Arteta close. Don’t f**k it up.

by .

You gotta love Arsenal.

Vinnai: ‘Yoooo, where shall we meet?’

Arteta: ‘Come to mine, but please, be discreet’

For fuck’s sake, Vinny. What are you playing at? You look like you’ve just performed a tactical chunder after Jaeger Bomb number 6 – the concerned look of a man worried he’s just soiled the tyre of a local gangster.

There are conspiracy theories doing the rounds that the above etiquette was so outrageously amateur, it might have been a ploy to flush out Pochettino.

Don’t be ridiculous. This is just a mistake. Top execs never want to be perceived as sloppy.

Also, let’s square this noise with Poch. The man wasted the last two years of his Spurs career so he could be the first manager in the new stadium. Do we really think that this summer, when he can freely move, he’s going to turn down City, Bayern and PSG to pick up our shit show for half his market value? I very much doubt it.

… but, back to the main story. All the winds are blowing in the direction of Arteta. He had Huss and Vinnai over to his house. I hear he laid on homemade sangria to set the tone… left Shakespeare, Orwell, and Amis on the coffee table to denote the sophistication of his British prose, and he had the Gervais series of The Office running in the background as a subtle dig at some of the goings-on of Unai Emery. The man gets it, he truly does, he even rocked a Savile Row 3 piece, the boy knows what the fans want. Taking the meeting in a home location as well, stunning, the man clearly rolling hard on the 3 free articles a month on HBR, Mikel, may I suggest Team of Rivals; Doris Kearns, a leadership classic, it blew my fucking mind. What a man Big Abe was, could he organise a back four on a cold night in Stoke, no doubt, no doubt.

This appears to be the 2nd or 3rd round of interviews according to reports. We are shifting into 5th gear heading into the final straight, Carlo Ancelloti has just swerved off the road into an Everton shaped puddle, this could be the real deal.

Never underestimate a gigantic fuck up, but this time, it looks like we could see Mikel Arteta at The Arsenal.

Rumours have it that City are upset about how Arsenal conducted themselves, so we’ll be paying out a fee to release the Spaniard, but they’re going to play ball. I would guess there might also be some conversations about when the start date needs to be as well. Does he step into the flames considering the next two weeks worth of fixtures? Or do the club start him in the new year? My guess, the sooner they can get him into the club, the better. We’re a complete mess.

I also suspect he’ll fancy his chances at making the top 4 this season.

This move is absolutely huge for Arsenal. It’d be a step in the right direction. We’re at a low ebb as a club, we’re not going to be able to buy our way out this summer, our only chance of a bright future is to rely on a coach that can develop our exciting young players and see out the senior dross in a Game of Thrones blood bath.

If Arteta signs, which I hope he does, he basically has a 7 month preseason (similar to Klopp). He’ll have to survey the wreckage of what he’s inherited, begin to implement a vision, and partner with the powers that be on what the rebuild will look like.

The OUT list:

  • Mustafi
  • Sokratis
  • Luiz
  • Ozil
  • Auba

All the above players are in the final year of their deal this summer and all bar Mustafi will be in their 30s by next summer. That makes them easier to move on, see Koscielny’s shit-fit last summer for confirmation that older men worry they are one injury away from having their future value halved. I would also suspect we’ll see exits for Xhaka (shite) and Lacazette (2 years left on deal). There could be £150m in fees up for grabs and £1m a week in wages.

With all that in mind, it is absolutely essential Edu and Cagigao know exactly what they are recruiting for. It’s also important they know the sort of staff they should be building around the new coach.

Mikel Arteta needs to be the real deal. We’ve had the fall guy post-Wenger in Emery. Freddie doesn’t really count. We’ve pushed all our chips onto someone that we hope embodies everything we want out of the game. Possession based attacking football of the future. This could be incredibly exciting if it works out.

The great news is the fans have been primed for the job Arteta has to do. There are no illusions about how hard things are going to be. It’s going to take some time, we’re going to see some bad results, we’re not going to have a title-winning side by March. I’m ok with that because at least we’ll be safe in the knowledge we’re building towards something exciting. No more bums at Arsenal, no more frauds that don’t love the club, it’s all about building a modern superclub with a young, innovative coach.

I think the Bundesliga is a great place to look when it comes to up and coming coaching trends. Klopp was my hipster favourite before Thomas Tuchel, now he’s blowing shit up at Liverpool. The top two teams in Germany are RB Leipzig, who have a sub-35 Nagelsmann at the wheel, and Gladbach, who hired in my RB Salzburg fave, Marco Rose. Both managers, total unknowns 3 years ago, now toppling the mighty Bayern. RB doing it with a squad with an average age of sub 24.

Hiring in Carlo would have been a disaster, the game has passed him by. You need modern thinkers that can see football from a different viewpoint, not Galactico relics. Arsenal needs a coach that work effectively with technology, scientists and analysts to gain a critical edge over their opponents. People that don’t subscribe to old fashioned notions, like ‘making more tackles wins you games.’ The sort of talent that’s moist at the concept of cognition in football. Someone that really pisses off Paul Merson and Matt Le Tissier.

Arteta loves the club.

He understands the culture. He’ll know all the things that are right and he’ll have an idea on how to fix those that are wrong. One thing you’ll never be able to accuse him of is doing things that work just for him. Emery chasing Europa League instead of top 4? Felt like he was doing that for the record books. I’m hoping we have a manager that has the right amount of Arsenal DNA. Remember, he took a pay cut to join and won trophies with us. He cried because he loves us.

Look at that video again, right now.

You back… all welled-up? Wonderful.

As for the players leaking their concerns to The Mirror (supposedly). Fuck em’ if they are real. Pep G took over at Barcelona and shipped out the problem children in his first major job at 38 years old. He told Eto’o, Deco and Ronaldinho to leave, then he built a team for the ages around Messi, utilising exciting young players to make him great. Who cares what our senior players think, they’ve been awful, we need a refresh.

