What we learnt from the weekend

At home

Unai Emery’s new Arsenal team is a work in progress being only marginally better than Pellegrini’s hammers.

After much analysis from AA’s reservoir of keen students of the game, it has become clear that the Arsenal right side needs some work. The first and third goals against West Ham came from Bellerin providing width down the flank. Arnautovic’s lucky scuffer from the edge of the box resulted from Anderson being given the freedom of Islington on Arsenal’s right.

Thanks to eagle-eyed observation from fgg, we saw that Xhaka and Douzi both wanted to play left side in the double pivot. (Maybe they assumed Mesut was going to be there). Lucas Torreira provided much better balance and stability when he emerged from the bench. Perhaps Cardiff will see his first full Premier League game?

Our new centre-back combo are like chalk and chalk. Both a little lacking in pace and seeming not to possess any Beckenbauer-like sweeping abilities. But it’s still early days and any long-term relationship needs plenty of effort to drag it through the dodgy times.

Up front, Auba needs a goal and Micki is looking to be settling into a floating attacking role in Emery’s new Arsenal.


Three teams are still on maximum points. The chavs had a late and spawny victory up in the North East. The scousers made hard work of Brighton – Klopp trying to convince himself that he wasn’t worried because everyone could see Liverpool were the better team. Watford won again, which is odd but Brighton, Burnley, Palace as opponents goes some way to explaining it.

The sugar-coated, Amazon documentary-producing, oil wealth-exploiting boys in sky blue could only draw at Wolves which brought a warm fuzzy feeling to most who might have been watching. Well that’s two points off the guaranteed 114 they were predicted to get at the start of the season. 🙂

Anyone who chose Burnley defenders as good picks in their fantasy team, with Dyche’s team low on goals both scored and conceded last season, will be puzzled by them shipping 7 already and having just one point to show for their efforts. Their European tour might be having negative effects even at this early stage.

Palace losing to Watford yesterday meant that we crept above them into tenth spot and the top half of the table. Not what the media was hoping for at all!


Possibly the two most unlikeable teams in the Prem face off at the Old Cowshed this evening. If the spuds win, we can console ourselves with Maureen’s impression of a disconsolate floor mop. If the mancs win, we will see my favourite result from any game involving our execrable neighbours.

But as usual perhaps the best result would be a draw, with a 23 man brawl, points deductions, player suspensions and the odd long-term visit to a sickbay thrown in for good measure. 🙂



71 Responses to What we learnt from the weekend

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I wrote a post as well, so we are covered until Weds 😀

  2. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Last para. Perfect. Let us pray…

  3. LBG says:

    Chas 0727
    Don’t you go knocking anything up at your age!
    Thanks for the post and double expectation of more to come!
    If the tackle from behind law has not changed, why did Chelski get a penalty last night?
    Interpretation, interpretation, interpretation, my dear Watson!

  4. mickydidit89 says:


    The reason your posts take more than five minutes is because you use too many words 🙂

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    If Mikhi is becoming a floater, and if Mesut isn’t ill and Unai simply doesn’t like him, would The Armenian be our best option central in a 4-2-3-1?

    Another question, is that other greek bloke, Mavaropsu’ink fast?

  6. LB says:

    A good fun read, thanks for taking the time.

  7. chas says:

    Happy as a dog with two dicks

  8. mickydidit89 says:


    Sad to see such an empty Valley. Pretty sure Charlton hold the record for highest ever league game attendance

  9. chas says:

  10. LB says:

    There seems to me to be a simple fix to the issue of there being so much space behind Hector when play breaks down high up the pitch.

    If it is assumed that Hector is under instructions to play the way he does and with two assists and a goal from Monreal on the other flank against West ham I think that, that is a reasonable place to start, and if so, it absolves Bellerin of much of what goes wrong behind him.

    The finger of blame is therefore is aimed squarely at Emery. But he has an excuse. Up till now he has played Xhaka as an DM the person who is supposed to see the gaps that appear behind Hector and — fill them.

    Emery’s excuse is that Xhaka is not a DM and going further does not have a defender’s mentality. This raises the obvious question of why pick him over Torriera. The answer is a simple one and that is that Emery hasn’t been able to because the Uruguayan has not been ready.

