The New Vieira is Clever Business by Edu

People online and on Twitter have been being negative on Vieira. I’ve been arguing that a 2 month injury and lack of preseason before joining a much harder league really would hold him back a bit. Add to that the difficulty of learning Artetas system (maybe the most complicated in the world right now), would be a big factor as well.

I said that even with all that, he still has a nose for creating and scoring goals, and still in his poorer games, he is always close to causing a goal from a beautiful play, or from popping up in the perfect place at the right time to get a shot off. 

Those are instincts that can’t be coached. 

They also talk about him being lightweight, but I see him as a slippery character, a little bit like Ozil who can squirt away from opponents trying to close him down or tackle. 

You’ll see that if you find the highlights from last year’s champions league games against Liverpool and other big clubs. 

It impressed Klopp enough that they purchased the right of first refusal if he was going to be sold. Luckily we came in after pool just spent loads of money on Diaz and Nunez, so they had to let him go. Smart business on that timing and opportunity from Edu. 

The game against Wolves is an example of his value. Called into the game unexpectedly early when the first 11 was underperforming in the first half. Eventually he found his moment of time and place for an assist. The way he controlled the ball until the perfect time, luring the keeper towards him, then chipping it over him. So well done that  if Ødegaard hadn’t got to it, Saka would have definitely put it in. 

He created 2 chances with one ball. 

It’s worth noting that the game was completely in doubt at that time, even though it ended up a comfortable win. 

 I think Vieira will have many more game changing moments for Arsenal in the future.


112 thoughts on “The New Vieira is Clever Business by Edu

  • Great post, J. Thanks.

    Yes, young Vieira had a challenging start and fitting in with Arteta’s system is not easy. Yet, he has added quality and end-product to the team, and there’s much more to come.

  • Right from the first day I loved him most especially after watching some highlights of him, he’s a bundle of skill, but needs to be more physical.

  • Thanks J. Good piece and a fair comment on Viera, mate. A lot of playmakers are slight of physique. Cesc, Santi, the two Silva’s at City… We should see an improved second stage of the season from him. He had some stiff competition which saw him left out of the Portugal world cup squad.
    I am intrigued by your thought that Mikel’s tactics are among the most complicated in the world. How do you see that manifesting? I can see the sheer volume of constant instructions which he issues, and the highly effective interchanging between player positions during a match, but wondered what else is evident to you?

    I, for one would look forward to PB’s offerings. PB, I was astonished that Lineker & co left Hungary off the Top ten nations who have never won the World Cup (BBC podcast series).

    Yes, LeG. Ronson was some gunslinger. I loved his work with Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Review. (Netflix has a great doco in that tour). You may like this article:

    England v All Blacks tomorrow morning. COYAB’s.

  • I have been offline for a few days so I’m just catching up with recent posts and comments. I’m in complete accord with TA with regard to the WC so, I’m glad that the competition is suspended for a while. I’m looking forward to PB’s posts and watching the women’s team and our matches in Dubai if they are available anywhere.

  • gonna watch this doco straight away, Stu
    Some battle it’s gonna be in Twickenham, I won’t miss that
    12.55 UK time tomorrow Arsenal U21s – Stoke U21s on, too
    COYYoung Guns
    “New Vieira” is a very good player, of course, and he might/will improve, I agree with that too (you’re right to remind us of the injury, J., as of his disturbed pre-season – always hard to take for a young player trying to make room for himself in his new club).
    What I’m not quite sure is if he meant his first touch to take him at crossing distance from the Wolves’ GK, though … I had a feeling he’d rather it had given him a shooting opportunity – I’m probably wrong, but even if I’m right his reaction, his lightning-quick adaptation to the “unwanted” situation was top-class anyway.
    But most of all, I don’t quite get why spending so much on on a 22-y-o player like him, when 23-y-o Martin and 22-y-o Emile are already ahead of him, while 19-y-o Charlie Patino will very soon be as well … unless he has a Bernardo/David Silva in him indeed, but I don’t quite see it right now

  • Yeh, Le G. If Charlie comes through as he looks likely to do, we will have four number 10’s. Perhaps resale value was on Edu’s mind? Re: Rolling Thunder Review: Look out for the snake lady violinist, a young Sharon Stone and an incredible ensemble of muso’s. And, of course, Bob with his voice at its plaintive best.

