Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Leeds Vs Arsenal. How the game will play out

 By 1970's Gooner

This game has become very important for both teams as it is coming right after they both suffered heavy defeats in their previous game prior to the international break. 

Arteta needs to not only worry as to who to pick in midfield in the absence of Thomas Partey but more importantly to bring back the vibrancy and energy in the players that was so evidently missing against Villa. 

If this does not materialise then it will not matter a single bit as to who will play in midfield or what formation he will pick. Or indeed as to whether Aubameyang will play through the middle with Willock providing the 'creativeness' that so many 'experts' decided that this is what has been missing. Aubameyang scored all those goals last season playing from the left and without Willock in the side may I remind you...

As far as the team formation and players to be picked is concerned Arteta should stick with the three at the back in a 3 4 3 system. Ainsley Maitland Miles should replace Saka as the latter has been overplayed by Southgate running the risk of burn out and injuries. AMN's selection I feel will also fall in line with the tactics that Arteta should follow. 

Leeds play a full of running attacking oriented game and the best strategy will be to adopt a more cautious approach (but not like Arteta played at City in which the team were overcautious) hitting them fast and at the spaces they tend to leave behind when their full backs roam forward. That's why AMN will be more effective when we are without the ball. And similarly Bellerin on the other side.

Arteta needs also to realise that Willian is not doing it at the moment (will he ever do it?). We can't carry passengers and we need to get the best available players out on the pitch. The same goes, of course, for Aubameyang and for Lacazette although I would start with both and have Nketia on the bench as I believe he can be an impact substitute. Pepe should also start, he is bound to play better than Willian, but only because Saka needs to be rested. 

Arteta may think about changing the formation to make it more offensive if we need to chase the game or score the winning goal, by getting Willock on the pitch (as well as Saka and Nketia). He can go to a 4 2 3 1 formation taking one of the 3 central defenders out and placing Willock in the middle of the 3 as a number 10.

Do all the above and the score will be Leeds 1 Arsenal 3.


Holding Gabriel Tierney 

Bellerin Ceballos Xhaka AMN

Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang

Thursday, October 01, 2020

How will Arteta fit Aouar in the starting 11?

By 1970's Gooner

It has been argued that Aouar is the missing link in Arteta's Arsenal revolution. He is the player that will provide the creative spark in the middle of the park that is apparently missing. He has also been touted as the equivalent of what K.D. Bruyne is to Man City.

However if he does eventually come to Arsenal and Arteta gives him a place in the starting 11 then this has implications primarily for Ceballos who is the more creative player currently in the squad. 

Furthermore Aouar does not really have a defensive element in his armoury. He is more like an Eden Hazard in built and technical skills which should excite us gooners no end.

However this implies that Arteta can either keep the same formation of 3 4 3 and have one pure holding player in front of the defence with Aouar given a free license to roam or he may have to change formation in order to accommodate him and keep some solidity.

This formation will probably be a 4 2 3 1 where he will play as a number 10 when Arsenal are on the offensive. This will allow for retaining the two more defensive midfielders in front of the defence and add a more offensive nature in the team. 


Bellerin  Luiz  Gabriel  Tierney

Elneny Xhaka

Saka  Aouar Aubameyang


(I personally think that Willian needs to be dropped as he has been awful in the last two games).

It does however mean that there will be less cover in defence with a flat four. This can be compensated by one of the defensive midfielders dropping in the back four when we are defending and by at least one of the full backs staying behind when we are attacking. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Revealed: How Arteta will teak his tactics and formation to fit Willian in

 By 1970's Gooner

A lot of journalists and of course fans have been wondering how Willian will fit in in an Arsenal side which, offensively wise, has finished the season pretty well, beating among others Manchester City in the semi and Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

In those games Pepe has shown improvement in both his attacking displays playing out on the right wing of a three pronged attack in a 3 4 3 formation and also attending to his defensive duties with diligence.

