A Trip To The Chicken Farm.

It’s North London derby day with Arsenal making the short trip up Seven Sisters to play Tottenham Hotspur; both sides will hope to boost their chances of a top-six finish in the Premier League standings.
When these teams met in the reverse fixture back in September, the Gunners came from two goals down to draw 2-2. Then Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino were in opposing dugouts, now both clubs are in a transition period under Mikel Arteta and José Mourinho respectively.
Good day one and all.
For all intents and purpose, the midweek result against Leicester City took us out of the running for Champions League football. But also, to be fair to Mikel it wasn’t really that result, nor the one at Brighton, our problems go a lot further back than that. He came in mid-season, with the team directionless, to do a repair job and emboss a playing style ahead of the new season.
From the table  below (updated to just before this game week) it can be seen that under Mikel we are doing as well as expected and disappointment at our current league position shouldn’t pause the feel-good factor that has returned to the Emirates Stadium.
Be that as it may, the season is not lost yet. We can still salvage it by qualifying for next season’s Europa League.
After losing the initial two games following the restart, the Gunners show signs that they have found their rhythm since, winning three league games on the bounce without conceding, before the 1-1 draw against the Foxes having played with 10 men. Across all competitions we are currently on an unbeaten run of 5 games and will be keen to extend the current upturn in form.
Conversely, Spurs come into this game on the back of a 0-0 draw at relegation-threatened Bournemouth, without registering a single a shot on target.
They do have recent home wins against West Ham United and Everton, but also those are their only two victories in 11 matches stretching back to mid-February. It is this that has led to José Mourinho facing criticism for his approach to games.
That said, Mikel wouldn’t make the mistake to underestimate our bitter rivals. They got three clean sheets in their last four games, and if Mourinho can just find a way to get the most out of his attacking talent they can still recover their season.
Team news
Notable absentees for Spurs will be Eric Dier, who has been hit with a four-match ban for confronting a spectator. Also Dele Alli is reported to be ruled-out, having already missed the last two games.
For Arsenal there’s no new injuries from our last game, however, Eddie Nkeitah is suspended for three matches following a red card midweek.
Otherwise, Mikel is likely to go with a very similar starting XI from our previous game, with Nicolas Pépé having to wait a bit longer as Bukayo Saka impressed once again.
Look, these two teams may have revised their aims regarding their expectations for this season but this is still the North London derby, so the usual flames that come with such a storied-rivalry shouldn’t be dampened.
Given the comments by the Gunners’ social media team following Spurs’ defeat at Sheffield United, this has the makings of being an intense, entertaining and very combative affair.
— @LaboGoon

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98 comments on “A Trip To The Chicken Farm.

  1. here is a quiz question for you all

    without looking it up, how many EPL games has Rob Holding played for us in his four seasons with us

    A. 36

    B. 56

    C. 76

    D. 96


  2. Ed, Pepe fits into that Kola thing I mentioned earlier. They seemed to play in such a specific way. I don’t know details of how they defended but in nearly all clips and, I think, in the matches I watched, their attack was based almost entirely on breakaways. They had four really good, fast breakaway players, all young, including Pepe. As well as speed think they were all good technicians so could link at pace. Soak it up, break in a pod with three or four.

    Ikone (very skilful lad), Jonathan Bamba (quick, skilful, butchered by Choudhury at u21 Euros), Pepe and Portuguese striker Leao who Gazidis took to Milan for decent fee.

    The question loomed from off regarding how that fits if we don’t, or can’t if teams sit, play like that.

    You have to believe we thought long and hard about that question before investing so heavily.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. well Rich when Arteta talks about possible signings this summer he does mention it has to be players to fit the system, to fit his vision of how the team will play. So we have to wait and see who gets signed. Arteta says he wanted Mari and Cedric cos they fit the system or way he wants to play


  4. also Rich, Emery said he wanted Zaha but the club bought Pepe instead.


  5. since Arteta became boss Arsenal have dropped 15pts from winning positions, making it 21pts dropped in total, to have even won 10 of those pts and we’d be third


  6. Maybe Arteta is going to have to eat humble pie, as Emery did, and recall Ozil,

    There was plenty of movement up front, just no one to make the pass.

