Arteta should be the new manager of Arsenal (Long Read)

by .

Come on, you thought I’d go more than 2 days without giving my full endorsement to the most exciting unknown in the world of football? Don’t be ridiculous. Today, I’m going to refresh the argument for why Arsenal need to put all their chips on the pristine black hair of Mikael Arteta.

As you’ll remember, it was my firm belief that we should have pulled the trigger on the Spaniard 18 months ago. The timing was perfect. Fan expectation was low, the club had a chunk of change to spend, and the set up seemed fairly solid. Instead, we opted for common flawed wisdom and hired in Unai Emery and 9 of his coaches.

The stability of experience did nothing to move the club forward. Hiring in a ‘winning’ manager actually took us back a level. We’re now in the midst of the worst start in 38 years, and we’re struggling to exit out of our Europa League group. Hiring in experience has been an absolute disaster.

There are once again calls to move for the trusted hands approach of experience. I didn’t buy it last time, I don’t buy it again. The only manager that’d be a sure fire bet to progress us into the top 4 would be Pochettino, but regardless of the noise around him, I don’t expect him to entertain the Arsenal job with the PSG call likely to arrive in 6 months time.

Anyone else is a 50/50 gamble, so why not gamble on the next level of football, versus taking a chance on a manager with limitations we’ve all seen.

Here are the reasons I think hiring in Arteta makes sense.


Really simple one here, but communication is essential to this role. English is the language of the club, the kids coming through have mostly been raised in London, we need someone that understands what is going on at the club. Arteta speaks 4 languages fluently. He speaks the noise of players having been a very good one himself. He has alpha male qualities we lacked in Unai Emery. He was a captain at two of his clubs, so the players will look to him.

I have been told that there were concerns about his demeanour from when he was at Arsenal. He held others to very high standards and could come across as abrasive. However, I am willing to pass on that firstly because holding players to a higher standard on an off the pitch is something we need, secondly, we’ve read in the press over and over that the City players love him.


It doesn’t take much googling to find out that Arteta is a players coach. He’s an obsessive and there are plenty of high endorsements of his work in the media from players like Delph and Fernandinho. The biggest credit to his name goes to the transformation of Raheem Sterling into one of the best players in the world. This is Guardiola.

“Mikel Arteta is working many, many hours and days after training specifically about the last action on the pitch – that control in the last moment to make the right movement in the final three or four metres.

“Raheem has wanted to stay there on the training pitch, to improve, to practise, to shoot at the goalkeepers.

This is is Arteta explaining in a new book exactly what he was looking for from the player.

“He’d picked up a few bad habits along the way,”

“He’d played on the inside a lot or out on the left wing. When you move to the right wing, the direction and angle of possession coming to you is very different. When the ball reached him he really had his gaze fixed on it – rather than half-touch instinctive control and the vision of what’s around him.”

“If he’s found a space about three metres off his defender but he’s half-turned towards the goal then his sprint takes him much more quickly to a space where he can shoot and that’s going to cause the rival much more damage. It’s also a tactic, dropping off a little, so that your defender gets drawn into a position he mightn’t want to be in. It leaves space behind him and Raheem can attack that space. If it’s close to, or in the penalty area, they also have to hesitate before putting in a challenge.”

The man was born to coach, he retired early to learn his trade, he went for mentorship under the greatest coach in the world and now he sits next to him in the dugout. According to reports, he also runs some of the training session there, he’s no cone boy.

Elite work ethic

You’ve all seen the Pep documentary. You’ve read the books. Pep is a workaholic, he has more energy than anyone in football, a total obsessive. This is what he had to say on Arteta a few days ago.

“He was an incredible player, normally with a holding midfielder they have a vision of all the pitch,” Guardiola said.

“The holding midfielder is an incredible lesson during your career as a player to learn what happens. You don’t need to go to [coaching] school, he was so clever in that.

“More than that he is an incredible human being, work ethic, he works a lot. I said after a few months we were together that this guy would be a manager sooner or later. He is already a manager, he works like a manager.

“That is why we’re satisfied to have him here.”

That is high praise, the part about him being a great human is lost on me, but I do love that his work ethic is being called out by a man that had to quit Barcelona because his wife thought it would kill him. I want someone at Arsenal with that level of obsession, because that usually means attention to detail, that means curiosity and it hopefully means innovation.

Manchester City IP

Manchester City are now one of the best clubs in the world. I know Arsenal are a long way from that, but the things Pep has done there have transformed the place. The way he thinks about the game is different to everyone else, that’s why he’s consistently delivered world-class teams across 3 leagues (money helps, but look at Jose now). Pep Guardiola is different because he has a philosophy that has evolved over the course of time. That way of thinking is a process, Arteta has now been in the process contributing ideas, designing how they’ll be implemented, and watching the master make the magic happen.

Manchester City won the league last year making the least tackles in the league. That is future football. Their off the ball movement is debilitating. Their on the ball approach is so good some sad sacks say it’s boring. That is the sort of football that could be taken, developed upon and unleashed at Arsenal. It’s a longterm punt at having a team built for competing in the Champions League in 3 years. It’s not a stop-gap where the pinnacle of the football is 4th place and a last 16 spot in the Champions League. It is not taking a hit on the Arsenal brand and doubling down on bland pragmatic football. It is not selling your soul to Kia or Jorge. This is the sort of punt that we should be taking, because unless it’s Poch, who else has the keys to a more exciting future this January?

The Culture

Let’s get one thing straight, no manager is going to come in and sort out the leadership function of Arsenal. Raul and Edu have to address that, but they’re not going to do that by installing an outsider with poor taste motives. They’re also not going to achieve anything by bringing in someone with a giant stick, good short term solution, not for the longterm.

