Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, September 20, 2021

The negatives from the Burnley win

 By 1970's Gooner

It's funny how a victorious outcome in a difficult away game tends to make a lot of people kind of overlook those aspects of the game that didn't go quite well. And there were some significant ones.

The defence was immense but you've got to question Ben White's display especially in the second half when we were bombarded with high balls and Burnley pushed further up the field. Ben also looked nervous when confronted one on one way before he made that back pass. Arteta will have to work  with him during this week mainly on boosting his confidence because our defence will be put under a lot of pressure, albeit of a different kind, against Spurs.

One cannot overlook also how below par the performance of the front three was which is in direct contrast to how well Arsenal played defensively and in the middle of the park where Odergaard and Partey were supreme. The front three lacked cohesion and didn't play with each other as a unit. Passes were often astray or the wrong option was chosen especially when counterattacking as Burnley left gaps at the back.

Saka has not been at his best this season so far and he will need to up his game for next Sunday's derby. 

Pepe who has improved a lot this season showed how he added combativeness to his game often tracking back and stealing balls from the opponents. However his decision making and calmness on the ball needs to improve. 

Aubameyang, although he was a willing runner and a player who needed but did not get the proper service has not recovered his form of yesteryear and I, as well as probably a lot of you, fear whether he will. But this is a debate for the next summer transfer window....

Arteta not only needs to get the tactics and team selection right for the derby (I hope he doesn't bring back Xhaka) he also needs to get his front three to raise their game and play together as a unit.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Get the cheque book out again Mr Kroenke

 By 1970's Gooner

I've said it before and I will say it again. Odegaard is the man to go for and if need be splash the cash to get him. He is needed more than Ben White who will bolster a defence which was in any case one of the better defences in the League last season.

What Arsenal really need is more creativeness and in Odegaard that is in abundance as was so evidently proven when he arrived on loan for the second half of last season. That's when results started to get a lot better.

Now that Real is willing to listen to offers I believe that Edu should strike early and convince Mr Kroenke to get the cheque book out.

Judging by his technical ability and his young age (22) anything up to 40m is a fair price to pay and one I think Real would accept.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

If you can't get this player then stick with what you've got

 By 1970's Gooner

If you are to believe the papers Arsenal are out of the race to sign creative midfielder Buendia having initially bid 30m. This would have probably risen to around 40m if negotiations had been given a chance to take place. Aston Villa seem to have won that race.

During his loan spell Martin Odegaard has obviously been first choice by Arsenal and rightly so. He has assimilated wonderfully in the team and the way they play. He has also shown those qualities that are ideal for a player in that number 10 position. 

Ability to hold onto the ball, creativeness in his passing, leadership, goal threat and a real work rate to press and close spaces off the ball. I believe he has the potential to easily surpass Ozil who was only very good for the first two of the attributes described above.

For these reasons I believe that Arsenal should concentrate the financial resources available to make an offer that Real will have difficulty in refusing. Remember the player is only 22 and his resale value will easily recoup any initial outlay Arsenal can make.

Now if Real are not willing to sell the player then I doubt if there is another player that will offer what Odegaard has shown. In this case Arsenal should bring Willock back to the fold and give him and Smith Row a real chance to show what they can offer on a consistent basis.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

This is where Saka should play against Slavia

 By 1970s Gooner

Arteta should resist the temptation to start Saka in a left back or left wing back position. 

Firstly he is so much more effective playing on the right wing in a 4 3 2 1 formation. He pushes the team forward with his runs and he also provides a real goal threat.

Secondly in order for Saka to be effective playing in Tierney's place, Arteta may need to revert to a 3 4 3 formation which would allow Saka to bomb forward.

However this means changing to a system that the players have become unaccustomed to which may create problems with the effectiveness of the team as a whole.

And lastly Slavia are likely to adopt a more conservative  approach as they did very effectively against Leicester and Rangers. So when they do attack on the counter you need proper defenders to defend. 

You will also need your creative players playing up front so that a maximum number of goal opportunities can emerge.


Chambers Holding Mari Cedric

Partey Xhaka

Saka Odegaard Smith Row


Yes please drop Aubameyang Mikel. And when Lacazette begins to tire bring on Martinelli as a centre forward.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Arsenal's venue for 'home' leg in the Europa League finally set

 By 1970's Gooner

As reported first on this site a few days ago Arsenal's home leg against Benfica which was to be hosted in Athens came into serious question due to the lock down imposed by the Greek government.

Well it now seems that after a lot of comings and goings Uefa are due to announce that Athens will indeed be the venue of this fixture!

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Arsenal's return leg in the Europa League unlikely to be held in Athens

 By 1970's Gooner

Uefa are now searching for new venues which would be eligible to hold Arsenal's "home' return leg as the Athens solution is unlikely to be available. 

This is because the Government of Greece has announced  today Tuesday that a lock down will be imposed on the Attika area, which includes Athens, until the end of February.

Friday, January 15, 2021

The four almost out of the box alternatives for Tierney's place

 By 1970's Gooner

It doesn't look like Tierney will be available for Monday's game against Newcastle. The fact that he has gone for an MRI implies that his injury might be a more serious one than at first thought of. And even if the MRI comes up clean Arteta should and probably will rest him for this game just to make sure.

So he has to consider what alternatives he has available as, with the loan departure of Colasinac, there is no recognised left back in the squad that could step in.

1. Saka

The young man has played there before, originally under Emery and for Arteta too, and he didn't disappoint. He is versatile enough to carry out his duties adequately and to bomb forward trying to create in the other end. He will have the space to do so as it is anticipated that Bruce is very likely to adopt similar tactics as he did in the cup game.

Arteta can compensate for Saka's absence from the attack by bringing back the fit again Martinelli to play on the right wing. This option will have the added bonus of Willian and Pepe sitting out as I think they don't deserve a chance to start. Lets hope that Arteta is not stupid enough to start either of them.

2. Xhaka

I bet you are surprised by this option but he has also played there before and he did perform ok although his lack of pace might be against him. Nevertheless the very probable inclusion of Partey in the starting line up against Newcastle will displace one of Xhaka and Ceballos so a midfield pairing of Partey and the more creative Ceballos might be the way forward. Especially when taking into consideration that creativeness is what is lacking recently when playing teams with a low block.

This option will allow Arteta to select Saka in a more forward role where he is more effective. In this scenario I would like to still see Martinelli start and either Aubameyang or Lacazette dropping out. Let's face it, neither did enough to warrant a place in the starting line up especially Aubameyang who has been off colour for 17 of the 18 games that Arsenal have played so far.

And may I remind you that in the fantastic win over Chelsea it was a front three of Martinelli, Lacazette and Saka that started and this is what I would recommend Arteta to select if he wants to win the game. A sure way to get the sack would be to select players that are simply not performing, like Willian, Pepe and Aubameyang. This team is not yet that strong to carry one passenger let alone two or even three..

3. Soares

Yes he is a right back but if needs be he should be able to fill in as a left back. The advantage here is that he is a defender so from this point if view he is experienced enough to keep a tight defensive line and defend properly any attackers coming his way. It also allows Arteta to freely choose the rest of the team without dragging someone from other areas of the pitch.

4. AMN

This would be the option that Arteta will choose I feel. He looked rusty against Palace as he hasn't played recently which is understandable. He will be given specific training and instructions to get into forward positions and improve his deliveries something which didn't happen often enough.

My preferred team:


Bellerin Holding Luiz AMN

Partey Ceballos

Saka ESR Martinelli


Arteta's probable selection: 


Bellerin Holding Luiz AMN

Partey   Xhaka

Saka ESR Aubameyang


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.