  • Thanks for that Johnno, as for the criticism, well Arteta was criticised for sending Saliba on-loan and for ignoring Martinelli – apparently he didn’t like either of them…

    Vieira will get his chance, Smith Rowe will be like a new signing, Patino will return in the summer and blow everyone’s mind, Mikel Knows…

  • Good one TA, regarding Viera I still get the feeling watching him that he is not still going full stint. He is holding back which may be due to the fact that he is still getting adjusted to the formations. If you analyse the pattern and it’s true of.even Eddie for that matter, when Viera plays with the first team like the Brentford game and Wolves he did well. Brentford game probably was the best of Viera in Arsenal shirt. But when he has played in Europe it’s mostly with our second 11 and he looks anonymous.
    Having said that I would love to see him go full tilt in the second half. With his passing range I would love to see him pick up some runs of our forward lines and give them through balls. That’s something thats been missing in the first half. We haven’t seem to be picking up some of the runs of our forwards and sometime of our full backs particularly Ben White. There is still so much potential in this team and that makes it more enjoyable to watch thier progression.
    Arsenal Women plays Man U on Sunday. Let’s cheer the ladies to beat Man U and stay at the top of the WSL Table. Surely we can dream of double league cant we? Exciting times.

  • HT at Boreham Wood
    Arsenal U21 Stoke U21 1-1 (Edwards pen)
    A bit of a downer, actually
    We started brilliantly, but completely lost our focus somewhere around the 30th minute, and gifted them the equalizer.
    Hillson had absolutely nothing to do before that, but his defense opened up in front of him for Stoke’s CF to score – as easily as a saloon door would. Before that I had found the boy very comfortable … with both feet, the only thing we could assess him for
    Robinson and Kacurri are no bullshit defenders, in 1 v 1 situations they mean business, and I like that a lot
    Awe’s too laid-back for my taste, and he must have played truant on “history of English football”-lecture days at Hale End, he’s kept kicking high, long balls above Nwaneri-Ibrahim-Taylor-Hart, straight into the middle of a Stoke City defense, of all teams!!
    Lewis-Skelly is tough as a shoe sole, and the interesting thing is he has played the exact same role as Zinch does for the first team (LB steppin’ up in midfield as soon as we get the possession back – might be the reason why he’ll travel with the 1st team to Dubai
    Taylor-Hart and Ibrahim were at the heart of our brilliant start, I hadn’t seen T-Hart play in a long time, what an elegant player he is, his through ball to Ideho who was fouled into the box when the penalty was given was a delight to watch; as for Ibrahim – whisper it but I think there is something of PV4 in him
    Lewis and Edwards were the disappointment imo, not for the same reasons. Lewis looks like a “mad dog” kind of player to me, which is not necessarily a bad thing for such a young player (in fairness to him he never hides) – but he’ll have to be harnessed, that’s for sure
    As for Edwards, if not for the pen, he was invisible, which is probably the reason why we didn’t capitalize on our 30-minute dominating period
    I like Ideho too, he’s like a short-fuse dynamite stick
    Last but not least, Nwaneri – well, the boy’s really somethin’ else; before the 15th minute – I think – he had already delivered two through balls which carved Stoke’s whole defense apart, one for Ideho on his left wing, and one right towards the penalty spot, which Lewis made a mess of … Hard to believe he’s only 15, each and every one of his touches is like a limelight suddenly illuminating the whole pitch
    COYYoungGuns, don’t let us down, you have to win this – and comfortably too

  • FT 1-1
    Hillson had an excellent 2nd half, which is telling , isn’t it?
    Edwards got off on a stretcher, must be seriouslly injured the poor lad
    What would a game against Stoke be without unpunished nasty challenges, eh? That ref should never be allowed to step onto a pitch again
    The team was oh so very young but disappointing result nevertheless – we didn’t create anything dangerous after they equalized
    Stevenage away comin’ up Tuesday (Papa John’s Trophy) – no live stream I think

  • Nice post, J.