But if we assume that all of Arsenal's first and second choice attacking players are kept on the books for the coming season then Pepe would be the most likely choice to make way IF Arteta does decide that he will choose Willian as a first choice over Pepe. 

But in my opinion Arteta will tend to use Willian in a variety of ways.

Firstly, in a 3 4 3 system he will keep Aubameyang on the left side as he has shown how effective he can be from there coming in towards the middle. Lacazette will be dropping slightly back to receive the ball and distribute it forwards as he has done so well this season. So under such a system Willian will be in direct competition with Pepe and whoever is injured or lacking in form will be on the bench. In this way the one can be a substitute for the other late in the game.

But another way that Arteta can fit Willian in is by changing his formation to a 4 2 3 1 system where Aubameyang, Willian and Pepe will be the 3 and Lacazette up front. In this way Willian will play a more central attacking role adding his positive, forward dribbling and running game and feeding the other three the through balls required.

I can see this formation being used much more often in the coming season especially at home against opposition that may sit back and thus require us to use creativeness, imagination and direct dribbling to unlock them. 

Indeed Arteta can start a game with a 3 4 3 system and if he needs to push the team more forward to change the game in order to equalise or get the winner he can move to a more offensive 4 2 3 1. Alternatively if he starts with the 4 2 3 1 system he can revert to the 3 4 3 if he needs to hold a score and see the game out.

Thus Willian will offer Arteta something more than the much needed experience, guile and forward thrust.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Are Arsenal a mid table team?

By 1970's Gooner

There were two main problems that contributed to the defeat against Man City. 

The first was that Arteta decided to play a very young and inexperienced side which was not able to contain the City players especially De Bruine. 

This was very evident in the middle of the park where Guendouzi, Willock and Ceballos were simply not good enough. Xhaka may have made a difference but not a significant one in my opinion. 

In attack Nketiah and Saka were unable to make inroads but you could say they were not supported by the midfield who were running around chasing the much more agile and mobile City players.

The second was that the team were carrying two players who were not even trying and looked disinterested throughout. And they were experienced players who were supposed to show the way and support the youngsters. 

Luiz was as awful as he was in the Brentford game (no wonder Arteta started without him). Aubameyang was really somewhere else. Can you imagine how awful our midfield would have been if Ozil was also playing?

No wonder we got the customary 3 0 thrashing that a mid table team would customarily get from City. Unless there is a significant amount of money invested in the team esp in defence we will remain a mid table team. Just like most of Kroenke's franchises in the USA.

There were two bright spots however. Leno is really growing in stature and was immense. We are likely to loose him albeit for a lot more money than we paid for him. The other is Tierney who will, I think, be a huge success at Arsenal. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Arsenal are likely to penny pinch again

By 1970's Gooner

Arsenal are likely to curtail their transfer budget for the up coming transfer window whenever that may come of course.

It is a fact that Aubameyang is refusing to sign an extension to his contract. This means that he is likely to see how this season ends and if Arsenal do not qualify for the CL, as seems probable, will look to move elsewhere. 

Arsenal cannot allow his contract to run out during his final season as the amount of transfer money to be obtained will be that much smaller. So selling the player at the end of this season looks very likely. The transfer money will also be a lot less as the coronavirus effect on match takings and commercial sales begin to take their toll on all the clubs.

What does this mean? The next transfer budget will be a lot smaller and will most probably be a proportion of the transfer money for Aubameyang.

The emphasis is likely to be shifted to improving the performance of the existing squad in the main and promoting the promising youngsters from the youth academy. Something that Wenger pursued during the difficult, financially speaking, years for the building and paying for the Emirates.

Players like Martinelli will get more chances to prove himself alongside Lacazette for example. Others like Willock, Maitland Niles, Guendouzi, Nelson, Smith Row, Nketiah and of course Pepe will get extended runs. Saliba will be also arriving as well as Pablo Mari and Cedric who are likely to stay.