They need someone to come in and connect with the players and the fans. That person needs to understand the club, how it operates, who the staff are and how the league works. There’s no better person for that than Arteta. He can only look after the playing side of things, he can’t do anything about the mess around it, but make no mistake, he’ll come in, connect with people like Per and Freddie and he’ll take a sweep to bus drivers that fight and do teamtalks, he’ll move on Dave Priestly, and he’ll make sure the people at the club are offering value and there on merit.

Galvanise the fans

There are no doubt going to be doubters, but I think the communcation of a clear and articulate vision of how he wants to play the game and what he’s going to do to achieve it would be a huge step in the right direction. To remind you, he already outlined this to the Arsenal magazine years ago.

“My philosophy will be clear,” he said. “I want the football to be expressive, entertaining. I cannot have a concept of football where everything is based on the opposition.

“We have to dictate the game, we have to be the ones taking the initiative, and we have to entertain the people coming to watch us. I’m 100 per cent convinced of those things, and I think I could do it.”

“You can have an idea of a system, but you need to be able to transform it depending on the players you have – how much pace you have up front, how technical your team is, what types of risk you can take and whether your players are ready to take those risks.

“It’s important to analyse your players because you can’t always play the same way. There have to be different details and changes in how you approach things, and you have to look at how you can hurt whoever you are playing against. Is there something they don’t like to do? If so, we’re going to make them do plenty of it.

“Then the most important thing for the manager is that, the Friday before the game, you imagine what’s going to happen on the Saturday.

“And if what happens on Saturday is not what I had planned, then it’s not been good enough from me.”

Imagine how vivid his vision would be now? He’s had 3 years in a winning machine to hone his beliefs about the game. I am positive he’d come to Arsenal with an exciting view of how the game is played and that would settle the fans.


We are back at ground zero. We are where Chelsea were this summer when they hired Frank Lampard, coming off the back of a bland season with a transfer ban. Our ban is self-imposed because we spent next summers money this year.

This is the perfect time for the club to set a new agenda built around a 3-5 year plan that’ll have us competing at the very top again. We could build our future around young players, we could refocus transfer efforts on players like Matteo and Martinelli, we could promise the fans ups and downs, but at the very worst… we’ll be playing football you’d want to wake up for.

We need a future we can believe in, we need to be excited about football again, the person who could give that to us is Mikael Arteta.

Who’s with me?


431 Responses to “Arteta should be the new manager of Arsenal (Long Read)”

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  1. Un na naai

    Getting your excuses in early eh? Well confident.

    Easy group? Behave
    Croatia- World Cup finalists
    Czech Republic- always had good players

    And one of these (Scotland/Israel/Norway/Serbia)

    Scotland being the obvious tough game there but Serbia and Norway are no mugs.

    Anyway are you suggesting we have it easy at tournaments?
    Hand of god?
    Beckham’s red card
    Two disallowed Sol Campbell winners vs Argentina and Portugal?
    Rooney’s red v Portugal.
    That Turkish CUNT against Croatia last summer.

    The constant cheating and diving going unpunished by biased wanker refs.

  2. Graham62


    That’s what I want to see as well.

    No more of this sluggish and predictable play from the back.

    I hope Freddie simplifies things and gets us to play more on the front foot.

    Fingers crossed.

  3. Un na naai

    MarkoNovember 30, 2019 18:24:48
    I don’t like pressing right up the field
    Maybe it’s because we’ve been an open door for the last 13 years at the back but i would prefer my defence and midfield to hold their shapeYeah we don’t and never really have pressed anywhere on the pitch and that’s been our problem for years. We let teams walk right through us and even rarely block crosses.


    And you think attempting to press with this squad is going to help on that front? Come on

  4. Emiratesstroller

    I think that the combination of Ljungberg and Mertesacker as a short term
    solution is an excellent idea.

    Mertesacker has an excellent pedigree as a World Cup winner and is in his
    second year as the Academy Manager.

    Those who criticise Ljungberg, because he was the Assistant to Emery should
    understand that he was the “outsider” in the coaching group. The others all
    came with Emery to club.

    Moreover I think that Ljungberg knew already during the game against Eintracht that the writing was on the wall for Emery. There was absolutely no
    point in having a debate with him over tactics and gameplan.

  5. CG

    Re: Pressing

    Do tell the fat Mexican who is fighting Anthony Joshua shortly to hold his hands up throughout the bout in the Saudi heat and deplete his energy levels or do you tell him to conserve his precious energy levels and when the moment is right pounce and knock him out?

    Unless you have unlimited resources pressing is a mugs game…

  6. Victorious

    Going to really suck seeing dippers lifting the title,quality team buh my God have they been jammy

    Painfully brings to the fore really how far back we’re in competing,thanks Unai

  7. That Dreamcast Kid

    if we don’t have the players that have the stamina or ability to press don’t do it

    in terms of style maybe we’re so far behind of the curve that we’re ahead of the pack now.

    being revival hipsters and all that ahaha

  8. Batistuta


    That group with France, Portugal and Germany is just nuts….Expect England to go through as usual but don’t think they’ll go far

  9. raptora

    Another proof that VAR isn’t doing well. Southampton’s first goal was scored after blatant hand ball during the dribble of the assisting player. Yes, it was hard to notice, but if they can’t spot this from the hundreds of replays they have, then what’s the point? Soton turned the game around cause of the goal. A massive result versus a direct relegation rival.

  10. Graham62

    Can anyone tell me exactly what Freddie was supposed to do these past few weeks under Emery?

    Should he have undermined him by shouting and gesticulating from the side? Should be have been more proactive when it was clear that Emery was losing it?

    Yes, he was a part of the carnage but he was not the cause of it.

    Go Freddie!