    It is interesting about Vieira, that albeit hes was playing as an attacking midfielder and secondary striker at FC Porto, he doesn’t seem to be an effecting #10 at Arsenal. He is much more efficient when Odegaard is in play, and seems to be Xhaka’s backup as an attacking minded boy-to-box midfielder than Odegaard’s substitute threatening Smith-Rowe’s position as backup #10.

    Another – quite recent – fun fact about Fabio: he was the captain of the Portuguese U21 team defeating the Czech U21 by 5:1 earlier today. He inherited the armband from Vitinha who – after his high profile move to PSG – no longer plays for the U21, but a full senior international with 140 minutes already under his belt.
    Nevertheless Vieira and Tavares played the full 90 minutes for Portugal U21, with Fabio providing an assist in the process.

    Agreeing with JNYC we are about to have a formidable B team:


  • Wow
    0-14 already, What a start!
    What a wonderful stadium Twickenham is, too – every time I watch a game taking place there, I’m in awe of it

  • I saw the last 25 minutes of the U21’s and for me Lewis-Skelly looked our best player, funnily enough playing left-back and very similar to how Bukayo Saka made his way through the academy. Nwaneri sent one delicious long pass that was just over-cooked but I must have missed his best moments, but just as we’ve seen with the seniors at times our U21’s on this showing have no cutting edge.

    Monlouis looked good at times but too casual at others, he needs to sort it out between his ears, other than that I was disappointed with what I saw andyes, the referee was awful and allowed Stoke license to get away with thuggish behaviour.
    But that’s Stoke isn’t it…

    As for the rugby, a great fight back by England made better by the fact that New Zealand are a hard team to come back against when you’re behind to them…

  • Stuart,
    One of the podcasters who’s often at the games with a good view said that Arteta was instructing Fabio heavily, and noting that he doesn’t do that nearly as much to our first 11 as he used to.

    I don’t think it’s any change in his personality, only that he feels the first 11 have a sufficient understanding of the system and his instructions. The proof is in the results I guess.

  • Cheers J. And the results are good. I forget where we are on the table. Kev, would you remind me…

    The rugby was a case of two teams each having an up and down season. The AB’s dominated until the last 8 minutes and conceded three tries in that time. And while I have a fondness for the French people, I have always struggled to feel brotherly love for their referees.

  • Oh, er, I’ve gotta think about that one Stuart, but the words numero and uno spring to mind…

    Ah yes, as they say in Utrecht ‘ – Liga leiders

  • When I stopped watching (dinner time) it was 6-22, so the draw came as a big surprise to me.
    This is the kind of turnaround French rugby teams are used to being on the wrong side of, not the ABs.
    He’s a stiff one, that ref, eh? “Let the game breathe” is not his motto, obviously. For a “neutral”, Ioane was very funny to watch – he just couldn’t make sense of some of his decisions, the dejected lad.
    It’s the same ref who gave “that” scrum to the Blacks against Australia a little more than a year ago btw – it was Foley who’d rubbed him the wrong way, then.

  • Probably another week/10 days before Arteta names his Dubai squad, who are due to fly out of 4th December, sunshine training should lift the soul.

    Lyon on the 8th and Milan on the 13th is just what we need to lift those winter blues.

  • We acknowledge with honour and sorrow the passing of Totals dear mother. Frank, our deepest sympathies to you and your family. We thank God for her life and the gift she gave us in you.
    All our love to you, mate.

  • Total, I send my condolences to you and your family. Now your dear mother is a better place and thankfully she will no longer suffer.

