Dennis kicking up a storm at The Emirates ….. so what’s new?

So where were we ……… oh yes, we were on a run of draws.

As we go into each game with Arteta in charge there is a hope that ‘this’ game is going to be the one that brings a win. It doesn’t matter if I do the pre-match or Rocky does the pre-match, somebody somewhere isn’t wearing their lucky socks.

Today we have to hope that the brutally wild weather doesn’t go against us. As I write, the wind and rain are lashing against my windows and I have to wonder how much protection the high sides of The Emirates are going to afford all of us …… players and supporters alike.

It’ll be quite a contrast to the warm weather training and fun the squad have been having during the break in Dubai.

Burnley’s win yesterday means we start the day in 11th, on the same points as Newcastle who are our opposition today. We still have a goal difference of minus 2!!!!

We have won precisely 6 games in the EPL this season, the first of those was against Newcastle on the opening weekend. The hiatus of beating ManU on the 1st Jan has long since evaporated and yet as a work in progress I do feel excited at the thought of keeping a clean sheet 😁 and the attack coming together to produce some moments of magic (that end with the ball in the back of the net – no pressure lads).

I usually like to stick in a few stats about our current form and the head to head record against the opposition but our stats are crap currently although we do have a good record against Newcastle, winning 13 out of the last 14. Arteta is still talking about building defensive stability, here’s what he had to say ………

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta: “I think we have to generate some defensive stability, but not by defending deep. I don’t like that.

“It’s by defending high and pressing the opponent as much as possible. But the process – together as many times as possible in the most efficient way – has to be done properly from here.

“If not, in two passes when you arrive there, that transition is impossible to control because you are too far from the opponent. So we need to do that well first to be able to generate and sustain our attacks as many times as possible during the games.”

It’s how he makes us transition from defensive stability to scoring that will be interesting to watch. Maybe today we’ll take our early chances because that’s where we’ve been undone lately.

I’d like to see this team ……..


Bellerin   Sokratis   Luiz   Saka

Torreira   Xhaka


Martinelli   Lacazette   Aubameyang

Actually I prefer to see Martinelli on the left as I think he and Saka have a good understanding but the front three are usually quite fluid. With a Europa game coming up, Arteta may play the team he wants to play on Thursday and use Willock instead of Ozil, how does he fit Nelson into the team? Ok, well that’s his problem.

Who would you choose to play?

Thank you to Fred for reminding us that today is the anniversary of our epic 2-1 win against Barcelona …… in 2011!!

RIP Caroline Flack …… be kind to each other on social media, such a terrible waste of a life.



114 Responses to Dennis kicking up a storm at The Emirates ….. so what’s new?

  1. VCC says:

    Got two tickets for todays game peaches. Simply buzzing.

    May bump into you and the gang later, if I can remember where the pub is. 😉

    I would almost have the same team as you, but would change Ozil with Martinelli, I think he could play in that role and replace Martinelli out wide with Pepe.

    Lets hope we start a winning streak today, all the way to the end of the season.


  2. RockyLives says:

    My grounds for optimism today are these:

    Since Mikel took over he’s been on the non-stop merry-go-round of match day, day off, prepare for next match for two or three days, match day, day off… etc etc

    This winter break, while thoroughly miserable for us supporters, will have given him the chance to really get his message through to the players.

    We have already seen a lot more coherence about our shape and team organisation since he joined us.

    Today I expect us to reap the benefits.

    Thanks for the excellent pre-match Peaches.

    Your team looks good to me. Most of all I hope we start with the Torreira/Xhaka axis at the base of midfield, as per your line-up. That pairing has looked very good lately.

  3. LBG says:

    Thanks Peaches
    Mikel is making progress sure and must be given a chance to develop the youth. What about the new Director of coach and player development- Marcel Lucassen!!
    Says it how it was! Loved this sentence above all others “players make passes just because they have to pass the ball”.

    If the structure is now sound, IMO, we have much of the talent already to be great again….hopefully, as soon as possible.

  4. LBG says:

    “they think they have to pass…”
    Sorry cocked up that quote.

  5. kelsey says:

    If the game takes place it’s massive that we win as we are getting nearer to the teams in relegation than playing in Europe
    The table doesn’t lie.

