Versatile Auba, deadly Laca and Super Xhaka, but Who is MOTM? 8 Observations

Arsenal 4 – 1 West Ham – Monreal, Ramsey, Lacazette x2

Another strong home win was just what we needed for our next ‘game of the season’ on Thursday. It took the boys a long time to crush the Hammers but in the end they did with style and smiles on their faces. Just what the doctor ordered.


Eight observations from Arsenal v West Ham:

  1. Aubameyang is a much more versatile player than first assumed (by me at least). As soon as he came on we started to click and find the deadly combinations rather than the cumbersome ones. He seems to have a wonderful balance between being selfish and serving his team mates, and Auba also has a good eye for the best possible pass. That is all about experience and we are going to have lots of fun with him next season.
  2. Laca proofed once again that if we feed him the ball in the box, ideally with a bit of space, he will score, and score again. We are crying out for better wing players/wing play; Lacazette loves to get the ball from the side rather than fed through the middle… we need to play more to his strength going forward.
  3. Iwobi struggled to have an Ozilesque influence on the game today, but I reckon he would play a lot better in a combo with Auba and then one of Welbz or Laca, rather than playing with both of them as he did today. Welbeck and Laca are similar players; the former is more athletic and the latter is more deadly when given a chance, but both lack the calm and assist producing qualities of Auba. I am really pleased Iwobi is getting chances to shine in the free creator role but we need to keep reminding ourselves he is really young and nobody is as good as Ozil – and there is no harder role in football of course…
  4. Ainsley Maitland-Niles did very well to replace the injured Elneny (who was MOTM in the first half). Obviously, he is at the very start of his career and plays with a fearlessness that is based on relatively low expectations (ask Bellerin and Iwobi how things change when expectations start to rise), but you cannot but love his presence and physicality on the pitch as well as his calm decision making.
  5. Good to see Koz and Nacho back and firing from all cylinders. Koz almost scored and Nacho hammered one in with venom and precision. It was also good to see Mustafi playing again and getting some of his composure and confidence back; playing with his best mate Koz made a big difference for him today.
  6. Xhaka was once again class. His corners were Ozilesque and his intelligent positioning and crisp and calm passing – making it look so simple at times – were a joy to watch. Very tidy and effective.
  7. With a goal and an assist, the Welsh Engine, had a great second half and drove our midfield on. He is such a Lampardesque B2B player: runs up and down all day long, good runs into the box and strong shots from outside the box. MOTM. Aaron will be vital on Thursday.
  8. It was nice to see Arsene relaxed and happy today. The supporters did their part with the OAW song and the players showed him much respect and love by putting in a committed performance and getting a big, albeit slightly flattering win. He looked ten years younger and ready to face dapper Diego Simeone on Thursday.


79 thoughts on “Versatile Auba, deadly Laca and Super Xhaka, but Who is MOTM? 8 Observations

  • TA, I am in lock-step with you about 7 of your 8 observations… And, of course, you sneak in a bunch of sub-observations that are equally strong… Really good work, Gaffer…

    Consider me VERY concerned about the injury to my avatar guy. Cech, Jack and Ozil, I’m pretty sure just had the Wenger-Flu…

    I do believe, with the exception of Iwobi for Ozil and Cech for Ospina, THAT was the group of starters we were supposed to see on Thursday. A clean sheet has to be the primary goal for that game. (Unfortunately, the away goals rule favors a conservative approach in Europe, perhaps a reason AW underachieved there over the years…) As such, Xhaka and Elneny in a 4-2-3-1 makes (made) perfect sense. Now we’ll need a re-jig. If all the sickies are OK AND Mkhi has been in full training, I’d probably keep Jack sick (though even the sick and the dead, i.e., the BFG or Mkhi if he’s not fully fit…get to dress for our ultra-thin bench. Sorry, but, longer term, I don’t think Jack’s on Sven’s good side…), That means that DW still plays (With Mkhi–or Eddy–slipping in if we need a goal) while AMN is in for some real spotlight time. As I’ve said before, I’m not very upbeat about our chances over the two legs… I’d take a (nil-nil in a heartbeat) for Thursday, not exactly our specialty…

    (Who exactly are we supposed to run out at Old Trafford between the legs?…)

    Then again, what the hell do I know?… And, Wenger having his final match in France warms my cockles…

    Back to the 8th observation, the one with which I disagree… Sensitive readers, please ignore…

    I’d love to hear from anybody who was in the stadium, but, from what I saw on the telly, I was (frankly) appalled at the treatment the fans gave Wenger, only singing when the result was to their liking. I’m sorry, but that is why it will always be 11 vs 12 when we travel to places like Anfield. Or maybe I should say that it will never be 12 vs 11 when we play at the HTWB (House That Wenger Built). I will agree, however, that his spirits–along with everybody else’s–did appear to lift when the team got to a comfortable scoreline… So maybe it’s only a partial disagreement. 10 years younger? Only when he gets his next job. If Real Madrid don’t win a 3rd CL will Zidane be replaced by Wenger or Pochettino? Either way, Arsenal supporters win… 😀 (I agree with those who’ve said he’s done with club football, the French Nat’l team is my bet. By the end of Russia, Deschamps (only 49) might look just as old…)

    What I’m realizing (more navel gazing here…) is that I think I’m only watching sports as a neutral now–and I probably have been for awhile. I love to see good play but I think I am coming to feel (mostly) pity for those whose emotions are truly affected by results. How a person (fan, player, manager) reacts to losing says as much (if not more) than how they enjoy the winning, I believe. And, of course, it’s REALLY outrageous that the win-at-any-cost mentality has crossed over into politics and the culture more generally. I fear that things like graciousness and morality are for losers only… “To all the Arsenal lovers, take care of the values of the club.” In current times, that’s the sort of thing only a loser would say…

    Luckily, that sort of stuff has mostly been scrubbed from Bkesque…which I appreciate and I’m glad, TA, that you’re inspired to keep the blog going…

    So, enjoy the nice win, I guess…And don’t bite off too many fingernails before Thursday… 😉

  • Oh, btw… I very much agree with your men of the match (Elneny 1st half, Rambo overall…) Again, well done…at a level of subtlety not often seen in the Goonersphere…

    Finally, for J-Dub, both top seeds in the (western) hoops have now lost a game, my faves to a Texas team…perhaps inspired by the personal difficulties of their very impressive (Wenger-esque?) manager… As a neutral, I like it…

  • 17ht, the problem with the fans are that when we are not playing well we get flak from them, which is normal. Then came the dummy goal from Rambo, when we looked out of sorts.

    To Eris in the last post, somehow Iwobi is like The Ox. There are brilliant glimpses of what he can do, but somehow he is not on the same wavelength as the team. Look at his decision making.

    That’s why i was craving for Auba to come on right at the start of the second half. Think of how many goals we would have scored if Auba came on earlier.

  • Hi all.. Great post TA.. Almost agreed with most of them..

    But you seem to forget Welbeck contributions to the team.. He did great also last night.. Just unlucky for him not to score one.. The problem is that he didn’t merges with Lacazette as good as Aubameyang..
    I don’t get any news about Mhiki.. Hope he will be ready for ATM..