    I dare say people like Mourinho are laughing behind their hands when we leave out the one player who can unlock massed defences like we saw today.

    Mourinho took advantage of Arteta’s inexperience and Arteta kindly obliged.

    He won’t do it every time, and may not have done it today, but not to give him a chance is simply nonsense.

    In truth, we have seen games like that so many times, especially under Wenger. The vulnerability to crosses and quick counter-attacks remains where it was under Wenger and if you add our total inability to create chances, Mourinho could not have believed his luck.

    We.most probably saved his job, at least for a while, with our total ineptitude, from the manager downwards.

    Add to that awful free-kicks and corners, the game was put on a plate for them.

    Cellabos flatters to deceive. He had a lot of the ball, but can anyone recall one really good pass from him?

    By the way, is the “horseshoe” history, now that it has been shown to be as ineffective now as it was under Wenger?

    Am I disappointed? Yes.

    Am I surprised? No.

    Do I care? Perhaps no.

    Will I care next season, if things remain the same? Perhaps, no as well.

    There is something wrong, which started when Emery was appointed and got worse when he was not removed earlier.

    Perhaps Arteta needs to think about what he should be making an issue about and what he should not.

    What we are seeing, I think, is him stamping his authority on the players, which is fine, but not when it affects how we play an make us a laughing stock.


  7. Osman
    Since the restart of the Premier Legaue Arsenal have played 8 matches (7 league & 1 Fa cup) and have scored the first goal in 7 of those games (apart from City) 4 wins, 3 defeats & 1 draw
    Since Arteta took the job Arsenal have played 23 games in all competitions and took the lead in 17 games. 12 wins


  8. Harsh jjgsol, but you are right Arteta and the club need to sort some aspects of our play that have persisted far too long.
    We will finish in a position that should be unacceptable for this club , people from top to bottom should see this season, and last as a wake up call, and be looking at all aspects of this and how to improve things, if they are not, they are unworthy of who came before them


  9. What can we put it down to then, the whole not being good at holding onto leads?

    Today was a stinker of a mistake, Brighton I remember as just being soft.

    That asymmetry I hate so much was there in the last 25 or so today, where if one of their players has it at halfway or even a bit further back you feel a pass will be on to get them right in at us, whereas it’s almost the reverse when we attack, with nothing really on.

    We did look knackered, mind, maybe the crazy schedule happened to hit a number of our players, while their deeper shape, and making the foul every time they could at start of our moves, meant they could conserve energy better.

    I’ve seen Sanchez for them look all over the place before but not the case today and his pace was noticeable and came in handy a number of times. We looked very vulnerable to speed in last part of game.


  10. Interesting moment for me was when Bellerin got in wide first half, Winks (I think) made contact with a grab or push outside box then seemed to take nibble when ball released in box. In reality, not a pen, and Bellerin doing what every player should in making nothing of it.
    But it looked to me like one of those moments our big club rivals all look to create pens from, often successfully. Kane and, I think, Son, both tried a bit of chicanery in that move where Martinez collected low. Kane tried to find a bit of contact with Luiz, then Son did a sort of half dive as falling.

    Point is they are ready, primed and searching at all moments, while we aren’t. It’s a complete unknown what would happen if we join the party, though we can surely expect to find the door shut if we try, but it’s going to remain a huge disadvantage to us, especially in the biggest games.


  11. Not good at holding onto leads…….unfortunately, despite players clearly trying , this has become a feature of this team, for some time, and It gives opponents a hell of a psychological boost, no matter who they are.
    The fact is, without singling out individuals, and compared to those we would wish to compete with, our defending, set pieces and holding onto leads stats will come out pretty poor. And it has been that way for a while. If Arteta doesn’t sort it, it will end his career at this club unfortunately.
    The answer, just learn to fffing defend, lesser teams with lesser resources can, why can’t we? Just drum things in from academy upwards.
    The likelihood is , we will finish below a team recently in league 1 with an old school up and at em English manager. Heads really should roll!
    As for ozil, Artetas comments suggest similarities with what we are led to believe about Guen. If Ozil has to take a wage cut, take a knee or do whatever, I really wish he would for the sake of this team, we need him


  12. Mandy part of the “we just can’t keep a lead” is that we far too often fail to score the goal to make it 2-0 or when we are pegged back to 1-1 we seldom are the ones to take the lead again. today despite not opening them up much, we had very presentable chances, PEA with two fine efforts, one hit the post, the other brought a good save from their keeper, a little better from him and we win, its as Arteta said, narrow margins.