  • There is nothing to say in such sore times.
    Our deepest sympathies and condolences.

    May her memory be a blessing.
    Sit terra levis illi.

  • Arsenal certainly missed out when we didn’t get Rabiot, I know he and his advisors are hard work to deal with but I reckon he would have been great at Arsenal.

  • Frank, my deepest condolences to you and your family, at this time. May the soul of your dear Mom Rest In Peace. Stay strong.

  • Brilliant article, Jync. I feel Vieira will come good too. It’s not been an easy adaptation for him, having missed pre-season owing to injury. He’s settled in well and has a bromance going with Martinelli, which is a good thing.

  • Seems that Arsenal had two good penalty claims waved away LeG, nothing really changes on that score does it?

    Both Nwaneri and Lewis-Skelly came on in the 2nd half. Those two on the plane to Dubai looks fairly certain I reckon…

  • Thank you guys. I really appreciate your support. 🙏🙏🙏

    Tough times. 😔 But I am glad my mum’s suffering is over and she is in a much better place now.

    Will be busy with the aftermath for a while, so just as well the Arsenal are not playing for a long while.

  • We’ll look after the shop TA…

    Bravo Nippon, gotta say that Asano looked pretty good, in fact I thought that a few of the Japs wouldn’t look out of place in the Premier, they can certainly press, in fact I’m sure that Edu has scouted a few of them.

  • Finished watching Scorsese’s “RTR”, Stu
    Mind-blowing, exhilarating … awesome. For some reason, I had completely missed out on that period of Dylan’s career. Thanks a lot for the tip, mate.
    Watched the highlights of the Stevenage game, Kev. Only one of the 2 penalty situations is shown, and the ref’s decision didn’t seem outrageous to me, tbh. Looks like we paid a heavy price for our weakness on set-pieces, which happens when kids face grown-ups. Having said that, and from the little I’ve seen, it’s hard not to think that Graczyck (constantly glued on his goal-line), Awe, and Foran have let their team-mates down (maybe Walters as well, he’s young, but is a big guy too) on that one …
    On the other hand, Cozier-Duberry was outstanding – again. The boy can play RW, LW, LWB, LB … I would be very surprised if he didn’t play a part in our post-Boxing Day part of the season.

  • My answer to you seems to be drifting away somewhere in cyberspace limbo, Stu … I’ll write it again later on.
    Busy day for our youngsters:

    MATCHDAY x2️⃣

    🆚 West Ham
    🏟 London Colney
    🕚 11am (UK)
    🔴 #AFCU18
    🏆 #U18PL

    🆚 Swansea City
    🏟 Landore Training Centre
    🕑 2pm (UK)
    ⚫️ #AFCU21
    🏆 #PLCup
    📺 LIVE on

    Jack’s picked a strong U18 side – he had a good reason for that: the Hammers’ U18s have WON all of their games so far
    Think I’ll be able to watch the U21s

  • 08′ 1-O to the Arsenal (Cirjan)
    Swansea’s GK didn’t exactly cover himself in glory on that one, but the whole move was excellent, Ideho in poarticular did well holding the ball up in a small space, and keeping a cool head so as to let the ball live, I like the boy a lot

  • Looks like it was actually Sagoe Jr. who did the great job in Swansea’s box … Sorry, Charlie – I like you too, you know

