Arsenal Player Ratings: Obvious MOTM, Mustafi and Guendo’s Best Games, Eddie Eddie Eddie!

A great, dominant and cool-blooded first half was followed by a less dominant second half, but Arsenal totally deserved the win and are now in the last 16 of the FA. A trip to Portsmouth will follow in February and the Arsenal are on course for a record 14th FA CUP win!

The first half we were that good that it seemed Arsenal were playing a second division team at home at times. That was all down to Arteta’s game plan and instructions. Very, very impressive.

happy arsenal v bournemouth

Player Ratings:

Martinez: 6.5 – not that much to do in the first half but quite involved after the break. He tried hard to make up for the lack of height/ aerial power of the defenders but was not very convincing with his one fisted clearances.

Saka: 9 – what can you say? Bukayo has it all and was clearly the man of the match with a superb goal and quality assist. He is so strong, fast, calm and intelligent. Love him.

Big Sok: 7.5 – what a warrior and seemed to enjoy playing next to Mustafi and (when he sat deep-left) Xhaka. He was our leader today.

Mustafi: 7.5 – worked his socks off and his interceptions and reading of the game were good. Also some quality distribution from the back. Shame he got injured; it does not look good I am sorry to say.

Captain Hector: 7.5 – this was a big battle for him and he seemed to have enjoyed himself. The Pepe/Bellerin combo is a work in progress, but at the back Hector put in a good shift. I bet he feels great after coming through the Cherries’ physical onslaught.

Xhaka: 7 – very effective in this hybrid role of half DM/ half LB but a few poor passes for which he was not solely to blame. Battled hard in the end with some good interceptions.

Guendouzi: 8 – possibly his best game in an Arsenal shirt. Played much more with his back towards our goal when helping out defence and his reading of the game and interceptions were good. Guendo also moved the ball forward well and was a  thorn among the Cherries all game long.

Willock: 7 – Strong first half (8) but seemed to struggle with Bournemouth when they upped the tempo and intensity in the second half (6). I wanted him to support Guendouzi and Xhaka more in midfield, but some of his attacking play in and around the hole was very promising. Good to have him back on the pitch.

Martinelli: 7.5 – Good assist for Saka’s roof-of-the-net-screamer and worked very hard both in attack and defence. Marti and Saka – Sakarti – are developing a very fine relationship and this time it is Saka who gets the goal. Martinelli has such a pressence on the pitch and every opponent will suffer by him; that’s a guarantee.

Eddie: 7 – Good first half and finished his chance well. Loved his play and anticipation in the box and general involvement in the game. But just like Willock and Pepe, I felt he eased off too much in the second half.

Pepe: 6.5 – Had his moments and was effective in the first half but I wanted more from him in the second half. He remains a work in progress (and is lucky that Nelson is not fit to play imho).

Ceballos: 6.5 – Helped with taking the game back to the Bournemouth half and a few good interventions in our box. But still looks like a duck out of water on the pitch at times. Really needs more game time but competition is big…

By TotalArsenal.

46 thoughts on “Arsenal Player Ratings: Obvious MOTM, Mustafi and Guendo’s Best Games, Eddie Eddie Eddie!

  • There were lots of pushes and head to head clashes and Atkinson is too much on Bournemouth’s side. Felt that the ref should give a card to the player who pushed Mustafi, getting him injured.

    The below is my 8 positives / takeaways:
    1. Martinez did well to deserve a clean sheet, but with Atkinson in refereeing duties it is always difficult.
    2. The defense as a whole did well. Everyone in the back 4 did their best in attacking and defending and Xhaka did well too.
    3. For a start it looked like reckless Douzi is coming back to haunt us. However, he had a decent game and just needed to cool his head down.
    4. Nketiah. What a prospect he and Martinelli will become for us Gunners. We became a little tired in the second half but he did well to track back to help. His goal was not surprising due to his great positioning.
    5. Willock had a great game in the hole. Some well placed passes and created chances against Bournemouth in the first half, who had given us so much space that i had thought that the pitch was bigger than normal.
    6. Martinelli. Good game having been in the receiving end of numerous yellow card challenges. His runs are good and caused their defense a few heart attacks, and did well with Saka.
    7. Saka. I am split on the motm between him, Douzi and Mustafi. They were in the centre of the action and did well to defend against strong Bournemouth attacks. But if you count assists, then Saka is the clear winner here.
    8. Pepe. The only blot in this post. Did well in his passes in the first half, and could have done better in the second to hold up the ball in the right wing. When Willock was moved there after Pepe came off for Ceballos we were better on the right. However, by then we were playing too deep, and the game was done.

