Is Arteta playing mind games with injury list ahead of Man United clash?

There is some interesting news today from Manchester, as the Arsenal team arrived at their hotel yesterday evening, and the surprise is that Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Oleks Zinchenko were all photographed alighting from the bus all looking fit and healthy ahead of today’s game.

The reason it is a big surprise is that Arteta had told the media in his pre-game conference that none of the three had been able to train this week. This is what he said: “Those two [Ramsdale and Odegaard] are being assessed, we will see more tomorrow. Hopefully they will be able to train with the team.

“Unfortunately with Alex [Zinchenko] that’s still not the case, he missed two games and has not been able to train with the team yet.”

So was Arteta taking a leaf out of Arsene Wenger’s book and playing mind games by giving out false information to the media, or have our talented trio all made amazing recoveries? Obviously Arteta played for many years under Wenger and had seen the continuous mind games between him and Alex Ferguson, so is this another example of Arteta learning from Le Prof?

In those days, Man United v Arsenal was always the biggest game of the season, and maybe both sides are starting to return to their former glory under Mikel Arteta and Erik Ten Hag and are realising how important this fixture is again?

Could we see these mind games continuing for many more years yet?


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  1. I hope it was mind games and a great ploy.

    Massive game today. We need the 3 points. Come on the gunners

    1. This mind game is from the old school, Wenger, Furgeston and Morhihio were the best at it.
      Though Wenger never really admits it, the great French man claims it was the media that hype it.

      The mind games some time use to dampen expectations, create distractions, or take pressure off the team.
      By creating distractions Alex Furgeston once said he doesn’t know how Arsenal is going to fill such a big stadium.

  2. Let’s hope so, I would feel more confident of getting a result with those guys playing. But I would be happy with a solid Draw, remember we only Drew 3 games last season which meant we either won or lost which costed us a top 4 last season.

  3. Or maybe having them onboard while being not fully fit is the mind game itself. They are key players and seeing them in the squad might make Ten Hag change his strategy for the game.

    Either way, I hope they are match fit and perform well today.

    1. Their performance on the pitch is what matters. Do you think Manchester united cares about who plays for Arsenal? their goal will be to come at arsenal and the minute they realize these three players mentioned are not fit then they will capitalize on their weaknesses and let’s hope the damage is not done already.

      No such thing as mind games anymore, every team in the EPL prepares form the opposite team expecting a tough challenge. We must be careful, Teh Hag doesn’t care about who plays or not. He only knows he’s playing against Arsenal

  4. Two may be on the bench but even if injured would still travel even if just to watch and give moral support, also you would hardly leave your captain at home unless he was in a wheelchair.

  5. My first ever comment here but ive read this site quite often ,i like your optimism guys but unfortunately this game its ‘riged’ for utd to win it doesnt matter how well we play everything will go against us either pen for utd ,red for us,dead pens not given to us ,our goal chalked off for no reason whatsoever if you dont believe watch chelsea v wh for yesterday btw im arsenal fan

    1. What nonsense? Even though West Ham and Aston Villa’s goals were wrongfully disallowed, your pessimism is out of this world bro geez! We don’t need it negativity please.

    2. Frank, what a pity you decided to post for the first time . Please, if you repeat posting,then DO put some thought into it first though!

      You have a brain , presumably, so why not use it?!

      1. Well he probably won’t post again because of the reply’s he’s received .
        I’m just look at the poster below .

    3. Welcome Frank, it does often seem as though referees are blinded by what they see as “the big teams” and others get a raw deal.

      I’d agree that you very rarely see a bad decision given *against* the big money clubs.

      It might be psychological, I certainly hope it’s nothing more than that.

      What’s worrying is that the VAR officials are consistently getting it wrong – and it’s not VAR itself, it *is* the officials.
      VAR just makes sure that they see exactly what happened, if we get the wrong outcome then it’s either down to the officials or that the rules are poor – no point in blaming the technology which is doing what it’s supposed to do flawlessly.

      Other sports such as rugby operate VAR really well, with no-one complaining of bad decisions at all. Their usage is better too, with people at the ground being shown the replays on the screen. FIFA claims that would put pressure on officials (hearing crowds trying to influence them) but other sports have shown that if anything it puts pressure on them to get it right, rather than make a partially-hidden decision and then run off down the motorway before anyone in the ground finds out.