  11. CG

    When I accurately stated this was to be the Season from Hell, even I didn’t calculate Liverpool could break/match the 49 unbeaten record or the Invincible season…..

    Both are in serious peril.

    We need Art back at The Arsenal.
    Raul out.

  12. CG


    I amazed you are a Freddie Fan

    Freddie s already been on the phone to our Wenger…..picking his brains,chewing the fat, regaling stories of past glories.

    He idolizses him

    (Read the transcript)

  13. raptora

    Josh Kroenke: “Ultimately we started to fall short of several goals that we set. We still feel that we can achieve those goals this season, which is why we decided to make the change now.”

    They believe that top 4 is possible. The other goal is the Europa League trophy obviously. I believe top 4 is possible. We should have had at least 24 pts at the moment instead of 18 under a competent manager. The debacle vs Watford, the shameful display vs Southampton and one of the home draws vs Palace and Wolves should have been victories if we were managed decent enough. There were other bad results like the loss to Sheffield United but you can’t win all games. It’s all about getting the obvious wins and show some teeth vs the top teams. Team’s morale will raise and players like Pepe and Torreira could show much better displays. It all starts from changing the atmosphere though. Happy it happened and I get to anticipate watching Arsenal again. Tomorrow we’ll see if there’s a reason to be upbeat.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    Josh Kroenke was at the training ground speaking to the players apparently.

    As many are saying online, this is better from him. Long way to go to convince fans but this is better than the usual routine.

  15. Graham62


    Remember CG, Freddie was a part of Arsene Wenger Chapter 1 , not involved in the quagmire of Chapter 2.

    I really doubt Freddie would be picking what’s left of Mr Wenger’s footballing brains.

  16. Un na naai

    BatistutaNovember 30, 2019 19:16:58
    MarkoThat group with France, Portugal and Germany is just nuts….Expect England to go through as usual but don’t think they’ll go far


    Naaaa. Not like the semi finals of a World Cup or anything naaaaa. Much better team now than we had 2 years ago too. Raheem is a different beast. We’ve got Trent and chilwell, sancho and the chelsea players. You bitches had better hope we don’t win anything because I’m going to be even more unbearable than I already am.

    Eng ur land eng ur land eng ur laaaaand

  17. Un na naai

    CGNovember 30, 2019 19:35:49
    Graham I amazed you are a Freddie FanFreddie s already been on the phone to our Wenger…..picking his brains,chewing the fat, regaling stories of past glories.He idolizses him(Read the transcript)


    You’re right
    He will take his managerial cues from wenger
    It’s not like Vieira where he worked under several top managers for club and country and can take something from each.

  18. Radio Raheem

    Arteta to manage Arsenal? I’m sure you don’t mean this Pedro. There are at least 15 names more deserving.

    But yeah I fell for it 🙂

  19. Luteo Guenreira

    Ruiz in spite of his fatness is the far more technical fighter compared to Joshua. Joshua is barely a boxer. Ruiz by decision.

  20. CG


    “”””He will take his managerial cues from wenger””””

    and lets hope he will immediately install Wenger Values into the club.

    Values of quality entertaining soccer, trying to win every game.Not worrying about the opposition. Class.

    Its will be great to see Freddie tomo leading the team out and knowing Wengerism will always be alive and kicking at the club.

  21. Luteo Guenreira

    Wengerism used to mean nonsensical idioms offered to the media as explanation after a bad showing from the squad. Have we changed the meaning then?

  22. CG


    So Pressing in the Qatar World Cup is the same Pressing at the Baseball ground in the mud on a Boxing day fixture is the same Pressing in the Spartak /Dynamo Moscow derby on their oversized pitch….

    ‘Pressing’ like the Loch Ness Monster is a con.

    (let the ball do the work and the press is redundant)

  23. Upstate Gooner

    Berbasloth with a brace. It’s all square at 2. Arshavin earns the penalty in extra time. He’s at the spot to put Arsenal ahead. He shoots… and misses. #Legend

  24. Spudnik


    I agree. Pressing in the desert heat can really only be done be people who live in the desert – and I reckon they can’t do it. Desert life for humans and animals is about conserving energy. So no pressing in Qatar. In England? No problem.

  25. Tom

    When I accurately stated this was to be the Season from Hell, even I didn’t calculate Liverpool could break/match the 49 unbeaten record or the Invincible season…..


    Wouldn’t that be ironic in a karma- like sort of way , Klopp – the manager Arsenal should’ve hired ,when it was obvious to all but the most blinkered Wenger supporters that he was done as a top level coach, coaching a club lead by an MVP defender ,VVD , who Wenger thought was “to nonchalant “ so they got the opposite of nonchalant in Mustafi for twice the money.

    The ultimate AKB nightmare.

    And since you are still boasting you accurate predictions CG, hows that Watford top 6 looking these days?

  26. CG


    Ill let you into a secret:

    Unless you have unlimited resources- pressing is a mugs game. ( certainly in England)

    Look after your resources. They are precious commodities.

    You want £72 million pound Pepe galloping down the wing in the Loosers on a Thursday ‘pressing’ like a lunatic or do you want him hovering looking to score a winning goal and conserving energy so he is not knackered for the important Sunday fixture?

    Pressing and transition talk is like Black Friday.

    Designed for Dopes!

  27. London gunner

    Don’t get how people aren’t pushing for rodgers. Premier league proven manager with scintillating football and great at controlling big egos.

    He has it all tbh

  28. Spudnik


    I accept that you think its a fad, but I would argue that it’s one in a number of ways of playing as evidenced by the video links I posted here. Pressing is not the only way to play without the ball. It just so happens that the 2 best team in the PL play that way.

    That does not mean that a team will come along and win the Prem and Champions league playing another system.

    there is no doubt that Holland did not win the 1974 World Cup by pressing. Real Madrid won 3 Champions Leagues without a pressing game.