A few people have mentioned that I’ve put my neck on the line for this coach. No doubt, because I believe in the idea. I’d rather shoot for the moon than settle on something that’ll ‘might’ move us a few percentage points forward if we’re lucky. Fuck that. We’ve spent 14 years playing it safe. Our meek fanbase has celebrated ‘influencers’ that warned us to ‘be careful what you wish for.’ How did that pan out? Settling for Wenger’s ‘top 4 trophy’ didn’t move us forward. We let him sink our club into mediocrity under the guise of class, he wasted disgraceful amounts of money, built a soft boy culture, and allowed elite players to leave for nothing because his ego couldn’t handle that top names would earn more money than him. Falling into Emery’s Europa League safety blanket didn’t make things better, his Europa experience wasn’t a benefit, it was a low benchmark our players happily sank below. Freddie is a dreamboat, but we knew he wasn’t right. So let’s try something bold, let’s push the needle, let’s see what all the fuss is about with the most hyped assistant manager in world football.

Could it be any worse than what we have now? No chance… and the upside could be incredible.

… before any of that can happen, let’s see if Arsenal can seal the deal. I was asked on Love Sport yesterday what Josh K would be looking for in a new coach. My guess? Someone that can deliver on ‘be excited’, hopefully, he feels that vibe from Mikel. Let’s see what happens, a young coach with vision took LA to the Super Bowl.

P.S. I’m back in London this week… get in! Now listen to my damn podcast and rate it 5*.


603 Responses to “Arteta close. Don’t f**k it up.”

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  1. Guns of Hackney

    A couple of salient points to remember. 1. It’s not Real or Barca. He is not joining a winning machine so the pressure will not be as great. 2. Arsenal are the equivalent of Everton or Newcastle and I doubt anyone would bat an eyelid if Mikel cut his teeth with them. 3. He’s a fabulous communicator. 4. The fact that city are so pissed off about losing the ‘cone guy’ should tell you all you need to know. Clubs DONT really care about losing an assistant so why would city, the club who has been smashing prem records give a damn. Exactly. 5. He’s unknown and this will be his greatest strength. No one will see him coming. No one knows how he sees Arsenal. Under Arsene and Unai we became predictable and therefore, easy to nullify. Remember 1996! Arsene was practically in the same position, an unknown. Give Arteta a chance and I’m sure, at worst, we will have an identity. Let’s hope Arsenal make this appointment and don’t get swayed at the last minute.

  2. Ernest Reed

    Arsenal are such a shitshow of an organization at the moment. My expectations of Arteta are guarded as he truly is joining a heartbreakingly toxic bunch of players. Good luck to him, he really is going to need it.

  3. El Gooner

    GOH – all relevant points. Judging by the press (..) seems like Ancelotti was desperate to get another job as opposed to waiting to be approached which surely would have added another 20% to his pay packet.

    Pep did get rid of the old guard but “building a team around messi” – not sure that martinelli quite at that level just yet !!

    Arteta is a plan I can see working out in theory, never had that feeling with Emery or any of the other candidates. So just need to see if theory can become reality.

  4. Northbanker

    Well I’m now in the Arteta camp. Great post Pedro – we need something different and hiring a tired old coach is never the way forward. At best it can give a short term lift but we would get nothing more from Ancelloti etc.

    We have got a tremendous line of talent and some of these younger players will make it big. We need a coach to progress this. i hope Freddie stays on and I would love to see Keown in as defence coach. That defence needs drilling asap

  5. Ernest Reed

    You sure about that Northbank?

    northbank @ 03:58 | Dec 17, 2019
    Arsenal are not getting Arteta because they think he’s the right man for the job. They are getting him because he’s the cheapest plausible (they think) option. That should scare the life out of fans, in fact make them spitting mad. Our club risks being destroyed at breakneck speed.

  6. Ishola70

    If Arteta can find a good balance between offensive play and off the ball play then he can have a chance to improve fortunes.

    If he doesn’t then it will just be deja vu all over again with perhaps some better offensive play on show but ultimately not challenging at the top.

    The team have been seen as being a joke off the ball now for a very long time. Very damaging defeats over the years because of this weakness.

    It can’t keep being ignored.

    I always thought that one of the main reasons in Wenger moving on was to try to find a coach/manager that would add certain aspects that were missing from the side under Wenger in his second period and not just his last two seasons.

    But it seems more than enough are happy to revert back to being a Wenger style team just minus his last two seasons which is a shame because I thought the club may have looked to evolve more after Wenger’s departure and this shouldn’t be shelved just because one manager following wasn’t up to task in implementing it.

    But so many are wedded completely to Arsenal = Arsene Wenger so what can you do.

    I’m hoping Arteta can surprise and add elements to this team that were missing under Arsene Wenger as well as copying him in the other areas.

  7. Victorious

    I hope the deal falls through so we could properly cement our status as a banter club.

    The management is a joke and absolutely deserve the ridicule they’re getting from every corner.

  8. Guns of Hackney

    We have to start thinking laterally. Arsenal are not a big club with a monopoly on the best players etc…we now have to realign and become smarter, on the field and off it.

    As Peter said, we have £150m and some of talent (ironically speaking) we can offload. That will buy us a lot of players if we look in the right places.

    Let’s look at the good.

    Bellerin and Tierney (if both fit)
    Gued (must up his game)

    That’s 7 players I’m sure we could look to build around for the next five years, providing they up their games, stay fit and improve.

    Arteta will have some city players at his disposal which we could tap into. I’m thinking the youth team. There has to be some talent in there that might be praised away from city.

    We are not big so let’s start thinking a little smaller and reboot the club.

  9. Ishola70

    Nice thought the Ajax of England but Ajax are huge fish in their domestic league and this helps them have a very good platform to carry out their model.

    Arsenal not in such a situation.

  10. CG

    A wonderfully ebullient post chockablock of full of goodies from our PedRo- and I off course give him thanks for it.

    The right appointment finally.

    It was actually only 56 games ago – that Wenger was at the helm.

    Since then we have gone from a top 6 team playing fluent soccer to a top ten team and sliding lower playing utter filth and thats after spending quarter of a billion on a new team of players.

    Quite simply:

    Arteta will be a brilliant appointment- if he is allowed to run the club lock stock and barrel or he will be gone within 12 months if :


    all interfere and meddle.

    He must stop these Muppets sauntering into The Locker Room immediately.
    He must neutralise their power at the beginning- put them into their place or he will be finished.

