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

by & filed under News Review.

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)”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. bennydevito

    Urrgh Pedro, I don’t understand what’s wrong with you at the moment?

    Why do you keep on repeating out and out falsehoods as truth??

    In your latest podcast you say Emery rested players against Crystal Palace because he wanted to win the EL because of ego.

    This simply is not true! How many times do you need to be told that players were injured and suspended, he had no choice!

    Jesus seriously.

  2. bennydevito

    Raul brought in Emery – no he didn’t.

    We’ve spent next season’s transfer money – no we haven’t.

    Emery rested players against Crystal palace – no he didn’t.

    Raul had dinner with Mourinho – no he didn’t.

    Rinse repeat.

  3. DaleDaGooner

    Guendouzi? Ozil? Or maybe Torreira? How many of our midfielders will take a shot like that of De Bruyne maybe Xhaka, but then again the other areas of his game is gash.

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Looking like that City ‘IP’ might need topping up by £300 or £400 million this January.

    Can’t be expected to turn this around without it, surely.

  5. DaleDaGooner

    Again, other than Xhaka, which of our midfielders has shown this mettle? Maybe Torreira but not with a shot. Guendouzi should be under the gun now. Plays so much, any wonder why our midfield isn’t up to par?

  6. Emiratesstroller


    When Wenger was recruited he brought in with him from recollection only one additional coach, which was Boro Primorac.

    The other coaching staff were already at the club or subsequently brought in.

    I would hope that whoever is appointed head coach would keep Freddie Ljungberg at the club. By all accounts he is highly rated and has a good relationship with younger players.

    One of the reasons that I would prefer to recruit a young head coach whether
    it be Vieira or Arteta is that they would be less likely to bring in the baggage,
    which we landed up carrying with Emery.

    Arsenal have unloaded recently a considerable number of coaches and scouts
    from the Academy.

    So there is scope now to rebuild the entire coaching and scouting systems at
    the club.

    Frankly I think that is not an altogether bad thing to do.

  7. Spudnik


    Your bias towards Arteta knows no bounds. So let’s agree that Arteta is an exciting unknown – a 90s Wenger if you will. Do you seriously expect us to believe that Arteta would thrive under the club leadership of Raul? No way. Ain’t gonna happen mate. Stop being a dick.

    Don’t get me wrong. The Arteta project is a good idea, but not with Raul. Sack Raul and then bring in a project manager.

    Do you seriously believe that the fans will wait for two to three years for the results of a project manager to bear fruit? Without a top down vision in the club, that belief is fancy free and quite honestly belongs in the realms of Boris Johnson fantasy. It is sheer and utter bollocks.

    You’ve spoken at length in these pages about the failings of Raul and his contacts strategy. Please explain how you expect Arteta to bring the 1st XI forward with Raul using his Super Agents mates to populate the team. Seriously mate. Cop the fuck on.

  8. Gentlebris

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

    Of course we know Arteta was not an incredible player….and that brings the rest of Pep’s hype of Arteta into perspective.

  9. Guns of sf


    How about writing about Freddie?
    He is also a legend and a arsenal champ
    Why not write about him? Seems like your Arteta love fest is linked to pep

    I’m excited about seeing what Freddie can do. Charisma goes a long way and does respect

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Guns of SF


    Don’t want Ljungberg long term but if you’re hyped about Arteta then there’s no reason at all to not apply the same standards to Ljungberg.

    Much, much, much better player. An actual Arsenal legend. Has been a manager (while it was youth level still more than Arteta) and has far more charisma than Arteta.

  11. Gentlebris

    Let’s not waste our energy arguing about Arteta, there is absolutely no chance Arteta will be hired, absolutely no chance.

    With the situation on ground, our guys in charge are not going to put themselves in a situation where people would go after them for hiring the wrong man if things turned sour.

    They have to hire a manager 99% of people would see as VERY APPROPRIATE; and that’s what they are gonna do, unless they are imbeciles…….and they are not!

  12. Marko

    “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.”

