Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arteta is not likely to start Jorginho today

 By 1970s Gooner 

Arteta is not likely to start Jorginho today as has been mooted in the press. 

This is because if he does then Rice will have to play further on the left which deprives the team of a more creative midfielder that will be needed to break down the most likely tactic to be adopted by Newcastle. That of a mid block just as Porto did.

It also deprives the team of a sitting midfielder adept at negating the counter attacks that Newcastle will deploy as part of their plan to hurt us. And Rice is the one to do that and not Jorginho. 

One of the options that Arteta can try to overcome a more defensive approach from the opponents is to on occasion try to bypass the midfield and play the longer ball to someone like Havertz. He can create promising situations nearer their area just as he did against City or get his head on crosses in the six yard box.

So I would expect that Havertz will start up front if Jesus is unavailable which I expect he will be. 

Which leaves us with a choice to make for the left side midfielder. And imo he will be Emil Smith Row who is fit and will be able to provide creativity and incisive passes in the box much better than Vieira who hasn't played a competitive game for a few months. 

Trossard could play there or indeed in place of Martinelli but his performance against Porto left a lot to be desired which is often the case with him: one good game one not so good.


White Saliba Gabriel Kiwior 

Odegaard Rice EMR

Saka Havertz Martinelli 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The first 11 for Burnley and is the squad strong?

 By 1970s Gooner 

Arteta never gives anything away during his press conferences. Especially with regard to the availability of players. So you are not sure what kind of team he will produce.

However I doubt if he will give starts to any of the players that have recently been sidelined. This is because even if they are finally ready to contribute he will likely leave them on the bench to make sure that their longer term availability is not jeopardised. 

This is because we are now entering the crucial run in period of the premier league season and of course the Champions League. And the availability of players like Jesus, Zinchenko, Tomiyasu, Emil Smith Row, Vieira and Partey could prove to be significant in achieving the success we all are craving for. 

Wow. What a fantastic list of missing persons we've got! Who says that Arsenal's squad is thin. But is it really?

No problem about our goalkeepers right? Raya is proving a top signing after his initial wobbles. 

Centre backs ? Yes Saliba and Gabriel are top players and hard to replace but I consider Ben White in particular as a very competent deputy with the now fit Tomiyasu ready to slot in at right back if need be.

Don't forget that Kiwior is a centre back after all now playing at left back. He seems to be unsure of his role there but beginning to get used to it. 

Left back? We have Zinchenko, Tomiyasu and Kiwior. 

Central midfield? With the soon to be added Partey we have Rice and jorghino. Very strong.

Left and right midfielders? Havertz, Emil Smith Row, Trossard and Odergaard.

Forwards? We have four very good forwards in Saka, Martinelli, Jesus and Trossard for three places. But Jesus and Trossard can replace either of Saka and Martinelli and Havertz can play the false 9 as well as Trossard! The stand ins I consider not as strong eg Nketiah and Nelson.

Nevertheless with all the returning players I believe we are ready to go on a run deep into both competitions we are involved and maybe win one.

Let's make it five in a row by not underestimating Burnley today.


White Saliba Gabriel Kiwior 

Odegaard Rice Havertz 

Saka Trossard Martinelli 

Friday, December 29, 2023

The major issues Arteta has to correct for the game at Fulham

 By the Coach

The first and most important major issue is the drop off in performance from the front three. 

This has been building up recently but it became very evident against Villa, Liverpool and now the very disappointing defeat at home against West Ham.

All three forwards are below their best especially Martinelli who seems to be shorn of the confidence he has so wonderfully shown last season in particular.

Saka is also below par, nowhere his best. A lot has to do with the two pronged defence that is usually employed by the opposition. 

Saka's effectiveness is also impaired when White's overlaps are nowhere to be seen. But they are very effective because it drags one of the two defenders out of position and gives Saka a fair chance to take his defender on. 

Or White can cross the ball from a dangerous position as he did for the header that Jesus missed. 

Jesus keeps missing very good chances and I wonder how long he can keep his place in the team if he carries on like this.

I consider that Martinelli has to be rested for the Fulham game and either play Trossard there or even give Riece Nelson a chance. Alternatively Arteta might consider playing Trossard as a false 9 and deploy Jesus on the wing.

This might prove to be a more interesting option as Trossard's movement may help drag defenders out of position and create spaces to be exploited. Trossard and Jesus may also swap positions which may create more confusion. 

The second major issue in my mind is the slow built up after we get control of the ball. 

What has been very apparent this season is the unwillingness of our defenders and midfielders to get the ball to the forwards, especially to the wide players, quickly.

We seem to amble along moving the ball forward but slowly. This unwillingness to play a fast paced game gives the opportunity to the opponents to return to their positions in their low block formation and maintain their structure, which includes of course doubling up on our wingers.

Let's change that please.

And the third issue is that we rarely take shots from outside the area. How many did we have against West Ham? Three I can remember.  