  29. Marko

    Wouldn’t that be ironic in a karma- like sort of way , Klopp – the manager Arsenal should’ve hired ,when it was obvious to all but the most blinkered Wenger supporters that he was done as a top level coach, coaching a club lead by an MVP defender ,VVD , who Wenger thought was “to nonchalant “ so they got the opposite of nonchalant in Mustafi for twice the money.The ultimate AKB nightmare.


  30. Spudnik

    BTW. I’m not convinced about Freddie, but, to quote Kevin Keegan, I would fucking luv it if it went well for him. Go on Fred,

  31. CG


    “”””And since you are still boasting you accurate predictions CG, hows that Watford top 6 looking these days?””””

    File that in my 13%

    I have an 87% accuracy in the footballing future markets.

    no one comes anywhere near those stats around here but to hazard a guess

    I guesstimate:

    The G 79%
    Pierre 72%
    PedRo 71%
    Guns of H 71%
    UN 70%
    Graham 50%
    Walt 5%
    BD 1%
    Cesc -25%
    Marko- 100%

    I gave you November
    I gave you a Season from Hell
    I gave you he would never win another another post vote of confidence
    I gave you Freddie would be manager
    I am giving you 3 managers in a season
    I gave you Raul the charlatan

    And you want more…..?

  32. Tom

    Ha ha , very well.
    I don’t keep you scores but you do sound like the hot shot Wall Street broker I used to have ,who would only bring up his winners and develop a serious case of amnesia when it came to his losers.

    Just out of curiosity though , if Freddie turns out to be a hit and Arsenal win EL
    and make top four…………….would this still be a season from hell , or ……kinda ….
    a ….success ?!
    And how will you file that in your ,impressive no doubt, winners /losers predictions portfolio:)

  33. CG


    you make some very sage observations.

    We might nick the Loosers- but highly unlikely.

    And We aint making top 4 via league position if we play 12 players every week.

    The Season from Hell will be worth the pain ultimately- if we get Raul Out and Art in for next season 20/21!

    If the Spiv stays- A Decade in the Doldrums looms.

  34. Marko

    He gave us Watford.
    He gave us big calves.
    He gave us wishing we would be beat.
    He gave us Wenger was still doing a good job.
    He gave us Sean Dyche.
    He’s giving us pressing is a fools game.

    There’s probably more in that 13%.

  35. Samesong

    One of CH below

    Toffees in for Zaha
    If wilf joins Everton and Spurs dont sell Erikson we will end up with.
    1.spurs utd
    4. Everton
    5 Chelsea
    6. Liverpool
    7. arsenal/ Leicester

  36. Tom

    Why is the EL success unlikely?

    If Freddie was such an obvious choice for his Wenger DNA , and not because he was the cheapest option available- one ,everyone and their uncle could’ve seen coming from a mile away( sorry to rain on your I predicted Freddie parade).
    Then why shouldn’t he win the losers cup( as you call it) with a squad full of talent most on here said before the season’s start should make top three?

  37. That Dreamcast Kid

    Wenger is too idealist with his footy by not doing his homework on opposition but we don’t need such negative pragmatist like Emery neither so from Ljungberg I hope we get the balance of idealism and pragmatism meaning we still keep some powder dry instead of going all out guns blazing every single match

  38. into the red

    You make a good and convincing case. I have no confidence that the people who actually make the decisions will do such due diligence, and are more scared of failing than they are of being bold and having some kind of vision.

  39. Spudnik

    Oi Pedders. Please tell us your vision for Arteta under Raul and how it is beautiful. Don’t be shy now Pete. It’s only your imagination at stake. Just interact with your blog

  40. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Mikel Arteta, former club captain and current assistant to Pep Guardiola, was 24 hours from being appointed in May 2017 before former chief executive Ivan Gazidis swerved away from the risk and opted for the experience of Emery.’


    Hold on a second.

    This can’t be right.

  41. China1

    When they were voting to choose the next manager, they each had a piece of paper with all the names in front of them and they had to tick next to their preferred candidate

    Arteta and emery were tied with the last vote falling to gazidis.

    Gazidis was far too smart to pick a loser like emery and instead knew clearly that an average former player with zero management experience was hands down the best candidate, so he leaned in to tick next to arteta’s name. His tiny sweaty hands trembling with excitement knowing that this entirely unproven guy was about to turn arsenal into city because he listens to pep


    Just then that conniving little cunt Raul saw that Ivan was going to go with arteta and saw that this would mean his preferred contacts/best mate/who even knows what candidate emery would lose the vote. So Raul forced out a silent but violent fart, almost shitting his pants with anger in the process.

    Poor Ivan smelled the puff of fecal wind, recoiled in anguish and slipped off his chair, accidentally leaving a pen mark next to emery’s Name. He had to be rushed to hospital with respiratory complications and didn’t even know what he’d done until he came back to work a month later and was greeted with ‘good ebening’

    And at that, that dirty cunt Raul had officially farted away what was left of the exceptional and definitely a real thing and not just made up in Arsenal’s minds VALUES

    at least this is what my sauce told me who I gather is the same as Pedro’s so should be right

  42. Cesc Appeal

    I just think Sanllehi threatened to kill Gazidis by hitting him with his contacts book.

    Gazidis, seeing the size of the mighty book, did whatever Sanllehi said.

    Sanllehi later laughed about it with Mendes as they bathed together.

  43. Bojangles

    Almost every manager under the sun has been mentioned here in relation to Arsenal. I’m just waiting for those who are calling for the likes of Dyche, Howe and Wilding to start calling for Bruce.

    We now have Freddie short term, get behind h and see where it takes us. The wallies in charge are hopefully drawing up a shortlist of prospective head coaches if things go even more pear shape with Freddie.