    Bonus: everyone of the 11 on the pitch gave their all to fight for each other. Good win and we must win all our remaining games.

  • Agree with (most of) the ratings and NJK’s comments.
    As I saw Guendouzi had a great second half, but in the first he was somewhere netween clumsy and decent. As if he was less comfortable when we were in possession, but as the team had to do some serious defending he really stepped up. He was especially livid after the Pepe-Ceballos substitution…

    Kudos to Arteta as he “invented” the left side partnership of Xhaka, Saka and Martinelli. In defense Saka was LB, Xhaka LDM and Martinelli LW, while in attack Xhaka was LB, Saka played LW and Martinelli provided preponderance on the left assuming either secondary LW or a secondary striker position as the circumstances dictate. This was different from a potential Tierney-Nelson left-side partnership, but I am all for having different cards in our sleeves.
    On the other side Bellerin and Pepe were below their best, but that was alright. Maybe they will be the difference makers in the next game.

    Mustafi was really good last night. He was doing fine defending and promising build-up until his – possibly serious – injury.
    I’m so relieved that we didn’t move for Ryan Fraser in the summer transfer window. The only player I would have in Arsenal’s squad is Aké.

  • Read that yesterday myself GN5–
    Felt it was a highly complementary piece from Phil McNulty. Just could not fathom though how– at the very end of the article– he names Joe Willock MoTM.

    As if Bukayo Saka was invisible?


  • JWL,

    The game was televised on pay for view TV and I decided not to pay $20.00 to watch the game, instead I listened to the game on audio – which is very well presented. Therefore it’s more than a tad difficult to make a determination on MOM but Saka, Xhaka, Nketiah and Martennili all stood out in the commentary.

  • I’m always a little bemused by the negativity that can surround a versatile footballer, why is that?

    We’ve all heard, I’m sure, the observation about certain players that they’re a Jack- of- all- trades and a master of none, unable to hold down a set position.

    But I see that as a strength, being able to fill in in several positions and playing at a top level in all of them. After all Dutch football made its name by developing outfield footballers in the 1970’s and 1980’s who could perform anywhere across the entire team.

    So for me Saka and AMN and Nelson and Willock are worth their weight in gold because all of them are truly versatile, which shows that it’s only taken English football 40 years to catch up…

    And Xhaka of course…

  • Kev, she is brilliant and those arms and shoulders and their movement is how sexy our football should be – and was in the first half! 🙂

    Agreed re versatility of players: little masters of all trades with a big can do attitude.

  • Thank you PB,

    I found it interesting to read about the game from more of a technical point of view. Most of the time the conversation is about this and that player and which one needs to improve in which area.

    Initially I was a tad skeptical about giving the job to Arteta, mainly due to his inexperience, but even though he has only managed a handful of games it’s very apparent that he has a viable blueprint on how the team will play “Tetaball”. That in itself is a major difference from Emery, who appeared scatter brained.

  • Kev– thanks for that comment. I’d been meaning to mention this, so– it seems I’m going to be taking up TA’s cause here.

    Granit Xhaka has been really, really good since Arteta became manager. Turning him into a hybrid defender/midfielder. Guardiola did same with Fabian Delph. Delph went from a middling MF into a hybrid LB/MF– and for two seasons– as an integral part of City’s two-time PL champion.

    Arsenal have a potent left-sided attack developing– with Xhaka in support of the Saka-Marti tandem. This position seems to suit his skillset very well.

    Pleased he didn’t move on– when many signs indicated otherwise.


  • JWL – Xhaka is another example of Arteta being a wise manger in both tactics and player management.