    Thing is though Arteta was never a holding midfielder. He was literally just thrown in there because Wenger was too stubborn/cheap/incompetent to actually go out and get a DM. He did the same thing with Cazorla to fit in Ozil. Both were never holding midfielders at every other club they were at they were RM/CAM. So basically if you/Pep is saying that because he was a holding midfielder it might make him a good smart coach I’m not buying it with regards to Mikel. Alonso maybe Cesc I can see it but Mikel playing averagely out of position? Nah for me. The whole thing seems like a love letter to me but once again I remain unconvinced by Mikel I’ve yet to see or understand how he’s “the most exciting unknown in the world of football” with all these elite ideas considering he gets passed up on so many jobs.

    In saying all that I’m game at this point because there’s no better time right now to see if project Arteta would fail miserably or not. And it’s only fair that he does it with the same players right now or in fact even just bring back Elneny and Mhikitaryan too. What’s another set back of 12-18 months if at the end of it we can finally move on from Mikel Arteta the best manager that isn’t

  13. Marko

    I flat out don’t believe in or trust this ‘structure’ to operate smoothly for the foreseeable.

    Charles genuine question but what has you so worked up about the structure?

  14. Tony

    Feeding your Arteta obsession again Pedro. You’re getting close to Pierre’s levels of disingenuous reasoning, but still a fair way to go to joining Bamford in La La land.

    Would have preferred a post offering more insight about Freddie and what he might bring – at the very least showing Freddie support to begin with.

    I’m not against Arteta but not at this time.

    Until there is sound leadership with management cohesion solely working on the club’s future vision, rather than individuals’ personal agendas/gains, a novice manager should not be employed.

    Rogers, Allegri, Rafa and Carlo in that order imo is the right calculated gamble for the next day 2 years with a 3rd year option.

    For now we have Freddie and need to get behind him because the task he is facing is immense.

    Norwich will be an interesting game for many reasons.

  15. Champagne charlie


    The people in it, how it’s functioning. Would think that’s quite a clear and obvious concern for any fan with a pulse.

    We’ve just had them bypass making the right decision in the summer regarding Emery, then again with the international break only to pull the trigger a couple of games later and plunge us into further unnecessary disruption.

    Then you’ve the crumbs of info being leaked about power grabs re: the board, talk about us getting smelly with super agents, and general internal muddling that suggests anything but a well-oiled, sparkly new system of support for a green manager that would likely require a bit of backing from all angles.

    Hence why I think a bit of a wise man is necessary, someone that can look Raul in the eye and feel a sense of equality there. Someone that won’t tolerate any silly bollocks, whatever shape or form it may or may not come in. At least until it’s clear as day that who we have behind the scenes are the right sort, with the right ideas.

  16. China1

    Yeah Pedro you must at least be hype that not only is emery out but a total legend is in for however many games it will be

    The long term manager discussion is the most important one but cmon you gotta be nursing a semi to have the one and only legend that is ljungberg taking us into the Norwich game

    I don’t know if he will do anything good at all, but I’m excited as hell to watch the game tomorrow

    Let’s gooooo

  17. Northbanker

    Good post and well presented argument for Arteta so why am I not convinced. Quite simply many of the same arguments relate to Freddie. Let’s focus on a player who achieved far more for Arsenal than Arteta did and actually won trophies here!!

    He has first hand knowledge of the current failings and strengths and weaknesses of the team.

    I would like to see one appointment – Martin Keown brought in as defensive coach. His last and only time in that role was the 2006 season – a pretty decent innings too. With no goals conceded i recall correctly until the final

  18. Marko

    We’ve just had them bypass making the right decision in the summer regarding Emery, then again with the international break only to pull the trigger a couple of games later and plunge us into further unnecessary disruption.

    So it’s the timing that’s the issue. First off absolutely no way he was going to get bipped in the summer irrespective of what some people think he wasn’t that bad and he was clearly going to get time. I agree with the international break I assumed that he was going to be sacked and it was the perfect opportunity to do it because it was beyond the point of no return prior to that I can understand why they held off a little because no one is going to take the Arsenal job if at the first point of trouble you sack the manager. Anyway seems like it was the Kroenkes pushing for time.

    Then you’ve the crumbs of info being leaked about power grabs re: the board, talk about us getting smelly with super agents

    Yeah honestly the power grab and super agent agenda stuff is scaremongering nonsense I’d be honestly surprised if you took that seriously. I agree with the last paragraph.

