And so the season begins

Brentford vs Arsenal on Sky: Toney fit; White debut

At last…the Euro is over, the break is over and football season is back!

Arsenal starts its season with a tricky trip to the newly promoted team of Brentford – shall we consider this fixture as yet another London derby? The last time we played Brentford in the league was in 1947 and we won 1-0. Brentford is not a kind side to visit for Arsenal as we have 1 in 6 games (the first one basically) since 1947 in all competitions…But Arsenal usually does well in its opening game when played away – we haven’t lost such a game since since 2000 at Sunderland

In any case, Brentford is a well drilled side with a brave coach and quality players such as Ivan Toney who bagged 30 goals last year in the Championship. With the excitements of being promoted and having the fans back, Brentford is going to be dangerous. If we look at our pre-season form, our transfer window so far and our missing players, things are not looking too bright for the game today…I would say that the positives are that (i) Laca and Auba are looking rather sharp, (ii) Tierney, Pepe and ESR looking to take the game on; and (iii) White and Lockonga seem to be OK to start today.

Here is my predicted line-up:

Leno – Bellerin, White, Mari, Tierney – Lockonga, El Neny – Pepe, ESR, Auba – Laca

Here would have been my preferred line-up:

Leno – Chambers, White, Mari, Tierney – Willock, El Neny, ESR – Pepe, Laca, Auba

Our main issues remain the same as last year so far with defensive laps on Bellerin side and also a lack of penetration from midfield into the opposition box.

My prediction: 1-1. Toney and Auba to score.



55 Responses to And so the season begins

  1. RC78 says:

    He is at times frail, at times slow, but he is got magic in his feet and a vision like no others, it s Javier Pastore who is available for loan or a sale from Roma. I love this player – he is one of a kind. His physical limitations have hampered his talent and ability to showcase it but he can be a great utility player, he ll create goals..If he is available for loan and Roma can pay over 65% of his salary, I d love to see him play for AFC. It is been a while we had a silky player.

  2. RC78 says:

    but this is totally biased of course…He pbbly doesn’t fit Arteta’s plans and way of playing but his passing is delicious.

  3. fred1266 says:

    Fantasy world saying aubameyang and lacazette ill

  4. Dexter says:

    Have Aubazette and Lacayang got covid?

  5. RC78 says:

    Willock has been sold to Newcastle for 25 Mln pounds. He will wear the Nr. 28. Good luck to him! Shame that Arteta could not find a spot for him in our squad after his stellar half-season at Newcastle.

  6. RC78 says:

    Meanwhile, we are looking to bring Odegaard back. It just beats me really…Odegaard is good but is he better than Willock? Has he demonstrated more than Willock in the EPL?

  7. fred1266 says:

    Just said unwell so let’s hope not aubameyang has had enough illness for the year

  8. fred1266 says:

    Willock aka emi 2.0

  9. RC78 says:

    Fred – I fear that you may be right…

  10. RC78 says:

    With Auba and Laca pbbly out, it seems that Balogun and maybe Martinelli or Saka or Willian would start…

    Leno – Bello, White, Mari, Tierney – Lockonga, El Neny – Pepe, ESR, Martinelli (or Willian) – Balogun

  11. fred1266 says:

    Yea rc78 so stupid how hard would it be for mikel to drop from a 4231 to 433 just to include willock

    Arteta talk a bunch of crap about covid affecting clubs money but how lies selling for 25 but buying for more

    Imagine the likes of torreira still in squad saw him training on his own yesterday felt so sorry

  12. RC78 says:

    Kolasinac, Torreira…just release them if you are struggling to sell them and if you are not intending to play them…

    I am not liking the narrative around Covid-19…all clubs suffered the same so not sure why he keeps on going about it…

    Let us see what happens with AMN, Nelsson, Nketiah now…I think if I were them, I d go out on loan except maybe for AMN who could be a good team member but if he wants to play more, he should ship to greener pastures

  13. fred1266 says:

    Think it martinelli for sure but would partner him

    I hope it balogun

    But wouldn’t mind seeing saka also

  14. RC78 says:

    I think Balogun will be given the nod…

  15. fred1266 says:

    Was expecting balgun also but when I saw martinelli post assumed he starting for sure

  16. Dexter says:

    Willock and Odegaard are totally different types of players.

