Who Should Captain Arsenal? My Choice is The Prodigal Son

Auba disgraced himself and has been unceremoniously stripped from the captaincy. A good choice by Arteta and now we need a new captain, but who’s the right man?

It all depends on how important a captain (still) is and what qualities are valued for wearing the armband, I guess.

So this is my question to you: who should be captain and why him?

I predict there will be a mixture of candidates which underlines IMHO how much progress Arteta has made with attracting the right sort of characters to the club.

For me the following players are a serious option, in no particular order: Big Gab, Big Ben, Xhaka, Ramsdale, Tierney, Odegaard, Laca (if he signs a new contract) and Smith Rowe.

I know this will not be hugely popular, but I would reinstate Granit. He should not have thrown the shirt to the ground during that infamous day but to me it actually showed how much he cares for the team and his family. I think in effect the ‘prodigal son’ still is the captain as all other players look up to him AND he is the organiser/conductor of the team. He signed a new contract, worked his socks off to be fit again as soon as possible and Arteta has a great bond with him. So it’s Granit for me, although I can also live with any of the other options mentioned above.

What do you think fine, fellow Gooners?

By TotalArsenal

136 thoughts on “Who Should Captain Arsenal? My Choice is The Prodigal Son

  • Ramsdale for me all the way. His attitude, desire to win and enthusiasm will run on to the team. If he is good enough he is old enough. He is not a guy who will be fazed by captaincy. It will spur him to greater heights. He is good enough so he is old enough to become the captain.

  • I’m torn between Ramsdale an Xhaka, but I will vote foe Xhaka due to his experience and being a mid-fielder puts him in the heart of the action.

  • Ramsdale would be great but not sure he has been with the team long enough.
    Tierney is the stand out choice but is to injury prone.
    This leads me to Gabriel, he has become a rock at the back for us. His grasp of English is much better and seems a leader and a character. All of this makes him my no1 choice.

  • Wedge, Gabriel is also a great choice. You sort of know he will become a huge star at Arsenal or indeed another top top club, and giving him the captaincy would be a huge boost to him. I cthnk he would wear the armband with pride.

  • They are many in TA’s list who could be considered good candidates and deserving of the armband but, Arteta is likely to hand it Laca, at least in the short term. Laca is the usual recipient when Auba leaves the field.

    If the club’s preference now is to try and move Auba on, it will be interesting to see whether they offer Laca a new contract.

  • Captian of a football team needs to be someone who rallies the troops, encourages and keeps rhe team on toes in the field. Manager makes all the tactics and decisions. Captain ij cricket for ex is a whole new game with all decisions and tactics to be set by captain.
    Ramsdale with his attitude is a super candidate in my opinion. He is hungry wants to achieve and has the attitude to drive the team on the field. He will not allow heads or energy levels to drop. He will keep everyone on toes abd if need be will give them an earful. He can see the play all the time and organises his backline. Just as Arsenal took a chance with Arteta a young coach they should go for Ramsdale ad captain. They should not look at anyone else.

  • Madhu, I don’t think the others would listen to him as he lacks seniority and the likes of White and Gabriel are also good leaders. I think he is great but it’s too early to make him captain, but I can see where you are coming from.

  • Ramsdale is my favorite because he commands his defense very well, he really has the team at heart, he also organises the back four superbly, though he is still new but commands a lot of respect both on and off pitch, he is also a darling in the stands.

  • Xhaka is the real Captain whether he wears the armband or not. But could be tricky due to his history as Captain. So I’d go for Gabriel. Leader on the pitch, doesn’t get pushed around and passionate. Odegaard is an outside bet, he seems a bit too young for my vote but if he is captain of his country then he must be made of the right stuff. But big Gabriel gets my vote

  • I am not a fan of strikers or keepers as captain. Strikers don’t see enough and keepers cant convey messages to the whole team. CB or CM are the 2 best positions for both of these things. I love Ramsdale and he is probably my favourite player of the Arteta era but I don’t think he should be captain. The way he commands his area and screams at everyone show that you don’t need the armband to be a leader. Being captain is more than being the best or the loudest it is about representing the fans and the club in a better way than we have had recently, not just Auba but RVP and Gallas before him.