    If he wants Zaha- he bloody well gets Zaha not the one footed, one season wonder from France than sounds like Pele!

    ( its one of the reasons why the morale at the club is so low. Players hate lackeys entering into their sanctuary before and after the match)

    Looking at the embarrassing shenanigans with 2 of our Dopes in the Manchester night mind – he has his work cut out.

    I predict and I am in imperious predicting form:

    Arteta will issue at some stage issue an ultimatum to Josh- its Raul or me that has to go. That relationship is untenable in the long run. Arteta will want his revenge.

    Arteta will sign a minimum of two Man City players( thats why treating them so discourteously is so bloody counter productive)- there are some goodies there for us ( Stones, etc)

    Arteta will lose a lot of games this season but win the most important one.
    Liverpool at home. And that will do for this season.

    After all there is only ever going to be The Arsenal Invincibles.

    Am I Right or Am I Right?

  11. Ernest Reed

    northbank @ 02:46 | Dec 17, 2019
    Short answer to the headline, no

    That headline he refers to is “WILL IT BE BETTER UNDER MIKEL ARTETA?”

    Sounds like a person whose on board with Arteta to me.

  12. Guns of Hackney


    Correct but I’m thinking more of the coaching and ability to make players rather than buy them.

    Arteta simply needs to fish out the poison: Xhaka and Ozil. Once these two are gone, I feel a weight will be lifted from the squad and the supporters. No more groans coming from a crowd watching another shit show from two guys earning £500,000 a match.

    If Auba etc also don’t fancy it, great. They are gone. Promote Martinelli and get Pepe to actually play football. Maybe Lacazette could then step up to be senior forward.

    Make Leno or Holding captain.

    Honestly, once we start playing players in their correct positions, simplify the football, get the crowd back on side, sack the mood hoovers, we will at least have a base to start from.

    Start identifying players for next season now! Arteta will have eight months before May to implement his ideas and work towards getting Arsenal back on track.

  13. Pierre

    “. My expectations of Arteta are guarded as he truly is joining a heartbreakingly toxic bunch of players. Good luck to him, he really is going to need it.”

    a bit dramatic there Ernie , some people are too gullible in that they actually believe the shit written about our players on a daily basis.

    Let’s see how these players get on with a manager who knows what he is doing.

    3 months ago ,the self same people on Le Grove were saying what a great transfer window we had and how much the squad has improved..

    My opinion is that it is impossible for any player to play to their maximum in a dysfunctional system…..

  14. Nelson

    It is reported that some senior players wanted Ancelotti at the Emirates. I would asked them to look at the mirror. They are the reason why our team is so soft and gutless. We have to change the culture of this club. Every players need to shape up or let go.

  15. El Gooner

    Love to be wrong but not really getting this love in with Holding – when he’s not injured there is no noticeable difference with him on the pitch. Even in a bad defence a decent player would stand out.

  16. shaun

    frigging hell the first two MKB’s and the man is not in a job yet lol……………….lol. massive gamble but the managerial crop is pretty thin out there and the narrative is persuasive where Arteta is concerned Just can’t get my head around why we should gamble when we should be doing nailed on no matter the cost like chuking 20 mil at his boss per season as he looks bored and could do with a challenge lol…………………….lol

  17. Ernest Reed

    Bit dramatic Pierre? This coming from the penultimate meltdown of melts, who every day makes it a point to slather on the melodrama sauce all over the place as he waxes shitetically over his Wenger fixation. You seriously need help you ridiculous fool.

  18. CG

    High Leg

    “””It’s official, fellas, Everton is more ambitious than Arsenal.””””

    Be The Game of the season regardless.

    More Subplots than Dallas.

    Arteta & Caretaker Little Fred
    Ancelloti & Caretaker Big Duncan
    Iwobi and Theo.
    Franny Jeffers
    Alan Ball ( RIP)

    Saturday .

    Live commentary on Le Grove from noon GMT

  19. shaun

    I don’t think there is a senior player at the club who I respect and think a lot of at the moment . I used to like Laca and Auba but lately there attitude stinks and it’s almost like they can’t even be bothered … sell both and start again in my opinion

  20. Spanishdave

    As I said earlier Arteta has some balls taking this job on.
    At least he has a working knowledge of our club and knows what he’s up against, so good luck to him.
    He will know the youth players and I am sure he will be able to stop the rot.

  21. HighburyLegend

    “The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti ‘would be an unbelievable coup’ for Everton, Jamie Carragher told Monday Night Football. ”

    Mr Carragher, shame on you if you don’t know that Mr Ancelotti has no SAUCE.
    Only Arteta has (Pep) sauce in him.

  22. Northbanker

    Ernest – this isn’t me lol. Shorter version of my pen name and I sleep at those times!! I have never uttered such comments and even though occasionally I change my mind it certainly isn’t within 24 hours!!

  23. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Not sure what’s happening at the club tbh…

    Like what Pete says about a 7 month preseason,

    Think it’s essential that we don’t have euro football next season.

    A season of domestic cups is enough to compete for… fuck da money.

  24. Leedsgunner


    “Leeds…One of us must die.”

    I thought this was an Arsenal blog… not the set of Highlander…?

    Thanks for the acknowledgement.

    If I get it wrong, you have my permission to rub it in 😉

  25. Leedsgunner

    A huge huge risk. Arseblog is behind Arteta now as well as Arsenal Vision…

    For our club’s sake I hope I’m wrong and Arteta justifies this confidence.

    I cannot believe we’re giving Arteta the controls of a multi-billion organisation just because Pep says he’s good… because at the moment that’s all Arteta has in his corner.

  26. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Just the he mirror…

    You can’t have senior players saying whom they want as manager …
    Fuck that’s classic cart pulling the horse.

    Not won ove4 by arteta myself… but fuck all else to lose…

    What u say stroller…

  27. HighburyLegend

    @Leeds : I thought the same. lol
    Legendary soundtrack from Queen!!

    @R.S.P..C. : they wants Arsène back. Why do you ask when you already know the answer ??

  28. Danny S

    We need to get rid of the egos that are here for the fat pay cheque and build a team around the younger more industrious players.
    The only time you want egos in your team, is when you are doing well and they are there to win trophies, not when you are struggling and they are there cause you offered them more than anyone else.

