January 26, 2023

So we just registered the arrival of Polish international Kiwior. A young player who has been used as a Centre-Back and Defensive Midfield, he is known for his ability to play out from the back and pick out a pass. He played in Poland, Slovakia and Italy. He has a good interception record.

The question I am asking myself is why are we recruiting him (also instead of Ndinka)? We have White, Tomyasu, Holding, Saliba, Gabriel and Tierney that can play there…Are we trying to get rid of one them? If so, which one? Cedric is leaving for Fulham so I am thinking that White and Tomyasu are staying…Saliba and Gabriel are safe too imho so that leaves us with Holding but he is a club’s lad so…

Maybe he is coming in to play in midfield in the end…? Maybe as a support player to beef up our defensive mid or as the back up to Xhaka…

Or he could just be recruited to make sure we are covered adequately for each position

Turner – Tomyasu, Holding, Kiwior, Tierney – El Neny, Lokonga – ESR, Vieira, Trossard – Nketiah OR

Ramsdale – White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, Ode, Martinelli – Jesus

Not too bad, not too bad…knowing that Balogun will come back next season…I think that the big question is about Lokonga’s credentials to be a solid enough squad player. If we are going in for Declan Rice in the summer (which I doube), it will also make things interesting for Xhaka…but I believe we may try to lure Ruven Neves, Mikel Merino, McAlliser, Fofana or Tielemans…


50 points…after 19 games and back-to-back wins against Top 6 rivals…the road is still long but hope is permitted…

January 23, 2023

Top of the League. 50 points, 19 games…

Two convincing, gritty and well-earned wins against Tottenham and then Man Utd. We can smile at the first half of the season and look at the second half with a bit of optimism. Of course, Man City have a deeper (better?) squad that is used to winning the EPL and they have a freak goal-scorer (Haaland – what a player!) but we are more than giving them a run for their money and now they have to catch us….

So against Utd, the positives:

  • Zinchenko, Xhaka, Ode, Saka and Nketiah. What a difference does Zinchenko make to our team? A clever player. Xhaka is like a new player, providing assists, pressing high and not indulging in silly defending…Ode, even when not at his best, is aggressive defensively and decisive offensively. Saka hit another level this season and Nketiah has provided more than adequate cover for G.Jesus;
  • The fans and Arteta’s fire.

So against Utd, the less positives:

  • Ramsey’s shakiness against Utd was a bit scary;
  • White and Tomyasu really struggled against Rashford and Tomyasu also at fault on Utd’s equalizer. We are looking at Fresneda, a young right back…
  • Partey – at fault on first goal and then did not reassure throughout the game
  • Saliba and Gabriel need to also cover Ramsdale better. A wake up call.
  • Martinelli, off day at the office.

Ramsdale – 4.5

White/Tomy – 3.5

Saliba-Gabs – 5.5

Zinchenko – 8

Partey – 5.5

Xhaka – 7.5

Ode – 7.5

Saka – 8.5

Nketiah – 8.5

Martinelli – 6

Was a nice game to start for Trossard. COYG! Keep going strong.

Poor Chickens! Red London! Arsenal Ecstasy!

January 17, 2023

Random thoughts on a glorious occasion.

Where to start? The players, maybe:

Ramsdale – dominant performance, saves, clearances, catching, punching – and best of all, shithousing Poorarlison, who swallowed the bate, and I’m waiting for his citing by the FA, but I won’t hold my breath

White – was… Whiter than White, does almost everything brilliantly, but needs to master his crossing

Saliba! – error free

Gabriel! – monster with exquisite distribution

Zinchenko – out and out baller, and one of the heartbeats of the team

Partey – the lean controller, very Vieira-esque

Xhaka – master of all he surveys

Odegaard – wow! Just wow

Saka – silky first touch, tormentor in chief

Martinelli – seems to have Velcro attaching the ball to his boots

Nketiah – if his first touch was as magnetic as Saka’s, he would have had three goals, but in everything else, fierce and combative

The manager: I think people – both supporters and those outside the club, are beginning to realise what a special person we have in Arteta. His tactical acumen, his technical knowledge, his teaching ability, and his player-management, are scary. In his first job as a manager. He has distilled the best of Moyes, Arsene and Pep. I hope he stays for years.

The referee: it seems unfair to criticise Pawson, considering we didn’t concede a penalty (!), and he got most of the big calls right; but how was Romero still on the pitch, after six, maybe even seven, bookable fouls, AFTER being booked.

As to the narrative of the match, all Arsenal in the first half, beautiful control and link-up play; Sp*rs resurgent in the second half, but Arsenal maintained defensive control. I was on edge until Odegaard scored, but sanguine and relaxed thereafter, so much confidence do I have in this group of players.

As noted last week, I still think a deep midfielder is more of a priority than another forward (both would be nice, of course). There are players to come in if Saka or Martinelli are injured. The fall-off if Partey’s out again is too much.