    I guess Willock is seen more of Ramsey type player (who we could do with btw) and Odegaard more a Ozil, again who we need. However I’m not convinced by Odegaard.

    I’d have kept Willock though. And yeah, why not try and integrate Torreira back into the squad?

    I wonder whose decision it was? The pkayer or coach’s? Who effin knows?

  17. RC78 says:

    I just think that it is ridiculous to send a young HG/academy graduate player on loan in the EPL, see him do extremely well and then sell him…Wasn’t the point of the loan for Willock to demonstrate to AFC that he has what it takes to be competitive in the EPL? Plus, our central midfield is crying for goals and he did show that he could score them…A real mystery – a bit like E.Martinez last year.

    As for Odegaard, he is a good player but he did not show outstanding performances last year that would warrant a move for him imho. 2 goals and 2 assists in 20 games…

  18. Dexter says:

    Please stop mentioning Martinez ffs.

    He whined and cried (literally) and demanded to be number 1 and wouldn’t stay and fight for the number 1 spot. He also refused to extend his contract and gad 1 year left on it. The club HAD to sell him. 20m in that scenario was excellent business and at the time, I’d have gone with Leno.

    I’m drawing a line under it, there will be no more discussion!!!



  19. fred1266 says:

    Why arteta even want odegard , willock have 8 goals in 14 games, odegard 2 goals 2 assists in 20 games

    I seriously being pissed of by what he doing at the club

    As you said we don’t know what going on behind doors but are we going to hear he doesn’t want ot guarantee him first team games if that the reason I would be so pissed

  20. fred1266 says:

    Well do u even blame him Dexter why would he even want to start after someone who is not even as good as him

  21. fred1266 says:

    Can’t even save a ball at his first post

  22. fred1266 says:

    Be real with yourself Dexter in hindsight it was a bad move we made

  23. Rasp says:

    Oh dear … deja vu … Leno making the whole defence jittery. Lokonga is our best player so far.

  24. LB says:

    Brave team choice. It’s just that at the moment their brave team choice is better.

  25. Dexter says:


    Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Is Martinez any better playing out from the back???? 🤣🤣🤣

  26. Rasp says:

    Nothing has changed

  27. GoonerB says:

    It was actually a foul on Leno for that 2nd goal where their player had his arm holding him back but would Martinez have been so easily bullied?

  28. fatgingergooner says:

    If only we’d kept Martinez, we’d be 8-0 up now.

  29. fred1266 says:

    Did u see villa play last year I did so I would say yes he plays better out of the back, then again I like emi so might be bias

  30. fatgingergooner says:


    Martinez is the greatest goalkeeper ever to play football. He wouldn’t need to play from the back, he’d kick it long, run up front whilst the ball was in the air, and then volley it into the top corner.

    If only we’d kept him.

  31. Rasp says:

    I don’t think this score line has anything to do with the choice of keepers, but everything to do with defensive fragility and over complicating the attacking play and failing to get the ball forward quickly enough

  32. fatgingergooner says:

    Looking forward to the banter when we are bottom of the league after 3 games and people want a new manager and director of football. It’ll be like the Wenger/Gazidis days again. Lovely.

  33. GoonerB says:

    I agree Rasp but I just have an issue with the subject police on here feeling it’s ok for them to decide what players and aspects of the club they are not happy with and it then being ok to talk about those players and aspects and repeat these opinions regularly, but then try and aggressively shut down anyone who has a consistent opinion on a subject they dont wish to be discussed and dont agree upon.

  34. LB says:

    Emile Smith Rowe is the only reason I haven’t jumped.

  35. LB says:

    “The subject police” clever title

  36. VP says:

    Hi RC, why Roma would have to pay 65% of his salary?

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    I can’t say tonight’s result was much of a surprise, and that says it all about where we’ve dropped to. A proper mid-table side. I’m not really sure what the answer is to our problems, but I’m 100% certain that we are now on the manager and player merry-go-round, and it’s a flip of a coin as to wether we start to trend upwards or downwards. At one point we had a financial advantage over many sides in the league, which was gained through on-field success, and off-field improvements, but the failings over the last 10 years has seen that advantage disappear, and we are now no better than any other PL team on or off the pitch. We are in with the pack, and now we must sit back and wait until we find the next Wenger or next Henry. It took Liverpool 30 years to find their next Dalglish….