    The team requires major surgery still. Talent wise we are better off than last season but personality wise we are no better.
    Hopefully arteta can change that.

  29. Unai

    Well, if anything, its obvious that Arteta will get the support of the majority of the fanbase and could potentially, if things go well, reunite us.

  30. Pierre

    “This coming from the penultimate meltdown of melts, who every day makes it a point to slather on the melodrama sauce all over the place as he waxes shitetically over his Wenger fixation”

    what a pile of garbage you write .

    “the penultimate meltdown of melts, ”

    ” to slather on the melodrama sauce”

    “waxes shitetically over his Wenger fixation”

    Try talking English next time.

    I have no doubt that in August you were in support of the hierarchy and were taken in by all the rhetoric spewed out by Raul and co..

    The fact that we didn’t have a manger fit for purpose escaped all the know nothing’s but the more perceptive fans knew what was coming .

    These players are the same players that were being lauded in August as a talented group.of players .

    What’s changed, bad results and bad performances due to a manager who I knew was. a dud from day one .

    Arteta is coming into a club and group of players that are rock bottom in confidence .
    I am confident that he will address our weaknesses over the period of the next few months.

    He understands the importance of the defensive midfield position and that will be number one on his list .

    He will work on players positioning with and without the ball …this is an area that is so Important for a successful side and it is an area that Emery was totally clueless about…

    Emery’s headless chicken and schoolboy football will be a thing of the past…arteta will make us disciplined and organised even with these players, of that I have no doubt.

  31. Biggles

    I think the main thing to remember about Arteta is the obstacles he overcame to become a professional footballer. Whereas Pepe is metaphorically one-footed, Arteta really was:

    Also, I’d quite like to see the return of the Alice band. It’s a bold choice, can almost hear the clanging of the balls of someone brave enough to wear that around in Glasgow.

    I’m hoping that Arteta is the real deal. He’s played alongside some truly cracking players over the years, and hopefully he picked something up from that. At Rangers, he played alongside the De Boer brothers, Claudio Caniggia and Henning Berg. Also there (but a bit crap by that time) was Christian Nerlinger who later ended up sporting director at Bayern Munich. In his time at PSG, he was team mates with Nicolas Anelka and eh… Pochettino. His youth career at Barcelona overlapped with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi.

    I remind myself of all these things to try and convince myself that he’ll be great and has depths to his footballing intelligence that explain why he’ll be a great coach and why his level isn’t just Everton.

  32. Ishola70

    Freddie really dislikes Ozil doesn’t he.

    In his post match presser after Man City he was asked his reasons for replacing Ozil and he replied he wanted a player on the pitch that could run and tackle.

    You don’t come out with comments like that publicly if you like the guy.

  33. HighburyLegend

    “The last person Pedro had this sort of unexplainable admiration for?
    Ivan Gazidis
    Need I say more?”

    Lol never have thought I could agree with a post from Rambo one day.

  34. Biggles

    Guns of Hackney
    December 17, 2019 09:51:23

    Arteta simply needs to fish out the poison: Xhaka and Ozil. Once these two are gone, I feel a weight will be lifted from the squad and the supporters. No more groans coming from a crowd watching another shit show from two guys earning £500,000 a match.
    Couldn’t agree more. Mkhitaryan needs to be moved on permanently, but at least he’s away. The other one that I think we need to see the back of is Mustafi, but he is the one that I could accept being rehabilitated if another coach was able to discover the player that was allegedly worth £35m. He doesn’t make me dislike him as a person, he’s just rubbish.

  35. RGG

    With our club in the position we are in. One win in 12. Report after report of Wenger’s spoilt little brats running the dressing room, the latest, even wanting their say on the next head coach. Gross incompetence upstairs. The useless Gazids replaced with the joke that is Raul…..look at his signings…..Emery, Suarez, Luiz, 70m for a 24yr old that, however fast and skillful plays like a 17yr old……and now he’s going to dump Arteta on us.

    If we have to go down this route Viera would be better. At least he has a presence. He is an Arsenal legend. When Arteta walks into that dressing room most of our players are going to look at him like “who the fuck are you?!!!!”

  36. HighburyLegend

    “He is an Arsenal legend. ”
    And so Arteta. (lol)

    “At least he has a presence.”
    Yep, but Arteta has sauce.

  37. DigitalBob

    Great Post Pedro – I’m excited.

    A complete unknown in terms of what he will do as a number 1 but if you love the club you’ll agree this is a positive move.

    I’d also love a Barca-like clearout of senior players ala Pep’s first year. We have some real bad eggs doing fuckall for us.

    Hopefully he’s appointed by Saturday and up against Carlo………….what a narrative eh!!!

  38. Aussie Gooner

    I get it now! We are going to hire a coach who has never failed as a first team coach at the top level! Ingenious!

  39. Unai

    Dont get the pining for Paddy, hes doing a worse job at Nice than Emery was doing here.

    Arteta is an unknown but we know Paddy ain’t got it.

  40. David Smith

    As much as I would like to see Arteta in post, will only believe this once it is on .com
    Plenty of scope for last minute disasters, upsetting candidates or current employers by haggling, and the risk of insufficient backing from above to take anything for granted.
    But, it seems JK is genuinely more engaged and hands on than his father, lets hope he can help get this over the line, perhaps the meddling Raul has had his wings clipped ,and the club can finally move on from Wenger, Gazidis and Emery, it really needs to .
    If we fail with Arteta, no idea where the club goes next. Guessing Freddie, Per and no backroom team for weeks, which will risk relegation, read that the club was reduced to having a club doctor conducting the pre match warm up against City, if true, what message did that send to the players?