  • HT Arsenal 4 Swansea 0 (Cirjan 51′ for the 4th); 5-minute-extra time because Swansea’s RB got (seriously? hope not) injured after 3 minutes
    Well, looks like a cruise, doesn’t it? A bit strange, actually, because they look like good footballers these boys in white – only with no bite at all, like hairless Samsons
    Our 4 attacking players got the lion’s share:
    Cirjan is head and shoulders above the rest (it’s almost impossible to understand why he was left out of the Stevenage game). Butler-Oyedeji has some street football in him, which is a delight to watch. On his goal he battled to get the ball back, then ran straight toward the Swans’ edge of the box to unleash a venomous strike into the bottom-right hand corner; this boy sure knows how to make his own luck – and after this goal the Swansea lads just collapsed.
    Ibrahim and Henry-Francis could make their presence feel more in midfield imo, Sousa has flashes of brilliance but also flashes of sloppiness; having said that what an elegant LB he is (he was given the most undeserved of yellow cards, too). Walters’s been impressive, in a RWB role, he looks like he’s starting to harness his impressive physical power better, I don’t think he gave the ball away once, and his end-product (crosses) was much better than the last times I saw him play.
    Graczyck/Foran/Monlouis have a day off, because of the Swans’ harmlessness (Graczyck had a great save at the very beginning of the game though)
    It’s pourin’ rain in Swansea, but the pitch remains in pefect condition. Such games send me straight back on a trip down memory lane; at that age (and as I grew older too) I used to LOVE playing in that kind of weather)

  • Monlouis, B-Oyedeji, Sagoe Jr. off
    Monlouis, Vigar, T-Hart on
    Ideho will be given a dressing down in the dressing room, I think
    Half of our boys rushed to Swansea’s box like a flight of harpy eagles after a CK against us, only for Ideho to kick a lame ball into the only space where no one was available …

  • Arsenal 4 Swansea 1
    Sloppy, goal, sloppy half – wish Cirjan had scored the hat-trick he deserved
    Job well done anyway
    Brilliant season so far, it’s a shame really this group was kicked out of Papa John’s Trophy

    30 days …

  • Thanks Le Gall been hearing great things about Cirjan for a while but hard to know without actually watching him play. What type of player is he and do you give him a shot at breaking through from the academy. I believe he is a midfielder but we seem crowded in that department with Patino in contention as well.

  • My great pleasure to announce the birth of a new Gooner (she emerged red all over). My grand daughter, Talitha Murion Angus, born Nov 25th at a whopping 10 lb 3 oz. God be praised.

  • Welcome to the World, TAlitha! 🌎💕

    Congratulations to Emily and your son and you and rest of the family, Stuart. May this Little Girl live long, healthy and with Grace. 🙏

  • My daughter said their No Windows red song is about new beginnings, so I think it’s appropriate for the blessed arrival of ‘red’ Talitha 😍

  • Wow, what a Majestic Fern!
    You’ll be hard put to keep her away from Wayne Smith’s prying eyes …
    Congrats to Talitha’s mother and father, enjoy these wonderful family moments

  • Congratulations to your family on the birth of your grand daughter, Stuart. She shall grow to fulfill purpose and be a source of joy to your family, all her days. Enjoy!

  • Congratulations Stuart, that’s an impressive name with an impressive size.
    And the Shout song indeed seems suitable to such occasions.
    God bless everybody!

  • Thanks ya’all. TAlitha (as our host has renamed her) is doing well, and is as our Gallic mate suggests already a forward prospect for the Black ferns.
    Your daughters song has been played over her. Highly appropriate as her cradle is set among the olive trees and bird song in these our early summer afternoons.

    PB, good to see your new photo. You’re not a bad looking fella.