    Ramsey for MotM.. I voted for Xhaka..
    Ramsey did great in second half.. But first half was terrible.. He look alike Wilshere.. Don’t know what to do in the middle.. Hehehe..
    Xhaka did a great balance for the team.. Almost the whole games.. And he did a great Ozil job also.. And almost scored a beautiful goal.. Hehehe..

    Ospina did great job.. So better to keep him for ATM.. Like I said before.. Mustafi seem to know each other better with Ospina than Cech..

    Iwobi.. Can’t say more than to bench him.. Another awful game..

    Bellerin.. I really hope that he specially practice his shoot.. If he can make his shoot better.. As Monreal did.. He can score more than 10 goals every season..

    Last.. Agreed for Arsene Wenger Chant.. Loved to hear that again in the field..
    Hope we win all the rest of games..
    ATM.. We are ready.. So be worried.. Hehehe..

  • HT–
    Rockets had, prior to having an off-game yesterday– won 35 of their last 38.
    Wolves hit a much higher percentage of shots than normal. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat– and ready for the next tilt.

    Durant’s arrival rather dispels Kerr being Wengerish IMO.
    Paying cash to add the NBA’s #2 scorer to a championship team with the #1 scorer– seems more Pep-like. 😉


  • Mea culpa HT–
    Should have read your post twice– first!
    Popovich is most definitely a parallel to Le Prof.
    A stand-up individual like Arsene.

    Ya’ know– even though he’s a cross-state rival– I don’t know of an NBA head coach I’ve ever respected more. Pop is, for the first time, experiencing NBA life as the other half lives. The NBA’s Western Conference is not dissimilar from the PL’s top-6. And his club is in need of an overhaul too. Difference though is that rosters are very malleable– and you can remake them almost every year.

    Look out for the Pelicans in GSW’s bracket. A very physical club. Destroyed Portland.


  • Ah, the old fans issue.
    Even Arsene brought it up, so it must be true.

    But if the fans have such an negative effect at the Emirates, how is it that our home record is so good in the EPL, second only to Man City I believe?

    And if our fans are so awful, why aren’t our players, free of the shackles of the pressures brought on by the home fans, able to express themselves and reach new heights when playing away, instead of having one of the worst away records in the EPL..?

  • TA, that’s an excellent review. Nothing much to add to it.

    MOTM is a tough call. Any of Xhaka, Rams, Laca, Danny is fine by me. Elneny was in the parade until he was stretchered off. Moreal, wasn’t far behind. Kosh and Musti did well as Armautovic is one of the most difficult players to handle one on one.

    I insist on making this call: I’d prefer Ospina on Thursday to Cech for obvious reasons:
    1) Cech is not in form.
    2) Cech’s weakest point is ball distribution which is not good for a possession team like Arsenal who play out from the back (exactly why Pep insisted very early that Hart be sold).
    3) Because Cech is very poor with his passing, our defenders, scared of passing to the keeper, sometimes end up running into trouble. So contrary to general belief Cech’s presence saps the confidence of the defenders.
    4) Because Cech is not quick off his line, he is reluctant to act as a sweeper for the team (should be inevitable for a team that plays a high line like Arsenal).
    5) The injury to his head has so traumatized him that he instinctively avoids “dangerous” contacts. Curious Mourinho’s “generosity” in allowing him sold to us, when you think of it.
    6) I hope it’s not an overkill, but Cech leads the league with number of errors that led to a goal (6No).

    Am not saying that Ospina is fantastic, just that he (overall) is better than Cech. Most people are still staring at the past.

  • Morning all 🙂

    Good comments with an edge of feistiness at times, which is good.

    No doubt the home support could have been better but it’ll take time, and to get into a collective good mood that stimulates singing winning football is a great aid… like alcohol, I guess 🙂

    Cech or Ospina, both have strengths and weaknesses. I would go for experience and calm against AM, so Cech it out!

    I expect Cech, Bels, Mustafi, Koz, Nacho, Xhaka, Rambo, Jack, Welbz, Laca and Ozil to start. A shame Mkhi will probably not be fit for that one and that Super Neny will be out most likely. But there is always the second leg for them to hopefully come in and make a difference.

  • Kev–
    Possible Wenger isn’t referring to those inside the stadium?
    Makes more sense to me, than for him to decry those who show up at the matches.

    From out here (online) as a fan? The things one must dismiss in order to be connected to Arsenal? It’s amazing really. The amount of downright mean, sometimes nasty– and definitely hurtful things– stated in public, that a fan of the team must wade through to glean current news.

    I’ve had times, after particular results– where I knew I wouldn’t want to deal with what I expected to be inflammatory reporting and commentary. Just couldn’t bring myself to read about the match.

    And those would be the Arsenal websites I trusted for news.

    In the past few months, I’d seen the tone and tenor, the repetitive content, on many of those sites* turn darker. Some of those writers (whom I greatly respect)? Were caught in a spiral of their own making. In almost every case influencing their regular posters (many of whose posts I would look for specifically) toward negativity. It was a vicious cycle.

    From my side of the digital divide Kev– I’m almost sure that’s what was meant. Having spent the majority of my professional career in marketing? Arsenal’s PR team is a pretty good one IMHO. In a £1B+ corporate entity– either the club or a subscription service tracks online reputation. Then, more recently, season ticket renewal numbers being tangible evidence. At some point probable that Wenger wanted to know more. That would have been hurtful.


    *Want to be clear. Bergkampesque is an oasis, a refuge of sanity. Why, on occasion, I feel the need to express to TA– the value of what he provides with his site.

  • JW, I always enjoy my exchanges with you, even if we disagree, which is normal, healthy and makes for an interesting debate and why I also regularly visit this blog.

    I’ve read often 17tino railing against some of the anti-Wenger vitriol he experiences on line, that kind of invective is unacceptable and I would never adhere to those views, I like to think that my opinions are made respectfully, even if I disagree.

    Twitter, Facebook (Zuckerberg is watching you), certain blogs like Le Grove are what they are, we know what they’re all about, so don’t be shocked if you visit them.

    I don’t….

    A Cultered Left Foot, Highbury House, The Guardian, Arseblog, Arsenalist, Arsenal Vision (podcasts), BBC, occasionally Untold Arsenal, those are my usual ports of call.
    It works for me JW.

    I’m not preaching, I’m just saying… 🙂

  • Actually Kev?
    Those are, almost to a tee (5 of 8 listed)– the sites I visit as well– and others (enjoy 7amKickoff and also Tim Stillman’s writing specifically). I do a drive-by (please don’t laugh) at Le Grove about once every few weeks– to get a baseline for vitriol (Oddly, after we took the second leg from Milan and advanced, the writer at Le Grove began posting positive pieces for several days. Needless to say that didn’t hold, nor reciprocated in comments.). I’ll definitely visit the others you mention, thanks!

    At a couple of the sites I admire– the writers had slipped into a feedback loop that fed ever-negative reader commentary– reflecting back to the writer. Difficult to get a clear view of conflict when immersed in it. Might be one reason why Arsenal fans outside the UK have a somewhat differing view of things from ‘over here’. Perhaps why the romanticism with regard to the paternal Arsene Wenger?