  41. Edu me a favour

    “” A couple of salient points to remember. 1. It’s not Real or Barca. He is not joining a winning machine so the pressure will not be as great. 2. Arsenal are the equivalent of Everton or Newcastle and I doubt anyone would bat an eyelid if Mikel cut his teeth with them. 3. He’s a fabulous communicator. 4. The fact that city are so pissed off about losing the ‘cone guy’ should tell you all you need to know. Clubs DONT really care about losing an assistant so why would city, the club who has been smashing prem records give a damn””

    Literally the most positive post I’ve ever read from you – are you feeling ok ? 😜lol

  42. Thank you and goodnight.

    I’ll back Arteta 100 percent, even though I don’t think the poor lamb has a chance. We are not Barcelona, we do not have world class youngsters coming through. I genuinely believe he is being led to the slaughter, I think he has both hands tied behind his back, and I fear for an unexperienced manager. I think it’s a move by the board and the kroenkes, to deflect away from the shambles the club has become. They know we’re not an attractive option for a top class manager. We’re worse than mid table. 150 million will hardly buy you the, (almost), complete rebuild that we need to even get close to top 4. We’re fucked and will be for the foreseeable whilst old man ruggy owns the club.

  43. David Smith

    We have to rely on Arteta being no fool if that is the case.
    He and his lawyers will be demanding guarantees, though realistic guarantees
    If he suddenly rejects the club at the last moment, we can suspect the board are giving the manager insufficient backing, but at this stage, I doubt its the case, unless the board/ owner want to see the club relegated.
    They just all have to work together to rid the club of the mess Wenger/Gazidis created, that takes time. As Emery found, you cannot just force well paid players out the door, no matter how destructve they may be.
    It will take another season or two to lift the curse those two left on the club, thats how long most of the remnants have on their contracts

  44. shaun

    yes the more I think about it the more it seems attractive as Arteta looks very serious and Mertasaker has questioned him…lol…….lol he could well be the right man as the current squad do not need love they need a two by four and he can sell OZIL to china preferably somewhere near the Xinjiang region as he cleary has more interest in political matters and he has also lost a yard of pace (something he could really not afford) Ozil is done at this level and he knows this as well . We need a mass clear out of all the senior pro’s as they are dog do do and are doing more harm than good

  45. Aussie Gooner

    “Arsenal, meanwhile, are still waiting for the white smoke from the Kroenke residence. Is Arteta their man?”

    From the Daily Mail!

  46. CG


    “”Read that the club was reduced to having a club doctor conducting the pre match warm up against City, if true, what message did that send to the players?”””

    Is Edu that important these days – that he cant get out of his suit and into his tracksuit to help out so the doc aint got to do it?

    An Absolute scandal we have more bureaucrats than actual soccer coaches on the payroll.

    We all wish Arteta well- and is the right appointment.

    But if he does not set clear defined parameters from the outset about who does what – He wont last 12 months.

  47. Dissenter

    Paul Merson can be so direct at times but he raises some big questions.

    ‘This is a big, big gamble putting someone that has never managed before in charge of a club the size of Arsenal,’ he told Sky Sports.‘It’s all well and good saying he’s worked under Pep Guardiola, but let’s be honest, Guardiola would struggle managing this Arsenal team. Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp would struggle!’
    Merson went on to claim that the players at his disposal will make life difficult for him, insisting that it will be impossible for him to take a similar style of play from City to Arsenal and expect it to work straight away. ‘You’re only as good as your players at the end of the day and the idea of Arteta replicating Guardiola’s style of football at the Emirates just falls apart when you look at the players he’ll be working with,’ he continued.

    Someone has to say raise these objections for posterity sake. We are rolling the dice bigly.

  48. Unai

    Dissenter, I read that earlier and when I got to the ‘Pep and Klopp couldn’t do it’s part I just thought, may as well be Arteta then.

    If failure is guaranteed regardless, what does it matter?

  49. siddharth14

    The only thing which can justify the joke of a selection process being undertaken by Arsenal is that Arteta was never the primary target. We have been told to fuck ourselves by the likes of Allegri and Poch which is fair enough.

    With Freddie really struggling to hold together the team, the club have been forced to go back in for Arteta as he is in a position to take over immediately. I suspect the club are doing this out of desperation and fear of being targeted by the supporters if Arsenal continued their downward slide.

    I’m assuming Arteta won’t settle for less than 2.5 years deal because he is literally risking his career here. Let’s hope Arteta is able to get some defensive shape at Arsenal before the new year. We have to focus on the defence first. He also needs to come up with his own style and impose it at Arsenal. If we are attempting Pep style then it’s going to be a painful watch with our average players.

    Let’s hope and pray………….

  50. habesha gooner

    I am going to judge him at the start of next season just like I did Emery. This is a monumental task. If he even gets us back to being flat track bullies we will do fine till the end of the season. And I don’t get it when people say we should sell both Lacazette and Aubameyang. Do you know how hard it is to find regular goal scorers? One of them has to stay. I don’t think auba is signing a new contract so We should sell him and keep Laca till we find other solutions.

  51. Dissenter

    It’s funny reading Pedro writing about Arsenal moving out players to give Arteta a chance.
    After 17 months of arguing that the players are good enough, after all the monies spent to ‘improve’ the team… now the rain if gone and he can see clearly now.
    See how Pedro is rolling for his boy?

  52. HighburyLegend

    “I’ll back Arteta 100 percent, even though I don’t think the poor lamb has a chance.”

    Even if he has sauce ??
    Lamb + Sauce = LOL!!
    (sorry for the vegetarians here…)

  53. DigitalBob

    Habesha – Both Auba and Laca are within their final two years, we can’t keep getting burnt by contracts so if they don’t sign up(some probably don’t want Auba to sign up to a new and improved long term deal anyway) they need to go.

  54. KAY Boss

    Edu,yh right. This is the most positive post by GoH. Maybe he’s Arteta love in.
    Some of you are too quick to write off person who haven’t not showcased their capabilities. Every hire is a risk. Some of are being too dismissive. If the Arteta experiment fails, we move on. I know there are reservations but need to give a chance. I’m in support of who ever is appointed but my expectations are tempered so I don’t get disappointed if things go sour.

  55. Dissenter

    I think there’s still some animosity between th4 city executives and Arsenal.
    We shafted them very unprofessionally with the Sanchez deal, talk was that they sent a plane and medical staff to Chile to do his medicals before we changed the goal posts.
    That’s what was behind the nonsensical anger about talking to Arteta.
    The same rules don’t apply to assistant managers, club chefs, physios or groundskeepers. These are regular jobs…the tapping stuff is not a cogent argument.
    Arteta welcomed the contact in his own home. He knows what his contract states and he’s not afraid of any consequences should it go south.