    From my point of view not perfect or anything like that but how I see it is since certain people have come in and taken over the day to day running of the club we’ve seen two underperforming managers get their marching orders, we’ve seen underperforming coaching staff get culled a bit, we’re addressing the wage bill, we’ve smashed our transfer record and seemingly now have a gods honest plan in the transfer market especially with regards to targeting young players. Sure it’s not perfect we still signed up some absolute duds but there’s promise I believe in the running of the club. Probably just needs that commanding presence at manager to become more cohesive imo

  19. Pierre

    Has Martinelli got a little bit of Freddie about his game.

    Maybe Freddie can teach him a thing or 2 about the timing of his runs coming from the wide areas

  20. Cork City Gooner

    cant see how a guy with zero experience(Arteta) is the man to take us forward,i dont buy it for 1 minute that he is a better hire than Nuno or Allegri

  21. China1

    Northbanker keown holds the record for coaching the greatest defense in CL history to date

    A defense that was usually flamini-senderos-toure-eboue

    Only one of those players was a top CB…

    Keown should’ve won a fucking nighthood for that

  22. Guns of sf

    Freddie needs to work with the team on off the ball movement big time

    We are so predictable in attack and panic defend

    Gettin that balance right is key

  23. Marko

    Emmanuel Petit backs Patrick Vieira to become Arsenal manager; sceptical about Freddie Ljungberg: “He was Emery’s assistant. He saw what was happening internally but I never saw him take a position or try to communicate with Emery or certain players”

  24. Un na naai

    Ah Freddie, loved a goal v United and was bergkamp’s first thought on a football field

    My fave was his goal against Liverpool at anfield. We beat them with 10 men after a barren run against them and they were cheating bastards at the time. Went mad when that goal went in. I knew we would win the league that day.
    17 years ago. Man that makes me feel old

  25. Marko

    Basically if GOH is in on the Arteta joyride, you should be too if you want to avoid disappointment.

    Hey isn’t he that guy with a drinking problem and who threatened someone’s family on here before? Not sure if agreeing with him is that smart

  26. Pierre

    Freddies goal v liverpool in the fa cup final in Cardiff, I was behind the goal as he rounded the keeper and cracked it in with his left foot ….

    Pity Michael Owen ruined the day.

  27. Champagne charlie


    Yea mate good for you, no need for Emery to get dismissed last season despite numerous voices saying things were going to get bad and what do you know?

    You think we’re beaming as a club, I’ll go ahead and disagree.

  28. Pierre

    “Hey isn’t he that guy with a drinking problem and who threatened someone’s family on here before? Not sure if agreeing with him is that smart”

    Must be great to be perfect, eh Marko.

  29. Unai

    If Chelsea lose today and we bag a win, gaps down to 5.

    If Feeddie gets us playing and gets top 4, does he stay on?

    If Freddie gets top 4, is he a better proposition than Arteta?

  30. HighburyLegend

    Can’t decide what is more pathetic.
    The crusade lead by Pedro for his loved one or…. the photograph chosen for the post.

    A true Arsenal legend Arteta is, indeed.
    Don’t even want to read this pile of crap.

  31. Marko

    despite numerous voices saying things were going to get bad and what do you know?

    What voices? On here? What’s significant in that at all. Even beginning of the season with the signings we made there was fans excited and backing a top 4 charge. It wasn’t until we started letting slip two goal leads and completely downing tools that everyone gave up on him. You make it sound like it was an obvious decision to sack him last summer and I just don’t think it was.

  32. CG

    Just read the transcript of Fred’s interview pre Norwich City.

    (Hardly the most auspicious of starts- certainly in the very important media stakes)

    Bit cliched , and came across as he does not quite fully deserve his lofty position.

    I would have loved a straight answer to a very straight question.

    Do you want the job Full time?

    Answer Yes 100 %

    (Not I am taking it gameby game nonsense.)

    I know its early days
    But he ain’t the long term answer

    We want Art back at The Arsenal so Raul has to go.

    Truth Hurts

  33. Paulinho

    Mourinho loving that Spurs squad. Big off the ball runner in Alli, powerful runner with the ball in Sissoko, as well as lethal final third outlets in Kane and Son. N’Dombele just waiting to explode.

    At United he had Mata and Fellini.

  34. MGooner

    So that new structure and organisation supposed to replace the dictatorship of the old professor is not that great after all.

