Arteta slammed for being ‘stubborn’ over ‘flapper’ as Spurs fans mocked for ’embarrassing’ themselves

Editor F365
Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale, manager Mikel Arteta. David Raya and Emi Martinez
Mikel Arteta has still not solved Arsenal's goalkeeping problem

Mikel Arteta is playing ‘a flapper who can’t handle pressure’ at Arsenal; bring back Aaron Ramsdale or Emi Martinez. And Spurs fans are ’embarrassing’.

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Hey, Jude
Jamal Musiala is a better player than Jude Bellingham, and Bellingham is hugely overrated. There, I’ve said it.
Pardeep ‘saying the sayable’ Singh


Raya sunshine
He has been less than assured in goal all season long. He most certainly isn’t top-class goalkeeper. Have you not noticed that he presents a picture of someone prone to errors and panics most times?

Raya’s absolutely not a grade A keeper. He guarantees you an error or two each match, most of which have costed us dearly. He has made up to 12 mistakes already.

He’s in the same bracket as Ramsdale. That unforced error at Spurs could have warranted in our being out of the league title. I’m still upset by it. Would he commit another blunder? Perhaps he could! I wish Arteta hadn’t sold our world class keeper to Aston Villa and for 20M.

Kind regards,
Chris Okocha 


I largely agree with Rob A that Raya is fine for Arsenal and they don’t need to change keepers though when I saw his stats for average xG conceded per shot they looked very wrong. I’m not sure how Rob calculated this but the average xG of a shot conceded by Arsenal is actually 0.09 (not 0.3) and this is the lowest in the Top 6 and possibly the league (couldn’t be arsed calculating all 20 teams). This means on average the shots conceded are actually worse chances than those conceded by their direct rivals however, with Villa the highest in the Top 6 at 0.13 there is very little in it statistically speaking.

The goalkeeping stats used in the article you referenced is Post Shot xG. This stat basically tells us the likelihood of a shot on target resulting in a goal based on the quality of the original chance (xG), where it intersects the goalmouth, and the positioning of the keeper at the point the shot is taken. Again amongst the Top 6 Arsenal are on the low side with a Post shot xG average of 0.27, compared to Villa’s which is 0.37. So the shots Raya is tasked with saving are typically easier to deal with than Martinez, which is kind of the opposite of what you said.

The important calculation for goalkeeping performance, for us laymans at least, is the Post Shot xG delta. This is the difference between the number of goals a keeper is expected to concede (Post shot xG) and the number of goals they actually concede. This is the figure shown in the article which ranks Raya in 21st place. According to the data he should have only conceded 19.4 goals so far this season based on the difficulty of the shots he’s faced (league only) but has in fact let in 22 goals, hence the delta of -2.6 (it’s actually 23 goals but there is one own goal which doesn’t count as a shot against).

So whilst I agree that Raya is a perfectly acceptable goalkeeper for Arsenal he is in fact slightly below average at keeping goals out.
Dave, Manchester


He is not good enough to be Arsenal #1 he’s no better than Ramsdale. In my opinion Ramsdale is better. But old, stubborn, arrogant, my way, no plan B Arteta thinks Raya is great (what is he watching).

He’s a flapper who can’t handle pressure. Just my humble opinion after 50 plus years of supporting this great club.

👉 Would Eric Dier winning the Champions League be the most Spursy thing ever?
👉 ‘Postecoglou should be sacked’ by Spurs after north London derby defeat


Rival tears are delicious
As an Arsenal fan, let me just say the caterwauling of rival fans gives me such joy. As an Arsenal fan for many a decade, let me tell you, the following phrases annoyed me so much:

Arsenal don’t like it up them, give them a physical contest and they buckle

Arsenal were the superior team, but lost out to the guile of X manager and their team

Arsenal were undone by their opposition, because they understood and implemented the dark arts better

Arsenal need to be stronger, because they get bullied out of games

Its almost like our rivals could see our weaknesses but we couldn’t, and fast forward to now.

Good luck out muscling this Arsenal team, they’re a bunch of 6ft+ physical monsters. We won’t be dominated, we’ll dominate you physically. You foul us, you can bet your bottom dollar we’re gonna break you.

We have now learned the dark arts, we may have only adopted them, but we know how to use them now.

We aren’t wholly wedded to ‘pretty football’ or ‘attractive football’ , we are now a team of effective football. Rivals may not like it, but who cares, ask any Arsenal fan, especially those who grew up in the George Graham era, we love this! The free flowing, non winning teams of Wenger, for all their swashbuckling, were soft. We are not.

We no longer care about some sort of ‘play the right way’. All we want is the win and we’ll low block ourselves, we’ll harass your keeper at corners. We will foul on the half way line.

We may not win anything this season, but every Arsenal fan I know loves this team, loves Arteta, and that he annoys you all is just the cherry on the cake!
John (Funny how when Brentford, or Stoke or Chelsea did it to Arsenal, Neville and Carragher found it funny, but not so much now we do it) Matrix AFC


Get over it, Tottenham
I see Tottenham fans are in the third stage of grief – bargaining – following denial and anger.

The days after Arsenal’s away win at Tottenham have been wonderful (thanks to all the Spurs fans in the home end who filmed the Arsenal goals and celebrations, then uploaded them to social media. Great fun), made even better by the straw clutching and desperate attempts to cope with the fact that Spurs’ time in the sun is over and normal order has been emphatically restored and rubber stamped in North London.