Mudryk: I can’t let it pass without a comment on that transfer. I actually feel sorry for the guy. He looks so unhappy at Stamford Bridge, one can’t help speculating that Shaktar told him “it’s Chelsea or nothing”. If he doesn’t prove as spectacular as his transfer fee, his career is almost over, tied as he is by high wages and a long contract. He might, but Arsenal were absolutely right to walk away. In fact, I think they should have abandoned talks after the second bid was rejected. And let’s face it, at that club just now, players are more likely to underperform, given the chaos between owner and manager. When Potter was asked about Mudryk, he didn’t confront the question of whether he wanted him, and was insipid in his praise.

London is red. Let’s wallow in it, and anticipate the meeting next Sunday with Manure.


Mudryk to Chelsea but we will win the NLD!

January 15, 2023

So Chelsea hijacked our deal with Shaktar for Mudryk by paying 88.5 Mln pounds + add ons…crazy…

Apparently, we are turning our attention to Raphina now…potentially Diaby (but he is not worth it to be honest)

BUT they are bigger fish to fry including a savoury NLD against a resurgent Tottenham team that can now count again on Romero, Betancur and Kulusevsky…The 3 players that changed their fortune last year as they edged us in the Top 4 race. Kane is in scintillating form and Son is always dangerous against us so while we may be top of the league and playing well, we are in for a very tough and contested match today…

The key will be to really exploit some of their defensive lapses especially their full-backs and center-backs sometimes miscommunicating. There be room in between the lines so Odegaard may be able to find some space to shoot…If Partey-Xhaka and our back 4 do well today, we should come home with at least a point…

I am gonna go for a 2-1 loss to the Spurs though as I can see us lose our patience and form at some point in the game. Most likely score according to pundits is a 1-1 draw – if it is a draw, I think it will be a 2-2…Now our scorer will be Martinelli and for them, Kane will be on the scoresheet.

COYG! Make sure I get the result wrong today!

Ramsdale – White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko – Partey, Xhaka – Ode – Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli

Lloris – Romero, Dier, Lenglet – Doherty, Betancur, Hojberg, Perisic – Kulusevski, Kane, Son

Let us not totally discard the FA Cup…

January 6, 2023

Our squad is of course thin and has been made thinner with the injury to G.Jesus and is prone to becoming too thin if Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Ode, Martinelli or Nketiah get injured…Their back ups are just not at the same level…so risking an injury to them may be just too risky…YET, the FA Cup is a fantastic competition and we have a good record in it. We have to respect the competition and give it a go – a trophy is a trophy…

We are playing Oxford, not the biggest name in football so we may have a bit of room for rotation but let us not rotate the whole team and keep some first squad elements in it to put the game comfortably behind Oxford’s reach at half-time…This will allow us to bring in some youngsters to the fold…

Ramsdale – Tomy, Saliba, Holding, Tierney – El Neny, Xhaka – Vieira, Ode, ESR – Nketiah

Second half:

Turner – Tomy, Saliba, Holding, Tierney – El Neny, Lokonga – Marquinhos, Vieira, Taylor-Hart – ESR

Let us win this tie and let us keep looking at options to improve our squad’s quality and depth.

Keep calm and carry on…although it is hard not to get excited

January 3, 2023

The last matchday’s results were quite kind to our beloved club and we are now sitting with a 7 points lead at the top of the EPL…

Yet, we are still a young team that has quite some room for improvements especially in defensive phases or when facing an agressive press. Our defensive set-up sometimes loses its shape and calm when put under pressure.

We have now quite some fixtures coming up:

  • Newcastle at home
  • Tottenham away
  • Man Utd at home
  • Everton away
  • Brentford at home
  • Man City at home
  • Villa away

It is all about building a strong series so we really need to win the first 3 games of this series and then we can go in the next 4 with some confidence and less pressure. All 3 games are tough with Newcastle having a wonderful season, Tottenham who will want to play their best against us and a Utd team with a resurgent Rashford who always bothers us…Bag 9 points by hook or by crook and then we can serenely prepare for Everton, Brentford and City…If we come out with 16 points out of these 7 games, we will still be leading the EPL BUT we would still have to play City, Liverpool and Newcastle away and Chelsea at home so the road is long and while hopes and expectations are raising, we need to keep calm and carry on…starting tonight against a strong Newcastle team.

Neutralizing Trippier, Guimares, Joelington, Almiron, Maximin and Wilson. Theryare very good at set pieces with Schar and Botman in the air so that will be a tough battle for Gabs and Saliba. We need to dictate in midfield and also bully Schar and Botman’s lack of pace. Burn is great going forward but Saka can take advantage of his defensive lapses. I think this game is in Party-Xhaka’s hands to be honest – if they control the midfield, we will be ok but if not, I can see us suffer a lot…


Happy New Year fellow bloggers!