Key players for our last 8 games…

24 points to take…Back-to-back games against City, Chelsea, Newcastle and Brighton between 26 April and 14 May…

What an exciting and yet stressful end of the season…Our team will be tested and all our team will be needed and as a team, we will need to perform at a high standard…Yet, some players will probably be more critical than others…Pick your top 5 players that need to be at their very best for us to have a chance to win this EPL, including one GK and one defender at least…

Here is my Top 5

  • Ramsdale – not always the most reasssuring of all GK but he has been good for us this season and helped us secure points multiple times this season. We need him at his best.
  • White – often underrated this season and not always great at RB, he has come up with some good performances this season and scored us a few critical goals. We need him to be decisive in both boxes.
  • Partey – our shield and heartbeat in midfield. We can’t afford to lose him or to have him drop his level of performance.
  • Martinelli – we need him to create goals and score goals while also working defensively. At his best, he allows to stretch the opposing teams and to not play too high against us…
  • Trossard – an impact player. He can’t have a dip in performance – whether he is a sub or a starter. He can be a catalyst for goals on our front line and he never whines about defensive duties…

Again, we will of course need Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Xhaka, Ode, Saka and Jesus to be at their best too but choices had to be made…What is your top 5 and why?


58 Responses to Key players for our last 8 games…

  1. RC78 says:

    FYI – Mane may leave Bayern Munich…Italian teams and PSG are keen to have him…

  2. LB says:

    Hi RC, any idea why Sane punched Mane?

  3. LB says:

    Oooh, good game, my top 5, in this order.


  4. RC78 says:

    LB – not sure about Mane. Very out of character…

  5. RC78 says:

    Saliba and Gabriel…Good choices too….I really hesitated…

  6. LB says:

    Ah, yes, the other way round, Mane punched Sane.

  7. Las says:

    Cheers RC, good question 🙂
    I agree on Ramsdale & Martinelli, but at the back I go for Gabriel. His calmness and his love for defending makes him first choice. Also Ødegard, we need his vision and his silky technic… noone can replace him. I like Jorghino, but he is just not on the same level.
    Yes, Partey also irreplaceable. I can’t decide between Saka and Trossard. Maybe Saka is more important as he drive the team forward and he is so frightening then the oppositions always double or triple up on him.

  8. JM says:

    Aaron Ramsdale (ever present, starting in all our 30 league matches, needs to be most reliable as our last line of defence, key saves)
    Gabriel Magalhães (ever present, starting in all our 30 league matches, defensive stalwart, score goals from set pieces)
    Thomas Partey (defensive lynchpin, Arsenal’s metronome)
    Martin Ødegaard (captain, positive mentality and behaviour can influence our other 10 players on the pitch, key creative schemer in attack)
    Gabriel Jesus (master of chaos inside the opposition’s penalty area, mentality monster, scoring and creating goal scoring chances after his return from injury, should be fatigue free and physically ready for our last 8 matches to win the EPL title).

  9. RC78 says:

    RC: Ramsdale, White, Partey, Martinelli, Trossard
    LB: Ramsdale, Saliba, Gabriel, Partey, Martinelli
    Las: Ramsdale, Gabriel, Partey, Odegaard, Saka
    JM: Ramsdale, Gabriel, Partey, Odegaard, Jesus

    So far: here is the top 5

    – Ramsdale – 100% (but no choice there)
    – Gabriel – 75%
    – Partey – 100%
    – Odegaard – 50%
    – Martinelli – 50%

  10. VP says:

    Ramsdale, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka

  11. VP says:

    I cant count:-)
    Ramsdale, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Martinelli

  12. VP says:

    Ramsdale is the foundaton
    Xhaka & Odegaard are the strength, leaders, heart of & creativeness in the team
    Saka & Martinelli are the youth, speed & technical flair

  13. Aaron says:

    Going a different direction:
    Saliba by a mile.

    AFC need him to edge it defensively-period.

    Don’t think the team has kept a clean sheet without him, his skills, vision, passing and just being able to read most situations with his parner Gabriel.

    Let’s smash Ham!