    I watched a few games over the last week and a thing that stood out for me that many other teams do better than AFC is first time shooting. Our guys all seem to want a setting up touch or two, or they want to get in onto their stronger foot. There seems to be a reluctance to just hit it first time, put their foot through it. Think twice today Bellerin had the chance to just let fly first time, he didn’t try either, now PEA did try one in first half from that good Bellerin run, but he air kicked and Tierney did have a first time go from that air kick but shot wide. I think we get a lot of shot blocked due to that extra touch.


  13. Mandy re Ozil I can’t help but wonder if Ozil’s reported refusal to take the pay cut and his absence from the team is down to him feeling let down over the Club’s stance towards him when he brought up the plight of Muslims in China, but now they have no difficulty with the BLM campaign. Also if I was Ozil I would be upset that the club did so little to back him over his German National Team racist claims but now they are only too willing to fight racism.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 45% of the goals Arsenal have conceded this season have come from set pieces – the highest percentage in the Premier League.


  15. jose claimed after the game that their game plan was to stop us out wide, stop our fullbacks, and the passing stats of Bellerin and Tierney might confirm that

    the passing maps for them both show the vast majority of their passes were sideways or backways and nearly all their unsuccessful passes were forward passes

    Bellerin completed 53 of his 60 passes and Tierney completed 34 of 40, so 13% of their combined passes were unsuccessful


  16. Agree on all counts Eduardo, we Don’t hold leads but certainly don’t kill games off, was saying earlier I miss wengers multi goal blitzes that destroyed opponents, and often the PGMOL apart from that bent ref at Newcastle
    Ozil is a conundrum, what you are saying is entirely plausible. He was playing and doing well until lockdown, I am sure the clue lies somewhere there With this cursed virus. It is also possible Arteta may have been told From above to get rid of him for reportedly not taking a wage cut , or maybe other reasons, though I am not sure Arteta would be as pliable to such things as emery was.
    Would love to know Artetas thoughts, I would guess……some of you guys above me caused this situation, now help me resolve it, because if you don’t and I can’t sort it out, doubt if he anyone else can , …….or something along those lines.
    But can see some key players going this summer .
    But I still believe Arteta will come very good, given time, and a level playing field, which I hope our guardian angel in FIFA is working on from afar


  17. The only play I could see from Jose was to foul Pepe at every opportunity, knowing the likelyhood of getting away with that


  18. well mandy if ozil is being frozen out due to not taking a pay cut, then what of the other 3 players who were also reported to not have agreed with it. Who might they be. Sokratis and Holding not getting much of look in since lockdown, Torreira been out injured but it still could be him,
    I don’t think Mesut is being left out due to not taking a pay cut, but some have suggested that he may be due certain bonus payments if he starts another game, but leaving him out for that would only make sense if club was sure he is leaving in the summer. The idea that he is suffering from depression actually makes more sense than any of the other theories being mentioned, several players and ex players have come out recently and spoken about the effects depression had on their careers and their performances. With a global pandemic on running, and the added concerns with a new born baby, and we know Mesut has a compromised immune system, maybe a bout of depression is the reason he is not to be seen anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. just realized that there is only 2 weeks left to this EPL season.


  20. Maybe, and having a compromised immune system, he needs to be pretty careful these days


  21. I have always felt that there have been underlying health issues affecting Özil, maybe physical and mental.
    Arteta did comment on Ozil coming through a difficult period during lockdown.
    Has anyone else noticed how unhappy Bellerín looks when playing these days. I really feel that he is up for a change and reports today seem to echo this.
    I can understand why he can’t wait around for the project to develop but he is an interesting character and has always been a proud wearer of the shirt. I for one would miss his influence on the team and the wider Arsenal community.