Some may call it penny pinching. But it looks inevitable.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The four options for right back and Arterta's likely choice

By 1970's Gooner

Arsenal players and coaching staff are gearing up for the Brighton away game. The postponement of the City game has provided a further respite for players with niggling injuries such as Bellerin who has been suffering lately and also Cedric who is now back into full training.

Arteta has four options for the right back position if you add Maitland Niles on the list. 

I don't really think however that he will be selected for this game as he hasn't been in Arteta's game squads recently. It seems that Arteta is not convinced that he is showing the right attitude in training to really challenge for this position.

This is what Arteta said about his situation:
"Ainsley needs to put his head down, work hard and show me every day in training he wants it more than anybody else and that he wants to play for this club and fight for his place." 

The other option is to blood in Cedric for his Arsenal debut. I don't think however that Arteta will do so as Cedric is only now back in full training and he may want to improve his match fitness especially in U23s games.

Bellerin would be the best option of course but he has had his problems since returning from his long term injury.  Arteta said: "Hector has been having some discomfort for a few months, he has been trying to deal with it all the time, his attitude to try and play and be available has been great and there is nothing new."

This leaves Socrates as the only viable option at the moment who has been doing ok at this position although he does lack pace when faced with a fast winger.

As a result Pablo Maris would get another run at centre back alongside Luiz.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

I blame Arteta not Mustafi

By The Coach,

Mustafi is a walking disaster. Everyone knows that except Arteta. Hasn't he seen any of Arsenals games last season? Hasn't he realised that this man is a huge liability to put on the pitch?

If Socratis wasn't available, which I don't know if he was, then why oh why hasn't he put in Holding?

For crying out loud Mustafi should be got rid off not starting an away game at Chelsea.

Arteta's judgement I am beginning to doubt.....

Friday, November 29, 2019

The four surprise managers that are right for Arsenal

By the Coach

Now that belatedly the Board got their finger out and sacked Emery everyone's attention has turned on who will be the next manager.

In my opinion the team is suffering from the ill advised acquisitions during the summer transfer window. It was so obvious that the team needed defensive reinforcements as a matter of urgency but a whopping 72 million was spent on a forward rather than a defender!

Now we are paying the price as I consider that 4th spot is already most probably out of reach.

The manager that this team needs is one who can communicate (in English), reinvigorate but most importantly organise the players to achieve the correct balance between attack and defence. Neither Emery nor his predecessor (in his latter years at the club) could manage this and they paid the price.

The new manager that the Board should pursue should be one of the following, in order of priority:


Doubtful if he would come to Arsenal especially so soon after leaving Spurs but he proved he has the attributes to take on the Arsenal project over a period of time and put it on a sound footing by good coaching, correct tactics and promoting the youth.


He should have been appointed in the first place ahead of Emery and he was available at the time. He will have the respect of the players through his excellent experience and achievements. He is also a good tactician and organiser as his two games against Liverpool in the CL have proved (one win and a draw). Surprisingly his salary at Napoli is about the same as Emery's 5.27m!

Chis Wilder

I am very impressed with the work rate he gets out of his players, his tactical awareness and correct substitutions but most importantly how he managed to strike the most correct balance between attack and defence that I have witnessed in the many many years of watching PL football. 


He is currently in China earning a lot of dough but he still is based in England so a return cannot be ruled out. He is an organiser and a tactician and combines conservatism and offensive play in equal measure. The way he managed to turn Chelsea's fortunes round when he took over mid season was impressive so was his achievement of keeping Newcastle in the PL with no significant investment by the owner and with mediocre players.