    Whoever we get next be it Ramsdale, Xhaka Gabriel or someone else I hope they are up to the task and we have someone who is proud to wear the armband.

  • Wedge makes a good point about the best positions for our overall team captain. What we have lacked in recent seasons is a dearth of leadership on the pitch whereas now we are beginning a number of the younger of the players developing and showing leadership skills in different ways. Last season we loved Saka and ESR not just for their silky skills but also they were leading by example and were driving the other (more experienced) players on. Rob was also being spoken of as a potential captain. This season the list has got longer and that bodes well for the future.

  • TA, it’s a no-brainer, for me: Granit Xhaka!

    While Ramsdale has quickly become a fan favourite and does command his area well; and Tierney’s spirit is infectious and his passion worthy of emulation, the next captain is always going to be Xhaka.

    I am not sure Arteta worries too much about the image of Xhaka with the fans (after his poor reaction that cost him the armband, in the first place), as long as he performs consistently. A cue is the fact that whenever Auba is not on the pitch, Xhaka usually leads out the team.
    Xhaka actually captained Arsenal in the absence of the Gabon international for the first two games of the season against Brentford and Chelsea, as Bellerin (then Vice-captain; while Arteta probably wanted to bed Xhaka back in, gradually) did not feature.

    While the manager has not officially named Xhaka as Bellerin’s replacement for the vice-captain role, a careful look at the pics from the first-team squad’s photocall at London Colney, taken after Bellerin’s departure, all but confirms Granit Xhaka is vice captain.

    Arsenal look to be a club that likes order. It is unlikely Xhaka will be overlooked for any other player; certainly not our new additions, as they aren’t super stars who make demands for the armband as incentive to join. After Xhaka, it is Laca, Rob Holding……maybe, we can then fit in Ode, Gabriel and Tierney, in that order.

  • What’s the best way to back youth strategy by making the most audacious and best signing of the summer to be the captain. Ransdale it is and should be the captain. He will represent the club in new way abd pave the way for a change in Arsenal’s image.
    When Mikel can be the manager with absolutely no experience of managing any team why not Ramsdale. He can be assisted by Gabriel and Ode upfield. The fans will back him and there will be new energy. Nobody will dare to disrespect him because if his connection with the fan base. He is our future and not Xhaka, this is the time to be bold and set new path. Ramsdale has to be the captain.

  • Madhu, I guess you make a good point about a change in the club’s image and charting a path into the future, per our famed youth policy. The fact he is English too will help and this may sway the view(s) about the club, for sure, even with the Refs. I won’t scoff at that.

    It is even possible Xhaka and the senior players agree with that mind set and stay away from the reckoning.

  • I don’t want another attacker to be captain. It’s a lot of pressure and we need them to focus on scoring. The most successful captains are GKs, CBs and CDMs that can see and command the pitch. I know some folks don’t like GKs but there have been many great GK captains (Buffon, Neuer, Kahn, Casillas etc.).

    Gabriel is a great shout though I would like to give him a bit more time as he’s still learning English. White and Ramsdale likely need to be in year 2 to really establish themselves as leaders. I wouldn’t mind Tierney but he gets injured a lot and has been more rotational than expected with Tavares.

    Hard to pick a clear choice for me right now, so the best decision is to wait to see who emerges.

  • I think there are some factors to consider like seniority, maturity and above all leadership though not age. A good captain adds strength to the team. Auba was a bad captain – very wrong choice of Emery. Xhaka has much seniority and leadership but lacks maturity (because of short fuse and rash decisions). Both Tierney, Gabriel and Odegaard have much maturity and leadership skills but lack seniority. Maybe next season to officially appoint a captain and meanwhile have a group of captains led by Laca if he stays.

  • goonereris Yes your point of him being English is very pertinent. It’s time we have an English captain which will also chnage few things favorably to us. There is a great chance that he can be an England regular and who knows the England captian as well if we does well with Arsenal.