  • Don’t waste time paying attention to the sorry sarcasms of idle gooners, Stu
    Your stuttering reminds me of my own, the days following the celebration(s) of the births of my grandchildren
    If you plan to keep on stuttering a lil’ more – which I hope you do – please allow me to give you a piece of advice about champagne – my favorite poison, under these circumstances
    Well, you don’t always get what you pay for, just remember that the most important thing is to take a close look at the label at the back of the bottle
    There, at the bottom, you’ll find a number, almost as long as your own “Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu” (that’s the professional identification number of whatever name there is on the front of the label)
    But before that number you’ll be able to see two (capital – even though they’re actually small, if that makes any sense, and I swear to you no grandchild of mine was born yesterday, or so I think anyway) letters, which you HAVE TO pay a close attention to
    They may be:
    CM – meaning a co-op (“C”) of producers were responsible for handling (“M” – Manipulant) the grapes and bottling the bubbling outcome of their handling
    ND – meaning the guy whose name you can read upfront didn’t do anything but trade the stuff (“N” stands for “Négociant” – trader) and deal it to shops (“D” Distributeur, dealer)
    NM – the guy’s a trader (“N”), but at least at some point he handled the grapes (“Manipulant” – handler)
    RC – the guy’s a harvester of grapes (“Récoltant” – harvester) but he doesn’t have a clue about winemaking, so he just sold his grapes to a co-op of winemakers (“C”)
    SR – “Société de Récoltants” – Harvesters’ Society; instead of just one guy who doesn’t have a clue about winemaking, you have a whole bunch of guys who harvest grapes, who don’t have a clue about what to do with them, but just love hangin’ around with guys just as dumb as they are
    MA – “Marque d’Acheteur” – Buyer Brand; well … just a brand of guys who buy grapes, but who might as well buy and sell baking soda; and the wine they sell should probably be put to the same good use as baking soda
    No, no, no, no, no!!
    You don’t want any of those, what’s good for you … and for your stuttering is:
    RM – Récoltant Manipulant -, BOTH Harvester (“Récoltant”) AND Handler (“Manipulant”); the guy’s done everything from the very first seed into the ground to the very last bubble down your throat (the one we call in this case – no blasphemy intended – “Le Petit Jésus en Culottes de Velours”: “Lil’ Jesus in his Velvet Trousers”), in other words nothing but what the 2040-2055 Black Fern Star deserves (and of course “organic” is highly recommended)
    Keep on bubbling, mate!

  • Ha! In the words of another great sixties song…”Why don’t you all just f f f f fade away”.

    Nothing to do with champagne, good or bad. I learned long ago that repetition is a good teacher. And the Good Book tells us, “Let everything be established from the mouths of two or three witnesses.” And Lionel taught us that, “Once, twice, three times a lady”. And we all know that “Three is a magic number”.
    Impressive knowledge of one of our unassuming little hills here in Godzone, tho’ LeG.

  • T, I could listen to your girl’s music all day.

    I really can’t get into this world cup. It’s actually irritating me. Maybe it’s just because it’s blocking us from our Arsenal. It’s making me feel very selfish to want all our players to be eliminated as soon as possible. Especially Partey.

  • ‘‘Tis life Stu, ‘‘tis life,
    A step upward, another step upward
    A step upward, another… the sun shines.
    We are top of the league…

  • We said goodbye to our dear Moeder yesterday. It was both sad and beautiful. I think we did her proud in telling her story and celebrating her great qualities. May she Rest in Peace. 🙏❤️

  • Interesting to read that Man City a.k.a. City Football Group, acquired Lommel SK in May 2020, ostensibly as a nursery club, City seem to know what they’re doing and have a definite plan of action, Lommel are one of 9 clubs that they have in the CFG.
    Well they hired the much-maligned Steve Bould to be the new head coach there and as City seem to know what they’re doing it’s enlightening to think that they believe that Uncle Bouldy in their eyes, knows what he’s doing at a club where player development is key. Good luck Steve…

  • It’s a bitter sweet time Frank, overwhelmed by sadness but plenty of wonderful memories to look back on. Stay strong my friend.

  • You know, dear Frank, I think the term, “rest in peace” is lovely and true but can obscure the other truth that we receive a new body when we embark upon eternal life. Your beloved Mum is more alive now than she has ever been and I think she is going to be quite active up there. There is a promise in the new testament: “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” It is going to be a ‘woohoo’ moment when you kiss your mother again, mate, and you realize all the things she will have got up to in the years between now and then.
    As GN5 wisely notes it is a “bitter sweet time with plenty of wonderful memories to look back upon”, but there are also plenty of wondrous times to look forward to.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with your Mum with us. And thanks for your beautiful appreciation of Talitha’s name. You recognised the story from which her name springs. In the same manner Our Lord spoke to that “little girl” He would have spoken to your Mum.