    Propaganda is a nefarious weapon. A marketeer knows it when they see it. My country is in thrall to it (thanks Rupert!). It eats away at conscience; replacing it with tribalism. Took 25 years– but thanks to propaganda? The US now have a life-imitates-art “Idiocracy” in the form of Trump.

    The press over there has always had it in for Arsene and Arsenal. But the degree to which he’s been mercilessly persecuted– for simply being ‘very good’ as opposed to ‘excellent’? Breaks my heart.

    Another of my long-held views was that Wenger stayed on longer than he wanted to– in order to allow the machinery behind the scenes to mature and become synchronous. Arseblog seems to agree (from Sunday):

    “I would have loved Wenger to go after the FA Cup final in 2017. I have a suspicion that he would have liked to go then too, but because of the club’s complete refusal to even countenance a life without Arsene, he was persuaded to stay because we weren’t ready for change. We needed new structures, we’ve needed the Sven and Raul type people for a long time now, and whatever you think of the boss, I don’t think anyone can deny he has always felt a sense of responsibility to the club.”

    IMO, this will become even more apparent as time passes.

    The club’s still not entirely prepared for Arsene’s departure. The indicator will be whom the BoD names as Wenger’s successor.


  • Kev–
    I read through Amy Lawrence’s piece three times.
    Then went back and read it a fourth time.

    The sub-head on the article:
    “Arsenal manager seizes opportunity to talk about how worldwide image of the club has taken a battering, not helped by FANS INSIDE THE EMIRATES.”

    Nowhere in that piece is there anything stated by Wenger that indicates he was speaking specifically of FANS INSIDE THE EMIRATES.

    Headline-writers are paid to generate clicks. So it goes:
    ♪♫ “The beat goes on, and the beat goes on…” ♪♫


  • A Lesson In How To Drive A Media Narrative:
    So again– in another Guardian article today– the term ‘supporters’ is interjected into both the headline and in parenthetical use –“[the supporters]” to describe Wenger’s use of the word “fans”.

    I’m reminded often of the difference between the use of ‘supporter’ and ‘fan’ in terms of one who buys tickets and spends by going to stadiums, home and away– opposed to ones who back the club/team with their enthusiam.

    Apparently, (someone at) The Guardian is hoping to create this narrative– by repeating something Wenger never said. A little surprised it’s The Guardian. But not surprised anymore by any of the animosity on display– wherever one looks.


  • Just Arsenal news, Paininthearsenal (even that name suggests the blog outlook), Le Grove (also known as Le groan) and on the rare occasion, Highbury house. Just a few of the blogs that have made Wenger or Arsenal bashing a mainstay. I had to quit active posting on these sites (unless for the occasional counter comment). It was energy sapping just reading the extent of hate, with “fans” wishing the club ill in the faint hope it gets Wenger sacked. The writers/blog owners usually initiate the story line and spew the hate; mostly, they pick up on what the media may have put out and bring it up for discussion, even if the information is largely unverified. It gets to libellous levels at times.

    Kev, I guess you are the Kev whose comments I pick up on, once in a while, then.

    This site (and this isn’t just about praise for TA) has been constant in its values and approach. TA would support the club and manager and only began to question things when improvements just weren’t evident. Criticism on here has always been respectful and put out as opinions, which allows a diversity of views to be posted without any pressure.

    Long may it continue and hopefully, we get to share in many more pleasant milestone achievements for the club.

  • My last post was in direct reaction to Kev’s@ 13:40. I started to type 3 hours ago but was interrupted midway hence it may appear out of sync with the last few, even though related.

    There’s no doubt that Wenger has only made this announcement owing to the division amongst the fan base, leading onto dwindling attendance at the Emirates. He is a man whose pride is largely drawn from what he’s made of the club, it’s values and the widespread love of all of its adoring fans, hitherto enjoyed. Otherwise, he may have been tempted to stay on to the end of his current contract (not that I would complain). Alas! It wasn’t to be.

  • My regulars: Arseblog, ACLF, 7amkickoff, ArsenalAnsenal.Suburbangooners,Guardian.

    It’s BK’s positive stance that attracted me in the first place and of course the absence of vitriol and not the absence of critisism. If critisism were to be eliminated, it would amount to asking one to live a lie. That would be too oppressive. The ideal to me is: restraint from tapping into negative emotive vocabulary under no circumstance but freedom to air views.

    Sometimes the vocabulary boundaries are difficult to distinguish, more so to another person who might be seeing the same thing so differently. So if I keep at it that X is not good enough for the team, my honest opinion, and another person sees it so differently and keep countering, there is always the danger that intolerance (mutual or otherwise) might begin to creep in. So keep alert.

    I must say that BKesque has done very well in not censoring opinions but the language. Keep it up TA, this freedom of opinion.

  • Eris, yes I’ve seen you comment on other sites, so I guess you’ve seen my comments from time to time, as I’ve seen JW comment elsewhere and Total, who I first became aware of on AA.

    Eris, I first got into blogging in 2008, Le Grove seemed a frightening place, overtly aggressive, so I tried Highbury House as it was a positive, friendly forum, I tried Arsenal Arsenal but it seemed cliquey, ACLF likewise, so I stuck to HH.

    Over those 10 years I’ve seen HH change, it’s become more cynical and negative, probably in line with the domestic support and in line with Arsenal becoming uncompetitive in the EPL and CL, so maybe it’s a reflection of how the fans feel in the UK..?

    In a way Eris, that’s why I like it on here and actually post regularilly on here, because it reminds me of how it used to be when I started to blog.

    As far as Wenger being forced out by the recent drop in attendance, I suspect that Arsene knew he was leaving at the end of this season, I’d guess several weeks ago, probably the reason he made it public is that someone got wind of it and so it was decided it was better to announce it before a newspaper broke it..?
    Just my opinion…

  • Kev, of course i meant it. We had been traditionally known as the quiet fans, so you can imagine the clubs with far vocal fans.

    Our mentality had always been weaker than other clubs, so when any minor changes happens we are the ones who are prone to mistakes and conceding goals. Not that i prefer other clubs, of course, but this is something that we need to address for us to get the best form from now onwards.

  • 84, I’m not sure that Arsenal are the only club with fans that don’t make a lot of noise, and playing away from home never bothered Arsenal teams in the recent past.

    I’ll think you’ll find that Arsenal went unbeaten in two consecutive seasons away from home in the league during 2002/03 and 2003/04.

    How you perform away from home in the EPL has more to do with a teams mentality, it’s character, how organised, coached and prepared it is, rather than the noise made by fans, I would say 84.

    I think a teams quality is judged best by its away performances.

  • Yo. HT?
    Watchin’ this by chance?
    Rockets just dropped 50-points (no typo) F-I-F-T-Y on the Timberwolves in the 3rd-quarter.
    Yes, in a single quarter.


  • Jw1, wow.. 50 points in a quarter. That’s something like 25 2-point shots in a single 15-min spell.
    Houston Rockets are blazing at the moment, I would admit. And San Antonio is not the same without their retired giant.

    Kev, it’s true that our away form is something of a disaster, but our home form is what kept us on 6th place, and we still need to play Burnley.
    It’s more of our mentality during the away games, less of the preparations, but more of the way how we organised our defence and attack.