  14. RC78 says:

    Another 2 points lost…and:

    – Partey had a horrible game…worse one this season
    – Gabriel is really not the same without Saliba…who would have thought?

    So 2 of the afore mentioned key players faltering…
    Saka missed a PK but to be honest, it is not why we lost the points…

    West Ham have quality players too in Rice, McGinn and Bowen amongst others

  15. Gööner In Exile says:

    The more I look at last two performances recently the more I am missing Tomiyasu. I wonder if with him fit White would be deputising for Saliba in the middle of the park? That may just give us a little more mobility and ability to deal with those moments in the game where the momentum shifts.

    His injury along with Saliba’s really couldn’t have come at a worse moment in the season for us.

    Top 5 key players:

    No surprise it’s the spine of the side. One that we haven’t had for quite some time.

    And instead of Saliba could easily have said Gabriel. Just think we need Saliba fit.

    As good as Saka/Martinelli/Trossard and other wide players can be it’s that spine that allows everything else to flourish and the team to work.

  16. RA says:

    We played well – except for the 2nd Half when we started to play across the pitch, and then frequently back to the GK, which led to us not counter attacking Wham.

    Kay sira sıra

    Well done with your report RC !!

  17. RA says:


    How dare you Sir, not mentioning my bestest player Martinelli.

    I will trade you Martinelli for Partey as the latter seemed a bit out of sorts.

    We will of course stuff Man City on Wednesday — why not?

  18. fred1266 says:

    Wasn’t that a hand ball by rice though

  19. fred1266 says:

    Another thing I heard someone mentioned not sure how true it is

    Saliba passing help saka cause he made more passes to him and right side while holding own goes to left hence martinelli being so key recently

  20. Gööner In Exile says:


    Martinelli is undoubtedly a good player and having a great season.

    The question was which players need to be at their very best….and for me it is that spine that is most important.

    In some ways by highlighting Parteys slightly off performance on the weekend you make my point.

    We can survive with say Saka having an off day but Martinelli being on fire or Trossard can replace them etc etc.

    What we haven’t really got the squad depth for is that spine. And one off day amongst them and it makes our matches a whole lot harder to win.

    But it’s still in our hands and all is not lost.

    If Arteta and his coaching staff had a difficult job after Anfield it just got even harder following the trip to West Ham. They somehow have to improve and adjust without making the players concerned feel like scapegoats or the cause of the loss of points.

    Shouldn’t underestimate the importance of Southampton at home. The team will need to feel the love from the support. Fire them on to a handsome victory putting ourselves 7 points ahead, and hopefully bouncing in to the midweek game against City that follows.

  21. RA says:

    Well put, GIE.

    We play some lovely stuff down the centre, provided we have those key players available.

    Unfortunately, our blond Ukrainian star was carrying an injury, and that led to Tierney with limited games having to take his place.

    Saliba is an important defender – but again still injured.

    We can still win the League provided we can see off City next week.

  22. pbarany says:

    Saka, White and Gabriel need to be playing really well, because even if they won’t, Arteta is not going to substitute them. Maybe the same applies to Ramsdale, too.
    On the other hand Tierney and Jesus will make way despite having a good game.

    RC, McGinn plays for Aston Villa. 😉
    I agree that Partey was uncharacteristically poor, and Saka’s missed penalty was not the only reason for losing points. He was wasteful all-around, but he couldn’t redeem himself neither with the penalty, nor with our most promising chance of the second half,

  23. RC78 says:

    pbarany – indeed about McGinn but in any case, I like McGinn.

  24. LB says:

    If you want a really good laugh, take a look at the Manu – Sevilla highlights, they are hilarious.

  25. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well we are still top and it is still in our hands.

    But I think we can all agree it just got incredibly difficult.

    I cannot decide whether it changes City’s game plan and whether it makes it a harder task for us or easier or whether it changes our mentality or City’s approach to the game.

    If they needed a win and we would have been happy with a point, it could easily have turned into one of those awful games where we defend well for 89 minutes and then they manage to force a goal in the 90th resulting in heartbreak.