  • Keep it with Laca until he probably leaves this summer and then hand it to Ramsdale or Tierney (will give us time to assess whether he has stayed healthy enough this season and good enough to stay ahead of Tavares as a starter). Being a GK and captain should not be a problem as mentioned before…we have great examples of keepers being great captains…

  • To me Laca is better qualified than all the rest. He possesses :-
    1 – vast experience as a senior player in the premier
    2 – understands the club culture
    3 – loves the club
    4 – remains committed to the club despite the harsh treatment by the past & present managers
    5 – he has a lot of passion and always present to lead the younger players
    6 – he connects well with the other players, staff and supporters which is crucial

    The only factor working against him is the contract situation

  • A captain needs to have good leadership, maturity and seniority though not age. A good captain inspires the team to perform better. Auba was a very poor choice of Emery. Tierney, Gabriel, OG and Ramsdale have good leadership but only lacks seniority (being around for only about a year or less). Xhaka lacks maturity with his short fuse and prone to rash decision-making. Perhaps best to wait until next season to apppoint a captain. Meanwhile have a group of captains of Laca (if he stays), Xhaka and Tierney to avoid another wrong appointment.

  • Laca is captain again, today. Arteta may have a thing with strikers being the skippers.


    Tomi White Gabriel Tierney

    Thomas Xhaka

    Saka Ode Martinelli


  • Arsenal starting XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette.

    Arsenal substitutes: Okonkwo, Holding, Tavares, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Nketiah.

    West Ham starting XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio.

    West Ham substitutes: Areola, Alese, Ashby, Kral, Noble, Okoflex, Vlasic, Yarmolenko, Benrahma.

  • I would’ve preferred some rotation. If we get outplayed in midfield because of lazy Partey, or a tired Xhaka. I’ll be all over Arteta…. IF.

    Why not a start for ESR to get a little rest for Saka?. Then we’d have a quick skill player to bring in against tiring defenders, if needed.

    I understand continuity, but does everyone need to play back to back games in a week?

    If I’m Lokonga or Ainsley, I thinking, if I can’t get games now, when will I ever?

  • T, A good rest? Were there some days added to this week? I only had Sunday, Monday, Tuesday on my earth calendar. hehe

  • Can’t see us losing, we’re playing at home. If it was an away game, I’d be more concerned.

  • T, can I get that number in minutes please?…. lol just messing with you… Earth calendar haha.

  • Excellent attacking football by the boys. Shame we didn’t score but more space and time on the ball will come if the boys keep this up. One of the best Arsenal halves I have seen tactically.

    CoyrrGs ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

  • And that’s the thing, TA. It’s been more of the tactical and a lot of that coming from the visitors, seeing as they’ve set up to nullify us and, perhaps, hoping for the odd chance to nick a goal.

    We have had the chances, what is required is composure at the right time, whether it is Saka putting in a precise cross, Xhaka with the goal at his mercy (with a couple of defenders to avoid) or Martinelli with a near open goal.

    We need to Bury one of these opportunities. Overall, we have been steady and kept their dangerous players quiet, happily so. Trust Moyes to change things a bit in the second half; hopefully, Arteta responds appropriately.

  • Fair points, Eris, but the Hammers have defended manfully too. With Emile, SAMBI and Bruno we have some fresh energy and invention on the bench…

  • Very professional game by the lads. We managed that game almost perfectly from the first minute. I think we got a bit lucky with the sending off but we have been on the wrong side of some poor decisions ourselves.

  • HH, I saw what you did there. Its all good, though; Arsenal won and won deservedly too.

    Just tells you there is still life in the club/players. I was glad ESR got a few minutes as he does need to feel his way back after injury. What worries me is why Arteta insists on playing Nketiah over Pepe. Got to admit something ain’t right there.

    THOF is becoming a right fortress these days.

  • Martinelli you beauty. Great match happy to go to bed now 3:30 AM. ESR is the top scorer. Nothing much better

  • Might be a coincidence but that was one of our better performances this season. Could be that auba being away from the squad and the dressing room has helped already.

  • Despite my outburst the other day, I can be converted if we play like that every match. Best performance for a full 90 from the team this season, that’s what I like to see.

  • Eris, today’s version of the team makes me a believer. I haven’t seen a full 90 performance like that under Arteta this season. If we can play like that consistently, I don’t care about the outcome – we just need to play our game and the process will get us there.

  • Hear! Hear!! I understand the concern, HH, and can say many fans feel the same. One thing’s for sure, though, no team can play at that level, consistently, over the season.

    There will be days when the boys are not on it. But a win on such days will still say a lot about the mentality.