  • Morning fellowrinos 🙂

    Thanks for the blog compliments. It would not be anything without your fabulous and considered contributions on a daily basis. The focus is on both loyal support to the team, the players and the manager and wanting the very best for Arsenal, because that is the essence of supporting a sports team. It is also about avoiding kneejerk reactions to a loss and or a player being out of form (or still young) but trying to look at things more structurally and as positively as possible, because that is also the essence of supporting a team: positivity increases belief; and belief helps confidence; confidence is the foundation of success.

    It is also about sharing views and insights with the aim to get collectively better informed whilst giving the boys and manager support on a game to game basis as much as possible. I think we are doing that pretty well here and long may it continue. 🙂

    It looks like everybody is talking about who the new manager should be…. I may need to write a post about it..

  • Hi fellows, just a quick here (hahahahaha…) before TA posts about J-Low (or other replacements for AW)… As I’ve stated before, I’m hoping to become a more casual “fan” of the team now that my hero has been kicked to the curb… Just like Wenger, we all need to move on one day…

    Or maybe I’ll stick around for the hoops banter w/JW… I actually went out to the hot tub (with wifey) with the intent to see if the T-wolves could keep it close for an interesting finish… They were already collapsing as they went to half-time, so I thought not…When I checked in it was a wacky scoreline, so it must’ve been impressive. Looks like both our teams will finish off their first round series back at home… Except, in truth, I’m not a TRUE dubs fan… I dropped them when I was appalled by Don Nelson’s treatment then trading of Chris Webber back in the 90s… The latter, amazingly, is pretty good now as an announcer, I think… Better than say, Tom Gugliotta…

    As the saying goes, football isn’t life or death (it’s so much more)…Except these days it’s about entertainment and bums in seats. Wenger clearly was fighting for his job until (this past midweek…) he was told it was over due to successful boycotts at the home stadium from the (paying) fans. That the BoD were SO unprepared as to give him a new contract a year ago, but are now ready for something (anything) new, speaks VOLUMES about just how poorly prepared they are going forward. It WILL be interesting, that’s for sure, but let’s be clear, the new manager will serve under Sven and Raul and I think I prefer the look of the other N London club’s bald guy (Daniel Levy) over ours (Ivan Gazidis)… We just have to hope that Kroenke (Stan or Josh) can keep it all on track…

    Like those guys, now that it’s 9:30 am (New York time, 6:30 here)…it’s time to look in on the opening of the financial markets… Let’s see how my investments are going… Maybe I’ll be a more active trader now that I’m a neutral with the Arsenal stuff… Or maybe I should take a punt with the odds (Ladbrokes, BetNow, what’s everybody’s fave?) on our next manager… 😀 😦

  • Ah crap, the markets are up… I like to buy on the dips… 😉

    Since TA hasn’t posted his J-Low bit quite yet, I’ll preach on…

    For Kev, in the end, I really don’t think fan support matters ALL that much vis-a-vis results. The new stadium has excellent acoustics–so, if we really could muster a You’ll Never Walk Alone sort of feeling (not, The Wonder of You…lordy…) it could be an amazing thing. As the new stadiums come on line it will be a problem for all the teams, I’m guessing, and the London fans will always be a bit more grumbly than those from (let’s call it) the greater Liverpool area… 😉 Or maybe, down in London, we just have more entertainment alternatives… 😀

    In truth, I believe that Wenger’s vision was that superior technical football, with an emphasis on attacking (3 points for a win, only 1 for a draw…) over time, beats out “passionate” or ‘ard football. The attacking flair, he hoped, would lead to results and those bums would fill the seats. Again, I’ll point to Moo’s first ouster from Chelsea. He had done a mess o’ winning, but Abramovic still felt Chavs were 2nd fiddle (behind mostly Fergie’s ManU, but also to the London team with the new stadium) when it came to good football… Now he’s almost like our Kroenke, (i.e., he couldn’t care less and there are WAY more fun things for Russians to disrupt in the West…) That said, I bet he enjoyed Giroud’s goal in the cup semi the other day… Wowsa…

    I’ve still got an interest in what happens at Arsenal, but if there were “supporters” wanting bad results in order to get rid of AW, maybe I should take a similar approach with the new guy. I believe Wenger ALWAYS wanted what was best for the club, but it might be more fun to see how the summer window and the new guy’s first season goes if it’s just “up from 6th” and Ropy League again… Beating Atletico (which I don’t see happening) for a France Farewell, but then losing the final, maybe in a shootout (don’t get me started on PE’s evaluation of our keeper options…) would be a fitting twist, maybe…

    Am I bitter? Probably… Do I want what’s best for my club? I think maybe not… Perhaps my OWN entertainment (or my own favorite narratives) are what’s most important now…

  • OK, nobody wants to play… And I’m not really in following with TA’s statement about the blog above… The markets are generally up even if the FANG’s are down…

    Speaking of markets…

    Who’s got hair envy? Latest reports say Gazidis wants Arteta… (No worries TA, J-Low coulda been a Beatle…) 😀

    Gotta run for much more important business… There are folks who need coffee around here…

  • Don’t forget to treat yourself to a few shots, Seventeenho; it looks like you need them! 🙂

    Serious question to you: did you support Arsene(l) or Arsenal in the last ten years or so? If it is the former then I would image you will get passionate about Arsene’s next team and may shift your allegiance accordingly?

  • that was a fine goal by Ollie G. I really hope Ollie scores a hattrick in the final and JM goes home empty-handed. A little bust up between Ollie and Sanchez in which the Frenchman lifts the Chilean onto the bar would also be great entertainment.

    Btw there is no way Arteta will get the job. I reckon the new manager is already in place but will be kept secret to the outside world till after the Atletico games (at least). Maybe Ozil, Auba or Mkhi will let it slip sooner or later though.

  • OK, espressos have been pulled and drunk and my people are off… And, yes TA, I took a little nip at each one I made for the wife… I’m still breaking in my new roaster so tasting is a must…

    Serious answer. Of course Arsenal are my team…and I’m very attached to some of the talent that (I believe) AW brought in (notably Santi, Koscielny and Ozil but many others before them). I just think that I watch things a bit differently. Obviously, I prefer it when we win, but–in today’s culture, generally and within the Arsenal fanbase, I fear, it only really defers the misery for a bit. I’m OK with that, football should be a test for how much (misery) one can take… 😀 😦

    To reiterate, I am being serious here… (A deeper discussion, pints and drams, in person, would be something I’d love, btw… You shoulda taken my bet on the Pool-City CL quarterfinals…)

    I’m likely to keep writing here as other places have put me off (even more…hahaha)… So, when’s the J-Low post coming out?