    Now we need the win, are City going to take on a spoiler role and soak up our pressure and try to counter only if they can but play very low risk football. And let’s be honest we would be very susceptible to them on the counter if they did that.

    Or will, like the Emirates match, both teams just go for the win? I hope it’s the latter and whatever happens will happen.

    Regardless of the last few results I am still incredibly impressed by the team and whole club. The last two draws have felt like defeats coming from winning positions, but last night we had to reverse it and earned a point when it looked like we were done for.

    Whilst that point hasn’t changed the overall picture in the title race compared to a defeat. It’s still evidence of a team working hard for each other and refusing to give up. I love the fact that they never give up, they never stop.

  26. LB says:

    I’m clinging to your last 2 sentences GIE, heart felt and uplifting.

  27. Gööner In Exile says:

    The way Spurs have started at Newcastle is by far the most enjoyable moment of the weekend so far 😀

  28. fred1266 says:

    Yea it was lol

  29. VP says:

    I concur GIE – Regardless of the last few results I am still incredibly impressed by the team and whole club.

  30. VP says:

    I predict a 3:2 win to the Gunners

  31. VP says:

    Looking forward to our next game. COYG!

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Well now the pressure is off we will find out whether it was the pressure that got to the team or exhaustion.

    What I witnessed last night was either tired legs or players who couldn’t get out of their own heads. There was too much indecisiveness, moments when they needed to take the pressure off ourselves by stretching City with an occasional 50:50 hope. But also there was no speed when it was needed, no energy to catch up or recover.

    The League wasn’t lost last night, we will forever regret the 6 points lost against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton. If they were on the board now we would be 7 points clear still.

    Can we expect City to drop points in their final games? I doubt it.

    As ever it’s the hope that kills.

  33. Aaron says:

    Mikel and the team are cratering the run in.
    At this rate we will be fortunate to keep 3rd, could go to 4th.

    If that is the case, that is 2 years running that the team has collapsed during closing time.

    AFC do not have the squad depth to compete on 4 fronts.

    The sword of Damocles hovers above the clubs head; will Saliba and Saka sign a contract with AFC?

    If not, and Mikel does not change something, and the team comes 4th, then he and Edu should be given their walking papers.

    It is not how you start it is how you finish!

  34. VP says:

    Aaron, relax, all good.
    Lampard once again reinforces his coaching credentials😂
    Go you gunners!

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    On course for our 3rd highest ever PL points total (and could still equal the Invincibles haul of 90 points) and there are people suggesting that Arteta and Edu should be out of the door!!!!??????


    There really is no sense of perspective amongst football fans these days.

  36. allezkev says:

    Still been one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve experienced since 97/98 whatever the outcome,

  37. allezkev says:

    I thought that Kiwior looked encyagainst Chelsea, whilst accepting that this Chelsea is pretty poor.

  38. allezkev says:

    encouraging against Chelsea

  39. fatgingergooner says:


    Couldn’t agree more. There is so much more to measure the success of a season on than just a tin pot, and so much more to be excited about moving forward:-

    Quality of the football
    The fighting spirit in the team
    How engaged the fans are
    The relationship the team has built with the fans
    The signings
    The atmosphere
    The goals scored
    The energy levels
    The age of the team
    Xhaka reborn!
    Arteta’s tactics
    Champions League Qualification

    Pretty much everything within the club has improved this season, yet some will still call it a failure if we don’t win a trophy!!!

    As for Kiwior, I agree he looked very good against Chelsea. Reminded me a bit of Koscielny with the way he wanted to nick the ball in front of attackers. Hopefully he turns out to be a quality signing as CB is definitely an area that can be improved going into next season.

  40. allezkev says:

    FGG that’s a pretty concise list of how things have improved and I couldn’t disagree with any of your points.

    Another thing to consider is that nobody in the media is laughing at us anymore, yes they’ll celebrate when City clinch it but they aren’t able to be condescending about us love to be.

  41. fatgingergooner says:


    Yeah, Arteta and Edu have definitely made us relevant again. It’s been a while since anyone has feared Arsenal coming to their ground!

  42. aron says:


    I hear you, but do you get the point?