  • I was very worried about this one. I’ve watched West Ham take apart the top teams with sheer effort and medium talent. Classic Moyes. Our guys showed up.

    I have to say, though he won’t show in highlights, or goals/assists, I thought Xhaka was so strong for us. Iron man was everywhere, box to box and so tough.

    Good news and bad news about Lazy Partey. Good news: He actually moved the ball forward in the center of the pitch. Bad news: he can only do it against 10 men. Not earning his money, or his starts.

    I noticed Martinelli was gassed after 65 minutes, keep an eye on that. He had a few beauty tackles and was very present helping Tierney. I wonder if Auba could’ve scored that goal? Made that run?

    One request, please shave that adolescent mustache.

  • Absolutely Eris, which is why I was saying I do not expect results all the time, but the idea of just taking it to teams is what I want to see. No conservatism or cowardice, just progressive and direct football even if we see less possession.

    We have the ability and talent to do it, but we’re far too timid at times and that’s on the Manager for me. If we can play 75% of the time like we did today then I’ll really start to believe.

  • I’m with you, J. I, too thought Xhaka had a very influential game. The BBC scored him lowest on the player ratings, but his positional sense superbly shielded Ben and Gabriel (who both had great games). One reason that Antonio didn’t manage a touch in our penalty box was the screen Xhaka and Thomas put up. That holding midfield role is largely unheralded (remember one of it finest exponents, Gilberto) but it is vital for team balance and security. If Granit can maintain personal discipline, with his engine, experience and strength of character our hugely talented young team can only benefit.
    J, did MO take penalties with his previous teams? I think it was you who wised us up about his free kick abilities.
    What do you all think of the Auba/Dembele swop rumours?

  • Stuart I’m disappointed that the BBC didn’t even notice Xhaka in the game. Lazy as the tv pundits, only seeing the obvious plays, goals, penalty shouts.

    I bet that TA noticed. Granit plays like a guy playing for the badge. Never mails in a performance. Great competitor.

    Ødegaard, I doubt he took pens in Spain. I joked with friends that Lacazette was working on penalties with Aubameyang coaching him how to miss.

    The little I’ve seen of Dembele I assume he wouldn’t be tough enough for our league, but he is exciting to watch. I think Pepes tough enough, but slows down our play too much, can’t keep up with our fast passing… at least when he plays very wide. I’d like to see him right down the middle. I know it will never happen. I hope he and Auba will move on.

  • Hello, people! 🙂

    If there wasn’t for that language thingy that is apparently a problem, I’d go with Gabriel. He has physical presence and is indispensable member of the first team. Do a stupid thing in the locker room that will harm the team and our untouchable CB who goes at baseball bats with his bare hands will put inside your locker to think twice about your behaviour.

    Ramsdale is a goalkeeper and goalkeepers rarely make good captains. White, who has been touted as a possible candidate, might get dropped to the bench once Saliba finally starts his Arsenal life next season. (Unless White gets transformed into a midfielder for his ball-carrying quality?)

    Xhaka is not a captain material. He is not indispensable member of starting 11. He is there because Arteta thinks he doesn’t have a realistic better option available, either inside the squad or on the market.

    Partey, on the other hand, is yet to convince he would become a pillar of the team. Maybe it’s the curse of former Simeone’s Atletico players but he has struggled with injuries and with English football in general. Us being shite last season didn’t help either.

    Lacazette, for all his mature performing, probably won’t stay at Arsenal beyond summer. He is a current captain and that’s OK but he is not a long-term solution.

    Saka is such a great talent but he is not a leader. I’d say Smith Rowe isn’t either. Captaincy would probably distract either of them from actual game. Odegaard… Well, he is yet to prove we can’t play without him.

  • Well above are some fine comments on both the game and the topic of the post.

    It has been fantastic to see how strong we are at home and how much the supporters are getting behind the team and manager. I thought that all players worked hard and fought like lions, but at some blogs the players are rated on average a 6.1, would you believe it?! What sort of game have they been watching?