    Sky showed an hour of great Arsenal goals last night stretching back 20 years and my did we have some players of skill and though not every goal was seen we scored at will , lobbing, chipping and driving the ball from all angles usually from the edge of the box, hardly recognised when we watch us now.The change in our play and confidence and fight to win was quite different then.
    I wish for those times to return but we need to refresh the squad dramatically

    I wrote a long post yesterday basically disagreeing with the headline post.

    Has there been improvement since Arteta took over, marginal at best though fitness levels have improved.

    I beieve there will be a huge clear out in the Summer. Auba and probably Lacazette, Xhaka (still committed more foulls than anyone else in the PL this season,) Torreira is playing better in his rightful poition but wants to go back to Itly where his girlfriend lives.Kosaniac will leave as well as he wants to play in Germany where his wife is still residing since the moped attack.

    Martinez our longest players on the books wants first team football, will he stay.

    AMN isn’t up to the class required wherever he plays and Mustafi is mustafi.

    We need Mikki at 200K a week of the books and Elneny can also go.

    n the positive sie we have some great pospects in martinelli, Saka and Willock but like Fabregas when he first broke into the first team these kid near mentors, so where are they ?

    Guendouzzi is a good prospect and IMO was overplayed last season coming from the second tier in France but offering him an extended deal and wage increase makes sense.

    Artea t has a lot on his plate and I don’t envy him. Wenger was a great manager but went on to loong then Gazidis stabbed us in the back and somehow that schmock Emery was appointed. he should have gone after the Europa Cup defeat and the collapse which robbed us of fourth place though with a split dressing room he couldnt handle it.

    We overpay under achievers and that’s a fact.Bellerin s a future captain if he stays fit and we have yet to see the best of Tierney and Chambers though injured isn’t up to scratch.

    The two loan deals make sense and Dani needs game time but Arteta doesn’t like him as D C has spoken out several times in Spain about the Basque wanting to be seperated from Spain.

    That’s how I see it but Ozil who knows ?

  6. RC78 says:

    Leno – Bello, Sok, Luiz, Saka – Torreira, Xhaka – Pepe, Laca, Martinelli – Auba

    That d be my line up and i can see a tough win with a goal on a CK by Sok and another goal by Martinelli courtesy of Laca s assist.

    Thanks for the prematch and a 2-1 win…

    May Dennis guide us through victory

  7. VP says:

    – \O , .-.___
    – /\ O/ /xx\XXX\
    – __/\ ` /\ |xx|XXX|
    ` \, () ` << |xx|XXX|

  8. VP says:

    geez, posting it scrambled the image

  9. Hi kelsey, I caught some of that Arsenal goals prog last night …….. god we were bloody brilliant at times. What with that and the 2-1 v Barcelona anniversary we can really see how far we have fallen.

    There have always been youngsters that get promoted and don’t succeed …….. it’s the same as buying a player I suppose, it doesn’t always work out. Throw them in and give them their chance but be honest if it’s not working …… often they’re great in training but don’t manage transferring that to games.

    I also feel we will lose some in the summer …… there must be an attitude problem with some, Arteta needs to work out where the problems really lie.

    Hope you’re well

  10. VP ……….. give it another go, you need to make sure there aren’t spaces because wordpress just compresses them

  11. Rasp says:

    Great headline peaches and a very logical summation of where we are under Mikel.

    Time and games are running out so if we don’t ‘kick start’ our season today we can kiss goodbye to the already remote chance of top 5 (thanks to City).

    The weather will affect both teams equally so no excuses there, if the better players play like a team we will win. Today may not be the day, but I have a feeling we will score 3 or 4 when we play with a compressed high line and we let the handbrake of in midfield/attack.

  12. VP says:

    but I need the spaces:-)

    I’m happy with a 2:0 win in the morning

  13. Musa Median says:

    I would like to see this lineup;

    Berellin. Mustafi. Luiz. Kolasnaic.

    Torreira. Xhaka.


    Pepe. Laccazette. Aubameyang.

    Martinez I,martinelli,Ceballos,Nelson,Mari,Saka ,Willock ,Guendouzi.

  14. fred1266 says:

    Os kolasinac still injured?

  15. LBG says:

    “Faltering Fullback” . Head north away from Finsbury Park station ( north equals opposite direction to Stadium), under railway bridge. Second on right is Ennis (as in Jessica) Rd. Pub is 100metres on left. We, (Ant, me and possibly Peaches) will be on top.level, hopefully under cover……or somewhere else.
    Good luck. See you soonish.

  16. RockyLives says:

    I believe Kola is available for selection today.

    It will be interesting to see whether Mikel goes with him or Saka at LB.