  22. Özil is a known quantity and his coaches and teammates have always protected him save for when some idiotic Germans tried to blame him for the loss of their top CBs & CMs.
    Kroos is just nowhere close to old Schweiny, no matter how much better his over inflated ego thinks he is we all saw that WC in 2014.

    Utd are probably still paying off that Contract young Moysie gave to his business partner Rooney.

    If I was a Utd fan I wouldn’t care about the Glazers money. He’d earnt his share anyway. Same as Özil.

    The difference towards the wages both these players earned when past their best as a reward for their efforts on behalf of their clubs is very telling.

    Any denial of prejudice and bigotry on display towards this great player for Arsenal FC is dishonest. And unscientific given what we previously witnessed towards the best football coach any of us will ever see.

    When are we allowed to define sociopathic behaviour as sociopathic?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You can’t tell me Kolasinac and Luiz are better defenders than Monreal and Koscielny, just saying…
    I feel sorry for Arteta.


  24. I mean Özil May have some issues on and off the training pitch (did he have a virus?), but,

    Rooney was dropped for not training by one coach and then rewarded with his new Mega contract by the new coach.

    The difference in coverage of their wages is there for all to acknowledge.

    On top of that, Anyone expecting old tens aged over 31/32 to play or start every PL game really needs to do themselves a favour and pull their heads out from their arsenals. Find another hobby. Do something useful! Just leave the Football alone, give it up! Go play Rugby (Football), learn how to tackle etc.


  25. Essex Gooner

    Minor correction:

    You can’t tell me Kolasinac and Luiz are better defenders than Monreal and a one legged Koscielny.

    It’s hard to go back to crap when you are used to Quality.

    How is Raul still in a job?
    He must have done something to impress Josh?
    Was it spunking £72M on a player who might never be as good as Saka? How they laughed?


  26. just back from walking my two dogs and as I wandered around the country lanes my mind of course had many thoughts on Arsenal and the one thing that I could not escape was that yesterday’s performance and result was not a surprise in the slightest.

    was anyone surprised that

    we needlessly coughed up a shocking goal when in full control

    despite good possession we lacked creativity

    that despite his wonder goal Lacca didn’t have another sight of goal all game

    that PEA contributed little and did not put away any of his 3 big chances, despite two of them going damn close

    that Tierney tired badly after an hour and was subbed

    that kolasinac was poor at passing

    that mustafi despite having a good game for an hour, seemed to lose his legs or his head or both

    that our record signing, Pepe, despite showing flashes of outstanding play, was a bystander for most of the game

    that we conceded from a deadball situation – like 45% of goals this season

    that our opponents got away with a lack of bookings, most notably Winks and Kane

    that Arteta was too late with his subs, it was clear from the hour mark that we had players looking out on their feet, Mustafi and Tierney for example, but his subs were after we went behind on the 80th minute, jeez Wenger used to get slaughtered for his 70th minute subs

    that once we went behind we never looked remotely like we would get another goal

    this movie has played all season, nay its played for several seasons.

    for me a lot of it stems from a lack of speed throughout the team, a lack of quality players, and even a lack of size/power, we lack a forward who can hold the ball and we lack midfielders who want to get in the opposing box


  27. You know we have the same problem with Aubameyang as we had with Podolski, good, maybe even great goalscorer but not suited to playing CF, much more likely to score coming from deeper, but fans see the goal stats and can’t understand why they are not played CF, neither good at hold up play, or linking up play. Goals, goals, goals


  28. Should Uefa even bother publishing ffp rulings? Just wait until CAS have overturned them and announce it then.

    Frustrating, the Uefa ruling certainly fitted all the piss-taking revealed by Football Leaks, none of whose revelations have ever been proven false.

    Left with a sense of what’s the point when one large organisation can find the evidence strong enough but another says no, time barred, other technicalities.

    It was so fucking blatant, re-adjusting past sponsorship deals, etc, have to ask ‘AD’ for more money. Presumably end result is they tighten security to avoid anyone getting a glimpse again.