    Look at the difference Torriera made when he came on? When play broke down high up and Hector was still in the opponents six yards box (sic) Torriera just moved seamlessly across to cover.

    And that is the simple fix: Torriera simply sits in front of the back four and plays the role he does best — shields the defence.

    The thing that then gets interesting is who plays next to him in the midfield?

  11. LB says:

    A bit too much football too early on………………….

  12. chas says:


    Micky’s and BR’s posts touch on the same thing, so it’s all a little confused at the moment!.

  13. fred1266 says:

    But as usual perhaps the best result would be a draw, with a 23 man brawl, points deductions, player suspensions and the odd long-term visit to a sickbay thrown in for good measure. 🙂

    Favourite quote

  14. Rasp says:

    We’ve all been calling for Torreira to start. Maybe he’s not fully fit but that isn’t the impression I get when he comes on. I think the problem is that UE has plenty of pieces to his jigsaw … but it seems that they don’t all fit.

    I’m sure Torreira can play DM … but he was taking corners for us with 5 minutes to go on Saturday!

    There was talk of Chambers or M-N slotting into the DM role … but that’s not going to happen now.

    I think RC has said that UE likes to play with 1 or 2 DM’s … but so far he doesn’t seem to have attributed that specific role to any of our MFs. In fact, it has been Guendouzi who has been the only player back at times when the CBs go up for corners … and that was ridiculous when he was up against Aguero who had already embarrassed the more experienced Mustafi last season.

    It’s definitely a work in progress!

    I really hope Torreira gets the nod against Cardiff. From what I saw in the training ground clips, Torreira seemed to have bult an understanding with Ozil … so maybe having Torreira means we can get the best out of Ozil.

  15. Red Arnie says:

    Great fun, Chas, 🙂 particularly that last para. I’m off to pray.

    Apart from that, lovely footie bolleaux from all. Thank you. 🙂

  16. Red Arnie says:

    That VAR review thing is very interesting

  17. chas says:

  18. LB says:


    Torriera surely is a DM, that is the position he played for Uruguay in the world cup.

    The reasonable assumption must be that he has not been fit enough or UE has felt that he has simply not been ready to start, this makes sense as any player who plays that position would need time to acquaint himself to his new surroundings. While this has been going on Xhaka, as you know, has been playing that role with poor results.

    Torriera took all Uruguay’s corners in the world cup, the man is extremely accurate at any set piece. He had cover in the world cup while he was doing so and Xhaka fell back on Saturday to cover.

    It must only be a question of time until Torriera takes up his obvious role of DM and as I said above the intriguing question then becomes who plays next to him?

  19. chas says:

    I’d go
    Douzi Torreira Ramsey
    Ozil Laca Auba

    Perhaps a song for Torreira could be based on the Vieira song – at least everyone knows it.

    Torreira wo-ohohoh
    Torreira wo-ohohoh
    Torreira wo-ohohoh

  20. chas says:

    Xhaka Torreira Ramsey
    Micki Auba Mesut

  21. LB says:

    I quite like this.



    Mikhit, Laca, Auba

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, I agree, his permanent slot can’t come soon enough for me.

    Great shout chas

    Torreira wo-ohohoh
    Torreira wo-ohohoh
    He’s only 5 foot three
    He’ll kick your arse for free
    Torreira wo-ohohoh

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks Chas,

    Wow the posts are piling up in the bomb bay.

    I like your 1:50 Chas but I would swap Xhaka for Guendouzi or Ozil.

    I feel that Torriera would be the cover man while the other two could forage forward.

    But I should really keep out of this formation stuff…….

  24. Red Arnie says:

    “bomb bay”. 🙂

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    How’s about,

    He’s only 5 foot 3,
    He’ll punch you in the knee

    I agree that it will only be a matter of time before he’s starting. I’d be very surprised if we end up with him being the only DM and Özil and Ramsey central, so I expect he will be played alongside Xhaka for now until Geundouzi becomes a guaranteed starter (he’s young and I think Emery will want Xhaka’s experience in the team for now).

  26. fred1266 says:

    If the rumours are true and Ozil refused to play can he even come back from that?

  27. fred1266 says:

    I like that lineup to but will ramsey be disciplined enough to do his defensive duty when bellerin or monreal high up the pitch

  28. fatgingergooner says:


    We already know the answer to that question! Ramsey is too attacking to play as 1 of the 2 deeper midfielders. We’ve seen it a million times before. He loves getting in the box and making an extra man up front when we are attacking.