  17. RockyLives says:

    Interesting that you opt for Mustafi in the starting line-up.

    I think a lot of fans are still nervous about his potential for making bad mistakes at crucial times, although he has been OK in the last few outings.

    I’d still prefer Sok and Luiz, with Mustafi on the bench.

  18. LBG says:

    “Mikel knows”
    Definite improvement. Positioning, discipline tactically, effort and belief, fitness but still room for improvement.
    A M-N in last chance saloon, but still hasn’t played consistently in either of his preferred playing positions and, IMO, Smith-Rowe will prove better.
    Torreira wont leave if the last third of season is roaring success. COYG.

  19. LBG says:

    It is the rag “The Mail”, but if De Bruyne is sold, how much would he cost?

  20. RockyLives says:

    Agree about improvements so far under Mikel. But it will be a long, slow process.

    It’s taken Klopp four years to get the Liverpool team functioning the way he really wants.

    And I think Mikel has inherited a squad and club in a worse state than Klopp did in 2015. The season before he arrived ‘Pool finished sixth, 25 points behind the champions (Chavs).

    The big difference between Klopp’s challenge and Arteta’s may turn out to be that the toothy German got full backing from the club’s owners (including plenty of cash). I’m not confident Mikel will be given the equivalent resources…

  21. fred1266 says:

    VCC just make sure you leave FFB in good time so u could ensure u see the start of the game lol

  22. LBG says:

    We dont know what you mean!

  23. RockyLives says:

    The trick is to bowl out of the Fullback about 25 minutes before kick-off. A quick march down to Finsbury Park. Hop on any one of the numerous buses that go along Tollington Road. Jump out at the Tollington pub and it’s four or five minutes to the ground.

    Done it hundreds of times… always with that pleasant sensation of a few pints of ale wafting round the synapses.

  24. fred1266 says:

    LBG I think u do lol

  25. fred1266 says:

    Rocky any news in Tierney , I know he went ti Dubai training camp

  26. fred1266 says:

    I was Hopkins we could see the new boy mori at. CB

  27. LB says:

    Really enjoyed the read Peaches, thanks.

    Agree that Martinelli is better on the left.

  28. RockyLives says:

    I’m watching Villa v Spuds. Impressed with Grealish – like a cross between Parlour and Merson.

    By the way, if Winks had any kind of a sense of humour he’d wear the number 40.

  29. Rasp says:

    Strange looking team … still,after a 6 year lapse, I’m now a reborn AKB (where A = Arteta)

  30. RC78 says:

    Odd line up to say the least…
    Ceballos, Nketiah for Torreira and Laca

  31. Rasp says:

    Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka
    Ceballos, Xhaka, Ozil
    Pepe, Nktieh, Aubameyang

  32. RockyLives says:

    I’m very disappointed not to see Terrier starting.

    But Ceballos-Ozil should give us plenty of creativity.

    As Rasp says, it’s time to trust Mr Arteteteta.

  33. fred1266 says:

    Yea rocky grealish looks glass

    Why should winks wear 40?

    Rocky how come u watching villa u not going to the game

  34. Ooooh got a lot of those wrong but if Arteta thinks Ceballos and Mustafi and Pepe and Eddie should start then on his head be it 😉😉😉

  35. fred1266 says:

    Wonder how ceballos would play today interesting lineup

  36. RockyLives says:

    I haven’t been to a game for ages Fred. I live a long way from London and haven’t had a season ticket for years.

    I’m hoping to join the gang for a game soon.

    There’s an English phrase – 40 winks – which means a quick sleep.

  37. RockyLives says:


    Spuds just gifted an injury time winner by a defensive blunder from Villa.

  38. RockyLives says:

    We’re now 9 points behind Spuds 😢

  39. RockyLives says:

    I wish 4.30 would hurry up.

    I feel like a thirsty man waiting for the pub to open its doors.

  40. Rasp says:

    The good news is we’ve just won today’s 20/20 and the series in the last over …

  41. Rasp says:

    Can’t believe the lucky B spuds. Once again VAR favours them with a penalty decision this time ….

  42. RockyLives says:

    On the Sky coverage we have three ex Scousers and one ex Spud in the studio. Great.

  43. RockyLives says:

    But they’ve got Smudger on the commentary team.

  44. Rasp says:

    Smudger is always so negative about us … I hate the sound of his droning voice

  45. RockyLives says:

    He does give his praise grudgingly Rasp. And unlike most players of that era he does not profess to still be an Arsenal fan. Leicester is his team.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Come on boys!!!!!