    We can expect the team to be set up better for today’s game. I expect everyone in their best position, no playing out from the back and an attacking mindset. For the first time in weeks I’m looking forward to the next match with the expectation of getting a result.

  44. China1

    My mum always used to say db10 Freddie TH and TR7 were the babes in our teams

    I’m going to assume she’s the authority on such matters

  45. Tony

    So Wenger left the club in a far worse condition than the one he took over, and when this has been pointed out innumerable times, the AKBs bitched like stuck pigs being led by Don who says he’s the most unbearable man from unbearable land – probably the most honest statement Don has ever posted lol.

    Now the AKBs and Wenger apologists/idols believe that Freddie has a hot line to Wenger to guide him to being a successful coach.

    Are we including Sundays now in our joke days?

    Made me laugh this morning.

    We’d have been happy if Emery had the same ‘berk’ levels/results as Rogers, wouldn’t we?

    Deer in headlights looking Arteta yesterday had no clue how to beat Newcastle – so good is Arteta at digging out wins for Pep, that City will likely be out of the PL race by Xmas.

    Don’t be taken in by all the players’ love ins for Arteta; you didn’t with all the Wenger idolisers when you were championing the Wenger Out campaign.

    I’d see an optician for that myopia Pedro; there a wonderful world out there to see as well and some great potential managers with managerial experience starting with Rogers, Allegri, Rafa & Carlo.

    Who knows what Freddie can deliver, but he’s a far bigger legend than your never-managed-a-game-or-team wonder boy.

    Arteta could well be a successful manager in the future; but any CEO/TD/DoF worth his salt would want metrics and results to judge him by before making any decision on his hiring.

    I get it that Arteta doesn’t just put the cones out that he cleans boots brilliantly as well and can also conduct a good interview in English and probably 4 other languages.

    Maybe you’ve yet to meet and interview people who can talk a good fight, but not do the business when called upon, although Wenger’s, “I’m going to reinvent myself” and then be so bad he got fired should get your can do/can’t do BS radar levels raised.

    Arteta offered nothing to Pep yesterday in a must win game for their title aspirations. That’s the kind of benchmark you should be judging Arteta for at the moment.

    Finally a game to look forward to and to see what Freddie offers. No idea if Freddie has what it takes – we’ll know more after the Norwich game today.

    Watching the City and Liverpool games yesterday to me both teams hunted in packs reminiscent of Barca’s style with the rest of the players holding strategic positions closing out the gaps behind and across the pitch from the pack hunt.

    Both team intelligently knew when to hunt down the ball and when stand off to limit the opposition choices to move the ball in closing down the spaces.

    Forgot to answer your amusing sardonic question; I am hoping to have the cinema ready for the Xmas & New year schedule.

    I’ve always said I thought the duo of Vinai & Raul running the club in the absence of a CEO to be a shambolic cop out: a path for one or other to seize the real power ala Wenger’s total power model.

    I had from the beginning of Raul’s hire(by IG) and still retain serious concerns about Raul being the wrong fit for us, and have always wanted an experienced footballing CEO to take over from IG to keep the club from making poor decisions, such as hiring emery & his people and keeping Raul & Vinai on track with their KPIs set by the CEO/owners.

    All Raul has to do is play his “I’m a successful Barca man” card to Josh and Stan to make them be in aw of his ugly stunted presence, and then police himself, because there is no one else to judge his performance.

    Stan love him because they both fell out of the same ugly tree hitting all the same branches on the way down. Fcuk me even Sir fish & Chips looks like a Calvin Klein model compared to those 2.

    Except the fans of course where the natives will get restless if Raul handles the next management choice wrongly.

    That’s my 10 pence worth for Sunday; have a good one Le Grovers.

  46. Tony

    Worst fears confirmed?

    “REVEALED: The power struggles besieging Arsenal, from the boardroom right down to the academy… Unai Emery never stood a chance and no successor will either until the battles are resolved

    Arsenal’s lack of leadership at boardroom level is the cause of club’s demise

    Freddie Ljungberg has the unenviable task of rejuvenating a dispirited squad

    Mikel Arteta has been linked with Arsenal job and could provide leadership

    Arsenal have lost the scouting savvy that saw them unearth top prospects”

  47. Emiratesstroller

    I find the Josh Kronke interview with BBC incredible!

    Apparently the hierarchy at the club have been concerned about the performance level under Emery “for some time”.

    If that is the case why on earth has it taken so long to sack him?

    Anyone has been following the club this season must have seen how turgid the football has been. I don’t recall a single EPL game so far where we deserved to win.

  48. China1

    There are some problems with this squad which are well documented but what I want to see is the club just very confidently and aggressively go at them with a plan. Some difficult decisions need to be made but as we see with Brexit, indecision is more damaging than no decision and passively waiting for stars to align

    For example auba is an awesome scorer but maybe this summer we should be selling auba for 60m and throwing that straight back at a top DM/defensively minded B2B.

    We have auba laca pepe martinelli, Eddie, saka, ozil (lol) and Nelson as options along the front line. As much as auba is the guy, if we decide to move to a pressing system that demands more, laca will be better for the team than auba. I can live with it if we cash in.

    Likewise for bellerin. If a club actually offers 40+m for him take the money and go for a bargain replacement and reinvest the remainder towards CB/CM positions

  49. Freddie Ljungberg

    The power struggles if there are any isn’t why Emery failed, it was a combination of his dithering and changing formations and personnel every game and the wholesale transitioning of the squad needed from Wengers aging players to a young squad fit for the future but maybe not so much for the now.

    Even with the relatively weak squad we have it was all on Emery in the end, after this long there should be no need to be so negative and to switch lineups that often.