    Kev, you are going all LeG on me, alluding to one of our great cultural icons.

  • Stuart, Talitha and GN5 share the same birthday albeit over 8 decades apart.

    What a beautiful name Talitha Murion Angus she has been blessed with, congratulations to both her parents and grandparents. She will have the blessing of a caring and godly family and a wonderful country where she can grow up without the terrible social and political issues that are sweeping across several European countries and many north and south American countries.

    Take good care my good friend and please thank your prayer group and let them know that I’m one scan away (December 8th) from confirming that the ablations went well and that I’m cancer free.

  • Good stuff on Xhaka, TA.

    Guys, I know you all follow the World Cup, so it’s nothing new, but for the record, 8 out of our 10 players representing Arsenal – and their respective countries – are still in Qatar. And all of them – apart from Ramsdale – have actually played.
    Saka (+ Aaron) as well as the Brazilian boys and Saliba are on promising course to reach the quarter finals, while on the other hand Turner and Xhaka are not favorites to go through, yet both the USA and Switzerland are capable of positive surprises. The only game – concerning us – that is the hardest for me to predict is the Japan vs Croatia clash where the far-eastern side – surprisingly winning their group ahead of Spain and Germany) – taking on the runner ups from the last WC, who are undefeated, yet surprisingly came out second behind the dark horse Morocco.

    I think we will still have players in QF2 and QF3, but not in QF1 and QF4. What do you think?

  • Fingers crossed for you GN5

    Worrying newsregarding Jesus, lets hope it’s just a strain and no…

  • Frank, happy you and your loved ones could embrace the beauty of such heart-wrenching moments. I’m sure she had peace of mind, knowing you would.
    Tough times for you too, GN; I have no doubt you are in excellent hands, though, so much so that you’ll be firing on all cylinders along our way to long-overdue PL glory

  • 2-0; game over – again
    Heroic socceroos, but technically there’s an abyss between the two teams
    We’re in for a remake of one of the very best football games I’ve ever watched, 1974 Netherlands-Argentina – one of these days when J.C. was worthy of his otherwordly initials

  • These Aussies had the stamina of a pack of ravenous dingos, hats off to them
    Can’t help but feeling happy for Emi though.
    I know it didn’t end well, but once a gooner …
    I never could bring myself to really not love Ashley, either

  • Well said, Le Gall.
    I hope that whoever wins the first quartel final will lift the trophy at the end of the tournament, even though no Arsenal player is involved in the teams (at the moment).

  • Worrying rumours concerning Jesus and that he might actually require an operation and be out for three months…

  • Arteta and Edu will almost certainly be considering a change in emphasis during the January window if the above proves to be the case…

  • Another great delivery from Barney Ronay, TA. Switzerland – and their captain!! – were very impressive – again – which (to me, at least) doesn’t come as a surprise any longer.
    Just watched the highlights of the Watford friendly. Looked like an excellent first half, except for a Big Gab blunder. The 2nd looked like a Way of the Cross for our U21s, but then again at least five of them are actually U18s, so …
    Terrible news for GJ9 – wish there had been a clause allowing us to bring Folarin back home in such a case …

  • Congrats to Ollie G. I love the man for his faith, humility and goals for Arsenal. Bring him back to the Emirates in January to cover for Jesus?

  • What a wonderful story that’d be , Stu
    I wouldn’t count on it too much though; PL glory in the red-and-white might be such stuff as Ollie’s dreams are made of, but rumour has it he’s a very, very happy man in Italy (adored by the fans, too)
    If I had another French forward to suggest, Martin Terrier it’d be
    First because he’s a very intelligent player who’d have no problem with getting the knack of Mikel-ball, then because he’s never stopped improving since his first professional games – he’s a very reliable goalscorer now, but most importantly because when Gab’s back he could could be used at either of the 4 (“false 9” included) forward positions
    The ref made me feel so comfortable today, just like watching an Arsenal away game (Stoke, Bolton or Burnley, take your pick), with … let’s say Moss at the whistle and Mariner in front of the VAR screens
    Snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug, I felt … home
    Bukayo will make history for England tonight, I can feel it; then well, it’ll be soon enough to think about THAT quarter-final

  • Really gutted for GJ9; not what he bargained for. It was fingers crossed for Bukayo, and he came out unscathed. Thank goodness!