    I thought that Tierney and Xhaka had already a much better game after long(ish) lay-offs. Tomiyasu was awesome once again and the four attackers were just great: so much movement and energy. Yes they are still wasteful but just imagine they start to become a bit more efficient with their chances! It’s a matter of time if you ask me, and if and when Arteta adds a proper mobile, energetic and strong CF to the mix it could all become even better. Having said that, I am proud of Laca for working so hard and putting his body on the line constantly. He is setting the right example and it comes naturally to him. The latter cannot be said about Auba, and the former is now also highly doubtful. But that is something between Mikel and Pierre… and of course the January TW.

    Of course we need to add that the Hammers missed a few key players and they looked jaded. Their plan was very conservative and in the end they paid the price for it. They will bounce back and in Rice they have a very, very good footballer.

    This weekend we face another difficult game: once again we are playing a team that is underperforming in an away fixture – just like the Mancs and Toffees – and that is a big ask for our young team at the moment. We played as good or better in Manchester and Liverpool but were not mentally strong enough to see the game out. The adversity of the loud home crowd and desperate team spirit of the opponents still seems to be hard to overcome for us. For this we need the experienced players to pull the rest over the line, and I am hoping that a fit again Xhaka will help us to do this.

    It was a big test yesterday and we overcame it… On Saturday we await another one against desperate Leeds away.


  • T,
    Definitely both Xhaka and Tierney were better. I thought Granite played verbally hard for the team. Saka shooting will only improve. Tomiyasu… years from now, he will be the favorite RB of every gooner looking back.

    Very happy with the defense. Rambo is exciting to watch when he’s scanning for options to get us moving forward. What a huge edge he gives us. I think he’s playing world class level right now. In time, I think it will be recognized. I haven’t seen anyone do what he does for their team, not even 80m Alison. Ederson, yes, but he plays on a superior, perfect team.

  • Yes, J the Ram is amazing. I love our whole defence. Tomiyasu 🍅 was so instrumental for our second goal. Saka will score a brace soon, maybe even this Saturday.

  • T,
    If there was no language barrier, Tomiyasu would’ve been a perfect Captain. Tierney, I predicted to be captain long ago, but now I don’t want to see it because I want to see much more of Tavares. I think we may have something in him , even if he’d have to adjust his position to get more playing time.

    I had already been thinking of Tavares as a late sub these last 2 games. Using Arsenes old Kieran Gibbs strategy. With a lead, you’re bringing on another defender, more advanced position than a tiring Tierney, (who then can hang back and defend late in games), but someone who’s really dangerous on the counter to widen leads. Tavares is much better than Gibbs because he’s far stronger and even much faster, so can win more balls in midfield. Plus our midfield needs help in general, especially in pace.

  • Here are my predictions:-

    Aston Villa v Burnley H
    Watford v Crystal Palace A
    Leeds v Arsenal * A (0-3)
    Tottenham v Liverpool * A (0-3)
    Everton v Leicester D
    Sevilla v Aletico Madrid * A (1-2)

  • Aston Villa v Burnley H
    Watford v Crystal Palace D
    Leeds v Arsenal 0-11
    Tottenham v Liverpool 1-1
    Everton v Leicester H
    Sevilla v Aletico Madrid 1-1

  • TA, I do sometimes hope those your predicted score lines come to pass. We would be at Liverpool or City level GD by now. 😁

  • In all honesty, Eris, I would see a draw in Leeds as progress and be happy with it. I don’t like predicting Arsenal results somehow, so I go a bit ott. 🙂😂

  • We got 7 without reply against them back in ’79. Alan Sunderland hattrick, a brace of penalties from the sublime Liam Brady (perhaps bring him back as a penalty coach) , a goal apiece for Frank Stapleton and Sammy Nelson. That was at Highbury, tho’. You may have been there, GN5?

  • Elland Rd is a tough place to travel to, T. One hundred and two years of history in the same ground. When I walk into old churches or cathedrals, I sense the centuries of worship and prayer which has soaked into the very fabric of those venerable buildings. The old football grounds have that same ambience imbued by decades of songs, chants, pain and love. Highbury had it (how I miss that beautiful stadium), Elland Rd does too. Fanatical support which breathes parochial fire. But, T our lads can take them.
    Let’s hope we go two up and start singing to the tune of one of the greatest songs of my lifetime… “Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again”…

  • “… has soaked into the very fabric of those venerable buildings. The old football grounds have that same ambience imbued by decades of songs, chants, pain and love”
    Brilliantly put, Stuart. I recognise this from visits to similar buildings – religious, football, educational or museum buildings. They ooze the past and have somehow a sweet smell, which make you feel good inside.