  • Knowing TA as I do, I find this link between the football and the disco very intriguing. You must’ve had some interesting “coming of age” moments in that era…though I thought you were a heavy-metal guy?… 😉

    I want to chime in re: the positional flexibility discussion above… Isn’t that just a problem with the young folks, who’ve only ever played e-sports/fantasy football, where a left back is a left back (or else their brain explodes?)… Rigid thinking, I fear, is worse than income inequality + the climate crisis, both of which, of course, don’t exist if your thinking is rigid enough…or something…

    Also, have I mentioned that it’s good the taxi driver is back?… Whom, of course, I always picture as a young Robert de Niro… 😮

    About the match itself… I thought my $5 ESPN+ purchase was well worth it even if you have to listen to Stuart Robson (whose thoughts are never fully explained, IMO, and who is always trying to stir up controversy, usually of the anti-Arsenal variety) against the dulcet ramblings of Martin Tyler (with his small but usually very accurate–and positive–observations of the actual play on the pitch). With Arsenal winning (and dominant for the first half hour) it was all pretty nice.

    Saka-telli = very quick, very skilled and VERY positive (i.e., they do NOT hesitate in moving the ball FORWARD and making a decisive final touch) and with so much confidence… Pepe, by contrast, often slows things down, hoping for that move back inside, but I think he’s starting to do things faster/more decisively now that it’s Bella-Pepe (rather than Pe-Pamn). Give those guys better targets for crosses (and note that Pepe IS starting to use his right foot for some crossing, much as Bells used his left to get the draw at Chelsea) and I believe goals (and assists) will come…

    That I’m talking about these wide combos, however, suggests that through the middle (still) is not really our game…esp. with Xhaka sneaking into that 3rd CB role (much as I “told you so”–or that I thought he might get used in this manner by the new manager–though, of course, his poor headed ball led to B’mouth’s best 1st half chance). This leaves a “spine” of Guendouzi (deepest), Willock and Nk-eddy which (sorta, kinda) is where the goals came from once the lines were broken by (one…) Skhodran Mustafi and his fine movement and incisive forward passing. Alas, for everything good he does, something bad happens–and this time it looks like it might have been his achilles… Any (official) reports on that yet?

    This compounds the issue with the tall Spanish guy who plays in Brazil and whatever hard-ball Raul was trying re: transfer fees, stuffing (or not) the pockets of the agent (and his own, of course). (If I had a tough day in the market (yesterday), imagine how it was for the Kroenkes… It takes more than a slice of lime, I guess, to stop the Corona-virus…)

    But back to the match… Without the Shkrot–and Bournemouth actually starting to play a bit–we needed the feisty curly guy (who WILL, when he’s 30 or so, be able to grow a beard) and he did play better as the game wore on. Finishing the match with a MF of him, Willock and Ceballos (with Xhaka ever deeper…) worked, more or less. I still believe we’re gonna look leaky at the back until we obtain bigger, more mobile AND decisive keepers/CBs who can command the “big chance” area (between the six and the sticks). We all love Rob Holding (and some still love Sok and Luiz)…but we’re in a bit of bother back there, I fear…

    Big troubles at the rear mean we’ll need more goals, but Arteta–with another step forward in “broadening the squad” seems well on track (IMO) to getting the recipe right….

    So, overall, no arguments, TA… Boogie on… (But don’t leave that cake out in the rain…)

  • Are you talking to me?… 😀

    That was a pretty long 1.5 seasons under Emery… In my opinion… requiring plenty of breaks from blogging or even watching the football (for me at least)… I’m guessing that your mileage varied, but not by that much, and that maybe you were buoyed by your love for the academy players. Now that you’re back…and seeing as we’ve got some breaks coming up (several days until the next match, then this newfangled English Winter weekend off)…maybe it’s time for a report on all da yutes… (Now I’m picturing you as another “goodfella,” Joe Pesci, in My Cousin Vinny…)

    Though, I guess, the transfer window hasn’t “slammed shut,” as they say, and our needs are pretty extreme… Though (for better or worse…) maybe not as extreme as we might have thought…

  • Some interesting visuals guys– Kev, HT.