    We should see some improvements with clear tactics and instructions but if we don’t at least partially fix our terrible midfield/defence in January I can’t see us getting top 4 no matter if it’s baby Jesus lego hair coming in or not.

  50. peanuts&monkeys

    I hope Bellerin gets the sack too the chap had nothing but speed. It appears he lost that too. Arsenal right flank is in shambles. Bring back AMN for RB till a new RB is found or bought.

  51. Useroz

    ”Wait Ivan blocked the move? But I thought Raul and his filthy contact laden paws were to blame.”

    At that stage Raul still preferred to keep his paws in pockets hiding bis true colours.

    Other than Ozil and the exiled Elmey and Mihki, the squad has lots of issues, unbalanced I’d put simply.

  52. Tony

    DM report

    “Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino ‘warned by friends not to take Arsenal job as they believe he should wait for better role at Real Madrid, Man United or Bayern Munich’

    Mauricio Pochettino has been warned to hold off on taking the Arsenal job
    People close to him reportedly believe he can land a better job down the line”

    Looks like we dodged a bullet and should thank Poch’s friends.

    The guy isn’t right for us.

    Has the same temperament as Xhaka & Ozil: petulance in abundance. Guy could sulk for Argentina Just looks at his pressers when he was asked difficult questions calling his judgement into question.

  53. Pierre

    Some are too quick to write players off coming back from injury.

    Bellerin and Holding have both had serious long term injuries and it is not unusual for players with these type of injuries to take a while to get up to speed.

    Of course , it hasn’t helped that they have had to come back playing in a dysfunctional team .

    Do not expect them to be up to speed until January as it is a slow process , if they play too many games now , it will result in them picking up niggling injuries.

    The end of the season is the time to assess their future

  54. Ishola70


    “Luiz has made a couple of awful errors, but he’s our best CB.”

    “I wouldn’t be playing David Luiz in the Arsenal team now if I was anything to do with the coaching staff at the club.

    “He drops so deep that he’s killing the whole team. He hasn’t got a defensive bone in his body and Arsenal went and bought him to solve their issues at the back.

    “By taking David Luiz, Arsenal just bought a problem from Chelsea.”

    From Martin Keown the man many on here always ask for to come back in a defensive coaching role and of course was key in Arsenal reaching the CL final all those years back. He wouldn’t even have Luiz in his Arsenal starting XI.

    The point he makes about him dropping too deep was made on here before when it was said that he struggles when drawn away from the safety area of his own penalty box/six yard area. All he is really capable of now is some deep sweeper play. Oh and he might get a few goals from set plays.

  55. China1

    I’d trust keown’s take on Luiz. Keown should be invited to help fix our defensive shit show because he is the one who can make a real difference if anyone can

    As for bellerin. He was impressive for 6 months when he first started playing. Then tailed off into a pretty poor defender for the final 18 months under wenger. Was ok but nothing special at the start of last season then got injured.

    There’s not really any evidence that bellerin is a good defender from the last 2.5 or so years. He just had a good purple patch of form when he initially broke into the team.

    If we can get over 40m you can probably replace with a like for like stabdard if player for 20m, or get a better one for under 30.

    He’s greatly overrated

  56. Tony

    Works for me although Rodriguez will probably bring some unpleasant baggage. as long as it’s not disruptive to the squad, it’s fine. Down too Freddie to deal with.

    Definitely need the £70mil, though to buy player to balance the midfield and improve the defence.

    DM story

    “Real Madrid to offer ‘£70million AND James Rodriguez’ in a bid to lure Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Bernabeu

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was signed by Arsene Wenger back in 2018

    Reports suggest he is keen to move on in the summer with Madrid interested
    El Desmarque report that Madrid will use James Rodriguez as a makeweight”

  57. Ishola70

    Talking of full backs quality goal from Creswell yesterday for West Ham against Chelsea.

    Creswell can be dodgy defensively but have to give him credit for that particular goal yesterday.

    Willems also scored a nice goal yesterday for Newcastle from the full back position again running inside to receive a pass. Creswell’s goal was cutting inside on the ball.

    Bellerin should take note.

  58. peanuts&monkeys

    ‘He speaks the noise of players having been a very good one himself. ‘

    Ami I missing something here? Does this also mean Arteta was a v good player himself? I’m sure I’m mistaken. Which football fan would ever have such a perverse impression of a MF?

  59. Gentlebris

    ‘Right but when you don’t have the ball what do you do? Nothing I suppose.’

    You mark… stay on your guy and cut him out from receiving a pass. You anticipate the ball flow, you get ready to intercept.

    There is a lot you can do off the ball without running around aimlessly in the name of pressing.

    I feel pressing is what less technical sides do.

    Pep added pressing to his plan to give his opponents more trouble, but if you have not got the players for it you plan differently. Martinelli and Willock is the only guys we have who can press, and quite frankly, Willock should still be playing in the age grade league.

  60. China1

    I like willock a lot actually

    I think he adds value to our squad. His problem is simply he’s inconsistent but he’s a kid and that usually comes with the territory

    When he’s good he’s very good and that’s about half the time. He’s the kind of player who should be making semi frequent sub appearances and playing in the lower importance cup games as first choice

    Then we see how he looks for next season come the summer

    I certainly think he adds some unique characteristics to this squad tho. Nobody else has his guile in midfield and his ability when on form to drive forwards through the middle and contribute with midfield goals by arriving late is not something anyone else can do

    I want to see him bulk up a tiny bit and also focus on the defensive side of his game so that he’s rounded.

    If he became a 7.5/10 player defensively in terms of ability and positioning he would be an extremely useful b2b alongside a good dm

  61. Champagne charlie

    Can someone explain why Keown gets this mythical status as being some defensive coach extraordinaire?