    I think today is another big psychological test of leadership the trio of Xhaka, Partey and Laca will need to guide the rest.

  • Lol I just checked in to see if any changes.
    I used to get annoyed at Arsene for not rotating enough.
    TA over the years I’m sure you’ve been sick of hearing it from me.

  • 32 Ramsdale
    18 Tomiyasu
    4 White
    6 Gabriel
    3 Tierney
    34 Xhaka
    5 Thomas
    7 Saka
    8 Odegaard
    35 Martinelli
    9 Lacazette (c)

    1 Leno
    21 Chambers
    17 Cedric
    20 Tavares
    16 Holding
    25 Elneny
    10 Smith Rowe
    19 Pepe
    30 Nketiah

  • Afternoon GN5. Yes madness but I am really happy our boys are playing today. 5.30 BST is a great time me to watch footie.

    CoyrrGs ⚽ ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

  • Kudos to our club for being able to put out a full squad in the midst of this crisis. Having less games due to no European involvement, helps, but to have no significant injuries and no registered illness speaks of some fine management, discipline and, likely some luck.
    Re rotation or lack thereof. We may be looking at a significant break from football, which would have influenced Mikel’s decision to keep the same team on the park. If it goes ahead, we should see some changes for the Carabao cup game.

  • Yeah, same starters. Leno and Chambers back on the sub bench, for Okonkwo and Lokonga, respectively. Lokonga tested positive, it’s been said. Game starts.

  • Apart from a bit of wind, a lovely early summer, T. A busy season, but a much anticipated break coming up in January. Good tempo to the game…

  • 3-0 to the Arsenal. Oh boy the boys are rampant tonight. Leeds are all over the place, but the Gunners are all playing with full commitment and the home team have no answer.

  • Only downer is the dent to Ramsdale clean sheet quest. That was a rip-roaring first half in which we could have scored 5, comfortably. Key saves by their keeper kept the scoreline down to 3 at the half. I was hoping for some ruthlessness in the second half but that’s not the Arsenal way, is it? They came out like they had nothing to lose, and when White made a rash challenge, you thought “surely, not”; to be fair, their goal only spurred us onto getting the 4th through super sub, ESR. He just gives end product, whether he starts or comes on as a sub. No sulking, just business. That’s the attitude we demand from the subs like Pepe and AMN.

    Martinelli looked so sharp again; that boy is such a gem and I am happy he is getting opportunities. And what a pass into his path by Xhaka, for his brace. Not sure what happened to Tomiyasu and only hope it is nothing serious. We need him fit to achieve our goals this season. Lacazette worked so hard again and just plays for others all the time. Odegaard is settling in well now and we do look a team (naysayers will point to it being a weakened Leeds side but you can only beat what’s in front of you) again. Long may it continue.

    On to Sunderland in the League cup next, then.

  • I read the following:
    This is the first time three players aged 21 or under have scored in the same league game for Arsenal since December 1986 – @TonyAdams
    , Niall Quinn and Martin Hayes vs Luton

    I hope I heard that right but it was also stated that our 14 shots on target in the first half is a first, since records started to be kept in the EPL.

  • T,
    That article was great. People forget the influence your people had back then. The history with the native Americans is something I might get a book about now that you have me in the mood. Too bad New York is now filled with the most bizarre and hypocritical freakazoids you could imagine. I’m looking forward to relocating far away some day.

  • Ah J, this book puts the Dutch part right back in there. The book is a jewel and it was great that Europeans and Indians started off together so well. I think you will love this book.

  • I am delighted with the away win against a weakened team desperate for points. The boys were very focused and professional and palyed with a high tempo throughout. Have you noticed how much better and Conservative Partey is playing now that Xhaka is back? Loved Tomi again today: what a fearless warrior.

    But a special mention should go to the youngsters upfront who totally enjoyed themselves and go home with the big stats.

    And Laca, what can I say? Top man!

    MotM is Martinelli. An awesome performance.

    It goes to show that Arteta knows when a player is ready and that they will get chances when they proof themselves on the training pitch.