    The only way that we could possibly get away with it is if Torreira turns out to be the next Kante. If that’s the case then I would be tempted to play Ramsey in the 2 against the lesser sides, but maybe against the big boys we strengthen the middle of the park a little bit with Xhaka or Geundouzi.

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    Özil will either be sold or be back in the squad next week. My guess is he’s back in the squad and it’s all forgotten about. There may be some truth in him having a whinge and tefusing to play, but if he’s back in the squad next week and giving his all then nobody will care what really happened and we’ll probably never find out.

  30. chas says:

    He comes from Middle Earth
    His father was a Smurf

  31. fatgingergooner says:

    We wanted him at the back
    But Wenger bought Chamakh

  32. Big Raddy says:

    He comes from Uruguay
    That’s why he’s not so high

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    His legs aren’t very long
    But he’s better than Alex Song

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. Can Ozil come back? Of course he can but IF (big IF) he has argued with the new manager, then I am afraid Ozil’s days are numbered as Emery has to enforce discipline

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    He may only be a runt,
    But he’ll make you look a……idiot

  36. Rasp says:

    He comes from Fray Bentos
    He’s better than Senderos

  37. Red Arnie says:

    He came with great expectations
    But turned out to be a lame duck


  38. LB says:


    This is exactly it.

    “The only way that we could possibly get away with it is if Torreira turns out to be the next Kante. If that’s the case then I would be tempted to play Ramsey in the 2 against the lesser sides, but maybe against the big boys we strengthen the middle of the park a little bit with Xhaka or Geundouzi.”

    I for one certainly expect (your 4.32 is hilarious) to turn into the next Kante, it certainly looked that way in the World Cup. And important to remember that Ramsey has never played with a real DM. We haven’t had one since Gilberto.

    I feel slightly guilty for posting a football comment you guys are on fire with the songs.

  39. LB says:

    Well that is not much fun Arnie.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie has spent too much time in Botland

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    He’s shorter than your gran,
    But he’s Unai Emery’s man

  42. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha. LB-Raddy. 🙂

  43. fred1266 says:

    Hi G5 shouldn’t we play with two Dm instead of having the like of ramsey going forward since both fullback will be attacking it might be impossible for one DM to cover both position

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    He’s a Uruguayan rocket,
    He’ll put you in his pocket.

    I’m done now, I promise!!!

  45. fred1266 says:

    If ramsey is told by the manager to stay back then I think he can still be a good option at Dm(providing he listens)

    Xhaka picks up a far to many yellows for my liking

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Fred. I am happy for Xhaka to take a yellow if it stops a counter-attack. Too often in the past have AFC been too nice. Check out Man City’s foul rate on counter-attacks, it is the most in the PL

  47. GunnerN5 says:


    You make a good point at 5:51.

  48. fred1266 says:

    Or emery days could be number as well

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    Big rumours of a £300m kit deal with adidas from next season. £60m a year. Third biggest deal behind Barca and United. Not sure how concrete it is but we are due a change after this year and would make sense.

    Expect some decent kits over the next few years after some awful Puma ones.

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    25 yellows in his last 84 games for club and country. 0 red cards.

    Xhaka has a reputation from his younger days but after those 2 quick red cards at the beginning of his time with Arsenal he hasn’t been sent off and seems to have controlled his game a little bit. Maybe he’s matured a little on that front. I do wonder how much that control has taken away from his game though as he doesn’t seem the aggressive type we were hoping for. A bit soft in the tackle now, if anything.

  51. fred1266 says:

    Yep no one can be as bad as puma

  52. chas says:

    fgg wins

    He may be just a runt
    But’ll make you look a…

  53. Big Raddy says:

    Nope. 3.46 the clear winner

  54. Big Raddy says:

    MU/ Skinny Cocks. Rare to watch a game with two such horrible clubs/managers.

    I quite admire Poch for taking a complete shitehawk of a team and turning them into also rans in the PL. Hopefully, we will see a return to the ‘Arry Spurs of old when he leaves.

    MU. What on earth were the BoD thinking when they took on Merino? I always thought they were a class club, one of the world’s best, then they employ a disgraced manager who has consistently shown himself to be an arrogant, self-obsessed cheat.