  • Gazidis saying he wants Arteta as manager is interesting…as I have to agree with J-Dub’s thoughts about him being a no-lose sort of choice… It also makes me believe that you (TA) are right and that the choice has already been made. Will it be Sven’s guy (Tuchel) or Raul’s (Enrique)? Or maybe (one of the) Kroenke(s) has an idea… 😮

    If we’re putting up music vids, Here’s my favorite Enrique… Even if the other guy is the better singer… This was the title song of a(nother) telenovela starring (my favorite gal) Angelique Boyer…

    I give you both versions–the 2nd being a screen shot from the novela…

    The title, El Perdador, (The Loser–with the line, yo prefiero ser–I prefer to be…) maybe sums up my (twisted) football viewing perspective…


  • I don’t think 17HT has ever made a secret of his loyalties T A he has always put Wenger ahead if the team and his supporters, hence a number of disagreements in the past.
    In my experience at least ! The Arsenal away support is . The same away supporters try to make noise at home, but if Sir Charles Ponsonby Smyth is busy munching his prawn sandwich, he ain’t gonna sing anyway. If the team performs the crowd responds accordingly. I think Arsenal have been top 3 top 4 for so long now, it is no longer considered great by the crowd. In fact our home performances this season have been great excluding the City game. If we could produce it away we might get a chance going forward..

    As for mr Wenger, loved him to bits for the 1st 10 years. Then the club announced it would need to tighten its belt for s few years to cover the stadium move. By the end of that period we would be in a position to challenge the big boys. I believe that the vast majority of Gooners understood the need for patience and carried on supporting Wenger accordingly. But the deadline came and went Ok we have won the cup 3 times in recent years and that’s great. But Is that good enough? Not for Arsenal IMHO. The fans are crying out for a run on the premiership. This will mean major surgery on the defence and a large outlay of funds.

    It will be very difficult for the new guy and personally l wouldn’t have to high expectations for the next few years

  • Where’s the new manager post?… I can only listen to cheesy telenovela songs for a bit…

    I guess I might have to slide over and scan the 7amkickoff stuff. Having met Tim that one time I have to say that I like him and I think he’s a talented writer (as are many of his regular comment guys). For me, the emphasis on stats is a bit extreme though I think it’s rather cheeky (in a good way…) the way he borrowed the Harper’s approach for his post-match column that he does for Arseblog.

    Like you (TA) always say, negative vs positive, when it comes to commenting about Arsenal–or anything else–is a choice. If you write enough words ( 😀 ) I think you can have it both ways, however… Tim and his regulars have seen the football more negatively than I’ve been choosing to view it but they also have been in the Wenger-out camp for longer than folks at other sites. I’m can’t quite be sure when you (TA) crossed over (to the dark side, as I call it) but it wasn’t too long ago, I don’t think…

    I’ve even sort of been there myself for two reasons–Wenger’s suffering (even for me…) seemed TOO much, and I believed that his presence made the weight of the intangible elements a true anchor for the team who were made to suffer TOO much. (Bellerin’s treatment at Crystal Palace last March was a real low point, I thought…)

    That’s why the “board” (Gazidis…) acting now seems so weird (or pathetic) to me. A year ago, the question of Wenger in vs out dominated matters so thoroughly that I though the board would act. Of course, then we went and beat City and Chelsea to hoist that (little) trophy…

    The “issue” was never gonna go away and it spilled over into the Ozil, Ox and Alexis winding down of contract problems.

    Laca in, Ox out worked for me but I’d have also taken Lemar, despite the fact that our season would’ve been kaput at that very moment. Instead, Alexis being an idiot, er, massive egomaniac, and wanting out (did I say “laying down tools?…” No, I didn’t, but now I wonder…) and disrupting the team effort is a huge reason (IMO) that we failed to compete well for a top 4 place, while injuries to key players–Santi, Kos’ injection therapy, Rambo’s hamstrings, Lacazette needing surgery–hasn’t helped either.

    IF the core guys could all get healthy…and we had a quality addition or two, I think Arsenal aren’t THAT bad a team. Given time, I think Mustafi, Xhaka and Kolasinac will prove themselves, for example. Again, don’t get me started on the keepers. We need a new one (to replace Ospina…) and Cech (as our #2) along with Jens could bring out the best in a younger talent, I think…And talent, by the way, includes size, something that cannot be taught… Folks just railing on the young guys (Bellerin and Iwobi, most notably, but also Chambers) seems ridiculous. Yes, they aren’t perfect, but there’s a lot of upside there. Somehow guys like Holding, AMN, Willock and Nelson get free passes… No matter, we need young guns because we can’t just buy, buy, buy…

    Or maybe we can, now that Sven & Raul & Ivan have the ear of a Kroenke (which one? I wonder)…

    On that front, I really agree with TA’s assessment of PEA (this post) and Lacazette as well… They are good buy’s and upgrades to those who have left. (Theo’s goal for Everton was Laca-esque yesterday, but I also saw some of his other play…… I sure wish we’d kept big Messi, er, Ollie, above, given the cup-tied in Europe issue for PEA…) To my mind, Mkhi is a very interesting player, but he’s out for Thursday (while Ozil is a doubt…Gulp…) according to latest reports… At his age, maybe he WILL be the new Santi (but not in a good way…returning from injury only gets tougher as the year count adds up, I fear).

    Without Mkhi (and PEA) I think we’ve got severe troubles in the short term…and more blame on Wenger, I fear… (No Ozil and we just have to hope that Atletico play conservative and don’t come out too much in the first leg…) The longer term bottom line is that we need more bodies–and quality ones at that–so let’s see how SIR (Sven, Ivan and Raul) Kroenke gets it done… And, who knows, the new manager might have some input too…

  • Oh poop… Sorry Retsub, I posted w/o seeing your comment…

    Big cheers for sticking up for me… and (perhaps) understanding my loyalties… Wenger is the character who really sealed the deal for me but I probably would’ve fallen (hard) for Arsenal no matter who was in charge… Certainly I expect to always have a fondness for the club… 😉

    If it’s gonna be difficult for the next guy then maybe it’s the surrounding situation that changed rather than a flaw in Arsene-L’s plan for world (or at least) English domination. Man City were so unbelievably sh*te when I saw them (lose at Charlton) back in 2006… Pool, weren’t good in the league but did make the CL final that season… Adebayor looked alright beating up on Spurs in the new stadium on the day (2nd December) we had to leave our apartment (across from the tennis courts and 5 a side pitches) on Highbury Fields… 😦

    But maybe you’re right… Spurs are gonna finish 4th (after going out in the round of 16 in the CL) and their supporters will be ecstatic…at least until they lose their manager to Real Madrid–or their best young English guys to the Manc Clubs. (And Pool are clearly on the up while Chavs are on the down–Moo passing on DeBruyne and Salah didn’t help them too much in the end…)

    To be clear, Wenger stayed (his mistake it appears…) even when the likes of Cesc, Nasri, RvP (and a host of others) fecked off for more fertile (or at least greener, as in our money over here) fields…

    In other words, AW tried to stay with the project–quite valiantly, I think–even as conditions on the ground changed… And the abuse he’s received is ridiculous and–for me at least–it makes it hard to want to be part of the Arsenal community. The fans not singing his song until the score was positive says it all, I fear…

    No disrespect meant…just saying that we can all see things differently…

  • HT and TA–

    You wouldn’t believe the number of diverse and divergent bloggers, posters, and websites I’ve come across– who think Arteta could be the guy. Beyond standing behind my own prediction– the reasons I’ve not thought through are plentiful. Many, well stated.