  • Went off to our two morning services with a spring in my step. Laca was the man for me. Despite missing a couple of opportunities his off the ball work is a huge asset. MO10 was purring and our young Brazilian was a joy to watch.
    Eris mentioned ’86. We won the league cup that season laying the foundation for the tile triumphs to follow.

    Always room for another Gooner here in the far north of New Zealand, J.

  • Curious that you mention that. I have told myself that should this group go on to win the league cup or FA cup, it could be the precursor to our next league title. With minimal but effective additions to the squad, this team has the makings of a side that can beat anyone and be hard to beat…..

  • For what it’s worth (culled from an article on the club’s official site:

    Our first goal was the 7,000th scored by the club in all-time top flight football. We are the third side to reach the tally, following Everton (7,139) and Liverpool (7,069).

    The other landmark goals were as follows:

    1,000 – Len Thompson (against Liverpool, October 27, 1928)

    2,000 – Reg Lewis (against Preston North End, March 15, 1947)

    3,000 – Ken Barnes (own goal) (against Manchester City, January 23, 1960)

    4,000 – Alex Cropley (against Coventry City, October 11, 1975)

    5,000 – Paul Merson (against Nottingham Forest, March 31, 1992)

    6,000 – Cesc Fabregas (against Portsmouth, September 2, 2007)

  • Great win upto 32 points with one more game to go till half way stage. We are in course to get more than 60 points this season. Arteta has done great work of integrating this team and new comers have been the real stars. Everyone has performed admirably. It’s a challenge now to sustain the same for the second half of teh season and become more efficient in our attacking game. We now have a positive goal difference of 3 as well. Jury is still out on Artetas man mangement but the player recruitment and overall improvement is a huge positive. If Edu can unearth another gem in striker and sign one in Jan we could be in for 4 th place.
    The only disappointment was that Martinelli didn’t seem to go for a hat-trick. Strangely he was subdued after his brace.
    Great win and now to Caraboa cup quarters.

  • Gab Martinelli is very quickly consigning PEA to the file marked ‘future uncertain’ – a serious bid in January for our ex-captain has to be a strong possibility with many clubs across europe looking to save their season with a (once) proven goalscorer?

    Man Utd did this with Cavani with mixed results, Ibrahimovitch turns up almost anywhere with boots in hands to ruffle some feathers and there’s many more scattered across the big leagues as financially compromised big clubs look to shore up their crumbling facades.

    Would Arsenal be prepared to pay off a portion of Aubameyang’s salary in order to get most of it off of our books, I do wonder, as we eventually did it to get shot of Ozil, even if that was just for 6 months!

    I guess it all depends if we have someone to replace him lined up?

    I’d be loath to subsidise his wages so that he could play elsewhere, I hate doing that, but needs must.

    Of course he could rise again like Lazarus and return to our first team, but I’m not holding my breath.
    Because as long as our young players stay fit and well then I can’t really see an opening for him.

    For those fans of a certain age Lazarus used to play for QPR… 😉

  • What did i say TA…martinelli is the man!!!

    No to Xhaka as captain imo. In the near future his position isn’t guaranteed. Last thing we need is a player getting games on just being the captain. Not to mention his past history.

    Personally I’d go with Ramsdale or Gabriel. Both look to be born leaders that lead by example. I’d go with Gabriel but the language barrier atm would be an issue.

  • Who is this, Lazarus, Kev? Ian Wright?

    Auba needs to do some proper thinking and either totally commit or go somewhere else. I see him go to the Magpies somehow.

  • Yes Oz, Martinelli is, looking great and he works well with the others, especially Laca who makes a lot of space for him to run into. Two great goals yesterday.

    I think you will see Xhaka play another 100+ games for us. He, ain’t going anywhere.

  • Laca seems to work so well with the younger players. He really seems to be enjoying himself at the moment and even if he should be taking more of his chances his positioning and movement is creating opportunities for others. It would be such a shame if he was to leave us. However, I do hope that we don’t dangle a big contract in front of him to entice him to stay. We’ve seen how that has turned out with others nearing the end of their careers…

  • The way Laca drags centre backs all over the place has been the foil Martinelli has needed to run into spaces. I guess the league was not ready for the lad; yet to suss him out and so he could, potentially, get more than his highest record of 10 goals scored in one season if he keeps this up.