  56. Northbanker

    As Klopp and probably Pep are not available, there is no one else who is currently a manager that would give me any real confidence. So for me Arteta is the big unknown but comes with good coaching credentials and a reputation for being ruthless. Those 2 qualities will be need in abundance as we get the best out of our young players, organise the defence properly and clear the senior dross. Arteta seems as well placed as any candidate to do this. So hence I’m persuaded.

    Of course we need at least a new CB and DM but that remains the issue with whoever

  57. Jamie

    We shouldn’t be buying any new players until the summer.

    Arteta has a top 4 quality squad to work with. He can bring back Mkhi (£30m exchange with Alexis) and Elneny (£9m) – both full Internationals. He should play Mustafi (£35m), Xhaka (£35m), Ozil (£42m), Auba (£55m), Laca (£50m), Chambers (£16m).

    Working with the same tools as Emery will determine how effective Arteta’s methods are, and if they’re better than Emery’s or indeed Wenger’s. Emery took this bunch of misfits to within 2 points of 3rd last season.

    Over to you, Mikel. Don’t let us down please. More shots on goal, fewer shots on goal conceded is what we’re looking for in the short term.

  58. Wasi

    Arteta who?
    Arteta the next big thing.

    Just hope the club doesnt botch it.
    Many people saying we have a weak side I disagree. We have a good squad which has been badly coached. We have good players but some bad egos. But we more than have what it takes to turn the season around.
    We have a core of players we can build around.

    Players already at Arsenal level we can build around imo

    Players I think have a 80% chance to make it at Arsenal Level. These just guys just need a little bit of luck, Good attitude and good coaching.
    – Guen
    These are 8 very high potential players.

    Players with a 60% chance
    -TJJ ( haven’t seen enough of him but seems to be very highly rated)

    50/50 chance

    If Arteta focuses on improving the young ones and building around them we can have potentially and hopefully have a very good squad by 2022. Add some steel, Organisation, a Leader, a philosophy and quality transfers.

    Dont know why so many think that Holding can be our saviour. His only purple patch is when we were in the unbeaten run last season and were winning games but still conceding a lot.

  59. Guns of Brixton

    Anyone else hear about the rumours that it is Usmanov that brought Ancelotti over and met with him london to make their Everton movr and is eyeing takeover alongside Moshiri?

    I hope this isn’t true loool

  60. Dream10


    City were unprofessional when they only spoke to Alexis on the last day of the transfer window. They also spoke to a number of our players behind our back, including RvP in 2012.

  61. Pierre

    Let’s hope there is a plan this time with regard to the style of football we play and the recruitment of players.

    I say this, because I don’t believe there was a plan with regard to the hiring of Emery.

    Emery’s game was supposed to be all about pressing, intensity, and work and playing out from the back , theyyet we had just awarded a massive contract to a player who was not built for pressing and intensity …… plan there then.

    We have a striker in Aubamayang, who i pointed out when Emery arrived that he is as useless as Ozil when it comes to pressing and intensity and plays in self preservation mode ….. no plan there then.

    We have central defenders and central midfielders who are not comfortable or taking the ball from the keeper ….no plan there then .

    We brought in Suarez in the jan transfer window who was basically a copy of Ozil…no plan there then .

    We spent 72 million on Pepe who is useless at pressing and intensity…no plan there then.

    We bought Luiz who is about the most laid back centre half you could find…no plan there then.

    We brought in Ceballos who I would say that intensity and pressing are not his strongest points….no plan there then.

    What I’m saying , and it sounds obvious , is that the new manager should sit down with Raul, edu and whoever and tell them what his style of play is , the type of player he wants in the team , and the players he will want to leave the club.

    This constitutes a plan of action ,instead of the debacle we had under Emery that was doomed to fail from day one .

  62. DigitalBob

    Jamie – No, just no.

    Bring back Elneny and Mkhi, play Xhaka and Mustafi…………..seems your already on the xmas sauce.

  63. Marc

    What happens if Arteta has a difficult start and in the meantime City turn their poor season form around?

    Will everyone say Arteta was the issue at City?

  64. Marc

    “Anyone else hear about the rumours that it is Usmanov that brought Ancelotti over and met with him london to make their Everton movr and is eyeing takeover alongside Moshiri?”

    I’d be amazed if Usmanov isn’t already involved in Everton in some way. Wonder how long it’ll take him to complain about the lack of a dividend.

  65. guest man aka WW

    Like it or not, jingo-man or not…we need a british core of players.
    No disrespect, technically Europeans are often better…..but looking at the pace and aggression of the prem, no amount of pepe dummies and flicks will overcome a team with a do-or-die attitude.
    Just a core, maybe 4 or 5, to create an arsenal that was difficult to beat.
    Get that mean defense and then introduce the fancy-dan matchwinners.
    If £70m is offered for aubamayang…take it ! he scores goals but if he doesn’t he is largely useless.

  66. Dream10


    City just going thru a poor spell. Perhaps fatigue. Both Silvas have been poor for a number of matches, plus Aguero, Laporte, Sané. They have enough match winners to play themselves into form

  67. China1

    Bellerin is a really average footballer imo

    He played well in his first season and has varied between average and poor ever since. That purple patch of form in his first season was like 3 years ago!

    Sell the hipster before others take note and hisbtransfer value drops!

  68. Marko

    I also suspect he’ll fancy his chances at making the top 4 this season.

    Gone from a relegation battle to nailed on for top 4. This is going to be some appointment. Strap in and strap on

  69. Jamie

    Why not, Bob?

    It’s not the players, it’s the system/vision/philosophy/communication.

    Since Emery couldn’t coach these players, and Wenger couldn’t coach these players back into the CL during his last two years at bat, and if Arteta can’t either, at what point do we acknowledge it’s more the players than the coaching?

    This is a perfect test for Arteta. Similar tools, squad easily good enough to compete for the top 4 (without actually having to achieve a 4th place finish).

    What else does he need to do his job and get us back up the table by June? He has a squad at his disposal which has had hundreds of millions of pounds invested into it over the last 5 years.