  • I thought that the England vs Senegal game was by and large played in a good spirit without the diving and feigning injury we’ve seen far too often during this competition, Senegal looked really equal to all England could throw at them until that two goal burst last in the first half that seemed to crush their fight, after that it was fairly straightforward for the boys from Angleland. There’s some really tasty Quarter-Finals setting up in the days ahead.

  • Ollie G does seem to be where he should be, LeG. That slower pace of the Italian game will suit him. His role in Jack W’s goal v Norwich was my favourite moment in his Arsenal career.
    Terrier does look a prospect. Why did Lyon let him go?

  • England’s goals were brilliant; they’re confident, focused, unafraid, more relaxed than they used to be … and 19-y-o (!!! I had to check it out twice) Bellingham is a genuine game-changer, who makes me think of Rijkaard, or Ballack, at their peaks
    It’s gonna be weird. I know the English players so well (better than many of the French players, actually), and each and everyone of “adds to happiness”‘s touches, well … adds to my happiness. One thing’s for sure, I won’t cry rivers if he scores, which is likely since Théo Hernandez is great at counter-attacking, but defending is not his forte.
    Anyway, I have a feeling this game might go down in the WC history books as a prolific drama; I wish we could have watched this together (and wind each other up a little, too) in a North London pub, Kev.

  • I don’t want to be disrespectful to Olivier ‘The snake’ Giroud, but he is the Val Kilmer of football.
    If you only focus on the positives and highlights like Tombstone, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Willow and The Doors, or his unforgettable contributions to True Romance, Heat and the Top Gun movies you are inevitably have a Wow!-feeling, but would make you forget the horrors he performed – and I’m not referring to the genre here. I appreciate Ollie and have countless of classic moments with him, but he had a tendency to disappear and botch a powerful lot of chances. And while probably all strikers do that, including but not limited to Henry, Messi, both Ronaldos, Haaland or Mbappe, Giroud probably was invisible ad wasteful more often then the average forward geniuses. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been the case that all his clubs did their best to replace him with an upgrade.

  • Not sure, Stu, but several guesses:
    Money, to begin with; Lyon have been playing in a new stadium since 2016 and have had to (ring a bell?) sell all of their best players lately (Umtiti, Fekir, Tolisso, Martial, Ferland Mendy, Paqueta, Guimaraes,… Lacazette). As soon as they can make good profit from the sale of one of their players, he’s gone, regardless of how harmful it might be for the team.
    Secondly, I don’t think he got along well with Rudi Garcia, who has wreaked havoc in every dressing-room he was given the management of; Martin is a Bruno Genesio man, I think; Genesio is a much more humane guy – he’s the one who brought Terrier over to Rennes, where he has actually come of age.
    Then, he’s a late-bloomer if ever there was one; I tried to catch glimpses of some his games this season; I’d say he has improved every aspect of his game lately, his positioning, his moves, his first touches and of course his goalscoring. Most of all, he has become much more confident, mature; he used to look as though he was apologizing for even being here, now his team-mates obviously look up to him, he’s the actual Stade Rennais technical leader;
    Lastly, and this is certainly true as far as “Les Bleus” are concerned, he might have been the victim of the “Mbappé” curse so far. All French teams (but Rennes, but then again, there is something “old-fashioned” about Genesio’s management) are now looking for “dragster” kind of attackers – as though pace was the only reason why Kylian is the player he is. There is something of a “vintage” player about Martin’s elegance (he makes me think of Le Tissier, sometimes), which I think doesn’t do him any good when Deschamps, for example, watches his games …

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