    The things that new manager would be faced with coming into a situation such as this (think ‘Moyes’) would be secondary with the familiarity Mikel at the club. That kind of advantage cannot be waved away. It’s real.

    Nearly flawless.
    I’d never seen anything like the 50-point 3rd-quarter Rockets/TWolves. From 6:29 2nd-quarter through end of 3rd-quarter– in just 18-1/2 minutes– the Rockets scored 67 points. Only one other 50-point quarter in NBA history (Lakers vs Pistons, 1962).

    Then I’ll leave you this accurate write-up :


  • Arteta is a lovely man and possibly one for the future, who knows, but he has no first team experience and it really would be a cruel joke to give him the job. Aint going to happen and the likes of Ozil, Auba and Mkhi would not have signed on with that prospect held in front of them. No way. It is a cavalier- romantic notion but there is no way, Mikel, or indeed Patrick, will get the nr1 job. We need to get back into the top four asap and for that we need a safe pair of hands, either for the short term or the long term.

    Moyes was Big Nose’s choice and the BoD will have learned from this that they should not ask W to pick his successor.

    I am planning to write a blog about it but it will need to be written carefully and I am busy at the moment. So it may take a few days.

  • Hey J-Dub…Glad to see you didn’t have to go ALL-CAPS on my Arse…

    I took a glance over at 7am and take back what I said about the comment writers… I guess we’re all in love with our own ideas AND we all want to win… Tim didn’t actually write anything over there…So…

    TA, don’t dither too much–though I appreciate your desire to be thoughtful about it–I can’t be arsed to read all the idiocy currently being written. I’m not sure why not–esp. given my word count above. Maybe it’s that I just don’t care that much about the post Arene-L era…or more likely it’s because, in the end, we have absolutely zero control over who becomes the next manager, so, to borrow more Spanish lyrics… Que Sera, Sera…

    Still, I must weigh in on the, er, entertainment…

    Gazidis going public with his thoughts about his preference for Arteta suggests that it’s a real battle at the SIR (Kroneke) level… (And that Ivan ain’t gonna get his hair-man…) Given that we scored two Dortmund guys in the Jan. window–and that Wenger is now available to take over at PSG–I think Sven might be the man…and thus Tuchel his puppet and the next guy at Arsenal…

    Now who’s talking out his ass… 😀

    Better to stick with the hoops. 50 vs T-Wolves (who had to be basking in getting a game from the beard and his bros…) doesn’t impress me all that much… Hell, one dude once got 37 points in a quarter by himself…and he’s like that team’s 4th best player, or something… more winkys… That’s the thing about that game… not ALL the matches (in fact, not very many of them…) actually matter.

    Which brings me to another irony about the Wenger situation… That he was sacked after we lost at Newcastle… A game (or result, I should say) that A LOT of (smart) folks noted didn’t (actually) matter. On that front I’m thinking SIR (Kronke) are becoming (all too) aware that they’re selling entertainment more than football…

    So, who would be the most entertaining next manager?… Arteta as place-holder until (surely he’ll be available…) The MOO, whose name actually ends in INHO… A dream (or nightmare?…) come true?…

    😀 (Sorry, now I’m having too much fun)…

  • JW…If you’re done trolling over there re: Arteta, could you put one in for me… It’s so obvious, yet so brilliant that (at least as I scrolled through it all…) it seems nobody else can see it…


    There are all the obvious elements plus, it rhymes with “coach,” which is all the next guy is gonna be anyhow. And the hair, my god, the hair…

    Apologies again…(And TA, in all seriousness, give me the sack or let me make a statement about stepping down or however it must be done…)

  • T A just a quiet period for me. Plus I didn’t know what a migraine was until a couple of days ago. With regard to the new manager I think I will leave it to the experts. I quite like Mourinho…….. whoa there just kidding. When Wenger was appointed I had never heard of him. I don’t actually remember complaining at the time, but I am sure I did. Overall he didn’t do a bad job.

    Have to say though if they are going to appoint an ex player , Henry, Vieira, Arteta, anyone for Charlie George … maybe not. I hope they put an elder statesman in there with them, Ancelotti etc

  • Quite a bit to catch up on with 17ht on with his usual staccato style posting and retsub1 back from a brief hiatus.

    Kev, FairPlay to you then. Interestingly, I do post on one other site (7am, I think) under a different moniker, but I know I have seen your posts in places. I used to like Vital Arsenal when Tim Stillman, Amos and one Rocky7 did hold sway but with the club’s failure to compete for the league each passing season, it seemed that site went dead as the fans were always at each other’s throats over the usual Wenger in-Out argument. I also agree with you that Wenger knew he was go8ng to leave at the end of this season; I did say it on here, earlier in the season, after his stay was extended, that he wasn’t likely to see this one to the end and 2 years was to buy the club some time. I choose to believe that, seeing as we went into all those senior Recruitment’s.

    17ht, I do hope the new manager will give you (us all) enough reason to stay supporting the team. Arsène Wenger was always go8ng to leave some day and while it would seem the timing of his announcement was hastened by the division among the fan base, as we approached a crucial semi-final game, it was probably the best time for it to happen; Wenger leaving was never going to be easy. Oh, and I believe the club is better prepared for it and likely to get it right with his replacement.

    Arteta? Vieira? You’re having a laugh. I am of the opinion Gazidis and the owners already have a manager lined up and it is going to be an experienced, respected one. Those papers and blogs reporting on the “Gazidis wants Arteta” story never gave a Quote or named a source. It is speculative, at best. Recall that in his statement confirming Wenger’s decision, Gazidis insisted the club will not be engaging the media on the subject of a replacement until the end of the season or about that time.

    Finally, of course the new manager will need to lean on the older management staff (the key advantage Wenger had over recent appointments being his better knowledge of the club and its workings) but the Manager at a football club is certainly not under the chief scout in the heirarchy. I’d say he’s about equals with the Director of football as both defer to one another on their respective areas of competence, per the extant Job descriptions.

    Now, to settle down to watch some CL footie. I see Roma in the final. They look the only side (maybe, Madrid too) that can stop Liverpool’s stride to the Cup.

  • Migraines are in pain the ass, Retsub. But good to have you back. 🙂

    I don’t like the idea of an inexperienced ex-player at all. When does this ever work other than Guardiola at Barca and ZZ at Real Madrid? And that’s Spain which is just a two and half team competition when it comes to title wins. The PL is different.

  • To be fair HT–
    I was only trolling the one guy who felt he had to mark his territory– on my comment.
    And I was very pleasant. And very good at it.

    Whether you and TA feel I’m joking (or a fool) regarding Arteta?
    Both the reasons ‘for Arteta’ and against almost all ‘big-names’ (Enrique excluded)? Make more sense each day. Like? Stan paying two £10M managers next year?

    TA– as you begin processing thoughts for your post on the topic? Might wish to keep in mind that most sites/bloggers/commenters have taken notice of a reported £50M transfer budget (+ sale amounts) being floated. The only guys worth serious coin (Ramsey, Mustafi, Bellerin)– should not be parted with.

    As for the TWolves? They had, for 5-1/2 straight quarters (until ‘lift-off’) played very good defense. Better than anybody had for a stretch that long– versus the Rockets all season. That 3rd -quarter was like watching the highlights from an entire game– that had been spliced end-to-end– but it happened live and in 18 minutes. The test will be Thursday– to see if they take Minnesota seriously from the tipoff.