    If a dictator could keep us in top 4 all these years, I vote to get another dictator back in and pay him a shit load of money to do it for us. 🙂

    And we should not let these morons like IG interfere as they did in last years of the dictatorship as this is when we became a Europa League team. 🙂

  35. MGooner

    I feel Benitez should be on our radar.

    Is he not better than Arteta? How would Arteta deal with Ozil and co? Does he have the clout for that?

  36. Guns of Hackney


    Peter just wrote 20,000 words describing exactly why Arteta is right for Arsenal. That didn’t do it for you?

    I’ll give you this gem:

    He’s really hot right now.

    That’s why we need to hire him.

  37. TR7


    That Spurs starting 11 is taylor made for Mourinho. A prolific striker in Kane, an off the ball runner in Alli, physical and athletic midfielders and quality defenders at the back. No wonder he said he was very happy with the team he has at his disposal. I don’t like Mou but he is very good at getting results in short term although it eventually ends badly.

  38. MGooner

    Many thought Henry was a great gaffer until he went to Monaco.

    I would not take a chance on Arteta – At best he would be a deputy.

  39. raptora

    Pool will be champions this year. It’s insane the luck they’ve had in a lot of these 7 wins by 1 goal difference they’ve achieved. City, in contrast, have been losing points against the run of play. Tonight Brighton outplayed Pool for a large chunk of the game, at Anfield, and still can’t show anything for it. I’m gutted when the logical thing isn’t happening. One game where the more deserving team doesn’t win is alright, but if it keeps happening time and time again it annoys me.

  40. CG


    “””They are set-up to carve through the press in away games.””””

    Who talks like this?
    What does it actually mean?
    I am confused…

    Are we talking about soccer or is this a dry cleaning or a printing blog?

    Is this even soccer any more?

  41. Un na naai

    MarkoNovember 30, 2019 16:46:23
    Weird though how they play for a manager who’s lost that shine these last few years and not for the lad who’s on the up.

    Clearly you haven’t been paying attention over the last few years Marko.

  42. Pierre

    Earlier this week

    PierreNovember 27, 2019 21:42:59

    We are not out of the race for the top 4..(with a new manager)8 points behind chelsea is not insurmountable.

    I believe they will succumb to a heavy weight of fixtures around February/ March.

    In fact it wouldn’t surprise me to see them falter in the run up to Christmas ,They play a very high energy game and in the end it will take it’s toll , especially if they pick up a few more injuries.

  43. Paulinho

    CG – When teams go to Stamford Bridge they sit deep, and let the likes of Kovacic, Pulisic have the ball, and they task them with breaking them down. Frustration sets in. Away from home teams have tried to press their midfield( perceived fragility?) and that plays right into the hands of their deeper mids because they come alive when pressed, because they can evade and drive into the space the pressing opposition have vacated. Once in this position they just need to draw one of the defenders and once they do, they slip the ball into the forwards, who are now free.

    So, it’s quite straightforward. Teams haven’t showed Chelsea enough respect away from home this season, and they would do well to start doing it and trying to catch them on the counter if they don’t want to get ‘carved’ by pressing their midfielders who thrive off it.

  44. Ishola70


    “and quality defenders at the back”

    They will have to prove that to him over time.

    Conceded six goals now in the three matches since Mourinho took over.

    Think Aderwereild has gone downhill from previous and always question marks against Davison Sanchez.

  45. Pierre

    “So, it’s quite straightforward. Teams haven’t showed Chelsea enough respect away from home this season, and they would do well to start doing it and trying to catch them on the counter if they don’t want to get ‘carved’ by pressing their midfielders who thrive off it.”

    I think you are spot on there…

    Maybe Chelsea need to change their approach at home and allow the opposition to come on to them …

    Play a sort of cat and mouse game.

  46. raptora

    It’s funny that West Ham won at the Bridge and relieved the pressure piling up on Pellegrini. Chelsea did what we’ve been famous for – defibrillating a team in deep crisis. 5 losses and 2 draws in Hammers last 7 games. Their first EPL win in 2 months and some.

  47. Pierre

    Whichever way you look at it, anything is better than the clown we had before.

    Sometimes a manager needs to be lucky ..

    Chelsea losing today is the first stroke of luck , nick a win tomorrow and at home to Brighton and we will be buzzing with confidence again….

  48. CG

    Thanks Paulino

    You have explained it exquisitely

    But this pressing speak- is it not surely players running around when they have lost the ball?