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    Irritated that we seem to have to go through this ‘new manager feel out process’ again with Arteta making lots of changes so he can get a feel for his squad. When he got the job he had Torreira playing his best football and now he’s back on the bench. I can understand Laca being dropped but I would’ve expected Martinelli to play. I know the seasons gone but it would’ve been good to see some continuity towards the end of the season. I hope he doesn’t chop and change for the next few months and we suffer the same issues that Emery had with players unable to find form.

  48. RockyLives says:

    I prefer to see it that after having his squad together for two weeks without games, he’s started to work out his potential best team.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Xhaka has been playing better but when he does stupid things like that (yellow card for unnecessary pull back) I start to sympathize with the fans who want rid of him

  50. fred1266 says:

    Why wasn’t xhaka sold in January, does such stupid thing

    Frustrating to see Saints maxim ripping up our defense and pepe have no effect what so ever

  51. RockyLives says:

    It’s fair to say we haven’t found our rhythm yet.

  52. fred1266 says:

    FGG think lacazette, torreira etc being saved for europa

  53. fatgingergooner says:


    If this is our best team then I’m very worried! 😂

    We look awful. Totally agree about Pepe aswell. Why doesn’t he just run at players!?

  54. fred1266 says:

    Congratulations Rasp

  55. RockyLives says:

    Hard to disagree so far.

    Hopefully we’ll settle down soon and start exerting some control

  56. RockyLives says:

    Xhaka playing too far forward so we have no screen in front of our back four.

  57. fred1266 says:

    Ceballos ozil pepe at least one of them should be able control the game

  58. fatgingergooner says:

    The lack of movement is a disgrace.

  59. RockyLives says:

    We looked a bit better last 15 when Ozil started pulling the strings.

    But agree with FGG – we are so static when we’re attacking. Player on the ball has no options except to go sideways or backwards half the time

  60. Aaron says:

    Half full- Leno with a great save on Ceballos.

    Took hold of the last 15 minutes and thought for sure we would nick a goal.

    Eddie should have buried that sublime pass by Mesut.

    Much to play for.


  61. Aaron says:

    Eddie, come on man…

  62. fred1266 says:

    Unlucky Eddie but that what I want to see pepe

  63. fred1266 says:

    Just give him what money he wants

  64. Aaron says:

    Yes, Auba…
    Keep the pressure on. This was coming.

  65. RockyLives says:

    Now let’s kill this off

  66. RockyLives says:

    Right in cue – beautiful Saka – and we’ll done Pepe

  67. Aaron says:

    Yes, Pepe.
    Nice move by Saka.

  68. RockyLives says:

    I love the way Pepe passed that into the net.

    It gives me real hope for his potential moving forward.

  69. fatgingergooner says:

    Much more urgency 2nd half and a fantastic 2nd goal. Loving Saka as a full back. Gives us a massive threat down that side.

  70. Aaron says:

    The passing, the stretching, the movement by Mesut.


  71. Aaron says:


    Nice passing down the left again, crushed their spirits!!

  72. RockyLives says:

    4-0 – lovely jubbly.

    Tough call between Mesut and Saka for MOTM

  73. Rasp says:

    Aherm … I call your attention to my first comment on the post 😂😂

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    He needed that!

    Great second half. Maybe next time we can start the first half like that! 🙄

  75. Aaron says:

    Goals, clean sheet, team performance..

    Woo hoo…

  76. Aaron says:

    Just a quick note, Danny was a sewing machine.

  77. RC78 says:

    Pepe a goal and 2 assists.
    Laca an assist and a goal
    Auba a goal
    Ozil a goal
    Saka an assit and MOTM performance

    If your stiker scores and your forwards do and your fullback provides an assist and you don’t concede a goal… You can only be a happy coach, a happy player and a happy fan

  78. Sue says:

    Can we go to Dubai every month??!!
    Beautiful assists, goals, celebrations…. the goal drought is over… and we even saw a cheeky little nutmeg! Well done boys, that was beautiful 👌

  79. RockyLives says:

    Strange game in some ways. We were really poor for half an hour.

    The turning point seemed to be when Ozil started to take control of MF. He was outstanding for the rest of the game.

  80. RockyLives says:

    And a word for Mustafi – he won everything aerial at the back and was sensible with the ball.