But whilst the head loss has been hilarious, the levels to which Spurs fans are finding conspiracies (crying over a penalty that was actually awarded!) and trying to convince themselves that they are not far away from Arsenal is so distant from the truth that it needs to be addressed. Time to stop making excuses and face reality.

Tottenham had two shots on target the whole game. Those shots turned into goals and came from a goalkeeper cock up and a penalty. Before Raya made his error it looked for all the world that this was going to end up 4-0, 5-0, even 6-0. Arsenal were cruising, so in control, trying to walk the ball in the net. Conserving energy. Tottenham had two weeks off before this game whilst Arsenal played a double header against Bayern Munich, a tough game away at Wolves and then a London derby against Chelsea in that time. You had no way of telling and were emphatically beaten at your home ground. Again. Own it.

Two years ago, Arsenal travelled to N17 in a crucial game where a win would have confirmed Champions League football for the first time in an age.  They were robbed by the softest penalty you have ever seen given (Son diving, who’d have thought?!) and a red card on Rob Holding after 30 minutes. Game over. The ten men ended up losing 3-0, lost the race for fourth, dusted themselves down and moved on, whilst Spurs fans gleefully acted as if they had finally won something of note. No recriminations about cheating Son, no complaints about injuries. We just moved on. Trust me, Spurs fans, you’re just embarrassing yourselves.

You are twenty points behind Arsenal, after finishing 24 points behind last season. You lost your cup final and deserved to. Time for acceptance.
John (Basking) Foster, Brighton.

📣TO THE COMMENTS! How do you rate Spurs’ season? Join the debate here

What is the point of Declan Rice?
With recent talk of Declan Rice in the Mailbox I’m surprised nobody has brought up his excessive pointing.

Not being a Hammers fan I first noticed this during England games and find his need to try and literally direct the play hilarious and infuriating in equal measure. However, this is especially funny when his teammates completely ignore him and play the ball to whoever/wherever they like. Surely I can’t be the only person to notice this?

For obvious reasons defenders like to marshall others in the back four, but Rice is pointing to a fellow midfielder to make a five yard sideways pass. Lord knows what the likes of Bellingham make of it.
DF (what is a 6 these days, anyway?)


Spurs: overpaid and overrated
It’s not very often I get agitated or even annoyed, I supported spurs since I was 5 years old so my first trip to the club was in 1958 and all that I have seen many highs and lows of the on field antics of the team. But now this is enough and my blood is boiling.

Why as a club are we still not getting the best from the squad? Where is the leadership? Where are the characters that help make a team? There is no heart in the way the team play; they do not play for the shirt, the club and its supporters.

All this begins and ends with the manager and right now it’s Ange. He may have been good elsewhere but this is the Premier League with quality managers and coaches who have varied tactics to outwit the opposition.

Whis manager has none of this. His game plan is to attack attack attack with little given to a solid defence. Why with so many injuries are the players pushed so hard to play a one dimensional game?

I love my spurs but for gods sake this team of overpaid and overrated players and along with their manager need to be taken to task and held accountable. 5th in the league, Europe league prospects only for next season which will be a killer for a team that has no stomach or strength. This club deserves more and the team now have an uphill battle to redeem themselves – do they understand this????? Some feedback on my comments would be most welcome.

Frank M


Slide into DMs
Just read Lee’s missive about DMs etc.

I’m not sure I overly agree with him but having grown up with the great Milan teams, I’m sure he’s forgottent that the quite brilliant (at CB) Marcel Desailly didn’t really play for Milan at CB, but at DM.

He was the screen in front of the defence. He also had Albertini alongside him as well who was also pretty defensive minded.

That early to mid 90’s Milan team was a defensive unit with some great attackers.

Real Madrid in the 98 Champions League final had a defence of Illgner, Carlos, Sanchis, Hierro and Panucci………………not quite the training cones that Lee has in mind.
Lee, Hornsey

ps. Work has conspired that I have to be in Madrid next Wednesday night, not all bad.



Just a quick response to your claim that great sides didn’t need “ DM’s “.

While it’s true that the positions were slightly less specialised and midfielders were expected to be more rounded, there were still more defensively minded midfielders, over the last few decades. Players like Gilberto Silva, Roy Keane, Lothar Mattheus, Stefan Effenberg, Javier Mascherano, Marcos Senna, Sergio Busquets, Didier Deschamps, Claude Makele among others have been protecting backlines at the highest level to great effect.

You mention early to mid 90s Milan – Marcel Desailly was there from 93–98 playing in CM and protecting that legendary back line. Incidentally, they signed Gattuso the season after he went to Chelsea.

You mention Pirlo at Juventus, but you ignore Vidal who sat alongside him and most definitely moved.

You also mention Fergie’s final years, using Carrick as an example of how a team can operate without a “DM”. I think it’s fair to point out that Carrick is almost the template for the modern DM in the way he sat in front of the back 4. It’s also fair to highlight the defensive contributions of players like Park, Fletcher and even players like Welbeck & Rooney in those sides. Ferguson was always very conscientious when it came to the defensive side of the game beyond the back 4.

Hansen had Souness in front of him. Maldini had Desailly and then Gattuso. Beckenbauer and Bayern I don’t know enough about to make any comment.

The terminology has changed, and positions are certainly more specialised now, but the idea that these great teams didn’t have defensively inclined midfielders protecting the back 4 just doesn’t stack up.
Doug, AFC, Belfast