    Cue smug Pep and co, ‘we knew we were innocent’


  29. Orbinho
    · 14h
    Arsenal have won just one of the 10 Premier League games under Mikel Arteta where the opposition has scored. W1 D5 L4.


  30. laughable that City are still £10M worth of guilty but ban not allowed to stand, the whole thing is a bad joke


  31. God help William Saliba, the poor lad is going to be in for a rude awakening when he play for Arsenal, so many of the fan base have built him up into something he could never be, a miracle working CB, the man to cure our backline of all its ills.

    once again after yesterday’s defeat the hissy fit brigade want Mustafi, Kolasinac and David Luiz sold, many also included their last CB miracle worker Sokratis on the to sell list.
    I would say if we look at our list of CB’s

    Mustafi, David Luiz, Sokratis, Holding, Mari, Saliba, Chambers, Mavropanos, and I will include Kolasinac as although a left back he is being used as a CB,

    we can ask who is certain to be here and who is actually likely to be sold off,

    so for me certain to be here are

    Mari as he just signed for us and is also injured and will miss the start of next season so unlikely to have anyone looking to by
    David Luiz, signed a new one year contract, can’t see him leaving till next summer
    Saliba, we signed him a year ago, don’t think he will be loaned out again next season

    Chambers is injured and may miss the start of next season so when you add in that he was finally coming good when the injury happened and I would say that means he is certain to stay too.

    of those left I would say Mustafi is the most likely to be kept, he has been good under Arteta, and Mikel has even implied that he is open to him getting a new contract

    Mavropanos has had what looks like a successful loan spell in Germany, so maybe he will be given a chance to prove himself here next season, or he might even be loaned out again.

    So that brings us to the 3 guys who for me are most likely to be surplus to requirements, Kolasinac lost his place to Tierney at left back/left wing back, and has been pushed into LCB due to MA liking to have a left footer play there. The lad might very well be kept as back up left back, but i dont see a future for him as a CB at AFC, in fact I think with Saka’s progress and having Cedric and AMN too, we might get rid of Kolasinac this summer.
    Sokratis has not been to MA’s taste, I think he will go this summer.

    now the big call, I think Holding will be sold, like Sokratis he has not been flavor of the month under Arteta, yes I know he has had injury problems, so much so that he has only played 36 EPL games in his 4 years here, he turns 25 in September, he should be at the peak of his powers, I just don’t see it happening for him here.

    to sum up I think that we might bring in one CB max this summer, a left sided one, and that of those we already have the most likely to be still here are Mustafi, David Luiz and Saliba.
    Chambers and Mari to be in our 25 man squad too, with an outside chance of Mavropanos getting a chance(but only if we don’t buy another CB).
    Sokratis and Holding to be sold, and Kolasinac to go too.

    so I won’t be surprised if our CB’s next season are

    David Luiz
    Mavropanos or a new signing

    young lads like Medley, Ballard and Clarke to see some action in the cups if not sent out on loan


  32. If we miss out on Europe and the money it brings in, I think we will need to be creative in the transfer market, we will need some big money sales, I would not be surprised to see Guendouzi, Torreira, Lacazette and maybe even Leno leave this summer to fund any signings we want. Possibly Bellerin too, if yesterday’s reports are to be believed, and with MA happy to see Cedric signed on a four year deal.

    i have this weird feeling that Ozil may retire this summer


  33. reports from Germany claim Stuttgart want to sign Mavropanos on loan for next season


  34. Oh well, gloomier today than yesterday. Probably the City verdict. Already the excited press talk of their five new signings for a ‘rebuild’.

    Feel a real surge of dislike for Pep and all the City cronies. Who knows if they ignore the details and just enjoy the largesse or actually know the score and don’t give a damn.

    Find it bloody hard to accept our new place in the football order. Liverpool provide some hope but I’m not sure someone managing to defeat money alters odds of others doing it, and I think they have plenty in their favour which allowed them to build so well over us.