    Here’s a disco tale from out in leftfield–
    My day job in ’77-78 — I worked in a record store (in a mall in Atlanta).
    Had attended night classes at Columbia School of Broadcasting (not affiliated with CBS went the ad disclaimer)– having both the voice (some would argue the looks, now) made for radio. Grew up on classic rock & roll and jazz/fusion– with an ideal of becoming a DJ and possibly a sports announcer.

    At 18? Along came disco (just set my hair on fire and gag me– could not stand it!). It was anathema to my musical tastes. So then, of course, my first gig DJing was at a roller rink out in the sticks about 50 miles north of ATL. Fri/Sat nights 8 to midnight. And all the kids wanted to skate to– was disco (nooooooo!). BeeGees Saturday Night Fever was the rage. A double-album that sold 25M copies between 1977-1980. Hated that freaking album.

    It was many years later– that I found out that my eldest brother Larry (14 years older) helped do music arranging and some studio work on the album. Turns out– it’s his handwritten sheet music for the album’s tracks– that are on exhibit in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (in Cleveland OH).

    Go figure. Now it’s a source of pride.

    Did go on to DJ in clubs and bars and lounges in ATL. Did some radio the next couple years after moving to Houston. Then the thrill of it became work, eventually a chore.

    Never did become a fan of disco. Did soften a bit I guess. Dug a lot of early-00s techno/trance (Daft Punk, Crystal Method, Chemical Bros, 808 State and the like).


  • Love these stories, JW. Keep them coming!! I did Disco till about 14 and then it became rock and metal for about 5 years. Now it is predominantly classical music, folk and good rock and pop music. 🙂

  • I will get my thinking cap on 17tino, during the mid season break.
    I’ve had Nicolas Cage in my taxi a few years ago, but not Robert Di Nero sadly.
    Nick said not a lot, miserable sod.

    Richard Dreyfus was a lovely guy, I think he was doing some theatre in London at the time. I picked him up with his family, his wife had a face like a slapped arse.
    Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) was really friendly, very down to earth.
    Ian Rush was also a really nice guy, Jens Lehman was only interested in getting a receipt for the fare, disappointed in him, Freddie Ljungberg was brilliant, never stopped chatting.

  • Northampton Town
    87′ Tonight’s Man of the Match, as chosen by Match Sponsor
    , is debutant James Olayinka 👏

  • My limited music tales –

    As a teenager I loved modern Jazz and spent endless hours in the Jazz clubs in Soho, artists like Zoot Simms and Dave Bruebeck. The Down Under, Flamingo and Ronnie Scott’s were all well supported clubs.

    However in 1962 myself and my wife spent 2 weeks with her family in Liverpool. On the first Friday night a family friend, who worked as a bouncer at a down town club, asked us if we like to spend the evening there. We were somewhat reluctant but finally agreed – when we arrived at the club he took us down to the cellar and there was a trio playing that we had never heard of – but they were good. Around 10:00pm the main act arrived and the locals went crazy – it turned out to be the Beatles. This was prior to them being known outside of Liverpool and Hamburg, when we went back to London we told our friends and family about our evening – but nobody was impressed and the main comment was – what a strange name for a group.

    Funny ole life ain’t it?

    These days we enjoy all sorts of music – except Rap and Country.

  • Rock ‘n Roll. my early craze led by Elvis and Cliff Richard. Of course their was our local ‘Highlife music’ (dance band music). Then the Beattle mania and the early rebels like Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. Soul music, Aretha Franklin, James brown …. Had a pretty wide ear that led me as far as Indian classical music particularly Ravi Shankar. In my more esoteric moments exposed myself to the likes of the complex jazz music of John Coltrane. Am a bit of a cocktail.

  • And confirmed also that Musti only suffered a sprain ankle. I like his bold forward passes the overding reason why he was bought. I feel he can be handy as a DM, a wee further away from our box. Love that the away fans chanted for him.

  • Tying up a couple of ends: first exposure to Ravi Shankar was through his relationship with George Harrison. Coincidentally, my brother Larry taught himself to play sitar around that same period.


  • Jw … am thrilled about your brother and the sitar and the music world. I loved the West meets East of Yehudin Benuhin and Ravi Shankar.