    So are we saying we buy pressers ( ie athletes that can run and do shuttle runs)

    Or do we buy footballers who can pass the ball ‘ through the pressers’

    Did Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs press?

    (They have 20 prem league medals between them)

    Real Madrid top of La Liga and in the CL do not do this activity ( pressing)

    Pressing like the Loch Ness monster dont exist man.

  49. raptora

    This Chelsea team compared to Fabregas’ Arsenal seem close enough I guess. Although we were playing fantastic football back then. So this comparison probably flatters Chelsea more than us. Of course, we achieved fuck all with that team. I have great memories from the time but also great regrets. We needed so little to win something big…

  50. Dream10


    Pelligrini has generally played aesthetically pleasing football wherever he’s been. Midfield not technical enough for how he usually plays

  51. Guns of Hackney

    Sheridan Smith from a few years ago looked like a wicked ride. You know those Friday night specials that never meet mother. All blow jobs and barebacking and just great for a jump.

    She looks like a pig now.

  52. Marko

    But this pressing speak- is it not surely players running around when they have lost the ball?

    …brilliant. Surely you’re not suggesting standing still until the ball comes back to you.

  53. Danny

    If the rumor mill dictates Poch is going to be lured by the PSG job, then why not let Freddie take the team to summer and try to appoint Tuchel?

  54. CG


    I apply the Bob Paisley LFC boot room philosophy

    Great players working hard.
    Dont loose the ball- conserve energy.

    Real Madrid dont press.

    But they do press the white silk cloths they plonk their European Trophies on.

  55. Paulinho

    CG – I don’t have any real love for pressing, unless you’re a freak like Ramsey that has the lung capacity to sustain it over and over again.

    In terms of pressing in relation to Chelsea, I’m just making the point that when Chelsea have gone away from home this season, the opposition midfielders have made it easy for them by over-committing and try dispossess them too early, seemingly not aware that their main strength – bar Jorginho – is press evasion due to agility, dribbling, raw talent. If you just sit deep and let them turn the likes of Kovacic are nowhere near as effective and end up passing it sideways.

  56. Un na naai

    Yeah I’m not big fan of the press either. It’s today’s fad. Won’t last. We don’t have the squad for it anyway. Ozil, Luiz, ceballos and Aubameyang pressing? Naaaaa

  57. Paulinho

    “This Chelsea team compared to Fabregas’ Arsenal seem close enough I guess”

    Yep, very similar.

    Around the time we lost our way in Spring we played beautiful football at Old Trafford – where they pressed us – but around that time we looked flat at home to Boro and Liverpool. Hleb was our Kovavic/Pulisic who was at his best when teams tried to press him.

  58. Marko

    The press is a fad it won’t last. No wonder you’re Arsenal fans. Just FYI Liverpool in recent years owe alot to the press. Dortmund successful under Klopp? The press was there. City breaking records under Pep too. Peak Barcelona and Bayern were notorious for it. Some fad that.

  59. Batistuta

    Again, no reason why anyone at the club should think top 4 is out of reach, it’s a tough league and everyone would drop points at some point, just need to make sure we’re not dropping any more silly ones

  60. CG


    I accept you can devise a pressing strategy in a one off game, a cup final or even a world cup( 6 games) but to devise a pressing strategy in the crowded English season though the mud, wind and rain is ridiculous and a totally flawed strategy.

    Only One manager in the history of English soccer – has gone 2 seasons unbeaten away from home( our Wenger) and he dont believe this pressing cobblers.

    Keep the ball .
    Because that is the whole point of the game.

    Am I right or am I right?

  61. Pierre

    ” – I don’t have any real love for pressing, unless you’re a freak like Ramsey that has the lung capacity to sustain it over and over again.”

    Until he pulls his hamstring

  62. Un na naai


    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 shape, mark runners and cut down the space in our own half.

  63. Dream10

    We can’t press on a regular basis because the majority of our CBs can’t play in space.
    Sokratis (plus Luiz perhaps) is probably the only who can press up high and cover ground. But, he is rash and a walking card. The rest need protection and can only play deep.

  64. Pierre

    Arsenal’s problem under Emery was , the players expended so much energy chasing lost causes when they didn’t have the ball, they had nothing left in the tank for when we had possession of the football.