But we have to give the opposition something else to worry about other than trying  to create intricate patterns with short passes inside a very congested penalty area.  They might come out of position to prevent that happening. 

Or you never know we might even score!

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Raya at fault for the Newcastle goal

By 1970s Gooner 

OK you can say Gabriel should gave cleared the ball but he completely missed it. 

Then you can say that the ball went out and it did but the idiots at the VAR couldn't be sure about it.

And then you can say that when the ball rolled down Joellington's knee the goalscorer was offside...

All decisions unfortunately went against us.

But really how can you excuse Raya for not collecting that ball from Willock. He was once again out of position and just flapped at it.

He has cost us 2 points against Chelsea again with his wrong positioning and now another 3 today.


Friday, November 03, 2023

Now is the time to introduce the most effective left sided midfielder Arsenal have

 By 1970s Gooner

I hope that Arteta does not repeat, for the game at Newcastle, the same mistake he made against Chelsea by playing Jorghino at the base of Arsenal's midfield as a number 6.

He himself admitted afterwards that when he replaced jorghino with Rice the team had better control of the game and were able to play higher up the pitch.

Jorghino cannot carry out that role effectively especially against teams that play a dynamic and pressing game based on power and strength as Newcastle do.

We must also take into account that Jorginho played against West Ham on Wednesday night in what proved to be a very demanding game.

Now if Rice is to start in the base of midfield for Saturday's game in place of Jorghino then who can play on the left side of midfield. 

I most certainly would not advocate Vieira nor Havertz as neither can play that role efficiently enough as we have all seen in the games they have participated in.

Emil Smith Row could definitely grow into that role but he is ofcourse unavailable. 

In my opinion Arteta should start Tomiyasu as a left back and push the most gifted left sided player Arsenal have, Zinchenko, to the left side of midfield. 

Zinchenko struggles as a defender but he can be very good on the left side of midfield which is his natural position anyway both with and without the ball. I consider him to be a similar player as Xhaka and certainly to be as efficient. 

This adjustment will allow Arteta to play Rice in the base of midfield where, in the absence of Partey, he is most effective and improve the balance of the team considerably.

My team:


White Saliba Gabriel Tomiyasu 

Odegaard Rice Zinchenko 

Saka Enketiah Martinelli 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

The main reason that Arsenal were not at the races vs Chelsea

 By 1970s Gooner 

Arsenal lacked control for 76 or so minutes in the game against Chelsea. The main reason for this was the deployment of Jorginho at the base of midfield. 

This meant that Rice was moved into the Xhaka role on the left. Also Zinchenko's invertion into midfield was not that apparent as he had to content with the threatening runs of Sterling on that side.

Chelsea on the other hand played with a false 9 in Palmer which meant that in their half block they had one if not more players in the middle than Arsenal. 

More importantly Jorginho was not at the races himself as he was not able to provide a decent defensive barrier nor was he able to pass the ball forward that often preferring to pass sideways or backwards.

All this  was corrected when Jorginho was substituted and Rice was moved in the anchor position.

It appears that Arteta had overestimated Jorginho's ability to control the game by repeating his fine performance vs City. He didn't of course. 

Now why Arteta didn't start Partey there is beyond me and many many Arsenal supporters.

If Arteta felt that Partey was too tired from his travels to the USA then he could have started Rice as the number 6 and brought Zinchenko as the left sided midfielder with Tomiyasu at left back.

Now that's an idea...

Even Karl Hein was worried

 By 1970s Gooner 

Even Karl Hein was worried. Raya was having such an awful game against Chelsea that poor boy, Karl I mean, was beginning to contemplate that Arteta would do what he bizarrely threatened he was capable of doing. And that is to substitute the goalkeeper midway through a match!

Honestly Arteta is loosing the plot if he thinks that Raya is a better goalkeeper than Ramsdale or even if he is better at passing the ball with his feet.

He is not.

He conceded Chelsea's second goal by his wrong positioning. This was a goal that gave Chelsea renewed belief and sunk the Arsenal players confidence.

Yet if you remember Raya committed just the same mistake against Spurs. He was out of position for a high ball from the side which luckily hit the bar. And from the same phase a great chance was created by spurs which he did well to save ( his blushes).

Take the Lens CL game. His ill advised long diagonal pass to Tomiyasu was easily intercepted and resulted in their equaliser during a period which we were gaining control of the game having gone ahead.

And what about the Man City game. He was a bunch of nerves full of anxiety and got his passing all wrong. We were very lucky we didn't concede in those crucial early stages of the game.

Surely Ramsdale comes in goal for the Seville game and deserves a run in the team.


Thursday, October 05, 2023

Partey ready for City game?

 By 1970s Gooner

Partey's participation in Sunday's game against Man City can be considered crucial in maximising Arsenal's chances of winning the game and leapfrogging their rivals in the table.

He has been in full training since last week and was on the bench for the Lens game. This shows that he is ready to help the team. Its up to the doctors and Arteta whether to start him or bring him on later in the game.