Anyone of these four will be right for Arsenal and I hope that the Board get their act together and pay the money that will attract a manager of the calibre that Arsenal and its supporters deserve.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Keep 3 at the back but tweak the rest of the formation

By 1970's Gooner

A lot has been written on this and a lot of other blogs with regard to Emery's ineptitude to take Arsenal forward and into the top 4. This coming run, of what is considered a set of relatively easier fixtures, against Southampton, Norwich, Brighton and West Ham should tell us and more importantly the Arsenal hierarchy whether Emery should be relieved of his duties.

We should all however get behind the team and give them all the encouragement they need to regain their confidence and begin to carve a way forward towards the top 4.

For the Soton game coming up I would keep the 3 at the back as this gives the team a much better defensive cover but I would certainly not play Aubameyang and Lacazette on the wings as Emery bizarrely chose to do against Leicester (with Ozil playing as a false number 9 on occasion).

The formation should be 3 4 1 2.

The 3 at the back should be Chambers on the right side, Luiz or Socratis ( I would choose Socratis) in the middle and Holding on the left.

Bellerin and Tierney would be my choice for the wing backs. 

Guendouzi and Torreira should be the cover in front of the back 3. Pray that Emery doesn't start Xhaka.

In the absence of any other creative midfielder I would start Ozil behind the two front players of Aubameyang and Lacazette. They should play close together as in an old fashioned pairing of twin centre forwards. This will bring the best out of them as they seem to be so in tune to each other but it will also allow our wing backs the room to roam forward.

Overall the philosophy of the game plan should be to take the game to Soton and play on the front foot higher up the pitch. There is no more room for conservativism as we have to make up the points we have fallen behind the teams in front of us. 


    Chambers  Socratis  Holding

Bellerin  Torreira  Guendouzi Tierney


Lacazette   Aubameyang

Prediction: Arsenal 3 Southampton 1

Sunday, November 03, 2019

To the Arsenal hierarchy: Sacrifice a few million to have a real chance of getting 60m.

By 1970's Gooner

Sacrifice a few million to have a real chance of getting 60m. That's the decision that the Arsenal hierarchy are now faced with. 

It's obvious now that Emery is not good enough to take this club forward. The dreadful form of the tail end of last season, which included a drubbing in the Europa League final, has predictably carried on this season. 

Emery himself has proved totally inept to manage the strong squad that has been assembled for him and has not established a style of play that we can identify with. Hell, he had around 15 months to sort out the defensive efficiency of the team but has achieved f... all. 

He has not shown strong leadership in the (non) selection of an inadequate captain (and player) and while declaring that his freezing of Ozil was an agreed action by all at the Arsenal implying that Ozil will be history, he makes a U turn and installs him in the starting 11!!!

This shows that he doesn't know what he is doing both off an on the field.

Take the game against Wolves as another example. A series of errors unfolded in front of us...

First the formation and starting 11.

What was it? Can you really understand what he had in mind? He played Torreira as a number 10!!!! And he had both Ceballos AND Ozil in midfield who are both creative players alongside Guenduzi who himself is not really a defensively minded player! 

This left no protection for the defence and allowed Wolves to boss the game in large parts of the encounter. They had 25 shots on goal to our 10. 25 shots on goal and we were playing at home.
This is criminal.

But the worse of it all his substitutions left everyone bewildered. 

At 60 min he brings off Lacazette who was having a good game and keeping them pegged back and brings on Martinelli. At 60 min! And we were comfortable up to then. There was no need to make that substitution but the result was that it further unbalanced and disoriented the team.

Then instead of bringing Torreira back to shield the defence he took him off! And put on Saka! who initially went in the number 10 position and then shifted to the left. What a pathetic substitution.

And when they equalised and we should have been looking to score the winner he takes off Tierney and brings on not Pepe but.....wait for it, Kolasinac...

Enough said the man has to go. And assuming he is on 6 m a year with a two year plus one contract then it will only cost Arsenal FC about 3m to get rid and say another extra 6m for the rest of the year if we are to get a top coach. Because Arsenal and its fans who pay top money to watch this rubbish deserve a top coach of this type of salary, not a mediocre one.