  • TA … you love adventure! That’s Highlife. Unfortunately the pure thing has long taken the back seat. The Highlife of my early years when rock ‘m roll was sweeping America and a little later Europe, we’re more of orchestras with all the different instruments and vocals. But the globalization of music has put popular music development here through many changes but the one constant thing all through is the danceable rhythm. Here, we love dancing, I mean free wheeling, no foxtrot, no waltz.

  • TA, there is a poem I wsnt to dedicate to you. “The Song of The Open Road” by Walt Whitman, arguably the greatest American poet ever. Walt was huge.

  • Thanks PE!! I like the idea of a nation’s people being keen on dancing, when it becomes an integral part of the day, of life!

    Did you mean this colossal poem?? 🙂

    Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
    Healthy, free, the world before me,
    The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

    Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
    Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
    Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
    Strong and content I travel the open road.

    The earth, that is sufficient,
    I do not want the constellations any nearer,
    I know they are very well where they are,
    I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

    (Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
    I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
    I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
    I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

    You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
    I believe that much unseen is also here.

    Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial,
    The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not denied;
    The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,
    The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,

    The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town,
    They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted,
    None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

    You air that serves me with breath to speak!
    You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!
    You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
    You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
    I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

    You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
    You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!

    You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!
    You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
    You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
    You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
    You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
    From all that has touch’d you I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me,
    From the living and the dead you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

    The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
    The picture alive, every part in its best light,
    The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
    The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

    O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
    Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?
    Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

    O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
    You express me better than I can express myself,
    You shall be more to me than my poem.

    I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
    I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
    I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
    I think whoever I see must be happy.

    From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
    Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
    Listening to others, considering well what they say,
    Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
    Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
    I inhale great draughts of space,
    The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

    I am larger, better than I thought,
    I did not know I held so much goodness.

    All seems beautiful to me,
    I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
    I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
    I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
    I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
    Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
    Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

    Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
    Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.

    Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
    It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

    Here a great personal deed has room,
    (Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
    Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it.)

    Here is the test of wisdom,
    Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
    Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
    Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
    Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
    Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
    Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

    Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
    They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

    Here is realization,
    Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
    The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

    Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
    Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
    Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

    Here is adhesiveness, it is not previously fashion’d, it is apropos;
    Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers?
    Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

    Here is the efflux of the soul,
    The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower’d gates, ever provoking questions,
    These yearnings why are they? these thoughts in the darkness why are they?
    Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?
    Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
    Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
    (I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)
    What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
    What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?
    What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?
    What gives me to be free to a woman’s and man’s good-will? what gives them to be free to mine?

    The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
    I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
    Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

    Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
    The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,
    (The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

    Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,
    From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,
    Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

    Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
    Traveling with me you find what never tires.

    The earth never tires,
    The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
    Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
    I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

    Allons! we must not stop here,
    However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
    However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
    However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

    Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
    We will sail pathless and wild seas,
    We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

    Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,
    Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
    Allons! from all formules!
    From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests.

    The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

    Allons! yet take warning!
    He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,
    None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,
    Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,
    Only those may come who come in sweet and determin’d bodies,
    No diseas’d person, no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

    (I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,
    We convince by our presence.)

    Listen! I will be honest with you,
    I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
    These are the days that must happen to you:
    You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
    You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
    You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
    You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,
    What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
    You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

    Allons! after the great Companions, and to belong to them!
    They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women,
    Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,
    Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
    Habituès of many distant countries, habituès of far-distant dwellings,
    Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
    Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
    Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,
    Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,
    Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,
    Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,
    Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
    Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,
    Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
    Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
    Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,
    Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.

    Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
    To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
    To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
    Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,
    To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
    To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
    To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,
    To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
    To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,
    To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
    To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
    To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
    To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,
    To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
    To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.

    All parts away for the progress of souls,
    All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

    Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

    Forever alive, forever forward,
    Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
    Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
    They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,
    But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

    Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!
    You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

    Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!
    It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it.

    Behold through you as bad as the rest,
    Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
    Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,
    Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

    No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,
    Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
    Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
    In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
    Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,
    Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,
    Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,
    Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
    Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.