But the only reason to bring him on as a sub is if you are trying to hold onto a result. If he starts from the off he will be able to provide that extra strength and stability in midfield alongside Declan Rice. 

There's another significant benefit to be derived from his participation in the game and that is that as a result Havertz will probably start from the bench. A significantly positive change in my opinion increasing Arsenal's efficiency levels overall.

And funnily enough our draw and subsequent victory on penalties against City in the charity shield was based on the same midfield of Partey, Rice and Odegaard. 

Our starting 11 for that day was :


White Saliba Gabriel Timber

Partey Rice Odegaard 

Saka  Havertz Martinelli 

Our front three are likely to be different on Sunday and the absence of Saka and Martinelli in particular didiminishes Arsenal's attacking threat significantly. Remember these two players scored 29 goals between them last season as well as assisting 17 times.

As a result Arsenal's ability to keep the ball in the attacking third for long periods of time is likely to be jeopardised. And that is another reason why Partey can help provide a strong shield in midfield.

My starting 11 for Sunday would be:


White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko 

Partey Rice Odegaard 

Jesus Nketiah Trossard 

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

In the absence of Saka the starting 11 to face Man City

 By 1970s Gooner 

What was obvious to everyone except Arteta has happened. It was so apparent that Saka needed a rest but Arteta obviously thinks that he is so important to this team he ought to play even on one leg! 

Well it's now very unlikely in my opinion that Saka will be able or allowed to start on Sunday. 

Given that Martinelli has not trained at all yet with the team shows that even if he is declared physically fit he most certainly will not be match fit either.

Just like Trossard was against Lens where he wasn't able to affect the game and fluffed the great chance he had to score.

I would start him on Sunday however and hope that he has gained some sharpness from last night's game.

Just to mention also that Arteta's substitutions came late last night and this is also another area he has to improve on. It was fairly obvious that Lens had started to gain ground about 10 minutes before they scored their second and that was when some substitutions should have been made to steady the ship.

It's now a new game on Sunday and there are two weaknesses that have to be addressed. 

The first one is the openness of our left hand side where Zinchenko's inversion into midfield leaves a gap which Lens did exploit and Man City surely will. Especially since Havertz does not have the skills nor is he really adept at falling back to cover for that side unlike Xhaka used to.

So in the starting 11 consideration should be given for Partey to start which will add more steel in our midfield and allow Rice to play more to the left to provide the necessary cover.

Partey was on the bench against Lens and has trained with the team so I think he can start on Sunday. Remember he was playing the last time we played against City in the charity shield.

If Partey is not fit to start then Arteta may think a little bit out of the box and bring in midfield Zinchenko and start Tomiyasou at left back. This arrangement looks promising to me.

The other weakness was on our right side where White was benched against Lens but Tomiyasu was not able to be as offensive as White can. White has to return of course.

And lastly who replaces Saka? Well Arteta has two options. One is to bring back Nketiah in the middle and play Jesus on the right side (last time he played on the left). And the other is to give Nelson a chance as I don't consider Smith Row to be able to play that role and I would certainly not play Vieira there as that's not his position really.

Ramsdale should start but Arteta will probably start Raya..


White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko 

Odegaard Partey Rice

Jesus  Nketiah Trossard

Alternative 11


White Saliba Gabriel Tomiyasou 

Odegaard Rice Zinchenko 

Jesus Nketiah Trossard

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Arteta's lost the plot

 By 1970s Gooner 

There are four reasons why I believe Arteta has lost the plot.

The first one is his obsession to tinker with something that wasn't broke. In fact it was working smashingly well last season until injuries, squad depth and inexperience of a young team took its toll.

His tinkering has confused the Arsenal players as was so evident with choosing a midfield player to play as an inverted right back. Fulham's first goal came about from Partey ignoring or not being aware that Saka was under pressure and rushed to position himself in midfield leaving a huge gap behind.

Furthermore Arteta has removed White from right back which had the knock on effect of depriving Saka the excellent relationship he had with White. This was a major reason last season which unlocked the spaces behind the two defenders who are usually assigned to stop Saka.

Secondly amidst all this tinkering he insists on starting Havertz in every game when it is blatantly obvious that the boy is not delivering. He can not mark well, link with Martinelli nor score. WHAT CAN HE DO?

Start Trossard there, ESR, Vieira or better still DROP him and play Rice there. He can do the job for sure.

Thirdly why did he have to go with a false number nine? Especially with all the confusion created with all the tinkering in the rest of the team. Start Nketiah there for all of our sake. He has proved that he is up for it.


Dropping points like this and insisting on carrying on with this tinkering will mean that we are now out of the title race unless City hand it to us.

Your target now has to be to finish in the top 5.

This is what has to be done:

1. Reinstate Gabriel in defence and White at right back 

2. Drop Havertz and play Partey, Rice and Odegaard in midfield

3. Give Nketiah a run he will score goals for you

4. STOP TINKERING, you and this squad is not that experienced to copy Pep and his tinkering.