    If $h*tTy win 5 EPL titles on the trot, I am out, and will not even watch the EPL anymore- would be pointless.

  43. Aaron says:


    Points total is amazing.
    Cratering the run in every year is not.

    AFC can’t compete on 4 fronts if Mikel continues to NOT rotate or change the lineup when required, think Holding and 3 draws when leading against the bottom teams, not the top!

    If Saliba and Saka do not sign, we will not get top 4 next year!

    Now, let’s score a damn goal against Newcastle tomorrow and try and keep a clean sheet for goodness sakes.

    Let’s go!

  44. Aaron says:

    Damn fine win!

    Scored 2 goals at Newcastle and kept a clean sheet.

    Mikel should have started Kiwior in the Ham and Hampton games- full stop.


    Solidifying their hard earned position!


  45. allezkev says:

    It’s been a long time, too long in fact, but it’s so enjoyable still being in the mix at this stage of the season. April wasn’t kind to us, maybe May will bring us some luck?

  46. VP says:

    Aaron, previously it was Manure winning year after year and now its $h!tty. Once again its up to the Arsenal to stop the $h!tty & Manure😂
    Hopefully you will continue to watch the EPL but if not, there is always cycling…

  47. allezkev says:

    Saliba and Zinchenko to miss the rest of the season but neither require operations which is great news particularly in the case of Big Bill.

  48. fred1266 says:

    Dey really took long to rule saliba out, really gutted imagine the only game I saw arsenal this season was the one saliba was injured in

  49. allezkev says:

    So it’s your fault then Fred? 😉

  50. fatgingergooner says:

    Tough watch today. From minute one (Odegard getting whacked in the face!) the game was very stop/start, which didn’t help our rhythm at all. Brighton had an out ball all game aswell (over Whites head), which made it difficult for us to build pressure. Swansea were a bogey team for us for a few seasons, and I think Brighton have now taken over that mantle. We always seem to struggle against them.

    Hopefully the loss delivers a reminder to the board that we still have areas that need pace and power. A rapid defender is required, as is a CM with real presence. It’s been a brilliant season, but with CL football back at the Emirates next year, we will need a really good summer transfer window if we want to continue being a problem for the likes of City.

  51. allezkev says:

    A dispiriting end to our season but despite today I’ve really enjoyed this season, probably enjoyed it as much as 1997/98 although the ending was different.

    Man City are a relentless, money-laundered behemoth, but we ran them close.

    Now Stan is going to have to show us if he’s as much up for the fight against this ogre of a machine that perverts our game, as much we all hope he is…

  52. fred1266 says:

    Unfortunately allezkev I think it is sigh

  53. LBG says:

    Let’s dream of a “Kroenke lottery win” and select our choice of players to give us a chance of challenging Shitty again next season.
    My priorities are bringing speed and backbone into the midfield and genuine goalscoring ability at centre forward. Unlike many, I believe Saliba, Gabriel, Tomi, White, Tierney and Zinchenko are all up to requirements ( with another seasons experience under their belts), but perhaps wouldn’t say no to another really speedy ball playing CB. ( (Liked the dynamic, creative passing of blonde Brighton man last night. Didn’t pick up his name.)
    So my three, astronomically expensive buys would be Rice, as competition for Party at central holding in midfield, Caceido alongside bOdeguard for grunt and brilliant creativity, and Lataura Martinez of Inter for pocket rocket status with goals to oust/challenge Jesus at No9.
    That would do me in the Summer with the hope Saka, Martinelli and Trossard play very little ( some chance) in the Summer, and we can start ( and keep) a fit squad next year.
    PS Would still like to keep Balogun if possible.
    Thank you Gunners for so much (Bournemouth) joy this season. Go away, enjoy the Summer and come back fighting fit in August to delight us again.

  54. Aaron says:

    Flatter to deceive.

    Crater the run in 6 season+.


  55. allezkev says:

    Another title goes to the Lance Armstrong club of Manchester.

  56. allezkev says:

    Seems as if, well according to Ornstein, that Smith Rowe is not available for transfer and that he’s very much in the plans of Arteta.

    I hope that that is the case.

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