    And you Mr. 17HighburyTerrace?
    (Dreaded when my old-man used my full name.)

    You are not ‘going away’ mister. You are not ‘stepping down’.
    Nobody ‘dislikes’ you except your own evil-doppelganging-over-caffeinated conscience.
    Your style and your opinions are just fine. Especially here.
    Think nobody responds to your posts bubba? Ha!

    How do you think I feel?
    Certain I have the highest percentage of replies which read only:

    TotalArsenal says:
    April 22, 2018 at 22:22
    New post 🙂

    Really doesn’t matter how you view current matters.
    It only matters where you should be discussing them. 🙂


  • hahaha JW, you is a funny chap.

    Respect for your choice for Arteta. Lets see how it goes and then, whoever it is, we will support the new manager.

  • OK just back from doggies first swim outing of the mountain season. I put my toes in and I think I might beat Memorial Day this year…but only by a week or so…

    CL footie on…Pool happy enough to play on the break… If Wenger ever went wrong, tactically, IMO, it might’ve been in this realm… Or at least in keeping his rearguard from believing they should take 40 yarders (and crossfield at times… 😮 ) passes instead of keeping it uber simple back there… I’ve written about Alexis being woeful (for his skill and athletic level) at MF play–including on the break. That was a killer back when it was “his” team…

    Oooh…The Ox is down… He’s had some history with injuries, I fear…

    Eris… I really believe you’re wrong about Wenger planning to step down. Until the announcement he seemed to be lobbying for his job re: comments about seeing out contracts and lotsa folks on the season tix waiting list. Then again, like with the Gazidis liking Arteta stuff, I should definitely not use headlines that suit my own (twisted) narratives (or attempts at humor) willy and nilly… There may have been earlier talks about AW and results and the second year being an “option” year for the board…

    Oooh lordy, and I thought Arsenal had keeper issues… Off the bar, however, so he’s no Almunia at the near post…

    Failing to make the top 4–even with still a (ghost of a) chance of CL football–may have triggered the board’s (read: Gazidis’) option, but still Wenger was trying to stay on. If only his players (and the support, perhaps) had his self-belief… (JW, I’d like to have a similar self-belief about my postings here, but with TA routinely ignoring them, I feel I have to wonder…)
    As such, the boycott worked!! The support “won” !!! and Wenger got the sack. That’s my read, anyhow…

    The new guy may already be selected. I hope so, because a world cup summer makes the following season even more complicated. That said, if our ducks are at least somewhat in a row, slow starts for the teams with lotsa players going in Russia could work to our advantage. 50 million isn’t a lot of money, so my first take is that we need to wave bye-bye to Ramsey and Bellerin. Unless Mustafi plays (and plays well) in Russia he’s going to be hard to replace…at least with a name that will excite people.

    And excite folks is what it’s about now… That’s my main point… Actual football results are less important than hoped for future results… It’s a lot like the financial markets: the (stock) value of a company has far less to do with its current earnings than with its projected profits…

    I’ll leave it there… The less Said-io Mane, the better… 😮

  • Ox out and Pool on top now… Salah hits the target but it’s pushed away…

    What’s the latest on our Egyptian?

  • Salah… Pure class… Roma will be aggrieved at the English style reffing…

  • Wowsa… Pool are in the final… Salah puts it on a plate so that Mane can enjoy a meal…

    Half an hour for Roma to get an away goal w/o conceding a (couple) more? I just don’t see it…

    Nobody else, watching? ‘Eris?…

  • I am listening to the radio, 17HT. Fantastic game and Pool are surely through now. Thought Roma would be stronger but Pool are unstoppable it seems.

  • I am, 17. Just typed a 3 paragraph post only to lose it over technicalities. 😞

  • Will try to paraphrase what I wrote. Liverpool can do that to any team, really and I feel Klopp knows how to beat Bayern in a cup final. So, that leaves only Madrid with the ability to stop Liverpool from winning the CL cup.

    Roma started well, pressing hard and being first to the 50-50s and it will seem they simply ran out of energy and ideas, midway into the first half and it’s been all Liverpool since with Salah a major threat.

  • No way back for Roma now. Not even one (away) goal back will assure them of qualification because they will concede in Rome.

  • Can you imagine if Mourinho hadn’t completely underestimated Salah– and shipped him off?
    The attack he might have had at Chelsea could have been stellar.

    Now there? Is a dinosaur.
    A dinosaur with virtually no spending limit– but a dinosaur no less.


  • I’ll throw the high scoring Lukaku and silky Mata in that mix.

    5-2 is a more respectable scoreline to build upon for Roma but they will have to repeat that Barcelona feat to stop Liverpool scoring as they chase it.

  • Thinking you need to do your keystroking or voice recognition in a separate app– then copy it over to the Comment box to ‘Submit’.

    Also, not sure about iPads? But in general– as far as web form submittals? If something goes wrong? If you use the ‘Back’ button/arrow you may find your text still in the Comment box (called ‘persistence’). You could then copy/paste it to another app while you work things through in your browser or close / restart it.

    One thing l’ll always recommend is ‘clearing your browser cache’ (search for ‘clearing (Chrome/Safari/Edge/Firefox) browser cache’ for step-by-steps) about once a week at least. Especially if you DON’T use an Ad Blocker. The amount of files you download just by visiting a page is much more than you’d think. Anyway, all these files are stored (or ‘cached’ in a temp folder)– and anytime you revisit a website– your browser default is to go back through all of those stored files to determine if it has to download new ones! That’s why it seems your nice new device or PC is running slow– it has to sift through hundreds or thousands of files before delivering the content.

    Simple thing to get in the habit of– or find out how to set it to clear automatically every day or days. Not complicated, usually a half-dozen clicks give or take. And your browsing will be sped-up on a regular basis.


  • Wait a minute, Eris, I don’t quite get your comments about Lukaku & Mata… He flogged them (to Everton and ManU, right?…) but he still uses them, on occasion… Mostly, the Moo man seems intolerant of the up and comers… A(nother) reason I would expect a lot of our kids getting the feck outta Dodge, as we say…

    So the match finishes 5-2 and Roma might think they have a chance IF Messi, er, Mohamed, Salah gets hurt vs Stoke on the weekend… Egyptian Cotton is the best, isn’t it? Wrap him up, Klopp will, I’m sure… Was it really 4-nil when he went off or had they scored the 5th (the only goal he wasn’t a part of…)?… Pool’s defense isn’t up to snuff even if it’s likely money well spent on the dutch fella… That open header by Lovren (I think) wouldn’t have been missed by our guys, I don’t think…

    Speaking of money… If I know anything about money and family dynamics…it seems quite possible that Josh Kroenke might have a different attitude about “speculate to accumulate” and the purse-strings could get looser… Self-sustaining? Values” that’s loser talk. Note for PE, the spell-check does NOT know the difference…

    Just joshing (another pun…), and my bet is the PE will get at least 10 out of 11 when he does the preview (because our team is down to the barest of bones)… Unless he chooses Ospina… 😉 Loose at the back and we will lose, for sure… Ospina HAS improved at getting off his line (or–even worse–out of his own goal)…and he’s a very good shot stopper for his size, but I’ll go with the calm (and helmeted) head of Cech, every day of the week…

    Not that I really care. Even I’m not sure that Wenger is a big enough guy to get the sack and STILL want to set up his successor for success by way of back-door entry into the bigger tournament. Make the guy work for it…lord knows AW did…

  • Geez. Hadn’t even thrown those 3 KDB/Lukaku/Mata into the mix!
    Mourinho has a plan. His plan. Deviate from it and ‘off-you-go’ into footballing wilderness for a couple years.