  35. I have a strong feeling that Arteta will succeed as a manager. The question is, will it be at Arsenal?


  36. Doubt if we will do what Liverpool have. To do so, we will need a load of mo et thrown in, or find another Wenger.
    Arteta might well be the man, but cannot see him given the time, as conditions are not right for him to succeed as quickly as Wenger. The Frenchman had his own brilliance, his scouting network and revolutionary techniques, and also a club structure at the time that wanted to succeed as much as he did. Danny Fiszman and co claimed they woke everyday thinking how to make the club better and better.
    We are just not currently set up to compete with City Utd Liverpool or Chelsea, even clubs like wolves and Leicester could move ahead of us., and that is not a criticism of the owners, it’s just a fact. Stan isn’t a human rights abuser looking for prestige and status, he has no need to wash money, the club don’t have the income of Utd, nor all in their favour Liverpool seem to possess in terms of the media, their support, and the PGMOL, I note Pools Andy Robertson unleashed a volley of expletives against the ref this weekend, completely unpunished.
    To even begin to compete with the doped, or favoured in other ways, this club are going to have to be very smart, and will need a lot of time, such a precious commodity. I am not sure all of our execs are especially smart compared to others in this industry either , think we can all think of at least one who is underperforming.
    Good luck Mikel!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. “Andy Robertson unleashed a volley of expletives against the ref this weekend, completely unpunished.”

    too damn right Mandy, not a fucking peep out of the media, imagine an AFC player doing that, they would want him hanged. Look at the media fuss over claims Guendouzi sledged Brighton players with his wages,


  38. Or Guendouzi booked for , erm, sarcasm in the direction of Mike Dean
    Arsenal and Liverpool operate under completely different rule sets.
    I wonder if the paying public will eventually just get fed up with this league and the embarrassing way it operates?


  39. This particular paying public is tottering on the edge.


  40. Mandy it will only happen if the media decide to highlight it, if the media lose interest in it, and they won’t as long as it keeps making them money. Many fans will turn away from it, I think many have, but there is always new fans.

    I do wonder what happens if some mega rich guys decide to invest in Italy again, there are not enough real quality players to have lots of mega clubs


  41. jeez man utd have just let in an equalizer on 96 minutes 2-2, keeps utd in 5th


  42. it was young Irish striker Michael Obafemi who got Southampton’s late goal


  43. Arsenal v Liverpool

    Referee: Paul Tierney.
    Assistants: Dan Cook, Simon Long.
    Fourth official: Graham Scott.
    Replacement official: Michael George.
    VAR: Craig Pawson.
    Assistant VAR: Stephen Child.


  44. At Uncensored Omi Javed is very critical of Arteta and his substitutions. and thinks it is the underlying reason why we have dropped 15 points from winning positions since December when he took over. Six months after taking the reigns the manager is on the canvas. Hope he can shake off this setback and come back fa winner.


  45. I commented on the Robertson tirade elsewhere that if Thierry Henry gets a ban for not swearing at Poll after he let Shearer score a dodgy Pen at Highbury (still rankles I hate the Geordie twat) then it should follow he should get one too. Media influence much.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. well shotta I did mention on here that wenger used to get slaughtered for his 70th minute subs, but Arteta does his at 80 minutes


  47. I watched Man Utd v Southampton last night, and I’d like to talk about Harry Maguire, last night just like any game I’ve seen him in all year he has been awful, he gets away with constant fouling just cos he plays for Man Utd and England, everyone of our CB’s are better players than him.
    When Utd signed him the hissy fit brigade in our fan base put him forwards as an example of the ambition of Utd, and seeing as blog world and twitter world are full of experts who tell us we need x y or z of CB’s, that a big lump like Upacamento would be our VVD, just as Harry was to be Man UTd’s VVD, the problem is that we don’t know which way someone like Upacamento would turn out, from what little I’ve seen of him he is not exceptional, yes he has the size and build of what many of us would consider perfect for a CB, although like Maguie his turning circle is akin to the QE2.


  48. from Arteta’s press conference

    on whether Mesut Ozil will play again this season…
    With Mesut the situation is still the same as it was.

    on fan speculation on whether Ozil will play again this season…
    I don’t know. At the moment, the situation remains the same. We will see if that changes


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