    4. Wanna welcome you Frank, understand your concerns but we can’t give up.

      Some of the officiating is a real mess, last season I herd Frank Lapard saying even his 3 year old daughter at home would have done better.

      Not sure at what stage we are going to say enough is enough

    5. Hey Frank, you’re right to be worried about refs and VAR, especially since it’s Paul Tierney. The ref who’s Salford born and is a Manchester City fan, but if we we play extremely well, there’s no way we’ll get robbed to the point it becomes obvious.
      Hope to see more posts from you.
      Welcome to the site.

    1. Yes. Zinchenko’s playmaking abilities are really required, while Tierney is still adapting to the new role

      If Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold can be Liverpool’s main playmaker from the wingback positions, I believe Tierney will eventually be able to do it better than them

  6. I think that even without the doubtful players we still have enough to hold United and possibly get the win, but I don’t care much for some of the officials (match referee & VAR ref) being from the Manchester area.
    Wenger, who was a master of stating the obvious once said that to be successful in the PL you must not lose to your closest rivals, so using that as my criteria I’d take a draw from this one but hope for better.

  7. Important game that will give us an idea of our strength in depth and battling qualities. Obviously our midfield is not at it’s strongest, so we will get a real idea of where we stand. How did we not buy a midfield player? Bizarre! A draw will show that we are in a realistic position in the table. A win and maybe we will do a Leicester, although Man City are a bit hot and are our measuring stick.

    1. By the way after yesterday’s decisions who can say that football is not corrupt or just poverty struck referees. Serious ‘Alice in Wonderland’ decisions that rely on the watching public to keep ‘Shtum’….and go into denial.

      1. SeanW I do not agre about”corrupt” at all.

        I DO say that the general standard of refs is woeful and getting worse and made to look still worse even than it actually is, by the ridiculous concept at all of VAR, AND the even more ridiculous way it is being misused by people who are not fit to run a whelk stall.
        I agree that yesterdays Premn decisions reached anew low in sheer incompetence BUT I stop short of alleging corruption. For comparison I se our penal sysyem and wayb thrb police servicde is run as being wilfully corrupt. But ref actual corruption by those on the field is a nonsense.

        Riley, who will soon be standing down for Webb, is a wrong ‘un though and I SEE HIM AS HAVING AN EGO AND PERSONAL AGENDA which should have been forcibly ended a great time ago, but sadly was not! Sigh! The occasional bad apple (bad, as distinct fron being corrupt) doe NOT render the whole organisation corrupt.
        Though in out legal sysyem, I believe and have for years past , it is rotten to the core and as a supposed justice bringer, a sad, sick joke.

        1. Jon

          Corruption is not being neutral, having inner predudices. As far as criminal corruption is concerned, you can look up the Mike Dean story. How did a man with such a checkered history become the No 1 referee?

          1. Sean, an interesting opinion but not one I share. You write precisely that”corruption is not being neutral, having inner prejudices” .

            I believe that you mistakenly wrote that though, while believing that corruption IS those things. Am I correct in so thinking.?You see how vital using English correctly can be!

            I agree that most of us all have prejudices in many areas of life Some are against free speech. Others are against immigrants gays, young or old people, or those with different political or evenreligious views.

            It is therefore , patently obvious that prejdice exists and widly too. But prejudice is NOT, by itself, necessarily corruption, though at times, it can be ,if not tempered by the common(thankfully) better human nature, which allows most of us to overcome our prejudices when making key life-or football- decisions!

            I COULD WRITE FAR MORE DEEPLY ON THIS FASCINATING SUBJECT, about which I see many nuances But suffice to say I find your bald comment far too simplistic.
            Assuming of course, that I interpreted your real meaning correctly, as not to mean PRECISELY what it actually said, but rather the opposite.

            1. Jon

              In the circumstances of refereeing it’s a corruption. Corruption is more a state of mind or prejudice. Of course criminal corruption is a deliberate criminal choice. Not all corruption is deliberate, but it is corruption in the true meaning of the world. Mindfulness and honesty are the best antidotes to corruption. .