    Wonder if either manager will play an attacking game?


    Nice one chas

    What did I learn yesterday?

    Firstly, for a Club that generates a £300 plus turnover why are the sugar sachets so old that you need a mallet to get the sugar out. Even wasps and fat men weren’t interested. Disgraceful.

    Secondly. For those who have not seen us live yet, think about the centrebacks splitting to receive the ball from Chec. Throughout the game, especially first half, we were hit on the counter with our shape been a 253? Honestly, we are as open as a man turning up at an ex girlfriends house with a bunch of flowers only to find a man in his underpants open the door and say he will give them to her after they’ve finished making love.

    Thirdly, after looking like a mug, the best thing to get over it is to regain confidence by pulling as many women as possible and scoring plenty of goals. The problem is? You have to be ready. You can’t overcompensate by looking like you have had a stint In a French Guiana penal colony. You need teeth and to shake off the leprosy. The forward players we have now are not good enough for top four.

    Finally, when leaving the ground, the final feeling I got was one of “greed”. The situation we are in is a culmination of fifteen years of owners making loads of money to the detriment of the team and the Clubs soul.

    Fizman, Devin, Bracewell Smith, Usmanov, and Kronke have all made loads of dosh. At one time or another they have all capatilised on the share price, boomed by the stadium move and the growth of football in general. Constant change at the top has led to constant transition and ultimately shit results.

    None of these people have or give a shit about Arsenal, and I won’t accept any crocodile tears from any of them. I’m a greedy F*uck, but I draw the line at Arsenal and possibly my children.

    Apart from that, I was impressed with our new boys and Emery is a class coach, so despite been stuck with an owner who has no genuine love for the Club, I still have hope and believe we can pip City to the League.

  56. GunnerN5 says:

    He’s at it again that Terry……….

    Ugly confession.

    I have an intense dislike for both teams but watching the game I find myself hoping that United win.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    “You can’t overcompensate by looking like you have had a stint In a French Guiana penal colony. You need teeth and to shake off the leprosy. ”

    Only Terry!!

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Utd rolling over

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    Mourinho time is so much more entertaining than Fergie time. 5 extra minutes of Pogba walking around sulking, Sanchez realising the squad is worse than Arsenal’s, Mourinho with a face like a slapped arse contemplating how he can make his latest cock up look like someone else’s fault, and thousands of morngy Mancs streaming out of the stadium. Love it!

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Is he going or is he just irritated that lots of fans left?

    Hope he goes!

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    United fans wanting a selfie with Lucas Moura.Football has changed so much. If he’d have got that close to away fans in the past he’d probably have got punched!


    Ginge, Moronio is a narcissist. I know this for a fact because he displays the same behavioral patterns as a bloke I know called Greg Greguchi.

    Like Moronio, Greguchi is a grown man who lives with his mother and had a life size painting of himself hanging in the living room. It’s a contemplative pose, finger on cheek, but also displaying a non functional sexual prowess.

    The mother worships him. No girl is good enough for Greguchi, so like Moronio, he lacks emotional intimacy and gets shit results against Totnumb.

    Greguchis mother has another son she despises for not sharing her bed. Unlike Greguchi and Moronio who keep her up all night on how no one appreciates defensive tactics or the merits of middle aged men wearing nappies.

    When I use to beat Greguchi at Subbuteo he would attempt to shake my hand before the final whistle and when I refused he became a jibbering wreck, getting on his knees and hugging my legs. Moronio will do this on Sanchez later.

    Greguchi, after been caught stealing money from his Company, and losing Five nil to me, finally cracked and had to be institutionalised. Like Moronio, he blamed lack of backing in the transfer and the fact he is better than everybody else.

    Tonight, I will write a letter to Moronio, explaining how I could help him with a bit of counselling and Terry style therapy. I will also offer him a game if Subbuteo.

  63. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha, Terry. 🙂

  64. fred1266 says:

    Who the specialist in failure now Jose

  65. fred1266 says:

    Should we do a swap deal for ozil and sanchez, surely with the new pressings system sanchez would strive

  66. fred1266 says:

    He say the 0-3 stands for the 3 titles he have 😭😭😭

  67. chas says:

  68. chas says:


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