win game and anything else means a 5th place finish (which will be disappointing but hardly a disaster).
I won’t kid myself and think Norwich will do us a favour


Burnley were my last hope. It’s all in our hands we have 2 must win games now


Let’s not even think about anything other than three points tomorrow night.

Emi Rates

Harry Maguire must be available for cheap in the next window.

Emi Rates



Ok. Joke. Fair enough. 😊👍🍺


You don’t joke about such things

Emi Rates

Maguire and Man U are jokes so why not joke about them?

Billy bob

Yeah joke about them all you like but don’t suggest we buy any of their tat!!! Even in their hayday I’d have hated us signing one of that lot – especially Keane, Giggs and Teddy PUKE

Emi Rates

If you read my original post there’s actually nothing that suggests Arsenal should buy Maguire. It may as well have been a hint for Everton to open up negotiations.

Christ, lighten up!

Billy bob

You were suggesting it, hence rather rapidly said “jokes”!!! As for lightening up, how about cracking a funny joke?

Emi Rates

I understand, you’re the joke police and you’re here to arrest me.

Billy bob

Like the way you avoid valid points and go onto a “new track” – nice try but I have you sussed!!!


Fuck that shit.

We’ve currently got enough clowns with our full back second choices.

We don’t need any more infiltrating the centre half positions. Christ, we’ve just gotten rid of Mustafi….


Spurs just beat Burnley. I can’t take this anymore.

Billy bob

Yeah how did Burnley not get a draw!!! Shame we didn’t take the same approach – stifle spuds for the first half and make them agitated and then do them in the second half!!!

Naked Cygan

Another soft penalty for sp*rs. But we had a 4 point lead on them. We can only blame our own team if we fail again. We tend to do this all the time. Remember Palace at home with Emery? Just had to win at home against palace….


That was in 2018 with Wenger in charge? Where Mustafi gifted Palace a goal or two?

I dunno. We’ve had so many failed attempts to seal the ECL (it was the title in 2016) down to our awful defence in the recent past.

That said, our first choice back four now are the best we’ve had since the Invincibles.


I would not have held it against Arteta if he parked the bus. Spurs struggled to create anything against Burnley and got bailed out again by VAR. We could have done the same, sat deep, Holding may not have had such a horrid night if we had taken that approach. Hindsight right…

Billy bob

Wow the football results have been a bit pants this week 😐 was hoping AC Milan would cheer me up but currently they are drawing against Atalanta 😐 don’t want the title going to Inter (spuds of Italy)


They’re far from spuds of Italy. They actually win things.

Billy bob

True but back in the 90s, when they won next to nothing, is when they reminded of the scum


Even with our injury woes we have better players than Bonesaw United. Lets score first, control the game, but score another one or 2. Win this game and the prize is within reach. Smash them. COYG!


Turns out that neither AMN nor AFC benefited from that loan. I’d love to have had that option at either outside back position these last couple months.


Exactly. Hopefully AMN would like to step into that role as an all-out utility player.
Every successful team has at least one player like that


Again, we come back to being able to offer ECL football.

No one moans about being a squad player then…..


Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I said at the time that it was folly to let AMN go out on loan.

We sure could use him now. Ditto Hector.

The Far Post

I see your point… even so, it’s hard to say because unhappy squad members can unsettle a squad. Would we have developed the unity we have now, if there were a moaning AMN moping around until break-glass time? In any case I agree that CL might help in giving more game time, but a part of me worries if CL isn’t a step too big for us at this point. I want us to get 4th to celebrate St Totteringham and to shut that insufferable Conte up! But after that I think there will be a lot of work for… Read more »


Tomiyasu Elneny Xhaka Tavares
Odegaard Smith-Rowe
Saka Nketiah Martinelli

in possession create a 3 at the back and allow martinelli to tuck alongside nketiah against their two CB’s. Tavares can then overlap (or underlap if needs be).

The Far Post

Yikes, is White definitely not available then? I would be extremely nervous with that back line and midfield.


Elneny has proved he can fill in at central defender if need be so worst case we would go with Tomiasyu and Elneny which Arteta surely would do vs going with an academy player without the experience at this level. Not an ideal situation, but we will be very strong in the attack and have to play to score as many goals as we can.

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