    Check this out. BB-related. Really quite creative stuff. Be sure to scroll-down to see all of the variations on the photo being discussed (it’s not the one at the top of the article!):


  • Some interesting exchanges above here. I will comment on a couple.

    Arsene or Arsenal. Well of course it’s Arsenal. But it doesn’t stop there. Arsenal winning is always the right result, but some contexts bring more joy than others. Beating the spuds obviously, revenge against the orks another. Or when an opponent has made some crass comment about us. Equally joy can come for entirely positive reasons – seeing a young player come through, seeing an ideology vindicated, and taking pleasure in others’ joy. I’m with HT on this. Part of the joy for me has been associated with the qualities that Wenger brought to our team and I have welcomed good results in part for the relief they brought him. Will I enjoy wins and wish for wins under a new manager? Yes of course. Would I take equal pleasure from an Arsenal win with Maureen as our new manager……? Nope, I can’t say that I would. I suspect I may not be alone in that.

    Arteta as our new manager? I doubt it and hope not. That choice would not inspire much confidence from me in the well paid leadership that now administers Arsenal. It would be nothing more than a punt and make a joke out of all the appointments we have made. I also truly hope that we have not already found the next manager. That would lack class and basic respect. Wenger isn’t bigger than the club. But the club would diminish itself if it started to behave in this manner – and in so doing lose the qualities that make it still attractive to managers of the highest quality. We may go young and upcoming or longstanding experience. But either way there must be proven qualities. I’ve gone with the latter (in my preference) to handle perhaps a 2 year transition. But we will have to pay him, and be prepared to pay for additions to the squad. Time will tell what we are prepared to do, but I don’t see us spending £200m or such in a TW anytime soon. So some sort of compromise will be needed. Fascinating to speculate where that will be. And we will be able to judge the quality of our executive leadership once we have seen the new appointment and how they handle the first TW.

  • Cool stuff there, JW… Is Harden god or Adam in that analogy?… I’m guessing the latter… I will say this I do like Harden and I prefer the beard to the frankly absurd lengths other athletes have gone with the tattoos…a trend started by another one my heroes, Dennis Rodman… To think that a guy who couldn’t shoot the ball would be able to start (or revive…) that element of the culture AND broker a deal between his buddies Trump and Kim Jong Un… It beggars belief, really…

    Plus, both those guys are (or were) truly exceptional in what they do… Everybody fit for the (Western) finals and it could be one for the ages…

    AB, I understand the team first thing but…you gotta have some values… Rooney will always be a legend at ManU for ending our streak at one before 50… Was it not a belly-flop? Of course it was, (just like his once a blue, always a blue undershirt). That’s what makes Rooney a perfect United guy and why I was DEEPLY skeptical about Gazidis trying to get Wenger to spend by saying, “We could even buy Rooney,” you know, back when he was still a pretty good player… Do I believe him now when he says “we have a process or Arteta is my guy.” Hell no. AW might have not seen certain incidences and he most certainly (still) lies about the flu or a minor knocks to protect his players, but it’s different, IMO… In the end, HOW you do your PR (i.e., lying) matters… It’s only taken a couple of days for AW’s lie about “deciding to step down” to fade away and the “after discussions with the club” to get the highlighter to know that it was a sacking. Who’s talking out of his arse now… (Hint: usually I think it’s the guy WITH the hair who has sold his soul to the devil…not this time…)

    I really can’t be arsed to even look at NewSnow (it’s springtime, even here in the mountains and I’ve got lawn to mow…) so I think there’s even more lying about funds to spend if 50 was the number. If that’s true it’s grim time for Gooners…unless, like AB says, you can take pleasure in the youngn’s…

    Time for AW to get going on that book of his, I say… Out to the lawn (or at least lawn chair, where I hope to read it someday)… 🙂

  • I can see Roma winning 4-1 next week but it would still be a major changeround. You would expect Pool to go through but Roma know they can do it. Should be a good game to watch,

    AB, good comment. I really think the BoD know Wenger’s successor but that does not mean they kept it secret from Wenger. What is presented to the outside world is probably part of a PR strategy.

  • Hi all..
    Liverpool almost made it.. 5-0 till 80′.. If only they defence more.. They already got the final ticket.. Hehehe..
    But I think they will still through.. Roma won’t be able to repeat the 3-0.. Miracle don’t happened often.. Hehehe..

    Talking about Wenger successor.. If the opportunity is between Vieira or Aretha.. Then I will go for Arteta..
    Both was our Captain.. Both was assistant Manager of City.. But Arteta end his career as a Gunners.. Hehehe..

    The others ex Gunners that end his career as a Gunners are Bergkamp, Adam’s and Lehmann.. Lehmann is in the first circle.. Why don’t give him the opportunity first..??
    Together with Arteta.. They will be great.. Hehehe..

  • Morning HT. I was trying to say exactly the same thing about values. Though perhaps I wasn’t clear enough with the Maureen references. Winning isn’t everything. To me anyway. How you get there is the story and that’s where the joy comes from.

    I was being equally sceptical about the future funding arrangements. I think Gazidis will need to find some cash if he is to avoid the spotlight coming round to him. There must incidentally be pretty high odds on him going next year I suspect. If there’s a slump he will carry it as much as any new manager.

    If the successor is known then we should hear of it pretty soon. As well as start to see some transfer activity. We shall see if this is a new slick forward planning outfit. I will believe it when I see it I think!

  • Those 2 late goals show the enormous effort Liverpool put in for 80 minutes, but couldn’t sustain.
    Roma are still in the tie, but only just.

    Now if Arsenal could replicate that effort and finishing, then we could surprise Athletico.
    If the players start fast and get the crowd going, then it could be a great night, as it was the nights I was there to see us beat AC Milan 3-0 and Bayern 2-1, a slow start will just play into Simeone’s hands.

  • TA, I had wanted to post this on the new thread (New post) but it would look so off topic and so, had to come back to the “scene of the” response (so to speak).

    Thanks for the tips, jw1. I will be sure to try it but making a habit of “cleaning up” my system is what I cannot guarantee. 😀. I must say the ‘back’ button does work for me, at times but on the occasion I wrote about, it failed me; my guess is I was to refresh instead of going back. When I tried to go forward, it was too late.

    17ht, I was referring to what a side Mourinho may have had at Chelsea with those players, alluding to jw1’s comment along the same lines. JM didn’t have patience with potential as he seemed to work with the notion that the only thing that should stand out a manager is the number of trophies rather than the behind the scenes work you do and the values you bring. That’s why he can’t help himself when that subject comes up.

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