    Just saw the last 25 mins of Feynoord v Ajax in the Eredevise and Ajax have won 0-2; felt I should see how young Reiss Nelson was getting along and I thought he had an indifferent outing having come on as a sub while it was 0-1. He did make the rash challenge that resulted in a late Penalty kick that was converted for 0-2, the final score. Not a day he will remember with fond memories.

  • Yes OX10, we are all nervous now about those sorts of contracts. Yet there is something about Laca that makes him different from Ozil and Auba.

  • Kev, I had never heard of Mark Lazurus before, an interesting bloke. Still going strong at 83. Talking QPR, I watched a you tube docu on Stan Bowles last week. What a colourful back story he has. That team of Stan, Frank McLintock, David Webb, Gerry Francis, Terry Venables almost won the league in the mid seventies. Along with Frank, Terry Mancini joined them from Arsenal. They also had Vic Mobly who came out here to New Zealand and coached my team, Eden FC which, under him won the Auckland Under 19 league. He was such a tough coach, my best mate Darryl threw up during one of his more strenuous sessions. Old school, tho’. We hardly saw a ball at training.

  • Robertson just got sent off against spurs for kicking through a player. It was the intent that got him the red card. It was about half as bad as when the Palace player kicked one of ours. VAR and the refs showing 0 consistency as per usual.

  • Robertson was rightly sent off but, Kane’s earlier challenge on Robertson, sliding in studs up was much more dangerous yet he only got a yellow. The level of inconsistency even within the same match is infuriating.

  • Stu, Lazarus I believe played with the QPR team of Rodney Marsh that first got promotion in the late 1960’s, 67/68 I think? I don’t really recall him but he was very popular with the Rangers fans I believe.

    Yes the Stan Bowles vintage was around 1976/77 if I recall, they played an expansive style of football that blew Arsenal away several times. Parkes in goal, a back four of Clement, Gillard, Webb and McLintock, they actually sold Terry Mancini to Arsenal and ‘Henry’ as he was nicknamed helped stave off relegation in 1974/75, yes Arsenal were that bad back then. I remember David O’Leary making his debut the following season at Burnley alongside Mancini, who tbf to him did help a raw 17 year old O’Leary in those early months of his senior career, Arsenal fought out a 0-0 draw in a turgid game, it remains my only visit to Turf Moor.

    Back to QPR and Stan Bowles who was a fabulous technician, if he had been born in Groningen and not Manchester then he probably would have been an Ajax player, he was that good. He did however have a gambling problem and that saw him lose most of his earnings, he also loved a beer and the ladies so he had an interesting life. Personally I’ve never seen the attraction in gambling myself but i’m all on board with having a beer and getting your leg over. 🙂

    He was also a big favourite of the North Bank and whenever that QPR team visited Arsenal the lads on that terrace would serenade him with ‘Stanley is a fairy’ and would respond by turning towards us and taking a dramatic bow, then he would take us to the cleaners…

  • I am unsure about Granit being the captain. We saw how he reacted to the extra pressure being a captain previously, and I am unsure of his recent performances on the pitch.

    Unless he can convince me with better performances on and off the pitch, I will go for Laca.

  • Morning all. here are the results of our competition:-

    There were three games postponed due to covid.

    1st Eris with 2/3, one correct score and share of most correct predictions = 5.33
    2nd Total & OX10 with 2/3 and share of most correct predictions =3.33
    3rd GN5, Madhu & Kev with 1/3 = 1

    Season to date standings:-

    1st Eris 89.79
    2nd OX10 85.46
    3rd Madhu 77.66
    4th Total 75.46
    5th GN5 71.13
    6th Kev 63.33

    I will refrain from making next weeks choices until we hear the result of the today’s meeting between the FA and the Premiership managers.

  • Thanks Kev, that’s my memory playing tricks. Mancini indeed went the other way. Back then we had only one hour of English football on our TV each week, the results read out on the radio on Sunday morning, published in the NZ Herald on Monday morning, followed by the league tables on a Tuesday morning. A month old “Shoot” would appear at our news agents. The ’73 cup final was the first televised live here. Brian Moore’s was the voice I loved more than any others. And the Match of the Day music. When we scored in the playground, we would run around singing that tune, or lay down like Charlie with our arms aspread.

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