    The man works for BT, and appears on MOTD. Has done for about a decade with absolutely no day-to-day coaching work.

    Don’t tell me it’s about the CL final run we had, we set a defensive record and Keown gets credit for his input then goes 14 years without a job in football as a defensive coach?

    Have a word

  62. China1

    He’s not the same but there’s a touch of a young less consistent abou diaby about willock in terms of what he brings

    He needs some time and professional nurturing within a good system and coaching structure to get him to the next level

    Manage that and he will be a quality player

  63. China1

    Charlie do you think wenger organized the best defense in CL history comprised of those players? A guy who couldn’t organize his way out of a carrier bag

    As for no further coaching roles, keown chose to leave after that year for reasons not clarified publicly as far as I’m aware

    Who knows what the reasons are – maybe he didn’t want the pressure and prefers to just be a talking head every few weeks on TV. As opposed to spending his days down the training ground when he could have more time with his family

  64. Unai

    @Freddie from 4.29, your right, we put a lot of weight on what goes on in the senior management but the fact is, it has little to do with what happens in the pitch or the training ground.

    Emery was given a decent squad and strong investment this summer and flunked it, that’s all on him.

    That’s why I wont criticize Raul so much, his last 2 major actions were to deliver a strong summer and sack a failing manager.

    Let’s hope the next manager us the right pick or that Freddie turns out to be a revelation, it’s time for the players and coaches to show what there worth.

  65. Ishola70

    If people don’t want to listen to Keown for some reason then they can hear what Gary Neville said about David Luiz the other day.

    Then if not Keown and Neville how about Carragher who also doesn’t rate him.

    If not Keown, Neville and Carragher perhaps Shearer.

    If not Keown, Neville, Carragher and Shearer then Murphy maybe.

    And on and on.

    Of course all these people are misguided and wrong about David Luiz.

  66. Johannesburg Gooner

    I read and respect your blog and opinions tremendously however… i have to disagree with you on Arteta and as much as i do think Pep is a visionary he has assembled what must be the most expensive side with pretty much an open cheque book so do i think part of his success must be ascribed to that.

  67. Champagne charlie


    Wenger organised a side to go unbeaten for 49 games and last a season without a loss. To claim he had no influence in that particular CL feat and elevate Keown as the main man smacks of the stale bitterness he gets from some fans.

    Like the invincibles it was a culmination of great coaching and all other things working in our favour.

    Martin Keown isn’t deserving of the credit, as abundantly clear in his 14 year coaching career since. If you’re that good you’re headhunted and go from there. So when I hear folk call for Keown to come in as defensive coach it often puzzles me as to where the credentials come from.

  68. Pierre

    We need to forget about having a box to box player in a 2 man midfield.

    Above all we need our midfield to play with discipline and protect our defence, and our full backs to remain in touch with the centre backs.

    This should immediately.makes us more solid as a team .

    Willock in a 3 man midfield can play the box to box role.

    Freddie’s decision is 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 , it all depends on if he feels Ozil can give enough to the team , if he does then it should be 4-2-3-1 with 2 holding midfielders , if not then it should be 4-3-3 with a midfield of 3 out of willock, Guendouzi, xhaka or Torreira, or he may even fancy Luiz or chambers as a holding mid.

    It’s important he sticks to his beliefs of how he wants the game played and not chop and change systems like the clown did..

    I have a feeling it will be 4-2-3-1 with the 4 offensive players being out of Martinelli, Aubameyang, Lacazette, , ozil and pepe.

  69. Graham62


    No they’re not.

    David Luiz showed us all the other evening against Frankfurt where his mind is at.

    I’ve always seen him as a bit of “fancy boy headless chicken”. When he concentrates he can be very good but when his mind has gone, which is 80% of the time, he’s a liability.

    If picked to play, he has to now prove that he is committed to the cause. If he doesn’t, he could become a very unpopular figure very quickly.

    Over to you Mr Luiz.

  70. Pierre

    “Of course all these people are misguided and wrong about David Luiz.”

    Anyone playing in the clown’s dysfunctional system should get a free pass .

  71. Gentlebris

    ‘I certainly think he adds some unique characteristics to this squad tho. Nobody else has his guile in midfield and his ability when on form to drive forwards through the middle and contribute with midfield goals by arriving late is not something anyone else can do’

    Willock is a poor man’s Ramsey, the only reason he’s rated is his age. I like the fact that he arrives at box and press, he also can carry the ball(he does it too roughly mostly), but his all round play is totally juvenile and most time he’s not aware of what’s happening around him, a good example of that is when he got in Auba’s way to net a header in the last game.

    Willock might very well turn good, but right now Torrey, Ceballos, and AMN should be playing ahead of him. And then January, after discarding Xhaka, we must sign a great DM and a B2B who knows the trade, pushing Wilkock further down the first team ladder.

  72. Ishola70


    Let’s not pretend that David Luiz doesn’t come with history of being dodgy defensively.

    Posters on here were labelling him “Coco The Clown” at certain periods of his Chelsea career.

    But you want to nail it all on Emery.

    He is in essence a sweeper and an aging one at that. Very Arsenal like signing for CB.

    He is only going to work in a back three at this stage but we saw how good that looked against Southampton. Dreadful.

    He would need at least one very good CB alongside him in a back three.

    Overall his signing has been a waste of time and money.

  73. Ishola70

    Defensively I would say there is not much difference between Sok and Luiz for defensive weakness.

    The only reason why fans would rate Luiz higher at CB is because of his footballing attributes away from defensive ones in comparison to Sok which says it all about the mind set of enough Arsenal fans.

    The bottom line is Arsenal have a bit of a shit show of CBs to choose from.

  74. Pierre

    Again, lets wait and see how willock’s game develops in functional system.