    Hopefully, freddie will remedy that part of our game and get us playing sharp incisive one and 2 touch football and let the opposition do a bit of chasing for a change.

  65. Un na naai


    Yeah I’m not a big fan of the pressing game.
    Vieira and Petit never pressed and were dynamite defensively
    The famous back 4 never pressed
    Gilberto never pressed.
    The famous United and Chelsea sides never pressed.

    It’s just the new buzz word if the era

  66. Pierre

    Dream 10
    With Luiz in the back 4 ,the defence has got deeper and deeper and made it nigh on impossible for the midfield to cover such a vast area of space.

    The team needs to move up together and back together, this didn’t happen under Emery , it was too fragmented.

  67. Danialtos

    Nigerian club, Enugu Rangers have sacked their coach during their match. The announcement was made in the stadium with a public address system.


  68. Un na naai

    PierreNovember 30, 2019 18:00:28
    Arsenal’s problem under Emery was , the players expended so much energy chasing lost causes when they didn’t have the ball, they had nothing left in the tank for when we had possession of the football.

    Tip of the iceberg mate. The forwards were isolated as fuck
    He sat our defence and midfield so far away from them it was embarrassing.
    Then rather than hit them early on the break he wanted us to slow pass our way from goal but to who? The forwards were always too far away to find.

    It’s why lacazette and Pepe end up trump to come deep for the ball and Aubameyang, anonymous wanker that he is most of the time is even less effective as an all round footballer.

    He effectively used his own tactics to negate the stringers part of our team, saving the opposition the hassle

  69. Dream10


    We don’t keep the ball well enough anymore. Keeping Cazorla/Özil/Ramsey on the pitch gave three players who touched ball at least 50 times and passed it at minimum 85%. These days we can’t keep the ball and we can’t control space. You add lack of structure and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Luiz has made a couple of awful errors, but he’s our best CB. Bailed us out from shipping five or six on a few occasions. I’m not a fan of Holding. Sokratis has been a car crash.

    There will be a game or two during the holiday period where Guendouzi plays as the #6 with a Holding/Sokratis as the CB pairing. It will be painful.

  70. CG


    “”””It’s just the new buzz word if the era”””

    Absolutely . Absolutely.

    And here is another beauty that I now often hear.

    ” the transition”

    What’s this mean???

    Like the menopause?

    Or like the British boxing promoter. ( cant think of his name) changing from man to woman

    Transition and Pressing!

    Not for me.
    It’s for them Germans.

  71. andy1886

    Our biggest problem for years is that we haven’t had a defence worthy of the name.

    Pep with shit loads of cash can’t build a defence (£50m on Stones, hilarious!) so why would anyone think that Pep’s pup could do that for us?

    Everyone knew that Emery had a poor record defensively, Arteta has no form in coaching from a defensive perspective either.

  72. Pierre

    What I’d like to see is , when Leno catches the ball, the full backs spread wide and he bowls the ball out with speed to get us on the counter before the opposition regroup.

    I cant remember one time when we broke with pace under the clown .

    Think back to when we won the league at the lane …our first goal, we broke from the edge of our area, 10 seconds later , in the back of the net .

  73. Marko

    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 shape

    Yeah 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.

  74. Dream10


    City have been very good defensively the last two years. Conceded 27 in 17/18 and 23 in 18/19. They went thru a spell of six or seven consecutive matches where they allowed four shots on goal in total. Excellent defensive structure.

  75. Un na naai

    Or like the British boxing promoter. ( cant think of his name) changing from man to womanTransition

    Kelly Maloney haha


    Exactly. The man’s only attacking thought was to get the full back to over lap and pull a low cross into the box. It’s all he had up his sleeve. Once that ended so did his arsenal
    He literally had nothing else. An attacking price of play that works with variety but when it’s all you do it’s super easy to defend against.

  76. Pierre

    Dream 10
    I’m 50/50 on Luiz at the moment due to the Emery effect…..not writing him off as all the players were struggling under the clown.

    I’ve always liked him but his performances have been lackluster recently at the back, I’m hoping freddie coming in will put a firework up his arse.

    You are correct about the lack of structure being a major problem, players on the ball never seemed to have options to pass the ball to, plus the fact that they wanted too many touches on the ball.

    Again, hopefully freddie will work on the structure of the team to make sure the players have options on the ball and they dont have that extra touch which slows the play down.