  38. Aaron says:

    stan the maN owns AFC, mediocrity is his middle name, asset allocation is his game.

    Could quite possibly lose the first 5 games, and Arteta might not make it to x-mas.

    55 goals for the season here we come, 10th and falling like a rock!

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    Would anyone be bothered if Laca, Auba and Willian were sold and we got a couple of new faces in? They aren’t getting any younger and if the opportunity is there to replace them then I’d take it. None of them pulled up any trees last year. Time to rebuild….again!

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    Twitter is hilarious. Arsenal fans just copy and paste comments they made about Wenger/Emery but just change the name for Arteta. 🙄

  41. fred1266 says:

    Rasp I have been saying that since preseason the defense literally takes 3 4 touches before it reaches anywhere in midfield which allows other teams to ne set and because we have no one who could pick out an accurate pin point pass it affecting the attack

  42. fatgingergooner says:

    It was obvious we would lose tonight. After all, we are talking about a club that finds it difficult to buy a substitute goalkeeper! Is it any wonder our first team is bang average!?

  43. fred1266 says:

    Was just watching something on sky where person said the willock sale is because he doesn’t suit or system

    1. As I mentioned before why not change the system to suit one of our youth players

    2. Also lets just say a keeps willock and it doesn’t work when a new manager comes in and he prefer a willock type players now qe don’t have one cause the last manager sold him but instead he has a odegard type who he does want so money down the drain

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    Arteta has a philosophy and I’m sure that’s what he will follow. He will buy and sell players to suit that philosophy. Every single club in the world does the same thing. Man City don’t change tactics when they are losing, and they can actually afford to have players to adapt to 2 or 3 game plans. If Willock doesn’t suit the team or Arteta doesn’t fancy him then so be it. Some people didn’t want Iwobi to leave but look how that turned out! Willock looks a decent prospect but scoring a few goals for Newcastle doesn’t make him a world beater. I think Odegard brought a lot to our game last season and I’d much rather have him than Willock. This team needs a bit of leadership and experience and I thought Odegard played like he had both.

    I do find it astonishing though that we continue to go into these season openers half cooked. Every season we seem to be playing our first few games with players missing and signings needed. I know transfers rely on all parties but other clubs do seem capable of getting their main business done, whereas we are always scratching around for players until the last hour.

  45. RC78 says:

    New season – same issues? No goals and defensive frailties? I just saw the highlight and besides Tierney, Lockonga, ESR and Pepe, the rest of the team and especially our defensive players Leno, Chambers, White, Mari were at best disappointing…

    There is no threat in the box despite the creative plays from Pepe, ESR and Tierney…Balogun is still learning and Martinelli wasn’t 100% but overall, not good enough.

    I agree that it is better to do business before the League starts because now, our team looks less appealing and more desperate.

  46. VP says:

    My gut feel is that we will finish 5th this season.

    RC, why 65%?

  47. RC78 says:

    VP – why 65%? Because it is better for us 🙂

    If your gut is right, I would be very pleased. My gut says we may struggle to make it to Top 10 this season and I can see plenty of teams who could finish above us:

    1. City
    2. Chelsea
    3. United
    4. Liverpool
    5. Leicester
    6. Leeds
    7. Aston Villa
    8. Tottenham
    9. Everton
    10. West Ham

    Anyways…trying to be positive despite a very negative start of the season…so COYG!

  48. fred1266 says:

    Add Newcastle to the list dey just sign a 20 goal midfielder

  49. VP says:

    RC, if its better for us than we pay 100%. I have no qualms on our americans owners spending money.

    My scientific gut says –
    1. Chelsea
    2. City
    3. United
    4. Everton
    5. Arsenal
    6. Liverpool
    7. Leicester
    8. Leeds
    7. Aston Villa
    9. Tottenham
    10. West Ham

  50. fatgingergooner says:


    He’s actually got 18 senior career goals, but I’m sure he’ll get to 20 soon.

  51. RC78 says:

    New post everyone

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