  8. I knew he was doing that, how many time did he do that last year already. Hopefully we get the job done early and bring him Viera to rest Ode because man is a big integral part of how we are set up, it would be a huge loss to lose him on long term, he is more important than Partey imo

  9. Yes the gaffer is playing mind games and I believe he likes this kind of stuff IMO.
    Technically it’s not false news saying they didn’t train for a particular period together.

    Smart and clever successful managers use this method in the past to devastating effects.

    Over a season ago Brendan Rogers reported he’s not sure about Vardy fitness coming to the Emrrite, when the press ask Arteta about Vardy illness the gaffer responded , I expect Vardy to play his normal part in the game on match day as he is not aware of any illness.

    Vardy did came on the evening in question with devastating effect, winning the game for Brendon Rogers, I still remember that smirky little grin on Roggers face.

  10. My strong opinion is that MA, totally unlike AW, does not indulge and will not either, in mind games.

    I do not say they have no place and IF it helps our team, I am all for it . In fact, for WHATEVER HELPS our team – like getting lazy players such as Ozil, Auba and trouble makers like Guendouzi OUT, as MA had done (albeit far too slowly in the two idlers cases , which both took FAR too long).

    I am in no position to know whether or not any particular of our injured players will play or not, so I will not speculate about what I DO NOT KNOW.

    But the opinion in my first line is a well held one.

    1. Reggie, Not EVERYONE, meaning MA, are pantomime fans.

      Though I do agree that much of how the Prem is organised and run IS like a panto, ,esp in being a battle between good and evil.

      I write as a panto expert, who adores the genre but who also knows it is not for EVERYONE.

      I also wish to remind you that everyone is NOT the same and that all humans are different in so many ways from all other humans, even though we have masses of things in common with all other humans too.

      Judging people by “groups”(managers, in this case) is hardly an intelligent act though!

  11. Kinda takes me back to wenger’s era, this particular match against Chelsea shortly after Jose left his first stint with Chelsea. The trio of van persie, fabregas n Alex hleb were injured n ruled out against Chelsea, surprise surprise they all made the start n arsenal won. Their first win over the blues after a long while. For some reason am getting this dejavu feeling regarding this match especially the result.

  12. If we really want the 3 points we should find away to stop united on the break as they look really dangerous.Also midfield will be key hope arteta plays his cards right.

  13. Personally I see nothing wrong with the mind games, in fact I see it as sheer entertainment

    I remember that game Maurice, there is one also against Man United where we won too, but in this case the mind game was after the match.
    The media ask Tourie what was the game plan to beat Man United.
    Tourie responded saying Arsne Wenger told them Man United was an old team as opposed to Arsenal who have youth in our favor so after seventy minutes Arsenal must take the game to United when their old feet starting giving way.

    Alex Furgeston was livid hearing it, ranting rubbish rubbish rubbish.

    I can’t fault the gaffer a massive game like this needs a mind game or two

  14. Having Ramsdel,alex,ode back is great news,i think even in their absence i fancy our chances of a win,viera,ESR nd turner knws hw important this game is so to me a big win is what i am going for

  15. I think the suspension which can’t be discounted, is the result of this Man U vs Arsenal match today might has been prearranged by Mike Riley’s controlled PGMO outfit. Who by using his appointed match officiating officials for the match will clandestinally advantaged Man U but disadvantaged Arsenal in the game. So that Man U will win the match.
    This wickedness is being plotted by the Arsenal hates in their unrelenting anti-Arsenal drives and moves to stop Arsenal from continuing to rise to be on top of the EPL table this season as they are presently are. With the PGMO at the forth front of the evil plot against Arsenal. So that us Arsenal will not win the League title this season.
    So therefore, in Arsenal today’s match away to Manchester United in the EPL at their Old Trafford Stadium backyard. Us Gooners, the Gunners and Mikel Arteta their gaffer including his backroom staff, will need divine intervention from the Holy Living God above to thwart the evil plot that has been designed to cause the Gunners to fail to beat the Red Devils today in the match between the two giant teams.
    I on behalf of Arsenal FC pray to the Living Almighty God in the highest of heavens for HIS divine intervention to render, all weapons that are fashioned against Arsenal to not win their away EPL match to Man Utd not to prosper. But fail totally and gives victory to the Gunners over the Red Devils in the match. Amen!
    As to how Arsenal will lineup for the match, it’s needless for me to say us will soon find out as us will.

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