    Back up to 6th by season’s end shouldn’t be outwith the realm of possibility with City IP and a top 4 quality squad. We’re only 7 points back from 4th and 3 points from 6th. We were 6 points adrift of Spurs after the first 2 games of last season. We reduced that deficit to 2 points in the end.

    Let’s go, Mikel.

  70. shaun

    man he has his work cut out as he needs to get rid of Xhaka , Mustaffi ,Ozil ,Micki ,Auba ,Laca , Luiz ,soc and Bellarin and just clear out all the wenger rubbish once and for all , he can only really use Pepe and Tierney as first team players

  71. China1

    This man City anger is all hot air trying to drum up a transfer fee it’s so obvious lol

    Arteta has had THREE interviews but the third interview is the problem? So the first and second interviews were fine?

    Arsenal handled themselves illegally and whilst city don’t care much if he goes, the fact arsenal have broken the law has been picked up on by their lawyers who see an opportunity for an easy few million and why not?

    It’s really that simple

  72. Paulinho

    “It’s funny reading Pedro writing about Arsenal moving out players to give Arteta a chance”

    Completely predictable though.

    At the start of the season we had a squad to stroll into third place, now the squad has “a lot of poor players”, and no doubt all these great youngsters won’t be so great from now on.

  73. Aussie Gooner

    I honestly don’t believe that we have a core to build around. Only Leno, Tierny (when not injured), Saliba (if/when he gets here), ESR, Martinelli, Torreira and Pepe look up to spec. Some others are hopefuls ie Saka, Willock, perhaps Mavropanos, Cellebos (not long term), Geundouzi, TJJ, Burton etc.

    Laca, Abu, Ozil, Luis, Xhaka, Mustfi, Bellerin, Kola et al can’t lift their games and must be disposed of. Sorry but true story of life! Good luck Arteta!

  74. habesha gooner

    SO there is some wiggle room regarding lacazette. Sell Auba and Keep Laca at the end of this season. Do the same to Lacazette the next year if he doesn’t sign. It was always stupid to have two 50 mil+ Forwards with out oil money.

  75. Chika


    “I’m hoping Arteta can surprise and add elements to this team that were missing under Arsene Wenger as well as copying him in the other areas.”

    Hoping for same as well.

  76. China1

    I repeat, arteta has two interviews without any complaints and better than that pep keeps endorsing him as a guy who can be a great manager when asked about the arsenal links

    But somehow after a third interview city are upset?

    Give over

  77. Paulinho

    “Arteta has a top 4 quality squad to work with. He can bring back Mkhi (£30m exchange with Alexis) and Elneny (£9m) – both full Internationals. He should play Mustafi (£35m), Xhaka (£35m), Ozil (£42m), Auba (£55m), Laca (£50m), Chambers (£16m).”

    Exactly. I want to see a vision imparted and mistakes mitigated at the very least with this current squad; our best squad/team in years full of quality and tekkers.

  78. Dissenter

    Pedro was also infatuated with a certain sauce-laden assistant [of Ancelotti] called Paul Clement.
    We know how that went.
    For the record; no assistant of Pep has gone on to have a stellar head coach record.
    Let’s get it all out there before we have to fall in line for Arsenal’s sake.

  79. Left testicle

    Just playing around with the ones worth keeping…

    Right back -Saliba-Holding-Tierney

  80. Marko

    Yeah I don’t really see why Arteta would need to do anything with regards to the squad if it’s as good as people say and he’s as good as people think. That’s if you’re consistent. Ultimately I am and this squad needs a wrecking ball taken to it and Arteta needs as much help as he can get to mask his talent. That way he can be the managerial equivalent of Ozil

  81. Marc


    Have you ever heard of an Ass Manager requiring a fee to be paid to his current club before moving on?

    All sounds a little made up by the press or faux outrage.

  82. Jamie

    “Exactly. I want to see a vision imparted and mistakes mitigated at the very least with this current squad; our best squad/team in years full of quality and tekkers.”

    I can’t wait! All Arteta needs to do is to get this expensive, quality squad performing the basics. The best way to measure this is through comparing last season’s xG and xGA metrics with this season’s. That’s how we knew Emery’s 22 game unbeaten run was pure luck.

  83. Dissenter

    Had it been that we were poaching the city head coach to be Arsenal’s head coach, then city would have a case about tapping.
    Talking to the assistant manager to fill the head coaching job at Arsenal doesn’t constitute tapping. It’s like talking to the assistant medical director t be you medical director or assistant grounds keeper to be you head grounds keeper.
    Employees make vertical moves all the time, it’s different from the rules players movements.
    Arteta knows his contract and would certainly not be meeting the Arsenal CEO and contract negotiator in his home, if there were any restrictive covenants in his contract.
    All this hullabaloo about talking to an assistant?

  84. Marko

    Doesn’t look like Xabi Alonso is joining. Shame that because just as important neh more important these days is the assistant manager position. The power behind the power. Get that right and we’re sailing

  85. HighburyLegend

    “All Arteta needs to do is to get this expensive, quality squad performing the basics.”

    Is it that simple, really ??
    With so many players who don’t give a shit of the shirt, of the club, it’s so depressing…

  86. Jamie

    Marc –

    Mate, this squad in its entirety is easily good enough to compete for the top 4. Ask anyone who wanted Emery out before last Christmas.

  87. Dissenter

    To answer that question you directed at China
    It’s never happened before.
    Young assistant managers are just there in an apprenticeship type role, everyone knows they are there until they leave for a head coaching role . Especially, a certain assistant of Pep who almost went to Arsenal 18 months ago as head manager.
    Pep is fine with it, who wouldn’t want his mentee to prosper.

  88. Marc


    That’s a different question: are there some decent players in the squad yes, is the squad under performing yes, do we have some players who are worse than useless on big money fuck me yes.

  89. WinOrDie

    Don’t like how most headlines on arteta on the newsnowarsenal are spreading Paul merson’s view of arteta.

  90. Dissenter

    I expect that Arteta would have had time to suds out a team after the last interview with Arsenal failed.
    He can always call in big Sam to be co-manager till the summer.