    You say he is a poor man’s Ramsey and his “all round play is totally juvenile, yet Ramsey ( though a good player) played what some would call a very juvenile game for a good few years, to the detriment of the team…..glory hunting I think they called it.

    I find willock much more of a team player than Ramsey though his all round game is not at Ramsey’s standard yet.

    It is only now that Ramsey is understanding that football is a team game, and he is a better player for it .

  75. Pierre

    “Posters on here were labelling him “Coco The Clown” at certain periods of his Chelsea career.”

    The only clown at the Arsenal recently was our previous manager, who you gave your misguided support tight up until the bitter end

  76. MartinellisHead


    ‘ My mum always used to say db10 Freddie TH and TR7 were the babes in our teams’

    Your mum sounds like a hoe. At least be man enough to say you fancied them.

  77. Graham62

    On to today’s game.

    I think we all know that had Emery still been in charge a win would have been very difficult, but let’s not assume that having Freddie at the helm will suddenly make things better.

    Having just two days to make drastic changes is an impossibility. However, I genuinely believe the psychological factor will have a big affect on the outcome of the game.

    I hope we play on the front foot and I also hope that Freddie makes the right personnel choices and gives the likes of Auba, Lacazette and Pepe the freedom to cause havoc, which they can.

    To predict the outcome is very difficult, as NC will be well up for it. Nevertheless, I’m going to stick my neck out and go for a 3-1 or 3-2 win.

    Fingers crossed.

    Go Freddie!

  78. Ishola70

    ”The only clown at the Arsenal recently was our previous manager, who you gave your misguided support tight up until the bitter end”

    Are you sure about that?

    When he was first appointed I said I didn’t expect much from him.

    Then stated the unbeaten run last season was being over-rated which you disagreed with.

    Also when the fixtures came out at the start of this season said we would not see the same sort of unbeaten run which we saw last season again which you disagreed with.

    Said on here the team would find it difficult starting from the Crystal Palace home match which again you disagreed with.

    Who was actually over-rating or backing him on here? You or me?

    The only time I ever piped up for the man was when there was endless shit being thrown at him that was never even verified and just speculation and people like you championing a waster of a footballer over him.

    You do like stating falsities on here don’t you Pierre.

  79. Pierre

    I see a little bit of Deli Alli in Willock, though Alli has a little more composure on the ball at this present time.

    Both take up very good positions in and around the box and will make double figures in the season.

  80. Pierre

    Didn’t quite get did you.

    I was setting him up to fail by saying that palace, wolves and shef utd were winnable games .

    Whereas you jumped in and tried to defend the clown by saying how difficult those games are .

    They were difficult for one reason and we all know why that is.

  81. China1

    Charlie I’m not bitter at all because I give wenger the credit he duly warrants for those successful years

    And those years coincided with attacking players being given total freedom (he was smart enough to buy the right players to work brilliantly in a free flowing system)

    And those brilliant years also had the remnants of George graham’s Back 4 plus in later years sol Campbell, one of the world’s most dominant CBs and a huge leader during his peak.

    Wenger didn’t need to organize the defense in those days, just pick his brilliant back 4 and CMs and let the attack do what they need to do with total confidence.

    Wengers credit was to buy the right players at the right prices and not step on their toes

    You seriously think toure, signed as an AM converted in a quality CB because wenger coaches his defensive side? Wenger was smart enough to think he could transition to the role, but I would bet the roof over my head without playing alongside the likes of keown and Campbell, toure would’ve been a bit of a mess at CB.

    It is more than a little interesting that once the old guard of elite defenders we had retired and keown left the setup, our defense was lightweight ever since

  82. Ishola70


    They were difficult in relation to this present Arsenal team and ex manager. That is the whole point.

    Would you care to tell us why you over-rated last season’s unbeaten run so highly?

    Because it turned out a right chimera didn’t it. A mirage.

    But here you were on here telling everbody the merits of that unbeaten run last season.

  83. China1

    Martinellis head I never said I didn’t fancy them did I????

    Tho kindly refrain from calling other mans’ mam a hoe lol

  84. Ishola70

    Oh that’s right.

    Emery lost his job because he took Torreira away from DM.

    If he had only kept Torreira at DM he would still be Arsenal manager.

    It’s that simple isn’t it Pierre.

  85. China1

    Charlie wenger genius on his early years was

    1) fabulous recruitment approach
    2) knowing when to sell and getting good deals buying and selling
    3) recognizing elite potential before anyone else could
    4) instilling a free flowing style of football by not limiting the approach or overly focusing on defense
    5) revolutionary approach to diet, training etc to get 20% more out of his players
    6) charismatic leadership the players and fans totally bought into and never questioned
    7) not stepping on the toes of the players who knew what they were doing

    N7 is key here, because the defense didn’t need organizing. We had the best defensive unit in England when he came and he signed sol fricking Campbell a few years later who was a 9/10 CB. Going forwards you need not step on the toes of Henry, bergkamp and co. They need releasing rather than organizing.

    This is why players like Sanchez thrived under him but look lost in an organized system whilst players who needed proper instructions to reach the next level almost all failed to kick on after the elite players from the early years left (Walcott, ox and chums)

    That is a more than fair assessment of wenger and his early years genius

  86. Pierre

    You still don’t get it , you shouldn’t take everything so literally.

    As you know , I never rated Emery after watching the first couple of games, the know nothing’s thought it was due to my perceived allegiance to Wenger..

    However, going 22 games unbeaten isn’t to be sniffed at, as has been proved by our recent poor run against basically the same level of sides that we were beating 12 months ago.

    It was always my opinion that our unbeaten run was largely due to the team still having Wenger’s DNA in their play .

    As soon as the clowns philosophy took hold , the quality of the football deteriorated.