Tag Archives: Premier League

Arsenal set for first 3pm away this season – and TV fans are hating it!

Morning all.

Another away game today, and this feels like yet another big weekend in the title race.

We are heading to Leicester for our first 3pm away game of the season. Meanwhile Man City face Bournemouth on the south-coast in the late afternoon/early evening kick off.

It feels like one of those weekends where all 6 results are a strong possibility, and I would not be too surprised if one of us or City drop points.

Leicester got smashed last time out against Manchester United, but they could have been 2 or 3-nil up before they went behind.

They have some fantastic forward thinking players, and a double creative threat in midfield in James Maddison and Youri Tielemans. Leicester will carve out chances today.

It is just whether Arsenal can hold out and defend when they have their spell on top. We will get plenty of chances to score ourselves.

Only Bournemouth have conceded more than Leicester this season. The Foxes have outscored 5th place Newcastle with 36 goals in 23 games.

A threat going forward, but very poor in defence.

I have seen a few people complaining that “it is 2023 and we can not watch The Arsenal on TV”.

“Our next 3 games are not televised. Why do I pay so much for my subscriptions”.

Two of those three games are at home. If you have decided to be a TV fan rather than match going, then that is your decision.

This is the first 3pm away game of the season. And just our 3rd 3pm Saturday match this year.

The other two were Leicester and Brentford at home. Bournemouth at home next Saturday is also 3pm Saturday. And I am loving it.

I think TV fans do not quite realise how games not being at 3pm can affect match going fans.

The early starts, the late finishes. Scrapping for trains for away games. We battle on. So I am sorry if we have 5 or 6 games a season at 3pm on a Saturday which means you can not watch your favourite television show.

How about turn the radio on? I am part of a generation that grew up with hardly any football on TV. And very few houses had Sky. Listening to 5 Live or Capital Gold was my childhood.

Football is not a TV show.

Other news is that Bukayo Saka is apparently very close to signing his new long term deal.

I do take this with a pinch of salt as I remember the same journalists writing similar stories about 4 months ago.

Saka will sign, I am sure of that. He (and his people) are just ensuring he gets what he is worth.

Last summer, you would perhaps have offered him around £150k a week. He has now kicked on again and is our most important player.

Saka is our top scorer in the league, and 7th top scorer overall. And with 8 assists, only Kevin de Buryne has more.

17 goals + assists, split almost equally between goals and assists, only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have more goals and assists in the Premier League this season.

He is the biggest goal scoring and creative threat in the Premier League (Marcus Rashford might out score him, but he does not create much).

Arsenal’s strength this season has been we have mutiple attacking threats across the front line – Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus. Opponents do not know where the goals or assists will come from. But one man is now rising above the others and that is Saka.

He is now well worth the £200k a week he will sign. Hopefully it will be a 5 year deal with an option of a 6th.

Saka is still just 21 and that deal will see him spend many of his best years at the club. Having started so young, you have to think his peak years will be 22-27 rather than 25-30.

It is not just Saka the player that is important, but also Saka the person. He gets what it means to play for The Arsenal.

Take it one game at a time, but it is hard not to think that by this time next week we could be back to 5 points clear.

On the march with Mikel’s Army.




Eddie Nketiah owed an apology

Is it time to put some respect on Eddie Nketiah’s name and apologise for the disprespect some fans have given him over the years?

In 2020, I wrote a blog about how time was running out for Eddie. That it was time for the torch to passed to Florian Balogun to replace him as the “young Arsenal striker” in the squad.

He was 21 years old and career had stagnated. At the time I said:

Nketiah is a goal poacher, but his problem is a modern striker needs to be able to do more – whether that be creating, holding the ball up or running the channels.

Balogun was younger and tearing up the youth leagues. The time felt right for him to step up and become Arsenal’s 3rd choice striker (at the time Arsenal have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette leading the line).

3 years on and he is now showing himself as being a very good 2nd choice striker.

When he came in for Lacazette in the back end of last season, I was impressed.

He had developed his hold up play. His work rate had improved and he was running those channels. Everything I had asked for in 2020. Nketiah was much improved.

That led him to get a new contract as Mikel Arteta made it clear – Eddie would be our 2nd choice striker.

Despite his form in the back end of last season (5 goals in the last 7 league games, some still moaned. The following is some of the comments I have colated from one individual that will remain nameless:

“He is stealing time from Balogun. Should never be in an Arsenal kit. He’s woeful.”

“Eddie being offered a new deal is ridiculous if true. Especially at £100k a week.”

“Nketiah isn’t a top 4 striker.”

“Nketiah isn’t a Premier League striker.”

“Get Dominic Calvert-Lewin”

“Nketiah isn’t a Premier League striker. If you honestly think he is then maybe football isn”t for you. He goes to Palace and won’t be their [first choice] striker or back up.”

“It’s not my monty so I’m not spending it. Nketiah is one of the worst strikers in the league and it’s telling that the likes of Palace are in for him. If you think he is good enough for Arsenal that’s fine. You’re allowed to be wrong some of the time.”