  81. Aaron says:


  82. Well I don’t know what that first half was all about but the second half was pretty good 😁

  83. So pleased for Lacazette, just needed the six minutes of extra time but he got there in the end.

  84. Great work by Saka for the Pepe goal.

    I’d been moaning all game ‘why no push and run’ from Saka (or Pepe actually) obviously the instruction is wait until the 85th minute. Great break away and Laca should have scored then …… more of that please.

  85. RockyLives says:

    We have a positive goal difference – hooray!

  86. Hooray indeed Rocky 😁

    Still at the ground watching the highlights, people cheering when Laca scores ……. so happy for him 😁😁😁😁

  87. RockyLives says:

    We have a run of reasonable fixtures coming up so we have a chance of climbing up the table… BUT…
    How many times have we said that?

    Nightmare memories of the end of season run-in last year come to mind 😧

  88. Whispering …… some things are better off unsaid 😂😂😂

  89. fatgingergooner says:

    There is a real positivity within the group. Seeing the Lacazette celebrations was fantastic. Even when we struggled first half the heads didn’t drop and the team came out fighting. Arteta may not have changed too much but he’s certainly made massive improvements to the feel around the team. Hopefully he can now turn that positivity into wins. Who knows what we can achieve if he can do that.

  90. LB says:

    Mesut MOTM, he ran the show, although, my favourite moment was the Saka nutmeg.

  91. RockyLives says:

    Amen to both LB.

  92. LB says:

    Interesting selection Ceballos, but it worked, he brought out the best in Ozil.

  93. Anyone offering to write it up yet?

  94. LB says:

    Basking in the glow of an emphatic win, I almost forgot what it felt like.

  95. LB says:

    I am sure you will be able to pursued LBG.

    Dinner calls…………….

  96. LBG says:

    What a pleasure to come away fro the Emirates with three points, a clean sheet, and a consequent warm, fuzzy feeling!
    Difficult to take MOM away from Saka, but if anyone could it would be Dani for me. Mesut, better than solid. Likewise the Other German World Cup winner.
    Eddie not much service for first 50 mins. Laca gets his mishit goal and will go on a run now. (RC). And my only grouse apart from Aubang wasted out wide, is the not very intelligent, Xhaka booked again for stupidity.
    If only Totteringham werent such a lucky Club, the day would have been perfect. Have a happy week AAers.

  97. RockyLives says:

    I’ll write it up Peaches.

    It’ll be a pleasant change to describe a victory.

  98. Excellent news Rocky, thank you, look forward to reading it 😁

  99. Mikel being a beast to Dani Ceballos

  100. Lacazette ❤️❤️❤️

  101. There were 35 passes for Ozil’s goal

  102. LBG says:

    Agree Mikel, Dani was the composed, thoughtful player on the ball that Douzi sometimes isn’t…….yet.

  103. RC78 says:

    Dani was good in the first 30 mins… Then Ozil decided to own the game and everybody woke up in the second half

    Mustafi and Xhaka were not poor, which is already good 👍

    I felt Bellerin was a bit off though

  104. I think Bellerin is a bit hampered at the moment, Saka is the one that gets to go forward and Bellerin has to be disciplined ……. means he’s not really playing with any freedom

  105. LBG says:

    Two other prats to be registered for right up. Mason, the ” rolling ball” referee and Alan Smith, the Leicester man with the droning accent.

  106. LBG says:

    write up, even.

  107. Rasp says:

    Finally I’ve just watched the highlights. So many great things in that second half. Ozil was about as good as I’ve ever seen him in the red and white, Ceballos really good and I thought Pepe’s runs and constantly calling for the ball was excellent.

    Mustafi did not put a foot wrong, got everything in the air and several important clearances …. he was our best defender.

  108. kelsey says:

    Good Morning
    The game changed at 0-0 when Leno made a wonder save from a shot deflected off Dani and to be honest we were not at the races for most of the first half. 2 qick goals in the second half sealed it and Saka really got into the game a real talent who had an awkward first half as did ohers. I gave Ozil my man of the match as he was involved for the whole game and was our best overall player over 96 minutes.Really pleased for Lacazette and Pepe if he knuckles down will be an outstanding left footed player.Glad that the man of the match has thrown up a numer of players. A bit premature to think of finishing fifth but hopefully this biggest win of the season will bode well for all the squad.

  109. RockyLives says:

    New Post

  110. Keaton Stein says:

    This is a great ppost thanks

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