  91. Marc


    It was more of a rhetorical question, as you say it’s never happened before.

    The only real question is if the stories about Pep quitting in the summer are true was Arteta really the guy they had in mind to take over. If it’s someone else the chances are they’d be terminating his contract in 6 months anyway.

  92. HighburyLegend

    “Now listen to my damn podcast and rate it 5*.”

    To rate it 5 ?? For what exactly ?? To hear you jerking off on a photograph of Mikel ??

  93. Marc

    “Don’t like how most headlines on arteta on the newsnowarsenal are spreading Paul merson’s view of arteta.”

    Not sure I’d take Paul Merson’s opinion on anything too seriously.

  94. Jamie

    Marc –

    The question was, and has been for 3.5 years, whether or not this squad is good enough the way it sits to compete for the top 4. That’s the benchmark.

    I’ve lowered it to 6th, where all Arteta needs to do is make up a 2 point deficit – literally one extra win over Sheffield and Man Utd between now and June. Totally achievable.

  95. PieAFC

    Guns, 100%

    If the senior players don’t like the appointment, get rid. They’ve been diabolical and setting no example. Lacklustre and childish behaviour.

    The kids have hunger and will only drive them on to succeed.

    One thing I’ll give Freddie he’s due. Hasn’t been afraid to put in some youth.

    The fans could buy into the project. Sell a lot of the dead wood. Build the academy further, set in an identity by the end of the season.

    Finish top 10.

    It can’t get any worse.

    If not Allegri , go for Arteta.

  96. Marko

    Jaime is absolutely sarcastic and absolutely right with impeccable sources and I of course thank him for it. This squad is full of internationals it’s full to the brim with talent and all that’s left to unlock it is an elite coach and Mikel is that. He comes in does the basics adds in some shape some compactness gets the players body shape set properly and we’re good to go. Simple as. The lad had Raheem Sterling practicing his shooting after training so sorting out the defence at Arsenal shouldn’t be a problem.

  97. Dissenter

    You have to wonder why Everton can be closer to appointing a name brand manager like Ancelotti faster than Arsenal are doing with Arteta
    Arteta is by far cheaper, wouldn’t pay him more than £3-4 million yearly
    Arteta has fewer staff, compared to Ancelotti who would insist on a posse.

    Why do we move so sluggishly, nothing classy about this by the way.
    Didn’t Josh meet with Arteta in the 2018 process?

  98. DigitalBob

    Jamie – Some players are not good enough its simple, they cannot cut it for us or the type of football we want to play. Xhaka and Mustafi cannot be salvaged, so much so I won’t even give you my reasoning for this assessment as many a word has been said on why they are impostor footballers at The Arsenal.

    Mhki and Elneny both while having a slight resemblances of decent footballers have not been able to replicate their best form while in an arsenal shirt and also take away vital development minutes from our youth players, both shouldn’t come back unless its for a mates testimonial.

    David Luiz should be released.

  99. Jamie

    Marc –

    Top 4 isn’t just making up a couple of points, but top 6 is. Fairly damning indictment of Arteta before he’s been announced if you don’t believe he can make up 2 points over 7 months with the players currently at his disposal.

    My sources tell me Arteta essentially delivered training at City. Embrace his IP.

  100. Danny S


    Bellerin is a prime example of the soft spine that runs through this club.
    He is more concerned about his hair and righteous self image than he is about his football.

    He is the Walcott of rightbacks in terms of footballing ability too.

    The only way Bellerin could be of any use is if we got a centre back who knows how to sit back and read the game, ala mertasaker who can Shepard and direct bellerin on the pitch. I think that was probably some of bells best years playing with mert.
    I was never a fan of the big German but his organisation of the back 4 was top notch.

    Anyway, bell was always a speed merchant and now we can’t be sure he even has that.

  101. Champagne charlie

    Juvenile posts left and right, seems a few people getting awfully bent out of shape at the prospect of Arteta.

    Most likely because of how stupid they might look should he do well after a litany of stomping feet 18 months ago.

    Same folk had the audacity to finger point when others were grumbling a few months into Emery’s tenure. Brilliant

  102. Nelson

    We have a number of youngsters who have potential to become good players.

    Midfielders: Guen, ESR, Willock, Torr, Burton
    Attackers: Pepe, Martinelli, Saka, Reiss

    I am hoping that Arteta can provide them with guidance to achieve their goal.

    As for defenders, our players are either injured or not fit for purpose.

  103. guest man aka WW

    It does seem arteta may well be the right man, for the success at city was in part down to him.
    Arsenal presents a totally different challenge.
    With city its like maintaining a racing car, just tweeking, tuning…the odd fault here and there.
    Arsenal are an unreliable fiesta which needs a range of repairs and new components.
    I wish him well…not an easy job for mikel

  104. Marko

    Arseblog saying just compensation to be sorted now. Brilliant. Champions League winners within 5 years. Didn’t someone say that before? Doesn’t matter I’m saying it now club world champions in 6 years 6-1 over Ali Baba in Tanzania. No clean sheet because Xhaka is still protecting the back 4 but we’re explosive going forward

  105. HighburyLegend

    Jamie firmly believe that Arteta will be able to transform Mustardi, Granité or Luiz into top players. Hilarious…

  106. Marc


    Your sources – don’t be a tit.

    Let’s get Arteta announced then let’s see his team selections etc. My personal preference would be for him to have Xhaka and Mustafi under go Decimation by the rest of the squad. Maybe throw Ozil in as well.

    That’s team building.

  107. Paulinho

    Some people being awfully reticent to put full backing behind names in terms of potential managers, even though it should be easy considering how bad Emery supposedly was.

    Probably because the player poverty is sinking in and they don’t want to look stupid in 18 months if we are still shit with the new guy in charge.

  108. Dissenter

    Here comes the guy who was attacking the previous manager for a lack of footballing identity before the ink on his contract was dry.
    We all want Arteta to succeed. We are just pointing out the absurdity of your tenuous arguments that the squad was good enough all along.
    After all we have spent so damn much to improve it since Wenger left.

  109. Mcbright is Wright

    Look guys! We as supporters need to do our bit-ie supporting.
    Love the last 30mins at the Emirates vs city.
    Stand by AFC