    Allons! through struggles and wars!
    The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

    Have the past struggles succeeded?
    What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?
    Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

    My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,
    He going with me must go well arm’d,
    He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

    Allons! the road is before us!
    It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

    Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
    Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
    Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
    Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

    Camerado, I give you my hand!
    I give you my love more precious than money,
    I give you myself before preaching or law;
    Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
    Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

  • PE, i see Mari as a Xhaka-like player. I am not sure why Xhaka was used as a makeshift left back when we are attacking, maybe Arteta used him to make us see why we brought in Mari for.

    If Mari is on the same pitch with Xhaka they should not be on the same side. Rather, one should be on the right and one should be on the left to baffle the opposition, and let their long cross capability to be double the effectiveness.

    What other benefits are there to have 2 Xhakas on the pitch?

  • I think Xhaka’s ad hoc shifts to LB is to balance Saka’s shortcomings. He (Saka) can focus more on the attack and can make direct runs behind the defense without constantly have to worry that he made the Arsenal defense line vulnerable. So Xhaka – instead coming to aid the attack in the third wave, and eyeing for a signature long range shot – stays back with discipline, and shuts down the possible counterattacks on the our left side.

  • Well… This has all gone in an interesting direction…

    I’m gonna keep this short…for several reasons…but I want to say a couple of things…

    I try and read everything that gets posted on this site (out of a sense of respect and reciprocity for those who might read all that I write… 😉 …)

    So, thanks, Sen(y)or Total, for posting the Whitman poem, which I’ve read and (sort of…) reread quite a bit this morning. I got up early (as happens to me every now and then) and the timer on the espresso machine hadn’t quite kicked in. The poem was good w/o the coffee, but it got better and better (of course). Favorite line–or at least one that resonates for me at this moment:

    “You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

    Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!”


    A 2nd reason to keep this short is that I’m bound to be “new posted.” After all, I think Arsenal have acquired a pair of defenders, albeit on loans, which, at least indicates a bit of short-term aspiration for the current season, which, I think, is what gets folks most excited…aside, perhaps, from the next match, which is coming soon enough that GN5 (or maybe PE or even TA himself…) might be scheming about line-ups for sneaking the points up in Burnley…

    Personally, I like the “sharing” on the blog, about (musical and other) influences and it’s interesting the way one thing leads to another (you know, life experiences and things that “influence” the way we go through this world… What a story, for example, from GN5…) Finishing up the poem, I did a search on the word “Camerado” (as it has a lot of interesting elements of Spanish–or maybe Latin–verb to noun elements going on)… Anyhow, after the usual corporate usurpations of the term, there’s a song by that name by one of the fine (bald) guitarists (and songmen) of the current era, Mark Knopfler. So, playing it (on youtube) I’ve now been listening to a bunch of his music (much of it new to me) which has been a vein in recent times, having come to it from many of my other disparate influences…

    In the end, for me, it’s all about the song–and I like them short and to the point, haiku-esque, perhaps–though I don’t mind (AT ALL…) if a musician uses the emotion of a lyric as a taking off point. As such, I’ve been greatly moved by a guitarist (slash songman–with LOTS of hair) named Jerry Garcia, the greatest interpreter (IMO, of course…) of another songman (slash poet, or at least Nobel laureate) named Bob Dylan. (Click the link below, though you can bet that there was a LOT of a sort of freewheelin’ dancing which you can also find without straying far…) That sort of thing lead me, with help from an English professor (of Geography at a certain University in Berkeley, California…, though himself a ManU fan, despite being from London… 😮 ) who had it on his radio…towards (older or “classic”) country music (of the USA). But, being a hippie myself, I had to find Gram Parsons and (his singing partner, the carrier-forward of his body of work, plus so much more…) Emmy Lou Harris and all that she has discovered. Along, of course, with so many others…

    When do we start talking about books that we’re reading?… Maybe after the TW (slams shut!…) and the game up in Lancashire…

    In the meantime:

    Or try the same song with another hairball of a singer (Willie Nelson) working with a band named after the (two) places I’m currently living (Cal-exico)…or, go to the laureate himself, if you must… (Or, just ignore…as we do mostly these days when it comes to “content…” )

  • I noticed that line in the poem too, 17HO. The journey must be continued?! 🙂

    Great comment and agreed it is good to talk about other things like music, books, etc besides the footie.

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