“Nketiah should never be starting games for Arsenal. Play Pepe through the middle. Anything is better than Nketiah.”

“He [Nketiah] is absolute shite. One of the worst players in recent years to pull on an Arsenal shirt.”

“If he [Nketiah] had not come through the academy, he would be getting dogs abuse like Xhaka did/does and the likes of Eboue did.”


That is the goal return from Eddie Nketiah in his 12 Premier League starts since coming in for Lacazette at the back end of last season.

12 games
Scored in 6 of them
9 goals

Ok, so he might not be Erling Haaland. But who is?

Look at Chelsea’s struggles in recent years to sign a decent first choice striker. At Tottenham trying to recruit someone to cover Harry Kane. At Manchester United who have just loaned in a fella from Burnley.

A lot of the credit has to go to Eddie.

He could have remained “just a poacher” and signed for Palace. Lived the easy life off the back of just scoring goals.

But he wanted more.

Eddie got his head down and has improved every aspect of his game. And it is fabulous to see.

I recently wrote how Arteta now has a double striker dilema. That a decision needs to be made in the summer over Eddie and Balogun.

Balogun is doing bits in France. 10 goals in his 18 games for Rennes. But very few would argue that he should now come in for Eddie.

Whilst I do not feel the need to apologise for my Nketiah blogs – everything was correct at the time and he has improved those aspects of the game; many people will have to look into what they said in the past and apologise for it.

Gabriel Jesus will come back in for Eddie when he is fit. But we now know we have a solid 2nd choice striker.

Good job Eddie!


The apprehension and excitment of Tottenham away

Morning all and Happy North London Derby Day.

Tottenham away, a game I look forward too and at the same time dread. Today is my first visit to their new ground.

Not much will beat the nervous energy, the antacipation walking down the High Road. With your mates. Us against them, ready for whatever happens.

But White Hart Lane has not been a happy hunting ground for us in recent years. The North London Derby has massively favoured the home teams over the last decade or so.

We have not beaten Tottenham away since the 2015 League Cup, Mathieu Flamini with those two goals. I was there that night, and what a night it was.

Our last league win was 2014, Tomas Rosicky with the only goal.

Before you think “Keenos is a luck omen, glad he is going today”, they are the only two occassions I have seen us win at their place. Three if you include a FA Youth Cup game when Jack Wilshere pulled the strings!

Since Tottenham ended out 21-game unbeaten run against them in 2008, we have won just 2 of 16 away games at White Hart Lane (or Wembley). Both mentioned above.

And in recent years, the away game against that lot have been where our hopes and dreams have crashed and burned.

Last season, a victory against Tottenham with 3 games to go would have guaranteed us a top 4 place, and finishing above them for the first time since 2016. We were turned over 3-0 with Harry Kane opening the scoring with his customary North London Derby penalty.

2019 is also a North London Derby day that bitterly sticks in the memory.

1-1 and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is bought down for an 89th minute penalty. Our talisman gets up, dusts himself down, and takes tne penalty. SAVED.

And then to add insult to injury, just as Aubameyang looked set to tap into the empty net, Jan Vertonghen makes a last-ditch slide challenge.

Vertonghen had encroached deeply into the area on the penalty but he got away with it. Without that, he would not have been able to make the tackle. And there was no VAR in those days.

Two points dropped, and they ended up being crucial as we finished a single point behind Tottenham, and failed to make the top 4.

So I make no apologies for feeling apprehensive ahead of the game today. Although after a few beers in Islington and that journey to the stadium I will be bang up for it.

It does feel like we are in the middle of our most crucial period of the season.

We have already faced Brighton (A) & Newcastle (H). Both sides in the top 8.

Today it is a trip to Tottenham (5th), followed by a resurgent Manchester United (4th). We then have a tricky away trip to Everton – Goodison Park is never an easy win despite how poor they are.

That is followed by games against Brentford (9th) and Manchester City (2nd).

I have refused to get to embroiled in the title talk. Yes, we are in the race but we are certainly not favourites. The bookied have had Man City odds-on since before the season began. It should not be seen as a failure if Man City overhaul us and we end up 2nd.

If we are still above City after we have hosted them, I might allow a bit of belief to slip in. But even then we have a double header away in the Midlands against Aston Villa and Leicester City.

It is only really in March that it eases up a bit – we have a run of 3 out of 4 games at home , facing Bournemouth, Fulham (A), Crystal Palace and Leeds United.

And then we have the 6 games that will ultimately decide our future – Liverpool (A), West Ham (A), Manchester City (A), Chelsea (H) and Newcastle (A). The only bit of restbite is Southampton at home.

Today is all about getting the 3 points against Tottenham. And I think we will do that if Harry Kane does not get his usual penalty.

We will never hear the end of it if Kane equals, and breaks, Jimmy Greaves goal scoring record against us. But that will never make up for signing their captain for free, 1971 and 2004.